ISBN 9788121506465,Masulipatnam And Cambay: A History Of Two Port-Towns 1500-1800

Masulipatnam And Cambay: A History Of Two Port-Towns 1500-1800



Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt Ltd

Publication Year 1994

ISBN 9788121506465

ISBN-10 8121506468

Hard Back

Number of Pages 334 Pages
Language (English)


In this monograph, the two authors have set out to investigate a number of issues dealing with the pre-colonial period of the two ports - Masulipatnam and Cambay. Although these two ports have their distinct characteristics, yet they betray some common features in their historical existence. The two authors, using different nature of sources as well as different approaches in their treatment, have investigated their role of two ports in overseas trade and their integration with the regional state system. Cambay which was an important port in the Sultanate of Gujarat was relegated to an inferior position with the conquest of the Mughals and the rise of Surat. Yet it has been shown that Cambay and its hinterland continued to play prominent role in the overseas trade. Golconda has fostered the birth of Masulipatnam and the Mughal conquest did not destroy it, although European private trade grew further. The end of the 18th century had limited the Mughal interest in Masulipatnam, which was bound up with the crisis of the Mughal empire. Both the authors have drawn attention to the relation between the two ports with their hinterland as well as to the growth of textile production in the suburbs. The theme of European inputs into the development of both these ports shows that after the mid-18th century, the history of these two ports diverge and go their own ways. Finally, the involvement of the super-powers-Marathas, English, Dutch-create a situation in the late 18th century, which saw the submergence of trade to the political struggle. Along with these, the climatic and physical changes of the port may have an adverse impact. It has been shown here that the problems of silting and shifting sandbanks were not major factors at Cambay. In case of Masulipatnam, it seems that the Krishna River has become shallower in the 18th century. Both these authors, basing mostly on unpublished and little known published European evidences, have tried to understand the life of the traditional Indian port towns and not merely outline its trade and commerce.