NCERT Solutions for Class 7 History Chapter 6 - Towns, Traders and Craftpersons
Chapter 6 - Towns, Traders and Craftpersons Exercise 89
(a) The Rajarajeshvara temple was built in _1010 A.D._.
(b) Ajmer is associated with the Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti.
(c) Hampi was the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire.
(d) The Dutch established a settlement at Masulipatnam in Andhra Pradesh.
The 'Black Towns' in cities like Madras were inhabited by indigenous merchants and artisans like weavers.
Chapter 6 - Towns, Traders and Craftpersons Exercise 90
Towns developed around temples because the latter were central to the economy and the society. Rulers often constructed temples not only to showcase their devotion, but also to establish their authority and political legitimacy. They often awarded wealth and land to temples so that rituals could be conducted, festivals could be celebrated and pilgrims and priests could be fed. The temples also utilised their wealth to finance trade and banking. Subsequently, a large number of priests, artisans, workers and traders settled near the temple complex in order to cater to the needs of the pilgrims. In this way, towns slowly grew around temples.
Craftpersons were absolutely essential in the construction and adorning of temples with silver, gold, alloy-work, textile and wooden decorations. They also provided for the needs of the visiting pilgrims. The Panchalas and Vishwakarma communities which consisted of various professionals – goldsmiths, blacksmiths, bronzesmiths, carpenters and masons – played a crucial role in the construction process. Similarly, weavers like Kaikkolars and Saliyars donated regularly to the temples.
During Mughal rule, Surat had become an important center of trade. Merchants and traders from remote places visited the town because it was the gateway of trade with West Asia via the Gulf of Ormuz. The Portuguese, English and Dutch had their factories and warehouses in Surat during the 17th century. It also had wholesale and retail cotton textile shops. The textiles of Surat were very popular for their zari work (gold lace borders) and had a huge demand in West Asia, Europe and Africa. There were a large number of banking houses owned by Kathiawadi seths or mahajans (moneychangers) and the Surat hundis were hounoured in distant markets like Cairo, Basra and Antwerp. As a result of this financial potential, the Mughal authorities also built several rest houses in order to house the incoming visitors.
Crafts production in cities like Calcutta was formally planned and organised by European companies. Merchants and artisans were moved and confined to the ‘Black Towns’ constructed by the European companies within the new cities. On the other hand, the crafts production in old temple towns like Thanjavur focused on the needs of the temple and the pilgrims.
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