The Karkhanas of Jaipur, though primarily concerned with the production of goods for the royal household and the army, were also an inextricable part of the larger Mughal economy. With specialized skills in bookbinding, cartography, textile designing, gem encrustation, even manufacture and decoration of canons, the products they manufactured were not merely utilitarian items but also exquisite masterpieces of art and craft and many of them today adorn museums and art galleries in India and abroad.
Based on the karkhanajat papers comprising roznama, arhsatta, siyah and taujih, and rare documents in the Town Hall Museum at Jaipur and the Rajasthan State Archives, Bikaner, this volume focuses not only on the materials used and the means of production but also on their technical aspects of production. Tapping into the rich statistical data and profusion of micro level details locked in these regional sources, this volume also showcases the literary corpus of the karkhana documents which helps the reader gain a better understanding of the conditions of production, cost prices of raw materials, as well as the economic organization of these workshops.
Sumbul Halim Khan is Associate Professor of History at Aligarh Muslim University. Specializing in medieval Indian history, the central theme of her research continues to be the documentary evidence pertaining to the regional history of Rajasthan. She is the co-author of Mughal Documents Taqsim.