Period: 5000 BCE to 1000
Trade route timeline
Trading, an old instinctTravel via small canoes, hugging the coastlines, reach far off destinations to buy and sell goods
The cotton innovator in the Indus ValleyIndia's cotton textiles began to replace wool worn by people across the world. Trade routes with Egypt and Mesopotamia. Multiple references in Mesopotamian inscriptions to clothes sent to Mesopotamia from Meluhha (Sumerian name for Indus Valley Civilization).
Grain and textilesEarly trade between Harappa and Mesopotamia focused on grains in exchange of textiles. Millet and sorghum was the main grain traded
Kalinga-East Asia tradeBoats rode the monsoon winds to East Asia to trade textiles, beads,earthenware, agate and carnelian beads. Most of the ancient Indian ports were located at the mouth of rivers and in the case of lagoons, at the outlets to the sea
Periplus of the Erythrean SeaBy the time the Periplus was written in the middle of the 1st century, India was a well developed trading center.
Gupta Empire builds significant trade routes with the East and the WestThe Gupta empire traded a range of items - cloth, spices, precious gems, bullion - with empires in the East and the West, including the Roman empire
Chola Empire consolidates dominance in sea tradeUnder Rajendra Chola, the sea trade becomes even more controlled, with the Cholas dominating sea routes and ports