In Odisha, there is the famous folktale of Topoi whose seven brothers sailed to Bali for business.
Baliyatra in Odisha involves floating toy boats in temple ponds, to remind people of the great sea-faring merchants of Odisha.
These were supposed to have been invented on ships, sailing to Southeast Asia, with the light of the flames, casting shadows on the sails of the ships.
The one community that continued with shipping was the Chettiar community of Tamil Nadu.
The Chettiars did travel, right from the time of Chola kings, establishing temples as far as China.
The Chettiar community, it is said, worshipped Murugan, in his celibate form.
Young sailor boys were told to maintain celibacy, when they travelled across the sea and only marry women of the community, otherwise they risked excommunication.
The sailing, which was done by Indian merchants, was outsourced to the Arabs.