Trade, traders, silk route

Northern Black polished ware were fine pottery with wide collection of plates and bowls. Traders have carried them to far of places to sell them. South India was famous for gems, precious stones, spices like pepper. Pepper was valued so much in Roman Empire that it was given the status of black gold. Traders carried the goods in demand across seas via ships and across lands in caravans. Trades flourished so much that the Roman gold coins were found in South India.

Traders explored Different sea routes. There were coasts like Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea. Sailors took the advantage of monsoon winds to reach to the destination quickly.

Coastal kingdoms

Among all the river valleys, Kaveri was the fertile of all. Chiefs and king’s who controlled the coasts became rich and powerful. The poem Sangam, mentioned about Muvendar. It means three chiefs, used for the heads of the three ruling family, the cholas, the Cheras and the Pandyas.

Their powerful centres were on the inland and on the coast. Of the 6 cities, 2 were very important. Puhar or kaveripattinam, the port of the cholas and the Madurai, the capital of the Pandyas.

The chiefs did not collect taxes. Instead they demanded and received gifts from the people. The received tributes from the neighbouring areas.

Around 200 years later, a Dynasty known as the Satavahanas, became powerful in Western India. The most important ruler of the Satavahana Dynasty was Gautamiputra Shri satakarni. Satakarni and other Satavahana rulers were known as the lords of the Dakshanipatha.

Silk route

The rich glossy texture of the silk made it the highly valued and most wanted fabric all over. Although making silk is a complicated process. The raw silk has to be extracted from the cocoons of the silkworm, spun into thread and then woven into cloth. The technique of making silk was first invented in China. However, the method of making silk was kept secret was thousands of years. The people from China went to distant lands with the silk products on foot, or horseback or camels. The route which they followed came to be known as the silk route

 At times, Chinese rulers sent silk gifts to the rulers in Iran and West Asia. In no time, wearing silk was  in fashion among rich people in Rome. It was very expensive. It has to be brought from dangerous routes, deserts, mountains. Although the people often demanded money to let them pass .

Many rulers tried to control the route, so that they get benefits of taxes,tributes and gifts brought by the traders. The best ruler who controlled the route was the kushanas. Their main centres of powers were Peshawar and Mathura. Taxilla was the another one. The kushanas were the first one to issue gold coins. These were used by the traders along the silk route.