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A Note on the Rise of Surat in the Sixteenth Century

Sanjay Subrahmanyam
Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient
Vol. 43, No. 1 (2000), pp. 23-33
Published by: Brill
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3632771
Page Count: 11
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A Note on the Rise of Surat in the Sixteenth Century
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Abstract

Far less attention has been paid to the rise to importance of the Gujarati port of Surat, than to its decline. This brief essay, a tribute to the memory of Surat's best-known historian, Ashin Das Gupta, attempts to address the problem of its rise before the Mughal conquest of Gujarat in the 1570s. It argues that once Diu had been taken over by the Portuguese in 1535, Surat emerged as a crucial link between Southeast Asia and West Asia. Thus, one needs to look not only at the relationship between the port and its hinterland, but to Surat's role as an entrepôt, in order to explain its rise.

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