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Science and technology in ancient India

Science and technology in ancient India

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The history of science and technology in the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
The Indian subcontinent, also Indian Subcontinent, Indo-Pak Subcontinent or South Asian Subcontinent is a region of the Asian continent on the Indian tectonic plate from the Hindu Kush or Hindu Koh, Himalayas and including the Kuen Lun and Karakoram ranges, forming a land mass which extends...

begins with prehistoric human activity at Mehrgarh
Mehrgarh
Mehrgarh , one of the most important Neolithic sites in archaeology, lies on the "Kachi plain" of Balochistan, Pakistan...

, in present-day Pakistan, and continues through the Indus Valley Civilization
Indus Valley Civilization
The Indus Valley Civilization was a Bronze Age civilization that was located in the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent, consisting of what is now mainly modern-day Pakistan and northwest India...

 to early states and empires. The British colonial rule
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

 introduced some elements of western education in India. Following independence science and technology in the Republic of India
Science and technology in the Republic of India
Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India , initiated reforms to promote higher education, science, technology in India...

 has included automobile engineering, information technology, communications
Communications in India
The Republic of India possesses a diversified communications system that links all parts of the country by Internet, telephone, telegraph, radio, and television...

 as well as space
Indian Space Research Organisation
The Indian Space Research Organisation is an independent Indian governmental agency established in 1969 for the research and development of vehicles and activities for the exploration of space within and outside of Earth’s atmosphere. Headquartered in Bangalore...

, polar
Indian Antarctic Program
The Indian Antarctic Program is a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional program under the control of the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India. It was initiated in 1981 with the first Indian expedition to Antarctica...

, and nuclear sciences
Nuclear power in India
Nuclear power is the fourth-largest source of electricity in India after thermal, hydroelectric and renewable sources of electricity. As of 2010, India has 20 nuclear reactors in operation in six nuclear power plants, generating 4,780 MW while seven other reactors are under construction and...

.

Prehistory



By 5500 BCE a number of sites similar to Mehrgarh had appeared, forming the basis of later chalcolithic cultures. The inhabitants of these sites maintained trading relations with Near East
Near East
The Near East is a geographical term that covers different countries for geographers, archeologists, and historians, on the one hand, and for political scientists, economists, and journalists, on the other...

 and Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

.

Irrigation
Irrigation
Irrigation may be defined as the science of artificial application of water to the land or soil. It is used to assist in the growing of agricultural crops, maintenance of landscapes, and revegetation of disturbed soils in dry areas and during periods of inadequate rainfall...

 was developed in the Indus Valley Civilization by around 4500 BCE. The size and prosperity of the Indus civilization grew as a result of this innovation, which eventually led to more planned settlements making use of drainage
Drainage
Drainage is the natural or artificial removal of surface and sub-surface water from an area. Many agricultural soils need drainage to improve production or to manage water supplies.-Early history:...

 and sewerage
Sewerage
Sewerage refers to the infrastructure that conveys sewage. It encompasses receiving drains, manholes, pumping stations, storm overflows, screening chambers, etc. of the sanitary sewer...

. Sophisticated irrigation and water storage systems were developed by the Indus Valley Civilization, including artificial reservoir
Reservoir
A reservoir , artificial lake or dam is used to store water.Reservoirs may be created in river valleys by the construction of a dam or may be built by excavation in the ground or by conventional construction techniques such as brickwork or cast concrete.The term reservoir may also be used to...

s at Girnar
Girnar
Girnar is a collection of mountains in the Junagadh District of Gujarat, India, situated near Junagadh at a distance of 327 km from Ahmedabad. It is a holy place and an important pilgrimage for both Hindus and Jains. There are a number of temples located here. Amidst the lush green Gir...

 dated to 3000 BCE, and an early canal
Canal
Canals are man-made channels for water. There are two types of canal:#Waterways: navigable transportation canals used for carrying ships and boats shipping goods and conveying people, further subdivided into two kinds:...

 irrigation system from circa 2600 BCE. Cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

 was cultivated in the region by the 5th millennium BCE—4th millennium BCE. Sugarcane
Sugarcane
Sugarcane refers to any of six to 37 species of tall perennial grasses of the genus Saccharum . Native to the warm temperate to tropical regions of South Asia, they have stout, jointed, fibrous stalks that are rich in sugar, and measure two to six metres tall...

 was originally from tropical South and Southeast Asia. Different species likely originated in different locations with S. barberi originating in India and S. edule and S. officinarum coming from New Guinea
New Guinea
New Guinea is the world's second largest island, after Greenland, covering a land area of 786,000 km2. Located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, it lies geographically to the east of the Malay Archipelago, with which it is sometimes included as part of a greater Indo-Australian Archipelago...

.

The inhabitants of the Indus valley developed a system of standardization
Standardization
Standardization is the process of developing and implementing technical standards.The goals of standardization can be to help with independence of single suppliers , compatibility, interoperability, safety, repeatability, or quality....

, using weights and measures, evident by the excavations made at the Indus valley sites. This technical standardization enabled gauging devices to be effectively used in angular measurement and measurement for construction. Calibration
Calibration
Calibration is a comparison between measurements – one of known magnitude or correctness made or set with one device and another measurement made in as similar a way as possible with a second device....

 was also found in measuring devices along with multiple subdivisions in case of some devices. The world's first dock
Dock (maritime)
A dock is a human-made structure or group of structures involved in the handling of boats or ships, usually on or close to a shore.However, the exact meaning varies among different variants of the English language...

 at Lothal
Lothal
Lothal is one of the most prominent cities of the ancient Indus valley civilization. Located in Bhāl region of the modern state of Gujarāt and dating from 2400 BCE. Discovered in 1954, Lothal was excavated from February 13, 1955 to May 19, 1960 by the Archaeological Survey of India...

 (2400 BCE) was located away from the main current to avoid deposition of silt. Modern oceanographers have observed that the Harappan
Harappan
Harappan can refer to:* Aspects related to Harappa an archaeological site and city in northeast Pakistan* The Indus Valley Civilization that thrived along Indus River...

s must have possessed knowledge relating to tides in order to build such a dock on the ever-shifting course of the Sabarmati, as well as exemplary hydrography
Hydrography
Hydrography is the measurement of the depths, the tides and currents of a body of water and establishment of the sea, river or lake bed topography and morphology. Normally and historically for the purpose of charting a body of water for the safe navigation of shipping...

 and maritime engineering. This was the earliest known dock found in the world, equipped to berth and service ships.

Excavations at Balakot
Balakot
Balakot , is a town in Mansehra District in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. The town was destroyed during the 2005 earthquake and later rebuilt with the assistance of the Government of Pakistan and Saudi Public Assistance for Pakistan Earthquake Victims , a Saudi relief organization...

 (c. 2500-1900 BC), present day Pakistan, have yielded evidence of an early furnace
Furnace
A furnace is a device used for heating. The name derives from Latin fornax, oven.In American English and Canadian English, the term furnace on its own is generally used to describe household heating systems based on a central furnace , and sometimes as a synonym for kiln, a device used in the...

. The furnace was most likely used for the manufacturing of ceramic
Ceramic
A ceramic is an inorganic, nonmetallic solid prepared by the action of heat and subsequent cooling. Ceramic materials may have a crystalline or partly crystalline structure, or may be amorphous...

 objects. Oven
Oven
An oven is a thermally insulated chamber used for the heating, baking or drying of a substance. It is most commonly used for cooking. Kilns, and furnaces are special-purpose ovens...

s, dating back to the civilization's mature phase (c. 2500-1900 BC), were also excavated at Balakot. The Kalibangan
Kalibangan
Kalibangān is a town located at on the left or southern banks of the Ghaggar , identified by some scholars with Sarasvati River in Tehsil Pilibangān, between Suratgarh and Hanumāngarh in Hanumangarh district, Rajasthan, India 205 km. from Bikaner...

 archeological site further yields evidence of potshaped hearth
Hearth
In common historic and modern usage, a hearth is a brick- or stone-lined fireplace or oven often used for cooking and/or heating. For centuries, the hearth was considered an integral part of a home, often its central or most important feature...

s, which at one site have been found both on ground and underground. Kiln
Kiln
A kiln is a thermally insulated chamber, or oven, in which a controlled temperature regime is produced. Uses include the hardening, burning or drying of materials...

s with fire and kiln chambers have also been found at the Kalibangan site.
Based on archaeological and textual evidence, Joseph E. Schwartzberg
Joseph E. Schwartzberg
Joseph E. Schwartzberg is a University of Minnesota professor emeritus of geography and prominent world federalist scholar.Schwartzberg was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1928. He has done significant work in seeking solutions to the Kashmir conflict. He also developed the idea of "weighted voting"...

 (2008)—a University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is a public research university located in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, United States. It is the oldest and largest part of the University of Minnesota system and has the fourth-largest main campus student body in the United States, with 52,557...

 professor emeritus of geography—traces the origins of Indian cartography to the Indus Valley Civilization (ca. 2500–1900 BCE). The use of large scale constructional plans, cosmological drawings, and cartographic material was known in India with some regularity since the Vedic period
Vedic period
The Vedic period was a period in history during which the Vedas, the oldest scriptures of Hinduism, were composed. The time span of the period is uncertain. Philological and linguistic evidence indicates that the Rigveda, the oldest of the Vedas, was composed roughly between 1700–1100 BCE, also...

 (1 millennium BCE). Climatic conditions were responsible for the destruction of most of the evidence, however, a number of excavated surveying instruments and measuring rods have yielded convincing evidence of early cartographic activity. Schwartzberg (2008)—on the subject of surviving maps—further holds that: 'Though not numerous, a number of map-like graffiti appear among the thousands of Stone Age Indian cave paintings; and at least one complex Mesolithic diagram is believed to be a representation of the cosmos.'

Archeological evidence of an animal-drawn plough
Plough
The plough or plow is a tool used in farming for initial cultivation of soil in preparation for sowing seed or planting. It has been a basic instrument for most of recorded history, and represents one of the major advances in agriculture...

 dates back to 2500 BC in the Indus Valley Civilization. The earliest available sword
Sword
A sword is a bladed weapon used primarily for cutting or thrusting. The precise definition of the term varies with the historical epoch or the geographical region under consideration...

s of copper discovered from the Harappan sites date back to 2300 BCE. Swords have been recovered in archaeological findings throughout the Ganges–Jamuna
Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh
Jaunpur is a city and a municipal board in Jaunpur district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.Jaunpur district is located to the northwest of the district of Varanasi in the eastern part of the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. According to the 2001 census, Jaunpur district had a population...

 Doab
Doab
A Doab is a term used in India and Pakistan for a "tongue" or tract of land lying between two confluent rivers...

 region of India, consisting of bronze
Bronze
Bronze is a metal alloy consisting primarily of copper, usually with tin as the main additive. It is hard and brittle, and it was particularly significant in antiquity, so much so that the Bronze Age was named after the metal...

 but more commonly copper.

Early kingdoms




The religious texts of the Vedic Period
Vedic period
The Vedic period was a period in history during which the Vedas, the oldest scriptures of Hinduism, were composed. The time span of the period is uncertain. Philological and linguistic evidence indicates that the Rigveda, the oldest of the Vedas, was composed roughly between 1700–1100 BCE, also...

 provide evidence for the use of large numbers
History of large numbers
Different cultures used different traditional numeral systems for naming large numbers. The extent of large numbers used varied in each culture....

. By the time of the last Veda, the
{{pp-semi|small=yes}}
The history of science and technology in the
Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
The Indian subcontinent, also Indian Subcontinent, Indo-Pak Subcontinent or South Asian Subcontinent is a region of the Asian continent on the Indian tectonic plate from the Hindu Kush or Hindu Koh, Himalayas and including the Kuen Lun and Karakoram ranges, forming a land mass which extends...

begins with prehistoric human activity at Mehrgarh
Mehrgarh
Mehrgarh , one of the most important Neolithic sites in archaeology, lies on the "Kachi plain" of Balochistan, Pakistan...

, in present-day Pakistan, and continues through the Indus Valley Civilization
Indus Valley Civilization
The Indus Valley Civilization was a Bronze Age civilization that was located in the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent, consisting of what is now mainly modern-day Pakistan and northwest India...

 to early states and empires. The British colonial rule
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

 introduced some elements of western education in India. Following independence science and technology in the Republic of India
Science and technology in the Republic of India
Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India , initiated reforms to promote higher education, science, technology in India...

 has included automobile engineering, information technology, communications
Communications in India
The Republic of India possesses a diversified communications system that links all parts of the country by Internet, telephone, telegraph, radio, and television...

 as well as space
Indian Space Research Organisation
The Indian Space Research Organisation is an independent Indian governmental agency established in 1969 for the research and development of vehicles and activities for the exploration of space within and outside of Earth’s atmosphere. Headquartered in Bangalore...

, polar
Indian Antarctic Program
The Indian Antarctic Program is a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional program under the control of the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India. It was initiated in 1981 with the first Indian expedition to Antarctica...

, and nuclear sciences
Nuclear power in India
Nuclear power is the fourth-largest source of electricity in India after thermal, hydroelectric and renewable sources of electricity. As of 2010, India has 20 nuclear reactors in operation in six nuclear power plants, generating 4,780 MW while seven other reactors are under construction and...

.

Prehistory



By 5500 BCE a number of sites similar to Mehrgarh had appeared, forming the basis of later chalcolithic cultures. The inhabitants of these sites maintained trading relations with Near East
Near East
The Near East is a geographical term that covers different countries for geographers, archeologists, and historians, on the one hand, and for political scientists, economists, and journalists, on the other...

 and Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

.

Irrigation
Irrigation
Irrigation may be defined as the science of artificial application of water to the land or soil. It is used to assist in the growing of agricultural crops, maintenance of landscapes, and revegetation of disturbed soils in dry areas and during periods of inadequate rainfall...

 was developed in the Indus Valley Civilization by around 4500 BCE. The size and prosperity of the Indus civilization grew as a result of this innovation, which eventually led to more planned settlements making use of drainage
Drainage
Drainage is the natural or artificial removal of surface and sub-surface water from an area. Many agricultural soils need drainage to improve production or to manage water supplies.-Early history:...

 and sewerage
Sewerage
Sewerage refers to the infrastructure that conveys sewage. It encompasses receiving drains, manholes, pumping stations, storm overflows, screening chambers, etc. of the sanitary sewer...

. Sophisticated irrigation and water storage systems were developed by the Indus Valley Civilization, including artificial reservoir
Reservoir
A reservoir , artificial lake or dam is used to store water.Reservoirs may be created in river valleys by the construction of a dam or may be built by excavation in the ground or by conventional construction techniques such as brickwork or cast concrete.The term reservoir may also be used to...

s at Girnar
Girnar
Girnar is a collection of mountains in the Junagadh District of Gujarat, India, situated near Junagadh at a distance of 327 km from Ahmedabad. It is a holy place and an important pilgrimage for both Hindus and Jains. There are a number of temples located here. Amidst the lush green Gir...

 dated to 3000 BCE, and an early canal
Canal
Canals are man-made channels for water. There are two types of canal:#Waterways: navigable transportation canals used for carrying ships and boats shipping goods and conveying people, further subdivided into two kinds:...

 irrigation system from circa 2600 BCE. Cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

 was cultivated in the region by the 5th millennium BCE—4th millennium BCE. Sugarcane
Sugarcane
Sugarcane refers to any of six to 37 species of tall perennial grasses of the genus Saccharum . Native to the warm temperate to tropical regions of South Asia, they have stout, jointed, fibrous stalks that are rich in sugar, and measure two to six metres tall...

 was originally from tropical South and Southeast Asia. Different species likely originated in different locations with S. barberi originating in India and S. edule and S. officinarum coming from New Guinea
New Guinea
New Guinea is the world's second largest island, after Greenland, covering a land area of 786,000 km2. Located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, it lies geographically to the east of the Malay Archipelago, with which it is sometimes included as part of a greater Indo-Australian Archipelago...

.

The inhabitants of the Indus valley developed a system of standardization
Standardization
Standardization is the process of developing and implementing technical standards.The goals of standardization can be to help with independence of single suppliers , compatibility, interoperability, safety, repeatability, or quality....

, using weights and measures, evident by the excavations made at the Indus valley sites. This technical standardization enabled gauging devices to be effectively used in angular measurement and measurement for construction. Calibration
Calibration
Calibration is a comparison between measurements – one of known magnitude or correctness made or set with one device and another measurement made in as similar a way as possible with a second device....

 was also found in measuring devices along with multiple subdivisions in case of some devices. The world's first dock
Dock (maritime)
A dock is a human-made structure or group of structures involved in the handling of boats or ships, usually on or close to a shore.However, the exact meaning varies among different variants of the English language...

 at Lothal
Lothal
Lothal is one of the most prominent cities of the ancient Indus valley civilization. Located in Bhāl region of the modern state of Gujarāt and dating from 2400 BCE. Discovered in 1954, Lothal was excavated from February 13, 1955 to May 19, 1960 by the Archaeological Survey of India...

 (2400 BCE) was located away from the main current to avoid deposition of silt. Modern oceanographers have observed that the Harappan
Harappan
Harappan can refer to:* Aspects related to Harappa an archaeological site and city in northeast Pakistan* The Indus Valley Civilization that thrived along Indus River...

s must have possessed knowledge relating to tides in order to build such a dock on the ever-shifting course of the Sabarmati, as well as exemplary hydrography
Hydrography
Hydrography is the measurement of the depths, the tides and currents of a body of water and establishment of the sea, river or lake bed topography and morphology. Normally and historically for the purpose of charting a body of water for the safe navigation of shipping...

 and maritime engineering. This was the earliest known dock found in the world, equipped to berth and service ships.

Excavations at Balakot
Balakot
Balakot , is a town in Mansehra District in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. The town was destroyed during the 2005 earthquake and later rebuilt with the assistance of the Government of Pakistan and Saudi Public Assistance for Pakistan Earthquake Victims , a Saudi relief organization...

 (c. 2500-1900 BC), present day Pakistan, have yielded evidence of an early furnace
Furnace
A furnace is a device used for heating. The name derives from Latin fornax, oven.In American English and Canadian English, the term furnace on its own is generally used to describe household heating systems based on a central furnace , and sometimes as a synonym for kiln, a device used in the...

. The furnace was most likely used for the manufacturing of ceramic
Ceramic
A ceramic is an inorganic, nonmetallic solid prepared by the action of heat and subsequent cooling. Ceramic materials may have a crystalline or partly crystalline structure, or may be amorphous...

 objects. Oven
Oven
An oven is a thermally insulated chamber used for the heating, baking or drying of a substance. It is most commonly used for cooking. Kilns, and furnaces are special-purpose ovens...

s, dating back to the civilization's mature phase (c. 2500-1900 BC), were also excavated at Balakot. The Kalibangan
Kalibangan
Kalibangān is a town located at on the left or southern banks of the Ghaggar , identified by some scholars with Sarasvati River in Tehsil Pilibangān, between Suratgarh and Hanumāngarh in Hanumangarh district, Rajasthan, India 205 km. from Bikaner...

 archeological site further yields evidence of potshaped hearth
Hearth
In common historic and modern usage, a hearth is a brick- or stone-lined fireplace or oven often used for cooking and/or heating. For centuries, the hearth was considered an integral part of a home, often its central or most important feature...

s, which at one site have been found both on ground and underground. Kiln
Kiln
A kiln is a thermally insulated chamber, or oven, in which a controlled temperature regime is produced. Uses include the hardening, burning or drying of materials...

s with fire and kiln chambers have also been found at the Kalibangan site.
Based on archaeological and textual evidence, Joseph E. Schwartzberg
Joseph E. Schwartzberg
Joseph E. Schwartzberg is a University of Minnesota professor emeritus of geography and prominent world federalist scholar.Schwartzberg was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1928. He has done significant work in seeking solutions to the Kashmir conflict. He also developed the idea of "weighted voting"...

 (2008)—a University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is a public research university located in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, United States. It is the oldest and largest part of the University of Minnesota system and has the fourth-largest main campus student body in the United States, with 52,557...

 professor emeritus of geography—traces the origins of Indian cartography to the Indus Valley Civilization (ca. 2500–1900 BCE). The use of large scale constructional plans, cosmological drawings, and cartographic material was known in India with some regularity since the Vedic period
Vedic period
The Vedic period was a period in history during which the Vedas, the oldest scriptures of Hinduism, were composed. The time span of the period is uncertain. Philological and linguistic evidence indicates that the Rigveda, the oldest of the Vedas, was composed roughly between 1700–1100 BCE, also...

 (1 millennium BCE). Climatic conditions were responsible for the destruction of most of the evidence, however, a number of excavated surveying instruments and measuring rods have yielded convincing evidence of early cartographic activity. Schwartzberg (2008)—on the subject of surviving maps—further holds that: 'Though not numerous, a number of map-like graffiti appear among the thousands of Stone Age Indian cave paintings; and at least one complex Mesolithic diagram is believed to be a representation of the cosmos.'

Archeological evidence of an animal-drawn plough
Plough
The plough or plow is a tool used in farming for initial cultivation of soil in preparation for sowing seed or planting. It has been a basic instrument for most of recorded history, and represents one of the major advances in agriculture...

 dates back to 2500 BC in the Indus Valley Civilization. The earliest available sword
Sword
A sword is a bladed weapon used primarily for cutting or thrusting. The precise definition of the term varies with the historical epoch or the geographical region under consideration...

s of copper discovered from the Harappan sites date back to 2300 BCE. Swords have been recovered in archaeological findings throughout the Ganges–Jamuna
Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh
Jaunpur is a city and a municipal board in Jaunpur district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.Jaunpur district is located to the northwest of the district of Varanasi in the eastern part of the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. According to the 2001 census, Jaunpur district had a population...

 Doab
Doab
A Doab is a term used in India and Pakistan for a "tongue" or tract of land lying between two confluent rivers...

 region of India, consisting of bronze
Bronze
Bronze is a metal alloy consisting primarily of copper, usually with tin as the main additive. It is hard and brittle, and it was particularly significant in antiquity, so much so that the Bronze Age was named after the metal...

 but more commonly copper.

Early kingdoms




The religious texts of the Vedic Period
Vedic period
The Vedic period was a period in history during which the Vedas, the oldest scriptures of Hinduism, were composed. The time span of the period is uncertain. Philological and linguistic evidence indicates that the Rigveda, the oldest of the Vedas, was composed roughly between 1700–1100 BCE, also...

 provide evidence for the use of large numbers
History of large numbers
Different cultures used different traditional numeral systems for naming large numbers. The extent of large numbers used varied in each culture....

. By the time of the last Veda, the
{{pp-semi|small=yes}}
The history of science and technology in the
Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
The Indian subcontinent, also Indian Subcontinent, Indo-Pak Subcontinent or South Asian Subcontinent is a region of the Asian continent on the Indian tectonic plate from the Hindu Kush or Hindu Koh, Himalayas and including the Kuen Lun and Karakoram ranges, forming a land mass which extends...

begins with prehistoric human activity at Mehrgarh
Mehrgarh
Mehrgarh , one of the most important Neolithic sites in archaeology, lies on the "Kachi plain" of Balochistan, Pakistan...

, in present-day Pakistan, and continues through the Indus Valley Civilization
Indus Valley Civilization
The Indus Valley Civilization was a Bronze Age civilization that was located in the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent, consisting of what is now mainly modern-day Pakistan and northwest India...

 to early states and empires. The British colonial rule
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

 introduced some elements of western education in India. Following independence science and technology in the Republic of India
Science and technology in the Republic of India
Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India , initiated reforms to promote higher education, science, technology in India...

 has included automobile engineering, information technology, communications
Communications in India
The Republic of India possesses a diversified communications system that links all parts of the country by Internet, telephone, telegraph, radio, and television...

 as well as space
Indian Space Research Organisation
The Indian Space Research Organisation is an independent Indian governmental agency established in 1969 for the research and development of vehicles and activities for the exploration of space within and outside of Earth’s atmosphere. Headquartered in Bangalore...

, polar
Indian Antarctic Program
The Indian Antarctic Program is a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional program under the control of the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India. It was initiated in 1981 with the first Indian expedition to Antarctica...

, and nuclear sciences
Nuclear power in India
Nuclear power is the fourth-largest source of electricity in India after thermal, hydroelectric and renewable sources of electricity. As of 2010, India has 20 nuclear reactors in operation in six nuclear power plants, generating 4,780 MW while seven other reactors are under construction and...

.

Prehistory



By 5500 BCE a number of sites similar to Mehrgarh had appeared, forming the basis of later chalcolithic cultures. The inhabitants of these sites maintained trading relations with Near East
Near East
The Near East is a geographical term that covers different countries for geographers, archeologists, and historians, on the one hand, and for political scientists, economists, and journalists, on the other...

 and Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

.

Irrigation
Irrigation
Irrigation may be defined as the science of artificial application of water to the land or soil. It is used to assist in the growing of agricultural crops, maintenance of landscapes, and revegetation of disturbed soils in dry areas and during periods of inadequate rainfall...

 was developed in the Indus Valley Civilization by around 4500 BCE. The size and prosperity of the Indus civilization grew as a result of this innovation, which eventually led to more planned settlements making use of drainage
Drainage
Drainage is the natural or artificial removal of surface and sub-surface water from an area. Many agricultural soils need drainage to improve production or to manage water supplies.-Early history:...

 and sewerage
Sewerage
Sewerage refers to the infrastructure that conveys sewage. It encompasses receiving drains, manholes, pumping stations, storm overflows, screening chambers, etc. of the sanitary sewer...

. Sophisticated irrigation and water storage systems were developed by the Indus Valley Civilization, including artificial reservoir
Reservoir
A reservoir , artificial lake or dam is used to store water.Reservoirs may be created in river valleys by the construction of a dam or may be built by excavation in the ground or by conventional construction techniques such as brickwork or cast concrete.The term reservoir may also be used to...

s at Girnar
Girnar
Girnar is a collection of mountains in the Junagadh District of Gujarat, India, situated near Junagadh at a distance of 327 km from Ahmedabad. It is a holy place and an important pilgrimage for both Hindus and Jains. There are a number of temples located here. Amidst the lush green Gir...

 dated to 3000 BCE, and an early canal
Canal
Canals are man-made channels for water. There are two types of canal:#Waterways: navigable transportation canals used for carrying ships and boats shipping goods and conveying people, further subdivided into two kinds:...

 irrigation system from circa 2600 BCE. Cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

 was cultivated in the region by the 5th millennium BCE—4th millennium BCE. Sugarcane
Sugarcane
Sugarcane refers to any of six to 37 species of tall perennial grasses of the genus Saccharum . Native to the warm temperate to tropical regions of South Asia, they have stout, jointed, fibrous stalks that are rich in sugar, and measure two to six metres tall...

 was originally from tropical South and Southeast Asia. Different species likely originated in different locations with S. barberi originating in India and S. edule and S. officinarum coming from New Guinea
New Guinea
New Guinea is the world's second largest island, after Greenland, covering a land area of 786,000 km2. Located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, it lies geographically to the east of the Malay Archipelago, with which it is sometimes included as part of a greater Indo-Australian Archipelago...

.

The inhabitants of the Indus valley developed a system of standardization
Standardization
Standardization is the process of developing and implementing technical standards.The goals of standardization can be to help with independence of single suppliers , compatibility, interoperability, safety, repeatability, or quality....

, using weights and measures, evident by the excavations made at the Indus valley sites. This technical standardization enabled gauging devices to be effectively used in angular measurement and measurement for construction. Calibration
Calibration
Calibration is a comparison between measurements – one of known magnitude or correctness made or set with one device and another measurement made in as similar a way as possible with a second device....

 was also found in measuring devices along with multiple subdivisions in case of some devices. The world's first dock
Dock (maritime)
A dock is a human-made structure or group of structures involved in the handling of boats or ships, usually on or close to a shore.However, the exact meaning varies among different variants of the English language...

 at Lothal
Lothal
Lothal is one of the most prominent cities of the ancient Indus valley civilization. Located in Bhāl region of the modern state of Gujarāt and dating from 2400 BCE. Discovered in 1954, Lothal was excavated from February 13, 1955 to May 19, 1960 by the Archaeological Survey of India...

 (2400 BCE) was located away from the main current to avoid deposition of silt. Modern oceanographers have observed that the Harappan
Harappan
Harappan can refer to:* Aspects related to Harappa an archaeological site and city in northeast Pakistan* The Indus Valley Civilization that thrived along Indus River...

s must have possessed knowledge relating to tides in order to build such a dock on the ever-shifting course of the Sabarmati, as well as exemplary hydrography
Hydrography
Hydrography is the measurement of the depths, the tides and currents of a body of water and establishment of the sea, river or lake bed topography and morphology. Normally and historically for the purpose of charting a body of water for the safe navigation of shipping...

 and maritime engineering. This was the earliest known dock found in the world, equipped to berth and service ships.

Excavations at Balakot
Balakot
Balakot , is a town in Mansehra District in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. The town was destroyed during the 2005 earthquake and later rebuilt with the assistance of the Government of Pakistan and Saudi Public Assistance for Pakistan Earthquake Victims , a Saudi relief organization...

 (c. 2500-1900 BC), present day Pakistan, have yielded evidence of an early furnace
Furnace
A furnace is a device used for heating. The name derives from Latin fornax, oven.In American English and Canadian English, the term furnace on its own is generally used to describe household heating systems based on a central furnace , and sometimes as a synonym for kiln, a device used in the...

. The furnace was most likely used for the manufacturing of ceramic
Ceramic
A ceramic is an inorganic, nonmetallic solid prepared by the action of heat and subsequent cooling. Ceramic materials may have a crystalline or partly crystalline structure, or may be amorphous...

 objects. Oven
Oven
An oven is a thermally insulated chamber used for the heating, baking or drying of a substance. It is most commonly used for cooking. Kilns, and furnaces are special-purpose ovens...

s, dating back to the civilization's mature phase (c. 2500-1900 BC), were also excavated at Balakot. The Kalibangan
Kalibangan
Kalibangān is a town located at on the left or southern banks of the Ghaggar , identified by some scholars with Sarasvati River in Tehsil Pilibangān, between Suratgarh and Hanumāngarh in Hanumangarh district, Rajasthan, India 205 km. from Bikaner...

 archeological site further yields evidence of potshaped hearth
Hearth
In common historic and modern usage, a hearth is a brick- or stone-lined fireplace or oven often used for cooking and/or heating. For centuries, the hearth was considered an integral part of a home, often its central or most important feature...

s, which at one site have been found both on ground and underground. Kiln
Kiln
A kiln is a thermally insulated chamber, or oven, in which a controlled temperature regime is produced. Uses include the hardening, burning or drying of materials...

s with fire and kiln chambers have also been found at the Kalibangan site.
Based on archaeological and textual evidence, Joseph E. Schwartzberg
Joseph E. Schwartzberg
Joseph E. Schwartzberg is a University of Minnesota professor emeritus of geography and prominent world federalist scholar.Schwartzberg was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1928. He has done significant work in seeking solutions to the Kashmir conflict. He also developed the idea of "weighted voting"...

 (2008)—a University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is a public research university located in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, United States. It is the oldest and largest part of the University of Minnesota system and has the fourth-largest main campus student body in the United States, with 52,557...

 professor emeritus of geography—traces the origins of Indian cartography to the Indus Valley Civilization (ca. 2500–1900 BCE). The use of large scale constructional plans, cosmological drawings, and cartographic material was known in India with some regularity since the Vedic period
Vedic period
The Vedic period was a period in history during which the Vedas, the oldest scriptures of Hinduism, were composed. The time span of the period is uncertain. Philological and linguistic evidence indicates that the Rigveda, the oldest of the Vedas, was composed roughly between 1700–1100 BCE, also...

 (1 millennium BCE). Climatic conditions were responsible for the destruction of most of the evidence, however, a number of excavated surveying instruments and measuring rods have yielded convincing evidence of early cartographic activity. Schwartzberg (2008)—on the subject of surviving maps—further holds that: 'Though not numerous, a number of map-like graffiti appear among the thousands of Stone Age Indian cave paintings; and at least one complex Mesolithic diagram is believed to be a representation of the cosmos.'

Archeological evidence of an animal-drawn plough
Plough
The plough or plow is a tool used in farming for initial cultivation of soil in preparation for sowing seed or planting. It has been a basic instrument for most of recorded history, and represents one of the major advances in agriculture...

 dates back to 2500 BC in the Indus Valley Civilization. The earliest available sword
Sword
A sword is a bladed weapon used primarily for cutting or thrusting. The precise definition of the term varies with the historical epoch or the geographical region under consideration...

s of copper discovered from the Harappan sites date back to 2300 BCE. Swords have been recovered in archaeological findings throughout the Ganges–Jamuna
Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh
Jaunpur is a city and a municipal board in Jaunpur district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.Jaunpur district is located to the northwest of the district of Varanasi in the eastern part of the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. According to the 2001 census, Jaunpur district had a population...

 Doab
Doab
A Doab is a term used in India and Pakistan for a "tongue" or tract of land lying between two confluent rivers...

 region of India, consisting of bronze
Bronze
Bronze is a metal alloy consisting primarily of copper, usually with tin as the main additive. It is hard and brittle, and it was particularly significant in antiquity, so much so that the Bronze Age was named after the metal...

 but more commonly copper.

Early kingdoms




The religious texts of the Vedic Period
Vedic period
The Vedic period was a period in history during which the Vedas, the oldest scriptures of Hinduism, were composed. The time span of the period is uncertain. Philological and linguistic evidence indicates that the Rigveda, the oldest of the Vedas, was composed roughly between 1700–1100 BCE, also...

 provide evidence for the use of large numbers
History of large numbers
Different cultures used different traditional numeral systems for naming large numbers. The extent of large numbers used varied in each culture....

. By the time of the last Veda, the {{IAST
Yajurveda
The Yajurveda, a tatpurusha compound of "sacrificial formula', + ) is the third of the four canonical texts of Hinduism, the Vedas. By some, it is estimated to have been composed between 1400 and 1000 BC, the Yajurveda 'Samhita', or 'compilation', contains the liturgy needed to perform the...

 (1200-900 BCE), numbers as high as were being included in the texts. For example, the mantra
Mantra
A mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation"...

 (sacrificial formula) at the end of the annahoma ("food-oblation rite") performed during the aśvamedha
Ashvamedha
The Ashvamedha was one of the most important royal rituals of Vedic religion, described in detail in the Yajurveda...

 ("horse sacrifice"), and uttered just before-, during-, and just after sunrise, invokes powers of ten from a hundred to a trillion. The Satapatha Brahmana (9th century BCE) contains rules for ritual geometric constructions that are similar to the Sulba Sutras.

Baudhayana
Baudhayana
Baudhāyana, was an Indian mathematician, whowas most likely also a priest. He is noted as the author of the earliest Sulba Sūtra—appendices to the Vedas giving rules for the construction of altars—called the , which contained several important mathematical results. He is older than the other...

 (c. 8th century BCE) composed the Baudhayana Sulba Sutra, which contains examples of simple Pythagorean triples, such as: , , , , and as well as a statement of the Pythagorean theorem
Pythagorean theorem
In mathematics, the Pythagorean theorem or Pythagoras' theorem is a relation in Euclidean geometry among the three sides of a right triangle...

 for the sides of a square: "The rope which is stretched across the diagonal of a square produces an area double the size of the original square." It also contains the general statement of the Pythagorean theorem (for the sides of a rectangle): "The rope stretched along the length of the diagonal of a rectangle makes an area which the vertical and horizontal sides make together." Baudhayana gives a formula for the square root of two. Mesopotamian influence at this stage is considered likely.

The earliest Indian astronomical text—named {{IAST
Vedanga Jyotisha
The ' is an Indian text on Jyotisha, redacted by Lagadha .The text is foundational to the Vedanga discipline of Jyotisha. It is dated to the final centuries BCE...

—dates back to between the 6th and 4th centuries BC, and details several astronomical attributes generally applied for timing social and religious events.{{Verify source|date=July 2011}} The {{IAST|Vedānga Jyotiṣa}} also details astronomical calculations, calendrical studies, and establishes rules for empirical observation. Since the {{IAST|Vedānga Jyotiṣa}} is a religious text, it has connections with Indian astrology and details several important aspects of the time and seasons, including lunar months, solar months, and their adjustment by a lunar leap month of Adhimāsa. Ritus and Yuga
Yuga
Yuga in Hindu philosophy is the name of an 'epoch' or 'era' within a cycle of four ages. These are the Satya Yuga, the Treta Yuga, the Dvapara Yuga, and finally the Kali Yuga. According to Hindu cosmology, life in the universe is created, destroyed once every 4.1 to 8.2 billion years, which is...

s are also described. Tripathi (2008) holds that "Twenty-seven constellations, eclipses, seven planets, and twelve signs of the zodiac were also known at that time."

The Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

ian Papyrus of Kahun (1900 BCE) and literature of the Vedic period
Vedic period
The Vedic period was a period in history during which the Vedas, the oldest scriptures of Hinduism, were composed. The time span of the period is uncertain. Philological and linguistic evidence indicates that the Rigveda, the oldest of the Vedas, was composed roughly between 1700–1100 BCE, also...

 in India offer early records of veterinary medicine
Veterinary medicine
Veterinary Medicine is the branch of science that deals with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, disorder and injury in non-human animals...

. Kearns & Nash (2008) state that mention of leprosy
Leprosy
Leprosy or Hansen's disease is a chronic disease caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium lepromatosis. Named after physician Gerhard Armauer Hansen, leprosy is primarily a granulomatous disease of the peripheral nerves and mucosa of the upper respiratory tract; skin lesions...

 is described in the medical treatise Sushruta Samhita
Sushruta Samhita
The Sushruta Samhita is a Sanskrit text, attributed to one Sushruta, foundational to Ayurvedic medicine , with innovative chapters on surgery....

 (6th century BCE). However, The Oxford Illustrated Companion to Medicine holds that the mention of leprosy, as well as ritualistic cures for it, were described in the Hindu religious book Atharva-veda, written by 1500–1200 BCE. Cataract surgery
Cataract surgery
Cataract surgery is the removal of the natural lens of the eye that has developed an opacification, which is referred to as a cataract. Metabolic changes of the crystalline lens fibers over time lead to the development of the cataract and loss of transparency, causing impairment or loss of vision...

 was known to the physician Sushruta (6th century BCE). Traditional cataract surgery was performed with a special tool called the Jabamukhi Salaka, a curved needle used to loosen the lens and push the cataract out of the field of vision. The eye would later be soaked with warm butter and then bandaged. Though this method was successful, Susruta cautioned that it should only be used when necessary. The removal of cataract by surgery was also introduced into China from India.

During the 5th century BCE, the scholar Pāṇini had made several discoveries in the fields of phonetics
Phonetics
Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that comprises the study of the sounds of human speech, or—in the case of sign languages—the equivalent aspects of sign. It is concerned with the physical properties of speech sounds or signs : their physiological production, acoustic properties, auditory...

, phonology
Phonology
Phonology is, broadly speaking, the subdiscipline of linguistics concerned with the sounds of language. That is, it is the systematic use of sound to encode meaning in any spoken human language, or the field of linguistics studying this use...

, and morphology
Morphology (linguistics)
In linguistics, morphology is the identification, analysis and description, in a language, of the structure of morphemes and other linguistic units, such as words, affixes, parts of speech, intonation/stress, or implied context...

. Pāṇini's morphological analysis remained more advanced than any equivalent Western theory until the mid-20th Century . Metal
Metal
A metal , is an element, compound, or alloy that is a good conductor of both electricity and heat. Metals are usually malleable and shiny, that is they reflect most of incident light...

 currency
Currency
In economics, currency refers to a generally accepted medium of exchange. These are usually the coins and banknotes of a particular government, which comprise the physical aspects of a nation's money supply...

 was minted in India before 5th century BCE, with coinage (400 BCE—100 CE) being made of silver
Silver
Silver is a metallic chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal...

 and copper, bearing animal and plant symbols on them.

Zinc
Zinc
Zinc , or spelter , is a metallic chemical element; it has the symbol Zn and atomic number 30. It is the first element in group 12 of the periodic table. Zinc is, in some respects, chemically similar to magnesium, because its ion is of similar size and its only common oxidation state is +2...

 mines of Zawar, near Udaipur
Udaipur
Udaipur , also known as the City of Lakes, is a city, a Municipal Council and the administrative headquarters of the Udaipur district in the state of Rajasthan in western India. It is located southwest of the state capital, Jaipur, west of Kota, and northeast from Ahmedabad...

, Rajasthan
Rajasthan
Rājasthān the land of Rajasthanis, , is the largest state of the Republic of India by area. It is located in the northwest of India. It encompasses most of the area of the large, inhospitable Great Indian Desert , which has an edge paralleling the Sutlej-Indus river valley along its border with...

, were active during 400 BC. Diverse specimens of swords have been discovered in Fatehgarh
Fatehgarh
Fatehgarh is a cantonment town in Farrukhabad district in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. It is located on the right bank of the Ganges River. It is the administrative headquarters of Farrukhabad District. Fatehgarh derives its name from an old fort. It is a small city with no significant...

, where there are several varieties of hilt. These swords have been variously dated to periods between 1700-1400 BCE, but were probably used more extensively during the opening centuries of the 1st millennium
1st millennium
File:1st millennium montage.png|From left, clockwise: Depiction of Jesus, the central figure in Christianity; The Colosseum, a landmark of the once Roman Empire; Gunpowder is invented during the latter part of the millennium, in China; Chess, a new board game, takes on popularity across the globe;...

 BCE. Archaeological sites in such as Malhar
Malhar
Malhar is an old raga in Indian classical music. Malhar is associated with the atmosphere of torrential rains.- Legend :According to the legend, Malhar is so powerful that when sung, rain falls from the sky....

, Dadupur, Raja Nala Ka Tila and Lahuradewa in present day Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh abbreviation U.P. , is a state located in the northern part of India. With a population of over 200 million people, it is India's most populous state, as well as the world's most populous sub-national entity...

 show iron implements from the period between 1800 BC - 1200 BC. Early iron objects found in India can be dated to 1400 BC by employing the method of radio carbon dating. Some scholars believe that by the early 13th century BC
13th century BC
The 13th century BC was the period from 1300 to 1201 BC.-Events:*1300 BC: Cemetery H culture comes to an end.*1292 BC: End of the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt, start of the Nineteenth Dynasty....

 iron smelting was practiced on a bigger scale in India, suggesting that the date of the technology's inception may be placed earlier. In Southern India (present day Mysore) iron appeared as early as 11th
11th century BC
The 11th century BC comprises all years from 1100 BC to 1001 BC. Although many human societies were literate in this period, some of the individuals mentioned below may be considered legendary rather than fully historical.-Events:...

 to 12th centuries BC
12th century BC
-Overview:The 12th century BC is the period from 1200 to 1101 BC. Although many human societies were literate in this period, most individual persons mentioned in this article ought to be considered legendary rather than historical...

. These developments were too early for any significant close contact with the northwest of the country.

Post Maha Janapadas—High Middle Ages


The Arthashastra
Arthashastra
The Arthashastra is an ancient Indian treatise on statecraft, economic policy and military strategy which identifies its author by the names Kautilya and , who are traditionally identified with The Arthashastra (IAST: Arthaśāstra) is an ancient Indian treatise on statecraft, economic policy and...

 of Kautilya mentions the construction of dams and bridges. The use of suspension bridge
Suspension bridge
A suspension bridge is a type of bridge in which the deck is hung below suspension cables on vertical suspenders. Outside Tibet and Bhutan, where the first examples of this type of bridge were built in the 15th century, this type of bridge dates from the early 19th century...

s using plaited bamboo and iron chain was visible by about the 4th century. The stupa
Stupa
A stupa is a mound-like structure containing Buddhist relics, typically the remains of Buddha, used by Buddhists as a place of worship....

, the precursor of the pagoda
Pagoda
A pagoda is the general term in the English language for a tiered tower with multiple eaves common in Nepal, India, China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam and other parts of Asia. Some pagodas are used as Taoist houses of worship. Most pagodas were built to have a religious function, most commonly Buddhist,...

 and torii
Torii
A is a traditional Japanese gate most commonly found at the entrance of or within a Shinto shrine, where it symbolically marks the transition from the profane to the sacred...

, was constructed by the 3rd century BCE. Rock-cut step wells in the region date from 200-400 CE. Subsequently, the construction of wells at Dhank (550-625 CE) and stepped ponds at Bhinmal
Bhinmal
Bhinmal is a town in the Jalore District of Rajasthan, India. It is 72 km south of Jalore town. The name Bhinmal is derived from the word Shrimal.Bhinmal was old capital of the kingdom of the Gurjars during medieval period....

 (850-950 CE) took place.

During the 1st millennium BCE, the Vaisheshika
Vaisheshika
Vaisheshika or ' is one of the six Hindu schools of philosophy of India. Historically, it has been closely associated with the Hindu school of logic, Nyaya....

 school of atomism
Atomism
Atomism is a natural philosophy that developed in several ancient traditions. The atomists theorized that the natural world consists of two fundamental parts: indivisible atoms and empty void.According to Aristotle, atoms are indestructible and immutable and there are an infinite variety of shapes...

 was founded. The most important proponent of this school was Kanada
Kanada
It has been claimed that Kashyapa, later known as Kanada was a Hindu sage and philosopher who founded the philosophical school of Vaisheshika. He talked of Dvyanuka and tryanuka...

, an Indian philosopher
Indian philosophy
India has a rich and diverse philosophical tradition dating back to ancient times. According to Radhakrishnan, the earlier Upanisads constitute "...the earliest philosophical compositions of the world."...

 who lived around 200 BCE. The school proposed that atom
Atom
The atom is a basic unit of matter that consists of a dense central nucleus surrounded by a cloud of negatively charged electrons. The atomic nucleus contains a mix of positively charged protons and electrically neutral neutrons...

s are indivisible and eternal, can neither be created nor destroyed, and that each one possesses its own distinct {{IAST |viśeṣa}} (individuality). It was further elaborated on by the Buddhist school of atomism
Buddhist atomism
Buddhist atomism is a school of atomistic Buddhist philosophy that flourished on the Indian subcontinent during two major periods . During the first phase, which began to develop prior to the 4th century BCE, Buddhist atomism had a very qualitative, Aristotelian-style atomic theory. This form of...

, of which the philosophers Dharmakirti
Dharmakirti
Dharmakīrti , was an Indian scholar and one of the Buddhist founders of Indian philosophical logic. He was one of the primary theorists of Buddhist atomism, according to which the only items considered to exist are momentary states of consciousness.-History:Born around the turn of the 7th century,...

 and Dignāga
Dignaga
Dignāga was an Indian scholar and one of the Buddhist founders of Indian logic.He was born into a Brahmin family in Simhavakta near Kanchi Kanchipuram), and very little is known of his early years, except that he took as his spiritual preceptor Nagadatta of the Vatsiputriya school, before being...

 in the 7th century CE were the most important proponents. They considered atoms to be point-sized, durationless, and made of energy.

By the beginning of the Common Era
Common Era
Common Era ,abbreviated as CE, is an alternative designation for the calendar era originally introduced by Dionysius Exiguus in the 6th century, traditionally identified with Anno Domini .Dates before the year 1 CE are indicated by the usage of BCE, short for Before the Common Era Common Era...

 glass was being used for ornaments and casing in the region. Contact with the Greco-Roman world
Greco-Roman world
The Greco-Roman world, Greco-Roman culture, or the term Greco-Roman , when used as an adjective, as understood by modern scholars and writers, refers to those geographical regions and countries that culturally were directly, protractedly and intimately influenced by the language, culture,...

 added newer techniques, and local artisans learnt methods of glass molding, decorating and coloring by the early centuries of the Common Era. The Satavahana
Satavahana
The Sātavāhana Empire or Andhra Empire, was a royal Indian dynasty based from Dharanikota and Amaravati in Andhra Pradesh as well as Junnar and Prathisthan in Maharashtra. The territory of the empire covered much of India from 230 BCE onward...

 period further reveals short cylinders of composite glass, including those displaying a lemon yellow matrix covered with green glass. Wootz originated in the region before the beginning of the common era. Wootz was exported and traded throughout Europe, China, the Arab world, and became particularly famous in the Middle East, where it became known as Damascus steel
Damascus steel
Damascus steel was a term used by several Western cultures from the Medieval period onward to describe a type of steel used in swordmaking from about 300 BCE to 1700 CE. These swords are characterized by distinctive patterns of banding and mottling reminiscent of flowing water...

. Archaeological evidence suggests that manufacturing process for Wootz was also in existence in South India before the Christian era.

Evidence for using bow-instruments for carding
Carding
Carding is a mechanical process that breaks up locks and unorganised clumps of fibre and then aligns the individual fibres so that they are more or less parallel with each other. The word is derived from the Latin carduus meaning teasel, as dried vegetable teasels were first used to comb the raw wool...

 comes from India (2nd century CE). Early diamonds
Diamond (gemstone)
A diamond is one of the best-known and most sought-after gemstones...

 used as gemstones originated in India. Golconda
Golconda
Golconda may be:Places:* Golkonda, ruined city and fortress in India* Golconda, Illinois, town in the United States* Golconda, Nevada, former town in the United StatesOther:* Golconda...

 served as an important early center for diamond mining and processing. Diamonds were then exported to other parts of the world. Early reference to diamonds comes from Sanskrit texts. The Arthashastra also mentions diamond trade in the region. The Iron pillar of Delhi was erected at the times of Chandragupta II
Chandragupta II
Chandragupta II the Great, very often referred to as Vikramaditya or Chandragupta Vikramaditya in Sanskrit; was one of the most powerful emperors of the Gupta empire in northern India. His rule spanned c...

 Vikramaditya (375–413). The Rasaratna Samuccaya (800 AD) explains the existence of two types of ores for zinc metal, one of which is ideal for metal extraction while the other is used for medicinal purpose.
The origins of the spinning wheel
Spinning wheel
A spinning wheel is a device for spinning thread or yarn from natural or synthetic fibers. Spinning wheels appeared in Asia, probably in the 11th century, and very gradually replaced hand spinning with spindle and distaff...

 are unclear but India is one of the probable places of its origin. The device certainly reached Europe from India by the 14th century CE. The cotton gin was invented in India as a mechanical device known as charkhi, the "wooden-worm-worked roller". This mechanical device was, in some parts of the region, driven by water power. The Ajanta caves yield evidence of a single roller cotton gin
Cotton gin
A cotton gin is a machine that quickly and easily separates cotton fibers from their seeds, a job formerly performed painstakingly by hand...

 in use by the 5th century CE. This cotton gin was used until further innovations were made in form of foot powered gins. Chinese documents confirm at least two missions to India, initiated in 647, for obtaining technology for sugar-refining. Each mission returned with different results on refining sugar.

Pingala
Pingala
Pingala is the traditional name of the author of the ' , the earliest known Sanskrit treatise on prosody.Nothing is known about Piṅgala himself...

 (fl.
Floruit
Floruit , abbreviated fl. , is a Latin verb meaning "flourished", denoting the period of time during which something was active...

 300-200 BCE) was a musical theorist who authored a Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 treatise on prosody
Prosody (music)
In music, Prosody is the way the composer sets the text of a vocal composition in the assignment of syllables to notes in the melody to which the text is sung. For example, a songwriter might align downbeats or accents with stressed syllables or important words....

. There is evidence that in his work on the enumeration of syllabic combinations, Pingala stumbled upon both the Pascal triangle and Binomial coefficients, although he did not have knowledge of the Binomial theorem
Binomial theorem
In elementary algebra, the binomial theorem describes the algebraic expansion of powers of a binomial. According to the theorem, it is possible to expand the power n into a sum involving terms of the form axbyc, where the exponents b and c are nonnegative integers with , and the coefficient a of...

 itself. A description of binary numbers is also found in the works of Pingala. The use of negative numbers was known in early India, and their role in situations like mathematical problems of debt was understood. Consistent rules for working with these numbers were formulated. The diffusion of this concept led the Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 intermediaries to pass it to Europe.

The decimal number system originated in India. Other cultures discovered a few features of this number system but the system, in its entirety, was compiled in India, where it attained coherence and completion. By the 9th century CE, this complete number system had existed in India but several of its ideas were transmitted to China and the Islamic world before that time. The concept of 0 as a number, and not merely a symbol for separation is attributed to India. In India, practical calculations were carried out using zero, which was treated like any other number by the 9th century CE, even in case of division. Brahmagupta
Brahmagupta
Brahmagupta was an Indian mathematician and astronomer who wrote many important works on mathematics and astronomy. His best known work is the Brāhmasphuṭasiddhānta , written in 628 in Bhinmal...

 (598–668) was able to find (integral) solutions of Pell's equation
Pell's equation
Pell's equation is any Diophantine equation of the formx^2-ny^2=1\,where n is a nonsquare integer. The word Diophantine means that integer values of x and y are sought. Trivially, x = 1 and y = 0 always solve this equation...

. Conceptual design for a perpetual motion machine by Bhaskara II dates to 1150. He described a wheel that he claimed would run forever.

The trigonometric
Trigonometry
Trigonometry is a branch of mathematics that studies triangles and the relationships between their sides and the angles between these sides. Trigonometry defines the trigonometric functions, which describe those relationships and have applicability to cyclical phenomena, such as waves...

 functions of Sine
Sine
In mathematics, the sine function is a function of an angle. In a right triangle, sine gives the ratio of the length of the side opposite to an angle to the length of the hypotenuse.Sine is usually listed first amongst the trigonometric functions....

 and 'Versine
Versine
The versine or versed sine, versin, is a trigonometric function equal to and 2sin2. It appeared in some of the earliest trigonometric tables and was once widespread, but it is now little-used...

, from which it was trivial to derive the Cosine, were used by the mathematician, Aryabhata
Aryabhata
Aryabhata was the first in the line of great mathematician-astronomers from the classical age of Indian mathematics and Indian astronomy...

, in the late 5th century. The calculus
Calculus
Calculus is a branch of mathematics focused on limits, functions, derivatives, integrals, and infinite series. This subject constitutes a major part of modern mathematics education. It has two major branches, differential calculus and integral calculus, which are related by the fundamental theorem...

 theorem now known as "Rolle's theorem
Rolle's theorem
In calculus, Rolle's theorem essentially states that a differentiable function which attains equal values at two distinct points must have a point somewhere between them where the first derivative is zero.-Standard version of the theorem:If a real-valued function ƒ is continuous on a closed...

" was stated by mathematician, Bhāskara II, in the 12th century.
Indigo
Indigo
Indigo is a color named after the purple dye derived from the plant Indigofera tinctoria and related species. The color is placed on the electromagnetic spectrum between about 420 and 450 nm in wavelength, placing it between blue and violet...

 was used as a dye in India, which was also a major center for its production and processing. The Indigofera tinctoria variety of Indigo was domesticated in India. Indigo, used as a dye, made its way to the Greeks
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 and the Romans
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 via various trade routes, and was valued as a luxury product. The cashmere wool
Cashmere wool
Cashmere wool, usually simply known as cashmere, is a fiber obtained from Cashmere and other types of goats. The word cashmere derives from an old spelling of Kashmir. Cashmere is fine in texture, and strong, light, and soft. Garments made from it provide excellent...

 fiber, also known as pashm or pashmina, was used in the handmade shawls of Kashmir. The woolen shawls from Kashmir
Kashmir
Kashmir is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographically denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range...

 region find written mention between 3rd century BC and the 11th century CE. Crystallized sugar was discovered by the time of the Gupta dynasty, and the earliest reference to candied sugar comes from India. Jute
Jute
Jute is a long, soft, shiny vegetable fibre that can be spun into coarse, strong threads. It is produced from plants in the genus Corchorus, which has been classified in the family Tiliaceae, or more recently in Malvaceae....

 was also cultivated in India. Muslin
Muslin
Muslin |sewing patterns]], such as for clothing, curtains, or upholstery. Because air moves easily through muslin, muslin clothing is suitable for hot, dry climates.- Etymology and history :...

 was named after the city where Europeans first encountered it, Mosul
Mosul
Mosul , is a city in northern Iraq and the capital of the Ninawa Governorate, some northwest of Baghdad. The original city stands on the west bank of the Tigris River, opposite the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh on the east bank, but the metropolitan area has now grown to encompass substantial...

, in what is now Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, but the fabric actually originated from Dhaka
Dhaka
Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh and the principal city of Dhaka Division. Dhaka is a megacity and one of the major cities of South Asia. Located on the banks of the Buriganga River, Dhaka, along with its metropolitan area, had a population of over 15 million in 2010, making it the largest city...

 in what is now Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

. In the 9th century, an Arab merchant
Islamic economics in the world
Islamic economics in practice, or economic policies supported by self-identified Islamic groups, has varied throughout its long history. Traditional Islamic concepts having to do with economics included...

 named Sulaiman makes note of the material's origin in Bengal
Bengal
Bengal is a historical and geographical region in the northeast region of the Indian Subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal. Today, it is mainly divided between the sovereign land of People's Republic of Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, although some regions of the previous...

 (known as Ruhml in Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

).

Evidence of inoculation
Inoculation
Inoculation is the placement of something that will grow or reproduce, and is most commonly used in respect of the introduction of a serum, vaccine, or antigenic substance into the body of a human or animal, especially to produce or boost immunity to a specific disease...

 and variolation for smallpox
Smallpox
Smallpox was an infectious disease unique to humans, caused by either of two virus variants, Variola major and Variola minor. The disease is also known by the Latin names Variola or Variola vera, which is a derivative of the Latin varius, meaning "spotted", or varus, meaning "pimple"...

 is found in the 8th century, when Madhav
Madhav
Madhav was an 8th century Indian physician who wrote the Nidāna, which soon assumed a position of authority. In the 79 chapters of this book, he lists diseases along with their causes, symptoms, and complications. He also included a special chapter on smallpox .Ayurveda used a system of inoculation...

 wrote the Nidāna, a 79-chapter book which lists diseases along with their causes, symptoms, and complications. He included a special chapter on smallpox
Smallpox
Smallpox was an infectious disease unique to humans, caused by either of two virus variants, Variola major and Variola minor. The disease is also known by the Latin names Variola or Variola vera, which is a derivative of the Latin varius, meaning "spotted", or varus, meaning "pimple"...

 (masūrikā) and described the method of inoculation to protect against smallpox. European scholar Francesco I reproduced a number of Indian maps in his magnum opus La Cartografia Antica dell India. Out of these maps, two have been reproduced using a manuscript of Lokaprakasa, originally compiled by the polymath Ksemendra (Kashmir
Kashmir
Kashmir is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographically denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range...

, 11th century CE), as a source. The other manuscript, used as a source by Francesco I, is titled Samgraha'.

Late Middle Ages



Madhava of Sangamagrama
Madhava of Sangamagrama
Mādhava of Sañgamāgrama was a prominent Kerala mathematician-astronomer from the town of Irińńālakkuţa near Cochin, Kerala, India. He is considered the founder of the Kerala School of Astronomy and Mathematics...

 (c. 1340-1425) and his Kerala school of astronomy and mathematics developed and founded mathematical analysis
Mathematical analysis
Mathematical analysis, which mathematicians refer to simply as analysis, has its beginnings in the rigorous formulation of infinitesimal calculus. It is a branch of pure mathematics that includes the theories of differentiation, integration and measure, limits, infinite series, and analytic functions...

. The infinite series for π
Pi
' is a mathematical constant that is the ratio of any circle's circumference to its diameter. is approximately equal to 3.14. Many formulae in mathematics, science, and engineering involve , which makes it one of the most important mathematical constants...

 was stated by him and he made use of the series expansion of to obtain an infinite series expression, now known as the Madhava-Gregory series, for . Their rational approximation of the error for the finite sum of their series are of particular interest. They manipulated the error term to derive a faster converging series for . They used the improved series to derive a rational expression, for correct up to nine decimal places, i.e. .
The development of the series
Series (mathematics)
A series is the sum of the terms of a sequence. Finite sequences and series have defined first and last terms, whereas infinite sequences and series continue indefinitely....

 expansions for trigonometric function
Trigonometric function
In mathematics, the trigonometric functions are functions of an angle. They are used to relate the angles of a triangle to the lengths of the sides of a triangle...

s (sine, cosine, and arc tangent) was carried out by mathematicians of the Kerala School in the 15th century CE. Their work, completed two centuries before the invention of calculus
Calculus
Calculus is a branch of mathematics focused on limits, functions, derivatives, integrals, and infinite series. This subject constitutes a major part of modern mathematics education. It has two major branches, differential calculus and integral calculus, which are related by the fundamental theorem...

 in Europe, provided what is now considered the first example of a power series (apart from geometric series).

Shēr Shāh
Sher Shah Suri
Sher Shah Suri , birth name Farid Khan, also known as Sher Khan , was the founder of the short-lived Sur Empire in northern India, with its capital at Delhi, before its demise in the hands of the resurgent Mughal Empire...

 of northern India issued silver currency bearing Islamic motifs, later imitated by the Mughal empire
Mughal Empire
The Mughal Empire ,‎ or Mogul Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids...

. The Chinese merchant Ma Huan (1413–51) noted that gold coins, known as fanam, were issued in Cochin and weighed a total of one fen and one li according to the Chinese standards. They were of fine quality and could be exchanged in China for 15 silver coins of four-li weight each.

In 1500, Nilakantha Somayaji
Nilakantha Somayaji
Kelallur Nilakantha Somayaji was a major mathematician and astronomer of the Kerala school of astronomy and mathematics. One of his most influential works was the comprehensive astronomical treatise Tantrasamgraha completed in 1501...

 of the Kerala school of astronomy and mathematics, in his Tantrasangraha, revised Aryabhata's elliptical model for the planets Mercury and Venus. His equation of the centre for these planets remained the most accurate until the time of Johannes Kepler
Johannes Kepler
Johannes Kepler was a German mathematician, astronomer and astrologer. A key figure in the 17th century scientific revolution, he is best known for his eponymous laws of planetary motion, codified by later astronomers, based on his works Astronomia nova, Harmonices Mundi, and Epitome of Copernican...

 in the 17th century.

The Seamless celestial globe was invented in Kashmir by Ali Kashmiri ibn Luqman in 998 AH (1589-90 CE), and twenty other such globe
Globe
A globe is a three-dimensional scale model of Earth or other spheroid celestial body such as a planet, star, or moon...

s were later produced in Lahore
Lahore
Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in the country. With a rich and fabulous history dating back to over a thousand years ago, Lahore is no doubt Pakistan's cultural capital. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Lahore remains a...

 and Kashmir during the Mughal Empire
Mughal Empire
The Mughal Empire ,‎ or Mogul Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids...

. Before they were rediscovered in the 1980s, it was believed by modern metallurgists to be technically impossible to produce metal globes without any seams, even with modern technology. These Mughal metallurgists pioneered the method of lost-wax casting in order to produce these globes.
It was written in the Tarikh-i Firishta (1606–1607) that the envoy of the Mongol ruler Hulegu Khan was presented with a pyrotechnics
Pyrotechnics
Pyrotechnics is the science of using materials capable of undergoing self-contained and self-sustained exothermic chemical reactions for the production of heat, light, gas, smoke and/or sound...

 display upon his arrival in Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

 in 1258 CE. As a part of an embassy to India by Timur
Timur
Timur , historically known as Tamerlane in English , was a 14th-century conqueror of West, South and Central Asia, and the founder of the Timurid dynasty in Central Asia, and great-great-grandfather of Babur, the founder of the Mughal Dynasty, which survived as the Mughal Empire in India until...

id leader Shah Rukh (1405–1447), 'Abd al-Razzaq mentioned naphtha-throwers mounted on elephants and a variety of pyrotechnics put on display. Firearms known as top-o-tufak also existed in the Vijayanagara Empire
Vijayanagara Empire
The Vijayanagara Empire , referred as the Kingdom of Bisnaga by the Portuguese, was an empire based in South Indian in the Deccan Plateau region. It was established in 1336 by Harihara I and his brother Bukka Raya I of the Yadava lineage. The empire rose to prominence as a culmination of attempts...

 by as early as 1366 CE. From then on the employment of gunpowder warfare
Gunpowder warfare
Early modern warfare is associated with the start of the widespread use of gunpowder and the development of suitable weapons to use the explosive, including artillery and handguns such as the arquebus and later the musket, and for this reason the era is also summarized as the age of gunpowder...

 in the region was prevalent, with events such as the siege of Belgaum
Belgaum
Belgaum is a city and a municipal corporation in Belgaum district in the state of Karnataka, India. It is the fourth largest city of the state of Karnataka, the first three being Bangalore, Mysore, Hubli-Dharwad....

 in 1473 CE by the Sultan
Sultan
Sultan is a title with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic language abstract noun meaning "strength", "authority", "rulership", and "dictatorship", derived from the masdar سلطة , meaning "authority" or "power". Later, it came to be used as the title of certain rulers who...

 Muhammad Shah Bahmani.

In A History of Greek Fire and Gunpowder, James Riddick Partington describes Indian rockets, mines and other means of gunpowder warfare:

{{Quotation1|The Indian war rockets were formidable weapons before such rockets were used in Europe. They had bam-boo rods, a rocket-body lashed to the rod, and iron points. They were directed at the target and fired by lighting the fuse, but the trajectory was rather erratic. The use of mines and counter-mines with explosive charges of gunpowder is mentioned for the times of Akbar and Jahāngir.}}

By the 16th century, Indians were manufacturing a diverse variety of firearms; large guns in particular, became visible in Tanjore, Dacca, Bijapur
Adil Shahi
The Adil Shahi or Adilshahi dynasty ruled the Sultanate of Bijapur in the Western area of the Deccan region of Southern India from 1490 to 1686. Bijapur had been a province of the Bahmani Sultanate , before its political decline in the last quarter of the 15th century and eventual break-up in 1518...

 and Murshidabad
Murshidabad
Murshidabad is a city in Murshidabad district of West Bengal state in India. The city of Murshidabad is located on the southern bank of the Bhagirathi, a distributary of the Ganges River. It was the capital of undivided Bengal during the Mughal rule. Nawabs of Bengal used to rule Bengal from this...

. Guns made of bronze were recovered from Calicut (1504) and Diu (1533). Gujarāt supplied Europe saltpeter for use in gunpowder warfare during the 17th century. Bengal
Bengal
Bengal is a historical and geographical region in the northeast region of the Indian Subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal. Today, it is mainly divided between the sovereign land of People's Republic of Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, although some regions of the previous...

 and Mālwa participated in saltpeter production. The Dutch, French, Portuguese, and English used Chāpra
Chapra
Chapra can refer to the following:* Chapra, Nadia in Nadia district in the Indian state of West Bengal* Chapra, Nadia - assembly constituency in Nadia district in the Indian state of West Bengal...

 as a center of saltpeter refining.

The construction of water works and aspects of water technology in India is described in Arabic and Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 works. During medieval times, the diffusion of Indian and Persian irrigation technologies gave rise to an advanced irrigation system which bought about economic growth and also helped in the growth of material culture. The founder of the cashmere wool
Cashmere wool
Cashmere wool, usually simply known as cashmere, is a fiber obtained from Cashmere and other types of goats. The word cashmere derives from an old spelling of Kashmir. Cashmere is fine in texture, and strong, light, and soft. Garments made from it provide excellent...

 industry is traditionally held to be the 15th century ruler of Kashmir, Zayn-ul-Abidin, who introduced weavers from Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

.

The scholar Sadiq Isfahani of Jaunpur
Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh
Jaunpur is a city and a municipal board in Jaunpur district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.Jaunpur district is located to the northwest of the district of Varanasi in the eastern part of the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. According to the 2001 census, Jaunpur district had a population...

 compiled an atlas
Atlas
An atlas is a collection of maps; it is typically a map of Earth or a region of Earth, but there are atlases of the other planets in the Solar System. Atlases have traditionally been bound into book form, but today many atlases are in multimedia formats...

 of the parts of the world which he held to be 'suitable for human life'. The 32 sheet atlas—with maps oriented towards the south as was the case with Islamic works of the era—is part of a larger scholarly work compiled by Isfahani during 1647 CE. According to Joseph E. Schwartzberg (2008): 'The largest known Indian map, depicting the former Rajput
Rajput
A Rajput is a member of one of the patrilineal clans of western, central, northern India and in some parts of Pakistan. Rajputs are descendants of one of the major ruling warrior classes in the Indian subcontinent, particularly North India...

 capital at Amber
Amber
Amber is fossilized tree resin , which has been appreciated for its color and natural beauty since Neolithic times. Amber is used as an ingredient in perfumes, as a healing agent in folk medicine, and as jewelry. There are five classes of amber, defined on the basis of their chemical constituents...

 in remarkable house-by-house detail, measures 661 × 645 cm. (260 × 254 in., or approximately 22 × 21 ft).'

Colonial era




Image:HyderAli.jpg|The armies of Sultan Hyder Ali
Hyder Ali
Hyder Ali was the de facto ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore in southern India. Born Hyder Naik, he distinguished himself militarily, eventually drawing the attention of Mysore's rulers...

 of Mysore employed rockets whose gunpowder was packed in metal cylinders instead of paper ones.
File:IndiaRailwaysCompletedBy1871.jpg|Extent of the railway network in India in 1871; construction had begun in 1856.
File:India railways1909a.jpg|The Indian railways network in 1909.
File:AatyenBose1925.jpg|Physicist Satyendra Nath Bose
Satyendra Nath Bose
Satyendra Nath Bose FRS was an Indian mathematician and physicist noted for his collaboration with Albert Einstein in developing a theory regarding the gaslike qualities of electromagnetic radiation. He is best known for his work on quantum mechanics in the early 1920s, providing the foundation...

 is known for his work on the Bose-Einstein statistics during the 1920s.


Early volumes of the Encyclopædia Britannica
Encyclopædia Britannica
The Encyclopædia Britannica , published by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., is a general knowledge English-language encyclopaedia that is available in print, as a DVD, and on the Internet. It is written and continuously updated by about 100 full-time editors and more than 4,000 expert...

 described cartographic charts made by the seafaring Dravidian people. In Encyclopædia Britannica (2008)
Encyclopædia Britannica
The Encyclopædia Britannica , published by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., is a general knowledge English-language encyclopaedia that is available in print, as a DVD, and on the Internet. It is written and continuously updated by about 100 full-time editors and more than 4,000 expert...

, Stephen Oliver Fought & John F. Guilmartin, Jr. describe the gunpowder technology in 18th century Mysore:

{{Quotation1|Hyder Ali
Hyder Ali
Hyder Ali was the de facto ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore in southern India. Born Hyder Naik, he distinguished himself militarily, eventually drawing the attention of Mysore's rulers...

, prince of Mysore, developed war rockets with an important change: the use of metal cylinders to contain the combustion powder. Although the hammered soft iron he used was crude, the bursting strength of the container of black powder was much higher than the earlier paper construction. Thus a greater internal pressure was possible, with a resultant greater thrust of the propulsive jet. The rocket body was lashed with leather thongs to a long bamboo stick. Range was perhaps up to three-quarters of a mile (more than a kilometre). Although individually these rockets were not accurate, dispersion error became less important when large numbers were fired rapidly in mass attacks. They were particularly effective against cavalry and were hurled into the air, after lighting, or skimmed along the hard dry ground. Hyder Ali's son, Tippu Sultan, continued to develop and expand the use of rocket weapons, reportedly increasing the number of rocket troops from 1,200 to a corps of 5,000. In battles at Seringapatam in 1792 and 1799 these rockets were used with considerable effect against the British.}}

By the end of the 18th century the postal system in the region had reached high levels of efficiency. According to Thomas Broughton, the Maharaja
Maharaja
Mahārāja is a Sanskrit title for a "great king" or "high king". The female equivalent title Maharani denotes either the wife of a Maharaja or, in states where that was customary, a woman ruling in her own right. The widow of a Maharaja is known as a Rajamata...

 of Jodhpur
Jodhpur
Jodhpur , is the second largest city in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It is located west from the state capital, Jaipur and from the city of Ajmer. It was formerly the seat of a princely state of the same name, the capital of the kingdom known as Marwar...

 sent daily offerings of fresh flowers from his capital to Nathadvara (320 km) and they arrived in time for the first religious Darshan
Darshan
or Darshan is a Sanskrit term meaning "sight" , vision, apparition, or glimpse. It is most commonly used for "visions of the divine" in Hindu worship, e.g. of a deity , or a very holy person or artifact...

 at sunrise. Later this system underwent modernization with the establishment of the British Raj
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

. The Post Office Act XVII of 1837 enabled the Governor-General of India
Governor-General of India
The Governor-General of India was the head of the British administration in India, and later, after Indian independence, the representative of the monarch and de facto head of state. The office was created in 1773, with the title of Governor-General of the Presidency of Fort William...

 to convey messages by post within the territories of the East India Company
East India Company
The East India Company was an early English joint-stock company that was formed initially for pursuing trade with the East Indies, but that ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and China...

. Mail was available to some officials without charge, which became a controversial privilege as the years passed. The Indian Post Office service was established on October 1, 1837. The British also constructed a vast railway network in the region for both strategic and commercial reasons.

The British education system, aimed at producing able civil and administrative services candidates, exposed a number of Indians to foreign institutions. Sir Jagadis Chandra Bose (1858–1937), Satyendra Nath Bose
Satyendra Nath Bose
Satyendra Nath Bose FRS was an Indian mathematician and physicist noted for his collaboration with Albert Einstein in developing a theory regarding the gaslike qualities of electromagnetic radiation. He is best known for his work on quantum mechanics in the early 1920s, providing the foundation...

 (1894–1974), Meghnad Saha
Meghnad Saha
Meghnad Saha FRS was an Indian astrophysicist best known for his development of the Saha equation, used to describe chemical and physical conditions in stars.-Early life:...

 (1893–1956), P. C. Mahalanobis (1893–1972), Sir C. V. Raman (1888–1970), Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar
Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar
Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, FRS ) was an Indian origin American astrophysicist who, with William A. Fowler, won the 1983 Nobel Prize for Physics for key discoveries that led to the currently accepted theory on the later evolutionary stages of massive stars...

 (1910–1995), Homi Bhabha (1909–1966), Srinivasa Ramanujan
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Srīnivāsa Aiyangār Rāmānujan FRS, better known as Srinivasa Iyengar Ramanujan was a Indian mathematician and autodidact who, with almost no formal training in pure mathematics, made extraordinary contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series and continued fractions...

 (1887–1920), Vikram Sarabhai
Vikram Sarabhai
Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai was an Indian physicist. He is considered to be the father of the Indian space program; legendary Homi Bhabha’s successor as chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission; and was as at home in the world of the arts as in his favourite laboratory. His interests were vast and...

 (1919–1971), Hargobind Khorana (1922–), and Harish Chandra (1923–1983) were among the notable scholars of this period.

Extensive interaction between colonial and native sciences was seen during most of the colonial era. Western science came to be associated with the requirements of nation building rather than being viewed entirely as a colonial entity, especially as it continued to fuel necessities from agriculture to commerce. Scientists from India also appeared throughout Europe. By the time of India's independence colonial science had assumed importance within the westernized intelligentsia and establishment.

{{Further|For science and technology in the Republic of India refer to Science and technology in the Republic of India
Science and technology in the Republic of India
Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India , initiated reforms to promote higher education, science, technology in India...

.}}
{{Further|For science and technology in Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 refer to Science and technology in Pakistan
Science and technology in Pakistan
In Pakistan, science and technology served as an important part of national politics, practices, and extreme national identities. From 1960s till the present, both science and technology were immediately linked to national ideology and practical functioning of Pakistan, notably the Pakistan Armed...

.}}

See also

  • Science and technology in India
  • List of Indian inventions
  • Information technology in India
  • Project of History of Indian Science, Philosophy and Culture
    Project of History of Indian Science, Philosophy and Culture
    Project of History of Indian science and civilization under the general editorship of Professor D. P. Chattopadhyaya. The series also contains 20 monographs....

  • Digit (magazine)
    Digit (magazine)
    Digit is an Indian monthly technology magazine published by 9.9 Media. According to the Indian Readership Survey it has a circulation of about 1200 and a readership of over 1840. The same survey results suggest that it is the most read technology magazine in India, higher than even the combined...

  • Pride of India by samskrit Bharati
  • INDIAN ANCIENT SCIENCES : Archaeology Based; ISBN -978-3-8383-9027-7;Lap Lambert, Germany, 2010.

External links



{{Indianscience}}
{{Science and technology in Pakistan}}
{{Asia topic|Science and technology in}}
124-132, http://ncsm.gov.in/science_pdf/Propagation%20Vol%202%20-%2008%20Science%20Centres.pdf
{{DEFAULTSORT:History Of Indian Science And Technology}}