spinning globe

INDIA : HINDUSTAN

            India a democracy County. Among the seven Continents India Lies in Asian  the largest continent. Indian Monetary Unit is Rupee where as it have total Literacy 60%. India is 4th Largest natural recourses of coal in world.India is set apart from the rest of Asia by the Himalayas, the highest, youngest and still evolving mountain chain on the planet. The subcontinent as it is rightly called, touches three large water bodies and is immediately recognizable on any world map. This thick, roughly triangular peninsula defines the Bay of Bengal to the east, the Arabian sea to the west, and the India Ocean to the south.

India holds virtually every kind of landscape imaginable. An abundance of mountain ranges and national parks provide ample opportunity for eco-tourism and trekking, and its sheer size promises something for everyone. From north to south India extends a good 2000 miles (3200 km), where the island nation of Sri Lanka seems to be squeezed out of India like a great tear, the synapse forming the Gulf of Mannar.

Himalayas, the world's highest mountain chain and Nepal as its Neighbouring country dominate India's northern border. Following the sweeping mountains to the northeast, its borders narrow to a small channel that passes between Nepal, Tibet, Bangladesh, and Bhutan, then spreads out again to meet Burma in the "eastern triangle." Apart from the Arabian Sea, its western border is defined exclusively by Pakistan.

North India is the country's largest region begins with Jammu and Kashmir, with terrain varying from arid mountains in the far north to the lake country and forests near Srinagar and Jammu. Moving south along the Indus river, the North becomes flatter and more hospitable, widening into the fertile plains of Punjab to the west and the Himalayan foothills of Uttar Pradesh and the Ganges river valley to the East. Cramped between these two states is the capital city, Delhi.

The states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, and part of the massive, central state of Madhya Pradesh constitute West India. Extending from the Gujarat peninsula down to Goa, the west coast is lined with some of India's best beaches. The land along the coast is typically lush with rainforests. The Western Ghats separate the verdant coast from the Vindya Mountains and the dry Deccan plateau further inland.

India is the home of the sacred River Ganges and the majority of Himalayan foothills, East India begins with the states of Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, which comprise the westernmost part of the region. East India also contains an area known as the eastern triangle, which is entirely distinct. This is the last gulp of land that extends beyond Bangladesh, culminating in the Naga Hills along the Burmese border.

India reaches its peninsular tip with South India, which begins with the Deccan in the north and ends with Cape Comorin. The states in South India are Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala, a favourite leisure destination. The southeast coast, mirroring the west, also rests snugly beneath a mountain range---the Eastern Ghats.

The India History

Nearly five thousand years back flourished India's first major civilisation along the Indus River valley. The twin cities of Mohenjodaro and Harappa now in Pakistan were ruled by priests and held the rudiments of Hinduism. These civilisations are known to possess a sophisticated lifestyle, a highly developed sense of aesthetics, an astonishing knowledge of town planning and an undecipherable script language. The Indus civilization at one point of time extended nearly a million square kilometres across the Indus river valley. It existed at the same time as the ancient civilizations of Egypt and Sumer but far outlasted them. Surviving for nearly a thousand years the Indus valley civilisation fell to tectonic upheavals in about 1700 BC, which caused a series of floods.
The coming of the Aryans around 1500 BC, gave the final blow to the collapsing Indus Valley civilisation. At the dawn of Vedic ages the Aryans came in from the North and spread through large parts of India bringing with them their culture and religious beliefs. The Four Vedas or the important books of Hinduism were compiled in this period.

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In 567 B.C. the founder of the Buddhist Religion Gautama Buddha was born. During this time lived Mahavira, who founded the Jain Religion. The Indian subcontinent is full of caves and monuments devoted to these religions and are worth a visit.

Two hundred years later, in the 4th century B.C., Emperor Ashoka, one of the greatest King of Indian history, led the Mauryan Empire to take over almost all of what is now modern India. This great leader embraced Buddhism and built the group of monuments at Sanchi (a UNESCO world heritage site). The Ashoka pillar at Sarnath has been adopted by India as its national emblem and the Dharma Chakra on the Ashoka Pillar adorns the National Flag.

They were followed by the Guptas in the north, while in the south part of India several different Hindu empires, the Cholas, the Pandyas and the Cheras spread and grew, trading with Europe and other parts of Asia till the end of the 1100s.

Christianinty entered India at about the same time from Europe. Legend has it that St. Thomas the Apostle arrived in India in 52 A.D. Even earlier than that people of the Jewish religion arrived on India's shores.

In approximately the 7th century A.D. a group of Zoroastrians, or Parsees, landed in Gujarat and became a part of the large mix of religions in India today, each of which adds its important and distinctive flavour.

In the 15th century Guru Nanak laid the foundation of the Sikh religion in Punjab.

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In 1192, Mohammed of Ghori, a ruler from Afghanistan, came into India and captured several places in the north including Delhi. When he went home he left one of his generals in charge who became the first Sultan of Delhi. During this time Islam, was introduced into a major part of Northern India. It may be mentioned that even before that, just after the period of the prophet, Islam was brought to the western coast of India by Arab traders and flourished in what is now Kerala.

The Dehli Sultanate gradually took control of more and more of North India over the next 200 years, till Timur, who was called "Timur the Lame" or "Tamberlane" came from Turkey in 1398 to attack India. He and his army stole all the valuables that they could carry and left again, and after that the Delhi Sultanate was never so strong again. Soon the Mughals, who were from Iran, came in and took control of the north.

In the meantime south , in 1336, the Hindu Vijayanagar empire was set up and became very strong.

The Europeans - Portuguese, French, Dutch, Danish and British - started arriving in the early 1600s. All of them held territories in India and made friends and enemies among India's rulers as they got more and more involved, with the Indian politics, but it was the British who eventually controlled most of India and finally made it one of their colonies.

India got its independence from Britain in 1947 after a long struggle led mostly by Mahatma Gandhi. In the process of becoming independent, India became, two countries instead of one. In the years since independence India has made huge progress and coped with great problems, and has developed its industry and its agriculture, and has maintained a system of government which makes it the largest democracy in the world.


 

Some Important Facts/ Persons/ Topics about India

 

The Temples of India

 

 

Here is a detailed discussion on the history, and stylistics of some of the great temples of India. Although battered by the destructive forces of time, weather, and invading forces, the temples of India remain as the greatest legacy of the glory of the ancient Indians. Focusing on the ancient and medieval temples of  India, this section is designed as a tutorial on the tradition of Indian temple construction. Readers are encouraged to begin with a overview of technical terms and make use of the numerous cross references -- Ed.

The Somnath Temple
"The great Somnath temple signifies that the power of reconstruction is always greater than the power of destruction"
Marikamba Goddess
The temple of goddess Marikamba in the town of Sirsi is a splendid example of syncretic evolution of tribal and so called brahminical customs and rituals, befitting Hindu ethos.
Temples of Kashmir
A survey of important Buddhist, Shaivaite, and Vaishnava temples of Kashmir region.
Beauties of Khajuraho
The temples of Khajuraho built in the tenth century contain stunningly explicit sexual sculptures.
Temples of Gujarat
Analysis of Jain and Hindu temple architecture of Gujarat; covers all important temples.
Temples of Orissa
Article covering the great temples of Orissa such as Jagannath temple, Lingaraja temple, and Konark family of temples.
Temples of Karnataka
A long list of important temples of Karnataka and the periods of their construction. A very handy reference to different schools of architecture and paintings.

List of Articles

 

 

Pictures of Temples


 



Cow, Temple, Cow.
West Bengal Pictures
Components of a Hindu Temple
Diagram Showing Various Components of a typical Hindu Temple

Galaganatha Temple, Pattadakal
Temple of Galaganath
Hanuman as Diplomat
Hanuman Meets Rawana, Bhatkal Temple Sculpture

Kumbhapada Terracota Temple
Terra-cotta Temple
Temple Towers
Sculpted Magnificence

The Sringeri Vidyaranya Temple
Vidyaranya Temple Building at Shringeri
Temples of India
Temple Architecture, Karnataka

Tower of Nanjanagudu Temple
South Indian Temple Tower
Temple Tower of Melkote
View of the Melkote Temple

 


More Pictures of Temples and Temple Art

 

 

Index of topics and articles relating to Indian History

Adivasis: Customs, beliefs, ethics, practices; influence on Buddhism; Adivasi traditions impacting Hindu practice; contributions to Indian culture and civilization; resistance during colonial rule:-

Adivasi Contributions to Indian Culture and Civilization

Architecture: Western theories and criticism of the Indian legacy; Harappan finds, secular architecture such as step-wells, public gateways (toranas), baths, swimming pools or bathing tanks, universities and forts; stupa and temple architecture, ornamentation, philosophical and natural motifs; home decoration, rangoli, ornamental facades, paintings in ordinary homes and havelis; architecture of the islamic courts, Persian, Afghan, Central Asian, Turkish and Iraqi influences; recycling of building materials from destroyed monuments; uniquely Indian innovations; jaalis and borrowed motifs; polychrome tile-work; Mughal, Rajput, Deccan, Sikh and other regional styles; eclectic fusion, synthesis; chitra-shalas (painting galleries) and jharokhas (balconies) in Rajput and other palaces:-

Developments in Indian Art and Architecture

For an abstract/outline of the above article see Indian Art Abstract

Visual Resources:-

Buddhist Archealogical Sites

Indian Sculpture and Temple Ornamentation

Forts, Palaces and Toranas

Architecture of the Islamic Courts in India

Arts and Crafts: Exports to Rome such as carved ivory, silks and woven fabrics; Indian jewelry; textiles, mordant dyeing, exports of textiles to China, the Arab nations, South East Asia; textile production and export centres; carpets, woven mats and floor coverings; decorative crafts such as mother-of-pearl inlay, papier mache, inlayed furniture; Mughal and Deccan:-

Historic Aspects of Craft and Trade in India

For an abstract/outline of the above article see Indian Crafts Abstract

Miniature paintings, cave or temple paintings, style, history of development, perspective, abstractions from nature, ragamala paintings, folk influences, naturalism, Western theories and prejudices, decorative arts and crafts, vernacular art, art of the regional kingdoms such as the Rajputs, Marathas Bundelkhandis etc; influence of folk art on courtly art; art history:-

Developments in Indian Art and Architecture

Indian Sculpture: secular and religious, philosophical content, Western biases in interpretation, realism, impact of islam, invading iconoclasts, erotic expression in Indian sculpture, symbolic language of Indian sculpture; Buddhist, Jain, Hindu and Tantric influences; links with nature:-

Developments in Indian Art and Architecture

Visual resources, images:

Buddhist Archealogical Sites

Indian Sculpture and Temple Ornamentation

Arts and crafts of Orissa:

History of Orissa: An introduction

Drawings and Folk Art

Indian Drawings

Indian Folk Art

Aryan Invasion Controversy: Competing theories, current views, arguments for and against, historical importance (or lack thereof), impact and influence on development of Indian culture and civilization, colonial-era formulations, racism, conjectures concerning origin:-

The Aryan Invasion: theories, counter-theories and historical significance

Astrology: Criticism of, See notes in:

Buddhist Ethics and Social Criticism

Islamization and the Arab conquest of Sindh

Influence on Astronomers and Mathematicians:

History of Mathematics in India

Astronomy: (Also see Science and Technology):

History of Mathematics in India

Atheism: (Also see Philosophy):-

Development of Philosophical Thought and Scientific Method in Ancient India

Buddhism: (Also see Philosophy):-

Buddhist Ethics and Social Criticism

Caste: History, Megasthenes' Chronicles, Mobility, Gupta Period Land Decrees, Brahminism, impact of Islam, Sikhism, British Colonial Rule;

Social Relations in India: Caste and Gender Equations

Chemistry: See Science and Technology

History of the Physical Sciences in India

Colonization, British Rule: Transformation of the British East India Company from a trading company to a colonial entity; ban on textile exports from India, European protectionism; transformation from free trade to unfair trade, dumping; the forced cultivation of Opium and the opium wars; military attacks on the inter-Asian trade; Plassey and it's consequences;

From Trade to Colonization - Historic Dynamics of the East India Companies

Effects of colonial rule on literacy, access to educational facilities; destruction of old urban centres, growth of urban slums; neglect of agriculture, particularly of water management systems, internal waterways; life expectancy and access to medical care; poverty and famines; destruction of monuments; India's role in the Industrial Revolution; international beneficiaries of colonial plunder:-

The Colonial Legacy - Some Myths and Popular Beliefs

Decline of Indian arts and crafts and traditional manufacturing and trade:-

Historic Aspects of Craft and Trade in India

Comparisons with Mughal Rule:-

Rise and Fall of the Mughals

Eurocentricism, distortions and Western biases in the interpretation of Indian history, cultural imperialism:-

The Aryan Invasion: theories, counter-theories and historical significance

Development of Philosophical Thought and Scientific Method in Ancient India

Developments in Indian Art and Architecture

British Education in India

Loyalist Collaborators with the British during Colonial Rule: ((Maharajas and other aristocrats associated with the Princely States, the Muslim League, loyalist forces in the Early Congress)

Loyalist Agents in the Indian Aristocracy and the Early Congress

Ethics, Morality, Social Criticism:

Also see Philosophy:-

Buddhist Ethics and Social Criticism

European Domination:

Portuguese and Dutch control of Indian Ocean Trade, the conquest of Daman and Diu, Goa, Calicut, Cochin and Colombo

European Domination of the Indian Ocean Trade

Freedom Movement, Struggle for Independence: Early revolts, Adivasi struggles, 1857, genesis of resistance, dissatisfaction of the soldiers, public resentment and hatred of the British:-

Adivasi Contributions to Indian Culture and Civilization

The Revolutionary Upheaval of 1857

Struggle for 'Swaraj', Swadeshi, and National Education; "Moderates" (such as Gokhale) versus "Extremists" i.e. radical nationalists such as Bal Gangadhar Tilak (Maharashtra), Chidambaram Pillay (Tamil Nadu, Kerala) , Ajit Singh (Undivided Punjab) and Bipin Chandra Pal (Bengal)

"Moderates" versus "Extremists" in the battle for "Swaraj" and "Swadeshi"

Tilak and his detractors, evaluating Tilak's contributions, Tilak's philosophy, commentaries on the Gita, Tilak on non-violence, secularism

Assessing Tilaks's Record

Nationalist figures, birth of Swadeshi movement in Sindh, calls for boycott of foreign goods; 'Swaraj' ; birth of Ghadar or Gadar party, secular forces; freedom fighters, Tilak, Lajpat Rai, Gandhi, Nehru and Congress; Jallianawala Bagh masssacre; growth of radical forces, communists, workers and peasants movements; Kanpur, Meirut and other conspiracy cases; no-tax campaigns, Bardoli; Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Naujawan Bharat Sabha, anti-imperialism; British hangings, Kala Pani; armed revolutionaries, Chittagong Armoury Raid; salt satyagraha; trade union resistance; police lathi-charges, firings, bombings; Quit India movement; Subhas Chandra Bose, Indian National Army (INA); role of women; radical peasants, adivasis, dalits; strike, mutiny in the Indian Navy, Sardar Patel; Muslim League, two nation theory, partition, Kashmir;

Key Landmarks in the Indian Freedom Struggle

Freedom fighters of Orissa; anti-British revolts; national movement in Orissa:

History of Orissa: An introduction

The Ghadar Party, Historic Records, Poems:

Records of the Ghadar Movement

Revolutionary writings of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, links to HSRA (Hindustan Socialist Republican Army) records:

Shaheed Bhagat Singh

Gender: History, Equality, Oppression, Practices like Sati, Dowry, impact of Islam, Sikhism, British Colonial Rule;

Social Relations in India: Caste and Gender Equations

Harappan Civilization: (Indus valley, Mohenjodaro, Lothal, Kalibangan, Indus-Saraswati, etc.) Public dwellings, construction techniques, drainage systems, ports and granaries; Evidence concerning advances in metallurgy, tool-use, weights and measures; planned irrigation systems, fire and flood control measures; span of civilization, extent of trade:-

Technological discoveries and applications in India

Decimal Weights and Measures:

History of Mathematics in India

Social Aspects:

The Aryan Invasion: theories, counter-theories and historical significance

Hinduism: Also see Philosophy:-

Philosophical Development from Upanishadic Theism to Scientific Realism

Historiography, Indology:

British Education in India

Industrial Crafts: Mettalurgy, iron and steel, zinc; Textile production, dyeing and weaving; growth of "karkhanas" i.e. workshops and manufacturing plants; shipbuilding:-

Historic Aspects of Craft and Trade in India

Technological advances relating to metallurgy and construction technology; technological developments in textile production, dyeing and weaving;

Technological discoveries and applications in India

Islamic Rule: The invasion and conquest of Sindh; historiography of the invasion; Pakistani official histories and their critques; Ibn Khaldun's analysis of the Arab dynasties, relevance to the history of Sindh; transfer of wealth from Sindh to the Arab dysnasties; influence of Sindh in Arab culture and civilization; Sindhi exports:-

Islamization and the Arab conquest of Sindh

The impact of the Turkic invasions on the Punjab Plains, resistance and destruction, rise of urban centers in Afghanistan and Central Asia:-

Punjab and the Ghazni and Ghur Invasions

Problems in assessing the impact of the Islamic invasions, fear of communal separatism, secular imperative versus truth-telling; what was different about the Islamic invasions and Islamic rule; differences between invaders and second or third generation rulers; alliances with Hindu rulers; increased burden of taxation on the peasantry - shift in balance of power in favor of traders; imposition of legal systems that privileged trade; technological developments and growth of urbanization in the gangetic plain; violence against the local population, rise in the practice of slavery; reforms under Akbar; social impact and growth of clericalism; madrasahs, religious education and growth of dogmatism; attempts at secular reform; legacy of partition and the culture of 'jehad':-

Islam and the sub-continent - appraising it's impact

Adaptation and Compromise with Hindu and Jain Traditions in the Regional Sultanates

Mughal Rule, military expansion, growth of trade, luxury crafts, decline:-

Rise and Fall of the Mughals

Development of decorative arts and crafts (amongst Mughals, Deccan rulers, and other regional kingdoms):-

Historic Aspects of Craft and Trade in India

Art and architecture, influences from Central Asia, Persia, Afghanistan and the Middle East (Arab world such as Iraq and Turkey); impact of Islam in modifying Indian traditions, decline in sculpture; support for fine arts in the courts:-

Developments in Indian Art and Architecture

Hindu-Muslim secular unity during 1857 and in the freedom struggle:-

The Revolutionary Upheaval of 1857

Key Landmarks in the Indian Freedom Struggle

Military collaboration between Mughals and Rajputs, peaceful co-existence of artisans and peasants; birth of Muslim League, two-nation theory, colonial manipulations, false legitimacy for Jinnah and the Muslim League; pre-partition elections; pre-partition riots; tactics of terror and blackmail; partition; Maulana Azad's warnings on the dangers of the two-nation theory, his premonitions regarding the break-up of Pakistan and creation of Bangladesh :-

The 2-Nation Theory and Partition

Note on the concept of self-determination, should it have led to partition:-

Key Landmarks in the Indian Freedom Struggle

Sufism and impact on Indian and Islamic civilization; Sufi poets, philosophers and scholars:-

Sufi Currents and Civilization in the Islamic Courts

Jainism: Also see Philosophy:-

Philosophical Development from Upanishadic Theism to Scientific Realism

Kashmir: Post 1947 History, Ethnic and religious make-up, political equations, social demographics:-

Jammu & Kashmir: Self-Determination, Demands for a Plebiscite and Secession:

Manufacturing: In Indian history, relationship with exports:-

Historic Aspects of Craft and Trade in India

During the period of Islamic rule, growth of manufacturing towns, Karkhanas:-

Islam and the sub-continent - appraising it's impact

Rise and Fall of the Mughals

Mathematics: See Science and Technology

History of Mathematics in India

Medicine, Medical Technology: Medical Tools, Surgery Techniques

Technological discoveries and applications in India

Adivasis and Ayurveda:

Adivasi Contributions to Indian Culture and Civilization

Mughal Rule: Mughal Rule from Babar to Aurangzeb (including Sher Shah Suri, Akbar, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb) unification and centralization, military strength, expansion of trade in the Northern plains, artifacts and exports, disintegration and decline:-

Rise and Fall of the Mughals

Partition, 2-Nation Theory, Muslim League, Communal Riots, Birth of Pakistan: History of the Muslim League, Maulana Azad's memoirs and warnings, Colonial machinations:

The 2-Nation Theory and Partition

Philosophy: Schools of thought: Hindu, Jain, Buddhist; Upanishadic philosophy, abstract conceptions of god, expressions of secularism; Indian pluralism; dialectics and debate in ancient Indian philosophy; Nyaya and Vaisheshika schools; Nyaya concepts, process of accumulating scientific knowledge, describing the scientific method, types of perception and inference, valid and invalid arguments, proofs and tests of truth, causality; atomic theories of the Jains and the Buddhists:

Philosophical Development from Upanishadic Theism to Scientific Realism

The tribal republics and their critical influence on Buddhism; Adivasi traditions and their impact on Hindu beliefs and practices:

Adivasi Contributions to Indian Culture and Civilization

Philosophical environment under which Buddhism developed; atheism and agnosticism in early Buddhism; analysis of "dukkha" or "human suffering"; basis of human suffering; social causes and existential reasons for "dukkha"; knowledge and wisdom, right conduct and action; rational investigation of human nature and the physical world; impermanence and change; personal ethics, social conscience; theories of causality; critiques of accidentalism, amoralism, false determinism, extreme skepticism; the middle-path or middle-way; idealism, stagnation and decline; reincarnation, transmigration of the soul, "kamma" or "karma"; influence and spread:

Buddhist Ethics and Social Criticism

Rationalism, skepticism, atheism and agnosticism in ancient India; nature of change and physical transformations, the Lokayata school; critiques and parodies of empty ritualism; developments in science and reason; dreams, illusions, reality and principles of logic; theories on memory and ageing; contacts with Greece; social ethics:

Development of Philosophical Thought and Scientific Method in Ancient India

Sufism and impact on Indian and Islamic civilization; Sufi poets, philosophers and scholars - Mulla Nasruddin, Jalaluddin Rumi, Sheikh Saadi, Kabir:

Sufi Currents and Civilization in the Islamic Courts

Physics: See Science and Technology

History of the Physical Sciences in India

Regional Histories: Art and architecture:-

Developments in Indian Art and Architecture

Crafts, manufacturing and trade, with special references to the ports of South India and Gujarat, factories, craft/urban centers of Kashmir, the Deccan, Bengal and the Gangetic Plain:-

Historic Aspects of Craft and Trade in India

Rebellions in Punjab and Marathawada:-

Rise and Fall of the Mughals

History of Orissa:-

History of Orissa: An introduction

Jharkhand, Chhatisgarh:-

Adivasi Contributions to Indian Culture and Civilization

Sindh:-

Islamization and the Arab conquest of Sindh

Punjab:-

Punjab and the Ghazni and Ghur Invasions

Regional Sultanates: Gujarat, Khandesh, Kashmir, Jaunpur, Bengal and Deccan:-

Adaptation and Compromise with Hindu and Jain Traditions in the Regional Sultanates

Contemporary history of Kashmir, struggle between secular and Islamic fundamentalist forces:-

Jammu & Kashmir: Self-Determination, Demands for a Plebiscite and Secession:

Science and Technology: Advances in the scientific method, scientific observation and analysis; understanding plants, nature and the human body; mathematics, number systems, geometry, differential equations, trigonometry and trigonometric tables, infinite series, polynomial equations, decimal system, concepts of zero and very large numbers; geography, latitudes and longitudes, circumference of the earth; medical science and technology, ayurveda; chemical processes, use of mordents and catalysts:-

Development of Philosophical Thought and Scientific Method in Ancient India

Developments in logic and epistemology; methods of proof and validation of claims and theories; atomic theories, nature of matter and particles, theories of chemical interaction:-

Philosophical Development from Upanishadic Theism to Scientific Realism

Advance of Indian mathematics from the Harappan period to the 17th century; Mathematical treatises produced during the Vedic period, the Gupta period, and medieval period; contributions of Hindu, Jain and Buddhist mathematicians. practical considerations and study of arithmetic, mensuration and geometry; history of the decimal system; the indian number system and mathematical notation; shunya, bindu and zero; philosophy of the infinite; Panini's studies in linguistics, grammar and formal language theory; advances in astronomy, planetary theory, models of the solar system and impetus to trignometry, indeterminate equations, algebra, geometric and arithmetic series; combinatorics - permutations and combinations; effect of trade and commerce, accounting and commercial arithmetic; math colleges, universities (Ujjain, Kusumpura, Benaras), gurukuls, teaching institutions and families (gharanas), the Kerala school; Applied mathematics, numerical and sine tables, time and distance measuring units; major texts, treatises (siddhantha) , studies, results, proofs, theorems, derivations, calculus; famous astronomers and mathematicians: Aryabhatta, Bhaskar, Brahmagupta, Mahavira, Madhava, Nilkantha; mathematicians from Bihar, Bengal, Saurasthra, Mysore, Andhra, Maharashtra; spread of Indian mathematics to Central Asia, the Arab world, Spain, Venice and Europe - translations in Arabic, Persian; Indian mathematics and the scientific, industrial revolution:-

History of Mathematics in India

Study of the Physical Sciences such as Physics and Chemistry; Atomic theories, theories on heat, sound and light; types of motion, elasticity, viscosity, surface tension, magnetism, electrostatic attraction; comparison with European developments after the 13th C:-

History of the Physical Sciences in India

Technology in Harappa; social factors and social needs influencing the development of technology; progress in mining and smelting of ores, creation of alloys, high-quality steel; geographic and climactic factors and technological innovation; water-harvesting and dam-building; predicting weather, charting the motion of planets and construction of observatories and universities; cultural aspects of technological advance; government support of technology; factors that inhibited technological advance in India; the Industrial revolution:-

Technological discoveries and applications in India

Secularism: Secular philosophy in Ancient India:-

Philosophical Development from Upanishadic Theism to Scientific Realism

Non-theist belief systems:-

Development of Philosophical Thought and Scientific Method in Ancient India

Religious Choice, Pluralism, impact of Islam, Sikhism, British Colonial Rule-

Social Relations in India: Caste and Gender Equations

Secular unity in the Freedom Struggle:-

The Revolutionary Upheaval of 1857

Key Landmarks in the Indian Freedom Struggle

Challenges to Secularism:-

The 2-Nation Theory and Partition

Jammu & Kashmir: Self-Determination, Demands for a Plebiscite and Secession:

Sexuality, Erotic Culture: Gender biases, Sexual liberalism, Female Sensuality, eroticism, depictions in sculpture, same-gender relations, Islamic prudery,conservatism, Colonial prohibitions:

Developments in Indian Art and Architecture

Social Relations in India: Caste and Gender Equations

Trade: India's trade with Rome; ports of ancient India; India's positive trade balance vis--vis Europe prior to colonization; India's trade with South East Asia and the Indian Ocean rim countries; India's trade with the Arab world; decline of trade after colonization:-

Historic Aspects of Craft and Trade in India

References to Orissa and Eastern India's Trade with South East Asia (Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, the Malayan peninsula and Indonesia):-

History of Orissa: An introduction

During the period of Islamic rule:-

Islam and the sub-continent - appraising it's impact

Rise and Fall of the Mughals

Destruction of trade upon colonization:-

From Trade to Colonization - Historic Dynamics of the East India Companies

The Colonial Legacy - Some Myths and Popular Beliefs


To see a list of essays, in roughly chronological order, and other links, please go to the main page for

South Asian History


Index of topics and articles relating to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Burma

Afghanistan, Pakistan:

Aryan Invasion:- The Aryan Invasion: theories, counter-theories and historical significance

Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh:

Early Philosophy:

Atheism: Development of Philosophical Thought and Scientific Method

Secular philosophy: Philosophical Development from Upanishadic Theism to Scientific Realism

Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Burma (also of relevance to Central Asia, South East Asia and the Far East):

Buddhism: Buddhist Ethics and Social Criticism

Afghanistan, Pakistan:

Technological developments from Harappa onwards: Technological discoveries and applications

Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh:

Arrival of Islam, Arab invasions and contact: (also of relevance to North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia)

Islamization and the Arab conquest of Sindh

Punjab and the Ghazni and Ghur Invasions

Islam and the sub-continent - appraising it's impact

Adaptation and Compromise with Hindu and Jain Traditions in the Regional Sultanates

Mughal Rule: Rise and Fall of the Mughals

Islamic Art and Architecture: Developments in Indian Art and Architecture

Sufism and impact on Indian and Islamic civilization; Sufi poets, philosophers and scholars - Mulla Nasruddin, Jalaluddin Rumi, Sheikh Saadi, Kabir:

Sufi Currents and Civilization in the Islamic Courts

Pakistan, Bangladesh:

Crafts, Trade and Manufacturing: Historic Aspects of Craft and Trade

Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Burma:

European Domination of the Indian Ocean Trade

Colonization: The Colonial Legacy - Some Myths and Popular Beliefs

Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Burma:

European Control over the Indian Ocean and Asian waters: European Domination of the Indian Ocean Trade

The East India Company: From Trade to Colonization - Historic Dynamics of the East India Companies

South Asia and the Industrial Revolution: Technological discoveries and applications

Eurocentricism, British Education: British Education

Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh:

Struggle against British Rule and Colonial Domination: Key Landmarks in the Indian Freedom Struggle

Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh:

Caste, Gender, Social Relations: Social Relations in India: Caste and Gender Equations

Pakistan, Bangladesh:

Pressures of Loyalism during the Freedom Movement:

Loyalist Agents in the Indian Aristocracy and the Early Congress

"Moderates" versus "Extremists" in the battle for "Swaraj" and "Swadeshi"

Communal Divisions, Rise of the Muslim League, 2-Nation Theory and Partition: The 2-Nation Theory and Partition



About South Asian History

Relevance of our selections to South Asian, pan-Asian and other readers:

South Asian History is a non-commercial project that brings the most vital aspects of the sub-continent's history to web users. Our selections attempt to illuminate those aspects of South Asian History that aren't always very well known, but of crucial importance to the region's future.

Although most of our selections focus primarily on the Indian experience, there are many aspects of Indian history that also reflect the history of it's South Asian neighbors. In the ancient world, social and political borders were neither fixed nor did they always tally with present national divisions.

For instance, during much of India's history when Buddhism received active support from the ruling courts (and also during the Gupta period), Afghanistan was politically and culturally affiliated with Northern India. Buddhism spread virtually throughout the subcontinent including Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, and Myanmar (Burma), and also what are now Pakistan and Bangladesh. Some of these countries had mixed Hindu and Buddhist populations as did other South East Asian countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Tibet. Buddhism also had it's impact on China and Japan as well as most of Central Asia. For that reason, the essays on philosophical developments and the growth of Buddhist philosophy could be of interest to a wider audience in Asia:-

Adivasi Contributions to Indian Culture and Civilization

Philosophical Development from Upanishadic Theism to Scientific Realism

Buddhist Ethics and Social Criticism

Development of Philosophical Thought and Scientific Method in Ancient India

Although regional innovations and local developments of style created unique and different traditions in each country, an analysis of Indian sculpture could be of some interest since the art of sculpture in much of Asia was influenced by Hindu/Buddhist ideas and shared certain common philosophical underpinnings that have helped in contributing to a pan-Asian ethos:-

Developments in Indian Art and Architecture

References to Eastern India's Trade with South East Asia (Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, the Malayan peninsula and Indonesia) can be found in:-

History of Orissa: An introduction

The ascendance of Islam also had certain trans-national effects and the essay on the impact of Islam and the Mughals may have relevance to the experience of other nations as well:-

Islamization and the Arab conquest of Sindh

Islam and the sub-continent - appraising it's impact

Rise and Fall of the Mughals

Sufi Currents and Civilization in the Islamic Courts

(Also see Developments in Indian Art and Architecture for a section on the art and architecture of the Islamic Kingdoms with references to Afghanistan, Persia, Central Asia, Iraq, Syria, Palestine and Turkey)

Scattered through our pages, there are references to trade contacts and trade links, chronicles and commentaries left by African, Arab, Chinese, Greek and other travelers to India. These may also be of some interest, both in the sub-continent and beyond.

Finally, we may note that the process of colonization had a dramatic impact on most nations of the world - whether in Asia, Africa or Latin America. Although the intensity of exploitation may have varied from one colonized nation to another, and there may have been differences in detail with respect to concrete practice - there were many commonalities in the way most nations were colonized.

To that extent, these pages from the history of the Indian sub-continent may also enlighten readers from other parts of Asia or Africa, or anyone else interested in broadening their view of world history. The following essays may be particularly useful:-

European Domination of the Indian Ocean Trade

(Relevant to all nations with ports on the Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Persian Gulf, and South China Sea)

From Trade to Colonization - Historic Dynamics of the East India Companies

The Colonial Legacy - Some Myths and Popular Beliefs

As these essays clearly show, Asia was not in anyway behind the European continent prior to colonization. Colonization led to the collective decline of Asia vis-a-vis the Western world, and we hope that our site can help in bringing about greater understanding, and help us strive towards a more equal world in the future.

One area where India was to have a profound effect on world civilization was in the realm of the abstract sciences. The decimal system came into use in India very early during the Harappan period. Panini's studies in formal language provided an impetus for Indian mathematical notation which eventually spread to the entire world via the Arabs. Aryabhatta's discoveries on astronomy and his model of the solar system was truly revolutionary for it's time. Indian mathematical and scientific texts and treatises were translated and studied not only in the East such as in China, but had a particularly important influence on the Western world.

As a Jain scholar once said, no object whether static or moving can be understood without mathematics. The role of mathematics in all of modern science and high technology is truly indispensable. Yet only a few Westerners have acknowledged the enormous debt that modern science owes to Indian mathematical contributions:

History of Mathematics in India

African contributions to world civilization have also been under-rated. For a perspective on African history and Colonial/Eurocentric interpretations of developments in Africa and the study of science, see these two sites by Dr Gloria Emeagwali, (Professor of History and African Studies, Central Connecticut State University):-

Eurocentricism and the History of Science and Technology

African Indigenous Science and Knowledge Systems

The subject of colonial education, and colonial paradigms of the non-European world is explored in British Education in India

The essay Colonization and Control of the Oil Wealth in the Middle East illustrates a very important aspect of 20th century imperialism - the monopoly control of the world's most vital energy resources. It ought to be of considerable interest to all readers from the Middle East and other developing nations that have close social and economic ties to the region.Other Resources:

Index of topics and articles relating to Indian History

Adivasis: Customs, beliefs, ethics, practices; influence on Buddhism; Adivasi traditions impacting Hindu practice; contributions to Indian culture and civilization; resistance during colonial rule:-

Adivasi Contributions to Indian Culture and Civilization

Architecture: Western theories and criticism of the Indian legacy; Harappan finds, secular architecture such as step-wells, public gateways (toranas), baths, swimming pools or bathing tanks, universities and forts; stupa and temple architecture, ornamentation, philosophical and natural motifs; home decoration, rangoli, ornamental facades, paintings in ordinary homes and havelis; architecture of the islamic courts, Persian, Afghan, Central Asian, Turkish and Iraqi influences; recycling of building materials from destroyed monuments; uniquely Indian innovations; jaalis and borrowed motifs; polychrome tile-work; Mughal, Rajput, Deccan, Sikh and other regional styles; eclectic fusion, synthesis; chitra-shalas (painting galleries) and jharokhas (balconies) in Rajput and other palaces:-

Developments in Indian Art and Architecture

For an abstract/outline of the above article see Indian Art Abstract

Visual Resources:-

Buddhist Archealogical Sites

Indian Sculpture and Temple Ornamentation

Forts, Palaces and Toranas

Architecture of the Islamic Courts in India

Arts and Crafts: Exports to Rome such as carved ivory, silks and woven fabrics; Indian jewelry; textiles, mordant dyeing, exports of textiles to China, the Arab nations, South East Asia; textile production and export centres; carpets, woven mats and floor coverings; decorative crafts such as mother-of-pearl inlay, papier mache, inlayed furniture; Mughal and Deccan:-

Historic Aspects of Craft and Trade in India

For an abstract/outline of the above article see Indian Crafts Abstract

Miniature paintings, cave or temple paintings, style, history of development, perspective, abstractions from nature, ragamala paintings, folk influences, naturalism, Western theories and prejudices, decorative arts and crafts, vernacular art, art of the regional kingdoms such as the Rajputs, Marathas Bundelkhandis etc; influence of folk art on courtly art; art history:-

Developments in Indian Art and Architecture

Indian Sculpture: secular and religious, philosophical content, Western biases in interpretation, realism, impact of islam, invading iconoclasts, erotic expression in Indian sculpture, symbolic language of Indian sculpture; Buddhist, Jain, Hindu and Tantric influences; links with nature:-

Developments in Indian Art and Architecture

Visual resources, images:

Buddhist Archealogical Sites

Indian Sculpture and Temple Ornamentation

Arts and crafts of Orissa:

History of Orissa: An introduction

Drawings and Folk Art

Indian Drawings

Indian Folk Art

Aryan Invasion Controversy: Competing theories, current views, arguments for and against, historical importance (or lack thereof), impact and influence on development of Indian culture and civilization, colonial-era formulations, racism, conjectures concerning origin:-

The Aryan Invasion: theories, counter-theories and historical significance

Astrology: Criticism of, See notes in:

Buddhist Ethics and Social Criticism

Islamization and the Arab conquest of Sindh

Influence on Astronomers and Mathematicians:

History of Mathematics in India

Astronomy: (Also see Science and Technology):

History of Mathematics in India

Atheism: (Also see Philosophy):-

Development of Philosophical Thought and Scientific Method in Ancient India

Buddhism: (Also see Philosophy):-

Buddhist Ethics and Social Criticism

Caste: History, Megasthenes' Chronicles, Mobility, Gupta Period Land Decrees, Brahminism, impact of Islam, Sikhism, British Colonial Rule;

Social Relations in India: Caste and Gender Equations

Chemistry: See Science and Technology

History of the Physical Sciences in India

Colonization, British Rule: Transformation of the British East India Company from a trading company to a colonial entity; ban on textile exports from India, European protectionism; transformation from free trade to unfair trade, dumping; the forced cultivation of Opium and the opium wars; military attacks on the inter-Asian trade; Plassey and it's consequences;

From Trade to Colonization - Historic Dynamics of the East India Companies

Effects of colonial rule on literacy, access to educational facilities; destruction of old urban centres, growth of urban slums; neglect of agriculture, particularly of water management systems, internal waterways; life expectancy and access to medical care; poverty and famines; destruction of monuments; India's role in the Industrial Revolution; international beneficiaries of colonial plunder:-

The Colonial Legacy - Some Myths and Popular Beliefs

Decline of Indian arts and crafts and traditional manufacturing and trade:-

Historic Aspects of Craft and Trade in India

Comparisons with Mughal Rule:-

Rise and Fall of the Mughals

Eurocentricism, distortions and Western biases in the interpretation of Indian history, cultural imperialism:-

The Aryan Invasion: theories, counter-theories and historical significance

Development of Philosophical Thought and Scientific Method in Ancient India

Developments in Indian Art and Architecture

British Education in India

Loyalist Collaborators with the British during Colonial Rule: ((Maharajas and other aristocrats associated with the Princely States, the Muslim League, loyalist forces in the Early Congress)

Loyalist Agents in the Indian Aristocracy and the Early Congress

Ethics, Morality, Social Criticism:

Also see Philosophy:-

Buddhist Ethics and Social Criticism

European Domination:

Portuguese and Dutch control of Indian Ocean Trade, the conquest of Daman and Diu, Goa, Calicut, Cochin and Colombo

European Domination of the Indian Ocean Trade

Freedom Movement, Struggle for Independence: Early revolts, Adivasi struggles, 1857, genesis of resistance, dissatisfaction of the soldiers, public resentment and hatred of the British:-

Adivasi Contributions to Indian Culture and Civilization

The Revolutionary Upheaval of 1857

Struggle for 'Swaraj', Swadeshi, and National Education; "Moderates" (such as Gokhale) versus "Extremists" i.e. radical nationalists such as Bal Gangadhar Tilak (Maharashtra), Chidambaram Pillay (Tamil Nadu, Kerala) , Ajit Singh (Undivided Punjab) and Bipin Chandra Pal (Bengal)

"Moderates" versus "Extremists" in the battle for "Swaraj" and "Swadeshi"

Tilak and his detractors, evaluating Tilak's contributions, Tilak's philosophy, commentaries on the Gita, Tilak on non-violence, secularism

Assessing Tilaks's Record

Nationalist figures, birth of Swadeshi movement in Sindh, calls for boycott of foreign goods; 'Swaraj' ; birth of Ghadar or Gadar party, secular forces; freedom fighters, Tilak, Lajpat Rai, Gandhi, Nehru and Congress; Jallianawala Bagh masssacre; growth of radical forces, communists, workers and peasants movements; Kanpur, Meirut and other conspiracy cases; no-tax campaigns, Bardoli; Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Naujawan Bharat Sabha, anti-imperialism; British hangings, Kala Pani; armed revolutionaries, Chittagong Armoury Raid; salt satyagraha; trade union resistance; police lathi-charges, firings, bombings; Quit India movement; Subhas Chandra Bose, Indian National Army (INA); role of women; radical peasants, adivasis, dalits; strike, mutiny in the Indian Navy, Sardar Patel; Muslim League, two nation theory, partition, Kashmir;

Key Landmarks in the Indian Freedom Struggle

Freedom fighters of Orissa; anti-British revolts; national movement in Orissa:

History of Orissa: An introduction

The Ghadar Party, Historic Records, Poems:

Records of the Ghadar Movement

Revolutionary writings of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, links to HSRA (Hindustan Socialist Republican Army) records:

Shaheed Bhagat Singh

Gender: History, Equality, Oppression, Practices like Sati, Dowry, impact of Islam, Sikhism, British Colonial Rule;

Social Relations in India: Caste and Gender Equations

Harappan Civilization: (Indus valley, Mohenjodaro, Lothal, Kalibangan, Indus-Saraswati, etc.) Public dwellings, construction techniques, drainage systems, ports and granaries; Evidence concerning advances in metallurgy, tool-use, weights and measures; planned irrigation systems, fire and flood control measures; span of civilization, extent of trade:-

Technological discoveries and applications in India

Decimal Weights and Measures:

History of Mathematics in India

Social Aspects:

The Aryan Invasion: theories, counter-theories and historical significance

Hinduism: Also see Philosophy:-

Philosophical Development from Upanishadic Theism to Scientific Realism

Historiography, Indology:

British Education in India

Industrial Crafts: Mettalurgy, iron and steel, zinc; Textile production, dyeing and weaving; growth of "karkhanas" i.e. workshops and manufacturing plants; shipbuilding:-

Historic Aspects of Craft and Trade in India

Technological advances relating to metallurgy and construction technology; technological developments in textile production, dyeing and weaving;

Technological discoveries and applications in India

Islamic Rule: The invasion and conquest of Sindh; historiography of the invasion; Pakistani official histories and their critques; Ibn Khaldun's analysis of the Arab dynasties, relevance to the history of Sindh; transfer of wealth from Sindh to the Arab dysnasties; influence of Sindh in Arab culture and civilization; Sindhi exports:-

Islamization and the Arab conquest of Sindh

The impact of the Turkic invasions on the Punjab Plains, resistance and destruction, rise of urban centers in Afghanistan and Central Asia:-

Punjab and the Ghazni and Ghur Invasions

Problems in assessing the impact of the Islamic invasions, fear of communal separatism, secular imperative versus truth-telling; what was different about the Islamic invasions and Islamic rule; differences between invaders and second or third generation rulers; alliances with Hindu rulers; increased burden of taxation on the peasantry - shift in balance of power in favor of traders; imposition of legal systems that privileged trade; technological developments and growth of urbanization in the gangetic plain; violence against the local population, rise in the practice of slavery; reforms under Akbar; social impact and growth of clericalism; madrasahs, religious education and growth of dogmatism; attempts at secular reform; legacy of partition and the culture of 'jehad':-

Islam and the sub-continent - appraising it's impact

Adaptation and Compromise with Hindu and Jain Traditions in the Regional Sultanates

Mughal Rule, military expansion, growth of trade, luxury crafts, decline:-

Rise and Fall of the Mughals

Development of decorative arts and crafts (amongst Mughals, Deccan rulers, and other regional kingdoms):-

Historic Aspects of Craft and Trade in India

Art and architecture, influences from Central Asia, Persia, Afghanistan and the Middle East (Arab world such as Iraq and Turkey); impact of Islam in modifying Indian traditions, decline in sculpture; support for fine arts in the courts:-

Developments in Indian Art and Architecture

Hindu-Muslim secular unity during 1857 and in the freedom struggle:-

The Revolutionary Upheaval of 1857

Key Landmarks in the Indian Freedom Struggle

Military collaboration between Mughals and Rajputs, peaceful co-existence of artisans and peasants; birth of Muslim League, two-nation theory, colonial manipulations, false legitimacy for Jinnah and the Muslim League; pre-partition elections; pre-partition riots; tactics of terror and blackmail; partition; Maulana Azad's warnings on the dangers of the two-nation theory, his premonitions regarding the break-up of Pakistan and creation of Bangladesh :-

The 2-Nation Theory and Partition

Note on the concept of self-determination, should it have led to partition:-

Key Landmarks in the Indian Freedom Struggle

Sufism and impact on Indian and Islamic civilization; Sufi poets, philosophers and scholars:-

Sufi Currents and Civilization in the Islamic Courts

Jainism: Also see Philosophy:-

Philosophical Development from Upanishadic Theism to Scientific Realism

Kashmir: Post 1947 History, Ethnic and religious make-up, political equations, social demographics:-

Jammu & Kashmir: Self-Determination, Demands for a Plebiscite and Secession:

Manufacturing: In Indian history, relationship with exports:-

Historic Aspects of Craft and Trade in India

During the period of Islamic rule, growth of manufacturing towns, Karkhanas:-

Islam and the sub-continent - appraising it's impact

Rise and Fall of the Mughals

Mathematics: See Science and Technology

History of Mathematics in India

Medicine, Medical Technology: Medical Tools, Surgery Techniques

Technological discoveries and applications in India

Adivasis and Ayurveda:

Adivasi Contributions to Indian Culture and Civilization

Mughal Rule: Mughal Rule from Babar to Aurangzeb (including Sher Shah Suri, Akbar, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb) unification and centralization, military strength, expansion of trade in the Northern plains, artifacts and exports, disintegration and decline:-

Rise and Fall of the Mughals

Partition, 2-Nation Theory, Muslim League, Communal Riots, Birth of Pakistan: History of the Muslim League, Maulana Azad's memoirs and warnings, Colonial machinations:

The 2-Nation Theory and Partition

Philosophy: Schools of thought: Hindu, Jain, Buddhist; Upanishadic philosophy, abstract conceptions of god, expressions of secularism; Indian pluralism; dialectics and debate in ancient Indian philosophy; Nyaya and Vaisheshika schools; Nyaya concepts, process of accumulating scientific knowledge, describing the scientific method, types of perception and inference, valid and invalid arguments, proofs and tests of truth, causality; atomic theories of the Jains and the Buddhists:

Philosophical Development from Upanishadic Theism to Scientific Realism

The tribal republics and their critical influence on Buddhism; Adivasi traditions and their impact on Hindu beliefs and practices:

Adivasi Contributions to Indian Culture and Civilization

Philosophical environment under which Buddhism developed; atheism and agnosticism in early Buddhism; analysis of "dukkha" or "human suffering"; basis of human suffering; social causes and existential reasons for "dukkha"; knowledge and wisdom, right conduct and action; rational investigation of human nature and the physical world; impermanence and change; personal ethics, social conscience; theories of causality; critiques of accidentalism, amoralism, false determinism, extreme skepticism; the middle-path or middle-way; idealism, stagnation and decline; reincarnation, transmigration of the soul, "kamma" or "karma"; influence and spread:

Buddhist Ethics and Social Criticism

Rationalism, skepticism, atheism and agnosticism in ancient India; nature of change and physical transformations, the Lokayata school; critiques and parodies of empty ritualism; developments in science and reason; dreams, illusions, reality and principles of logic; theories on memory and ageing; contacts with Greece; social ethics:

Development of Philosophical Thought and Scientific Method in Ancient India

Sufism and impact on Indian and Islamic civilization; Sufi poets, philosophers and scholars - Mulla Nasruddin, Jalaluddin Rumi, Sheikh Saadi, Kabir:

Sufi Currents and Civilization in the Islamic Courts

Physics: See Science and Technology

History of the Physical Sciences in India

Regional Histories: Art and architecture:-

Developments in Indian Art and Architecture

Crafts, manufacturing and trade, with special references to the ports of South India and Gujarat, factories, craft/urban centers of Kashmir, the Deccan, Bengal and the Gangetic Plain:-

Historic Aspects of Craft and Trade in India

Rebellions in Punjab and Marathawada:-

Rise and Fall of the Mughals

History of Orissa:-

History of Orissa: An introduction

Jharkhand, Chhatisgarh:-

Adivasi Contributions to Indian Culture and Civilization

Sindh:-

Islamization and the Arab conquest of Sindh

Punjab:-

Punjab and the Ghazni and Ghur Invasions

Regional Sultanates: Gujarat, Khandesh, Kashmir, Jaunpur, Bengal and Deccan:-

Adaptation and Compromise with Hindu and Jain Traditions in the Regional Sultanates

Contemporary history of Kashmir, struggle between secular and Islamic fundamentalist forces:-

Jammu & Kashmir: Self-Determination, Demands for a Plebiscite and Secession:

Science and Technology: Advances in the scientific method, scientific observation and analysis; understanding plants, nature and the human body; mathematics, number systems, geometry, differential equations, trigonometry and trigonometric tables, infinite series, polynomial equations, decimal system, concepts of zero and very large numbers; geography, latitudes and longitudes, circumference of the earth; medical science and technology, ayurveda; chemical processes, use of mordents and catalysts:-

Development of Philosophical Thought and Scientific Method in Ancient India

Developments in logic and epistemology; methods of proof and validation of claims and theories; atomic theories, nature of matter and particles, theories of chemical interaction:-

Philosophical Development from Upanishadic Theism to Scientific Realism

Advance of Indian mathematics from the Harappan period to the 17th century; Mathematical treatises produced during the Vedic period, the Gupta period, and medieval period; contributions of Hindu, Jain and Buddhist mathematicians. practical considerations and study of arithmetic, mensuration and geometry; history of the decimal system; the indian number system and mathematical notation; shunya, bindu and zero; philosophy of the infinite; Panini's studies in linguistics, grammar and formal language theory; advances in astronomy, planetary theory, models of the solar system and impetus to trignometry, indeterminate equations, algebra, geometric and arithmetic series; combinatorics - permutations and combinations; effect of trade and commerce, accounting and commercial arithmetic; math colleges, universities (Ujjain, Kusumpura, Benaras), gurukuls, teaching institutions and families (gharanas), the Kerala school; Applied mathematics, numerical and sine tables, time and distance measuring units; major texts, treatises (siddhantha) , studies, results, proofs, theorems, derivations, calculus; famous astronomers and mathematicians: Aryabhatta, Bhaskar, Brahmagupta, Mahavira, Madhava, Nilkantha; mathematicians from Bihar, Bengal, Saurasthra, Mysore, Andhra, Maharashtra; spread of Indian mathematics to Central Asia, the Arab world, Spain, Venice and Europe - translations in Arabic, Persian; Indian mathematics and the scientific, industrial revolution:-

History of Mathematics in India

Study of the Physical Sciences such as Physics and Chemistry; Atomic theories, theories on heat, sound and light; types of motion, elasticity, viscosity, surface tension, magnetism, electrostatic attraction; comparison with European developments after the 13th C:-

History of the Physical Sciences in India

Technology in Harappa; social factors and social needs influencing the development of technology; progress in mining and smelting of ores, creation of alloys, high-quality steel; geographic and climactic factors and technological innovation; water-harvesting and dam-building; predicting weather, charting the motion of planets and construction of observatories and universities; cultural aspects of technological advance; government support of technology; factors that inhibited technological advance in India; the Industrial revolution:-

Technological discoveries and applications in India

Secularism: Secular philosophy in Ancient India:-

Philosophical Development from Upanishadic Theism to Scientific Realism

Non-theist belief systems:-

Development of Philosophical Thought and Scientific Method in Ancient India

Religious Choice, Pluralism, impact of Islam, Sikhism, British Colonial Rule-

Social Relations in India: Caste and Gender Equations

Secular unity in the Freedom Struggle:-

The Revolutionary Upheaval of 1857

Key Landmarks in the Indian Freedom Struggle

Challenges to Secularism:-

The 2-Nation Theory and Partition

Jammu & Kashmir: Self-Determination, Demands for a Plebiscite and Secession:

Sexuality, Erotic Culture: Gender biases, Sexual liberalism, Female Sensuality, eroticism, depictions in sculpture, same-gender relations, Islamic prudery,conservatism, Colonial prohibitions:

Developments in Indian Art and Architecture

Social Relations in India: Caste and Gender Equations

Trade: India's trade with Rome; ports of ancient India; India's positive trade balance vis--vis Europe prior to colonization; India's trade with South East Asia and the Indian Ocean rim countries; India's trade with the Arab world; decline of trade after colonization:-

Historic Aspects of Craft and Trade in India

References to Orissa and Eastern India's Trade with South East Asia (Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, the Malayan peninsula and Indonesia):-

History of Orissa: An introduction

During the period of Islamic rule:-

Islam and the sub-continent - appraising it's impact

Rise and Fall of the Mughals

Destruction of trade upon colonization:-

From Trade to Colonization - Historic Dynamics of the East India Companies

The Colonial Legacy - Some Myths and Popular Beliefs


To see a list of essays, in roughly chronological order, and other links, please go to the main page for

South Asian History


Index of topics and articles relating to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Burma

Afghanistan, Pakistan:

Aryan Invasion:- The Aryan Invasion: theories, counter-theories and historical significance

Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh:

Early Philosophy:

Atheism: Development of Philosophical Thought and Scientific Method

Secular philosophy: Philosophical Development from Upanishadic Theism to Scientific Realism

Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Burma (also of relevance to Central Asia, South East Asia and the Far East):

Buddhism: Buddhist Ethics and Social Criticism

Afghanistan, Pakistan:

Technological developments from Harappa onwards: Technological discoveries and applications

Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh:

Arrival of Islam, Arab invasions and contact: (also of relevance to North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia)

Islamization and the Arab conquest of Sindh

Punjab and the Ghazni and Ghur Invasions

Islam and the sub-continent - appraising it's impact

Adaptation and Compromise with Hindu and Jain Traditions in the Regional Sultanates

Mughal Rule: Rise and Fall of the Mughals

Islamic Art and Architecture: Developments in Indian Art and Architecture

Sufism and impact on Indian and Islamic civilization; Sufi poets, philosophers and scholars - Mulla Nasruddin, Jalaluddin Rumi, Sheikh Saadi, Kabir:

Sufi Currents and Civilization in the Islamic Courts

Pakistan, Bangladesh:

Crafts, Trade and Manufacturing: Historic Aspects of Craft and Trade

Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Burma:

European Domination of the Indian Ocean Trade

Colonization: The Colonial Legacy - Some Myths and Popular Beliefs

Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Burma:

European Control over the Indian Ocean and Asian waters: European Domination of the Indian Ocean Trade

The East India Company: From Trade to Colonization - Historic Dynamics of the East India Companies

South Asia and the Industrial Revolution: Technological discoveries and applications

Eurocentricism, British Education: British Education

Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh:

Struggle against British Rule and Colonial Domination: Key Landmarks in the Indian Freedom Struggle

Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh:

Caste, Gender, Social Relations: Social Relations in India: Caste and Gender Equations

Pakistan, Bangladesh:

Pressures of Loyalism during the Freedom Movement:

Loyalist Agents in the Indian Aristocracy and the Early Congress

"Moderates" versus "Extremists" in the battle for "Swaraj" and "Swadeshi"

Communal Divisions, Rise of the Muslim League, 2-Nation Theory and Partition: The 2-Nation Theory and Partition



About South Asian History

Relevance of our selections to South Asian, pan-Asian and other readers:

South Asian History is a non-commercial project that brings the most vital aspects of the sub-continent's history to web users. Our selections attempt to illuminate those aspects of South Asian History that aren't always very well known, but of crucial importance to the region's future.

Although most of our selections focus primarily on the Indian experience, there are many aspects of Indian history that also reflect the history of it's South Asian neighbors. In the ancient world, social and political borders were neither fixed nor did they always tally with present national divisions.

For instance, during much of India's history when Buddhism received active support from the ruling courts (and also during the Gupta period), Afghanistan was politically and culturally affiliated with Northern India. Buddhism spread virtually throughout the subcontinent including Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, and Myanmar (Burma), and also what are now Pakistan and Bangladesh. Some of these countries had mixed Hindu and Buddhist populations as did other South East Asian countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Tibet. Buddhism also had it's impact on China and Japan as well as most of Central Asia. For that reason, the essays on philosophical developments and the growth of Buddhist philosophy could be of interest to a wider audience in Asia:-

Adivasi Contributions to Indian Culture and Civilization

Philosophical Development from Upanishadic Theism to Scientific Realism

Buddhist Ethics and Social Criticism

Development of Philosophical Thought and Scientific Method in Ancient India

Although regional innovations and local developments of style created unique and different traditions in each country, an analysis of Indian sculpture could be of some interest since the art of sculpture in much of Asia was influenced by Hindu/Buddhist ideas and shared certain common philosophical underpinnings that have helped in contributing to a pan-Asian ethos:-

Developments in Indian Art and Architecture

References to Eastern India's Trade with South East Asia (Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, the Malayan peninsula and Indonesia) can be found in:-

History of Orissa: An introduction

The ascendance of Islam also had certain trans-national effects and the essay on the impact of Islam and the Mughals may have relevance to the experience of other nations as well:-

Islamization and the Arab conquest of Sindh

Islam and the sub-continent - appraising it's impact

Rise and Fall of the Mughals

Sufi Currents and Civilization in the Islamic Courts

(Also see Developments in Indian Art and Architecture for a section on the art and architecture of the Islamic Kingdoms with references to Afghanistan, Persia, Central Asia, Iraq, Syria, Palestine and Turkey)

Scattered through our pages, there are references to trade contacts and trade links, chronicles and commentaries left by African, Arab, Chinese, Greek and other travelers to India. These may also be of some interest, both in the sub-continent and beyond.

Finally, we may note that the process of colonization had a dramatic impact on most nations of the world - whether in Asia, Africa or Latin America. Although the intensity of exploitation may have varied from one colonized nation to another, and there may have been differences in detail with respect to concrete practice - there were many commonalities in the way most nations were colonized.

To that extent, these pages from the history of the Indian sub-continent may also enlighten readers from other parts of Asia or Africa, or anyone else interested in broadening their view of world history. The following essays may be particularly useful:-

European Domination of the Indian Ocean Trade

(Relevant to all nations with ports on the Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Persian Gulf, and South China Sea)

From Trade to Colonization - Historic Dynamics of the East India Companies

The Colonial Legacy - Some Myths and Popular Beliefs

As these essays clearly show, Asia was not in anyway behind the European continent prior to colonization. Colonization led to the collective decline of Asia vis-a-vis the Western world, and we hope that our site can help in bringing about greater understanding, and help us strive towards a more equal world in the future.

One area where India was to have a profound effect on world civilization was in the realm of the abstract sciences. The decimal system came into use in India very early during the Harappan period. Panini's studies in formal language provided an impetus for Indian mathematical notation which eventually spread to the entire world via the Arabs. Aryabhatta's discoveries on astronomy and his model of the solar system was truly revolutionary for it's time. Indian mathematical and scientific texts and treatises were translated and studied not only in the East such as in China, but had a particularly important influence on the Western world.

As a Jain scholar once said, no object whether static or moving can be understood without mathematics. The role of mathematics in all of modern science and high technology is truly indispensable. Yet only a few Westerners have acknowledged the enormous debt that modern science owes to Indian mathematical contributions:

History of Mathematics in India

African contributions to world civilization have also been under-rated. For a perspective on African history and Colonial/Eurocentric interpretations of developments in Africa and the study of science, see these two sites by Dr Gloria Emeagwali, (Professor of History and African Studies, Central Connecticut State University):-

Eurocentricism and the History of Science and Technology

African Indigenous Science and Knowledge Systems

The subject of colonial education, and colonial paradigms of the non-European world is explored in British Education in India

The essay Colonization and Control of the Oil Wealth in the Middle East illustrates a very important aspect of 20th century imperialism - the monopoly control of the world's most vital energy resources. It ought to be of considerable interest to all readers from the Middle East and other developing nations that have close social and economic ties to the region.

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Other Resources:

For a visual glimpse of India's historic legacy, it's art and architecture - see: IMAGE INDIA and LEGACY-INDIA;

For a survey of Indian sculpture, visit the INDIAN SCULPTURE GALLERY

Also visit our sister-site, SOUTH ASIAN VOICE - featuring articles and essays that attempt to illuminate some of the most pressing problems and concerns affecting the public discourse in India and the South Asian region.

To South Asian Voice

Also see INDIA-RESOURCE for other links to India (or South Asia) related sites;


Click here to contact the South Asian History Project

 

For a visual glimpse of India's historic legacy, it's art and architecture - see: IMAGE INDIA and LEGACY-INDIA;

For a survey of Indian sculpture, visit the INDIAN SCULPTURE GALLERY

Also visit our sister-site, SOUTH ASIAN VOICE - featuring articles and essays that attempt to illuminate some of the most pressing problems and concerns affecting the public discourse in India and the South Asian region.

To South Asian Voice

Also see INDIA-RESOURCE for other links to India (or South Asia) related sites;

 

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