- Early Indians: The Story of Our Ancestors and Where We Came From by Tony Joseph
These are the questions that have plagued millions of Indians’ minds and at some point in time, even you perhaps. Tony Joseph, has coupled the old and the new and written an account of how our ancestors had a lot to do with who we are today in more ways than we can imagine.
- Aśoka and the Decline of the Mauryas by Romila Thapar
During the Mauryan empire rule, there was an emergence of sculpture, art, architecture and even scripture, all of which are considered testaments of Indian history even today.
While it isn’t clear if this legend holds true, the Mauryas were an important dynasty in Indian history and Romila Thapar does justice to the legacy they left behind.
- The Ocean of Churn: How the Indian Ocean Shaped Human History by Sanjeev Sanyal
The Indian Ocean has always been a focal point of those who attempt to understand civilization and societies. This is because it extends across a chunk of a world that has seen some of the richest cultural histories.
- In Search of the Cradle of Civilization by Georg Feuerstein, Subhash Kak, David Frawley
There has been much debate about what really was the ‘cradle of civilisation’, from where the concept of society and culture evolved. This book is a breakthrough in this regard as it busts myths about the topic, as well as makes some startling revelations about the theory of Aryan invasion.
- Time Pieces: A Whistle-Stop Tour of Ancient India by Nayanjot Lahiri
The book perfectly depicts the evolution of Indian culture in relation to the people that populated its land. It does so by detailing the Stone Age, where spears and arrows were the tools of life, and how Sanskrit and education eventually replaced them.
The book also sheds light on how ancient society was different from the present day, in that our ancestors spent a great deal of time focusing on personal growth.
- The Penguin History of Early India by Romila Thapar
Said to be a work of art, the chapters in this book explore the archaeology of the country.
One can find accounts of how the subcontinent has been transformed by invasions, different dynasties, and how every ruling power has left a legacy behind.
- The Wonder That Was India by A L Basham
- A History of South India by Sastri K.A.Nilakanta
For anyone wishing to gain an in-depth insight into the dynasties, kingdoms and rulers of South India, this book is a treasure trove of information.
- Ancient Cities of the Indus Valley Civilization by Jonathan Mark Kenoyer
The Harappan Civilisation is arguably the most talked about, and one that archaeologists keep going back to in order to draw similarities between present-day society and the one that existed then.
- Coromandel: A Personal History of South India by Charles Allen
“The role played by women in history is as underwritten in India as anywhere, so it is only right to end with a mention of another woman of Kerala whose part in its history has only recently been publicly recognised,” writes Charles Allen in the book as he goes on to tell the story of Velathu Lakshmikutty, a woman who fought against caste discrimination.
- A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India by Upinder Singh
Along with this, the book also sheds light on the evolution of language, laying focus on the writings of the European scholars who were known as the Orientalists and how translation, textual study, epigraphy, etc, became common.
- Prehistoric India: Its Place in the World’s Cultures by Panchanan Mitra
The book tells a story of India of the past, with history etched onto every page and line. While a tale of an interesting cave painting might have you hooked, in other places, you will find information about intriguing excavations and their findings.
Fasten your seat belts as you go down annals of the past to explore the mysteries of India.