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History of India



Last Updated: 18th February, 2019

India’s history and culture is dynamic, spanning back to the beginning of human civilization. It begins with a mysterious culture along the Indus River and in farming communities in the southern lands of India. The history of India is punctuated by constant integration of migrating people with the diverse cultures that surround India. Available evidence suggests that the use of iron, copper and other metals was widely prevalent in the Indian sub-continent at a fairly early period, which is indicative of the progress that this part of the world had made. By the end of the fourth millennium BC, India had emerged as a region of highly developed civilization.

It’s amazing to learn about the Indian History which we often miss out in schools. I never knew there was a Greek Indian Kingdom in India for a significant time till I checked out the map of Empires of India. I find it quite surprising that the British were the first to have the entire Indian Subcontinent under their control, with the Mughal Empire coming second with only the south and some parts of the east outside their control.

Romilla Thapar’s book Early India from the origins to 1300 AD is a great book to start learning about this era.


It is believed that there was a Greek ambassador known as Megasthenes in the Mauryan Empire. Mouryas and Guptas ruled from Arabian Sea to Bay of Bengal, covering both the populous Indus and Ganges valleys, that was an achievement then. British could rule mostly because of technological advancements in shipbuilding.

The level of control enjoyed in the Deccan by the Mughals probably exceeded that of the Delhi Sultanate, and the Guptas and the Mauryas (in that order). None of them were able to truly consolidate their holdings in the Deccan, with their large territorial dominance lasting ~50 years at the most. Why? Technology, as simple as that.

By the age of the Mughals, shipbuilding, gunpowder etc. made it easier to build nations. The notion of currency, banking institutions, tax codes etc. were much better developed. Armies were professional, weaponry was far more advanced. Tribal kings would wilt under Mughal artillery barrage but could probably give a tougher fight to a Mauryan army.