Economy of Delhi Sultanate

  • According to Ibn Batuta, Soil was fertile and two crops were grown in a year. Rice was grown thrice a year.
  • Silver coins were tankas and copper were dirham. Urban economy was very vibrant.
  • Turks introduced the manufacturing of paper in India.
  • Dhunia: Cotton carder’s bow.
  • Rahat: Persian wheel used to lift water for irrigation from deeper levels.
  • Karkhanas: they manufactured costly articles made of silk, gold and silver ware.
  • Major imports included grade textiles (satin), glassware and horse from west Asia, and raw silk and porcelain came from China. Gujarat, Bengal and Sind were major trading regions.
  • Road system (Peshawar to Sonargaon and to Daultabad) was developed. This period also saw the rise and development of the postal system.
  • Trade was flourishing and many new towns came up to encourage trade. Some communities like Banias, Marwaris and Multanis made trade their vocation.
  • Banjaras traded in caravans and were continuously on the move carrying goods from one place to another.
  • Delhi was centre for incoming and outgoing goods.
  • There was rice from east, sugar from Kannauj, wheat from Doab and fine silks from South. Besides, there were luxury goods like metalware, ivory, jewellery, cotton textiles etc. Goods from outside India like East Africa, Arabia and China also came to Delhi.
  • According to Ibn Batuta, Delhi was a magnificent city.
  • Sericulture: Breeding of mulberry silkworm for producing true silk, reached India from China in 14th century. However, Tussar and Muga silk were produced in India from earlier times.
  • Peasants were assured an inalienable right to land until they tilled it and paid their share of revenue demand by state.
  • Highest category of peasants were khots and muqaddams (headmen), who assisted authorities in collection of land revenue. In return, they were entitled to some concessions, including exemption from certain taxes.
  • Irrigation: Traditional araghatta (water wheel) was attached with a gearing mechanism to allow it to be powered by animals.
  • Growth of trade encouraged the use of money and at this time came into use the silver tanka (coin).
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