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Mughal Era Shipbuilding: Mastering Trade and Defense on the High Seas

February 29, 1572
Mirza Firuz Shah
Architectural and Building
Bahadur Shah II 1837–1857



Mughal Era Shipbuilding: Mastering Trade and Defense on the High Seas

During the Mughal era, India's shipbuilding industry was renowned for crafting diverse ships for both military and trade purposes. These vessels were designed to navigate the Indian Ocean and facilitate coastal and riverine trade. 

One of the most famous Mughal ships was the 'Mansurah,' built by Emperor Akbar in 1572. This teak ship was 41 meters long, 12 meters wide, and had nine masts, capable of carrying over 1,000 passengers.

Other types of ships included:

'Qarib': Small coastal vessels for trading 

'Baghlah': Larger trade and transportation ships 

'Sambuk': Fishing and goods transport along the Arabian coast 

Mughal-era shipbuilders were skilled in constructing warships, too:

'Galivats': Small, fast coastal defense ships 

'Junks': Larger warships with multiple decks and cannons 

The Mughal era saw the development of a diverse range of ships in India, catering to the needs of trade and defense. 

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Ismail Mazari

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Very good information.


The Mughal Images immediately took a much greater interest in realistic portraiture than was typical of Persian miniatures. Animals and plants were the main subject of many miniatures for albums and were more realistically depicted. To upload your images click here.

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