Did you know?

  • Punch marked silver ingots were in circulation around the 5th century BCE. They were the first metallic coins minted around the 6th century BCE by the Mahajanapadas of the Gangetic plains and were India’s earliest traces of coinage. While India’s many kingdoms and rulers issued coins, barter was still widely prevalent. Villages paid a portion of their crops as revenue while its craftsmen received a stipend out of the crops for their services. Each village was mostly self-sufficient.
  • According to economic historian Angus Maddison in Contours of the world economy, 1–2030 CE: essays in macro-economic history, India had the world’s largest economy from 1 CE to 1000 CE. However, the economy did not grow during the period. Between 1000 and 1500, in the late medieval era (during the Delhi Sultanate), India began to experience GDP growth, but more slowly than China, which overtook India to become the world’s largest economy. Ming China and India remained the largest economies through 1600. India experienced its fastest economic growth under the Mughal Empire during the 16th–18th centuries, boosting India above Qing China by 1700.
  • India accounted for 25% of the world’s industrial output in 1750, declining to 2% of the world’s industrial output in 1900. Britain replaced India as the world’s largest textile manufacturer in the 19th century. In terms of urbanization, Mughal India had a higher percentage of its population (15%) living in urban centres in 1600 than British India did in the 19th century.


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