The Ocean of Churn: How the Indian Ocean Shaped Human History by Sanjeev Sanyal [Book Review]

ocean.jpgTitle : The Ocean of Churn: How the Indian Ocean Shaped Human History

Author : Sanjeev Sanyal

ISBN : 9780670087327

Publisher : Penguin Randomhouse India

Genre : Indian History and Politics, Geopolitics and International Relations

Pages : 297

Source : Publisher

Rating : 4 stars


How come the fossil remains of marine animals have been found in Himalayas?

How come we can see oriental faces in the engravings by Pallavas?

Why did Vasco Da Gama worship in a Hindu Temple when he set his foot in India for the first time?

How come the Parsi Community of India embraced the local Gujarati culture so effortlessly?

Yeah, you guessed it right- This books has not only answers, but also profound explanations of all the above mentioned (and many more) questions.

History has been prescribed in our curriculum right from the primary school. But if you will ponder a bit, its easy to realize that the entire curriculum is heavily skewed towards “Mainland History”. While we discuss Ashoka and Akbar in great lengths, a minuscule space is given to the Cholas, Chalukyas and Pallavas. We talk at lengths about Ashoka and Akbar but conveniently forget Kharavela.

In this groundbreaking, one-of-its-kind book, Sanjeev Sanyal retraces history from the Indian Ocean’s and its coastline’s perspective. The book start right from the origin of Indian Ocean due to the movement of tectonic plates and ends right at the transformation of Bombay to Mumbai with the reclamation of land over the ocean. The book is full of rich details of all kingdoms that throve around the Indian coastline and islands on Indian ocean and of also those that had cultural and trade ties with these kingdoms. Some of the anecdotes are a delight to read while many others get a bit dragging and prosaic- but it doesn’t undermine the fact that the book is an extremely informative account and is a result of an honest and meticulous hard work of author. Some details in this book will challenge your notions and previous knowledge of history with new insights and a different perspective while others will make you go bewildered about the richness and obscurity of our ancient times.

A heartfelt thanks to Penguin Books India for providing The BookTrack team with a review copy of the book. Please buy a copy of this book from Amazon here and start a literary ride which will increase your knowledge quotient for sure.

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