INDIA

We travel not for trafficking alone:
By hotter winds our fiery hearts are fanned.
For lust of knowing what should not be known
We make our Golden Journey to Samarkand

James Elroy Flecker

Introduction

There have been many kindoms and empires built in India. Amongst them are the: Mehrgarh Culture; Indus Valley Civilization; Late Harappan Culture; Maha Janapadas; Magadha Empire; Maurya Empire; Chera Empire; Chola Empire; Pandyan Empire; Satavahana; Middle Kingdoms; Kushan Empire; Gupta Empire; Gurjara Empire; Pala Empire; Chalukya Dynasty; Rashtrakuta; Western Chalukya Empire; Hoysala Empire; Kakatiya Empire; Islamic Sultanates; Delhi Sultanate; Deccan Sultanates; Ahom Kingdom; Vijayanagara Empire; Mughal Empire; Maratha Empire; Sikh Confederacy; Sikh Empire; The Honourable East India Company; and the British Raj. The list serves to remind us of the age and size of this most complex country. I do not intend to address more than a fraction of these different states, since my purpose is family-related.

Alexander's Empire

 

Our primary family link into India was through Alexander's army. When Alexander the Great defeated Darius III, Shah of Persia, and Pharaoh of Egypt, he took his army to India and met the descendants of the Indus Valley Civilisation. These people spread their technology and ideas across Asia and took Indian inventions back to Europe. The Indians also relate to Genghis Khan and his Mongols who spread throughout not only India and Pakistan, but also the entire Asian region.

The Persian and Greek invasions of India had important repercussions on Indian civilization. The political systems of the Persians were to influence future forms of governance on the subcontinent, including the administration of the Mauryan dynasty. In addition, the region of Gandhara, or present-day eastern Afghanistan and north-west Pakistan, became a melting pot of Indian, Persian, Central Asian and Greek cultures and gave rise to a hybrid culture, Greco-Buddhism, which lasted until the 5th century AD and influenced the artistic development of Mahayana Buddhism.

From the Indians and the spread of their culture the world has gained a series of crucial inventions. Perhaps the most important was the advance of mathematics. Without the inventions in India of zero, the numbering system (imagine using the Roman's numbers!), the binary numeral system, and the decimal system. Although key to their development of algebra and modern mathematics, Indian developments include cotton, surgery, the concept of infinity, celestial calculations, trigonometry, the length of the year as 365.25 days, and the number of planets in our solar system. Contrary to the modern concept of a Flat Earth, the Indians not only understood that the earth was round, but calculated the diameter of both the earth and moon.[1]

Indus Valley Civilization

The Indus Valley is one of the world's three locations in which civilization separately began. People gathered in this temperate climate from c3300–1700 BC, and society flourished there in c2600–1900 BC.[2] As implied by the name, people developed a civilization along the Indus and and the adjoining Ghaggar-Hakra river valleys in what is now Pakistan and northwestern India. Another name for this civilization is the Harappan Civilization, after the first excavated city of Harappa. The Indus Valley people developed an early trade and might have been known to the Sumerians as Meluhha, however, he modern world discovered it only in the 1920s as a result of archaeological excavations.

Although some houses were larger than others, Indus Civilization cities were remarkable for their apparent egalitarianism. All the houses had access to water and drainage facilities. This gives the impression of a society with low wealth concentration.

Indus Valley: c2000 BC

 

The people of the Indus Civilization achieved great accuracy in measuring length, mass and time. They were among the first to develop a system of uniform weights and measures. Their measurements were extremely precise. Their smallest division, which is marked on an ivory scale found in Lothal, was approximately 1.704mm, the smallest division ever recorded on a scale of the Bronze Age. Harappan engineers followed the decimal division of measurement for all practical purposes, including the measurement of mass as revealed by their hexahedron weights. These brick weights were in a perfect ratio of 4:2:1 with each unit weighing approximately 28 grams, similar to the English Imperial ounce or Greek uncia. Smaller objects were weighed in similar ratios with the units of 0.871. The weights and measures later used in Kautilya's Arthashastra (4th century BC) are the same as those used in Lothal.

Unique Harappan inventions include an instrument which was used to measure whole sections of the horizon and the tidal dock. In addition, Harappans evolved new techniques in metallurgy and produced copper, bronze, lead and tin. The engineering skill of the Harappans was remarkable, especially in building docks after a careful study of tides, waves and currents. In 2001, archaeologists studying the remains of two men from Mehrgarh, Pakistan made the discovery that the people of the Indus Valley Civilisation, from the early Harappan periods, had knowledge of proto-dentistry. Various sculptures, seals, pottery, gold jewelry and anatomically detailed figurines in terra cotta, bronze and steatite have been found at the excavation sites. A number of gold, terra cotta and stone figurines of girls in dancing poses reveal the presence of some dance form.

Indus Valley Background

The archaeological record in India (including the modern nations of the Republic of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh) shows first traces of Homo sapiens from ca. 34,000 years ago. Bronze Age civilization emerges contemporary to the civilizations of the Ancient Near East, from circa 3300 BC, with the Indus Valley Civilization reaching its mature phase from around 2600 BC. The Vedic period in the Iron Age saw the rise of major kingdoms known as the Mahajanapadas, in which Mahavira and Gautama Buddha were born during the 6th century BC. The Indian subcontinent was first united under the Maurya Empire during the 4th and 3rd centuries BC. After the collapse of the Maurya Empire in the 2nd century BC, numerous kingdoms were formed. Mediaeval India saw a series of Muslim conquests since the 7th century. Most of the Indian subcontinent was later unified again under the Mughal Empire in the 16th and 17th centuries. After the collapse of the Mughal Empire in the 18th century, most of India was conquered by the British East India Company in the 19th century. After the Indian Rebellion of 1857, India was ruled by the British Raj from 1858.

Mehrgarh, was an important Neolithic (7000 BC to 3200 BC) site and lies on the Kachi plain of Baluchistan, a province in Pakistan Mehrgarh is one of the earliest sites with evidence of farming in South Asia.. Mehrgarh is located near the Bolan Pass, to the west of the Indus River valley, The earliest settlement at Mehrgarh was a small farming village dated between 7000 BC-5500 BC. The early Mehrgarh people lived in mud brick houses, stored their grain in granaries, made tools with local copper ore, and lined their large basket containers with bitumen (tar) . The people farmed six-row barley, einkorn and emmer wheat, jujubes and dates; they also herded sheep, goats and cattle. The later Mehrgarhians (c5500 BC to 2600 BC) put much effort into crafts, including flint knapping, tanning, bead production, and metal working. Mehrgarh was occupied until c2600 BC.

A sophisticated and technologically advanced urban culture is evident in the Indus Valley Civilization. The quality of municipal town planning suggests knowledge of urban planning and efficient municipal governments which placed a high priority on hygiene. The streets of major cities such as Mohenjo-daro or Harappa were laid out in perfect grid patterns. Houses were protected from noise, odors, and thieves.

Mohenjo-daro ruins in Pakistan

 

As seen in Harappa, Mohenjo-daro and the recently discovered Rakhigarhi, this urban plan included the world's first urban sanitation systems. Within the city, individual homes or groups of homes obtained water from wells. From a room that appears to have been set aside for bathing, waste water was directed to covered drains, which lined the major streets. Houses opened only to inner courtyards and smaller lanes. The house-building in some villages in the region still resembles in some respects the house-building of the Harappans.

The ancient Indus systems of sewerage and drainage that were developed and used in cities throughout the Indus Empire, were far more advanced than any found in contemporary urban sites in the Middle East and even more efficient than those in some areas of Pakistan and India today. The advanced architecture of the Harappans is shown by their impressive dockyards, granaries, warehouses, brick platforms and protective walls. The massive citadels of Indus cities, that protected the Harappans from floods and attackers, were larger than most Mesopotamian ziggurats.

The purpose of the citadel remains debated. In sharp contrast to this civilization's contemporaries, Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt, no large monumental structures were built. There is no conclusive evidence of palaces or temples - or of kings, armies, or priests. Some structures are thought to have been granaries. Found at one city is an enormous well-built bath, which may have been a public bath. Although the citadels were walled, it is far from clear that these structures were defensive. They may have been built to divert flood waters.

Most of the city people appear to have been traders or artisans, who lived in groups with others pursuing the same occupation in well-defined neighborhoods. Materials from distant regions were used in the cities for constructing seals, beads and other objects. Among the artifacts discovered were beautiful beads of glazed stone called faïence. The seals have images of animals, gods and other types of inscriptions. Some of the seals were used to stamp clay on trade goods and most probably had other uses.

Indus Trade

The Indus civilization's economy appears to have depended significantly on trade, which was facilitated by major advances in transport technology. These advances included bullock-driven carts that are still seen throughout South Asia, as well as boats. Most of these boats were probably small, flat-bottomed craft, perhaps driven by sail, similar to those still used on the Indus River; however, there is secondary evidence of sea-going craft. Archaeologists have discovered a massive, dredged canal and docking facility at the coastal city of Lothal.

During the 4300-3200 BC period, the Indus area developed ceramic products with similarities to those of southern Turkmenistan and northern Iran, which suggest considerable mobility and trade. During the Early Harappan period about 3200–2600 BC, similarities in pottery, seals, figurines, ornaments etc. document intensive caravan trade with Central Asia and the Iranian plateau.

Judging from the dispersal of Indus civilisation artifacts, the trade networks, economically, integrated a huge area, including portions of Afghanistan, the coastal regions of Persia, northern and central India, and Mesopotamia.. Lapis lazuli, a blue gemstone,was highly prized by the pharaohs of ancient Egypt, as can be seen by its prominent use in many of the treasures recovered from pharaonic tombs. Lapis lazuli, was also found from Badakshan, Afghanistan. Indus Valley Civilization's artists used to make beautiful carvings in Lapis lazuli, which were then widely traded to distant places.

There was an extensive maritime trade network operating between the Harappan and the Mesopotamian civilisations as early as the middle Harappan Phase, with much commerce being handled by middlemen merchants from Dilmun (modern Bahrain and Failaka located in the Persian Gulf). Such long-distance sea-trade became feasible with the innovative development of plank-built watercraft, equipped with a single central mast supporting a sail of woven rushes or cloth.

Indus Legacy

The curve of the Harappa Culture, which began to shoot up around 2600 BC and reached its peak in the centuries that followed, began to decline c2000 BC. Several factors seem to have contributed to it. Over‑exploitation of the land must have led to a fall in agricultural production. Added to it was probably a change in the climate towards aridity. And no less significant was a marked fall in trade, both internal as well as external. As a result of all this, there was no longer the affluence that used to characterise this civilization. The cities began to disappear and there was a reversion to a rural scenario. Thus, there was no doubt a set‑back in the standards of living but no extinction of the culture itself. Same IVC practices of agriculture, cooking habits, personal make‑up, ornaments, objects of toiletry, games played by children or adults, transport by road or river, folk tales, religious practices and so on were continued later on by people.

When the Greeks arrived in c223 BC there were still large cities and stable communities. Large armies confronted the Macedonians and tactics employing elephants were a concern for Alexander. Although Alexander's Macedonians rebelled at further advances into India, The remaining kingdom, which he had deemed vulnerable fell within a few years to other aggressors. Apart from our own numbering system, we owe much to these people, not the least being their wide cultivation of cotton.

The Vedic age

India

 

The Vedic culture is the Indo-Aryan culture associated with the Vedas, which are some of the oldest extant texts, orally composed in Vedic Sanskrit. It lasted from about 1500 BC to 500 BC. Properly speaking, the first 500 years (1500 - 1000 BC) of the Vedic Age correspond to Bronze Age India and the next 500 years (1000 - 500 BC) to Iron Age India. Most scholars today postulate a Indo-Aryan migration into India, proposing that early Indo-Aryan speaking tribes migrated into the north-west regions of the Indian subcontinent in the early 2nd millennium BC.

Early Vedic society consisted of largely nomadic pastoral groups with late Harappan urbanization being abandoned for unknown reasons. After the Rigveda, Aryan society became increasingly agricultural, and was socially organized around the four Varnas. In addition to the principal texts of Hinduism (the Vedas), the epics (the Ramayana and Mahabharata) are said to have their ultimate origins during this period. Early Indo-Aryan presence probably corresponds, in part, to the presence of Ochre Coloured Pottery in archaeological findings.

The kingdom of the Kurus corresponds to the Black and Red Ware culture and the beginning of the Iron Age in Northwestern India, around 1000 BC (roughly contemporaneous with the composition of the Atharvaveda, the first Indian text to mention Iron, as śyāma ayas, literally "black metal"). Painted Grey Ware cultures spanning much of Northern India were prevalent from about 1100 to 600 BC. This later period also corresponds with a change in outlook towards the prevalent tribal system of living leading to establishment of kingdoms called Mahajanapadas.

The Mahajanapadas

In the later Vedic Age, a number of small kingdoms or city states had covered the subcontinent, many mentioned during Vedic literature as far back as 1000 BC. By 600 BC, sixteen monarchies and 'republics' known as the Mahajanapadas stretched across the Indo-Gangetic plains from modern-day Afghanistan to Bangladesh. This was the second major urbanisation in India after the Indus Valley Civilization. Many smaller clans mentioned within early literature seem to have been present across the rest of the subcontinent. Some of these kings were hereditary, other city states elected their rulers. The educated speech at that time was Sanskrit, while the dialects of the general population of northern India were referred to as Prakrits. These sixteen kingdoms had reduced to four by 500 BC, that is by the time of Gautam Buddha, probably due to infighting. These four were Vatsa, Avanti, Kosala and Magadha.

Hindu rituals at that time were complicated and conducted by the priestly class. It is thought that the Upanishads, late Vedic texts dealing mainly with incipient philosophy, were composed in the later Vedic Age and early in this period of the Mahajanapadas (from about 800 - 500 BC). Upanishads had a huge effect on Indian philosophy, and were contemporary to the development of Buddhism and Jainism, indicating a golden age of thought in this period. It was in 537 BC, that Gautama Buddha gained enlightenment and founded Buddhism, which was initially intended as a supplement to the existing Vedic dharma. Around the same time period, in 510 BC, Mahavira founded Jainism. Both religions had a simple doctrine, and were preached in Prakrit, which helped it gain acceptance amongst the masses. While the geographic impact of Jainism was limited, Buddhist nuns and monks eventually spread the teachings of Buddha to Central Asia, East Asia, Tibet, Sri Lanka and South East Asia.

Amongst the sixteen Mahajanapadas, the kingdom of Magadha rose to prominence under a number of dynasties. According to tradition, the Haryanka dynasty founded the Magadha Empire in 684 BC whose capital was Rajagriha, later Pataliputra, near the present day Patna. This dynasty was succeeded by the Shishunaga dynasty which, in turn, was overthrown by the Nanda dynasty in 424 BC. The Nandas were followed by the Maurya dynasty.

Maurya Dynasty

Mauryan Empire

 

In 321 BC, exiled general Chandragupta Maurya, under direct patronage of the genius of Chanakya, founded the Maurya dynasty after overthrowing the reigning king Dhana Nanda. Most of the subcontinent was united under a single government for the first time under the Maurya rule. Mauryan empire under Chandragupta would not only conquer most of the Indian subcontinent, but also push its boundaries into Persia and Central Asia, conquering the Gandhara region. Chandragupta Maurya is credited for the spread of Jainism in southern Indian region.

Chandragupta was succeeded by his son Bindusara, who expanded the kingdom over most of present day India, barring Kalinga, and the extreme south and east, which may have held tributary status. Bindusara's kingdom was inherited by his son Ashoka the Great who initially sought to expand his kingdom. In the aftermath of the carnage caused in the invasion of Kalinga, he renounced bloodshed and pursued a policy of non-violence or ahimsa after converting to Buddhism.

The Edicts of Ashoka are the oldest preserved historical documents of India, and from Ashoka's time, approximate dating of dynasties becomes possible. The Mauryan dynasty under Ashoka was responsible for the proliferation of Buddhist ideals across the whole of East Asia and South-East Asia, fundamentally altering the history and development of Asia as a whole. Ashoka's grandson Samprati adopted Jainism and helped spread Jainism.

The Golden Age

Regional Kingdoms

 

The middle period was a time of notable cultural development. The Satavahanas, also known as the Andhras, were a dynasty which ruled in Southern and Central India starting from around 230 BC. Satakarni, the sixth ruler of the Satvahana dynasty, defeated the Sunga dynasty of North India. Gautamiputra Satakarni was another notable ruler of the dynasty. Kuninda Kingdom was a small Himalayan state that survived from around 150 BC to roughly the 250 AD.

The Kushan empire was a Bactrian state of Ancient India and the Kushanas, who invaded north-western India in c50 AD, from Central Asia. The Kushan empire stretched from Peshawar to the middle Ganges and, perhaps, as far as the Bay of Bengal. It included ancient Bactria (in the north of modern Afghanistan), Pakistan, and southern Tajikistan. The Kushan people are believed to have been Indo-Europeans. The Kushans had diplomatic contacts with Rome, Persia and China, and for several centuries were at the center of exchange between the East and the West.

The Western Satraps (35-405 AD) were Saka rulers of the western and central part of India. The Western Satraps were the successors of the Indo-Scythians. They were contemporaries of both the Kushans who ruled the northern part of the Indian subcontinent, and of the Satavahana (Andhra) who ruled in Central India.

Different empires dominated the southern part of the Indian peninsula, at different periods of time. Several southern kingdoms formed overseas empires that stretched across South East Asia. The kingdoms warred with each other and Deccan states, for domination of the south. Kalabhras, a Buddhist kingdom, briefly interrupted the usual domination of the Cholas, Cheras and Pandyas in the South. In the 4th and 5th centuries, the Gupta Dynasty unified northern India. Hindu culture, science and political administration reached new heights.

The classical age in India began with the resurgence of the north during Harsha's conquests in c600, and ended with the fall of the Vijayanagar Empire in the South, due to pressure from the invaders to the north in the 13th century. This period produced some of India's finest art, considered the epitome of classical development, and the development of the main spiritual and philosophical systems which continued to be in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.

Islamic India

After the Arab-Turkic invasion of India's ancient northern neighbour Persia, expanding forces in that area were keen to invade India, which was the richest classical civilization, with the only known diamond mines in the world. After resistance for a few centuries by various north Indian kingdoms, short lived Islamic empires invaded and spread across the northern subcontinent over a period of a few centuries. Prior to Turkic invasions, Muslim trading communities flourished throughout coastal South India, particularly in Kerala, where they arrived in small numbers through trade links via the Indian Ocean with the Arabian peninsula, however, this marked the largescale introduction of western religion into the primarily dharmic culture of India, often in puritanical form. Bahmani Sultanate and Deccan sultanates flourished in the south.

In the 12th and 13th centuries, Arabs, Turks and Afghans invaded parts of northern India and established the Delhi Sultanate at the beginning of the 13th century, from former Rajput holdings. The subsequent Slave dynasty of Delhi managed to conquer large areas of northern India, approximate to the ancient extent of the Guptas, while the Khilji Empire was also able to conquer most of central India, but were ultimately unsuccessful in conquering most of the subcontinent. The Sultanate ushered in a period of Indian cultural renaissance. The resulting "Indo-Muslim" fusion left lasting monuments in architecture, music, literature, and religion. It is surmised that the language of Urdu (literally meaning "horde" or "camp" in various Turkic dialects) was born during the Delhi Sultanate period as a result of the mingling of Sanskritic prakrits and the Persian, Turkish and Arabic favored by the Muslim rulers. The Delhi Sultanate is the only Sultanate to stake a claim to possessing one of the few female rulers in India, Razia Sultan (1236-1240).

The Mughals

Shah Jahan's Taj Mahal

 

Mughal is the Persian word for Mongol and was generally used to refer to Central Asian nomads who claimed descent from the Mongol warriors of Genghis Khan. In 1526, Babur, a Timurid (Turco-Persian) descendant of Timur, swept across the Khyber Pass and established the Mughal Empire, which lasted for over 200 years. The Mughal Dynasty ruled most of the Indian subcontinent by 1600; it went into a slow decline after 1707 and was finally defeated during the Indian rebellion of 1857. This period marked vast social change in the subcontinent as the Hindu majority were ruled over by the Mughal emperors, some of whom showed religious tolerance, liberally patronising Hindu culture, and some of whom destroyed historical temples and imposed taxes on non-Muslims. During the decline of the Mughal Empire, which at its peak occupied an area slightly larger than the ancient Maurya Empire, several smaller empires rose to fill the power vacuum or themselves were contributing factors to the decline. The Mughals were perhaps the richest single dynasty to have ever existed.

Babur's son Humayun succeeded him in 1530 but suffered major reversals at the hands of the Pashtun Sher Shah Suri and effectively lost most of the fledgling empire before it could grow beyond a minor regional state. From 1540 onwards, Humayun became a ruler in exile, reaching the Court of the Persian Safavid ruler in 1542 while his forces still controlled some fortresses and small regions. But when the Afghans fell into disarray with the death of Sher Shah Suri, Humayun returned with a mixed army, raised more troops and managed to reconquer Delhi in 1555.

Humayun's son Akbar was an infant when Humayun decided to cross the rough terrain of Makuran with his wife, and so was left behind to keep him from the rigors of the long journey. Since he did not go to Persia with his parents, he was eventually transported from the fortress in the Sind where he was born to be raised for a time by his uncle Askari Mirza, Khan in the rugged country of Afghanistan. There Akbar became an excellent outdoorsman, horseman, hunter and learned how to be a warrior.

After the resurgent Humayan conquered the central plateau about Delhi, he was killed a few months later in an accident, leaving an unsettled realm still involved in war. Akbar (1556-1605) succeeded his father on 14 February 1556, while in the midst of a war against Sikandar Shah for the reclamation of the Mughal throne. Akbar soon recorded his first victory as a 13-year old, while his support began to grow. Akbar was a wise ruler, set fair but steep taxes based on the production in each area and set at 33% of the agricultural produce. Akbar also set up an efficient bureaucracy and was tolerant of religious differences which softened the resistance by the conquered.

During the Mughal era, the dominant political forces consisted of the Mughal Empire, its tributaries, and later on the rise of its successor states, including the Maratha confederacy, who fought an increasingly weak and disfavoured Mughal dynasty.The Mughals, while often employing brutal tactics to subjugate their empire, had a policy of integration with Indian culture, which is what made them successful where the short-lived Sultanates of Delhi had failed. Akbar the Great was particularly famed for this. Akbar declared "Amari" or non-killing of animals in the holy days of Jainism. He rolled back the Jazia Tax for non-Muslims. The Mughal Emperors married local royalty, allied themselves with local Maharajas, and attempted to fuse their Turko-Persian culture with ancient Indian styles, creating unique Indo-Saracenic architecture. It was the erosion of this tradition coupled with increased brutality and centralisation that played a large part in their downfall after Aurangzeb, who unlike previous emperors, imposed relatively non-pluralistic policies on the general population, that often inflamed the majority Hindu population.

The British Raj

The British Honourable East India Company (HEIC) had been given permission by the Mughal emperor Jahangir Padshah in 1617 to trade in India. Gradually their increasing influence led the Mughal emperor Farrukh Siyar to grant them dastaks or permits for duty free trade in Bengal in 1717. The Nawab of Bengal Siraj Ud Daulah, the ruler of the Bengal province, opposed British attempts to use these permits. This led to the Battle of Plassey in 1757, in which the HEIC army, led by Robert Clive, defeated the Nawab. This was the first political foothold that the British acquired in India. Clive became the first Governor of Bengal in 1757. After the Battle of Buxar in 1764, the Company acquired the civil rights of administration in Bengal from the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II, beginning its formal rule in India. The East India Company monopolized the trade of Bengal. They introduced a land taxation system called the Permanent Settlement which introduced a feudal like structure in Bengal. By the 1850s, the East India Company controlled most of the Indian sub-continent, which included present-day Pakistan and Bangladesh. Their policy was often summarised as Divide and Rule, taking advantage of the enmity between various princely states and social and religious groups. The British, of course, resolved their problem by leaving.

ENDNOTES

1          List of Indian inventions at, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Indian/Hindu_inventions.

2          Adapted from Grahame Clark, World Prehistory, In New Perspective, pp. 250-287; and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indus_Valley_Civilization;.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_India; Images from Wikipedia. As to how old the Indian culture is, see Adam's Bridge at, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam%27s_Bridge#Geological_evolution_and_age; and NASA Images Discover Ancient Bridge between India and Sri Lanka at, http://krishna.org/nasa-images-discover-ancient-bridge-between-india-and-sri-lanka/, dated December 30, 2008. "...Space images taken by NASA reveal a mysterious ancient bridge in the Palk Strait between India and Sri Lanka.... The bridge’s unique curvature and composition by age reveals that it is man made. The legends as well as Archeological studies reveal that the first signs of human inhabitants in Sri Lanka date back to the a primitive age, about 1,750,000 years ago and the bridge’s age is also almost equivalent." More restrained estimates vary considerably and suggest natural origins. The bridge was first attested historically by Ibn Khordadbeh in his Book of Roads and Kingdoms, written c850.

3          Maps are from Image:World 2000 BC at, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:World_2000_BC.svg; History of India at, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_India; Kushan Empire at, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kushan_Empire; and U of Texas at, http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/middle_east_and_asia/india_rel96.jpg;

home · introduction · genealogy · background · maps · bibliography · search · contact