How was Indigo Cultivated in India?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

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. In British colonial Florida, indigo was a highly prized crop.

Indigo Cultivation in India

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. Its use dates back to ancient times in India, Persia, Egypt, and Peru. It is one of the oldest and most resilient dyes.

The leaves of the indigo plant are used to make the renowned blue dye, indigo powder. At Taldanga in the Bankura district and Goalpara in the Hooghly district, he started cultivating. The British established numerous indigo plantations at the beginning of the 19th century because it was a highly lucrative crop.

  • The Blue dye was in high demand in Europe, where it shared status with exotic goods like coffee, tea, silk, etc., and gold.
  • In various regions of Rajasthan and Gujarat in western India, the traditional technique of indigo dyeing is still used by printers to produce the pattern known as “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 rhyolitic 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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