Indian Sciences - An Introduction

Updated: Oct 14, 2020

The Indian civilization has weathered the tests of time and has contributed new ideas, values, science, and tech throughout its existence.


This article will particularly be short but will act as an introduction to the Indian civilization and sciences. The upcoming few articles will cover more on Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy and Medical Sciences in ancient India.


India, being the oldest civilization that still exists, has contributed invaluably to the world; be it through arts, science, technology, social interactions, spirituality and whatnot. Even with a rich background, the country and its citizens have more or less forgotten the role India played in shaping the modern world.


The earliest known modern humans found in South Asia are estimated to be about 30,000 years old. South Asia is the region that consists of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The evidence for domestication, construction of permanent structures and such were found after 6500 BCE in Mehrgarh (now known as Balochistan). Irrigation was developed by the Indus Valley Civilization around 4500 BCE. The innovations led to more planned settlements, which then led to drainage and sewer systems.


The system of standardization was developed which were used for weights and measures. These enable gauging devices to be used for angular measurements and precise constructions. Between 2500-1900 BCE, evidences were found pointing to furnaces, which most likely used for ceramic object manufacturing.


The oldest scriptures associated with India, specifically Hinduism, The Vedas, were found in between 2000 – 500 BCE. Indian cartography traces origins to the Indus Valley Civilization as well. The use of large-scale constructional plans, cosmological drawings, and cartographic materials were known in India with some regularity since the Vedic period between 2nd – 1st millennium BCE.


The early kingdoms, middle kingdoms, late medieval and early modern periods, have evidences (both archaeological and textual) to show advanced sciences were carried out for those ages. One can argue that the rate of development and advancements in science and technology declined steadily after constant invasions, first by Mughals, followed by British. The results of invasions are visible as clear as daylight in the modern world. The modern India is nothing but a shadow of a once proud civilization.


Regardless, I will talk more about mathematics, chemistry, physics, astronomy and medical sciences in India in separate articles for each of the above-mentioned categories. So, please check back regularly for the articles.

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