William Wilson Hunter.

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In this book I try to exhibit the growth of t\^e Indian
peoples, to show what part they have played in the
world's progress, and what sufferings they have endured
from other nations. Short Indian histories, as written
by Englishmen, usually dismiss the first two thousand
years of their narrative in a few pages, and start by
disclosing India as a conquered country. This plan is
not good, either for Europeans in India or for the
Indians themselves ; nor does it accord with the facts.
As long as Indian history is presented to the Indian
youth as nothing but a dreary record of disunion and
subjection, our Anglo-Indian Schools can scarcely become
the nurseries of a self-respecting nation. I have there-
fore tried to put together, from original sources, a brief
narrative of what I believe to be the true history of the
peoples of India. These sources have been carefully
examined in my larger works. This little book merely
states, without discussing, the results arrived at by the
labour of thirty years.

I have tried to show how an early gifted race,
ethnically akin to our own, welded the primitive forest
tribes into settled communities. How the nobler stock,
set free from the severer struggle for life by the bounty
of the Indian soil, created a language, a literature and
a religion, of rare stateliness and beauty. How the
very absence of that strenuous striving with nature,
which is so necessary a discipline for nations, unfitted
them for the "rcat conflicts which await all races. How,


among the most intellectual class, the domestic and
contemplative aspects of life overpowered the practical
and the political. How Hinduism, while sufficing to
organize the Indian communities into social and re-
ligious confederacies, failed to knit them together into
a coherent nation.

India was destined, by her position, to receive the
human overflow from the ancient breeding-grounds of
Central Asia. Waves of conquest from the north were
as inevitable in early times as are the tidal waves from
the ocean at the present day. But such conquests,
although rapid, were seldom enduring ; and although
widespread, were never complete. The religious and
social organization of Hinduism never succumbed. The
greatest of India's conquerors, the Mughals, were being
liemmed in by Hindu confederacies before their
supremacy had lasted if centuries. So far as can
now be estimated, the advance of the British alone
saved the Delhi Empire from dismemberment by three
Hindu military powers, the Marathas, Rajputs, and
Sikhs. The British Rule has endured, because it is
wielded in the joint interest of the Indian races.

But while these thoughts have long been present in
my mind, I have not obtruded them on my pages. For
I hope that this little book will reach the hands of many
who look on history as a record of events, rather than
as a compendium of philosophy. The greatest service
which an Indian historian can at present render to India,
is to state the facts accurately and in such a way that
they will be read. If my story is found to combine
truth with simplicity, it will have attained all that I
aimed at. If it teaches young Englishmen and young
Natives of India to think more kindly of each other,
I shall esteem myself richly rewarded.


I AM grateful to my critics in many countries for the
reception which they have given to this book. It has
been translated into five languages, including a literal
rendering in Burmese, and a poetical version in Urdu.
The English issue alone has reached its seventy -eighth
thousandth copy, and from i8(S6 onwards to last year
the Calcutta University prescribed the work as a text-
book for its Entrance Examination. The present
edition incorporates suggestions kindly forwarded to
me by Directors of Public Instruction, and other educa-
tional authorities in India. To Mr. Griffith, formerly
Director of Public Instruction in the North-Western
Provinces, and to Professor A. A. Macdonell, Deputy
Professor of Sanskrit at Oxford, I am specially indebted
for a revision of the earlier chapters. The whole proof-
sheets have been kindly revised for me by Mr. Morse
Stephens, B.A,, Lecturer on Indian History to the
University of Cambridge.

On my own part, no pains have been spared to
render this edition an improvement on its predecessors.
Although compressed into a small size, it essays to em-
body the latest results of Indian historical research, and
of that more critical examination of the Indian Records
which forms so important a feature of recent Indian


work. My endeavour has been to present the history
of India in an attractive and accurate narrative, yet
within a compass which will place it in reach of the
ordinary English and American reader, and render it
available as a text-book for English and Indian colleges
or schools. The Twentieth Edition includes the
principal figures arrived at by the Indian Census of
1 89 1, and brings down the chronicle of events to the
expansion of the Indian Legislative Councils by the
Act of Parliament in 1892.


Oaken Holt, Cumnor, near Oxford,




The Country ....... 17-31

Situation and size of India, 17, 18; the four regions of which
it is composed, iS ; first region — the Himalayas, 18-21 ; Himalayan
river system — Indus, Sutlej, Brahmaputra, Ganges and Jumna, 21,
22 ; second region — river plains of India, 22, 23; work done by the
rivers — the Bengal Delta, 23-26 ; crops and scenery of the northern
river plains, 26, 27; third region — the southern table-land, its
scenery, rivers and products, 27-30; fourth region — Burma, 30, 31 ;
materials for reference, 31.


The People ....... 32-39

General survey of the people, 32, 33 ; population statistics in
British and Native India, 33-35 ; density of population, 36; scarcity
of large towns, 36 ; overcrowded and under-peopled Districts, 36,
37 ; distribution of the people, 37 ; nomadic system of husbandry,
37 ; rise in rents, 37, 38 ; abolition of serfdom, 38 ; four-fold divi-
sion of the people, 38, 39 ; the two chief races of pre-historic India,
39 ; materials for reference, 39.


The non-Aryans ...... 40-51

The non-Aryans or 'Aborigines,' 40; as described in the Veda,
40, 41 ; the non-Aryans at the present day, 41, 42; the Andaman
islanders, 42 ; hill tribes in Madras, 42, 43 ; in the Vindhya ranges,
43 ; in the Central Provinces, 44 ; leaf-wearing tribe in Orissa,
44 ; Himalayan tribes, 44, 45 ; the Santals of Lower Bengal, their
system of government history, &c., 45-47; the Kandhs of Orissa,



their customs, human sacrifices, &c., 47-49 ; the three great non-
Aryan stocks, 49 ; character and future of the non-Aryans, 50 ;
materials for reference, 51.

The Aryans in India ...... 52-73

The Aryan stock, 52 ; early Aryan conquests in Europe and Asia,
52 ; the Aryans in their primitive home in Western Asia, 53 ; the
common origin of European and Indian religions, 53 ; and of the
Indo-European languages, 53 ; Indo-Aryans on the march, 53, 54 ;
the Rig- Veda, 54, 55 ; Aryan civilization in Veda, 55 ; Vedic gods,
55-57; a Vedic hymn, 57; Vedic literature, 58; the Brahmanas,
58, 59; the four castes formed, 59, 60 ; establishment of Brahman
supremacy, 60 ; four stages of a Brahman's life, 60, 61 ; the modern
Brahmans, 61, 62 ; Brahman theology — the Hindu Trinity, 62, 63 ;
Brahman philosophy, literature, astronomy, medicine, music, lawf,
poetry, 63-67 ; the epics of the Mahabharata and the Ramayana,
67-71 ; later Sanskrit epics, 71 ; the Sanskrit drama and lyric poetry,
71, 72 ; materials for reference, 73.


Buddhism in India (543 b.c. to looo a.d.) . . . 74-84

Rise of Buddhism, 74 ; life of Gautama Buddha, 74-76 ; Buddha's
doctrines, 76, 77; missionary aspects of Buddhism, 77, 78; early
Buddhist councils, 78 ; Asoka's conversion to Buddhism, and its
establishment as a State religion, 78, 79 ; his rock edicts, 79 ;
Kanishka's council, 79, 80 ; rivalry of Buddhism and Brahmanism,
80, 81 ; Siladitya's council (634 a.d.), 81 ; great Buddhist monastery
of Nalanda, 82; victory of Brahmanism (700 to 900 a.d.), 82;
Buddhism an exiled religion from India (900 A. D.), 82, 83; the
Jains the modern successors of the ancient Buddhists, 83 ; influence
of Buddhism on modern Hinduism, S3, 84; materials for refer-
ence, 84.


The Greeks in India (327-161 b.c.) .... 85-S9

Early Greek references to India, 85 ; Alexander the Great's
campaign in the Punjab and Sind, 85-87 ; his successors, 87 ;
Chandra Gupta's kingdom in Northern India, 87, 88 ; Megasthenes'
description of India (300 B.C.), 88, 89; later Greek invasions, 89;
materials for reference, 89.




ScYTHic Inroads (about loo B.C. to 500 A. D.) . . . 90-93

The Scythians in Central Asia, 90 ; Scythic kingdoms in Northern
India, 90, 91 ; Scythic races still in India, 91 ; wars of Vikramaditya
against the Scythians (57 B. c), and of Salivahana (78 A.D.), 91, 92 ;
later opponents of the Scythians, the Sah, Gnpta, and Valabhi
dynasties, 92, 93 ; materials for reference, 93.


Growth of Hinduism (700 to 1500 a.d.) . . . 94-108

The three sources of the Indian people — the Aryans, non-Aryans,
and Scythians, 94, 95 ; Aryan work of civilization, 95 ; the Brah-
mans, 95, 96 ; two-fold basis of Hinduism, caste and religion, 96-99 ;
Buddhist influences on Hinduism, 99 ; non- Aryan influences on
Hinduism, 99 ; the Hindu Book of Saints, 99, loo ; Sankara
Acharya, the Sivaite religious reformer of the ninth century, 100;
two-fold aspects of Siva-worship, 100, loi ; the thirteen Sivaite sects,
loi, 102 ; Vishnu-worship, 102, 103 ; the Vishnu Purana (1045 A.D.),
103 ; Vishnuite apostles — Ramanuja (1150 A. D.), Ramanand (1300-
1400 A. D.), Kabir (1380-1420 A.D.), Chaitanya (1485-1527 a.d.),
Vallabha-Swami (1520 a.d.), 103-106; Krishna-worship, io(5, 107 ;
religious bond of Hinduism, 107 ; materials for reference, 107, loS.


Early Muhammadan Conquerors (714-1526 a.d.) . . 109-131

Muhammadan influence on Hinduism, 109; chronological sum-
mary of Muhammadan dynasties, 109, no; Arab invasions of Sind
(647-828 A.D.), no. III; India on the eve of the Muhammadan
conquest, ill, 112 ; Muhammadan conquests only partial and tem-
porary, 112, 113; first Tiirki invasions — Subuktigin (977 A. D.),
113; Mahmud of Ghazni (1001-1030), his seventeen invasions of
India and sack of Somnath, 113-116; house of Ghor (1152-1186),
116; Muhammad of Ghor, 116-119 ; defeat of the Rajput clans,
117, 118; conquest of Bengal (1203), 118; the Slave kings (1206-
1290) — Kutab-ud-din, 119; Altamsh, 119, 120; Empress Raziya, 120;
Mughal irruptions and Rajput revolts, 120; Balban, 120, 121;
house of Khilji (1290-1320), 121-124; Jalal-ud-din, 121, 122 ; Ala-
ud-din's conquest of Southern India, 122; extent of the Muham-
madan power in India (1306), 122, 123; Khusn'i, the renegade
Hindu emperor, 123, 124; the Tughlak dynasty (1320-1414), 124-



126; Muhammad Tughlak, his cruelties, revenue exactions, 124-
126; Firuz Shah Tughlak, his canals, 126; Timur's invasion
(1398), 126; the Sayyid and Lodi dynasties, 127 ; Hindu kingdoms
of the south — Vijayanagar, 127, 128; the Muhammadan States in
the Deccan, 128; the Bahmani dynasty, 128, 129; the five Mu-
hammadan States of the Deccan (1489-168S), 129; downfall of
Vijayanagar, 1 29, 130 ; independence of the Muhammadan Provinces,
130; weakness of the early Delhi empire, 130, 131; materials for
reference, 131.

The Mughal Dynasty (1526-1761) .... 132-155
Babar's invasion of India and overthrow of the Lodi dynasty at
Panipat (1526), 132; Humayun's reign (1530-1556), 132, 133; his
defeat by Sher Shah, the Afghan, 133 ; he flies to Persia, but regains
India as the result of the second battle of Panipat (1556), 133;
Akbar the Great (i 556-1605), chronological summary of his reign,
133> ^34) the regent Bairam, 134; Akbar's work in India, reduc-
tion of Muhammadan States and the Rajput clans, 134-136 ; his
policy of conciliation towards the Hindus, 135, 136 ; his conquests
in Southern India, 136, 137; his religious faith, 137, 138; Akbar's
organization of the Empire, 138, 139; his revenue survey of India,
139; his ministers, 140; Jahangir (1605-1627), his wars and con-
quests, 140 ; the Empress Nur Jahan, 140, 141 ; Jahangir's personal
character, 141, 142 ; Shah Jahan (1628-1658), his administration and
wars, 142, 143; his great architectural works at Agra and Delhi,
143 ; his revenues, 143, 144 ; deposed by his rebellious son, Aurang-
zeb, 144; Aurangzeb's reign (165S-1707), 144-150; chronological
summary of his reign, 144, 145 ; he murders his brothers, 145, 146;
his great campaign in Southern India, 146, 147 ; his war with the
Marathas, and death, 147, 148 ; Mir Jumla's unsuccessful expedition
to Assam, 148 ; Aurangzeb's bigoted policy and oppression of the
Hindus, 148, 149; revenue of the empire, 149, 150; character of
Aurangzeb, 150 ; decline of the Mughal power under the succeeding
nominal Emperors, 150, 151 ; independence of the Deccan and of
Oudh, 151 ; Maratha, Sikh, and Rajput revolts, 151 ; the invasions
of Nadir Shah the Persian, and Ahmad Shah the Afghan, 151, 152 ;
misery of the country, 152, 153 ; decline and downfall of the Empire,
153 ; India conquered by the British, not from the Mughals, but from
the Hindus, 154; chronological summary of principal events from
the death of Aurangzeb in 1707, till the banishment of Bahadur Shah,
the last Mughal Emperor, for complicity in the Mutiny of 1857, 154,
155 ; materials for reference, 155.




The MarAthAs ...... 156-163

Rise of the Marathas, and the growth of their power in the Deccan,
156, 157 ; Sivaji's guerilla warfare with Aurangzeb, 157 ; the house
of Sivaji, 158 ; the Peshwas and the Mardtha confederacy, 15S, 159;
the five Maratha houses, viz. the Peshwa, Sindhia, Holkar, the Nag-
pur Bhonslas, and the Gaekwar of Baroda, 160-162; the three
Maratha wars with the British, 162, 163; materials for reference,


Early European Settlements .... 164-175

Europe and the East before 1500 A. D., 164; Vasco daGama, 164;
early Portuguese governors and their oppressions, 165, 166; down-
fall of the Portuguese power, and extent of its present possessions
in India, 166; the Dutch in India, and their supremacy in the
Eastern seas, 166-168; early English adventurers (1496-1596), 168,
169 ; English East India Companies, 169, 170 ; first voyages of the
English Company, 170; massacre of Amboyna (1623), 170, 171;
early English settlements in Madras, 171 ; in Bombay, 171, 172 ; in
Bengal, 172; other East India Companies, 173, 174; materials for
reference 175.


The Foundation of British Rule in India . . 176-199

Table of Governors, Governors- General, and Viceroys of India
(1758-1892), 176, 177; French and English in the south, 177;
state of Southern India after the death of Aurangzeb (1707), 177,
178; wars in the Karnatik — Dupleix and Clive, 178, 179; battle of
Wandiwash, 179; Native rulers of Bengal (1707-1756), 179, 180;
capture of Calcutta by the Nawab Siraj-ud-daula, and the ' Black
Hole ' tragedy, 180; Clive recaptures Calcutta, 180; his victory at
Plassey (1757), 180, 181; installation of Mir Jafar, as Nawab of
Bengal, 181, 182; QX\v^% jdgir, 1S2, 183; Clive, first Governor of
Bengal (1758), 183; dethronement of Mir Jafar, and substitution of
Mir Kasim as Nawab of Bengal, 184 ; Mir Kasim's revolt, and the
massacre of Patna, 184; reconquest of Bengal, battle of Baxar, 184,
185 ; Clive's second governorship, and the acquisition of the Diwani
or financial administration of Bengal by the Company, 185, 186;
Clive's reorganization of the Bengal service (1766), 186; dual system
of administration, 186, 187; Warren Hastings (1772-1785), his



administrative work, 1S7, 188 ; policy to Native chiefs, 188; Hastings
makes Bengal pay, 188, 189 ; sells Allahabad and Kora to the
Wazir of Ondh, 189; the Rohilla war (1773-1774), 189; fines on
Chait Singh and the Oudh Begam, 190 ; Hastings' impeachment and
trial in England, 190; first Maratha war (1779-1781), 190, 191;
war with Mysore (1780-1784), 191, 192; Lord Comwallis (1786-
1793), 192, 193; Permanent Settlement of Bengal, 192, 193;
second Mysore war (1790-1792), 193; Marquess Wellesley (1798-
1805), 193-198 ; French influence in India (1798-1800), 194; India
before Lord Wellesley (1798), 194, 195; Lord Wellesley's policy,
,195; treaty with the Nizam (1798), 195, 196; third Mysore war
(1799), 196; second Maratha war (1802-1804), 197, 198; India
after Lord Wellesley (1805), 198; materials for reference, 199.

The Consolidation OF British India . . . 200-221

Marquess Cornwallis' second administration (1805), 200; Sir
George Barlow (1805), 200 ; Earl of Minto (1807-1813), 200, 201 ;
Lord Moira (Marquess of Hastings), 1814-1823, 201-204; t^^
Gurkha war (1814-1815), 201, 202; Pindari war (1817), 202, 203;
last Maratha war (1817-1818), and annexation of the Peshwa's
territory, 203, 204; Lord Amherst (1S23-1828), 204-206; Burma
in ancient times, 204, 205 ; first Burmese war, 205, 206 ; capture of
Bhartpur, 206; Lord William Bentinck (1S28-1835), 206-208;
Bentinck's financial reforms, 207 ; abolition of Sati and suppression
of Thagi, 207, 208 ; renewal of Company's charter (1833), 208 ;
Mysore protected and Coorg annexed, 208 ; Lord Metcalfe (1835-
1836), 208; Lord Auckland (1836-1842), 208-211 ; the first Afghan
campaign and our dealings with Kabul, 209 ; restoration of Shah
Shuja by the British (1839), 209, 210; military occupation of
Afghanistan by the British (1840-1841), 210 ; rising of the
Afghans, and massacre of the British force on its winter retreat to
India, 210, 211; Lord Ellenborough (1842-1844^ 211, 212; the
army of retribution (1842), 211, 212; Lord Ellenboroiigh's proclama-
tion, the gates of Somnath, 212 ; conquest of Sind (1S43), 212 ; Lord
Hardinge (1844-1848), 212-214; history of the Sikhs and of their
rise into a power under Ranjit Singh, 212,213; first Sikh war (1845),
battles of Miidki, Firozshah, Aliwal, and Sobraon, 214; Lord Dal-
housie (1848-1856), 214-220; his administrative reforms, the Indian
railway system, 214, 215 ; second Sikh war (1848-1849), battles of
Chilianwala and Gujrat, 215 ; pacification of the Punjab, 215, 216;
second Burmese war (1852), 216; prosperity of Burma, 216; Dal-



housie's policy towards the Native States, 217; the doctrine of
lapse, 217, 218; lapsed Native States, 218, 219; annexation of
Oudh (1856), 219, 220 ; Lord Dalhousie's work in India, 220 ; Lord
Canning in India before the Mutiny (1856-1857), 220; materials for
reference, 221.

The Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 ..... 222-229
Causes of the Mutiny, 222, 223; the 'greased cartridges,' 223;
the army drained of its talent, 223, 224 ; the outbreak in May 1857,
224; spread of the rebellion, 224, 225 ; Cawnpur, 225, 226; Luck-
now, 226; siege of Delhi, 226, 227; reduction of Oudh by Lord
Clyde, 227; of Central India by Sir Hugh Rose, 227 ; summary of
the history of the Company's charters, 227, 228; India transferred
to the Crown (1858), 22S, 229; materials for reference, 229.


India under the British Crown, 1S58-1892 . . 230-237

The Queen's Proclamation of ist November, 1858, 230; the cost
of the Mutiny, 230 ; Mr. Wilson's financial reforms, 230, 231 ; legal
reforms, 231 ; Lord Elgin (1862-1863), 231 ; Lord Lawrence (1864-
1869), the Bhutan war, Orissa famine of 1866, 231 ; Lord Mayo
(1869-1872), the Ambala darbdr, visit of the Duke of Edinburgh,
establishment of Agricultural Department, reform of internal cus-
toms lines. Lord Mayo assassinated at the Andamans, 231, 232 ;
Lord Northbrook (1872-1876), dethronement of the Gaekwar of
Baroda, visit of the Prince of Wales to India, 232, 233 ; Lord Lytton
(1876-1880), Proclamation of the Queen as Empress of India, the
great famine of 1876-1877, 233; Afghan affairs (1878-1880), 233,
234; Marquess of Ripon (1880-1883), 234, 235; conclusion of the
Afghan war, 234 ; Education Commission, 234 ; Sir Evelyn Baring,
234, 235 ; Native troops in Egypt, 235 ; Marquess of Dufferin (1884-
1888), 235, 236; conquest and annexation of Upper Burma (1886),
235; Jubilee-year of the Queen-Empress (1887), 236; Marquess of
Lansdowne (1888-1892), 236, 237; progress of self-government,
236, 237.


The orthography of proper names follows my system adopted by the
Indian Government for the Imperial Gazetteer of India. That system,
while adhering to the popular spelling of very well-known places, such as
Punjab, Lucknow, &c., employs in all other cases the vowels with the
following uniform sounds : —

a, as in woman : a, as in father : i, as in pz'n : /, as in intrigue : o, as in
cc7ld : u, as in bwU : u, as in rwral : e, as in gri?y.



The Country.

Situation and Size. — India is a great three-cornered country,
stretching southward from mid-Asia into the ocean. Its northern
base rests upon the Himalaya ranges ; the chief part of its
western side is washed by the Arabian Sea, and the chief part
of its eastern side by the Bay of Bengal. But while thus
guarded along the whole length of its boundaries by nature's
defences, the mountains and the ocean, it has on its north-eastern
and on its north-western frontiers two opposite sets of gateways
which connect it with the rest of Asia. On the north-east it
is bounded by the wild hill-regions between Burma and the
Chinese Empire or Tibet; on the north-west by the Muham-
madan States of Afghanistan and Baluchistan ; and two streams
of population of widely diverse types have poured into India by
the passes at these north-eastern and north-western corners.

India extends from the eighth to the thirty-sixth degree of
north latitude, — that is, from the hot regions near the equator
to far within the temperate zone. The capital, Calcutta, lies in
88 degrees of E. longitude ; so that, when the sun sets at six
o'clock there, it is just past mid-day in England. The length
of India from north to south, and its greatest breadth from east
to west, are both about 1900 miles; but it tapers with a pear-
shaped curve to a point at Cape Comorin, its soulhcin cxtremily,
To this compact dominion the English have added Burma, or the



country on the eastern shores of the Bay of Bengal. The whole
territory thus described contains over i^ millions of square miles,
and 288 millions of inhabitants. India, therefore, has an area
almost equal to, and a population in excess of, the area and
population of all Europe, less Russia.

The Four Regions. — This noble empire is rich in varieties
of scenery and climate, from the highest mountains in the world
to vast river-deltas, raised only a few inches above the level of
the sea. It teems with the products of nature, from the fierce
beasts and tangled jungles of the tropics, to the stunted barley
crop which the hillman rears, and the small furred animal which
he traps, within sight of the eternal snow. But if we could look
down on the whole from a balloon, we should find that India is
made up of four well-defined tracts. The first includes the
Himalayan mountains, which shut India out from the rest of
Asia on the north ; the second stretches southwards from their
foot, and comprises the plains of the great rivers which issue
from the Himalayas; the third tract slopes upwards again from
the southern edge of the river-plains, and consists of a high,
three-sided tableland, dotted with peaks, and covering the
southern half of India ; the fourth is Burma on the east of the
Bay of Bengal.

First Region : The Himalayas. — The first of these four

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