Economic Condition of Medieval India


On the whole the economic condition of the country was good with the rise of Islam in Arabia; Indian foreign trade had again started growing. The Arab empire comprised many such areas where gold was extracted from the mines. The Arab travelers came to the Western coastal regions of India and wrote about the prosperity in these regions. The foreign trade benefitted the regions of Malwa and Gujarat most. In Malwa new Cities like Champanar grew up.

On the other hand, the internal trade was not very prosperous due to several factors. The forest-tribes and some plundering tribes used to loot the traders because of which the traders often proceeded in caravans or under military security. There were no bridges on the rivers. Roads and trade routes were disrupted during the rainy season. Trade guilds had become weak. The self-sufficiency in the villages was on the increase which led to decline in trade.

Agriculture was in good condition. Many Arab travelers visiting India have spoken of the fertility of Indian soil and the capabilities of its farmers but there was a great disparity in the country’s economy. The practice of land grants led to the rise of a class which can be called the Landlord class.


They used to lead a very luxurious life. They emulated the style of the rulers and got constructed three to five storied buildings for their residence. Country’s wealth was concentrated either with few wealthy families or with the temples. The vast wealth of the country attracted foreign invaders. Indian industry was progressive.

Briefly, except for the economic condition all the other spheres of life-political, social and religious-were in a deplorable State in India. Lack of a powerful central government and a feeling of nationalism prevented adequate attention being paid to the security of the North West Frontier Region and the Arabs could gain success in Sindh.

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