The Geography that was India

Bharat, better known worldwide as India, the land of the Ganga, revered by some erstwhile heroes as the Bharat Mata, embraces as you already know, a major part of the South Asian realm. We are perhaps the only nation with a double identity! How do you think the name Bharat emerged? If you still believe in Amar Chitra Katha comics, you would most definitely come up with the correct answers! However let me regale the tales of the great king Bharat, responsible for the `naamkaran' of our vast nation, to those unfortunate souls who are still in the dark. Bharat, the sovereign king, visualised the fundamental unity of the country. The Rigveda first mentions him as a leader of a powerful Aryan tribe; while the Aitareya-Brahmana refers to his coronation ceremony, subsequent conquest and Aswamedha sacrifice. The Bhagvata Purana calls him Adhirat and Samrat, who accelerated the pace and process of Aryanisation of the people. Well, now that the name Bharat is taken care of, let us move on to what Bharat was at that point of time, geographically of course! How-aware were our ancient geographers about distances and countries beyond ours! How was the world conceptualized and more. Being a part of India we are aware that all Indian ideas on the origin and evolution of the universe are rather a matter of religion...

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