Big and Small Traders

In earlier times there were no shopping malls and supermarkets where you can purchase all that you need.

People moved from one place to another to sell their products.

The Banjara traders moved from one place to another in groups which was known as caravan .

Traders also formed associations that had a headman who was the most responsible person.

For example, horse traders formed associations with the headmen who negotiated with warriors who brought horses.

Traders formed associations to ensure their security and benefits.

Many such associations were formed in South India from the 8th century. The most famous associations were the Manigramam and Nanadesi.

They traded within the peninsular region and also with Southeast Asia and China.

Other communities like the Chettiars and the Marwari became the principal trading groups of India.

The Gujarati traders like Hindu Baniyas and Muslim Bohras traded with ports of Red Sea, Persia, Gulf, East Africa, etc.

They sold spices and textiles in these ports, and in exchange, they brought various valuable items.

The traders brought gold and ivory from Africa; and spices, tin, Chinese blue pottery and silver from Southeast Asia and China.

The towns located on the West coast of India were home to foreign traders like Arabs, Persians, Chinese, Jewish, and others.

The Indian spices and clothes sold in the Red Sea port were bought by Italian merchants.

Later, the Italian merchants sold these products in European markets at high profits.

Spices grown in a tropical climate like pepper, cinnamon, ginger became an important part of European cooking.

Many people were also attracted to cotton clothes.

The importance and need of such products made European traders travel India for trade.


Banjaras were kind of traders who formed guilds and moved from one place to another.

They formed guilds to protect their interests and they formed caravans to travel from one region to another.

The Gujarati traders like Hindu Baniyas and Muslim Bohras exported textiles and spices in the ports of the Red Sea and Southeast Asia and China.

The spices and clothes which were sold in the ports of the Red Sea were purchased by Italian traders.

The demand for Indian spices and clothes in the European market made Italian merchants visit India quite often.

The End