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Important Trading Cities of India

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Important Trading Cities of India - Lesson Summary

The city of Hampi was once the nucleus of the Vijayanagara Empire founded in 1336 and located in the Krishna-Tungabhadra basin. Its walls were constructed using wedging or interlocking rocks while its markets were thronged by the Moors, Chettis and agents of Portuguese traders.

Hampi fell into ruin after the defeat of Vijayanagara in 1565 by the Deccani Sultans like the rulers of Golconda, Bijapur, Ahmednagar, Berar and Bidar.

Surat acted as a gateway for trade with West Asia via the Gulf of Ormuz and was known as the emporium of western trade during the Mughal period. The city was famous for its cotton textiles with gold lace borders, known as zari, which had great demand in West Asia, Africa and Europe.

The Kathiawad seths or mahajans (moneychangers) had huge banking houses at Surat. Their hundis were honoured in the far-off markets of Cairo in Egypt, Basra in Iraq and Antwerp in Belgium. However, the city started declining after the decline of Mughal Empire and when lost control of sea trade to the Portuguese.

Masulipatanam, or Machlipatnam, meaning a fish port town, which lay on the delta of the Krishna River, had a flourishing sea trade with the French, British and Dutch. It boasted of various trading groups such as the Golconda nobles, Persian merchants, Telugu Komati Chettis and European traders, which made the city populous and prosperous.

Mir Jumla, the Governor of Golconda began playing the Dutch and the English against each other, causing the European Companies to look for alternatives. 

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