The series finale details British occupation of the Indian subcontinent and the region's struggle for freedom. Included: the British East India Company's reliance on private armies; an 18th-century British general who adopted Hinduism; the failed 1857 rebellion; a Briton who helped found the Indian freedom movement; the 1919 Amritsar massacre, which led to the rise of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru; the lasting impact of the 1947 partition of India.
The arrival of Islam on the Indian subcontinent, which led to the rise of the Moghal Empire, is recalled. Included: Old Delhi's shrines to wandering Muslim Sufi saints; desert fortresses in Rajasthan; the cities of Lahore and Agra, home to the Taj Mahal. Also: how civil war ended the Mughal rule, paving the way for the British to take control of the region.
India's golden age (A.D. 300-1000) is recalled. Included: the discovery of zero; calculating the earth's circumference; the Kama Sutra; the giant temple of Tanjore; traditional bronze casters; southern vegetarian food; an annual fire festival on a sacred mountain.
India in the age of the Roman Empire is remembered through a visit to the southern state of Kerala, where the spice trade thrived. Included: the boats that crossed the Indian Ocean; a Roman trading port. Also: the ancient city of Madurai, which features a giant temple and gold and silk bazaars; a trip along the Silk Road through the deserts of Turkmenistan and across the Khyber Pass into Pakistan, where the Kushan Empire once existed.
The story of the first Buddha, believed to have lived around 500 B.C., is related during a trip to the ancient cities of the Ganges plain. Also: how Alexander the Great's invasion changed the course of Indian history; India's earliest capital, Patna; the emperor Ashoka (304-232 B.C.), who embraced and practiced Buddhism.
The six-part series, in which historian Michael Wood explores the history and achievements of the world's oldest civilization while journeying across the Indian subcontinent, begins with the migration of people out of Africa; visits ancient Indian cities in what is now Pakistan; travels to Turkmenistan in Central Asia, where archaeological discoveries are shedding new light on India's past; and tours the cities of the Ganges plain, where ancient myths and history intertwine.