The economic conditions during the Mughal period were favorable and industry was in flourishing fashion. The industrial production consisted of fine cotton and silk fabrics, woolen and silk shawls, carpets and metalwork in iron, steel, brass, copper, gold and silver. Swords and weapons were highly valued as were brass vessels and gold and silver ornaments. River transport was cheaper and in common use. There were 40,000 boats in the Indus river while forty to fifty thousand plied in Bengal. The important centers of textile industry were Dacca, Banaras, Agra, Multan, Burhanpur, Lahore, Ahmedabad, Patna, Baroda, Broach and Surat. Cottage industries and the skilled workers were by and large patronized by the nobility as well as the rulers.
The development of trade, industry, arts and crafts was entirely due to the highly developed and aesthetic sense of the Emperors and the upper classes. The state maintained a large number of karkhanah, which were industries placed under diwan-i-buyutat. These were large halls or workshops for artisans. Separate karkhanahs were made for embroiders, gold smiths, painters, joiners, turners, tailors, shoemakers, manufacturers of silk, brocade. There was fine muslin from which turbans, girdles with golden flowers and drawers were made. The drawers worn by women were so delicately fine that they were generally worn out in a single night. These workers used to work throughout the entire day. For the craftsmen hereditary system of vocation was followed as a gold smith’s son was always a gold smith and a tailor’s son a tailor.
This article was last updated on Wednesday, Jan 04, 2006