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The 'Jewel of Muscat' comes calling at Kochi port
Monday, March 15, 2010 09:20:20 PM, IANS
Kochi: The 'Jewel of Muscat' - a replica of a ninth century merchant sailing vessel (dhow) - arrived here Monday morning.
The vessel left the shores of Oman Feb 16 and is a gift from Sultan Qaboos, the Sultan of Oman, to Singapore.
It was built with the help of wood and coconut ropes. It is a model of the wreck of a timber-and-coconut rope dhow, salvaged about 12 years ago from Indonesia's Belitung Straits.
The discovery of the wreck excited maritime scholars, who viewed it as solid proof of a maritime silk route from Middle East to China.
The dhow was received here by the officials from the Indian Navy, Coast Guard and the state government.
Speaking to reporters, Oman Ambassador Sheikh Humaid Bin Ali Bin Sultan Al-mani said this endeavour was meant to recreate the historical tradition that Oman had with countries like India, Sri Lanka and other Asian nations.
In earlier times, it was through these dhows that trade flourished between Middle East and India with spices being exported from here.
The dhow that arrived has a crew of 16, including two people from Kerala.
The dhow is expected to be here for some days before sailing to Sri Lanka, Malaysia before reaching Singapore some time in June.
The 18-metre-long wooden dhow displaces 55 tonnes and the wood for the boat was brought from India, Myanmar, Africa while the coconut ropes were procured from Kerala and the sails from Zanzibar.
The uniqueness of the dhow is that not a single nail has been used in making it.
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