Early transoceanic contacts between South and Southeast Asia

Buddhism had a significant influence on early trading networks. By the 2nd century BC, certain regions of mainland and peninsular Southeast Asia formed an integral part of trading networks. Buddhism was in favour of trade, and Buddhist monasteries were closely connected to trading groups. On the Indian subcontinent, monasteries were often situated along the trade routes, received important donations from merchants and became significant economic centres. The presence of objects of Indian origin in many sites in mainland and peninsular Southeast Asia indicates the dissemination of Buddhism along the oceanic trade routes.

Related Information

  • Author(s):
    Himanshu Prabha Ray
    2nd century BCE to 7th century CE
    Language of article:

    International Seminar for UNESCO Integral Study of the Silk Roads: Roads of Dialogue “Ancient Trades and Cultural contacts in Southeast Asia”. 21-22 January 1991. Bangkok, Thailand.

    Afghanistan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Viet Nam

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