The granary of the land “Odisha” surplus agricultural products also another factor for the maritime trade of Odisha. Rich cultural heritage of Odisha also another factor for the maritime trade.
Lastly Political patronage was another factor that helped the growth of Odisha’s prosperous maritime trade. The famous dynasties like the Chedi, the Maratha, the Sailodbhava, the Bhaumakara, the Somavamsi Gajapati ruled over Odisha very successfully for long period. They were not only generous but also encouraged the maritime traders. Not only for the benefit of their subjects but also to encourage trade and commerce, they constructed roads and dug canals.
In above discussion we find the factors like deep cut sea coast navigable rivers, adventurous spirit of the Kalinga’s (Kalinga Sahasika) their love for foreign trade9 the initiative of Odisha Kings and the existence of ports etc. must have contributed to the maritime trade of the land, Odisha (Kalinga).
It is due to the above mentioned factors the following ports were developed to gear up the maritime trade in Odisha for the Ancient period to British period.
In Ancient Odisha (Kalinga) there are four prominent ports. These are Tamralipti, Che-li-ta-lo, Paluru (Dantapur) and Pithunda. In Medieval Odisha the prominent ports were Pipili, Hijili, Balasore, Chudamani, Hariharpur and Manikpatna.
Modern Odisha also possessed a large number of ports like false point, Dhamara, Chandabali, Suvarnarekha, Sartha, Puri, Chhanua, Lychanpur, Churaman, Barua, Bavanapadu, Chilika, Ganjam, Gopalpur, Kalinga-Patanam, Pundi and Sunnapur. Here in an honest attempt is made to present a clear picture of the ports of Odisha and their sea-borne commerce during British period.
From 1568 A.D. began the rule of Afghans, Mughals, Marathas over Odisha one after another was captured by the British in 1803. The political subjugation became a formidable barrier to the revival of the sea trade of the merchants of Odisha. In the seventeenth century, the European merchants monopolized the sea-borne trade of Odisha because they enjoyed the patronage of the Muslim rulers.