In the 8th century AD the external trade of India flourished. It is known from contemporary sources that the trade was possible due to the emergence of the Arab merchants. The Arab merchants moved in various directions in search of trade possibilities. They were keen on establishing trade relations with China.

But the distance between West Asia and China was great. And it was not possible for the Arab merchants to cover the distance between the Arab world and China in one goes. Thus a golden opportunity for the Indian merchants was provided by the Arab- China trade. The Indian merchants acted as an intermediary in the Arab-China trade.

The loaded ships first anchored at Qulin wherefrom the commodities were shifted in another vassal for the Chinese ports. It has been pointed out by A.Chakravarty that the Indian merchants not merely acted as an intermediary, but they were direct players in the China trade.

Early in the 8th century AD an Indian is said to have reached Canton. Pallava king Narasimhavarman II sent an embassy to China in 720 AD. Sometime later the Chinese emperor sent a return embassy. Needless to say, diplomatic relations fostered close trade relations. After a gap of some years direct regular maritime contact was revived at the initiative of the Cholas and Palas.


It is thus evident from what has beet, stated above that in the so-called feudal period trade relations were not at all absent.