Calicut is situated on the Malabar Coast of Kerala which was the capital of Malabar during the time of Zamorins. It was an important commercial port of the ancient and medieval period. It has traded in spices with Jews, Arabs, and Chinese for hundreds of years. Here traders had full freedom and security.
Ibn Battuta who visited six times in 14th century, describes it as one of the great ports where merchants of all parts of the world are found. Abdur Razzak, the ambassador of Persian Emperor in 15th century, finds the city harbour perfectly secured. In 15th century, the Italian Niccolo de Conti and the Russian Nikitn describes Calicut.
Vasco da Gama landed in 1498, as the leaders of a trade mission from Portugal. He was received by the Zamorin himself. Later on, the Dutch, English and the French arrived in Kerala. Zamorins allowed them to trade in Kozhikode and sought their help to drive out the Portuguese. Later, Calicut was captured by English.
(2) Cambay / Khambat
Cambay is situated on Saurashtra coast inside the Gulf of Cambay. It was the seat of an extensive trade, and famous for manufacturing of silk, chintz, gold stuffs, leather products. Indigo, cotton, leather etc were exported through Cambay.
The Arab traveller Al-Masudi in 10th century and Marco Polo in 13th century visited the city and described it as a very busy port and well developed leather industry at Cambay and points out that its leather mats and shoes were popular in Arab. Italian traveler Niccolo de Conti visited in about 1440 and mentions that the walls of the city were twelve miles in circumference. The Portuguese explorer Barbosa visited the city in the early sixteenth century, describing it as very busy and affluent, with merchants coming frequently by sea from the world around.
Owing principally to the gradually increasing difficulty of access by water by the silting up of the gulf, its commerce fallen away and the town lost its importance.
To the southeast there are ruins of Jaina temples and other buildings.
(3) Cannanore (Kannur)
- Kannur is sometimes identified with Naura in Periplus of the Erythraean Sea. In the Middle Ages, Kannur was the important port town, on the Laccadive Sea, called Kolathunadu. In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries there was trade with Persia and Arabia.
- St. Angelo Fort was built in 1505 by Dom Francisco de Almeida, the first Portuguese Viceroy of India. Portuguese rule over Cananor would last 158 years and then replaced by the Dutch.
- During the 17th century, Kannur was the capital city of the only Muslim sultanate in India, known as Arakkal.
It is situated on the Ganges near Bhagalpur in Bihar. In ancient times, Champa was the capital of Anga, one of the Mahajanapadas of the 6th century. It was one of the six great cities which Buddha could have chosen as his last resting place. It was also an important river port and centre of trade and carried on trade with South India and Ceylon.
It was annexed to the Magadhan Empire and later came under the Mauryas by which time Champa has lost much of its importance.
Hiuen Tsang, a Chinese traveler, visited Champa in the 7th century.
Champaner (Muhammadabad) is located in Panchmahal district of Gujarat. It was founded by Vanraj Chavda of the Chavda Dynasty, in the 8th century. By the later 15th century, the Khichi Chauhan Rajputs held Pavagadh fort in Champaner.
The Sultan of Gujarat, Mahmud Begada captured the town and captured the Pavagadh fort in 1484 and renamed Champaner as Muhammadabad, after which he moved the capital there from Ahmedabad. Sultan Begada built a magnificent Jama Masjid in Champaner, which ranks amongst the finest architectural edifices in Gujarat.
In 1535, after chasing away Bahadur Shah, Humayun captured the fort. During Akbar, it became a province of Mughal Empire.
Chanderi is in Gwaliar district of Madhya Pradesh and is located strategically on the borders of Malwa and Bundelkhand. In 11th century, it was dominated by the trade routes of Central India and was proximate to the route to the ancient ports of Gujarat as well as to Malwa, Mewar, Central India and the Deccan. Consequently, Chanderi became an important military outpost.
Chanderi is mentioned by the Persian scholar Alberuni in 11th century. Balban captured the city in 1251. Sultan Mahmud I Khilji of Malwa captured the city in 1438. In 1520 Rana Sanga of Mewar captured the city, and gave it to Medini Rai, a rebellious minister of Sultan Mahmud II of Malwa. The Mughal Emperor Babur captured the city from Medini Rai and witnessed the Rajput rite of jauhar. In 1540 it was captured by Sher Shah Suri. The Mughal Emperor Akbar made the city a sarkar in the subah of Malwa.
Later it came under Marathas and then under British.
(7) Chandernagar / Chandannagore
- Chandannagar was established as a French colony in 1673, when the French obtained permission from Ibrahim Khan, the Nawab of Bengal, to establish a trading post on the right bank of the Hughli River. Bengal was then a province of the Mughal Empire. In 1730 Dupleix was appointed governor of the city, during whose administration more than two thousand brick houses were erected in the town and a considerable maritime trade was carried on.
- In 1756 war broke out between France and Great Britain, and Colonel Robert Clive of the British East India Company and Admiral Watson of the British Navy bombarded and captured Chandannagar on 23 March 1757. Thereafter, Chandannagar’s importance as a commercial center was eclipsed by that of Calcutta just downriver. The city was returned to France in 1816. It was governed as part of French India until 1950.
Chandraketugarh is an archaeological site located in north-east of Kolkata in 24 Pargana district of West Bengal. The excavation reveals Northern Black Polished Ware (NBPW) which occurred along with silver and copper punch marked coins and stone and terracotta beads.
Some of the punch marked coins having ship motif indicate that Chandraketugarh might have been a port-town. A temple structure of Gupta or post-Gupta period has been found.
Chandraketugarh site and surrounding area could be the place known to ancient Greek and Roman writers.
- It is an archaeological site, south of Mohenjo-daro, in Sindh, Pakistan, belonging to the post-urban Jhukar phase of Indus valley civilization.
- Very similar to Harappa and Mohenjadaro in several aspects like town planning, building layout etc.
- For building houses, bakes bricks were used extensively at Chanhudaro and Mohenjo-daro. Several constructions were identified as workshops or industrial quarters and warehouses.
- Evidence of shell working was found at Chanhudaro and bangles and ladles were made at this site. Harappan seals were made generally in bigger towns like Harappa, Mohenjadaro and Chanhudaro which were involved with administrative network.
- Copper knives, spears, razors, tools,axes, vessels, copper fish hooks and dishes were found. Terrecotta cart model, small terrecotta bird, plates, dishes were found. Male dancer is also found.
- Indus Seals are also found at Chanhudaro is considered as one of the centres where Seals are manufactured. The scale of craft production at Chanhudaro seems much greater than that at Mohenjedaro.
- Bead making factory: An Impressive workshop, recognised as Bead Making Factory, was found which included a furnace. Shell bangles, beads of many materials, stealite seals and metal works were manufactured at Chanhudaro.
- Sesame and Peas were grown at Chanhudaro. Cotton cloth traces preserved on silver or bronze objects were known from Chanhudaro, Harappa and Rakhigarhi.
- Objects of Iron were reported from Chanhudaro, Ahar (Rajastan, India) and Mundigak and this gains importance as it has been claimed that Iron was produced in 3rd Millennium in South Asia Region.
- Village near Mount Abu ,situated on the bank of the West Banas River in Rajasthan. In ancient times it was an extensive town. The old ruins, such as temples, torans and images scattered over the large area, bear testimony to its past glory.
- Chandravati was ruled by the Paramaras of Abu.
- The Ugrasena Panwar founded the Panwar rule at Abu. Raja Bhoja (1010-1050 AD) was an illustrious rulers of this dynasty.
- In 1024 AD, Chandravati was attacked and plundered by Mahmud Ghazni when he passed through Rajasthan to attack Anahilavada. After defeating Prithviraja III in 1192 AD the Muslim army also attacked Chandravati.
- In about 1315 AD Chandravati passed into the hands of Deora Chauhans.
- Rulers of Chandravati patronized literature too. Jain saints wrote some literary works here.
- Chandragiri, is a suburb of Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh. Krishnadeva Raya of Vijayanagara empire was brought up at Chandragiri Fort, before his coronation at Penukonda.
- Chandragiri fort was built in the 11th century, and the Raja Mahal (palace is an example of Indo-Sarcen architecture, architectural style movement by British architects in the late 19th century, of Vijayanagar period) within it.
- Chandragiri was under the rule of Yadava Naidus for about three centuries and came into control of Vijayanagar rulers in 1367. It came into prominence during Saluva Narasimha Rayalu.
- Chandragiri was the 4th capital of Vijayanagar Empire. Rayas shifted their capital to here when Golconda sultans attacked Penukonda.
- In 1646, the fort was annexed to the Golkonda territory and subsequently came under Mysore rule.
Chaul is in Kolaba district of Maharashtra, 60 km south of Mumbai. It was a port and an important trading centre of Portuguese. In 1508, the Egyptian Mamluks, allied with the Gujarat Sultanate fought naval battle with the Portuguese in the Battle of Chaul.
The Portuguese established a factory here in 1516 and built a fort in 1521.The Portuguese erected a square stone fortress, named Santa Maria do Castello, which contained a church and dwelling.
In 1600 Chaul passed to Mughals and in 1740 to Marathas.
It is situated on the sea coast, south of Pondicherry in the South Arcot district of Tamil Nadu. The town acted as subsidiary capital of the Cholas.
The town is known for the Thillai Nataraja Temple (Chidambaram Temple dedicated to Shiva in Nataraj form). The temple complex also contains shrines of deities such as Shivakami Amman, Ganesh, Murugan and Vishnu in the form Govindaraja Perumal. The temple is built in Dravidian style of architecture
The earliest mention of the temple is found in seventh century Tamil literature. The temple and the deity were immortalized in Tamil poetry in the works of Thevaram by poet saints belonging to the 7th century.
There are several inscriptions available in the temple and referring to the Chidambaram temple in neighbouring areas. Most inscriptions available pertain to the periods of Cholas but also of Pandya, Pallava and Vijayanagara.
Pancha Bhoota Sthalam refers to the five Shiva temples, each representing the manifestation of the five prime elements of nature – land, water, air, sky, fire. All these temples are located in South India. The five elements are believed to be enshrined in the five lingams and each of the lingams representing Shiva in the temple has five different names based on the elements they represent. In the Chidambaram temple, Shiva is said to have manifested himself in the form of sky.
- It lies on the Hooghly River, 35 kilometres north of Kolkata. The Portuguese founded the town of Ugulim, now Hooghly-Chichura, in 1579. The city flourished as a trading port and some religious structures were built. One such structure is a church dedicated to Mother Mary brought by the Portuguese.
- In the 17th century, Mughal governor of Bengal expelled the Portuguese.
- In 1656 the Dutch erected a factory on the site of the town. At that time Calcutta was the principal settlement in Dutch Bengal, being used as a base for the Dutch intra-Asian opium trade. In 1759 the garrison of Chinsurah, on its march to Chandernagore, attacked a British force.The Battle of Chinsurah ended with the rout of the Dutch attackers.
- In 1795, during the Napoleonic wars, a British garrison occupied the settlement. The peace of 1814 restored Hughli to the Dutch. However, in 1825, the Dutch ceded many of their possession in India to the British, in exchange for the British possessions in Sumatra.
Chirand is situated in Chapra district of Bihar. It is a Neolithic and Chalcolithic site and also Iron Age settlements.
The beginning of the Neolithic was earlier than 2500 B.C. Chirand Neolithic community practiced agriculture and evidence of wheat, rice, mung, masur, peas has been found. The agricultural tools were made of stone and bone but agriculture was not on a large scale, because hunting tools and bones of animals, fish and mollusces and birds suggest popularity of non-vegetarian diet. Bones of domesticated and wild animals are found.
People lived in wattle and daub huts, circular in plan, made of mud and reeds.
Both stone and bone-tools were found. Bone tools are special feature of Chirand Neolithic settlement. A number of microliths are also found.
Potteries were of applique, incised and punctured designs. Burnished ware is common. A major part pottery hand made and they were ‘red ware’ and ‘black and red ware’.
Distinguishing features of Chirand Neolithic pottery was post-firing painting in ochre colour mainly on grey ware.
Chalcolithic culture with the distinctive black and red ware was discovered in Chirand. The earliest date for the Chalcolithic Chirand is 1600 B.C. The cultural period has two phases. The first phase is without iron while second has iron in upper strata but without Northern Black Pottery.
Later period shows the emergence of the N.B.P.W. culture. Black and red grey, black and red, and red ware was found. Iron implements are represented by sickles, axes, ploughshares, etc. Terracotta figurines are found.
It is in Satna district of Madhya Pradesh. Chitrakoot means ‘Hills of many wonders’. It was first mentioned in Valmiki Ramayana. It has several temples and places of religious significance mostly related to Lord Rama.
Tulsidas, the saint-poet of Hindi has spoken very reverently of this place in his major works- Ramcharit Manas, Kavitawali, Dohawali and Vinaya Patrika. He spent some part of his life here worshipping Lord Rama.
The noted Hindi poet Rahim (who was among the Nav-Ratnas of Akbar) also spent some time here, when he had fallen from favour with Akbar’s son Emperor Jahangir.
- The excavation of stone age fossils and tools in Sitakunda indicate the presence of Neolithic settlements in Chittagong as early as the third millennium BCE.
- The region was chronicled by Greek and Roman geographers. In the 2nd century, Ptolemy mentioned the port on his map.
- Xuanzang, an Chinese traveler, visited the region in the 7th century. The region formed part of the ancient Bengali Buddhist kingdoms of Harikela and Samatata. According to Tibetan chronicles, the Buddhist king Govindachandra established his capital in Chittagong. He also built a great Buddhist monastery.
- Islam spread to the Bengal as early as the 8th century, brought by the earliest Muslim missionaries traversing the Silk Road. Sufism played an instrumental role in the rooting of Islam in Chittagong.
- The region was an important trading center of pearls, rice, silk, muslin, spices and ivory. Chittagong was the southeastern terminus of the Grand Trunk Road. It was a major port on the Maritime Silk Road. The Moroccan explorer Ibn Battuta visited the city in 1443 and sailed from the port to Canton in China. The Italian merchant Niccolo de Conti visited the city around the same time. In the mid-15th century, the Chinese Treasure Fleet of Admiral Zheng He anchored in the port during numerous imperial missions to the Sultanate of Bengal. The Ottoman Empire utilized the shipyards of Chittagong to build its naval forces.
- After the defeat of Mahmud Shah at the hands of Sher Shah in 1538, the Arakanese Kingdom of Mrauk conquered Chittagong. The Portuguese established merchant communities in 1528. In collusion with Magh pirates and the Arakanese, Portuguese traders dominated the area for more than a century.
- The Mughal commander Shayestha Khan and his son Buzurg Umed Khan expelled the Arakanese from the area in 1666 and established Mughal rule there.
It was capital of Mewar ruled by the Sisodias of the Guhilot clan of Rajputs. It is famous for Chittorgarh Fort which is a symbol of glorious Rajput tradition. The fort is surrounded by a circular wall which has seven huge gates. Chittor was one of the most contested seats of power in India with some of the most glorious battles being fought over its possession.
The first attack was by Alauddin Khilji in 1303 AD, who was enamoured by the beauty of Rani Padmini. Padmini committed jauhar and Chittorgarh was captured by Alauddin Khilji. It was recaptured in 1326 by the Hammir Singh of the Guhilot clan.
The great ruler of Mewar, Rana Kumbha (1433–68) was a brilliant warrior, poet, and musician. He built Mewar up to a position of unassailable military strength. He had built a Vijaya Stambha after victory over Mahmud Shah Khalji. He led the combined Rajput forces against the Mughal emperor Babur in 1527, but was defeated at the Battle of Khanwa.
Later in 1535 Bahadur Shah, the Sultan of Gujarat besieged the fort. All men then living in the fort died fighting, and women committed Jauhar led by Rani Karnawati. The same was repeated after the Mughal Emperor Akbar captured Chittorgarh in 1568. Then, the capital of Mewar was moved to Udaipur by Rana Udai Singh II.
Chittorgarh is also associated with Meera Bai (Bhakti poet of Krishna) and Maharana Pratap. The fort at Chittorgarh also contains beautiful temples. A kirti Stambha built by Jain merchant contains Jain sculptures.
(19) Chopani Mando
- Near Allahabad, at Chopani-Mando in the Belan Valley, a sequence of occupation from Upper Palaeolithic to Neolithic has been found.
- Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic.
- Important Neolithic site.
- Chopani-Mando is an important site where fossil animal bones have been found in the gravels of all four depositional cycles of the Belan River. The third gravel contained bones of sheep and goats which are not indigenous to the region. They might have been brought by migrant human groups, either from the Himalayas or from the western borderlands.
Chunar is in Mirzapur district of Uttar Pradesh.
Chunar sandstone was used for Ashokan pillar which was made smooth and polished.
The Chunar Fort was established by Vikramaditya, the King of Ujjain. As per Alha Khanda in 1029 AD, King Sahadeo made this fort as his capital and established the statue of Naina Yogini in a cave of Vindhya hill. King Sahadeo built a stone umbrella based on 52 pillars in the memory of the victory on 52 other kings, inside the fort. Later on Shershah Suri obtained the possession of the fort by marrying the widow wife of Taj Khan Sarang-Khani, the Governor of Ibrahim Lodi. In 1537 Humayun besieged the Chunar fort. In 1574 AD, Akbar captured this fort and since that very time it was in the Mughal regime. In 1772 AD this fort was captured by East India Company who established in it a depot of Artillery and ammunition.
Chunar is famous for its potteries.
(21) Cochin (Kochi)
- Kochi was the centre of Indian spice trade for many centuries, and was known to the Yavanas (Greeks and Romans) as well as Jews, Syrians, Arabs, and Chinese since ancient times.
- Kochi rose to significance as a trading centre after the port Muziris around Kodungallur (Cranganore) was destroyed by massive flooding of Periyar in 1341.
- The earliest documented references to Kochi occur in books written by Chinese voyager Ma Huan during his visit to Kochi in the 15th century.
- There are also references to Kochi in accounts written by Italian traveller Niccolo De Conti, who visited Kochi in 1440.
- The precursor state to Kingdom of Kochi came into existence in early 12th century, after the fall of the Chera Kingdom.
- Portuguese navigator, Cabral founded the first European settlement in India at Kochi in 1500.
- The discovery and archaeological study of Chandraketugarh, 35 kilometres north of Kolkata, provide evidence that the region in which the city stands has been inhabited for over two millennia.
- Kolkata’s history began in 1690 with the arrival of the English East India Company.The area occupied by the present-day city encompassed three villages: Kalikata, Gobindapur, and Sutanuti. The jagirdari taxation rights to the villages were transferred to the East India Company in 1698 by Mughal.
- In 1712, the British completed the construction of Fort William, located on the east bank of the Hooghly River to protect their trading factory.Facing frequent skirmishes with French forces, the British began to upgrade their fortifications in 1756 which later led to Battle of Plassey.
- Cuttack become capital of a kingdom founded by Raja Anangabhimadeva III of Ganga dynasty in 1211 CE. After the end of Ganga rule, Odisha passed to the hands of the Suryavamsi Gajapati dynasty (1434–1541 CE) under whom Cuttack continued to be the capital of Odisha. After the death of Raja Mukunda deva, the last Hindu king of Orissa, Cuttack first came under Muslim rule and later under Mughals.
- By 1750, Cuttack came under Maratha rule and it grew fast as a business centre being the convenient point of contact between the Marathas of Nagpur and the English merchants of Bengal. It was occupied by the British in 1803.
- Remnants of an old fort called Barabati Killa still exist in the heart of Cuttack.
- The introduction of the Sharadiya Utsav tradition in the city dates back to the visit of Saint Chaitanya in the 16th century when the consecration of the idol of Durga was conducted.