This book is not intended for the specialist in Indian history. It is intended for those who have a general interest in India and might wish to acquaint themselves with the major developments in India’s early history.The history of India in the first volume begins with the culture of the Indo-Aryans and not with the prehistoric cultures of India. There is already a useful study of Indian prehistory and proto history in the Pelican series (Stuart Piggott, Prehistoric India), and there is no point in repeating the same material. The present volume covers the history of the sub-continent until the arrival of the Europeans in the sixteenth century. Hence the choice of the date 1526 as the terminal. From the perspective of historical evolution within the sub-continent, this is perhaps an awkward date at which to stop, since the momentum of the preceding period was continued into subsequent centuries. But 1526 marks the arrival of the Mughuls in northern India and they were (amongst other things) actively involved in the future of Europe in India. To those who took the trouble to read the manuscript and offer their comments I am most grateful. I would like particularly to thank Professor A. L. Basham, Mr A. Ghosh, Mr S. Mahdi, and my father. I would also like to thank the Archaco logical Survey of India for the maps.