Several small towns came to be seen in the sub-continent from the 8th century onward. These towns usually had a mandapika or mandi where nearby villagers came to sell their produce. These towns also had market streets called halta or hoot lined with shops.
There were also streets for different kinds of artisans such as potters, oil pressers, sugar market, toddy makers etc.
Many traders came from far and near to these towns to buy local articles and sell products of distant places such as salt, camphor, horse, etc.