Upon arriving in Central Asia, the Multanis would take up residence in one of several locations.Caravans tells the fascinating story of tens of thousands of intrepid Multani and Shikarpuri merchants who risked everything to travel great distances and spend years of their lives pursuing their fortunes in foreign lands. From the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries, these merchants lived as guests in cities and villages across Afghanistan, Central Asia, Iran and Russia. Setting aside the belief that caravan traders were simple peddlers, Scott S Levi examines the sophisticated techniques these merchants used to convert a modest amount of merchandise into vast portfolios of trade and money lending ventures. Caravans also challenges the notion that the rising tide of European trade in the Indian Ocean usurped the overland 'Silk Road' trade and pushed Central Asia into economic isolation. In fact, as Levi shows, it was at precisely the same historical moment that thousands of Multanis began making their way to Central Asia, linking the early modern Indian and Central Asian economies closer together than ever before.
Caravans is part of the The Story of Indian Business series edited by Gurucharan Das. Written in simple narrative style this book is an presents an essay on the traders and the practice. Although the book essentially touches the history of the business in foreign lands, there were further scopes to fulfill the needs of inquisitive readers looking for more exhaustive knowledge on the subject. This is a good book and would definitely appeal to the interested reader as a primer.
Good Read. I had received the review copy from Random House India. Thank you Random House India for giving me this opportunity. You can buy this book at Flipkart in case you live in India.
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