produced was in villages.
The growth of cash-crop based economy (for instance, tobacco, introduced
in the early 17th century, was a market oriented crop) further facilitated the
village handicrafts and the non-agricultural production.
Regarding the non-agricultural production in villages, pottery and leather
products were the most important. Leather footwear and bags flourished all
over the country. The smith’s craft in gold, bronze, copper, implements of
war, implements for agriculture, domestic utensils, etc., were some of the
other important products of the villages.
Condition of Urban Crafts As against this traditional rural economy based
on artisanal produce, great industries or large-scale industries flourished in
India. It was these large-scale industries which generated the cash economy.
India, from the 16th century to the 18th century, was a large-scale
manufacturer of cotton and silk, sugar, jute, dye-stuffs, minerals, arms,
saltpetre and oils.
Of the things mentioned above, textiles were perhaps the most important as
they were produced in every part of the country. Bengal, Gujarat and
Coromandel became the great emporiums of the textile trade. Raw materials
for these industries were brought from the countryside to the industrial towns
where specialised varieties were produced. Foreign travelers mentioned
nearly 160 varieties of textiles which were exported to various parts of Asia
and Europe. Long cloth and muslins from Coromandel and Bengal were in
great demand in Asian markets.
Diamond mining associated with Golconda was an eminent industry of that
time. But these mines were located far from Golconda in small villages. Iron
and copper mining were taken up in Singbhum and Khetri mines
respectively. Kashmir was famous for woollen products.
One most important feature was the personal interest of the kings and nobility
in mercantile activities as well as those of production. The Mughal emperors
took special interest in royal karkhanas and saw to it that the state
maintained karkkanas not only in the capital but also in provincial
headquarters, as well as other important industrial towns. They wanted that
the kharkanas should not only produce articles for meeting the general
requirements of the state, but also produce articles of choice and quality.
The artisan here worked as a mere     wage earner and was directed to produce