How was Indigo cultivated in India?

By Ritesh|Updated : September 4th, 2022

Indigo was cultivated through the rhyotic system in India. The cultivators made the ryots sign a contract or agreement in this system. After accepting the loan, the farmer committed to growing indigo on 25% of the land. The seeds were provided by the British.

Indigo Cultivation

  • Natural indigo is obtained from various plants, the most used of which is Indigofera tinctoria. This shrub is cultivated in tropical regions and grows wild around the world.
  • Indigo powder, the famous blue dye, is obtained from the leaves of the indigo plant.
  • He began cultivation at Taldanga, Bankura district, and Goalpara, Hooghly district.
  • In the early 19th century, the British built various indigo plantations because it was a highly profitable crop – the blue dye was in high demand in Europe, having a status similar to exotic commodities such as coffee, tea, silk, etc., and gold.
  • The ancient method of indigo dyeing is still practiced in various parts of Rajasthan and Gujarat in western India, where printers use it to create a pattern called "Ajrakh."
  • The method of creating natural indigo is difficult and requires good skill. The leaves are first fermented through a very precise chemical process to give them a blue hue. It is exposed to air that slowly turns the piece of dyed fabric drying from yellow to green and a deep dark blue finally.


How was Indigo cultivated in India?

Using the rhyotic system, Indigo was cultivated in India. The cultivators made the ryots sign an agreement or contract in this system. The indigo plant originally comes from India. The Indigo plantations in India were introduced in 1777 when Frenchman Louis Bonnard introduced them in Bengal.


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