The greatest Heist in Indian history..How Indian History was changed and we didn’t even notice. Part 1:The lost eon 6th Century B.C to 1174 A.D

Remember those long-staying, TV-remote hogging, serial TV-serial watching distant relatives who used to arrive unannounced when you were a kid. And then stopped you from watching cricket in favour of their crappy TV serial. What were your feelings towards them? Whatever it was, it did not resemble love and affection.  Now replace those crummy, intractable relatives of yore with your school subject of History or Social Sciences. Weren’t your feelings towards History kinda similar? I stake all the contents of  my nearly empty wallet, that at least for the most of you, it was.

However, There is one thing that tops the 'I hate' list by a distance

History for most of us, was always a major impediment, an obstacle, an immovable object opposing our unstoppable drive towards knowledge ( Read Maths and Science). Useless questions like  ‘how does Babar’s fun and frolic in 1476 affect my future’ were raised, without an iota of  hope for a definite answer. What we used to get was a growl or a scowl or perhaps both. What we could only do was utter the choicest expletives under our breath, memorize those never ending dates and practice our artistic talents on the unfortunate photographs of the great souls printed in our textbooks.

How will this dead dude help me get ahead in my life?

In our academic pecking order, Maths and Science always figured at the top,  subjects that we had to master. History mostly figured somewhere at the bottom of this list, lower than drawing, craft, value education and even Aayo Naga perhaps. Has our monumental indifference towards History enabled our educationists and academicians to disfigure, hell mutilate..our own history and actually get away with it?

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Let me begin this by recalling a small conversation with a tenth grader relative of mine

This is India’s history from that persons point of view

  1. Harappans were the first people in India, and they had a fetish for building abnormally large bath-tubs.
  2. Their asses were then kicked by the some unknown invading Aryans.
  3. Somewhere down the line, Alexander and his badass gang of Greeks came calling.
  4. Chandragupta Maurya with his adviser Chanakya, did some awesome 420giri to take over from the Greeks.
  5. They were then  succeeded by the Guptas who brought the ‘Golden Age’ with them.
  6. Mahmud of Ghazni, however, looted all that gold. He needed a sum total of 17 visits to complete his gold quest.
  7. Mohammad Ghauri followed him with similar intentions, but decided to avoid the trouble and simply stay back. And then he died.
  8. He left his slave Qutub-ud-din Aibak to do all the ruling. His most significant achievement was to build one pointless tower.
  9. Then came a Muslim queen, underlining our credentials in female liberation.
  10. It was then the turn of Tughlaq and his gang of idiots. They moved national capitals around because they hated the weather.
  11. From somewhere, Babar, a descendant of a lame, one eyed king from Central Asia landed in India.
  12. He and his sons, calling themselves Mughals,  ruled India for the next 350 years.
  13. Their party came to an end when Englishmen arrived, redcoats and all, and took a strong fancy to our country.

I am not making the above stuff up. Of course, I might have taken liberties with some of the descriptions, but then this was more-or-less what a tenth grader summarized about pre-British Indian history. I would have appreciated this individuals grasp of Indian history if not for the fact that this version is completely and utterly bullshit.

Yes IT IS

Peruse that list again, in case you did not read it carefully. Till the advent of the British, how many Indian emperors, kings have been mentioned in the above list? How many of them have been highlighted and glorified in our history despite some seriously awesome stuff they did? Has our History been modified to such an extent that our own ancestors have been left out of out of it?

The one word answer to the last question: YES

If you see, India is one of the very few countries to have a civilization which goes back to about 3000 BC. No other country has this big a history. To put it in perspective, India’s last golden age was in the 6th century BC. Wonder what were the others in the world doing at that time……….

The Angrez

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Americans

America...What the hell is that?

We are a civilization that was so advanced, that we were actually celebrating our golden age when Brits still hadn’t figured out what ”Being Clothed’ meant and the Americans could have been the name of an opium brand. So isn’t it kinda surprising that only two Indian emperors were considered to be worth remembering by a tenth grader in an eon or so? Would have been humorous, if it wasn’t our civilization. And because it is, it becomes deeply distressing and disturbing.

The Gupta dynasty as a dynasty, ended in about 6th century AD. However, the last meaningful king that our History textbooks bother to mention is Chandragupta II, whose reign ended in 4th Century AD. And then, the scene is fast forwarded to the point where Mohammad Ghauri invaded India in 1191, to start the Delhi Sultanate which would then metamorphose into the Islamic Empire. What does the above line tell you?

It tells you that an average tenth grader actually knows nothing about what happened in India in the intervening period between the Guptas and the Delhi Sultanate (A time period of about 800 years). At least they do not think it was worth remembering. To be fair they are not to blame, especially when you consider our academicians have dedicated ONE  single Chapter in the Seventh standard History textbook, to cover the period when it was Indians who ruled the land..

Yes… ONE CHAPTER, COVERING A PERIOD OF A THOUSAND YEARS ENCOMPASSING THE WHOLE OF THE INDIAN CIVILAZTION. One Chapter from history lessons stretching across the fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and the tenth grades of CBSE. One insignificant chapter in over five years of schooling dealing with a period of more than one thousand years.

This is that chapter.. Click on the image if you have the time and patience to revisit your seventh standard History textbook

Now why only one chapter, is known only to the enlightened souls who designed those textbooks. And as a result of either their deliberate oversight or perhaps pure ineptitude, most of the school children do not know have any idea about

The Harsha Empire

This empire was founded by King Harshavardhana. This guy ascended the throne immediately after the Gupta dynasty, at an age when we aren’t allowed to have a driving license or have a drink. He became an emperor at the age of  sixteen in about 606 AD. He went on to capture what is today called North India (Including Kashmir) and Pakistan, His empire at its greatest extent looked something like this

He actually united all these states, something that we struggle to do even today!!!

He fought almost 300 battles in the 41 years he ruled with a win loss ratio that even Novak Djokovic would envy;  299-1. Uniting all these states, I guess was trouble even then.

Not only was he adept as a fighting machine, but actually authored three full length Sanskrit plays Ratnavali, Priyadarsika and Nagananda, while he was busy conquering.  Nagananda especially is considered one of the greatest plays ever written in Sanskrit literature. It is thought to be the first play ever to have five acts where the tone changes midway from Romance to horror and ends with the villain turning into the hero. This guy introduced plot twists and ‘cut to the chase‘ in the 6th century AD. And all of that was probably thought in the middle of a battle.

Amongst Harsha’s other achievements, was that he was the first to abolish Sati as a rule in his kingdom, some 800 years before Raja Ram Mohan Roy was even born. He was a major patron of the Nalanda University, and was the title sponsor of the ramparts around it, for protection from invaders and other pricks. No wonder Nalanda expanded singularly because of this guys patronage.

Harsha was the first King to have ever established a diplomatic relationship with China, with ambassadors and gifts being exchanged in 630 AD. And last but not the least the guy in the pic below lived  in the kingdom of Harsha, and was patronized by this emperor so that he could work on his field of expertise.

This was the guy who went on to INVENT THE ZERO!!!!

Surely Emperor Harsha deserves more than the 10 lines that he currently gets in our history textbook.

OR

The Pala dynasty

This dynasty was founded by Gopala in Bengal in the year 705 AD. This guy was not your run-of-the-mill type of tyrant that were prevalent those days.

Gopala was DEMOCRATICALLY elected by the people of his kingdom. He was the FIRST EVER democratically elected ruler in South Asia, perhaps even Asia and even the world. Giving people right to elect the ruler wasn’t the most fashionable thing those days you know!!!!

Legend goes that people of Bengal at that time were sick of repeated invasions, pillaging and general anarchy. So they got Gopala, the most powerful military dude in their kingdom, anointed him as their king. And boy did he rule! He and his successors ruled for the next 400 years. Yes… 4 centuries in all!

This was their empire at the peak of their power. Purely in terms of square kilometers, it exceeds even the Mughal Empire at its peak. Go figure….

Pala’s other achievements again had something to do with the Nalanda university. In those days, what would a king do if he captured a territory? His intentions would most probably be to rape, loot, pillage, plunder, destroy and disfigure, not necessarily in that order. And what did King Dhanapal do when he captured Nalanda? He adopted it and took it to even greater heights. And then figured one university was probably not enough. So he established the Vikaramashila University as well. These two universities are even today universally acknowledged to be the greatest universities ever in Indian History. One flourished under the Palas, and the other was established by them. And as a footnote, the entire region of Tibet adopted Buddhism because of this guy’s efforts. So the Dalai Lama, in some way, has to thank the Palas for his influence today.

So ruling almost the entire Indian Sub-continent (From Afghanistan to Myanmar), establishing not one but two of the greatest Universities of those times guarantees  you a place in the annals of history as a magnificent king. But then the Palas did not stop at that. They then went on to build the biggest ever Buddhist Vihara or monastery, ever. The Somapura Mahavira consisted of 177 cells for the monks to live with a magnificent stupa in the middle. The entire campus occupied about 30 acres and rivaled the Pyramids for its opulence, but with a fundamental difference. The Somapura Mahavira was actually useful. In those times you couldn’t have been a great Buddhist monk if you hadn’t been to Somapura.

Kicks ass...doesn't it

 Apparently, an archeologist named J.C.French wanted to excavate the site of Somapura, but was refused citing lack of funds. Pretty much the story of the shortchanging of this great empire by our history. They deserve more than the 7 lines they get in our history textbook.

OR

The Chalukyas

Remember the King Harsha you met two paragraphs ago where I told you that he had a battlefield win loss ratio of 299-1? Well,  The Chalukyas were responsible for that ‘one’ is his loss column.

And amongst many other things like inspiring the architecture that you have seen in Hampi, establishing and propagating the Kannada language, they also were the first ones in the world to legalize prostitution.

Poor souls don’t even get a mention in the text book.

Similarly

The Pallavas

You all know Chalukyas defeated the undefeated king Harsha right. But then shortly afterward,  Pallavas gave a bloody nose to the same empire which had defeated the then undefeated king. Pallavas ruled over the Chalukyas and most of India south of the Narmada for about 150 years.

They single-handedly built the rock-cut temple complex in Mahabalipuram. It is rumoured that half the temples are actually under the sea, so the Mahabalipuram complex is actually way more impressive than what is visible.

And it is in the Pallava kingdom, you have the genesis of the south-asian script or ‘Pallava Grantha’. Whenever and wherever you read Tamil or see it’s alphabets, remember that it had its origins in the Pallava Grantha. Here is a list of all the languages that owe its existence to the Pallava kingdom as their scripts have their root in this grantha

  • Tamil
  • Telugu
  • Malayalam
  • Tulu
  • Sinhalese
  • Malay
  • Bahasa Indonesia
  • Thai

And how many pages does the great Pallava dynasty get in our textbook… u guessed it… ZERO.

and Finally

The Cholas

In a speaking convention, the best speaker is always reserved for the last. In a farwell party for your seniors, the most popular guy is always honoured last. So I am mentioning the most important empire in Pre-Islmic Indian history, which also happens to be the most shortchanged, The Cholas, Last.

Just to give you an idea, the Chola empire, if it existed today would have spanned

  • India
  • Sri Lanka
  • Bangladesh
  • Myanmar
  • Thailand
  • Malaysia
  • Indonesia
  • Vietnam
  • Singapore
  • Maldives

Still not able to visualize the expanse of the Chola Empire, Let me help you

Clearly, Cholas did not know what the word small meant.

Cholas were one of the earliest empires in Indian history, with some estimates dating them back to almost 300 B.C. They are even mentioned by Emperor Ashoka in his pillars,  as a friendly empire in the south. Their recorded downfall is in the 1250’s. In pre-medieval India’s highly fluid power equations, the Chola empire was the one and perhaps the only constant.

The good stuff about the Cholas first. I am sure all of you must have heard of the beautiful and the grand temples all over Tamil Nadu. It was the Cholas who added the adjective grand before the temples. The kind of made it a fashion statement to build big temples, covered with intricate carvings, a trend which was essentially followed by his successors transcending empires.

Ever heard of the Brihadeeshwara Temple in Tanjore. It was built by Raja Raja Chola in the 11th century. Let me tell you some quick facts about this place of worship

  • The Shivling in this temple is the largest of its kind,  in the world.
  • The Nandi outside, is, again, the largest in the world.
  • The base of the temple is supposed to be so big, that the shadow of its massive ‘gopuram’ actually does not fall on the ground.
  • The top of the ‘gopuram’ consists of a single granite stone weighing approximately 82 tonnes (82,000 Kgs for those weak in metrics). Now, this being 11th century AD, it was a problem getting that big piece of rock to a height of  63 Metres. So what did the Cholas do?
  • Unsurprisingly they built the world’s largest transport ramp, using some kick-ass trigonometry, which stretched all the way to about 20 Kms, all the way inclining towards the top, which basically allowed the elephants to push the rock all the way up.
  • Once on top, they sent masons to do some intricate carvings on that stone, as if somebody would notice at that height.

No wonder it is called 'Big' Temple

Any emperor or empire will consider this piece of art to be the peak of their artistic prowess which will be talked about for generations to come. But Cholas being the Cholas,  weren’t satisfied. Raja Raja’s son Rajendra went on to build an exact replica of this temple at a place called Gangai Konda Cholapuram, near the modern town of Chidambaram.

Two big temples, takes quite a beating doesn’t it. Sadly the second temple is not even mentioned in the history books, anywhere. None outside Tamil Nadu even know about its existence, even today.

And also did I tell you, the Cholas were the first in the world to build a fully functional water diversion/water regulation system in the world. Chola king Karikalan built this 329 feet stone dam over the river Kaveri and a network of canals, in 1st century AD, for water storage and irrigation. So when most of the western world was still eating raw animal flesh, Cholas were building dams, navigable canals and were irrigating 10,00,000 (1 Million) hectares of land in their kingdom.

And before I forget, the system they built is in use even today!!!

I don’t have to tell you whether our historians bothered to mention this thing in our textbook.

In case you think Cholas were your peace loving, violence shying role model Emperors, let me move on to some of  their badass stuff

Cholas pioneered in the 6th century what we today know as the Navy. Use of ships for fighting battles existed, Battle of Salamis was probably the first naval engagement ever recorded, but Cholas took Naval warfare to an entirely new level. They probably were the first ones to make their Navy a totally independent service with its own powers and not the extension of the army as was the norm then. They also were the first to pioneer the concept of building exclusive fighting ships and the first to implement the idea of fleets.

Their ship building program was instituted and ships were designed and built for different purposes. Trap ships (They called themselves ‘Kannis’ which means a ‘virgin’ in Tamil. They even had a sense of humour) to lure the enemies into traps, destroyers to do what their name suggests, supply ships etc were the some of the different types of Chola Naval vessels. Cholas also were one of the first to evolve strategic naval doctrines, advanced ship formations and naval warfare tactics.  They were the first ones to start operating ships in fleets. The smallest fleet in the Chola navy consisted of about 12 ships and the largest went up to 500 or more vessels.

In three words, They kicked ass…

And to match their tactical nous, they augmented their vessels with the then state of the art weaponry, both indigenous and imported from China. Their ships were equipped with catapults and probably the first ship-based flamethrowers. Chola navies were routinely known to annihilate enemies five times their number. The Chola navy, in one line, could be described as

Awesome tactics+Brilliant Ships+Latest Weaponry= Bad news for the enemy

This combination enabled Cholas, to practice the first ever recorded instance of what is today called ‘Gunboat Diplomacy’. Sri Vijaya empire, ruling Cambodia, had the guts to actually sack a Chola Merchant convoy. Cholas responded by taking two fleets of about 500 ships each and obliterating the Sri Vijaya kingdom out of existence.  The neighboring  king of Kambujadesa, terrified of what happened to his colleague, basically folded his hands, bowed his head and sent an ornamental chariot to appease the Cholas and declared them as his rulers. And Cholas didn’t even have to fire a single shot.

It is also believed by some sources, that Cholas because of a navigational error, landed in Sri Lanka by mistake. And just for fun, they went on to capture the entire country. There is no actual proof of this but knowing the Cholas, this is quite possible.

At their peak Chola ships consisted of about 1000-1500 battle ships divided into 4 fleets placed in strategic locations like Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Kaveripoompatinam in Tamil Nadu also known as Poompuhar. They were so powerful that the Chinese actually requested Cholas to stop the rampant piracy in the straits of Malacca. They even merited mentions in dispatches in faraway Greece for their naval expertise.

And they were no mugs on the land either. Recall the Gangai Konda Cholapuram temple built by Rajaendra Cholan? It literally means ‘Subduing of the river Ganges’. He built the city in honour of his march upto the Ganges river.  A south Indian empire stretching from the River Kaveri in the south all the way up to the River Ganga in the North deserves much better treatment in our history books. As one of my friend’s said, if the Cholas had been born in America, DC or Marvel comics would have transformed them into super-heroes with a body of adamantium. Because they were born in India, they get about a quarter page in the text-book.

There were in all a total of 16 Chola kings in the Chola Empire. For all of you who actually read that chapter, you will find only the names of two (Raja Raja Chola and Rajendra Chola) have been mentioned. And all the other kings and important details of their empire have been completely eliminated.

There were other empires too at that time who find next to no mention or even worse no mention at all in our History textbooks. The Rashtrakutas ruling what today will be Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra were singularly responsible for three of the top four tourist destinations in the state of Maharashtra today. I am talking about the Ajanta, Ellora and the Elephanta Caves. A Special mention to the Kailas temple in Ellora which is the world’s largest temple cut out of a single piece of rock.

This whole thing was built out of one single piece of rock!!!

Same was the case with the Yadavas, who built the fort of Devagiri or Daulatabad, made famous later by the idiot Mohammad Bin Tughlaq. You know why he specifically chose Devgiri to move his capital?

It is the only fort in recorded history that hasn’t yet fallen in an open battle. It was captured by Alaudiin Khilji through deceit and bribery, but was not won in a fight. Who built it..The Yadavs? Are they mentioned in the History textbook? If you said ‘No’, You got the answer right.

I am not against the lessons on the Islamic empire and their conquests, brutal as they may have been. They are a part of our history. But my question is, aren’t these emperors and their empires a part of our history too? Haven’t these empires contributed to our way of life, our values and principles more than the Islamic kings have ever done? And by eliminating these kingdoms from our history, aren’t you depriving our generation of this great knowledge?

And by this wholesale deletion, aren’t you mutilating history?

For all of you who have developed a sudden interest in the History of India, I will suggest this mind blowing book. Please buy it, the author deserves it.

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247 thoughts on “The greatest Heist in Indian history..How Indian History was changed and we didn’t even notice. Part 1:The lost eon 6th Century B.C to 1174 A.D

  1. Excellent Shesha !!! waiting for the part 2: cooked up modern indian history ( atleast here they forgot few things..there its completely cooked up) … just to add another point about Chozha’s – they had local self govt… 1200 yrs back and people elected democractically through “kudvolai” system….. About the two temples you mentioned- both are UNESCO declared heritage sites ( additioanly one more chozha temple is also declared – Airavateswarar temple at darasuram)…

    • Isn’t it ironic that UNESCO recognizes these beautiful temples, but our own textbooks don’t? Quite like the story of India in general. The best books on Indian history, are almost always by foreigners. I can’t even name one good history book, written by an Indian author. And as far as the Chola administration is concerned, the fact that there was only one recorded unrest in the entire 1400 years of Chola history proves how awesome they were.

    • I bought Joahn Keay’s book, as recommended here, but was left very very sorely disappointed right in the beginning where he flippantly dismisses the ‘disappearance’ of Harappans and gives no knowledge of the latest genetic research which clearly says that the people did not disappear at all but continue in the same areas as punjabis, sindhis, gujaratis, rhajasthanis, haryanvis etc. They are all genetically exactly similar to the harappa populations of those respective regions and this also confirms that there was never any aryan invasion and in fact not e en a separate and distinct aryan race!

      If Keay has missed on this very highly important fact, then I do loathe the thought of trudging through the rest of his tome.

  2. great to read sesh….and well-written too….waiting for part-2…!!!

  3. brilliant stuff bro…seriously good

  4. I am not sure these empires are entirely forgotten. Remember ‘India’ is a concept, not a collection of homogenous peoples. It is possible that some of these empires are being taught in state board history textbooks (Pallavas & Cholas in Tamilnadu maybe?). In addition, all the facts that are listed in this blog post can yield about 2 chapters and it is possible the writers of the textbooks edited it down to one chapter in the interest of brevity.

    I am not a history buff, nor am I a keen reader of Indian history textbooks. Just trying to be a devil’s advocate to balance the viewpoints being discussed!

    • Bala, it is not possible to write everything about all the empires in a blog post. To put it in perspective, I have listed perhaps only 4 of the prominent empires in that period and it took me 3000 words to do it. And I had to do some editing for brevity. Imagine if all of them are mentioned. It will take a entire textbook to do justice to these empires. My grouse is that why should Indian kings be mentioned in passing, like the educational film before a movie, before the Islamic empire? Why the extra-ordinary focus on them? If you read this history textbook, the next seven chapters are dedicated to the Sultanate and the Mughals, all I am asking for is parity or pointing out the lack of it.

      • Your statement – “why should Indian kings be mentioned in passing, like the educational film before a movie, before the Islamic empire?” – is a little wrong, don’t you think?

        These rulers and princes of the ‘Islamic empire’ were ‘Indians’ too – they stayed on in India, had families here, and did not have any other place to go to. Now, don’t get the impression that I’m claiming they were good rulers. They were as flawed or as brilliant as the ‘Indian’ rulers before them. Just because we don’t have sufficient proof of their cruelties (because they are farther back in time) doesn’t mean it was a ‘golden age’. [As an aside, I feel irritated when somebody harks back to a ‘golden age’. Really? Based on what metrics? Number of magnificent temples/mosques/churches built? Or land area under control? Or the general pervasive poverty of everyone excluding the nobility in nearly every period of India’s history?]

        I read my NCERT textbooks when I was in school (yes, cover to cover, including Gandhiji’s talisman) and was impressed by the military and political achievements of the Cholas. At least based on the textbooks back then I think your criticism of not providing adequate information is unfair. Also remember that these textbooks are written for 13-15 year-olds and there’s tonnes more history that they have to cover (from the Mayan civilization to the Meiji Restoration). If I were writing a history textbook for these kids, I’d definitely NOT put every bit of information available about a kingdom in that textbook and ensure that it remains a boring 2000-page book that nobody cares to open.

        • “Just because we don’t have sufficient proof of their cruelties (because they are farther back in time) doesn’t mean it was a ‘golden age’” – Oh really! So what you are saying is – “let’s assume the Indian kings were cruel, because we do not have sufficient proof that they were not cruel’. Cheap sophistry, indeed. If you do not have evidence, you do not talk about it. You do not surmise, then assume, then advance a notion of probability, and then provide that as proof for your initial surmise.

        • awesome dude….u have given what we call… sau sunar ki ek lohar ki…anyway…there is no point explaining to such people who doesn’t have an open mind…or shall I say go with such a polar mind

        • yes.. it cannot be made 2000 pages but certainly should talk about india..high school students need to know India..their motherland better than other civilizations first..as case of interest in pursuing advance studies, they can read about others in higher classes to become historians.

          if temples, mosques, churches or land area they had controlled ..are not an identity of their kingdom ..then what is it that you can get now to say it was golden age ? Hope you have analyzed these monuments..which were realized based on scientific and technological advancements of that time which are still amazing..they are standing for thousands of years to tell a story !! what more..

          The intent is to say..Hindustan also had other great kings who deserve to be introduced to the next generations. Let us try to re-script our history !!!

      • what’s the saying… ‘history is written by the victor’? …

        • The victor, in this case, the secretly Islamic Nehru family. Reminded of SV Patel words, “How can J. Nehru, born to a father who was half Muslim and half British do something for the benefit and welfare of Hindus and India?”

      • but certainly a very good read, indeed…

    • I agree with the author. When you can have an entire chapter on a single mughal ruler, then why not?
      CBSE History textbooks have some algorithm like
      (textual volume) inversely proportional to (how long ago this thing happened),
      except of course the Indus valley civilization. Others are rarely mentioned and forget about these things being asked in exam.
      Moreover, we need a sense of national pride! And I think an illustrious history is what stands up to the moment..

    • What you refer to as a possibility is actually a fact. I studied in the West Bengal state board and every one of the empire/dynasties mentioned here were covered in enough detail. I am guessing that most other state boards do the same. This rant, funny as it is, ought to be specifically directed at those boards which fail to do so.
      The other aspect of this has possibility to do with the fact that medieval India is a well researched area and thus open to more analysis and information gathering as opposed to ancient and classical India. The remedy to that lies in higher academics and government funding, not high school text books.

    • I am not a history buff, nor am I a keen reader of Indian history textbooks. Just trying to be a devil’s advocate to balance the viewpoints being discussed! : dude ur sayin i dunno history but… but what, then u shunt talk abt it, atleast widout reading as much as this guy did to write this epic… :D tats a balance view point not wat u r saying, no offence ya, dun take it otherwise, just a discussion :D
      I am not sure these empires are entirely forgotten : Hmmm again, did u remember ne of them, werent u taken by surprise wen u read all these little beautiful facts… hehe i was, even tho wen um a history buff.. whch incidentally u arent…:D
      Remember ‘India’ is a concept, not a collection of homogenous peoples : Pl enlighten how, btw, the race concept has fallen, only rednecks n indian sub continent, n o ofcourse commie cunts r teaching abt it, not newhere else… so hows it a concept????? besides if the existence of so called so many “states” in paast make u think we r all different, think again, these so called states themselves never called them independent countries, they were always “rajya” not “rashtra”, including the moslem ones, they were just sultanates, battling for the throne of delhi, badshah-i-Hind, u kno… so hows it a concept again… :D read more, just a bit more.. :D
      It is possible that some of these empires are being taught in state board history textbooks (Pallavas & Cholas in Tamilnadu maybe?) ; dude, we need people like u…. ur by far the most optimistic indian i have ever met, if these were taught, dmk, aiadmk, pmk… would be eating shit, whch they arent… :D i mean really, ur name sounds like a south indian, i dunno whch state, but south indian… temme abt wat u did study…btw um a north indian, i havent read shit abt wat this guy mentioned here… :D atleast in the text books… :D
      In addition, all the facts that are listed in this blog post can yield about 2 chapters and it is possible the writers of the textbooks edited it down to one chapter in the interest of brevity. ; like i said… i wish it were so…. n if it were so, nehru would have been shot instead of gandhi, tats if these barbaric son of babar was allowed to take birth…. n india would have been a capitalist haven, not a commie slum…yuck… !!!!
      n brother dun mind wat ever i said, i wasnt being personal, just a point of view, a discussion :D.. rather a comebak… :)

      • Bad language doesn’t necessarily make a persuasive argument.
        However I have also been through the Indian educational system, believe me, contrary to what the author professes, each and every one of the ‘historical facts’ ignored by the establishment were taught to us as Indian history and culture. I even remember the author of the text book!

  5. Why am I not one bit surprised? Don’t get me wrong, sir. Padikkum podhe pull-arikka vechiduchu ungal ezhuthu – your thoughts & emotions literally flowed from the article and hit me like electricity.
    I’ve lost all hope on NCERT or any other board doing anything for history in textbooks. But anyway, will it really matter? Children, especially teens, would hate anything on books (exceptions, apart) anyway. So, I don’t think it matters if NCERT CBSE books show that we Indians were basically the greatest slave market in the whole world; we were so spineless & coward that everyone could simply conquer us & rule us. That’s what the Left-wing morons want our future generations to think of us; and there’s nothing that’s going to change the socialist chauvinists to change this suicidal route of theirs.
    I think it’s time some entity that sways children (mainly teenagers) takes up this identity issue (and that’s what this really is). What better source than commercial media – movies, music, cartoons. Imagine a movie that revisits “fictionally” what happened with the Chola empire. Not unlike the DC or Marvel comics. Now, that will beat the NCERT & the socialist pigs, hands down.
    And once mainstream commercial media tastes success (say in a Chatrapathi Sivaji or a Maharana Prathap or a Raja Raja Chozan), it will keep selling what sells the best.
    MN

    • >>we Indians were basically the greatest slave market in the whole world; we were so spineless & coward that everyone could simply conquer us & rule us.<<

      I wont put it that harshly , but it is more or less true !!

      Only major power in history that didn't conquer India was Mongols , (because for some reason they didn't attack us ..)

      Let's face facts : India as a nation more or less sucked in battle .. (some like Rajputs were brilliant , still ) we relied more on number than on strategy or technology ..

      • I don’t know where you are getting your facts from, but if it is your History text books then I think my reason to write this post is entirely justified.

        I mean, cholas, palas, Harsha, Chalukyas et al, were all awesome in battle. And as far as the Islamic rule is concerned, If we Indians were so spineless in battle, then how come the Islamic sultanate, never moved into the heart of South India???? In fact the never entirely ruled North India as well..

        Please form your opinions on sound facts and not on false perceptions..

        • ditto….. we dint reached as far as angkor vat, indonesia, n well rest of the world…. just by being sheer large in nos, we were best enterpreneurs (whch we r proving by having a coinsistent economy, whch the govt is trying to milk to its benefit, hence destroying n blaming greece for d ensuing conundrum) , as for military, lets go bak to ncert, 1st moslem horde in india, 712 AD, md bin qasim… first foothold in india not till 11th centuary :), wat do u think we were playin dumb charades wid d islamic hordes for 400 yrs :D, they were being fucked… :D, by us… :D n now why we lost…. thanx to the fourth semitic faith,buddhism, whch tells people to be blind basically, spritually enlighting, but not a succesful recipe for nation building, those who dont believe… pl look at tibet in recent times…:D u give up, u get fucked up…. hence d bamiyaan buddhas…. :) we lost, cuz people lost the will to fight after conversion to buddhism, n they just got whacked in huge nos, n hence we lost, not because we were inferior… :D
          as for moslems rule being est in india, well u must not think like a bloody westerner…. u must understand that we as a nation (not race pl) never had d understanding of these brutal dogmas, whch thrive on nos outside n not inward spiritual fulfillment, the earlist records of moslems in india r the one where they are mentioned as either turuks, or turushks… as a race, not as a religion, because as our faiths are, or were then, there was just no concept of conversion, even tho 52 faiths were started during gautam buddha’s tym, but no one tried to wage wars on other to convert, we thot like all else in past they r here for money… surprise:D… we were just not able to visualise hw dehumanised these people were, we faught by dharmic priciples not adharmic ones,…we were just taken aback… at the lust of these people to kill n pillage… the hindu kush is the eg

        • “I mean, cholas, palas, Harsha, Chalukyas et al, were all awesome in battle. And as far as the Islamic rule is concerned, If we Indians were so spineless in battle, then how come the Islamic sultanate, never moved into the heart of South India???? In fact the never entirely ruled North India as well..”

          That’s an absurd conclusion. By the same logic Harsha never moved into central & South India, Cholas never ruled North India, etc. Were they spineless?? “Almost” everyone draws a line somewhere. It’s not an infinite world.

      • > Only major power in history that didn’t conquer India was Mongols

        “Moghul” comes from “Mongol”.

      • No dude you are comletely wrong, just reffer wikipdia you will come to know the actual fact of this great nation who defeated alekzander, shak, hun, kushan who was way stronger than mongals and other islamic empires and how can you forget maratha empire who is one of the largest hingu impire in the world who defeated mongals, so dont even say indians are slave ,just read the english transaltion of SAHA SONERI PANE by swatantryaveer savarkar.

      • What crap are you talking about ? Muslim rulers took 400 yrs to defeat India. They defeated every kingdom which fell in their way except India (battle of Rajasthan) and Europe (battle of tour). They were defeated badly in battle of rajasthan in 768 AD. It took any other muslim ruler/plunderer 400 yrs to enter India whereas elsewhere they won easily. Entire europe gathered together during crusade to defeat them. While in India it was just the north western rulers who kicked their asses. If India was so weak why couldn’t they convert India as easily as they converted Asia, Europe, Africa, Central Asia etc ?

  6. thala !!! good one da

  7. I didn’t read it completely. Just skimmed through it. I am commenting on just this bit “In our academic pecking order, Maths and Science always figured at the top, subjects that we had to master. History mostly figured somewhere at the bottom of this list…”

    You are correct, the way we teach history in our schools and colleges is more than century old method. In school, we do not feel like reading history and those who do it in college doesn’t try to go ahead with it, of course there are few exceptions. One of my ideas related to education reforms on teaching history in college is that in place of BA and MA in History there should be BSc and MSc in History with emphasis on anthropology, geology, archaeology, computer science, etc. It will make these subjects more research oriented rather than being politically loaded.

    • Also teach history as a story. Children love images and movies, and you have to teach history accordingly. Show movies, documentaries, make history textbooks lifesize with vinyl pages, giant lettering and colour photographs. Students will love studying history then. But the bigger issue is, what will our historians want our children to know? Will they continue glorifying and feeding the wrong part of history to our kids?

      • Till it remains a politically loaded subject, yes!!

      • Well bro, “teach History like story is something that I would agree”… You are right there! Bang on!

        I remember that my History teacher would always call one student to the stage and make her recall what the teacher taught the previous day! I was made to recall the Names of Akbar’s Navaratna.. Well, I managed to remember 6 or 7 names but another girl was made to remember what they did… Its easy to remember Birbal & Tansen’s job profiles (Thanks to Akbar-Birbal stories and Baiju Bavara movie) but I still can’t remember without the help of Google what “Do Piaza” dude actually did… All of a sudden “the story telling” aspect disappears from our teaching.

        Just making students memorize dates and having “put these events in chronological order” kind of questions just takes the fun element out of history. All that the kid wants to do is remember these names, dates. He/She just appears for the examination and forgets all about it! The attitude is that how does it matter to me if Birbal was one of Akbar’s Navarathna.

        What the teacher should actually teach in reference to the Akbar-Birbal scenario is that how Hindus and Muslims were working hand in hand as a team. How important intellectuals and artists are in this world. The kid should be taught that if you learn good things then you will also someday win the respect of many, like Birbal!!!

        This kind of teaching will make our kids better individuals and eventually this would shape their personality in such a manner that they will become better citizens of the country! As responsible adults, we better pull up our socks and start thinking about shaping India’s youth into better individuals using the current subjects as mediums for the same… Subjects like History can be used for this purpose! :-)

        Last but not least, you are doing a great job with your blog. Keep it up! You make us proud!

        Love,
        Anbu Thangai Nithya.

    • to the guy who wants bsc in history. u r an idiot. i am sorry but you are.
      to the blogger please stop writing bogus history. such stuf works well in train journeys. u can regale ur audience there. u DONT KNOW HISTORY. spare us

      • Sir, I suggest you can make yourself useful by suggesting corrections and imperfections in the post. I am not a historian and more importantly, I am a human. So I will make mistakes. I accept it and I am ready to make the necessary corrections.

        Also, You can enhance this post by adding your thoughts on this topic, like others have done. And, I can understand if you cannot do it, because of paucity of time.

        But Sir, personally abusing me or the other commenter is little out of the order.

      • It seems Gaurav is a sucker who was always bad in history. Or may be truth are hitting him hard, like a truck load of bricks…save your butt man..

      • just a mere blog / reply made by you signifies.. d level of interest is nulsome… better u cld ‘ve ignored this post instead of such lines…

        its coarse…

      • oh yeah… well lemme tell romilla “whore” thapar has amended her aryan invasion theory to aryan migration theory :D…. n if idiots like u wud do a compare contrast of history vis-a-vis indian ancient texts, u wud realise tat most of the harrappan cities found their mention der, albeit names r not wat we have given them… n how we know that, by the geographical locations mentioned in vedas whch corresponds with the sites on grnd…. also just food for thot… vedas, mahabharata, ramayana… huge ass texts wid places, people, names , chronologies, incidents etc etc etc finding mention in each of them, all matching… in all the texts..absolutely… u think coincidence… u think con… :D i think u r an idiot…sir…… also… u d all read one, have u read abt the famous frawley paradox… :D history without representation, n a civilisation without history… the harrapans n the vedas :D further commeon sense…. it is said the conqured aryans took up the faith of the defeated harrapans… whoa… n do u know the incident rather the entire incident on ehch the aryan invasion theory was based…. also do u know the leading “eminent historians” (read a book on em by arun shourie, wid d same name, tho i doubt shourie is as well read as u, may be ur BItch Sc is superior to his n ours… but pl bear wid out being sarcastic) incl romilla thapar, esp her…cant speak any language of antiquity, incl the basic pali-prakrit…. n she is a authority on modern india… how by quoting random foreign historians, n by keepin safe her commie card, i hope ur aware tat shez a card holder… :D neways…. i was sarcastic cuz u were… go on if u pl… :D

        • The blog post is factual based on real facts rather than based on some junk loaded biased western books and or lovely his/her “eminence’s” works. I would like to interpret a thing or two which I have learnt from my recently obtained knowledge but I may be wrong. Firstly, spirituality is not just of Buddhism, one should not forget that Buddhism was inspired by Hinduism (Dharmic).

          Secondly, I have a grief and sort of disappointment of why our history books or even the big volumes of government funded books made by our eminent historians not look at the root of our history but to have proud on making volumes for outer surface of a leaf on the tree. Such as, Taj Mahal’s history is been twisted in school books as if it was originally build by Mughals, Qutb Minar is shown in textbooks as it is a ground breaking architecture but avoid showing the truth behind resources obtained for that ugly architecture, while speaking aloud about one or two universities such as Nalanda was curly destroyed, what happened to other 18 such universities in Bihar itself ? as Mr. Rajiv Malhotra claims that there were 20 such universities existed in present day Bihar [Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4u_RCUqUOE%5D.

          To Chinmay Asthana, with due respect I request you to write you comments using full english spelling of words with no dots “………..” in the comment. I envy your comments because it is packed with useful information’s and being an enthusiast of hunting down your comments to read it, I find it quite hard to read if it’s scrambled in this way. Thank very much the blog poster and you too.

  8. good one da…. guess even these books r being spons by the congress … bledy buggers … always want to show muslims r gr8 etc … my foot … bcos of gandhi they still in our country … damn …

    • It is as much their country as is ours da. There are so many Muslim patriots who love the country than we what me and you can ever do. Saare Jahaan se achcha HINDUSTAN hamara, was written by the great Mohammad Iqbal. It is those black sheep in their community, who use the wrong history to propagate that the country was theirs and it is their duty to take it back, I have a serious problem with.

      • As of today, two of the greatest and lovable personalities in India are A.P.J. ABDUL KALAAM and our A.R.RAHMAN. The other names I adore are ANNA HAZARE and NARENDRABHAI MODI.

        Do I need say more?

        Krishnan

      • Uh oh.. Since you’re such an avid afficianado of History – do you still want to pull in Allama Mo Iqbal? Within a few years after penning in the Tarana-e-Hind (Saare Jahan se acha) – he went on to literally destroy any sense of nationality or patriotism [refer Tarana-e-Milli].
        .
        I, for one, completely detest such forms of collectivism – but we are humans and it is our nature to think of ourselves (at least some times) as part of a group.
        .
        Iqbal goes on to say that not just India, but China, Arabia, Russia – this whole planet, the entire universe belongs to Muslims.
        .
        “Chin vo Arab hamaraa hindostaaN hamaara Muslim hain hum; watan hai saara jahaaN hamaara ”
        Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarana-e-Milli
        .
        nuf said, I think.
        .
        Feel free to correct me.
        .
        Another famous slogan (famous in Pakistan) comes to mind,
        “Pakistan ka matlab kya, la’ilaha ill-allah”
        .
        MN

      • Not disagreeing with you but didn’t Iqbal give up on India and joined the Muslim League? He also became a radical in his later years wanting to convert Hindus to Islam.

      • @KS: Extremely sorry to interrupt. But quoting saare jahan se achha from Iqbal will take the sheen out of this awesome blog and discussion. Iqbal wrote those lines and then he became one of the prominent propagators of the two nation theory for the formation of pakistan. I mean, I also respect and love my fellow Indian muslims but please do not quote someone who doesnt deserve to be quoted.

      • You have the black sheep on the “other side” (supposedly the “right and pure” side) just above – he thinks it’s his duty to take the country back.

  9. Got in here through fb. Good write up. We do not give importance to history because we a steeped in it, we don’t realize it’s importance. Whereas ‘young’ countries like the US want to ‘have’ a history to connect to…. I love reading history & got most of them ( including all what you have written above) through Amar Chitra Katha. I used ACK as my history textbook! My teachers always gave me high marks for all the ‘additional details/points’ I gave in my papers. I definitely recommend ACK to learn history.

    With all the beaurocracy & every political party wanting to reformat text books, I don’t think our students will get to know of the rich history through their text books ( coupled with the method of teaching) anytime soon.

    Loved the documentary ‘The Story of India’ by Micheal Woods.

  10. I enjoyed and loved this piece of writing. i got in through FB. History is the only corner where I feel proud to be an Indian. Every true Indian is very much disappointed by the recent developments in Politics, Education and Terrorism. We have forgotten our values, system, culture etc. and now only one material thing govern our minds, that is Money.
    I agree that my education system emphasized too much on reasoning, practical solution to a problem but very little on art, culture, innovation and also on history promoting such prowess. Eagerly waiting for your next two writings. Also ACK and India A History (Revised Edition) are my next wishlist books.

  11. Actually some of your cousin’s points are right. I acknowledge your effort to push the reigns of other kings who were great, other than jackass mughals(barring akbar). I appreciate this blog of yours.
    The fact is a country looking at only 1.5 trillion dollar GDP cannot spend required time and money on history and archaeological expeditions which required for the logical world .. That day will come when our elite will restore the pride and honor of Akhand Bharat.
    Be patient. We will live to see that day. Our ideas nonviolence and truth will finally win.
    Satyameva jayate…

    • TIME is against us. I visited The Red Fort in Delhi and the Taj Mahal in 1960s. I was there again in Oct 2011. My heart ached to see the vandalism and the degradation due to lack of maintenance. The same applies to many of the GREAT temples in the Kumbakonam circuit which are not the ‘rich and famous’. Though they are hoary and venerable and even today puja is being done, their maintenance leaves a lot to be desired.

      We need to have an ASI ( Archaeological Survey of India) which is not within the control of the politicians.

      The same applies in quite a different area of importance : – You must have seen, heard and read about the ‘JARAWAS’ of Andamans and Nicobar being made tourist attractions. About ten years back, my son (a Scientist and an Ecologist) had cried in front of audiences and petitioned whoever about the atrocity of building a motorable road through these forests.

      But – who listens ?

    • dear akbar was d biggest jackass…. wat he did was a matter of envy to the politicians of today… have u heard of mina baazar??? n do read abt akbar’s duality in regards to places of worship of other faiths, esp hindus… :D his stunt to marry rajput princess, keeping rajput ministers… starting a new faith was the congress eqvlt of appeasement politics,,… fool the majority, pamper the minority :D

  12. What you have written here is not correct. During my school days we did learn about all the other dynasties you have mentioned. To add to list we also studied about Hoysalas , Asoka, Marathas , Rajputs , Pourava , Rashtrakuta . to name a few

    • Ashokas, Marathas, Rajputs etc are beyond the purview of this article, if you read the title. I am not contesting that they were totally expunged, but the level of their coverage vis-a-vis the Delhi Sultanate and Mughal empire. I am quite sure that the facts about the respective empires in this post were not in my textbook and I had to learn all of this on my own. At best they were mentioned in passing.
      And how many of us actually spend enough of our free time to read about history?

    • Please. If you do not mind, I would like to know more about the POURAVAS you mention.

      Thanks.

    • dude… u dont remember so well… shivaji was mentioned as a dacoit, a mountain horde leader…. nuthing else :D so was ranjit singh n the gurus…. common…..n do u know samudragupta is called indian napoleon….. hw??? i dnt get it…. i mean who was born first?? who defeated huns??? i mean who had d bigger empire to boast… wtf dude??

  13. You say the Gupta dynasty ended in the 6th Century B.C. and Harsha rose to the throne immediately after the Guptas in 606 A.D.?? Please verify the dates once more.

    • The Gupta Dynasty was de-established in 6th century AD and not B.C. However, the last meaningful Gupta king that our Historians care to mention is Chandragupta II, whose reign ended in about 4th century A.D. Having said that, I must admit,it was a silly error on my part. Thank you for pointing it out. The correction has been made.

  14. I felt very proud krishna
    Wherever I go for a talk OR seminar I see to that I mention a few snippets from Indian History as I love Indian history. Your thoughts seem to reflect mine and congratulations for a wonderful presentation
    Kalpana

  15. I happened to stumble upon this site in search of good unbiased books on history . I commend the author for bringing out the loop holes in the academic books ,

    I would like to mention that not all the important points are mentioned or may be selective amnesia just like the academic books u’r post only speaks about some and not holistically

    Pallavas captured badami (vatapi) and ruled chalukyas only for 12 years not 150 years if u meant it
    Chalukya’s vikramadithaya 2 avenged this humbled pallavas and captured kanchi c.735 , a kannada inscription in kanchi kailasanatha temple pillar is testimony to it

    Chalukyas and rastrakutas were great kannada empires their empire had stretched from present karnataka to whole of maharastra , andra , gujarat and even kanauj and not dynasty like pallavas and pandyas though cholas were an empire . I hope the difference between dynasty , kingdom and empire is understood

    • What do you know about Pandyas to comment? Please read about them before speaking anything.
      The chalukyas/kadambas/gangas were repeatedly defeated in the battles by pallavas/cholas/pandyas.(except a couple of battles though).

  16. Thanks for detailing the history. Liked the one on Chola and the big temple. But would like to debunk some myths on the Big Temple.

    1. The Shadow does fall on the ground – http://ponniyinselvan.in/groups/ponniyinselvan/forum/topic/46895-big-temple-myth-shadow-proved-wrong-3d/

    http://poetryinstone.in/lang/ta/2008/12/17/does-the-tanjore-big-temple-vimana-cast-a-shadow.html

    2. The stone at the top is not a single stone, multiple pieces like a Orange.

    3. They didn’t use the ramp which spans for 20KM, they must have used ramp which circled the Temple like the path of any Mount Temple (Tirupati for eg.,) it swirls around.

  17. Excellent article.

    I learned more about Chalukyas, Pallavas and Chozhas through three famouse history based novels that were published as weekly pieces in a Tamil weekly magazine in the 50s. Noe, after retirement, I read them again and also read some history books.

    I have to accept that I did miss most of this from my history lessons. I studied in Chennai and I was in the state syllabus, my history classes being in the medium of Tamil. I remember more of the Mughals and the British and practically nothing about Chalukyas, Pallavas, Chola-Chera-Pandys, etc.

    History and all non-hard science subjects were not given any importance in our school education system when I was in high school in the late 50s. Apart from the fact that the text books are not giving truthful and complete coverage of Indian history, the system of education and examination also need to be improved. History can be made very interesting but the goal being to get good marks in the final single exam makes it difficult for the teachers to make the class interesting!

  18. I am commenting about “In our academic pecking order, Maths and Science always figured at the top, subjects that we had to master. History mostly figured somewhere at the bottom of this list,…..”. Even the Maths and Science that is being taught now is nowhere to the Maths and Science that we Indians were capable of during the reign of the ancient Hindu kingdoms. Modern Maths is capable of performing mathematical operations only upto peta (10 raised to the power of 15) whereas we Indians could perform operations upto 10 raised to the power of 80. During the Vedic times anybody could master Maths by master 16 shlokas. That was how simple Vedic Maths was and we could perform complicated operations.

    • Sorry if you think modern maths as some operations of large numbers , It IS NOT !!

      Indeed our ancient mathematicians were advanced , many of them including Madhava had developed calculus much earlier than rest of the world..

      But vedic mathematics is trivial and thinking that as a great achievement is an insult to ancient Indians ..

    • “Even the Maths and Science that is being taught now is nowhere to the Maths and Science that we Indians were capable of during the reign of the ancient Hindu kingdoms”
      I hope the maths you are talking about is not high-school math, because for a 15-yr old, being taught how to perform riemannian operations on a 6-dimensional Calabi-Yau manifold is just pure fun and absolutely essential for survival in today’s world.

  19. Good one boss – enjoyed the piece fully :) Its a big failure on our educational system to not incorporate the most relevant stuff in our text books. Is there anyway we can convince the current system to introduce this in our text books? I’m sure you have already given some thought – would love to hear it from you.
    -Srikumar

  20. This was the second article I read after getting introduced to your blog last night. Your writing is hilarious and flowing – do keep up this style.
    Let me give you a piece of my mind on why these important dynasties might have been undermined in our textbooks. NCERT is a central educational body based in Delhi, and has responsibilities beyond creating the educational structure for the country’s schools. In a way, the national curriculum on history is an important strategic asset of the home department to maintain national integrity. Given the extent of divisive forces in our country, and understandably so, some kind of indoctrination is necessary for kids to feel ‘we are all one’ and ‘we should be one’. So all of our history has to be centered around Delhi where today’s power resides, so that people have a consistent line of thought on where power ‘rightfully’ should be. Now, dedicating three chapters to Cholas would ignite regional politics to a new level and would be opposed by states who didn’t have much to show. When considering all the political parameters, it is a tight-rope walk to write history about our nation.

    The above is just one probable reason. The weight for Cholas,or Chalukyas may also depend on the representation and influence of historians from these regions in NCERT. A guy from Delhi or Punjab who writes history for Tamil Nadu may deliberately choose to write less about Cholas out of prejudice, just like how Max Mueller was selective in his reporting.

    • Very sad, but true. In every sphere, this is apparent. To people of North India, anything south of the VINDHYAS is “madrasi”. And they hold “madrasis” in contempt. By and large, they are ignorant and this ignorance leads to prejudice. This results in alienation of the “madrasi” in any heterogenous group. Moreover, language is also a great barrier.

      And your comments on the necessity for NCERT to ensure that there is some kind of indoctrination…..reminds me of GOEBBELS.

      But, I digress. And seek pardon for that.

      • sir no offence…. but north indians too r suffering at the hands of these marxist asses…. n besides i dnt feel lingo is a barreer, english, a foreign language is understood widely,…. but i fail to understand y not sanskrit or hindi (n not because its my mother tongue, i speak seven languages, i ndian n um more comfirtable in english, but just cuz the largest no of people here understand it, asdministratively easy , but then i feel all indians should learn two languages, hindi n sum other regional language, compulsorily, instead of english n the regional language, whch makes no sense), i mean i do feel that it is closer to sum languages then english… fault is ours, divide is created by us…. we need to think as indians, its a problem afecting bharat as a whole…. n not just “madrassis” or “northeners” (see we r not all same, we too r different :)…… n i do say, no progress till we think as one…. sadly that doesnt seem to be the case here…. besides history is not region specific, it all depends wether the writer, the author, the historian has interest in the area where he is involved… the best hsitorian i met, an absolute authority on mughal empire… was a south indian, n i had no problems till now wid him… but if we go by ur tempelate sir… then just cuz he georaphically dint belong here, i should not believe him to be true… ryt… besides all the celebrated indologists are not even indian… so do u think we should just write off their work just cuz they dint belong here…. sorry sir, but i too disagree…. but happily :D

    • nice article.sorry to butt in but I dont think the lacunae in the history books has much to do with the north-south divide..cant comment on ncert but at least our icse recommended textbooks extensively mention the southern empires(including several vague points mentioned here).in fact I can undoubtedly say I have read far more bout them than is mentioned in tamil nadu state board books..guess ur mistaken there!

  21. I think you should write a book.. Awesome stuff!! Your writing style makes it an easy read..

  22. Frankly, as a CBSE student I remember reading about all of these things when we were taught history. But I really do not remember the mughal empire being given highly un-proportionate levels of importance. I may be wrong since these are only based on my memories. But that was 10 years ago. Who knows what they’ve done to our history textbooks by now.

    • Ah, a person of similar age. :) 10 years back I too read from the CBSE books and YES the mughal empire was given highly un-proportionate levels of importance. All I can remember is some random moghal names and for all you know I am from the south and we were never ruled by the mughals and it was unbelievably boring to read. How wonderful it would have been to read about the cholas or the Palas instead. Could have connected better . Would have been ..Legen-waitForIt- ary!! :)

  23. Well hiSTORY should always be taught as stories since children always love stories…But in our education system there is so much of emphasis for the scores and Maths and Science that we forget the very essence of education is to increase the knowledge of man. and not just to score more or out score others…This is an excellent outlook on our history. Will be good if the author can pen a book for some of us. Also history is a subject of “know what was done in the past to repeat the good things and avoid the mistakes made”. For all those idiots out there who feel this is a waste of time…They do not realize the importance of experience. Experience is the best teacher…But is always expensive…So when we get an opportunity to learn from others and go forward ion life..why should we detest…

  24. I have not gone through all the comments…but if no one else has pointed out yet, regarding – “The top of the ‘gopuram’ consists of a single granite stone weighing approximately 82 tonnes (82,000 Kgs for those weak in metrics).” – that seems to be wrong. Source: I had recently been to the temple and museum inside the temple says that it is incorrect information. The top piece of the vimanam is not made of just 1 stone.

    Would I be right, if I said that the Pala kings imposed Buddhism in Tibet and the Cholas imposed Hinduism in South-East Asia. Is there any material evidence for that?

  25. Fantastic one.. effortless read. Thankings.

  26. Post-independence India has been ruled by the bhaiyya’s and the babus.
    They have a natural empathy towards all things Mughal. Being part of a mushaira means being enlightened. While fighting the Brits, the founding fathers of modern India developed a longing for the pre-Raj times and hence towards the ancestors of Bahadur Shah Zafar.
    That is the reason why most of the illustrious rulers mentioned in the post above do not find a mention in our history books which have been compiled by the people who studied at JNU and were appointed by the ruling class.
    They did not omit the Cholas on purpose. They just didn’t find them important.

    My comment is not a rally cry for Dravid Nadu. I am a Maharashtraian. Please interpret my views accordingly.

  27. I opened this site with great reluctance as the photograph of the face put me off. I thought the blog may be offensive or something negative.

    But KUDOS to you, Sir. And many thanks for your effort. Your writing is very entertaining and at the same time very instructive. I like the language – it is refreshing. I want to send the detailed matter to all my children (and not just the link – I know they will not open it – esp when they see it is sent by their old man.) :-(

    I have been working on something similar and take heart from your work.

    Thank you and wish you mental and physical power to progress in your work.

  28. Pingback: The greatest Heist in Indian history..How Indian History was changed and we didn’t even notice. Part 1:The lost eon 6th Cent… « Simpledua's Blog

  29. Ohh I knew Indians were bad in history. But this lack of knowledge wrapped in pretentious look-i-am-the-only-one-knowing-about-our-culture rag is worse. 1. People, at least in West Bengal, read about all the things (from Palas to Cholas) you wrote about in school. If you didn’t, your board sucks. 2. China, Egypt and Mesopotamia existed concurrently with Indus Valley and India, never was mother of human civilization. 3. If you are talking about banning Satee, Mughal emperors and Shikh gurus strongly condemned and decreed against that as well, which rarely finds place in history, and not much surprisingly, your article. I wasn’t exactly enthusiastic about preaching you, but I guess I was really pissed off by the condescending nature of your writing.

    • Please check the meaning of condescension in the dictionary using the word. I have never claimed that I know more, I am just pointing out things that I should have known, but don’t thanks to my board. And If you read the comments, many readers have made valuable contributions in the form of snippets and have even corrected me. You are welcome to add your perspective, but why call me names or pass judgement?

      And I also I request you to read a little before commenting. Where in the post have I claimed that India is the mother of civilization. I have just said we have a big history because we are the world’s oldest continuous civilization. Please understand the difference between the oldest and the oldest continuous civilzation. As I think you are a very busy man and don’t have the time to check for the proof, here is the ink that tells you.
      Link.

      And My board sucks, CBSE board sucks. That is my grouse. And If the Bengal board covers all the historical details, in its entirety, then I will be the happiest man. Can you post a link to your textbook, to show that they do, as I have done to show that they don’t.

      And Mughals, Sikh gurus came in the medieval age. 17th century to be precise. The jurisdiction of my post ends in 1174. Where is even the question of covering them?

      I think I have answered your query to the best of my ability. So, If I may ask, what is the exact point you are trying to make?

    • Dear Mr. Sagnik
      You are so rude, and India is not west Bengal.I also want to insist that the Indian Civilizations are indeed the first and if you are interested you can do the research. If one person has given an idea about how the history of a part of India is neglected it is his perception and probably to certain extent true. You can argue but please don’t demean the person
      Discussions must be decent and productive

      • Dear Kalpana,
        Indian civilisation is definately not the first. The author has made a very delicate observation by calling it the oldest continuous civilisation which as far as I know it is. The Indus valley civilisation to my knowledge is slightly older than the Egyptian and younger than the Mesopotamian. However, the Mesopotamian civilisation was not continuous.
        I must congratulate the author for bringing to our notice the achievements of many of these kingdoms and dynasties and empires. As Sagnik mentioned in West Bengal we do read about most of them but that scope is very limited. For example I loved the Palas…. kindof reminded me of the ancient Greek system.
        It has been my experience that history in India is confined to the textbooks. There are so many places where you can just walk about and see old temples and mosques just lie around in a state of disrepair. At one point it becomes our responsibility as citizens to take care of our own heritage. Only then will we not forget it or marginalise it.
        Thank You so much

    • i hope ur not a communist??? u sound like one??? n bengal board teaches all, u gotta be kidding me…. a state managed by commies, teaching exact history….. hahaha u just killd me brother….. i mean really, tat made my day hahaha…. whch communist country in d world have u heard has been teaching true history….. :D name one n u have my attention :D i mean its der in the von-nguyen-gips commie manual, conquer der minds first, rest will follow… n i see ur olready der… hail bengal board… so educated, so upbeat…. n still electing commies to run bengal n den mamata di…. kudos bongs :D

    • Hi Sagnik Ray Choudhury
      Your name sounds Indian and Bengali. If you are from a foreign land, please read your history and be well aware of it. Please do not comment on Indians’ historic knowledge or the lack of it. What the blogger is trying to do is put a perspective on what is taught in our syllabus., be it CBSE, State Board or whatever it may be. If you dont agree with it and you have learnt it and assimilated, and if you have content which can disprove the blogger’s post, please do so.
      Have you heard of Thirukkural? If not please try and read it…it was written by Thiruvalluvar in 2nd Century BC. There are some beautiful couplets which can describe your state of mind and quality of your response. It is incidentally in Tamil but it is translated into all the important languages in the world.
      yOUR COMMENT PISSES PEOPLE OFF…

    • Pure GANDU moton kotha bollo

  30. Dear blogger, Greetings from Ikram !!

    Awesome blog that made me to revisit the Indian History. Kudos to you for pointing out the facts.

    One thing I would like to put forward as a discussion, Can you please explain the origin of all these Kings and their kingdoms, like Aryans, Harsha, Pals, Cholas, Pandavas etc. You would find that most of them had a foreign origin, India from prehistoric age was never ruled by the original inhabitants, it was captured, plundered and then ruled by these(foreigner) kings who eventually happened to be the GREATEST kings of their times.

    The problem is that we as INDIANS have accepted these foreigner kings (Aryans and all) as our own Indian Kings (and this is India’s greatest strength that it assimilates anything and everything in itself) and dont get tired of praising their achievements however, we had never accepted Muslims kings (who came to India in the same way as Aryans and subsequent kings did) as Indian Kings.

    So when ever we talk about the great achievements of Mughal or Sultanat Kings we are biased, prejudice prevails and we start talking shit about them (like brutallity, plunderer, foreigner)

    All kings were plunderer, tyrant when it came to save their kingdoms or to win a new kingdom (you just mentioned that Harsha had 299 wins, What do you think it was won without the blood shed?).

    We had never taken the Mughals and other Islamnic Kings as our own people, as Indian kings who had contributed in the same way to the Greatness of our India as our other preIslamic kings had done.

    Due to this prejudice we would never appreciate that it was Mughal Kings who gave Taj Mahal to us, the most magnificent and acclaimed wonder of the world and still it is.

    Akbar gave us the current land mapping and measurement system , agricultural reformation and entire India follows the same system for sale and purchase of land. Akbar was the First king who spoke about Universal Code of Conduct and implemented UNIFORM CIVIL CODE (same law for all) for all strata of life in his kingdom be it Muslim, Hindu or any other religion. Today our parliamentarians are not passing this law for the sake of division and rule policy in India.

    You would never appreciate that it was Sher Shah Suri who built Grand Trunk Road which is still used as a Highway and Sher Shah introduced the currency system in India called Rupya and its denominations (that one rupee has 100 paise) which is still in existence and we do all transactions (day in day out) in the same currency and denominations.

    Allauddin Khalji introduced the first muster role in Indian Military and this still exist in Indian Army and other branches. He was first to introduce the pay commission to his military and again the system still exists.So its endless to point out WHO did what and How the King or the Kingdom was Great.

    My concern is we as Indian should not see Islamic Rulers as foreigners and should not mitigate their contribution to the Indian society, they are very much our own kings and the part of our cultural legacy and supremacy.

    Please lets not be the biased children of motherland India and see our past, our history, its people and heritage in a HOLISTIC way rather than calling it mine and theirs.

    I do agree that our History books need a reevaluation and our Ancient History shall be given due weightage as Medieval and Modern India has in the book and Ancient kingdom’s contributions shall be justified. Nothing is going to impact a student life if one or two chapters are increased in Ancient India. I appreciate each and every King who had done great things for the country be it Ancient India or Medieval India. They were our people and we belong to them. I dont categorize them as Indian or Non Indian / Islamic.

    Hope we would not propagate the hatred amongst our children and would not condition our next generations in the same way as we were conditioned by our elders, to take Muslims as foreigners and Not Indians. Muslims are the part of India for past 1000 years which is 5 times more than the Gupta Age in India, I hope after reading this we all would understand how we have been wrongly conditioned and How we have been divided by this prejudice.

    I hope we will develop a different perspective for our History and would take Indian Muslims as part of the Indian Culture and as INDIANS.

    Jai Hind, Jai Bharat !!

    Mohd Ikram Khan

    • Hi Ikram,

      Thanks for taking time out from your busy schedule to read and comment.

      Straight up, I am really sorry if there appears to be some pro/anti bias in my writings. I want to again say, I am not a religious guy. Yes I support the BJP, but trust me, I am secular and not the congress type secular.

      Ikram, my grouse is that, our medieval history is covered in great detail.But pre islamic rule is neglected, like we neglect an old radio. And I believe every positive step taken by the Mughals or anybody else in the medieval era has a precedent in the past.

      Irrigation and Land Reforms: Cholas did it in the 1st century.

      Alauddin Khalji’s military transformation: Again Cholas, not only re-organized their armies, but even had a navy.

      There are many more.

      I just want our Historians to cover all of this in greater detail, instead of fast forwarding the books straight to the Mughal rule. And I am sure, everyone would want to read this as well.

      • Thanks buddy !!

        Your apology is a welcome gesture, coz your blog did give an impression that you were against Sultanat and Mughal (Islamic) kingdom course material and curriculum in history book and if as it was written in prejudice.

        It does happen while blogging or authoring, at times we get carried away and perhaps that happened to you when you penned this. Its a learning opportunity for you and I hope that you will emerge as more accurate and profound writer/author and would keep all the socio-religious-politico aspects in mind while composing any article.

        It will be great if 1-2 chapters could be added in NCERT books to shed some more light on our glorious Ancient India however, its difficult to identify the reason why NCERT has not invested few more pages on Ancient India.

        It could be to keep it concise and maintain brevity and not to put extra pressure on students (my personal opinion) who never want to waste time on History when they aspire to become Scientists, Engineers, Doctors and their life has bigger confusions on alpha, beta and gamma than Chola, Pandayas and Chalukyas. If we do this that every student has to mug up the Indian history as a mandate without having any interest, it would be a forced culture rather than natural and self evolving culture.

        Rather than making it a point to add our culture and values in the books, we can teach our upcoming generations through our actions as schooling begins at home. Lets take a vow that we would enrich our children through spending some quality time with them, through sharing stories and developing an interest in our next gen for our culture, ethics, integrity and values. If we can do this we can be rest assured that our culture would exist for time immemorial.

        Well for all those who wants to pursue life in subjects such as humanities, sociology, anthropology, public administration or anybody who has a bent of mind towards Indian History , they always have a choice to plunge into it to what ever extent they want.

        And for the concern over our Ancient India Kings, Kingdoms, dynasties and Empire and their contribution to our culture, its available in detail in books which serves the purpose for all the History lovers like me. One has to walk an extra mile if they really want to know their culture however, knowing only does not serve the purpose, we have to imbibe our culture, its purity and to become the true INDIAN.

        Regards

        Ikram

        • Hi Ikram,
          While your posts is with Good intention but you have to give it a thought. I did my schooling through the CBSE medium and trust me I read very little about the Cholas or the Palas. All I remember reading are plenty of mughal rulers,delhi sultanate etc. I would have loved to have read about the Cholas who ruled the south . Theirs was no puny kingdom. History makes you proud of your ancestry. How good one would feel if he knew his country had a kingdom that once had a huge navy. These are things that are of obvious importance. Cholas for example were Indian kings and were not invaders and I would naturally have loved to have read more about them, And India as such is a divided country where us North Indians actually distance ourselves with the South Indians and probably was the reason why chalukyas, pallavas, cheras , cholas were pushed to the corner and the Delhi Kings reigned supreme. Atleast in the History Books. The point is History must be told :)

    • Hi Ikram,

      Thanks for taking time out from your busy schedule to read and comment.

      Straight up, I am really sorry if there appears to be some pro/anti bias in my writings. I want to again say, I am not a religious guy. Yes I support the BJP, but trust me, I am secular and not the congress type secular.

      Ikram, my grouse is that, our medieval history is covered in great detail.But pre islamic rule is neglected, like we neglect an old radio. And I believe every positive step taken by the Mughals or anybody else in the medieval era has a precedent in the past.

      Irrigation and Land Reforms: Cholas did it in the 1st century.

      Alauddin Khalji’s military transformation: Again Cholas, not only re-organized their armies, but even had a navy.

      There are many more.

      I just want our Historians to cover all of this in greater detail, instead of fast forwarding the books straight to the Mughal rule. And I am sure, everyone would want to read this as well.

      • I appreciate your effort (it’s a rather good one) but I have one slight critique/comment/question and it seemed apt to put it in light of this discussion. Do you really think we can ever have a complete, holistic look at History? Even as we talk about the great “Indian” monarchs, aren’t we always in the danger of leaving out perspectives and experiences of dalits, women, religious minorities etc? Is what good History is to you necessarily what good History is to me? Can something so vast and so far in the past (oh look, that rhymed) ever really be captured? I’m really just pondering so maybe I don’t sound very articulate right now, but I’d like to know what you think an educational system can do to be more inclusive.

        • We can, If we have the will to do so. Aren’t all societies represented today? Don’t we learn about the atrocities perpetrated on the so called ‘Lower Castes’. Don’t we learn about the hegemony of the Brahmins? All that we learn. So why, when it comes to Indian emperors, they are surprisingly left out. And no effort is being made to incorporate them.

          2. Also, there was no concept of religious minorities in India. I mean, we were ruled for the better part of the period before 1900 by the so called minority. In fact if there is something omitted, then it is the view of the religious majority. Is there any mention of the views of a Hindu guy on the Mughal imposed Jiziya? Is there any mention of the religious persecution from a Hindu Perspective? And how hard it is to incorporate them? You just need the will to do it.

          3. History has to be neutral, and includes the good and the bad. Is history neutral in India? Hopefully by the time part 4 comes out, you know how it has been selectively modified to suit political agenda.

    • I am sorry. The Aryan invasion theory is not as sacrosanct as it is made out to be. There is enough material out there where contests that. I am not trying to debunk the theory here, but I am saying that there is enough doubt around it and so stating it as a ‘fact’ is stretching things a bit too far!

      • I couldn’t agree more. Infact which sane people would name their city ‘Mohenjodaro’ which translates to ‘city of the dead’. Crazy huh! There’s more to it than meets the eye. Keep reading.

    • Please be assured that nobody is looking at Muslims as Foreigners …. please tell me honestly do you really felt that way ever, if YES i apologize for any such event experienced by you …….

      Request you not to take this post in a wrong sense please.

  31. I agree completely to all of it what you have said we did have a great history, but it my observation that all of our history has boiled down to us the present day indian who are no more than a selfish human who can cheat anybody throw garbage all around use the most crude language possible and most importantly being insensitive to people around it, where did the great indians go and who we are now is a matter of grave concern

  32. A very good read indeed :D
    I have studied from Madhya Pradesh Board and its the worst board ever to study. History, Geography and Civics textbooks of class 8th MP board combined will equal perhaps Civics book ofthe same class from CBSE booard. This is so as our current CM is busy in Beti Bachaoing and replacing English poems with stories of tribals to invigorate feelings of pride in our culture in the minds of 3 year olds and before that we had Digvijay Singh(need I say more :P).
    That said although almost all the aforementioned dynasties and empires were there in the textbooks I read(this was about 8 years back), but yes most of them had a description not lengthier than a couple of paragraphs. And to top it all what was of concern for our teachers was to memorise only the dates and names.

  33. One reason for ignorance ,illitracy ,narrowness and subsequent laging of our country from evolving europe was that emphesis on building unversities,library ,connection with outside world through sea route was drasistically reduced to nil under mughals while in europe many unversities were build and new sea routes are found using science ,not to mention discovery of gun powder,cannon ,,,that leads to a dark age india which is still prevelent.

  34. One word.. Actually two – Kicak ass !

  35. I am surprised that such things (things about Rastrakootas , Chalukyas and Pallavas) are missing from history text books. (my text books had these, but I am from south ).

    I appreciate your effort . You are educating masses in an entertaining way !!

    But I think major reason for omission of detailed Indian history before Sultans is not political.
    We in fact know less about them .. (historians need lot more evidence )

    More details may be available about Mughals and English (they kept records) , so they added them in text books .. But less records are available about older times..

    Remember we read about Ibn Batuta and Huyan Sang – two travelers who happened to pass by India – why was that ?
    Because their writings give more details about our nation at that time , or in other words we didn’t have any ‘indian’ record of those times which are preserved or reliable..

    Most of the kings then made very tall claims and many cannot be verified . and any incident was woven into mythical folklore , which makes it hard to untangle from reality ..
    for example Prithviraj Chouhan and Ghori , folktale overshadows the history ..

    So , It’s more or less incompetence of our historians / text makers than any political decision ..
    But more the reason for people like you , who with entertaining writings can make people interested in history :-)

    I want to raise some minor error I came across
    >>
    Amongst Harsha’s other achievements, was that he was the first to abolish Sati as a rule in his kingdom, some 7000 years before Raja Ram Mohan Roy was even born.
    <<

    some calculation mistake here .. 1800 – 800 = 1000 years not 7000 ..

    Keep up the good work !!!

  36. A good read! And entertaining as well!

    I do agree with you: Inn terms of curriculum,n our boards are shit. (Don’t know about the West Bengal board though, according to some guy who commented down there somewhere, it seems to be a paragon of excellence!)

    In Maharashtra SSC we did learn a bit about the Cholas and Guptas. But as you said they were more like short paragraphs thann anything else. We did have a whole year dedicated to Chatrapatti Shivaji Maharaj. He was indeed a great King, probably India’s finest. But then that’s all they covered. Only Shivaji. What about his successors? What about the great Peshwas? The Scindias, Holkars, Bhosles, Gaikwads, Rani Laxmibai? (Among a long list of the confederates in the Maratha Empire).

    I agree that each state should stress on its own great kings annd empires and civilizations. But we should cover the great empires that spanned the lenght and breath of India as well. That includes the empires you have mentioned and also the later empires like the Vijaynagar Empire, the Maratha Empire, the Sikh Empire etc.

    We give a lot of importance to the Mughals, the British and our fight for independence in our history books. Yup, we need to! But along with these we also need to give enough of print space to the other great empires and civillizations.

    A few of my friends are facinated by Greek mythology, the American civil war or the Incas or the Mayans. If you ask them to name 10 major mythical figures in the Greek mythology they will be able to do that. But they won’t be able to name the same from the Mahabharat or 5 major Indiann Empires.

    In ICSE we learnt about the French Revolution, the Russian revolution, the Renaissance, the Industrial revolution, the American war for Independence and the Indian fight for independence.

    WHY? We hardly know anything about our country, why learn about the revolutions in far away Europe and America? No doubt we need to know about them. But in such detail that even our own history is given a secondary priority?

    I am not sure, but it would be my guess that the cirricullum has not even been properly revised since probably 1900 when the British must have authored it! Or has it? We need a major revamp.

    Look at the Americans. They think the only important thing in the world is America. The others are insignificant. They are proud of their history, of their war for independence, the great Abraham Lincoln, the brutal wars with the American Indians. And how long is their history? 400 years maybe?

    We have a rich history of thousands of years, but our history books don’t really care. Its not really possible to have every small detail about everything. But they all should be given equal print space.

    As Ikram said there should not be any prejudice about the kingdoms. The facts should be presented in an unbiased manner. Whether it was the reforms and wars or the unjust laws and the atrocities that some of them commited, whether Muslim or Christian or Hindu.

    A great article bro. Keep up the work. And if you do write in more detail please let me know so I can read about it! Cheers.

  37. Ikram,
    mentions that Akbar, Tughlaq, etc. were Indian kings which is factually wrong..Babur & Akbar ancestory goes back to Timur and Genghas Khan (who were central asian kings) and all these other muslim kings were persian, central asian, even afghan (although afghanistan was India about 1100 yrs ago) So they weren’t Indians and did’nt follow Indian culture (which muslims still don’t follow)

    Talking about Mauryas, Harsha, Guptas etc …they were Indians Chandra Gupt Vikramaditya (the 1st gupta king was a Jain), CG Maurya was from north Bihar, Guptas were frm present UP etc .

    And KS,
    maybe CBSE books don’t have that history in there books but ICSE had mentioned these Indian Kings and I read those. but still you are right that very little is mentioned in it about the kings and kingdom, i mean even in college books it’s not so grandly expained. (and i read history from books and online books of US universities)

    KS you did’nt mentioned Krishnadev Raya’s great ‘Vijayanagar empire’ (Hampi) which have been mentioned by the europeans of it’s grand riches, when it was ransacked by muslim kings it was said they carried gold, diamonds etc. in 1000 elephants and 750 camels..http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vijayanagara_Empir

    still nice work and there is alot of things we still don’t know and I hope to find here and somewhere..!!

    • HOW can you define who was an Indian king and who wasn’t? The whole nation has only come into existence post 1947 (and even now there are people who reject the “Indian” identity.) You have no right whatsoever to claim Indian culture as your birthright and deny that identity to others.

      • when you follow or not follow native traditions (all those traditons which are woven with social fabric of life in India not somewhere else) ..you are native (now called Hindu !!) eg . indian festivals. Pongal, Holi, Kali puja, Diwali, Basant Panchami, Bihu etc.
        India was India long long time before 1947 …yes we were not united (even today we are not atleast mentally)..but we were the natives..with diffrent languages, skin colour, food, water, rivers, weather, etc.

        and you said I don’t have the right ?? pardon me but I do !!…. like u ..HBL’s (Heart Bleeding Librels)

      • @Shreya Sen Thats precisely the point. No one should raise one particular part of history and blur the other. The point is why should we only emphasize about the Moghals only ? Don’t you consider Cholas,palas or Chalukyas as Great Indian Kings?

    • Why would he mention Vijaynagar Empire which was established in 1300 AD in an article which talks about history between 600 BC and 1174 AD?

  38. Fabulous long read. Enjoyed the different perspective, all those history lessons I missed out during my Sacred Heart Convent (Jamshedpur) years that followed syllabus of Senior Cambridge (which later morphed into ISC, then ICSC). Can’t really remember details of history we studied–all i remember from mid sixties to early seventies–is my wrestling with Physics, Maths, failing to understand, get marks!

    Enjoyed all the comments, the different views.

    Will definitely share this page, on fb (which brought me here) and elsewhere.

  39. awesome stuff…vaise…I loved history (Indian or otherwise) and I don’t know why the article says that this is all missing from our history classes…I read it all in class 6 to 8th (much before wikipedia) ..not one of the dynasties mentioned are unknown to me..I think it is not because history is being knowingly concealed… it is just that it doesn’t pay in today’s India..and hence goes out of focus of most of our education after class 8th…..and I seriously find myself unable to imagine how it can pay…..or “maybe” that because I actually “hate” cricket, that I had time to read all this in those classes…as said in the first para :)

    • IGuess you read it wrong. think the author is talking about how less of importance is being given to these dynasties while it should have been portrayed well. Take for instance the ‘Cholas’ They are even covered by the discovery channel for their architectural brilliance and their conquests but our history books talk less about them . Its more like if you are not a king who ruled Delhi , you are not a big one. Thats a pretty darn uni dimentional way to look at India I’d say :)

  40. this is really wonderful suff… i got the reason why history in the school days was not that interesting it lacked many of the things as you mentioned and certainly lacked the way you presented it…

  41. Dear Ethicalman, (Dnt knw why people cant have their own Indian names, and they talk abt the nation and country and Hindutva)

    Anyways, friend, If you read my post carefully, what I raised as a point was that Aryans (the baap of Indian culture, religions, traditions and forefathers of all the Great Indian Kings and Monarchs) were not Indian. They came from somewhere else, captured the motherland India, brought their own rituals and rites. Gave India the Varna System (Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra) All these mighty Kings for whom there is a lot of hues and cry over here for them being not mentioned in the NCERT books were Kshatriya. A Varna from Aryans. And Ask anyone in this country who has good knowledge of History will tell you that ARYANS came from somewhere Central Asian region, to whom later on Adolf Hitler found connection and said they were Germans. (No comments on Hitler)

    Aryans have no doubt given a lot to our country in terms of civilization, religion. During Vedic period, Varnas were divided in terms of the job a person performed. For instance in one family there could be a mix of different varnas, such one could be a Brahmin (if he becomes the scholar and knows all the four VEDAS), other could be Vaishya, if he was into daily business, the one who used to guard and save the Kabila/Village was called Kshatriya, other could be a Shudra (todays SC/ ST) if one performs the duty for the all other three VARNAS but they were the part of one family no body was tagged as HIGH class or LOW class. Later on we SO CALLED Great Indians made all these Varnas hereditary (And we all know it goes still in India, a person will be called a Brahmin even when he/she doesnt knows the correct sequence of VEDAS, or number of Upnishads or PURANs. Even if that so called Brahmin is worst in terms of behaviour, education and knowledge but will be called a Brahmin. (So sad) What have we done to our country.

    So taking you back the original point after cherishing the greatness of Aryans, I said in my previous post that We as INDIANs have a peculiar and astonishing STRENGTH that WE assimilates everything what ever comes into this mother land and with due course of time make it OURS. There fore with the same assimilation thingy, with due course of time India (the psyche of Indian people) had absorbed ARYANS (the Invaders of their times) as INDIANs and all the other Kshatriya kings as Indians (who has connection with Aryans) But Mughals who were also the Invaders of their times, also lived in India, gave so much to cherish to the Country, BUT Indian psyche has still not absorbed them as Indian and they are always tagged as Foreigners.

    My dear friend you can never understand the PAIN of being called a Foreigner when you take this mother land as your own, when your own family people had sacrificed the life for the Freedom of mother land India, where you have born and Love the Soil more than anybody else could, and have equal feelings for the country as any other countrymen can, and When I read a Blog which still carries the same age old Indian psyche that we Muslims are foreigners, it hurts. It hurts a lot. I am not ruling out the possibility that there would be many Muslims living in this country who are betrayers and they should be prosecuted as per the law of the land, BUT isnt the case with other non muslims as well. For all these scams and corruption, the major people are non Muslims, especially from South, A RAJA, Kanimojhi, P Chidambaram and many more. But majority people will not raise a finger coz they are not seen as foreigners, they are Indians and they can produce any level of harm to the country. It pains me a lot, why do we have double standards for the people of India.

    And Seriously I have no issues If other kingdoms are given more space in history books, I would love it coz I love history, but am quite sceptical about the Gen “Y” who has even forgotten the basic values of behavior and moralities. Fault is not theirs but ours as I said in my previous post that its our duty to keep our Gen Y for what We Were but without being biased. Dnt divide this country into mine and theirs. Please.

    Regards
    Ikram

    • Dear Ikram Khan ,
      Two Things :
      1) Cholas, Pandyas,chalukyas and the likes are NOT Aryans! Period. And please don’t muddy the water by bringing in Religious point of views. The Aryan Invasion theory is again debated and that is not the point here.
      2)This articles is just a look at how one sided history in India is taught. See, you yourself do not have a clue about the other Kings in India apart from the Aryans you have mentioned. Wouldn’t you have been more interested in the conquests of other Indian kings, isn’t it a great thing to know that we once had mighty navy et all? All brag-worthy things bro.
      And hence look at this article with an open mind. Please do not take this personally and start defending your point of view in an emotionally charged manner. History must be told fairly no? :) Peace

      • Dear Kamal,

        Thanks for the comment, atleast this proves that we all love our History.

        Probably nobody is trying to understand my point, and I think that I should not visit and comment on this blog anymore, coz every time when u guys read my post reply in excitement, U guys intentionally or unintentionally miss out that I have been advocating since my first comment on this blog, “THAT YES ALL OTHER KINGDOMS, KINGS MUST BE GIVEN DUE IMPORTANCE AND SPACE”. I have no issues if Cholas, Pandayas and all, gets proper mentioning. Why would I have a problem. Where did I mention that I dnt want these kings and kingdoms to be mentioned in books, OR did I say that I dnt want to know the Naval Might of Cholas? The answer is NO, that means YES I want these people to be mentioned and taught in our schools. Is my point regarding Cholas and the likes clear now? (If not please revisit my earlier posts).

        This unintentional / Intentional missing out of my agreement towards the inclusion and proper description of Cholas and all reconfirms these points:

        1. Most of times we do selective reading that leads to selective thinking and selective Opinions.
        2. This happens due to the biased conditioning of our minds.
        3. We need to open our minds and must apply a HOLISTIC approach and try not to hurt others.

        Not a single comment in all of my comments have spoken ill about any king, culture, kingdom, civilization, I just had put a perspective that History shall be seen in a Holistic way rather than mine and theirs.
        Equal respect must be given to every Great King, whether Cholas, Vijaynagar or Mughals.

        On the reference to ARYANS I wanted to say that we all are in someway belong to Aryans ( please reread my last comment , the reference of Kshatriyas as a Varna and I said all warrior kings belongs to Aryans atleast through the VARNA system. ( No where I had mentioned that Cholas and later kings were direct descendants of Aryans).

        I just elaborated on the point that mentioning these kings is not the only solution, we need to actually respect and follow our culture.

        Hope this solves ur issue. :)

        Regards
        Ikram

        • Hi Ikram,

          Why do you say that Mughals are not being given their due in History? My grouse and the point I am trying to make, is that Mughals and the Sultanate have been given too much of a due.

          Let me give you examples

          1. Detailed description have been given on how Qutub-ud-din aibak, built the Qutub Minar, and the architectural intricacies. Same is followed, though not a part of this post, for Shah Jahan for the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort. And list continues.

          Why is that attention not given to the Palas building the Somapura Vihara and Cholas, the Big Temple? And this is just tip of the iceberg.

          2. Similarly, every move made by Muhammad bin Tughlaq, has been dissected minutely and derided. Same with Akbar and his Din-I-Ilahi sect or Sher Shah, as u pointed out with the Rupee and the highway.

          Why are the administrative, political and economic reforms, by Indian Kings, carried out ages before the Mughals were even born, not being described in our text books?

          Credit to you, you have argued for the inclusion of all this in our History Textbooks and rightly so But isn’t your point that Islamic kings and emperors have been left out or their perception in the Indian masses is slightly weak? Considering the fact that they are the only ones about whom we read in detail, in our History. Ask any 10 year old who is the greatest Indian king, and the answer probably is Akbar. Ask him/her about the Cholas or the Palas, and most probably you will draw a blank. And this blank is what I am opposed to.

          And as far as your Aryan Invasion argument, I suggest you read this link.

          And finally, I seriously don’t understand, No one is calling you a foreigner here. And the people who do outside, they will rot in hell, and that too without a toilet for relief :) P

        • :P

          loved the last line…. :)

          Lets make an effort towards inclusion of the legacy, as you aptly pointed out, launch a campaign for its inclusion, you will find in the participants.

          Thanks
          Ikram

        • KS,
          .
          I wonder if you’ll find the time & the interest to read the history of Arabia – mainly around 500 to 750 A.D. Most of their pre-700-A.D (or was it 700 C.E) history was destroyed by savage-beasts (as part of the Ridda wars).
          .
          I would also like your opinion on a book by a “Ali Sina” – it’s titled “Understanding Mohammed”. Sina “alleges” that he has taken most/all of his points directly from al-quran, al-hadith, sirah of Rasool il Allah SAWS, etc. You can find lots of info at alisina.org – and if you contact, Sina may also send a PDF copy of the book (although I dont have one myself).
          .
          MN

    • Ikram dude..see how automatically you named me and associated me with Hindutva ..haha for me you lost the debate right there. Do you know why you used that word ??? because you did’nt have a valid point to come back at me..and you’re passionate like many of muslims are..

      Aryans aah factually..this story was created by the British ..that they came from centrral asia or southern russia etc.. I don’t buy it..and it has been challeged by many historians of the world.. and anyway those aryans you’re talking about landed in present day Afghanistan and NWFP region..and we don’t look like them, or eat like them or dress like them..but Infact many muslims dress like them, eat like them, and has belief like them..

      Just want to add that you guys write with a lot of passion rather rationalism..

      And KS is right when he says that Islamic history is given too much space in school books etc..even the bomb blasts that happened in delhi (on Israel diplomats) is on Aurangzeb road..everyone knows how crazy that guy was againt the natives..but still we have a diplomatic road named after him..(and ikram thinks they are given space in India..?) Congress HQ is on Akbar road. New Delhi has safdarjung, nizamuddin, saria kal khan etc……and old delhi is a muslim ghetto..I mean how much more spaces you need in the natonal capital..is there as many bengali, tamil, marathi, gujrati, telgu, malaylam etc. places in the capital ??? NO ..

      …….i’m sure this post will be continued..

      • Dear friends, Apologies for any statement that hurt you. I think this debate has taken altogether a different turn. I dont want to take this to a front where we stand at different view point. We have much diversity, cultural opinions and ideologies, and hope we remain together with all the differences.

        Every culture, religion must get the equal representation and I am in for it. Please look into my previous comments also, I have no where mentioned that all other cultural aspects and legacy should not be mentioned. Infact I have been advocating for the same from the very first comment i posted.

        Its your country too and you have all the rights to seek the representation and equal representation.

        The only issue/complaint I have is that you guys have not observed (may be unintentionally) that I did advocated for the inclusion of all these discussed kingdoms into the curriculum, but have really scrutinized each and every other statement.

        Have a good day pal !!

    • Excuse me, Mr. Khan, but who are the Aryans? You mention them repeatedly as if they were a tribe or group that invaded India. Nothing can be further from the truth. The concept of the Aryan came from the word Arya in Sanskrit for Noble. Max Mueller first referred to Aryans (inadvertently apparently) as a race, and the racist Europeans of his time immediately pounced on this and postulated that a civilization as great as India’s must have been given to the dark natives by a bunch of blue eyed, blonde haired invaders called Aryans. MM tried to recant but to no avail. Let me reiterate – there was never an Aryan invasion, although there has been immigration into India from time immemorial, an “Aryan” trickle at best. Surely, these immigrants gave India the progenitor of the Sanskrit language. However, as MM said himself, “it is dangerous to mix linguistics and anthropology.”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aryan_race

      Mr. Kaipullai, unfortunately Indians have not just discarded medieval history, they have also discarded ancient history. Specifically, the importance of the Saraswati River Valley Civilization (Pre-Harappan?) is only now being realized. I wish you would research and write about this some time. I accidentally stumbled upon your Bharat Ratna article and found the others – wonderful stuff. Pl. keep up the good work.

  42. I loved reading”THe greatest heist etc,”and loved the thoughts of the various participants in the arguement s(Comments).I do not remember much of my history or what was taught in school as we tend to add on to our knowledge as we go on reading and adding stuff to our knowledge.I enjoyed this article and am recommending this to my family and friends. I am eagerly waiting for part 2.I came in through Facebook.

  43. I studied ICSE and as far as I can rememeber I hated hisory. Indian History was filled with irrelevant facts and I agree with KS it too detailed study of some aspects of our history. There are some periods where too much importance has been paid and some periods which have been ignored as as KS points out major gaps in our history.

    Again India being a fairly old civilization, occuping a fair amount of geography and studying details for a particular period does not make sense. For Class 10, We should either have a holistic view of our entire history. For Class 12 on the other hand there could be a detailed critcial study of the freedom movement or the Delhi Sultanante.

    Also while there should be achievements for a particilar kingdom and particular period, it should also mention the failures. History should teach us about things we should not do rather than keep building on unncessary pride about a glorious past.

  44. Well, I really don’t know whether I should praise your article or criticize it. I actually have very mixed feelings about it. This is because I believe that in raising a doubt about what we are taught in history, you have raised a very valid point; but I fail to see anything new in the solution that you provide. Let me provide an altogether different viewpoint of the problem as I see it.

    I believe the basic problem with Indian History as we read it is its arbitrary periodization into Hindu, Muslim and British periods. This system was introduced by the British to reinforce the prominence of religion (irrational) in pre-colonial history and to uphold their reign as one of scientific advancement and rationality. The absurdness of the division was apparent by its North India centric view of Indian history (why else should 1206AD be considered a cut-off point for Hindu India when still 3/4th of India was under Hindu rule and it was not until mid 14th century that South India was brought under the Muslim sovereignty of Delhi sultanate).

    Post-independence, it should have been logical to do away with this unsound system and to put in place a scientific system of periodization. But the tragedy was that the same system continued, albeit under a different name. The colonial ‘Hindu’, ‘Muslim’ and ‘British’ periods were conveniently rechristened as Ancient, Medieval and Modern India. Some historians proposed an alternate division that was even more arbitrary and very Eurocentric with the three periods stretched or shortened (Ancient up to 8th century & Medieval up to 18th century) so as to both bring them near to similar periods of European history and to prevent religious connotation associated with it. But this system could not replace the old system that was followed in the higher education.

    The question arises what is the reason behind continuing this same system? The answer is – our pseudo-nationalism. Post partition, nation building became so important that any type of assertion on part of the regions of India was deemed as an attempt to break the fledgling nation. Hence, the state became a propaganda machine to propagate nationalism at the expense of the provinces. This was reflected even in the history books where only those periods were highlighted that were in some way or the other Pan-Indian empires. Smaller kingdoms, howsoever, important they may have been in their region were neglected to weave glorious story of great empires punctuated by periods of anarchy and confusion. So the sequence runs – Harappans, then the Vedic period of transition, followed by the rise and fall of the Magadhan empire, followed by a confusing period of Central Asian invasions, then the Gupta empire, then another great period of confusion and anarchy culminating in Turko-Afghan conquest of North India, then the Sultanate of Delhi followed by the magnificent Mughal empire and finally the British empire.

    The problem with such a bigoted point of view towards Indian history was excessive attention was paid to periods when there was a strong centrally administered state ruling over a large part of the country (something of the sort of a Central government) while the periods of disunity were treated as something unworthy of detailed analysis and attention.

    The same empire centric point of view is apparent in your post where it appears that you want people to read about Cholas, Palas, Chalukyas, Vardhanas etc. because they deserved the mention by building great empires and monuments. But to extrapolate your point of view – why should we not read about the Gajapatis of Orissa or Ahoms of Assam or the Gond kings of Central India or for that matter the kings of Manipur and Kerala. At least, the people who you name in your post find a mention in the book. The ones I have listed do not even find that mention.

    I think now you can see the futility of what you are asking. The question becomes what to keep and what to leave. A difference should be made between what to teach and when to teach. It is unnecessary for a seventh grade student to be overloaded with names of dynasties, their wars and their building activities. A book can at max hint at them with the hope to raise sufficient interest among the students so that they discover history rather than mug it up. And I consider that a teacher has a very crucial role to play here.

    Coming back to the problem of periodization, what is the solution? For the solution, we must first define the scope and purpose of history. What is history? Is it a glorified tale of some individuals or a saga of evolution of a society? As far as I am considered, the former is more apt for biography and fiction while domain of history is the latter. Amrapali’s selection as a courtesan and her love with Bimbisara maybe an excellent material for soap-operatic novels, but as a historian I would be more interested in learning what kind of society was that of the Licchavis where the most beautiful girl becomes a public property? What does it tell about the condition of women in such a society? Rather that learning the exciting adventures of Chandragupta and Chanakya and the poignant tale of Asoka, I would be more interested in learning what kind of empire was envisioned by Kautilya in Arthasastra and how did Asoka’s transformation brought a change to it? Were those changes, in any way, essential to the fall of the Magadhan empire? This is because the former are good stories that could entertain us but at the end of the day it is essential to learn history to understand the society we live in.

    Historian Hermann Kulke proposed a thematic periodization of Indian history that I found very interesting. The first period (from Harappans up to the Guptas) represents the foundation and propagation of Pan-Indian empires with a strong centrally administered polity. This period established the basic standard of the culture of the Indian subcontinent that separates it from the other cultural regions of the world (e.g. the varnashrama system, the Sanskritic culture space, the Hindu-Buddhist architecture etc.).

    The second period (from Harsha to the fall of Delhi Sultanate and Vijayanagar) is a period of evolution of different regions of the subcontinent with their unique culture yet every region, in its own way, vying to achieve the standard set during the previous period. The coming of Turko-Afghans (mind it, not Muslims – for the same reason that we say Kushans and Sakas and not Buddhists or Sky-worshippers) only added a new dimension to this evolution; but the basic development of this period remains the same culminating in development of the numerous small kingdoms during the mid-fourteenth century.

    The theme of the last period (from Mughals to the contemporary times) is the struggle between the centrifugal forces of provincialism (Sikhs, Marathas, Mysore, Hyderabad, Bengal, Awadh etc.) opposed to the centripetal forces of central administration (Mughals and British).

    The beauty of such a periodization is it gives ample space to a very crucial aspect of Indian civilization – the existence of diversity. ‘Unity in Diversity’ is what we are taught from our childhood. I think that the unity part everyone understands pretty well; it is the diversity where the problem lies. No one comprehends it.

    • Hrishikesh, You are amazing bud, I appreciate your indepth understanding and knowledge about us, The Indians. Loved your point of view towards looking these Turks- Afghan and calling them as what they were, rather than associating them with a religion.

      Your proposition seems to be practical for categorization of Indian history and It may deliver to the need of the hour. :)

    • Wonderful stuff! It seems to me that this is what Indian universities should be doing, both in their teaching and in their research (i.e. production of PhD theses). Is this being done? If not, why not? K-12 instruction, which is where most people get their history lessons, cannot be the place to introduce changes in the manner history is viewed. This must be done in universities and trickle down to schools once a consensus has been formed as to what is most appropriate.

  45. I had no idea that CBSE mentions so little about these empires. West Bengal board books deals (at least dealt, 6 years ago) about them in so much detail that none of the facts you mentioned is new to me. Even they discussed about Sen dynasty, Gurjar Pratihar etc. Harshavardhana or Palas or Cholas was as important as Muslim rulers or early British age in our syllabus.

    Nevertheless, very well written article. I loved studying history and I agree with you that history should be taught like stories. I am grateful that West Bengal board had quite a number of books (by Jeeban Sanyal or Sachin Mandal) which was written like that.

    PS: You may want to change the ‘7000’ to 700 in the line “…some 7000 years before Raja Ram Mohan Roy was even born.”

  46. Great Article, reminded me of Veer Savarkar’s “Saha Soneri Pane” (Marathi name meaning 6 Golden pages or periods in our history)
    Well Done

  47. Pingback: indian history « true void

  48. Dear Author,

    I would like to suggest a typo mistake…

    “Amongst Harsha’s other achievements, was that he was the first to abolish Sati as a rule in his kingdom, some 7000 years before Raja Ram Mohan Roy was even born”

    I think it should be corrected to 1000 years.. :)

    Great article…3 cheers :)

  49. Awesome.worth reading.Atleast you put efforts to educate the people and know more about our own country

  50. Eye opening! Wish this is actually given a thought to by the CBSE people.. The sense of pride involved might make reading history almost enjoyable.
    Awesome job on the writing. Thank you :)

  51. I read about Harshavardhan in the 3rd standard. I did ICSE!

    Maths and Science are the chosen, “important” subjects?! You’re damn right they are. Since they are subjects that will feed hungry mouths, run machines and erect buildings. See, our society and as a result our education system has always been tuned towards getting a job, securing employment. It’s never been one conducive to the pursuit of knowledge. Like Tennyson said, “To follow knowledge like a sinking star, beyond the utmost bound of human thought” ought to be the higher aim of an education system. But then, even in our everyday dilemma of stomach vs heart, the stomach almost always triumphs.

    Also, history is about facts but it’s scary how much of this is actually true. (By this, I mean what’s in text books not your post.)Someone’s opinion ratified by the Government becomes fact! I shudder to hardbour the thought a little longer. Reminds me of Orwell’s Thoughtspeak!

    How much of History that’s in book is regionally biased, you think?? If V. Sivaramakrishnan was born north of the Vindhyas would he have played for India? What of VV Kumar? Would Vijay Bharadwaj (who incidentally scored a ‘centum’ in his CBSE 10th Mathematics!) have played for India if it wasn’t Vishy at the helm? There’s a connection there somewhere. No matter how slim, there is some truth in it. Or is it possible that the Devanagiri writing babus know nothing of the history outside of Hauz Khas?

    And fantatsic posts! Keep them coming. With the stomach winning, I’m glad you provide fodder for the heart to chew on! :-)
    And the, appropriately named, grey cells!!

  52. Well written article. Sadly, the Indian history according to the Govt. prescribed textbooks is confined to the region between Indus, Godavari and the Ganga. Not much is known about the North-Eastern and Southern part of the country by the average person.

    On a tangential note, why do historians conveniently never discuss the dark past of the ridiculous amounts of famines caused in the region?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Famine_in_India#British_rule

  53. May be CBSC books do not have those chapters. But I surely have read them in my text books ssc board in karnataka. I wonder how ICSC board treats history and dishes it out to my daughter. As for the present times… we got to respect ourselves and our origins/culture/tradition etc Stop being critics about India/indians, all countries have faults/fallacies. But deep respect alone can set us on the path to revive the golden era of bygone past.. this to me doesn’t seem very far! so rise! awake!
    And respecting culture etc not be interpreted as wearing dhotis and sarees and abandon jeans n T-shirt… respecting means to strive for betterment of people/community and not just our home/family. Team work! Like the corporates say :) Believe in yourself! say we can do it!

  54. I think this must be a CBSE thing. I am from the Tamilnadu state board ( Class of 1988- So I don’t know if I can find links to my textbooks online!). I have not read much history after school but I still remember Harshavardhana, Rashtrakutas, Pallavas (infact I vividly remember the constant strife between Chalukyas and Pallavas, what with one of the Pallavas – I forget which one – ransacking vatapi). Krishnadeva Raya had a significant portion of our texts allotted to him. I also remember Kanishka (earlier part of history than what you are talking about) getting a lot of attention. The only dynasty I think we completely missed is the Pala dynasty.

    Oh btw, I would be very interested in understanding the actual source of information for all the Chola Naval prowess that you are talking about ( copper plates, inscriptions etc.). I ask this because, from what I remember, information on Chola dynasty (outside what is described in literature/paeans) is not as high as it could be and is also fragmented. I know, I could buy the book. But I would appreciate it if you could just save me some effort and enlighten me here (Seeing as you have made so much effort already ;) ).

    You write extremely well and it was a pleasure reading. I like the neutral tone in your responses to comments. But I guess you know all that already. Please keep writing – don’t let the ‘kattadhorai’ in you win!

  55. In a country where even today nearly 3/4S\s have to go to bed hungry and starving, corruption and nepotism are the order of the day, and the weak are opressed and punished, it really doesnt matter how illustrious we may claim to be or what great origins we may have come from!!!!!!!
    Great effort, but of no use……

    • What you have mentioned is nothing less than showing your back to the existing problem rather solving it.

      When we talk about the glorious past it also raises questions in the mind’s of people as to what was the reason for such an illustrious past and then the answer is the moral values our ancestors had due to which they flourished and when we start resurrecting the lost values it certainly leads to restoration of the lost glory.

      Just accept the fact that the current education system incorporated by British in India is nothing but the corrupted one, once it is reformed the second phase of golden era is not far.

  56. Actually it was not the Chalukyas who first legalized prostitution. It was legalized and taxed even during the times of Chandragupta Maurya and in the times of the Guptas

  57. Excellently put.. Read your other articles too! I have read about most of the mentioned dynasties through Amar Chitra Katha rather than our History Textbooks.. Please keep writing! :)

    Cheers.
    Vijay.

  58. This is really a good initiative and all of you participating and adding your thoughts are making it more meaningful, brainstorming is a best tool to find solutions that have mass impact.
    Most of us might know what Lord Macaulay said about India to British Parliament and today’s so called Indian history in our text books is the result of that annoying suggestion he gave.

    I do agree that our history has been misrepresented and misinterpreted to a greater extent and it was designed to corrupt and divide India. Knowingly unknown by this fact our politicians are carrying this disgrace to our future generation just to fantasize their political gains.

    More over whenever someone has tried to take this up for discussion, he/she has been painted as non-secular and views were taken offensively just like few have taken a stand on this page as well.

    Also to add it is not just the period between 600 AD to 1200AD is lost in our history, it is grossly misleading.

    If I remember correctly, our history in the school started with Vasco Da Gama as if he is the one who found and started life on this main land called India which is again just a starting point of European phase of India but not the Barath Varsh in all. We have lot of history before Vasco Da Gama that has not been paid due attention which certainly need larger and immediate attention.

    Where there are enough evidence to prove that Ramayan and Mahabharatha are not just stories and they have actually taken place, there is no trace of them in our history text books where as we can study enough about the so called founders of other religions.

    The need of studying Indian history through Sanskrit is very much necessary because only through that we can start decoding vedas, upanishads that say lot about our true history and also that will help in understanding the scriptures that are present on the rocks of the ancient temples.

    We indeed studied about industrial revolution in a bit detail but the information we got about Chanukya was very little and a detailed chapter would have helped us to understand the economics which is base for any nation today, it is similar when we compare Kalidasa to Shakespeare the information about the latter was much more than the former.

    Lastly mentioning about Arayans by someone here makes me talk a bit about that as well. Aryan migration theory is still debatable and not a conclusion. The Sanskrit word Aryan means noble, ideal, honorable which is used to describe most of our great historical characters like Rama, Krishna and likes of them and the antonym of this word is Anarya.

    Through the linguistic theory it has been established that Sanskrit is the oldest known language to man kind with which we can get to know that the word Aryan was not just limited to India, it’s presence in ancient indo-european parts have been proved beyond doubts. Even a country’s name has been derived through this word and it is today’s Iran (Aryan). Hence historians speculate the theory of migration of a group of people who came to India just on the basis of a word which may not be the fact because today’s so called Aryans in India (north Indians and most of Brahmins) does not resemble in any way to their western counterparts even through the DNA studies. People who thought themselves as nobel and righteous termed themselves as Aryans both in India and Europe because of the common forms of languages they both used and beyond this there is no relativity between these two groups and neither have travelled from west to east or vice versa.

    Let us continue this initiative and spread it accross to all the fellow Indians so that all of us understand the imporatnce of studying right history through which the actual science has evolved which is much sought after than the former.

  59. HIstory of india is mostly delhi centric and written by white man. But It is actually too big and each Indian person can be proud of it. You forgot to mention satavahanas, vijayanagar empire many of them are bigger and greater contribution than say mughals/slave dynasty. There is a lot of history of indian kings settling and ruling south east asia which is generally not mentioned. There is a place called sriparvata in burma look it up… Indians were there with thier elephants in persian armies. The whole of central asia/afghanistan/iran were once shared indian culture until they got islamized and started behaving antagonistically. even after islamization we were there with them sharing a lot of thier culture and traditions.

    iranians have a tradition of cleaning up thier house and throwing out useless stuff every year. similarly maharashtrians also do this every diwali.

  60. Nice facts. I read in comments that part 2 is also coming. In that I would request you to mention one ruler who deserves a lot of Credit: Maharaja Ranjit Singh. From the time of Islamic Rule (The Slave Dynasty) the normal route of Invasion of India was from Kabul towards the plain. That stayed that way for over 600 years. It was Maharaja Ranjit’s sing army who reversed the route and after many centuries brought Peshawar into his rule (It then fell to British, and then in Pakistan when ideally it should be a part of Afghanistan).
    Maharaja Ranjit’s Singh Rule comprised of the present states of Khyber Pakhtoonwa(Pak), Punjab (Pak), J&K (Ind, Pak), HP(Ind) & Punjab(Ind). It was a kingdom truly secular in Nature and donations were given for building Temples, Mosques & Gurudwara’s. He built a modern army and had many European Generals as part of it

    If part 2 is coming, I would want you to research on him and write about him

  61. A good effort indeed ! However many a things are covered in state board syllabi . The need of the hour puts lot of importance to science,so day by day reducing the share of History. In this article also, I find a lot is missing from the History of Odisha.The history of temples of odisha, the voyage of traders from Utkal to Java, Borneo, Sumatra(present Indonesia) are mentioned no where in history. .We in Odisha only know the conquest of Odiya kings upto Vijwada(then known as Vijaya Bahuda-(return after victory). The present Vijay Nagaram (Vijay Nagar)was named so as the King of Odisha won over the sourthen state there.It is believed that when Ashoka attacked Kalinga ,then Kalinga was a very prosperous kingdom and was under democratic rule. If that is true then that could be the earliest sign of democracy in the world. Effort is required by historians in regional level to rewrite history.

  62. Nice write up, but please do not mislead, they do teach these things in school, I was in ICSE board and remember reading about Cholas, Pallavas, Pandayas etc…in class 9th.. also if some want to read all these things they can refer the NCERT books on Indian History for class 11th and 12th, all facts and myth mentioned here are present in those books…
    Also, one point Baber was not even born in 1476… and what about university other than Nalanda and Vikramshila i.e. Taxshilla university…

    • Pawan, I read NCERT books in my CBSE school and I didnt read much about cholas,pallavas or chalukyas. There were fleeting references only. The author has also provided a link to the book here.Am not sure if you took the effort to go through it.

      • If you want to read, please read ancient and medieval India history books by NCERT, they are not main curriculum books but reference books.

        Also, i have already all these history, so need not think there is any need to to any link.

  63. First time I read history with so much interest… Thanks for compiling this!!!

  64. I dont know what is taught in today’s history book. But I did read about all these great kings and empires in my time. Have you checked the books or are you basing your observations on the comments of one person.

  65. Aaaaaaaa…am the 100th vote… There is a little pride in this…:):):):) Though not as in the 1st vote..:):):)

  66. Dude you are awesome! I feel the same. As a proud Indian, I feel so bad that most of my fellow brothers and sisters are taught the wrong history day and night. No wonder they are bored of history! I squarely blame the western archaeologists for denigrating our civilization and proclaiming that civilization couldn’t have started before 3000BC. According to them, we were all cave men scrapping off rocks and living a savage life. However, this is totally not true and our civilization is the proof refuting their lies.

    One thing I would like to point out is that there is concrete proof of existence of the Indian civilization atleast before 12000BC years(Check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aTDsrwEobk).

    And one more thing — Aryan Invasion theory is total bullshit.

    And another thing, as a south Indian myself, I never came across any historical appraisal or detailed accounts of our south Indian kings(cholas, cheras and pandians) — they are totally left out of the history textbooks.

  67. Excellent article man…..our histroy has been twisted….even Alexanders Greeks were defeated by Bharatiya rulers who had united against him….there are many examples….while whole lessons are wasted on Islamic rule of India where they actually have nothing offer only looting and plundering, our own enlightened rulers who were scholars ,poets,playrights ,grammarians find no mention…..even the books tell us that the English took Bharat by deafeating various mughal kingdoms…..in reality that time most part of Bharat was ruled by Marathas and the Mughals lived in there shadows… also the later part of our history ,we are only taught about the Indian National Congress and how gr8 it is (pun intended) they dont even think of incorporating post independence history which is actually very important the period from 1955 to present is left to the imagination of the students ….we have actually 10 years to learn out glorious history from first to the tenth(board)….but we are taught the same things again and again

  68. Your post is really good. But I am really worried you didnt even bother to mention about pandyas alonside cholas. You cannot forget the longest survived dynasty of our country, which had sugar factories, irrigation system, education system, navy, oldest harbour and the people who gave life and bread to the oldest indigenous language of our country(everything in BCs!). (These are to mention a few i rermember)

    Even tamils safely forget Pandyas/Cheras who ruled right from 5th century(as per currently available evidence) and remember only 3 kings in the 10th century AD.

  69. The Indian Civilization or rather the human civilization dates way way before the small slice of history we seem to be fixated upon. When we have forgotten to teach our chidren about the great scriptures which record the history of the universe and Planet Earth since the beginning of creation, what to speak of this small omission of the Great kings of South India in history books written by men of not very high intelligence.

    The ancient civilization of India was not Hindu, it was Universal ie Sanatana Dharma. The term Hindu is a geographical term to describe those who lived on this side of the “Sindhu” river and of recent origin. The present age we live in is the Kali Yuga or “age of deterioration” period in the history of the world. The four ages cyclically occur in every round of creation again and again until the final destruction and then another round of creation. The Srimad Bhagavatam which is considered THE best purana as it is specailly meant for the people of Kali yuga has a very clear description of the past present and future. It even mentions about Chanakya and Chandragupta dynasty after which the degeneration of the kings started and continued and now they are replaced by the politicians who are the “rulers” and are described well in the last Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam.

    http://vedabase.net/sb/12/en

    It is the steady and inexorable march of Kaliyuga into which we have been born after repeated births in various species. Even so things are still good because this is only the first quarter of it and there is so much worse to come few hundreds and thousands of years later. By which time we will have died many times and taken many births unless we do what is needed to stop the cycle. The period we are in has been called by our Spiritual Masters as the Golden age of Kaliyuga. This is becasue the Holy name of God still exists and is repeated. Until then there is still hope for the individual soul to get out of the cycle of birth and death. When this period is over the worst of Kaliyuga will be seen and then the final stage as described in the Canto12.

    It is indeed so strange that a book writen by a Westerner about the relatively recent history of India is being extolled so highly while the wealth of our scriptures is not even known much less understood. The Great sage Srila Vyasadeva , the literary incarnation of the Lord, encapsulated all the wisdom of the ancient sages and rishis passed down through memory over the millenia into a written form into the 4 Vedas, the 18 main Puranas and the 108 Upanishads. Of these the last and most important for Kaliyuga is the Srimad Bhagavata Purana which is a “must read” for anyone born on the great and sacred soil of Bharat Varsh. Incredible but true that God Himself in His mercy came down to the planet in Treta Yuga in His original form, just before Kali Yuga began and gave the Summary of all the Vedas, Puranas and Upanishads in just 700 verses of the Srimad Bhagavad Gita, the essential handbook for any seeker in Kaliyuga. Like a cowherd milking a cow, He milked the essence of the real knowledge to be known by man and gave it to us as the most wonderful guidebook. But, even this “condensed” book is too much to read for us people in this age with short memories and dim intelligence as correctly described in the Great Bhagavatam. Just read one chapter of the divine Bhagavad Gita at least in this lifetime. If that is too difficult at least one verse taking the humble attitude of Arjuna and the Lord gives the understanding so progress is assured. All this material history and the “blips” in it will pale into insignificance.

    Anyone who claims he knows or wants to know Indian history must necessarily at least make a beginning in this lifetime of tasting the nectar of these two greatest of history books. The vast Vedas, Puranas and Upanishads are not recommended reading for us Kaliyugaites. These are the two recommended text books. This is “real” knowledge not what is writen in present day history books. Please just read one verse of Srimad Bhagavatam:

    http://vedabase.net/sb/12/3/51/en

    • Amazingly written, thanks for mentioning for Vedas, Puranas and Upanishads, We have really forgotten these beyond price GEMS of our society. I would love to see my children reading Bhagwad Geeta, I have read it myself along with Quran.
      I treasure the philosophy (Advaita- non dualism) of Adi Guru Shankaracharya regarding the existence of Almighty…. Brahma neti neti, neti Brahma, Aham Brahma, Brahmasmi aham.
      Thanks once again for writing such a wonderful excerpt and bringing in what we Hindus (one who lives in India) have forgotten. :)

  70. My son took a course on Indian History at Stanford University for his undergraduate degree and the book prescribed for it was this book by John Keay that you have called “mind blowing”.

  71. Loved the way you have written!! AWESOMENESS!! :) Kudos!

  72. You are also putting a blade in your version of history. Your below statement is incorrect.
    “Pallavas ruled over the Chalukyas and most of India south of the Narmada for about 150 years”

    Pallavas ruled chalukya kingdom only for 13 years. Vikramaditya 1 was able to push back pallavas and restore chalukya kingdom thereafter. The empire was its peak again during the rule of the illustrious Vikramaditya II. He defeated pallava king Nandivarman II, and captured Kanchipuram. He is also known for his benevolence towards the people and the monuments of Kanchipuram, he did not touch or harm any temples at kanchipuram. His victory against pallavas is engraved in a Kannada inscription on the victory pillar at the Kailasanatha Temple.

  73. I am so proud. That you could really write on a thing that has been bothering me ever since I was done with my history lessons 10 years back. I am really happy that you wrote on all these left out empires. Particularly Cholas. Even by your account, we are still missing large chunks of Indian history. What about the Pandavas? The early,early Pandavas that lived, built glorious empires, were done with their golden generations during the BCs itself. They did come back to dilly dally with the Cholas again in 900 ADs. But what about their early history. What about the things said in Sangam literature. Please, with your great knack for research and sense of elucidation put this thing right too. Educate all of them on the glorious times that we would otherwise never know.

  74. The Point on history and its treatment in the Indian textbooks are conveyed very well. But there is one small factual error. The Top Stone in Tanjore temple is not made one single stone (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brihadeeswarar_Temple). This was even confirmed by the archaeologists stationed there. Also, the shadow thing is an exaggerated legend. May be the complex is two big and wide for the shadow of the gopuram to fall on the ground, but the gopuram itself definitely creates a shadow which falls on the nearby by structures (not on ground). I had seen this personally when i went there and even confirmed by locals and archaeologists.

  75. Great Article. But these lost years of India is just one set of lost years. I hope someone uncovers historical facts about the Vedic era.

  76. Thanks for the article.

    FYI,
    1. The rashtra in Maharashtra, comes originally from the rashtrakutas
    2. The Solanki, Salunke clan names in GJ and MH come from Chalukyas.

  77. I like the perpective and agree (to a certain exent) your desire that the next gen need to study more “Indian” history. Why should folks ready our history apart from the chest thumping and calling other histories wrong?

    My opinion is that we need read history when there is an opportunity to learn from it. Are we seeking that opportunity here? With the focus on Pizzas and Coke, where is that desire?

    Ok, lets teach about cholas (by the way, TN stateboard history books do devote more than 1/2 a page for that topic. CBSE may be different). Is the next gen really going to give more than “oh this history thing sucks dude”.

    I am not making a case for eliminating history from education. Far from it. I think we need to teach history that makes sense (american civil war really does not stand a chance here). The universal truth is victors rewrite history. This has happned in all parts of the world. Our is no exception.

    India is closing in on its victory over its colonial attitude. Time to rewrite history, but rewrite it so that the next gen really wants to read and learn from it.

  78. Thanks for this article.

    You have have a very impressive writing style.
    I am a guy who had always thought “history sucks, what happened in history is not important”. After reading this article(and another novel “Aavarana” by S.L Byrappa), I have started liking it, and want to study more.

    Keep it up dude

  79. I don’t know whether to feel good, that my State Board covered Harsha, Pala, Chalukyas and Chola dynasty in slightly more detail than NCERT books or feel bad that whatever I did read in those books was just like trivia on them… Great article

  80. Other than correcting omissions in history books, which is undoubtedly important, the educational system must also address the teaching of history. Unfortunately, history classes turn out to be a memory tests at best, and turn off even the more curious minds. If the teaching of history could involve movies (well made ones of course), trips (even) to local historical places and museums, well conceived projects (building, acting, dressing up), and an opportunity for students to research and write (even short and simple) term papers, it would great enliven and improve the teaching of history. While this might have been difficult even ten years ago, the wealth of information on the web and the increased resources available to the government make it possible and thinkable now. In fact, even a good champion in the State government can make a lot happen, especially in terms of resources for teaching. I say that because the State government is likely to be much more motivated in promoting South Indian history than the Central government.

    Unfortunately, K-12 education in India is but a race to get into the best professional college and the best possible job/career/paycheck. One wonders whether such a mad rush to the future will allow time for the past. Even if we all know that “those who forget the past are bound to repeat it.”

  81. Indian History books, under Congress rule and dominance of Leftist (read revisionist ) Historians, try to lessen the greatness of everything related to Hinduism. They glorify the Islamic rule without giving a slightest hint of atrocities done by Muslims. And they make so much fuss about caste system, don’t they know about slave trading done by Romans and the Imperial Britishers. Koran and Bible mentions of slaves and their low position in the society. Why only point finger on Hindus ? But.. Congress believes slandering Hindus is the best way to reduce Hindu nationalism and suppress right wing thoughts of the opposition.

  82. Congress sucks.. they promote revisionist historians like Romila Thapar and Upinder Singh, daughter of Manmohan Singh.

    Congress promotes ‘aryan invastion theory’, slanders Hindu Brahmins and glorifies Babur and his Mughal dynasty because husband of Indira Gandhi, Mr. Feroze Gandhi (originally Gandhy) was a self-proclaimed descendant of Babur.

    There is no place in NCERT books for real history. Napolean rightly said “History is a set of lies agreed upon.”

  83. Congress sucks.. they promote revisionist historians like Romila Thapar and Upinder Singh, daughter of Manmohan Singh.

    Congress promotes ‘aryan invastion theory’, slanders Hindu Brahmins and glorifies Babur and his Mughal dynasty because husband of Indira Gandhi, Mr. Feroze was a self-proclaimed descendant of Babur.

    There is no place in NCERT books for real history because it promotes Hindu nationalism which poses threat to the monarchy of “Nehru Dynasty” in the name of democracy.

    Napolean rightly said “History is a set of lies agreed upon.”

  84. I agree with the general observations in this post. The way history is taught in our schools in India is far from ideal. But this post should have been better researched. You have made some serious factual errors in a bid to glorify the empires of India. History should be described impartially and objectively. But this post is far from being objective. Rather it is steeped in jingoistic nationalism and should be renamed as “You know India is awesome; you know what can make it more awesome? And what else can make you feel as an Indian, even more awesome??”
    The factual errors in this post are:
    “Gopala was DEMOCRATICALLY elected by the people of his kingdom. He was the FIRST EVER democratically elected ruler in South Asia, perhaps even Asia and even the world”
    Let us not forget the Greeks and the Romans. Their democracy was older, smarter, complex and more sophisticated. And the Romans were electing Consuls, Pontiffs, Tribunes and Senators every year long before the birth of Christ.
    “And also did I tell you, the Cholas were the first in the world to build a fully functional water diversion/water regulation system in the world”
    Again, let us not forget the Romans. The Roman aqueducts were much older and complex than the Cholas. Emperor Augustus’ general, friend and confidant Marcus Agrippa, redesigned and refined the water delivery system so that clean water comes to Rome from distant streams and rivers. One of the reason Romans considered themselves as “civilised” and the races they conquered as “barbarians” was they were cleaner and had better hygiene due to their easy access to running water. The Mesopotamians and the Persian Empire also had achieved tremendous feats in irrigation and water diversion/regulation way before the Cholas.

    “Cholas also were one of the first to evolve strategic naval doctrines, advanced ship formations and naval warfare tactics”
    The Greeks had fought the Persian empire with Athenian general Themistocles leading the naval battle at Artemisium, while Sparta was blocking the pass at Thermopylae. The battle of Actium between Marc Antony and Marcus Agrippa commanding the troops of Augustus Ceaser was a naval battle. Phoenicians had long discovered all that you attribute to the Cholas.

    “This combination enabled Cholas, to practice the first ever recorded instance of what is today called ‘Gunboat Diplomacy’. Sri Vijaya empire, ruling Cambodia, had the guts to actually sack a Chola Merchant convoy. Cholas responded by taking two fleets of about 500 ships each and obliterating the Sri Vijaya kingdom out of existence. ”
    How is that awesome, is beyond my understanding! An empire obliterating a kingdom by flexing its muscles is never praiseworthy. When the same thing has been done to India by foreign invaders, we have cried foul. But when an Indian empire orchestrates human tragedy of this scale, we becoming smug and start holding our heads high.

    • @Balmiki FYI Indians are undoubtedly the pioneers in navigation though facts on this and many more are twisted to show a false picture on us by British. Infact, the word navigation comes from the word “navgathi” a Sanskrit word.

      The below site gives actual chronology of Bharath as per our scriptures

      http://www.thevedicfoundation.org/the_true_history_and_the_religion_of_india/index.html

      The below link will throw limelight on the navigational skills of Tamil kings..

      http://tamilraja-thotil.blogspot.com/2012/08/blog-post_2.html

    • @Balmiki FYI Indians are undoubtedly the pioneers in navigation though facts on this and many more are twisted to show a false picture on us by British. Infact, the word navigation comes from the word “navgathi” a Sanskrit word.

      The below site gives actual chronology of Bharath as per our scriptures

      http://www.thevedicfoundation.org/the_true_history_and_the_religion_of_india/index.html

      The below link will throw limelight on the navigational skills of Tamil kings..

      http://tamilraja-thotil.blogspot.com/2012/08/blog-post_2.html

      • A. Scriptures are not history. They are fantasy tales with little bits of history in between lines.
        B.The 2nd blog is in Tamil. I do not read/write/speak or understand the language.
        C. Coming up with a word is not enough. English and the languages which have descended from Sanskrit have a lot of common root words because all these languages have a common ancestor i.e. all are children of the Indo-Aryan language family. The words Father and Pita have their roots in ‘Pitr’, Mother and Mata have their roots in ‘Matr’, Horse and Ashwa have their roots in ‘Asva’. That does not mean Indians came of with the idea of Fatherhood, Motherhood or domestication of animals. No one is denying the Cholas had decent naval capabilities or maritime skills. But a lot of guys before them had better skill sets in the same area and bigger achievements. Even Indians(if we may use the word). The people from the Indus Valley were trading overseas with Messopotemia and Uruk 5,000 years ago. Sailors from Bengal(Gour-Banga) had been trading all across the far east. Folklore and proto-history in Sri Lanka states that the island was conquered by an exiled Bengali prince called Vijaysingha who came by sea with a navy. I have a general objection of making the Chola pioneers of naviagtion or painting them as extraordinary, becuase the Cholas did exactly what a lot of empires did before and after them. Start from a humble beginning, reach some sort of zenith, create an empire and then lose and die out to the next emerging power. Hence this is an article of fanboy worship, not history.

    • The romans didn’t think of others as Barbarians because of hygiene. The greeks used the word “Barbarian” as a way to describe any foreigner. It literally means “the bearded ones”. The romans later used the word to describe any non-roman\greek person. No one says the Cholas were the only discoverers of anything, what we want is an objective assessment of history where you give credit to the Cholas for their achievements as well.

      • Nopes….not beard! Pretty much all ancient people had beard. Greeks had beard. Search the Google for images of ancient Greek pottery and statues. Their gods had bad-assly awesome beards. Zeus had a beard, Poseidon had a beard, Hedes had a beard. Their philosophers had beard. Socrates had a beard, Plato had a beard, Aristotle had a beard. First clean shaved guy to appear on the scene was Alexander. Republican Romans had a beard(Search for Tiberius Gracchus) until Scipio Africanus, who imitated Alexander and shaved his beard. And that made the clean shaven look among Romans a raging style and later enabled Gillette to make like tons of money. The term barbarian was coined by the Greeks for non-Greek speakers, as their language appeared to the Greeks as babbling gibberish….bar-bar-bar-bar…….Whatever the etomology of the word, it essentially means uncivilized. To the Greeks all non-Greeks were uncivilized, because……wait for it…..because they were not Greeks! And the Romans thought others to be uncivilized not because they did not take regular baths. It was because THEY WERE NOT ROMANS. The deal is simple! If you want to build an empire, conquer, subjugate and enslave people, you have to come up with pretexts and excuses. The Romans justified themselves by saying that they were bringing laws, governance etc. etc. and ofcourse they were better. They had bath houses and were ‘clean and civilized’. If you read the blog a bit more keenly, you will find that the author does make assertions that the Cholas did it first. I did quote him, didn’t I? Used CAPS to make it clear…..now how could you have missed that?

  85. Thank you for this incredible article. I will buy the recommended book too.

  86. Glory to the one who illuminates his fellow beings with the truth about our glorious past. God Bless you. Bharat mata ki jai!

    • Good Article nice reading it. Also I agree with general sentiment expressed about history of India not presented fully in text books.

  87. Mind blowing article… Why have you stopped publishing? We would be happy to have more from you…

    You have triggered my interest in History and I myself have started a blog on interesting stories from Indian History.

    Just one small correction… Hampi was capital of Vijayanagar empire not the Chalukyas

  88. hey you all american and other foreigner black minded people, indian kings had been ruling since 600 BC(golden times of India), the time when Americans and britishers were outlaws and didn’t wore clothes. and u r abusing us, the wealth u have today, largely came from india and mostly asia from ancient past. Dutch, Portuguese, French, Britishers, all weak cultures were extremely jealous of india’s asian trade routes and commerce in 14-15-16-17th centuries, the result, extreme attacks on india by all of them, and now, u may be powerful on scientific basis, but u r always full of hate, and we are, may be poor in finance, but love and respect the gifts your culture gave on the power of money and treasure(that belonged to only india)….. General O’ Dyer the killer….belongs to you, and Vivekananda the great soul belongs to us….>think about it..its all true.

  89. @Balmiki fyi Indians are undoubtedly the pioneers in navigation though facts on this and many more are twisted to show a false picture on us by British. Infact, the word navigation comes from the word “navgathi” a Sanskrit word.

    The below site gives actual chronology of Bharath as per our scriptures

    http://www.thevedicfoundation.org/the_true_history_and_the_religion_of_india/index.html

    The below link will throw limelight on the navigational skills on Tamil kings..

    http://tamilraja-thotil.blogspot.in/2012/08/blog-post_2.html

  90. Friend, some comments

    1.To me harshavardhan is not a great king since he did not defeat foreigners. Only fellow Indians. Anyone can defeat Indians. Even Indians. Ditto for Gopala, chalukyas, etc

    2. Yes, The Cholas were awesome. Strongest Navy of the world at the time ship-to-ship as well as tonnage. The world’s first Blue water Navy. Hell , we still do not have a blue water Navy. Not a big fan of their fetish for temple building though.

    *******************************************************************************************************

    Let me take the liberty to mention couple great warriors of the time that you have missed. Very few Indians have heard of them. Our esteemed historians have tried very hard to ensure that we never hear of them. In my opinion, since they defeated foreign powers, they are more awesome than Harshavardhan

    1. Emperor Yashodharman: Defeated the Hunnish invasions of India. Not a small feat. The huns were the superpower of their time. Remember Attila? The only reason we Indians do not talk about the Huns is Yashodharman. If that idiot Prithiviraj was anything like the kickass YD, Muslims to us would not be very different from the Chinese. Across the border only, not inside.

    2. Emperor Lalitaditya Muktapida: If not for this man, the muslim Rule of Delhi would have started three hundred years before it already did. He smashed the Islamic armies so bad, they said “F*** it” to India and decided to focus on the Crusades with the Christians instead.

    Perhaps you should write about these two ass kickers next?

  91. You should make a Wiki page for THIS only!!

  92. Essentially, your understanding of history seems like a narrative of “glorious emperors and kings” not the history of people, not the history of outcasts, not the history of families who lost their men in war for the ambition of their kings. Shameful!!

  93. what a brilliant article!! kickass stuff

  94. Very interesting blog and comments are as much engrossing!! have to continue reading these !!

  95. Looks like CBSE syllabi must be drafted by north Indians and now I understand why my north indian friends used to taunt south indians telling the mughals never went south since the south (as they know) was wild country with no wealth to philander. I did Anglo Indian (same history syllabus as matriculation) in TN and we did read extensively about Cholas/Cheras/Pandavas/Pallavas and all those kingdoms you mentioned in good detail. There is also history around Sangam literature (conferences where scholars met for setting standards and write literature) .. this in 4th century. Another area of neglect in history is.. how rampant was Buddhism/Jainism way of life was in India until 6-8th century AD when revival of hinduism began.

  96. Good compilation. One other great dynasty that you missed is “Satavahana dynasty”

  97. I am impressed. I have been sometimes shouting at the top of my lungs about Karikal Chola, Narasimha Pallava, Pulikesi-I and II, to friends, colleagues, family and all but the significance simply does not seem to sink. Any day, Cheran Senguttuvan could have Kicked Akbar’s ass, be it in Panipat or Pondycherry.
    Great piece. Continue the good work.

  98. Shesh, this is one of the most original writeups I have read. Do not see your email id /contact anywhere here? Pls share.

  99. Not sure what kind of crap is taught in CBSE schools, I remember reading all these AP state syllabus. So, lets not make a stink about coverage and see a conspiracy where none exists.

  100. Your post is no doubt interesting. But to set the record straight, I studied under CBSE syllabus and for sure recollect reading about Harshavardhana, Harihar and Bukka of the Vijaynagar empire, the naval prowess of the Cholas. And also Cheras and Pandyas and Rashtrakutas, Satvahanas. There was no ‘eight century hole’. I also recollect that history was a part of social sciences. One third of it. And social sciences used to be taught for a year less than math and science. Given our long history the treatment of each period and kingdom could not have been in depth, especially if you are like ten to fourteen year old.
    Believe me there is no conspiracy here, as some of us would like to imagine.

  101. I would say just a different way of presenting(show off), btw it was taught to us in the classes. However not much bright analysis..question Why the history of that period is less taught..a good student will ask what happened to buddhists in india…nd the teacher will reply son it ws the dark age of india..when indians killed indian on an scale never seen before…try on these points nd few more, which i leave to u to ponder .. there is nothing heroic about that period but it set the ground work for demise of india after that period …

    • Why shy away from truth, if you have evidence of Buddhists being killed in massive scale or even lesser than massive scale it should be out in the open. Will be interested in the evidence you produce.

  102. John Keay’s book a definite read. I am close to 40 years old, but we definitely grew up reading about the Pallavas, Cholas, Rashtrakutas and Hoysalas. But I guess it was because the text books were written by South Indians.

    Our Historians have done a disservice by not highlighting the 1000 years of history mentioned in your article…

  103. Dude, just 1 basic observation; u have written like in 600 A.D India, Gupta era India etc etc….but did our country really existed before 1947??? I thought our civilization existed (which encapsulates hindu,muslim/moslem/ christian /buddhism, name any other religion) but not our country..so my personal feeling is you have got the premise in itself wrong!!!

  104. What an amazingly gripping insight into what’s not documented! Respect! Thanks for posting this blog as well as the link to the book. I am glad you are able to read the mind of a reader and provide recommendation for further reading.
    I echo your feelings. Thanks again!

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  107. Interesting article. Where did you got all the details from?
    Regards!

  108. I look forward to digging more of your good quality article.
    It’s much appreciated!

  109. Very happy to see this coverage of yours. For the people from the North some of these accounts could be very new.
    By the way there is another great problem with chronology.
    Megasthenees wrote a few details about India and that served as the basis for the Westerners to write about India.
    Chandraguptha Maurya ruled around 1500BCE or so but Chandraguptha of Gupta dynasty has been confounded with him and we have been taught that his period was 300 BCE to coincide with the invasion of Alexander from Greece. Sir Jones made this error being rather forced by Max Muller. Therefore history for a period over 1000 years has been erased. It so turns out that according to this Emperor Ashoka would be 1000 years before the actual dates talked about because he was the grand son of Chadra Gupta Maurya.
    Just to abridge, this would push the dates of Buddha back also. Our Govt does not seem to bother about rectification. Some historians who are claiming this have been branded as HIndutva hence takes a political colour. This is unfortunate.. Hope something would be done to get the correct dates and rewrite our ancient history.
    Dr.R.Krishnan

  110. I discovered your website doing research on Google. It helped me a lot.
    Thanks, so much appreciated!

  111. Two points, one I did not study the CBSE syllabus and the Karnataka state syllabus definitely has a lot more about Chalukyas, Cholas, Pandyas, Rashrakutas and even Harshavardhana. Most of what you mention in this blog is something that I’ve studied in school.

    Two, as we go further back in history, the significance to today becomes less relevant – so we tend to study recent history in more detail than ancient history. Perhaps the same applies here as well. The era before 6th C A.D. is in much less detail.

    All said and done, I definitely agree that the NCERT guys have not done enough justice if all they could manage was one chapter for all the remaining kingdoms and kings. Also, remember that NCERT comes from Delhi where the Mughal empire has more influence than the kingdoms of the south. But hell no, that is no reason to exclude these magnificient kings from history.

  112. We also cannot overlook the fact that our ancients did not maintain good records. Most of our history was memorised and transmitted orally. As a result the distinction between history and mythology got blurred. What we know of our ancient history is through the accounts of foreign travellers like Hieun-tsang, Megasthenes, Al Beruni etc. In recent times, our history was “re-discovered” by foreign indologists. For example, we did not know about Ashok, till a Britisher deciphered his rock inscriptions.

  113. a good researched article.. actually this should be given wide publicity and the younger generation particularly of other religions of our country to be made aware that what a glorified history was ours and feel proud of this soil….

  114. You have written a great article. I read your article on quora. I don’t know if all you wrote is legit, but I feel so good today, just because I now have more things to say when some sucker brags about western civilization. I don’t think there is any bad in praising others history, but when we have got our own which is better, we should try to do every possible thing in this world to bring back the glory.

  115. A good informative article I must say, with only misinformation that South Indian history is neglected in India and we are not taught that in school. If you are talking about NCERT textbooks, I am not aware of the current syllabus, but when I studied (Std 6th to 10th from 1996 to 2000) the syllabus pretty much included all these dynasties. 6th std included Indian history from 3000 BC till 6th century AD or 7th century AD, can’t recall exactly. 7th std included Indian history from 7th century AD till 16th century AD. 8th std included Indian history from 17th century AD till Independence and very briefly the period post Independence. 9th std included world history of stone age till colonialism, and 10th std included world history post that period. Now considering, every textbook is mostly about 250 to 300 pages (including photographs and maps which are very important to understand history) and the years I mentioned included in the book, it will be difficult to detail out everything. After mostly it is the fault of students who hate and neglect history and not the book or the teacher. Also, the role should be of parents to instigate an interest to know more about own history. Our syllabus and textbooks did enough to show us a trailer and it was up to us to search for more if it interested us.

  116. To the writer of this blog, I am sorry to have to tell you that your nephew was sleeping through most of his history classes. Just to be sure I have just checked the NCERT website to find out whether they could have changed the curriculum so radically since I went to school and I was glad to see they hadn’t. All the great empire builders you mentioned were included as was the one man you forgot about, Ashoka. Ashoka BTW had an empire that was larger than all the rest including parts in the North East that have never been included in any other pan Indian Empire until independence. I would actually give the errant boy a lecture about sleeping during his history class and tell him that math and science may get him a job but he will remain an ignorant fool if he neglects the subject.

  117. would like to know origin of tamil.

  118. Knowing our history well in all its details is very important. I appreciate all those who bring to fore all the interesting details from our past. Nothing needs to be left out and nothing needs to be overemphasized. We should not be defensive about our weaknesses as a society. Equally important, all those who are busy in building modern India should think creatively and make bold changes on a continuous basis. I am quite sure we will again see a golden age soon. Quite likely the children of today may well live in another golden age, in this ancient land.

  119. awesome post.. our history, culture, language is being systematically lost. In another hundred years whatever history we had known will be replaced by some other crap.

  120. If our kings were so powerful. Where did the decline begin, how come, we became so easy to loot and conquer ?

  121. Most of the details are wrong and huge tam bias all through. Thanks you did not write that cholas are still ruling in TN

    • So are you trying to say that the post is untrue? Just because there were great empires in the south which you arent aware of does not mean they are manufactured or have a Tam bias. (FYI I am not a tam before you start accusing me of it). The article starts with the Harsha & Pala empires which are decidedly non – South, which you haven’t noticed. The emphasis is on empires which are ignored in our history textbooks, wihch just happens there are more of in the South. Post the Muslim invasions, Tughlaq/ Mughal/ Rajput/ maratha empires were pretty well represented in the textbooks when I studied….

      Perhaps you should start thinking why non of the North kings managed to capture the South…

  122. Awesome post, as an avid reader of history, I have personally found the lack of history books on Indian empires to be extremely galling. I can find any amount of books on any European empire, but very few on Indian ones (in English atleast). I had to read a book by a British authour (INdia – A History by John Keay) to find that the Cholas have been the only Indian empire to invade a foreign country and the extent of the empire. Sad…

  123. Though i totally enjoy the free access to the ocean of insights u have about Indian history, i do think u should write a book!

  124. Awesome post, simply loved reading it.

  125. We need to make our history more India centric than invader centric.
    The history which is being forced on us is being done by a clique of Marxists.

    I want to re-write Indian history from the scratch and completely revamp the curricullum in schools. If the Marxists start screaming about it I will strangle them in one swift movement.

    You forgot to mention the Vijayanagar empire which flourished for more time than the Mughal Empire.

  126. i would recommend A L Basham’s The Wonder that was India.

  127. I feel the issue is with CBSE syallabus. I did my 10th from an ICSE (back in 2000) school and History was a comprehensive study as separate subject starting from 6th standard,compared to CBSE which brackets it in social studies(thus including civics in it)so by the time we had reached 10th we had studied from Indus Valley civilization to WWII and independence movement.I vividly remember in 7th standard itself we had covered the rajputs and other dynasties like the palas,cholas,Chalukyas,Rashtrakutas ,their incessant fight to hold on to kannauj etc.Yes even Harsha and Hemu were taught and discussed.But given CBSE,NCERT syllabus is followed in large number of schools if parts of Indian history are left out its bad.But then again the entire history cannot be covered in one year i.e 10th standard it has to be spread out.While I do agree Maths,Science(phy chem,bio, all separate papers in ICSE back in 1996 -2000) are important,and history is one of the least fav subjects for most,but the problem is more with the way it is taught and the fact that one is simply made to believe there is no exact future learning this subject besides just passing 10th. For me history gave me the same thrill of discovery as learning did knowing Archimedes principle , Newtons laws ,Pythagoras theorem and le chatliers principle.and Thanks to my teachers for that.

  128. One of the finest posts I have come across in recent times on the distortion and twisting of Indian history. Certainly, there is an urgent need to revisit the entire Ancient Indian History in an unbiased and objective manner. The colonial European masters did an incalculable damage to the true history of Ancient India, and Marxist historians followed in their footsteps by perpetuating and peddling wrong myths like Aryan Indian Theory, etc. Indeed, a fine and well-researched article.

  129. I completely agree regarding the Western/British distortion of the Indian history. Please also read “Astronomical Dating of Events & Select Vignettes from Indian History” by Kosla Vepa. That will prove how wrong the western historians are about India’s past. Unfortunately and tragically, the Indian government didn’t do anything to correct it, the same history as prepared by the British is still being taught in Indian schools and universities.

  130. Normally I don’t go through article with information sites, however wish to state that this write-up really required myself to look at and accomplish that! Ones way with words has been surprised everyone. Thanks, excellent post.

  131. I totally agree with the author. I am from West Bengal and I had to study history for our class X board examination. For a supposed two year course on Indian History, the first half year was till Babar came to India, in 1526, one year was dedicated from the beginning (the Big Bang) to the mutiny of 1857. Then one year from then on to the independence of India from the Brits. Basically, 50% of the course focusses on 90 years of the five millenia old civilisation.

  132. appreciable. excellent post.

  133. John Keay is not recommended, for I could detect a decided incomplete coverage in the one chapter I read – 1857. The real story is completely different; Indian books are now available that give the real story with documentary evidence. Also Keay assumes Aryans Migration, and a timeline of 2000 BC for The Indus-Saraswati. It is now known that the Aryan Theory is a total myth, and the ISC dated from 7280BC… Avoid Western Books; Read Irfan Habib, or other Indian Authors except Majumdar

  134. i believe our entire history book is based on aryan invasion theory and supremacy of north indians over south indians, but the fact is there is neither any aryan invasion nor does all indians belong to any particular race. each linguist people has fair and dark skin, u cannot define a race based on skin colour but by genetics. Some have causion/mongoloid/negroid/austroloid features abt them.
    other reason why cbse history text books dont teach south indian history is bcos th north indians still base our race on aryan and dravidian race and supremacy of north over the south.
    after the downfall of mauryan dynasty every other kingdom that ruled north and central india is south indian dynasty like chalukyas,rashtrakutas,hoysalas,yadavas of devagiri of kannadigas
    pallavas,cholas,pandyas of tamils
    satavahanas,kakatiyas of telugu.
    u know wt i mean, a total history from 300 bc to 1100 ad missing from our cbse history books. that is why north indians still believe that south indian dynasty never ruled any part of the north.
    we south indians may know how powerful these armys were but they dont want north indians to know abt that, for political supremacy of north indians over the south.

    Lastly we based all our history on evidence and not epics. our indian epics like mahabharatha and ramayana is the biggest of its kind in the world. why wud valmiki go to such a huge tensions to right maral science to school children, its a no brainer.
    the best way to learn indian history is to belive that ramayana and mahabharatha actually happend. not exactly the way its mentioned bcos it may have been mixed with mythology and some truth.

    i think tamils are pure dravidians(not all some still have them) bcos there mythology tells they come from kumari kundam island in the indian ocean, some genetics have even proved it. at the same time not all south indians are dravidians .

  135. Great Article!!!
    Please do also mention about the great Vijaynagar Dynasty

  136. Hi.. Jhon Keays book is tremedous, read his books about China as well and you’ll have a similar reaction… the crap doled out as history is really crap… good rant… keep it up!

  137. what a compilation – no words

  138. bro .. all these were in our state board text books … and in a very detailed way. I ahvent seen the history text books of NCERT or CBSE, so cant comment on that.

  139. WOW ! that makes me proud Bharata varshi! We know nothing about where our languages started, where our ancestory started…the reason students hate our history is because we have nothing to feel proud about. I sometimes think how did we as a civilization existed for so long without real contribution to science and culture, where did my language come from, why are we organised as small villages instead of big cities, where did the panchayat system actually start? None of the histroy text books answer it, probably they are just copied from some western texts…. you should know Narendra Modi some how, if not get to know him quickly. If you were my history teacher, I would have loved the history….or someone needs to translate your blog into documentary

  140. What a constipated write up- I had history till 10th ( and in CBSE) and all these empires were covered, Cholas, Cheras, Pandyas, Rashtakuthas, Harsh Vardhan, the Marathas, the Sikhs. And the author needs to brush up on his history if he is going to write on history- there was also the Mauryan empire that Chandragupta started.

  141. awesome bro. good job.

  142. Great delivery. Outstanding arguments. Keep up the good effort.

  143. Pingback: What are some things every Indian should know about Indian history? | Juhi Singh's Blog

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