A Network of Small Towns

During the 8th century, many important towns developed in India.

These small towns were made up of large villages.

Let us look at some of the features of these Small Towns

These villages had mandi in which the people from nearby villages sells their produce.

Along with these mandis, there were haats or market streets lined with shops.

These streets were used by different artisans too.

Some travelled from town to town.

People from other places came to towns to buy and sell goods.

These goods included camphor, saffron, betel nut and spices like pepper.

In later times, zamindars built fortified palaces in or near the towns.

These zamindars levied taxes on traders, artisans, and articles of trade.

Sometimes zamindars gave the rights to collect taxes to the local temples too.

These rights were recorded in inscriptions and are preserved till date.

A 10th-century inscription from Rajasthan includes all the dues to be collected by the temple authorities.

There were taxes on sugar, jaggery, dyes, thread, cotton, coconuts, and other items.

Also, there were taxes on traders, sellers of metal goods, on loads of grains, etc.


The reference of the oldest towns emerging from large villages can be found during the 8th century.

These villages had mandis or haats in which the people from nearby villages sell their produce.

It had market street for different kinds of artisans such as potters, oil pressers, sugar-makers, etc.

The traders sell their products in the market. Some traders lived in the town while others came from nearby towns.

The zamindar imposed taxes on traders, artisans, etc. These zamindars lived in or near these towns.

The End