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Forging a RegionSultans, Traders, and Pilgrims in Gujarat, 1200-1500$
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Samira Sheikh

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780198060192

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198060192.001.0001

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The Regions of Gujarat, c. 100–1200

The Regions of Gujarat, c. 100–1200

(p.25) 1 The Regions of Gujarat, c. 100–1200
Forging a Region

Samira Sheikh

Oxford University Press

Gujarat is a political region shaped by too many topographical and climatic zones such as fertile plains, forested hills, and arid desert lands. The overarching political formations of the Caulukyas and sultans were interspersed by and coexisted with numerous smaller subdivisions. In terms of land use and settlement patterns, the modern region of Gujarat can be categorized into mainland, coast, peninsula, and desert, each with different histories of settlement and consequent political organization. By tracing the overlapping spheres of the merchants and the pastoralists, it is possible to map trade, settlement, and the development of political authority in this period. The history of the period before 1200 ce can be viewed in terms of three major arenas of transformation: pastoralism, merchant ethos, and the extension of Hinduism and brahmanical texts and practices into Gujarat.

Keywords:   Caulukyas, sultans, settlement, political organization, trade, merchants, pastoralism, merchant ethos, Hinduism

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