Even before the VOC opened a trading post there in 1621, company officials used to journey from Surat to Agra, which lay some 800 kilometres further inland, to buy indigo there. Finest quality indigo was obtained from the growers themselves, in the villages to the south-west of the town. The VOC shipped a large proportion of the indigo from Agra to the Dutch Republic, where it was used in the textile industry. The indigo trade came to a halt in the early 18th century as a result of political unrest in the north of India. In 1720 the trading post closed. Besides indigo, silk from Bengal and all kinds of cotton were available at the market in Agra. The Agra trading post had a reputation for fraud. The town was six weeks' journey from Surat, so inspectors from Batavia rarely visited. The Company's employees took full advantage of their relative freedom to earn fortunes from private trade and fiddling the accounts. It was generally considered that anyone who failed to return from Agra fabulously rich must have lived in very high style indeed.