India is a land of contrasts and diversity, Echoes of vanished empires exist alongside its natural wonders and teeming modern cities. Today, India covers over two million square miles and has the world's second-largest population, which shares fifteen national languages and six major religions. This volume succinctly recounts 45,000 years of Indian history, from the earliest Indus valley settlements to the twentieth century struggle against British imperial rule to the challenges facing the country today. Sections on cultural traditions, regional cuisine, dress, and religion bring the varied facets of this nation to life. The book is ideal reference for travellers, students, and anyone intrigued by one of the world's oldest surviving civilisations. Where the past is ever-present.