Free History Essays Samples

Ancientindian Innovations: Towards A More Sustainable Paradigm

Table of Contents



The study of matter and energy and the interactions between them.


Medicine & Surgery

Civil Engineering & Architecture

Creating Products

Shipbuilding & Navigatio

A device which rapidly separates cotton fibers from their seeds, the Cotton Gin was invented in the late 18th century.


Natural fibers

Medicinal Therapies



Crucible steel



India has a rich cultural heritage and culture. A few people know more about India’s ancient civilization and culture than others. Its literatures and puranas contain more information and are used to reveal that India is the birthplace of many innovations in the fields Astronomy, Medicine, Engineering, and Mathematics. Nalanda University is an example. It was the most advanced country in science. It has been a significant source of wisdom for the world.

Many lessons have been learned from the Indus Valley Civilization. The Indus Valley Civilization has taught us many lessons. Wow! Ancient and medieval India covers many areas, including human knowledge and activities. Ancient India was home of Bramhanas, Bramhanas (saints), seers, scholars, and scientists. This article will focus on some of these innovations by our ancestors.

MathematicsMathematics is one of the field which require a higher attention of human brain. The Indian Vedic literature of around 4000 year old contains a mention mathematics. Between 1000BC & 1000 AD, India had a number mathematical treatises. American historian Will Durant (1885-1981), believed that India was our mother in many aspects of mathematics. Modern times have accepted the fact that India is where many mathematical concepts were born, including zero, the decimal and algorithm systems, square root and cubic root. Zero is both an numeral and a conceptual number. “Sunya”, which is an Indian philosophy term that means “void” and was used as an indicator of origin, has been renamed zero to signify this philosophical concept. We find evidence that Geometrical theories were well-known to Indians in the motifs found on temple walls and gopuras. These motifs are often filled with a mix of geometric and floral patterns. The 5th century AD.A. book “Five Principles”, (Panch-Siddhantika), describes the graduated calculation method. L. Basham of Australia, an Indologist writes in his book The Wonder That Was India That the world owes India in the realms mathematics. The Gupta Period saw India achieve a level that was higher than any other ancient nation. Indians knew how to distinguish between the abstract quantity and the numerical quantity. This was a sign of the greatness of Indian mathematics. Aryabhatta a Indian mathematician lived in 5th century Patna. In his treatise Aryabhattiya a mathematical treatise, he referred to Algebra. Bhaskaracharya (12th century) was also a mathematician. Siddantha Shiromani is one of his treatises. It has a chapter about algebra. His basic ideas of Rolle’s theory and his first conception of differential calculus are well-known. In 1816, James Taylor translated Bhaskaracharya’s Leelavati into English. Henry Thomas Colebruke from England translated the work next year. The Arabs, Persians, and others are responsible for fine-tuning the internationalization of these mathematical concepts. They had been developed in India. Al-Khawarizmi (Persian mathematician) developed a method for calculation that was known as “algorism.” It was this technique that modern arithmetic algorithms were developed. Al-Khwarizmi wrote the Latin title Algoritmi de numero Indorum. This translated to mean The System of Indian Numerals. Hindsa means Indian mathematician. Madhava of Sangamagrama, an Indian mathematician, studied infinite series. Jyestadeva of Kerala wrote the Yuktibhasa. This text explores the methods of calculus and other ideas that are not common in Europe of the 17th century. AstronomyIndia’scontributions to the world in the field of astronomy are well known The references to astronomy are found in the Rig Veda, which are dated 2000 BC. The influence of ancient Indian Astronomy on Indian studies is also apparent in the various theories. Sometimes, astronomical principles were used as a basis for astrology. For example, casting a Horoscope to calculate the number of eclipses that will occur. To determine Earth’s circumference. How to determine the theory gravitation.

The Pleiades, which are the wives of the seven Sages, are associated with the seven stars of Great Bear. The combination of the pictograms “7” + “fish” is the Old Tamil name for the Great Bear, elu meen’seven star’. This text alone can be found on an Indus seal. According to Satapatha Brahmana, six Pleiades were divorced from their husbands because of infidelity. Other texts state that Arundhati was the only woman who remained faithful. She is also the star Alcor in The Great Bear. This is evidence for Harappan origin. Indus seals show evidence of six to seven human figures. Their female character is indicated by one long plait, which has remained a characteristic of Indian women to this day. PhysicsThe classification in the five fundamental elements of the material universe in ancient India led to the creation of the concept of an Atom. These five basic elements, and such classifications, exist since Vedic time. These five elements included the earth, fire (agni), oxygen (vayu), water and ether/space (aksha). These elements were also linked to human senses of smell, taste, sound, vision, fire, ether/space, and feeling. Paramanu (can also be abbreviated as parmanu in Sanskrit) was considered the smallest particle that could not subdivide further. Paramanu is made up of two Sanskrit terms, param which means ultimate or above and anu which means atom. Paramanu, literally meaning “beyond atom”, refers to an abstract concept which indicates the possibility that an atom could be split. This is what now generates atomic energy. Kanada, a sixth-century Indian philosopher, was first to engage in systematic theorizing. Pakudha Katyayana a philosopher from India, also advanced the idea of an atomic world. These were based on logic as well as philosophy. They did not lack any scientific basis or technology to back them up. The principle of relativity (not meant to be confused by Einstein’s theory on relativity) was also found in embryonic form in Indian philosophical concepts of’sapekshavad. This Sanskrit translation is theory about relativity. These theories attracted the attention of the Ideologists. A. L. Basham (an Australian veteran Ideologist) concluded that they were brilliantly imaginative explanations for the world’s physical structure. In large part, these theories are compatible with modern physics. ChemistryAncient Indian chemistry development was not limited to physics. It also found application in many practical areas. Metalworking has been a central activity in every civilization since the Bronze Age and Iron Ages. The idea of smelting originated in Mesopotamia, the Near East and reached India. Coinage dates back to the 8th Century B.C. The 17th Century A.D.

India. Nataraja, God Dance, is made of five different metals Pancha – Dhatu. Herodotus, a Greek historian who lived in the fifth century BC, noted that both the Persian and Indian army used iron-tipped bows. Ancient Romans used Indian-made iron cutlery and armor. A number of objects found in India prove the advanced metallurgy of the Indians. An Iron Pillar can be found in Delhi’s Qutub Minar, which is a World Heritage site. This pillar is thought to have been cast during the Gupta era, which was around 500 AD. The pillar stands 7.32 meters high and has a diameter between 40 cm at base and 30 cm at top. It is estimated that it weighs 6 tonnes. The pillar has stood in the open for 1500 years and has not been affected by wind, heat, or weather. It is estimated to have a weight of 6 tonnes. Iron and steel have been able to create a rust-proof iron for decades. Other fields include the production of dyes and chemicals and polishing mirrors. The ancient Indians’ high-level of chemical science can be seen in the wall paintings of Ellora or Ajanta. These paintings still look good after 1000 year. Medicine & SurgeryAyurveda has its roots in India. Ayurveda can be described as two Sanskrit words. ‘Ayur’ means age or life.’veda’ is knowledge. Ayurveda literally means the science of longevity or life. Ayurveda deals with the diagnosis and treatment of various diseases and conditions. Ayurveda stands out from other systems, such as Allopathy and Homeopathy by its reliance upon herbs. Ayurveda also disassociated itself from witch doctors, voodoo. Ayurveda principles have been discussed by ancient Indian scholars like Agnivesa and Atreya since 800 BC. Charaka, who compiles a compendium Ayurvedic principles, practices, and theories in his treatise Charaka–Samahita, consolidated their works. This text has been translated into many languages including Latin and Arabic. Charaka-Samahita discusses a range of subjects including physiology. Charaka also mentions preliminary concepts in genetics. He believes that blindness due to birth does not result from any defects in the mother or father but is due in part to the sperm and the ovum. Medical surgery was a field that saw many advances in ancient India. These included surgery such as dental, plastic, and catract removal. The roots of Indian surgery date back at least 800 BC. Shushruta, a doctor and theoretician in medicine, lived for 2000 years in Varanasi (now Varanasi). His medical compendium was called “Shushruta Samahita.” The ancient medical compendium described at least seven kinds of surgery: Excisions. The compendium also includes information on ophthalmology and rhinoplasty. The study of human anatomy using a dead body is also included in the compendium. Medical Science was a field that made great advances in ancient India. These advancements were in the areasof plastic surgery, cataract extraction, and dental work. These practices have been documented. Artist’s impression of an ancient Indian operation. Complex operations were carried out despite not having anesthesia. Around 800 B.C., India recorded surgery. It shouldn’t be surprising as surgery (Shastrakarma), a branch of Ayurveda is an ancient Indian medical system. Shushruta Samahita,Shushruta’s compendium, is the oldest book that deals with surgery. Shusruta, a Kasi-based Indian physician, was among the first to include Charaka and Atraya. He was the one who first studied human anatomy. The Shusruta Samahita describes in detail how anatomy is studied with the aid of a dead human body. Shusruta excelled in rhinoplasty and ophthalmialogy. Shushruta has described surgery under eight heads Chedya (excision), Lekhya (scarification),Vedhya (puncturing), Esya (exploration), Ahrya (extraction), Vsraya (evacuation) and Sivya (Suturing). Yoga is a method of exercising for mental and physical nourishment. Yoga’s origins are obscured by mystery and antiquity. The principles of yoga and their practice have been crystallized since Vedic times, a thousand years earlier. Patanjali, a treatise titled Yogasutra – also known as Yoga Aphorisms – collected all the basics of yoga around 200 BC. Patanjali argued that yoga can bring out the energy hidden in the body. This has a positive effect on both the mind and the body. Modern clinical practice has shown that yoga can control and manage several conditions such as acidity. Yoga is becoming more popular in physiotherapy. Civil Engineering & ArchitectureGateway Harappa Indus Valley Civilization India has its urban civilization traceable back to Mohenjodaro in India and Harappa in Pakistan, where planned cityships were developed 5000 years ago. The development and growth of civil engineering in India and ancient architecture continued from then. It became evident in the constructions of temples, palaces, forts throughout India and the surrounding regions. Ancient India was known for its civil engineering and architecture, sthapatyakala. Literally, it meant the art of building (something). The Indian civil engineering and architecture reached regions such as Baluchistan, Afghanistan, during the Kushan Empire and Maurya Empires. Buddha statues were carved out and placed on entire mountain cliffs. Over time, ancient Indian techniques of construction were combined with Greek styles to spread throughout Central Asia. Buddhism, on the other hand, brought Indian style of civil engineering and architecture to countries like Sri Lankan, Indonesia, Malaysian, Vietnam and Cambodia. Angkor Wat serves as a living reminder of the contribution of Indian architecture and civil engineering to Cambodia’s Khmer heritage. Today, India has many wonders due to ancient India’s architectural legacy. Production TechnologyThe ancient Indian production technology allowed natural produce to be processed and converted into goods for trade, commerce, or export. Megasthanes and other historians (including Ptolemy and Faxian), Marco Polo, Al Baruni, Al Baruni, Ibn Batuta, and Megasthanes) have all indicated a range of items that were consumed, exported, and produced in ancient India’s “known universe”. Shipbuilding & NavigatioA Mohenjodaro panel depicts a boat, and Ajanta murals a thousand years later depict a maritime ship. Ancient Indians had a good understanding of the science and practice of navigation and shipbuilding. Sanskrit, Pali, and other texts contain many maritime references. In fact, ancient Indians from the coast had trade relations with several countries in the Bay of Bengal such as Cambodia, Sumatra and Borneo. Similar maritime and commercial relations were established with countries in the Arabian Sea, such as Egypt, Persia and Arabia. Navigators and shipbuilders in India were familiar with sextants as well as a mariner’s chart around 500 AD. J.L. Reid, a member of Institute of Naval Architects and Shipbuilders in England, published at the Bombay Gazetteer, “The first Hindu astrologers used the magnet to fix the North and East and lay foundations and other religious ceremonies.” The Hindu compasses was an iron fish, which floated in an oil vessel and pointed to North. The Sanskrit name ‘Maccha Yantra’ (or ‘fish machine’) Molesworth gives to the mariner’s navigation compass makes it clear that this ancient Hindu compass was indeed present.

Cotton GinCotton Ginis a machine used in the separation of cotton and seeds. This machine can be seen in the Ajanta cave carvings, which show the images of the machines. Charkha was a local name for the hand-roller machine. While the design of this machine has changed over time, India is the origin of the earliest form of cotton Gin. ButtonsButtons make up a significant part of today’s clothing. Buttons were invented and used in India by various archaeological evidences. Shells could take many forms and be pierced to make holes. They were initially used as embellishments, but they became more useful in fastening clothes. Natural FibersIndian-made natural fibers, such as cotton, wool and plant, are all derived from India. The evidence shows that the Indus Valley was a hub for cotton. India invented the art and practice of cotton spinning, which was then used to make fabric. Jute, a fiber made from plant fibers, was first grown in India and later exported to countries around the world. Cashmere wool is the best wool and was first produced in Kashmir. These shawls are still very exclusive and rich today. Indians discovered leprosy in their first encounter. The Atharva Veda also mentions other ancient remedies. India was the first country to introduce Lithiasis, a treatment that eliminates stones. In India, small pox was first treated. Madhav wrote 8th century about the symptoms and methods of immunization. Siddha is a traditional Indian treatment method that was developed. It is still an alternative way to treatment. They are used to heal the whole person. Upendra Nath, a Indian physician, invented treatments for Visceral Leishmaniasis and Kala Azar. This Nobel Laureate was responsible to the elimination of the condition. DiamondsDiamonds first became available in India. It was home to huge deposits of diamonds. Over time, it developed into a valuable stone. Diamonds were first discovered in India, and then they were exported to other nations. Indians were well-aware of the physical qualities of diamonds, such as its durability, ability cut other hard surfaces and sparkling effect. The exquisite beauty of diamond has been mentioned in many ancient books. DockIndia was 2400 BCE the first nation with a dock. Lothal’s dock was built by Harappa Civilization members. Their vast knowledge of marine engineering and oceanology is evident in this dock. Their knowledge and precision in hydrography and tidal wave physics is demonstrated by the Lothal Dock. A dock cannot be built if it isn’t possible to have a deep understanding of these topics. South India has produced high quality steel since ancient time. The crucible process was used to make it. Pure wrought-iron was first forged with pure glass and charcoal. It was heated to melt the carbon and then absorbed it. InkInk was created from different materials in India. This pigment is used to make manuscripts in India. India ink is made from burning bones, pitch, and tar. India ink was primarily made from carbon. Numerical mathematics is impossible without zero. Although it is of no importance, Arithmetic does not function without it. Aryabhatta had a tremendous mathematician skills and was also an accomplished astronomer. His contributions to mathematics are unimaginable. Aryabhatta’s Bhakshali manuscript explicitly mentioned the use of the place value system. Therefore zero was created. His work clearly showed that zero had a specific symbol. India is a country that offers the most rich resources in heritage, literature, knowledge, and culture. These resources have been provided by our ancestors through their writings, such as puranas or itihasas. Our ancestors were proud to have created all the modern facilities we enjoy today. Our ancestors have made it easier for us to think in new ways. These are just some of the findings. There are many more that can be found in our ancient literature. ReferencesANCIENT INDIAN INNOVATIONS: Towards a More Sustainable Paradigm

Wendy, D. Smith (B. K.): 1991, Laws of Manu. Penguin Books. Nagle, G.E. : 2009, Anywhere: how global connection is revolutionizing our way of doing business (McGraw Hills). Drucker, P. :1974, Management: Tasks, Responsibilities and Best Practices (Harper and Row).


  • theothomas

    I am 29 years old and I am an educational blogger and teacher. I enjoy writing about education and sharing my knowledge with others. I enjoy helping people find the information they need and empowering them to learn in the most effective way possible. I hope that my blog and teaching can help others reach their goals and become the best version of themselves.


I am 29 years old and I am an educational blogger and teacher. I enjoy writing about education and sharing my knowledge with others. I enjoy helping people find the information they need and empowering them to learn in the most effective way possible. I hope that my blog and teaching can help others reach their goals and become the best version of themselves.