Ships on Hero Stones from the West Coast of India
Sila Tripati
Marine Archaeology Centre
National Institute of Oceanography, Goa
Hero stones were raised to honour the memory of those who lost their lives either
in a battle (sea or land) or in some other untoward accident. This practice has
been continued since the early times and varieties of hero stones have been
reported from various provinces of India. Maximum number of hero stones so far
reported from India has been depicted with land battle scenes and other societal
aspects, where as the hero stones kept at Archaeological Museum, Old Goa,
Goa (12th century AD) and Eksar (11th century AD) in Mumbai have the
depiction of naval warfare. The Old Goa hero stones belong to the Goa
Kadambas who ruled Goa from 950-1300 AD. The Eksar hero stones were
depicted during the reign of king Bhoja of Malwa in 1020 AD. Similar type of hero
stones with depiction of boat motifs datable to the 18th to 19th centuries AD has
been reported from Aramda in Gujarat. This paper examines the hero stones
depicting naval warfare of India and their significance along with the naval battles
and maritime history of India.
Keywords: Naval Warfare, Hero Stones, Memorial stones, West Coast of India, Old Goa,
Eksar, Aramda

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