Apart from the royal highway running from Tamralipti to Taxila, there were many routes which connected other parts of India. According to the Buddhist sources, the more frequented routes were: the north to south-west route from Shravasti to Pratisthana, the north to south-east route from Shravasti to Rajagriha and east to west route following the river valleys. This shows the importance of Shravasti as a major junction.

Another major junction was Mathura which had the status of a second capital of the Kushanas. From Mathura a route went westward to Sind. Along this route, horses were brought to the north India. Another route from Mathura went to Ujjaini ultimately leading to Bharauch. Bharauch continued to be the main port for the western sea trade. Bharauch was also connected with Tagara and Pratisthana.

In north and east India Shravasti, Champa, Pataliputra, Varanasi, Kaushambi, Ayodhya, Sakala and Vidisa and Ujjaini in the Malwa region were important centres of trade and all of them were connected with the main cross­country routes and there were numerous ancillary feeder routes between these centres.

Srughna in north was an important transit place and the main collection centre for the trade items coming from the Himalayan region. From Tamralipti a route went down south connecting Kalinganagar, Amaravati, Kanchipuram and Uraiyur. Uraiyur was connected by a route to Musiris. However, the land-routes of south India mostly developed during the post- Mauryan period.


All the above mentioned routes are traditionally grouped into two main groups i.e. uttarapatha and dakshinapatha. However, the existence of andhrapatha in Satavahana period may cast doubts over all of them being seen as trade routes. They may well be the three broad regions as seen by the contemporary writers in which could correspond to what later came to be known as the Deccan.

Internal Trade

The Milindapanho, the Jatakas, coins, seals, sealings and the existence of a large number of monastic establishments provide a great deal of evidence regarding the internal trade and its condition during the post-Mauryan period.