The Regions of Gujarat, c. 100–1200

Samira Sheikh

in Forging a Region

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780198060192
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080137 | DOI:

Series: SOAS Studies on South Asia

The Regions of Gujarat, c. 100–1200

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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

Chapter.  15082 words. 

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