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Internet Indian History Sourcebook

Editor: Paul Halsall

This page is a subset of texts derived from the three major online Sourcebooks listed below, along with added texts and inidctaors of other useful web sites. For more contextual information, for instance about Western imperialism, the Islamic world, or the history of a given period, check out these other sections of Internet History Sourcebooks Project:

Notes: In addition to direct links to documents, links are made to a number of other web resources.
Link to a secondary article, review or discussion on a given topic.
Link to a website focused on a specific issue.. These are not links to every site on a given topic, but to sites of serious educational value.


Indus Valley Cultures


Indus Valley

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The Vedic Age



There is now some significant opposition among some writers to the idea that there was ever an Aryan [i.e. Indo-European] movement into India. This opposition seems to derive, at least in part, from nationalist desires to claim "we were always here". The linguistic arguments for some common group which moved into both India, Iran, and Europe remain compelling.

  • Wikipedia: Aryan
  • Wikipedia: Indo-Aryan Peoples
  • The Laws of Manu, c. 1500 BCE, full text  [At this Site]
  • The Laws of Manu, c. 1500 BCE, excerpts  [Was At CCNY, now Internet Archive]
  • 2ND Languages and Vedas [At] [Internet Archive version here]
    Odd page, with odder organization, but useful maps and data on numbers of language speakers and migrations. Also contains info on the Vedas and Upanishads.
  • 2ND David Frawley: Myth of Aryan Invasion of India [Was At India Forum, now Internet Archive], a complete book, and  Myth of Aryan Invasion of India [At Hindunet] [Internet Archive version here] an article-length discussion.
    Frawley attacks 19th-century scholars such as Max Muller for bias, but seems unaware of his own problematic position.
  • 2ND Siddhartha Jaiswal: Aryan Invasion Theory: Revising History to Change the Future [Was At Stanford, now Internet Archive]
    A freshman college paper explaining why the theory is wrong. The  full title and the text are worth considering, though. The author objected to the theory because it "undermined my belief in my culture". This sort of solipsistic "history" seems to motivate much of the discussion about the "Aryan Invasion".
  • 2ND Richard Hooker: The Aryans [Was At WSU, now Internet Archive]
    A much more reliable account that the nationalist arguments above.

The Vedas

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The Formation of Religious Traditions


The Hindu Tradition



Devotional Texts


  • Wikipedia: Tantra
  • WEB The Tantrik Homepage [Internet Archive version here]
    Includes links to other Tantric sites, as well as English translation of texts.

The Jain Tradition


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Medieval India


The Mauryan Empire (321-185 BCE)

  • Wikipedia: Maurya Empire
    With maps.
  • Kautilya: The Arthashastra, c. 250 BCE [At this Site]
    Extensive selections
  • Kautilya: The Arthashastra - On Gender Issues, c. 250 BCE   [At this Site]
  • Kautilya: The Arthashastra (3rd Cent. BCE), excerpts [Was At WSU, now Internet Archive]
    A treatise on government by the "prime minister" of India's first great emperor, Chandragupta Maurya.
  • Kautilya: The Arthashastra (3rd Cent. BCE) [Was At CCNY, now Internet Archive]
    Another selection.

Ashoka (c. 265-238 BCE; also given as c. 273-232 BCE)

Gupta Empire (320-550 CE)


  • Tales From Ancient India [At this Site]
  • Kalidasa (4th-5th C. CE?):  The Recognition of Sakuntala [Was At WSU, now Internet Archive]
    A text from the "greatest of all ancient Indian playwrights".
  • Kalidasa (4th-5th C. CE?):  Sakuntala Translated by Arthur W. Ryder (1914), full text. [At Sacred Texts] [Internet Archive verison here]
  • Kalidasa (4th-5th C. CE?): Meghaduta or Clould Messenger [At Sacred Texts] [Internet Archive verison here]
    Translated by Arthur W. Ryder (1914)
  • Kama Sutra, translated by Sir Richard Burton,  [At Sacred Texts] [Internet Archive verison here]

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Greek and Chinese Sources


Greek Sources

Chinese Sources

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Muslim Era India


The Delhi Sultanate 1206-1526

Mughal India 1526-1761


The Marathas

  • WEB Shivaji on the Web [At Tripod] [Internet Archive version here]
    "Shivaji created a Nation. It was he who released forces that changed the political map of India in the eighteenth century. Within 50 years of the death of Aurangzeb, the Marathas had overrun the entire sub-continent of India and taken possession of a greater half of the country. It was only in 1803 that the sovereignity of India had passed to the British."
  • Wikipedia: Maratha Empire


The Sikhs are an Indian people, defined by their religion, who emerged in India during the centuries of Muslim political power (which accounts for the placement of these texts in the Sourcebook).

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The Western Intrusion


European Imperialism

British India

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Indian Nationalism


The Indian National Congress


  • Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948): Indian Home Rule, 1909 [Was At WSU, now Internet Archive]
  • Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948): I Shall Be Arrested, 1930,  letter written to Nehru [Was At Letters Magazine, now Internet Archive]
  • Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964): To His Jailers, 1932 [Was At Letters Magazine, now Internet Archive]
    ? letter written by Nehru while in jail for civil disobedience against the British government.
  • Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964): Marxism, Capitalism and Non-Alignment, 1941, 1956, excerpts [At this Site]
  • 2ND Mark Shepard: Mahatma Gandhi and His Myths, the 1990 Annual Gandhi Lecture for the International Association of Gandhian Studies, delivered at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville on October 2 [At Mark Shepard's Nonviolence Page] [Internet Archive version here]
  • 2ND Mark Shepard: Gandhi Today: A Report on Mahatma Gandhi's Successors  [Was At Mark Shepard's Nonviolence Page, now Internet Archive]
  • 2ND Narayan Desai: Gandhi Through a Child's Eyes   [Was At Mark Shepard's Nonviolence Page, now Internet Archive]
  • Wikipedia: Mahatma Gandhi

The Muslim League


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India since Independence


International Issues


The Nehru-Gandhi Dynasty


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Pakistan since Independence



  • Faiz Ahmad Faiz (1914-1978): Selected Poems [Was At WSU, now Internet Archive]

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The 1971 Conflict

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Indian: Sex, Gender and Sexuality


Homosexuality: General


  • Ramakrishnan: "Bisexuality: identities, behaviors, and politics", Trikone April 1996 [Was ar U Texas, now Internet Archive]
  • Vatsyayana: Kama Sutra, Part 2. Chap 9, 1883 trans. by Richard Burton. [At] [Internet Archive version here]
    On "Mouth Congress" and "different types of eunuchs".
  • The Vinaya [Buddhist Monastic Precepts]
  • Wikipedia: Hijra
  • WEB Shri Krishna as Kali and Lalita [At Shivashakti] [Internet Archive version here]
    Although the sexual relationships of Indian gods often follow heterosexual expectations, the individual god/dess may change form and be incarnate as another. This story could be read as gay, lesbian, or multiply transgendered.
  • WEB Tantrik Links [At Shivashakti] [Internet Archive version here]
    Tantricism was the "short path" to Enlightenment in Hinduism and Buddhism. Sexual ecstasy was a particularly important feature, often represented by heterosexual "yab-yum" figures.


  • 2ND Richard Burton: Terminal Essay, from his edition of the Arabian Nights. [At this Site]
    Burton' compilation of data on variety of societies was meant to explain some of the stories in The Nights. In doing so, he provided first overview of Islamic homosexuality.

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Further Resources on Indian and South Asian History

[Note this was once quite an extensive section, but guides to the web turned out to be very hard to maintain. Good advice now is to look up South Asian topics on Wikipedia and consult the further resources links at the bottom of many articles. Wikipedia is never a place to end research but it is a good place to start.]

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© This text is copyright. The specific electronic form, and any notes and questions are copyright. Permission is granted to copy the text, and to print out copies for personal and educational use. No permission is granted for commercial use.

If any copyright has been infringed, this was unintentional. The possibility of a site such as this, as with other collections of electronic texts, depends on the large availability of public domain material from texts translated before 1927. [In the US, all texts issued before 1923 are now in the public domain. Texts published before 1964 may be in the public domain if copyright was not renewed after 27 years. This site seeks to abide by US copyright law: the copyright status of texts here outside the US may be different.] Efforts have been made to ascertain the copyright status of all texts here, although, occasionally, this has not been possible where older or non-US publishers seem to have ceased existence. Some of the recently translated texts here are copyright to the translators indicated in each document. These translators have in every case given permission for non-commercial reproduction. No representation is made about the copyright status of texts linked off-site. This site is intended for educational use. Notification of copyright infringement will result in the immediate removal of a text until its status is resolved.


The Internet Indian History Sourcebook is part of the Internet History Sourcebooks Project. The date of inception was 4/8/1998. Links to files at other site are indicated by [At some indication of the site name or location]. WEB indicates a link to one of small number of high quality web sites which provide either more texts or an especially valuable overview.

The Internet History Sourcebooks Project is located at the History Department of  Fordham University, New York. The Internet Medieval Sourcebook, and other medieval components of the project, are located at the Fordham University Center for Medieval Studies.The IHSP recognizes the contribution of Fordham University, the Fordham University History Department, and the Fordham Center for Medieval Studies in providing web space and server support for the project. The IHSP is a project independent of Fordham University.  Although the IHSP seeks to follow all applicable copyright law, Fordham University is not the institutional owner, and is not liable as the result of any legal action.

© Site Concept and Design: Paul Halsall created 26 Jan 1996: latest revision 3 May 2024 [CV]