NCERT Class 7 History Chapter 6: Towns, Traders and Craftspersons YouTube Lecture Handouts

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NCERT Class 7 History Chapter 6: Towns, Traders and Craftspersons

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Major Artisan Towns

Image of Major Artisan Towns

Image of Major Artisan Towns

Image of Major Artisan Towns

Administrative Towns

  • Thanjavur – Capital of Cholas, At Kaveri River, Home to Rajarajeshwara temple by King Rajaraja Chola - architect Kunjaramallan Rajaraja Perunthachchan – temple has palaces with mandapas & barracks for army, water comes from wells, Saliyar weavers – cloth for flags in temples

  • At Svamimalai: Sthapatis or sculptors make bronze idols & ornamental bell metal lamps

Temple Towns

  • Center of economic activity

  • Rulers built temples to demonstrate devotion to God

  • Endowed with grants of land & money to carry rituals

  • People brought in huge donations

  • Temples used wealth to finance trade & banking

  • For example: Thanjavur; Bhillasvamin (Bhilsa or Vidisha, MP); Somnath in Gujarat; Kanchipuram and Madurai in Tamil Nadu; Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh

  • Pilgrimage centers developed as tonwships: Varanasi (UP), Tiruvannamalai (Tamil Nadu), Ajmer (Rajasthan) – Chauhans till 12th Century & then Mughals – Puskhar & Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti Dargah


  • Copper + Tin

  • Tin>>>Copper = Bell Metal – bell like sound

  • Lost Wax Technique – Statue made of wax coated with clay, Then heated and wax removed through a hole. Liquid metal filled in through the same hole & clay removed.

Trade & Small Towns

  • Trading Commodities: horses, salt, camphor, saffron, betel nut and spices like pepper

  • Samanta (Zamindar) – build fortified towns, levied taxes on traders & donated right to collect taxes to temples

  • Traders travelled in caravans and formed guilds (Manigramam and Nanadesi) to protect their interests

  • Major Traders:

    • Chettiars and Marwari Oswal

    • Hindu Baniyas and Muslim Bohras

  • Indian sold textiles and spices & brought gold and ivory from Africa; spices, tin, Chinese blue pottery and silver from SE Asia and China

  • Species became a delicacy in European cooking

  • Kabul and Qandahar were linked to Silk Route – trade by Horses


  • Craftwork from Bidar – Bidri on copper & silver

  • Panchal as or Vishwakkarma community, consisting of goldsmiths, bronze smiths, blacksmiths, masons and carpenters, were essential to the building of temples

  • Weavers like Saliyar or Kaikkolars emerged as prosperous communities

  • Murshidabad (West Bengal) on Bhagirathi River was major centre for silks and capital of Bengal in 1704, declined later by competition from cheap mill-made cloth from England.



  • Lies in Krishna-Tungabhadra basin, as nucleus of Vijayanagara Empire, founded in 1336. Was fortified city with no mortar or cement but only by interlocking?

  • Had arches, domes and pillared halls, pleasure gardens – Moors (Muslim Merchants), Chettis & Portuguese traders were commonly seen

  • Temples had cultural activities, devadasis (temple dancers) in Virupaksha (Shiva) temple, Mahanavmi or Navratri is celebrated in south

  • Hampi fell into ruin following the defeat of Vijayanagara in 1565 by the Deccani Sultans – the rulers of Golconda, Bijapur, Ahmadnagar, Berar and Bidar.


  • Emporium of western trade during Mughal period

  • Gateway of trade with West Asia via Gulf of Omruz

  • Gate to Mecca

  • Portuguese, Dutch and English had factories and warehouses

  • Textile was known

  • Zari work (gold lace) had market in West Asia, Africa and Europe

  • Kathiawad seths or mahajans (moneychangers) had huge banking houses

  • Surat hundis (note recording a deposit made by a person) were honored far and wide in Cairo - Egypt, Basra – Iraq & Antwerp – Belgium

  • Declined in 17th century due to loss of market and productivity due to decline of Mughal empire & East India Company shifted its HQs to Mumbai

Masulipatnam (Machlipatnam)

  • Delta of Krishna River on 17th century

  • Both Dutch & English East India Company tried to control it

  • Major Port of Golconda, Andhra Pradesh

  • Fort built by Dutch

  • Qutb Shahi rulers of Golconda imposed royal monopolies on the sale of textiles, spices and other items to prevent trade passing completely into East India Companies.

  • Competition occurred amongst Golconda nobles, Persian merchants, Telugu Komati Chettis, and European traders

  • Later Aurangzeb annexed Golconda & Europeans started to look for alternatives

  • It declined in 18th century

New Towns & Traders

  • 16-17th century – European leaders looking for species & textiles

  • East India Company – by English, French & Dutch

  • Indian Traders Mulla Abdul Ghafur and Virji Vora with large number of ships competed with European companies

  • English emerged as most successful

  • Weavers had to reproduce designs supplied by English people

  • 18th Century – Bombay, Madras & Calcutta became nodal centers – artisans and merchants were moved to Black Towns established within new cities

  • “White” rulers occupied the superior residencies of Fort St. George in Madras or Fort St. William in Calcutta.


Vasco Da Gama – Portuguese sailor, reached Calicut in 1498 and returned to Lisbon, lost two ships & only 54 of 170 men survived, later English, Dutch & French sailors reached there

Image of Vasco Da Gama Discoveries

Image of Vasco Da Gama Discoveries

Image of Vasco Da Gama Discoveries

Columbus – considering earth to be round sailed westwards to Atlantic Ocean to find route to India – In 1492 reached West Indies – later Spain & Portugal sailors reached there

Image of Christopher Columbus Voyages

Image of Christopher Columbus Voyages

Image of Christopher Columbus Voyages

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