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Merchants during The Delhi Sultanate Period

Merchants during The Delhi Sultanate Period

Trade, Industry and Merchants

  • With the consolidation of the Delhi Sultanate and the improvement of communication and the establishment of sound currency system based on the silver tanka and the copper dirham, there was a definite growth c r trade in the country marked by the growth of towns and town life.
  • Ibn Batuta calls Delhi the largest city in the eastern part of the Islamic world. He says that Daulatabad (Deogiri) equaled Delhi which is an index of the growth of trade between the north and the south.
  • Cambay (Khambaat) in Gujarat was famous tor textiles and for gold end silver work.
  • Sonargaon in Bengal was famous for raw silk and fine cotton cloth.
  • The production of textiles was improved by the introduction of the spinning-wheel as cotton could be cleaned faster and better by the use of the cotton carder’s bow (dhunia). But there is little doubt that most important was the skill of the Indian craftsmen.    Merchants during The Delhi Sultanate Period
  • Indian textiles made their way to west Asia and Europe through Persian gulf and the Red Sea. Fine Indian textiles were introduced to China as well where it was valued more than silk.
  • India imported high grade textiles such as satin from west Asia alongwith glassware and horses. From China; it imported raw silk and porcelain.
  • The Arabs were the dominant partners of the Indian merchants in the Indian Ocean trade.
  • The coastal trade and trade between the coastal parts and north India was in the hands of Marwaris and Gujaratis, many of whom were Jains. Muslim Bohra merchants also participated in this trade.
  • The overland trade with central and West Asia was in the hands of Multanis, who were mostly Hindus and Khurasanis, who were Afghans and Iranians. Many of these merchants settled down in Delhi.
  • Economic life quickened in the period by the development of roads, improvement of communications and growth of trade, both overland and by sea.
  • The Turks introduced or popularized a number of new crafts and techniques. The use of the iron stirrup, and large-scale use of armour, both for the horse and the rider for heavy and light cavalry preferred by the new rulers contributed to the growth of the metallurgical industry, and metal crafts.
  • Another important development was the improvement of the rahat, a kind of a wheel used to lift water from a deeper level for irrigation. The other crafts included paper-making, glass-making, the spinning wheel and an improved loom for weaving.    Merchants during The Delhi Sultanate Period
  • Mohammed-bin-Tughluq’s wazir enjoyed an income as large as that of the province of Iraq. Bashir who was Firoz Shah Tughluq’s Ariz-i-mamlik left 13 crores at his death.  Merchants during The Delhi Sultanate Period

Medieval History

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