Project ‘Mausam’ Project was launched at the 38th World Heritage Session at Doha, Qatar in June, 2014. This project aims to explore the multi-faceted Indian Ocean ‘world’ and how the knowledge and manipulation of the monsoon winds has shaped interactions across the Indian Ocean and led to the spread of shared knowledge systems, traditions, technologies and ideas along maritime routes Archaeological Survey of India is the nodal agency with research support of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) and National Museum as associate bodies.
It positions itself at two levels: Macro level- it aims to re-connect and re-establish communications between countries of the Indian Ocean world, which would lead to an enhanced understanding of cultural values and concerns. Micro level- here focus is on understanding national cultures in their regional maritime milieu. ‘Mausam’ or Arabic ‘Mawsim’ refers to the season when ships could sail safely.
This distinctive wind-system of the Indian Ocean region follows a regular pattern: southwest from May to September; and northeast from November to March. The English term ‘Monsoon’ came from Portuguese ‘Monção’, ostensibly from Arabic ‘Mawsim’. This intertwining of natural phenomena such as monsoon winds and the ways in which these were harnessed historically to create cultural networks form the building blocks of Project ‘Mausam’.
Indian Ocean countries identified under Project Mausam: Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Comoros ,Egypt, Eritrea, French Réunion , Indonesia, Kuwait, Kenya, Lebanon, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Somalia South Africa ,Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, United Republic of Tanzania, Thailand, Jordan, Turkey, Iran (Islamic Republic), Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, and Yemen.