Port-towns of Gujarat

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“Port-towns of Gujarat” at the French Gallery of  newly inaugurated Alliance Française premises in Ahmedabad

Dio. From Correia, Gaspar, Lendas da India, Mid.16th Century. (c) Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo, Lisboa.

Port-towns of Gujarat is a fascinating exhibition covering  port-cities of Gujarat through the archives gathered from various European libraries in the UK, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Spain and Italy. This exhibition is curated by French architect Dr. Sara Keller and produced by a Vadodara-based research organization Darshak Itihas Nidhi (DIN) which specializes in historical studies and researches.

Alliance Française d’Ahmedabad now houses a Heritage Resource Centre (HRC) which has been started with the financial support of the French Government. This exhibition is organized in Ahmedabad as part of the inaugural activity of the HRC. It will have a permanent office with primary infrastructure to facilitate heritage related studies and researches as well as encourage interactive and socio-cultural activities to create awareness on heritage and related subjects.

Mounted first on the occasion of an International Symposium on the Port-towns of Gujarat in Daman during 14-16 December 2012, the exhibition attracted such a large number of viewers that the duration of the exhibition was extended for two days during the weekend of 13-14 April. The exhibition in Ahmedabad has selected only the exhibits from the complete exhibition including some objects which took place in Daman. It is mainly composed of the authorized copies of original archives in different European libraries. With drawings, sketches, architectural plans, photos or maps, written documents and prints, the exhibition offers a delicious time-travel and brings on the surface some unknown, or rather forgotten, facts from the history of Gujarat.

Porbandar fort and harbour. "HH 10th May/73." Album of 29 drawings of views in Kathiawar State. (c) The British Library (WD 4413f.8v)

Gujarat has as deep and as voluminous connections with the Sea as the sea itself. For centuries, Gujarat has been the gateway to India and the meeting point of the East and the West. Boasting of the longest coastline of India, Gujarat’s trade culture and the sophisticated ports date back to the Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro civilization when Lothal emerged as the first very sophisticated port of the ancient world. Many European travelers have praised wholeheartedly the wealthy and cosmopolitan ports of Khambhat (Cambay), Bharuch (Broach) and Surat.

To know more about this exhibition, please visit: Gujarat and the Sea

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Directeur de publication : Délégation Générale de la Fondation Alliance Française en Inde et au Népal

Rédacteur en chef : Laurent Elisio Bordier

Rédacteur/Coordinateur national : Siddharth Bhatt

Rédacteurs, contributeurs : Guillaume, Abhirami, Alexandre, Chintan, Cléa, David, Eleonore, Elie, Kanika, Karine, Nita, Thomas, Malvika, Marie-Joëlle, Meera, Mayuri, Mitushi, Alice, Prutha, Romain, Ritika, Manas, Supriya ...