NCERT Class 7 Social Science Chapter 6 Towns, Traders And Crafts persons

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NCERT Class 7 Social Science Chapter 6 Towns, Traders And Crafts persons

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Also, you can read the NCERT book online in these sections Solutions by Expert Teachers as per Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Book guidelines. CBSE Class 7 Social Science Solutions are part of All Subject Solutions. Here we have given NCERT Class 7 Social Science Chapter 6 Towns, Traders And Crafts persons and After, NCERT Class 7 Social Science Textbook of Our Pasts – II: History, Social and Political Life – II: Civics, Our Environment: Geography. for All Chapters, You can practice these here.

Towns, Traders And Crafts persons

Chapter: 6

Our Pasts – II (HISTORY)


1. Let’s Recall

Q.I. Fill in the blanks:

(a) The Rajarajeshvara temple was built in _______.

Ans: Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu).

(b) Ajmer is associated with the Sufi _______.

Ans: (b) Muinuddin Chishti 

(c) Hampi was the capital of the _______ Empire. 

Ans: Vijayanagare.

(d) The Dutch established a settlement at ______ in Andhra Pradesh.

Ans: Masulipatnam.

Q.2. State whether true or false :

(a) We know the name of the architect of the Rajarajeshvara temple from an inscription.

Ans: True.

(b) Merchants preferred to travel individually rather than in caravans.

Ans: False.

(c) Kabul was a major centre for trade in elephants.

Ans: False.

(d) Surat was an important trading port on the Bay of Bengal.

Ans: False.

Q.3. How was water supplied to the city of Thanjavur?

Ans: Water was supplied from wells and tanks to the city of Thanjavur.

Q.4. Who lived in the “Black Town” in cities such as Madras?

Ans: Merchants and artisans (such as weavers) or craftspersons along with white rulers (European traders) lived in the cities like Madras during the British rule.

2. Let’s Understand

Q.5. Why do you think towns grew around temples?

Ans: (i) Temple towns represented a very important pattern of urbanisation, the process by which cities develop.

(ii) Temples were often central to the economy and society.

(iii) Rulers built temples to demonstrate their devotion to various deities. They also endowed temples with grants of land and money to carry out elaborate rituals, feed pilgrims and priests and celebrate festivals.

(iv) Pilgrims who flocked to the temples also made donations. 

(v) Temple authorities used their wealth to finance trade and banking.

(vi) Generally, a large number of priests, workers, artisans, traders, etc. settled near the temple to cater to the needs of the pilgrims.

For example: Billasvamin and Somnath in Gujarat.

Q.6. How important were craftspersons for the building and maintenance of temples?

Ans: Temples were the places to display the most sophisticated art work. Therefore, the craftspersons were important for the building and maintenance of temples. They performed following activities:

(i) The craftspersons of Bidar were so famous for their inlay work in copper and silver that it came to be called Bidri.

(ii) The Panchalas or Vishwakarma community consisting of goldsmiths, bronzesmiths, blacksmiths, masons and carpenters, were essential to the building of temples.

Q.7. Why did people from distant lands visit Surat? 

Ans: (i) Surat was the most important medieval port on the west coast of Indian subcontinent.

(ii) It was the emporium of western trade during the Mughal period. 

(iii) Surat was the gateway for trade with west Asia via the Gulf or Ormuz.

(iv) Surat has also been called the gate of Mecca, because many pilgrim ships get sail from here.

(v) There were also several retail and wholesale shops seeling cotton textiles.

(vi) Surat was famous for the textiles with gold lace borders (zari). Due to all such reasons many people from distant lands visited Surat.

Q.8. In what ways craft production in cities like Calcutta different from that in cities like Thanjavur?

Ans: Craft production in cities like Calcutta was different from that in cities like Thanjavur in the following manner:

(a) Craft production in Thanjavur was in from of inlay work in copper and silver. They constructed temples, big beautiful palaces, buidlings, tanks, water, reservoirs, pavilions or mandapas etc.

(b) Craft production in Calcutta was in the form of cotton textiles, jute textiles and silk textiles. The weavers had to produce the designs desired by the foreigners.

3. Lef’s Discuss

Q.9. Compare any one of the cities described in the chapter with a town or a village with which you are familiar. Do you notice any similarities or difference?


Q.10. What were the problems encountered by merchants? Do you think some of these problems persist today? 

Ans: Some of the problems faced by the merchants were as under:

(i) They had to travel through forests and there was always the fear of robbers. Therefore, travelled in Caravans.

(ii) Merchants such as Mulla Abdul Ghafur and Indian Virji Vora, who owned a large number of ships were subdued by the East India Company ships. Then, they have to work as agents of the company instead of running their own business.

(iii) Yes, such problems do exist today.

4. Let’s Do

Q.11. Find out more about the architecture of either Thanjavur or Hampi and prepare a scrap book illustrating temples and other buildings from these cities.

Ans: The Architecture of Hampi: 

(i) Hampi was located in modern Karnataka state.

(ii) It was founded by Harihara and Bukka Raya in middle of 14th century. 

(iii) It flourished in Deccan between 1336-1565 A.D.

(iv) It was the capital of Vijayanagara Empire. 

(v) The ruins of the Hampi is scattered in an area of about 26 sq. kilometre.

(vi) Hampi was capital because of its strategic location. This capital city was protected in northern side by river Taungabhadra and on other three sides by rocky ridges.

(vii) The magnificent ruins at Hampi reveal a well fortified city. So mortar or cementing agent was used in the construction of these walls and the technique followed was to wedge them together by interlocking.

(viii) Description of Hampi given by a Portuguese can be given here:

Domingo Paes, who came in the sixteenth century in India described Hampi in the following manner:

At the entrance of the gate where those who came from Goa, this king has made within it a very strong city fortified with walls and towers, these walls are not like those of other cities, but are made of very strong masonry such as would be found in few other parts, and inside very beautiful rows of buildings made after their manner with flat roots.

(ix) The artistic characteristic of Hampi are very distinctive and impressive. 

(a) The buildings in the royal complex had splendid arches, domes and pillard halls with niches for holding sculptures. They also had well planned orchards and pleasure gardens with sculptural motifs such as the lotus and corbels.

(x) In its heyday in the fifteenth- sixteenth centuries, Hampi bustled with commercial and cultural activities.

(xi) Moors (a name used collectively for Muslim Merchants), chettis is and agents of European traders such as the Portuguese, thronged the market of Hampi.

(xii) Hampi was an important centre of spices and cotton trade. It had its trade relations with Persians, Arabians Burma and China. There were about 300 ports at Hampi to facilitates the movement of goods.

(xiii) Hampi was also famous for fabulous palaces and grand temples. Temples were the hub of cultural activities and devadasis (temple dancers) performed before the deity, royalty and masses in the many pillared halls in the Virupaksha (a form of Shiva), temple. The Navaratri in the South, was one of the most important festivals celebrated at Hampi.

(xiv) Every road, every path and each and every monument at Hampi speaks the same language of its glory and beauty.

(xv) Archaeologists have found the Mahanavami platform where the king received guests and accepted tribute from subordinate chiefs. From here he also enjoyed dance and music performances as well as wrestling bonds.

(xvi) Hampi fell into ruin following the defeat of Vijayanagara in 1565 by the Deccani Sultans the rulers of Golconda, Bijapur, Ahmadnagar, Berar and Bidar.

(xvii) Hampi has been now declared world heritage. To conclude we can sum up “Hampi has a great importance of its own”. It was a famous port town and a court town under the Vijayanagara Empire.

Q.12. Find out about any present day pilgrimage centre. Why do you think people go there? What do they do there? Are there any shops in the area? If so, what is bought and sold there?

Ans: (i) Amritsar is a famous present day pilgrimage centre for Sikhs and Hindus. It is a border town in the Punjab. It is mainly sacred place for Sikhs. It is very famous for Golden Temple.

(ii) The city was founded by Guru Ram Dass. I think people go there due to different reasons (i) it is very popular due to Golden Temple Sahib (ii) The Gurudwara Sahib is constructed in between a holy water-tank. It is golden in colour as well as covered with golden (metal-cover). Its design, art-work, architecture etc. are very impressive and attractive.

(iii) People take a dip in holy tank. 

(iv) The people from different parts of India and rest of the world also come for Hindu temple.

(v) Some people visit to see Jalianwala Bagh. We can even today some of the scene, a well, wall having bullet spots of tragedy took place on 13 April, 1919.

(vi) The 400th Anniversary of Amritsar was celebrated with great gusto in October 1977.

(vii) Amritsar was in the world news when the army stormed the Golden Temple in June 1984 to flush out the extremists who were determined to undermine the unity and integrity of India.


Very Short Answer Type Questions

Q.1. What was the capital of Cholas? 

Ans: Thanjavur. 

Q.2. Who built Rajarajeshwara temple?

Ans: King Rajaraj Chola.

Q.3. What type of a town is Thanjavur? 

Ans: Temple town. 

Q.4. Name an alloy of copper and tin.

Ans: Bronze.

Q.5. What was the capital of the Chauhan kings in the 12th century?

Ans: Ajmer.

Q.6. Give two groups of weavers that emerged as prosperous communities.

Ans: Saliyar Kaikkolars.

Q.7. Where is Hampi located? 

Ans: Krishna-Taungabhadra basin.

Q.8. Which empire was Hampi a part of?

Ans: Vijayanagara empire. 

Q.9. What is the name used collectively for Muslim merchants? 

Ans: Moors.

Q.10. State any one form of Shiva. 

Ans: Virupaksha.

Q.11. Define on emporiums.

Ans: A place where goods from diverse production centres are brought and sold. 

Q.12. All castes and creeds lived in Surat. What can we call Surat?

Ans: Cosmopolitan.

Q.13. In which state does Surat lie?

Ans: Gujarat.

Q.14. On which river delta did Masulipatnam lay?

Ans: Krishna river. 

Q.15. Name the ruler of Golconda who imposed royal monopolies.

Ans: Qutab Shahi rulers. 

Q.16. Name two present nodal cities.

Ans: Bombay (Mumbai).

Calcutta (Kolkata).

Q.17. White rulers occupied superior residences. Name these residences.

Ans: 1. Fort St. George in Madras.

2. Fort St. William in Calcutta.

Q.18. Which famous saint has its association with Ajmer?

Ans: Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti.

Q.19. What tells us the name of the architect of Raja rajeshwara temple?

Ans: An inscription.

Q.20. What lived in the black towns?

Ans: Native traders and craftspersons.

Q.21. Which were the most famous guilds in the eighth century?

Ans: Manigramam and Nanadesi.

Q.22. Name some important pilgrimage centres which slowly developed into townships.

Ans: Important pilgrimage centres which slowly developed into townships were:

(a) Vrindavan (U.P.).

(b) Tiruvannamalai (Tamil Nadu).

Q.23. Name some of the specialised and independent crafts that emerged during the Medieval period.

Ans: Cotton cleaning, spinning and dyeing became specialised and independent crafts.

Q.24. Name two important trading towns of the Medieval period.

Ans: Surat and Masulipatnam were the two most important trading towns of the Medieval period.

Q.25. Why both Dutch and English East India company wanted to control Masulipatnam?

Ans: Both Dutch and English East India Company wanted to control Masulipatnam because it became the most important port on the Andhra coast.

Q.26. Name two famous trading communities of Hampi.

Ans: Chettis and Mools were the most important trading communities of Hampi.

Short Answer Type Questions

Q.1. How did temple towns come into being? 

Ans: Gradually, a large number of priests, workers, artisans etc. settled near the temples to cater to its needs and those of the pilgrims. Thus grew temple towns.

Q.2. What did Gujarati traders indulge in? 

Ans: 1. Gujarati traders including the communities of Hindu baniyas and Muslim Bohras traded extensively with the ports.

2. They sold textiles and spices in these ports.

3. They brought gold and ivory from Africa.

Q.3. Give a brief description about the architecture of Hampi.

Ans: The architecture in Hampi was very distinct. The building in the royal complex had splendid arches, domes and pillared halls with niches for holding sculptures. They also had well planned orchards and pleasure gardens with sculptural motifs such as the lotus and corbels.

Q.4. List down the reasons of decline of Surat in the seventeenth century.

Ans: 1. Loss of market and productivity.

2. Control of sea routes by Portuguese.

3. Competition from Bombay.

Q.5. What were the reasons for decline of Masulipatnam?

Ans: As the company traders moved to Bombay, Calcutta and Madras, Masulipatnam loses both its merchants and prosperity and declined in the course of the eighteenth century.

Q.6. Compare the present conditions of Masulipatnam and Surat.

Ans: Today, Surat is a bustling commercial centre while Masulipatnam is nothing more than a dilapidated little town.

Q.7. Name and define the types of towns that existed during the Medieval period. 

Ans: Types of towns that existed during the Medieval period were:

(a) Administrative or capital towns: The place where kings held their court often developed into a town. These were also contres of administration for example, first Agra, then Fatehpur sikri and there-after Lahori was the seat of emperor Akbar. 

(b) Temple towns: As temples became important pilgrimage centres, traders, artisans and priests settled near the temples to cater to pilgrims. Thus important towns which emerged near temples were known as temple towns. For e.g. Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu, Somnath in Gujarat.

(c) Commercial and trading towns: A commercial town developed as a result of the products found in that region or because of its nearness to ports or major trading routes. Mauslipatnam and Surat were some important trading towns of the medieval period.

Q.8. Why did traders formed guilds? Name two famous guilds of South India.

Ans: Since traders had to pass through many kingdoms and forests, they usually travelled in caravans and formed guilds to protect their interests. The most famous guilds of south India were-Manigraman and Nanadesi.

Q.9. Name the countries that India traded with during the medieval period. Also mention the important items that were imported and exported.

Ans: India had trade links with Persian Gulf, East Africa, South-East Asia and China. They exported textiles and spices in these countries. Items of imports included-gold and ivory from Africa, spices, tin, chinese pottery and silver from South-East Asia and China.

Q.10. What is Bidar famous for? 

Ans: Bidar is famous for Bidri work i.e. clay work in copper and silver. 

Q.11 Why was Surat called the ‘Gate of Mecca’? 

Ans: Surat was called the ‘Gate of Mecca’ because many ships sailed for pilgrimage from there.

Q.12. Who were Banjaras?

Ans: Banjaras were a trading group. They travelled from one place to another buying goods from one place and selling them at another. They also organised the transport of goods to other places.

Long Answer Type Questions

Q.1. Explain Surat as the emporium of western trade.

Ans: Surat in Gujarat is situated on the bank of river Tapti and was an important town in medieval India. 

The following points explain Surat as the emporium of western trade:

(a) Surat was the gateway for trade with West Asia via the Gulf of Ormuz.

(b) Surat has also been called the gate to Mecca because many pilgrim ships set sail from here.

(c) Surat was a cosmopolitan city and people of all castes and creeds lived here.

(d) In the seventeenth century, the Portuguese, Dutch and English had their factories and warehouses at Surat. 

(e) The textiles of Surat were famous for their gold lace borders (Zari) and had a market in West Asia, Africa and Europe.

(f) The Kathiawad seths or mahajans (money changers) had huge banking houses at Surat.

(g) Surat hundies were honoured in the far off markets of Cairo in Etypt, Basra in Iraq and Antwerp in Belgium.

Q.2. Why did Surat began to decline as a trading centre towards the end of the 17th century?

Ans: The following factors were responsible for the decline of Surat as a trading centre:

(a) Loss of markets and productivity because of the decline of the Mughal Empire.

(b) Control of the sea routes by the Portuguese. 

(c) Competition from Bombay where the East India Company shifted its headquarters in 1668.

Q.3. ‘Surat emerged as an important trading centre during the medieval period’. Explain the statement.

Ans: Surat emerged as an important trading centre during the medieval period because of the following reasons:

(a) The city was cosmopolitan and people of all castes and creeds lived there. In the 17th century the Portuguese, the Dutch and the English had their factories and warehouses at Surat.

(b) There were also several retail and wholesale shops selling cotton textiles. The textile of Surat were famous for their gold lace borders (zari) and had a market in West Asia, Africa and Europe.

(c) The state built numerous rest houses to take care of the needs of people from all over the world who came to the city.

(d) There were magnificent buildings and innumerable pleasure parks.

(e) The Kathiawad seths or Mahajan (Money changers) had large banking houses at Surat.

Higher Order Thinking Skill

Q.1. How did Kalamkari technique get its name?

Ans: Kalamkari derived its name from Russian word. ‘Kalam’ meaning a pen like tool used to draw outline on the clothes and the word ‘Kari’ means work.

Q.2. Ajmer provides an excellent example of religion coexistence? How?

Ans: Khwaja Muinuddin Chisti, the celebrated sufi Saint who settled in Ajmer in the twelfth century attracted devotees from all creeds. It has attracted devotees from all creeds. It has attracted pilgrims from ancient time. Near Ajmer is a lake, Pushkar, which has attracted pilgrims from ancient times.

Value Based Questions

Q.1. Where is Masulipatnam situated? How did Masulipatnam get its name? Why was it so famous?

Ans: Masulipatnam is the administrative centre of Krishna district in the state of Andhra Pradesh. It was once also known as Masulipatnam.

The city was founded by the Arabs in the 14th century. It derived its name from the gateway which was decorated with the eyes of a fish. In local language the fish is known by the name Machili. Masulipatnam became a flourishing sea port during the time of Satavahana rulers. In the 17th century it became centre of foreign trade. This city is famous for its beautiful Kalamkari techniques. This port town/city even today is well known for its Kalamkari textile and painting that used vegetable dyes:

Q.2. Describe the activities of big and small traders in medieval period.

Ans: (i) The traders included Banjaras also. Several traders, especially horse traders, formed associations with headmen negotiating on their behalf with warriors who bought horses.

(ii) Traders usually travelled in caravans and formed guilds to protect their interests. 

(iii) There were communities like the Chettiars and the Marwari Oswal who went on to become the principal trading groups of the country.

(iv) Gujarati traders, including the communities of Hindu Baniyas and Muslim Bohras traded extensively with the ports of the Red Sea, Persian Gulf, East Africa, South- East Asia and China.

(v) Gujarati traders sold textiles and spices in these towns and in exchange bought gold and ivory from Africa and spices, tin, Chinese blue pottery and silver from South East Asia and China.

(vi) Arab, Persian, Chinese, Jewish and Syrian Christian traders traded in the towns on the west coast. 

(vii) European traders became attracted to India for spices and cotton cloth.

Q.3. Describe the rise of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras as trading towns. 

Ans: (i) Bombay, Calcutta and Madras rose as nodal cities.

(ii) Crafts and commerce underwent major changes as merchants and artisans (such as weavers) were moved into the Black Towns established by the European Companies within these new cities.

(iii) The blacks or native traders and craftspersons were confined here.

(iv) The ‘White’ rulers occupied the superior residencies of Fort St. George in Madras and Fort William in Calcutta.

Q.4. Who were Panchalas or Vishwakarma? 

Ans: These were a trading community consisting of goldsmith, bronzesmith, blacksmith, masons and carpenters. They played an important role in the construction of palaces, big buildings, tanks and reservoirs.

Q.5. Who were Vasco Da Gama and Chirstopher Columbus?

Ans: Vasco Da Gama was a Portuguese sailor and the first European to reach India by sea. Christopher columbus was an Italian explorer who decided to sail westward across the Atlantic Ocean to find a route to India.

Map Work

Q.1. On an outline map of India show or indicate the following: 

(a) Some important centres of trade and artisans production in central and south India.


(b) Show the following places:

(a) Kabul (in present day Afghanistan. It was commercially important from the sixteenth century onwards. It was linked to famous Silk Route).

(b) Vrindavan (a pilgrimage place in U.P.)

(c) Pushkar (a pilgrimage place Rajasthan).

(d) Aimer (a pilgrimage for the Sufis).

(e) Somnath (A town related with a historical temple, attacked by Mahmud Gaznavi in eleventh century).

(f) Ahmedabad (Capital of Gujarat, a historical town). 

(g) Surat (a great trade centre)

(h) Bombay, Calcutta and Madras (all the three cities founded by the European companies and merchants).



I. Multiple Choice Questions: 

Tick (✔) the correct option:

1. Where is Surat located?

(a) On the banks of the river Ganga.

(b) On the banks of the river Yamuna.

(c) On the banks of the river Tapti.

Ans: (c) On the banks of the river Tapti.

2. Anna Muslim merchants were collectively called as

(a) Banjaras.

(b) Chettiars.

(c) Moors.

Ans: (c) Moors.

3. Where did Akbar shift his capital in 1571?

(a) Mumbai.

(b) Delhi.

(c) Fatehpur Sikri.

Ans: (c) Fatehpur Sikri.

4. Which of the following was also on example of a temple town? 

(a) Ajmer. 

(b) Thanjavur.

(c) Golconda.

Ans. (b) Thanjavur. 



1. The ______ seths had huge banking houses at Surat

2. A form of Shiva


2. Hampi located in the Krishna-Tungabhadra basin formed the nucleus of the _______ empire.

3. The pilgrim centre in Tamil Nadu slowly developed into township.

4. This, literally means ‘fish port town”.

5. Weavers such as Saliyars or ______ emerged as prosperous communities.

6. Some traders usually travelled in _______.


III. Name the following:

A. Three court towns.

Ans: (i) Ajmer.

(ii) Fatehpur Sikri. 

(iii) Kannauj.

B. Three pilgrimage centres.

Ans: (i) Allahabad.

(ii) Varanasi.

(iii) Nasik.

C. Three port towns.

Ans: (i) Tamralipti.

(ii) Visakhapatnam.

(iii) Hampi.

D. three trading towns.

Ans. (i) Multan.

(ii) Lahore. 

(iii) Dacca.

IV. Write ‘T’ for true statements and ‘F’ for false statements.

(i) Pataliputra was the capital of Mauryans.

Ans: T.

(ii) Mohen-jo-daro was the court town of Delhi Sultans.

Ans: F.

(iii) Ajmer is a famous port city of India.

Ans: F.

(iv) Multan was an important trading town.

Ans: T.

(v) Fatehpur Sikri was founded by Akbar.

Ans: T.

(vi) Duarte Barbosa was a Portuguese traveller.

Ans:  T.

(vii) Sadiq Isthmus map of the Mughal Empire in 1647 is more accurate than contemporary European maps.

Ans: F.

(viii) In 1571; Jahangir shifted his capital from Agra to Fatehpur Sikri.

Ans: F.

(ix) In 1629, Shahjahan built a new capital in Delhi.

Ans: F.

(x) Surat was an important pilgrimage centre.

Ans: F.

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