India, famed for its wealth, cultural treasures, and spirituality, India has for centuries beckoned the outsider.
Many have vied for control of this fabled and diverse land. Two great empires, one established by invading Mughals, the other by the British, flourished on this vast subcontinent.
The Mughal Empire was an imperial power in the Indian subcontinent from about 1526 to 1757. The Mughal emperors were Muslims and direct descendants of Genghis Khan through Chagatai Khan and Timur. At the height of their power in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, they controlled most of the subcontinent extending from Bengal in the east to Balochistan in the west, Kashmir in the north to the Kaveri basin in the south.
Its population at that time has been estimated as between 110 and 150 million, over a territory of more than 3.2 million square kilometres.
The British Raj is the term often used for British rule in the Indian subcontinent, usually but not exclusively for the period between 1858 and 1947.
The region under British control, commonly called India in contemporary usage, included areas directly administered by the United Kingdom, as well as the princely states ruled by individual rulers under the paramountcy of the British Crown.