EDEN IAS

ECONOMIC LIFE IN VIJAYNAGAR EMPIRE | GS ARTICLES

<p style=”margin-bottom:13px”>&nbsp;</p>
<p style=”margin-bottom:13px”><span style=”font-size:11pt”><span style=”line-height:150%”><span style=”font-family:Calibri,sans-serif”><span style=”font-size:12.0pt”><span style=”line-height:150%”>&bull; The economy of the empire was largely dependent on agriculture. Sorghum (jowar), cotton, and pulse legumes grew in semi-arid regions, while sugarcane, rice, and wheat thrived in rainy areas. Betel leaves, areca (for chewing), and coconut were the principal cash crops, and large-scale cotton production supplied the weaving centers of the empire&rsquo;s vibrant textile industry.</span></span></span></span></span></p>
<p style=”margin-bottom:13px”><span style=”font-size:11pt”><span style=”line-height:150%”><span style=”font-family:Calibri,sans-serif”><span style=”font-size:12.0pt”><span style=”line-height:150%”>&bull; Spices such as turmeric, pepper, cardamom, and ginger grew in the remote Malnad hill region and were transported to the city for trade.</span></span></span></span></span></p>
<p style=”margin-bottom:13px”><span style=”font-size:11pt”><span style=”line-height:150%”><span style=”font-family:Calibri,sans-serif”><span style=”font-size:12.0pt”><span style=”line-height:150%”>&bull; The empire&rsquo;s capital city was a thriving business centre that included a burgeoning market in large quantities of precious gems and gold. Prolific temple-building provided employment to thousands of masons, sculptors, and other skilled artisans.</span></span></span></span></span></p>
<p style=”margin-bottom:13px”><span style=”font-size:11pt”><span style=”line-height:150%”><span style=”font-family:Calibri,sans-serif”><span style=”font-size:12.0pt”><span style=”line-height:150%”>&bull; Land ownership was important. Most of the growers were tenant farmers and were given the right of part ownership of the land over time.</span></span></span></span></span></p>
<p style=”margin-bottom:13px”><span style=”font-size:11pt”><span style=”line-height:150%”><span style=”font-family:Calibri,sans-serif”><span style=”font-size:12.0pt”><span style=”line-height:150%”>&bull; Exports to China intensified and included cotton, spices, jewels, semi-precious stones, ivory, rhino horn, ebony, amber, coral, and aromatic products such as perfumes. Large vessels from China made frequent visits, some captained by the Chinese Admiral Zheng He, and brought Chinese products to the empire&rsquo;s 300 ports, large and small, on the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. The ports of Mangalore, Honavar, Bhatkal, Barkur, Cochin, Cannanore, Machilipatnam, and Dharmadam were the most important.</span></span></span></span></span></p>
<p style=”margin-bottom:13px”><span style=”font-size:11pt”><span style=”line-height:150%”><span style=”font-family:Calibri,sans-serif”><span style=”font-size:12.0pt”><span style=”line-height:150%”>&bull; When merchant ships docked, the merchandise was taken into official custody and taxes levied on all items sold. The security of the merchandise was guaranteed by the administration officials.</span></span></span></span></span></p>
<p style=”margin-bottom:13px”><span style=”font-size:11pt”><span style=”line-height:150%”><span style=”font-family:Calibri,sans-serif”><span style=”font-size:12.0pt”><span style=”line-height:150%”>&bull; Traders of many nationalities (Arabs, Persians, Khorasanis) settled in Calicut, drawn by the thriving trade business. Ship building prospered and keeled ships of 1000&ndash;1200 bahares (burden) were built without decks by sewing the entire hull with ropes rather than fastening them with nails. Ships sailed to the Red Sea ports of Aden and Mecca with Vijayanagara goods sold as far away as Venice.</span></span></span></span></span></p>
<p style=”margin-bottom:13px”><span style=”font-size:11pt”><span style=”line-height:150%”><span style=”font-family:Calibri,sans-serif”><span style=”font-size:12.0pt”><span style=”line-height:150%”>&bull; The empire&rsquo;s principal exports were pepper, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, myrobalan, tamarind timber, anafistula, precious and semi-precious stones, pearls, musk, ambergris, rhubarb, aloe, cotton cloth and porcelain. Cotton yarn was shipped to Burma and indigo to Persia. Chief imports from Palestine were copper, quicksilver (mercury), vermilion, coral, saffron, coloured velvets, rose water, knives, coloured camlets, gold and silver. Persian horses were imported to Cannanore before a two-week land trip to the capital. Silk arrived from China and sugar from Bengal.</span></span></span></span></span></p>

 

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