Tuesday 13 August 2013

SHEKHAVATI - Caravan Routes & Trade Concessions

SHEKHAVATI - Caravan Routes & Trade Concessions

After the death of Aurangzeb in 1707 the Mughal empire went into a decline. In 18th Century rulers in Gujarat supported by the foundation of Bhavnagar port established a trade link with the Gulf. An overland caravan route linking towns of Bhiwani (Haryana) and Bhavnagar (Gujarat) crossed the region of Churu and Shekhawati. The principle commercial lines followed are: from Delhi via Bhiwani in Hissar (the greatest eastern part of Rajputana) to Rani (Taranagar), the other via Churu, Ratangarh and Sujangarh to Phalodi, Nagore, Jodhpur and Pali in Marwar (Jodhpur state). 

Pali was the entre pot for the eastern and western regions where the productions of India, Kashmir and China (Tibet?) where interchanged for those of Europe, Africa, Persia and Arabia. Caravans from the ports of Kutch and Gujarat imported ivory, copper, dates, gum-arabica, borax, coconuts, broad cloths, silks, sandalwood, camphor, dyes, drugs, oxide, sulphate of arsenic, spices, coffee etc.

In exchange they received chintzes, dried fruit, hing (from Multan), sugar, opium (from Kota), silks and fine cloth, potash, shawls, dyed blanket, arms and sale of home manufacture. 


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