The commodities carried from one part of the country to another, largely depended on the availability of goods and their demand in domestic markets as well as outside India. In the epics, we find that different kinds of presents and gifts were brought to the royal houses in northern India from different regions.

Cotton cloth was brought from the eastern region and Aparanta (south-west region), Silk from China and Bahlika, blankets from Kamboja, weapons of iron from the eastern region and Aparanta, horses and camels from the north­west region, elephants from the eastern and southern regions.

Textiles of various kinds were locally produced in every region and had a vast market throughout the country. Magadha and Avanti continued to supply iron. Copper was available in Rajasthan, the Deccan and the foothills of the Himalayas, musk and saffron came from Kashmir and the slopes of Himalayan region.

Salt range of the Punjab was known for the salt. Finally, south Indian regions supplied spices gold, precious stones and sandalwood. Mathura (famous for sataka), Varanasi and Uraiyur were centres of textile production.


Ujjaini was an important bead-making centre where beads of semi-precious stones, glass, ivory and terracotta were made. Most of these items, though locally in demand, were also geared towards foreign trade which was much more profitable and largely contributed to the rise of a mercantile class.