List of Indian inventions

List of Indian inventions

thumb|200px|right|A_hand-propelled_wheel_cart,_Indus_Valley_Civilization_(3000–1500_BCE)._Housed_at_the_National Museum, New Delhi.]
200px|thumb|Explanation_of_the_sine rule in "Yuktibhasa".]

List of Indian inventions details significant inventions and contributions that were made in India. A number of innovations were made by scholars like Aryabhatta, Brahmagupta, Bhāskara II. These inventions ranged from innovations in fields of scientific inquiry—for example, the decimal number system, zero, linguistics, negative numbers,, and plastic surgery,—to a number of innovations made for leisure and material life, examples being chess and the earliest use of diamond as gemstone.

The advent of Islam in India led to diffusion and innovation enriching India's material culture.Siddiqui (1986)] The British Raj facilitated a number of Indian scholars to enter foreign institutions in its ultimate aim of producing worthy civil and administrative service candidates.Raja (2006)]


* 0: The concept of zero as a number, and not merely a symbol for separation is attributed to India. Bourbaki, page 46] In India, practical calculations were carried out using zero, which was treated like any other number by the 9th century CE, even in case of division.


* Analysis, classical: Madhava of Sangamagrama is considered the founder of classical analysis, [Joseph (2000)] for developing the first Taylor series expansions of trigonometric functions and for first making use of an intuitive notion of a limit to compute his results in infintie series.

* Angina pectoris, first mention and treatment of: The concept of "Hritshoola"—literally heart pain—was known to Sushruta (6th century BCE). Dwivedi & Dwivedi (2007) hold that: 'It embodies all the essential components of present day definition, i.e. site, nature, aggravating and relieving factors and referral." Sushruta also linked this kind of pain to obesity (medoroga).Dwivedi & Dwivedi 2007]

* Autocannon and multi-barrel gun: Fathullah Shirazi (c. 1582), a Persian-Indian polymath and mechanical engineer who worked for Akbar in the Mughal Empire, invented the autocannon, the earliest multi-shot gun. Shirazi's rapid-firing gun had multiple gun barrels that fired hand cannons loaded with gunpowder.Bag (2005)]


* Backgammon, earliest confirmed mention of: Touraj Daryaee (2006)— on the subject of the first written mention of early precursors of backgammon—writes: 'The game of backgammon is first mentioned in Bhartrhari’s "Vairagyasataka" (p. 39), composed around the late sixth or early seventh century CE. The use of dice for the game is another indication of its Indic origin, since dice and gambling were a favorite pastime in ancient India. The rules of the game, however, first appeared in the Middle Persian text "Wızarisnı Catrang ud Nihisnı New Ardaxsır" (Explanation of Chess and Invention of Backgammon), composed in the sixth century during the rule of the Sasanian king Khousro I (530–571). The text assigns its invention to the Persian sage Wuzurgmihr (Arabic/Persian) Buzarjumihr/Buzorgmihr, who was the minister of King Khousro I, as a challenge for the Indian sages.'Daryaee 2006]

* Bangle: Bangles—made from shell, copper, bronze, gold, agate, chalcedony etc.—have been excavated from multiple archaeological sites throughout India.Ghosh, page 224] A figurine of a dancing girl—wearing bangles on her left arm— has been excavated from Mohenjo-daro (2600 BC).Ghosh, page 83] Other early examples of bangles in India include copper samples from the excavations at Mahurjhari—soon followed by the decorated bangles belonging to the Mauryan empire (322–185 BCE) and the gold bangle samples from the historic site of Taxila (6th century BCE). Decorated shell bangles have also been excavated from multiple Mauryan sites. Other features included copper rivets and gold-leaf inlay in some cases.

* Bhabha scattering: In 1935, Indian nuclear physicist Homi J. Bhabha published a paper in the "Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series A", in which performed the first calculation to determine the cross section of electron-positron scattering. Electron-positron scattering was later named Bhabha scattering, in honor of his contributions in the field.Penny, page 39]

* BCH code, contributions to: The BCH error detecting codes were discovered by Hocquenghem, Bose & Ray-Chaudhuri by 1960, and are named after their inventors.Stepanov, page 50]

* Binary numbers: The modern system of binary numerals appears in the works of German polymath Gottfried Leibnitz during the 17th century. However, the first description of binary numbers is found in the works of the Indian mathematician, Pingala. [Sanchez & Canton, page 37]

* Binomial coefficients: The Indian mathematician Pingala, by 300 BCE, had also managed to work with Binomial coefficients.Singh. pages 623-624]

* Bose–Einstein statistics, Bose–Einstein condensate, and Boson: Discovered by the Bengali physicist Satyendra Nath Bose in the 1920s.

* Bow drill: The bow drill appeared in Mehrgarh between 4th-5th millennium BCE. This bow drill—used to drill holes into lapis lazuli and cornelian—was made of green jasper.Kulke, Hermann & Rothermund, Dietmar (2004). "A History of India". Routledge. 22. ISBN 0415329205.] Similar drills were found in other parts of the Indus Valley Civilization and Iran one millennium later.

* Brahmagupta–Fibonacci identity, Brahmagupta's formula, Brahmagupta matrix, and Brahmagupta theorem: Discovered by the Indian mathematician, Brahmagupta, in the 7th century.

* Button: Buttons—made from seashell—were used in the Indus Valley Civilization for ornamental purposes by 2000 BCE.Hesse, Rayner W. & Hesse (Jr.), Rayner W. (2007). "Jewelrymaking Through History: An Encyclopedia". Greenwood Publishing Group. 35. ISBN 0313335079.] Some buttons were carved into geometric shapes and had holes pieced into them so that they could attached to clothing by using a thread. Ian McNeil (1990) holds that: "The button, in fact, was originally used more as an ornament than as a fastening, the earliest known being found at Mohenjo-daro in the Indus Valley. It is made of a curved shell and about 5000 years old." [McNeil, Ian (1990). "An encyclopaedia of the history of technology". Taylor & Francis. 852. ISBN 0415013062.]


* Calculus textbook: The "Yuktibhasa", written by Jyesthadeva of the Kerala school of astronomy and mathematics in "circa" 1530, is widely considered to be the first textbook on calculus.cite web| publisher=Canisius College |work=MAT 314|url=| title=Neither Newton nor Leibniz - The Pre-History of Calculus and Celestial Mechanics in Medieval Kerala| accessdate=2006-07-09] cite web| publisher=School of Mathematics and Statistics University of St Andrews, Scotland |work=Indian Maths|url=| title=An overview of Indian mathematics| accessdate=2006-07-07] cite web| publisher=Prof.C.G.Ramachandran Nair |work=Government of Kerala — Kerala Call, September 2004|url=| title=Science and technology in free India| accessdate=2006-07-09] cite book | author =Charles Whish | year = 1835 | title = Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland | ]

* Calico: Calico had originated in India by the 11th century and found mention in Indian literature by the 12th when writer Hemacandra mentioned calico fabric prints done in a lotus design.Encyclopedia Britannica (2008). "calico"] The Indian textile merchants traded in calico with the Africans by the 15th century and calico fabrics from Gujarat appeared in Egypt. Trade with Europe followed from the 17th century onwards. Within India, calico originated in Calicut.

* Carding, devices for: Historian of science Joseph Needham ascribes the invention of bow-instruments used in textile technology to India. The earliest evidence for using bow-instruments for carding comes from India (2nd century CE). These carding devices, called "kaman" and "dhunaki" would loosen the texture of the fiber by the means of a vibrating string.

* Cashmere wool, use of: The fiber is also known as "pashm" or "pashmina" for its use in the handmade shawls of Kashmir, India. [Encyclopedia Britannica (2008). "cashmere".] The woolen shawls made from wool in Kashmir region of India find written mention between 3rd century BC and the 11th century AD.Encyclopedia Britannica (2008). "kashmir shawl".] However, the founder of the cashmere wool industry is traditionally held to be the 15th century ruler of Kashmir, "Zayn-ul-Abidin", who employed weavers from Central Asia.

*Cataract surgery: Cataract surgery was known to the Indian physician Sushruta (6th century BCE). In India, cataract surgery was performed with a special tool called the "Jabamukhi Salaka", a curved needle used to loosen the lens and push the cataract out of the field of vision. The eye would later be soaked with warm butter and then bandaged. Though this method was successful, Susruta cautioned that cataract surgery should only be performed when absolutely necessary. Greek philosophers and scientists traveled to India where these surgeries were performed by physicians.Finger, page 66] The removal of cataract by surgery was also introduced into China from India. [Lade & Svoboda, page 85]

* Chandrasekhar limit and Chandrasekhar number: Discovered by and named after Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, who received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1983 for his work on stellar structure and stellar evolution. [MacTutor|id=Chandrasekhar|title=Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar|date=February 2005]

* Chariots, early development of: Archaeologist and Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India B. B. Lal (2002) has shown with convincing specimen the existence and use of spoked-wheel chariots in the Indus Valley Civilization (3000–1500 BCE). [B. B. Lal (2002), "The Sarasvati Flows", pp. 74-75, Figs 3.28 to 331] Bhagwan Singh (1987) had made a similar assertion ["Harappan Civilization and the Vedic Literature" (1987), in Hindi] and recent Bhirrana excavations in 2005-2006 further confirm the existence of chariots in the Indus Valley. [L. S. Rao, Harappan Spoked Wheels Rattled Down the Streets of Bhirrana, Dist. Fatehabad, Haryana]

* Chess: The game of Chess has been attributed to the Indians both by the Persians and by the Arabs.Wilkinson, Charles K (May 1943)] The words for chess in Old Persian and Arabic are "chatrang" and "shatranj" respectively — terms derived from "chaturanga" (6th century) in Sanskrit, Hooper & Whyld, page 74] which literally means an "army of four divisions".Meri, page 148] Chess spread throughout the world and many variants of the game soon began taking shape. Encyclopedia Britannica (2002). "Chess: Ancient precursors and related games".] This game was introduced to the Near East from India and became a part of the princely or courtly education of Persian nobility. Buddhist pilgrims, Silk Road traders and others carried it to the Far East where it was transformed and assimilated into a game often played on the intersection of the lines of the board rather than within the squares. Chaturanga reached Europe through Persia, the Byzantine empire and the expanding Arabian empire. Encyclopedia Britannica (2007). "Chess: Introduction to Europe".] Muslims carried chess to North Africa, Sicily, and Spain by the 10th century.

* Chintz: The origin of Chintz is from the printed all cotton fabric of calico in India.Encyclopedia Britannica (2008). "chintz"] The origin of the word "chintz" itself is from the Hindi language word चित्र्, which means a spot.Hāṇḍā, page 133]

* Circulatory system, first description of: The knowledge of circulation of vital fluids through the body was known to Sushruta (6th century BCE). He also seems to posses knowledge of the arteries, described as 'channels' by Dwivedi & Dwivedi (2007).

* Coherer, iron and mercury: In 1899, the Bengali physicist Jagdish Chandra Bose announced the development of an "iron-mercury-iron coherer with telephone detector" in a paper presented at the Royal Society, London. [Bondyopadhyay (1988)] He also later received US patent|755840, "Detector for electrical disturbances" (1904), for a specific electromagnetic receiver.

* Corrosion-resistant iron: The first corrosion-resistant iron was used to erect the Iron pillar of Delhi, which has withstood corrosion for over 1,600 years. [R. Balasubramaniam (2000), [ On the Corrosion Resistance of the Delhi Iron Pillar] , "Corrosion Science" 42: 2103-29]

* Cotton, cultivation of: Cotton was cultivated by the inhabitants of the Indus Valley Civilization by the 5th millennium BCE - 4th millennium BCE. [Stein, page 47] The Indus cotton industry was well developed and some methods used in cotton spinning and fabrication continued to be practiced till the modern Industrialization of India. [Wisseman & Williams, page 127] Well before the Common Era, the use of cotton textiles had spread from India to the Mediterranean and beyond. [The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. "cotton".]

* Cotton Gin: The Ajanta caves of India yield evidence of a single roller cotton gin in use by the 5th century CE.Baber, page 56] This cotton gin was used in India until innovations were made, in form foot powered gins. The cotton gin was invented in India as a mechanical device known as "charkhi", more technically the "wooden-worm-worked roller".Baber, page 57] This mechanical device was, in some parts of india, driven by water power.

* Crescograph: The crescograph, a device for measuring growth in plants, was invented in the early 20th century by the Bengali scientist Jagdish Chandra Bose. [cite web|url=|title=Jagadis Bose Research on Measurement of Plant Growth|accessdate=2008-08-05] [Geddes, pages 173-176]

* Crucible steel: Perhaps as early as 300 BCE—although certainly by 200 CE—high quality steel was being produced in southern India also by what Europeans would later call the crucible technique.Juleff 1996] In this system, high-purity wrought iron, charcoal, and glass were mixed in a crucible and heated until the iron melted and absorbed the carbon. The first crucible steel was the wootz steel that originated in India before the beginning of the common era. Archaeological evidence suggests that this manufacturing process was already in existence in South India well before the Christian era.


* Decimal Number System: The modern number system originated in India.Ifrah, page 346] Other cultures discovered a few features of this number system but the system, in its entirely, was compiled in India, where it attained coherence and completion. By the 9th century CE, this complete number system had existed in India but several of its ideas were transmitted to to China and the Islamic world well before that time.Britannica Concise Encyclopedia (2007). "algebra"]

* Dentistry, dental drill, and dental surgery: The Indus Valley Civilization has yielded evidence of dentistry being practiced as far back as 7000 BCE.Coppa, A. et al.] This earliest form of dentistry involved curing tooth related disorders with bow drills operated, perhaps, by skilled bead craftsmen. [BBC (2006). [ "Stone age man used dentist drill"] .] The reconstruction of this ancient form of dentistry showed that the methods used were reliable and effective. [MSNBC (2008). [ "Dig uncovers ancient roots of dentistry"] .]

* Derivative and Differential: In the 12th century, Bhāskara II developed the concept of a derivative and a differential representing infinitesimal change.George G. Joseph (2000), "The Crest of the Peacock", pp. 298-300, Princeton University Press, ISBN 0691006598]

* Diamond (gemstone): Early diamonds used as gemstones originated in India.Wenk, pages 535-539] Golconda served as an important center for diamonds in central India. Diamonds then were exported to other parts of the world, including Europe. Early references to diamonds in India come from Sanskrit texts.MSN Encarta (2007). [ "Diamond"] .] The "Arthashastra" of Kautilya mentions diamond trade in India. India remained the only major source of diamonds in the world until the discovery of diamonds in Brazil. Lee, page 685] Buddhist works dating from the 4th century BC as a well-known and precious stone but don't mention the details of diamond cutting. Another Indian description written at the beginning of the 3rd century describes strength, regularity, brilliance, ability to scratch metals, and good refractive properties as the desirable qualities of a diamond.Dickinson, pages 1-3] A Chinese work from the 3rd century BC mentions: "Foreigners wear it [diamond] in the belief that it can ward off evil influences". The Chinese, who did not find diamonds in their country, initially did not use diamond as a jewel but used as a "jade cutting knife".

* Diabetes, first mention and treatment of: Sushruta (6th century BCE) identified Diabetes and classified it as "Medhumeha". He further identified it with obesity and sedentary lifestyle, advising exercises to help cure it.

* Differential equation: In 499, the Indian mathematician, Aryabhata, used a notion of infinitesimals and expressed an astronomical problem in the form of a basic differential equation. Manjula, in the 10th century, elaborated on this differential equation in a commentary. This equation was eventually solved by Bhāskara II in the 12th century.

* Diophantine equation and Indeterminate equation: The "Śulba Sūtras" (literally, "Aphorisms of the Chords" in Vedic Sanskrit) (c. 700-400 BCE) list rules for the construction of sacrificial fire altars. [Staal, 1999] Certain Diophantine equations, particularly the case of finding the generation of Pythagorean triples, so one square integer equals the of the other two, are also found.Cooke, page 198]

* Dock (maritime): The world's first dock at Lothal (2400 BCE) was located away from the main current to avoid deposition of silt. Modern oceanographers have observed that the Harappans must have possessed great knowledge relating to tides in order to build such a dock on the ever-shifting course of the Sabarmati, as well as exemplary hydrography and maritime engineering. This was the earliest known dock found in the world, equipped to berth and service ships.Rao, pages 27–28] It is speculated that Lothal engineers studied tidal movements, and their effects on brick-built structures, since the walls are of kiln-burnt bricks. This knowledge also enabled them to select Lothal's location in the first place, as the Gulf of Khambhat has the highest tidal amplitude and ships can be sluiced through flow tides in the river estuary. The engineers built a trapezoidal structure, with north-south arms of average 21.8 metres (71.5 ft), and east-west arms of 37 metres (121 ft).Rao, pages 28–29]


* Fibonacci numbers: In mathematics, the Fibonacci numbers are a sequence of numbers named after Leonardo of Pisa, known as Fibonacci. Fibonacci's 1202 book "Liber Abaci" introduced the sequence to Western European mathematics, although the sequence had been previously described in Indian mathematics.Singh, P. (1985)] The so-called Fibonacci numbers were also known to the Indian mathematician Pingala by 300 BCE.

* Formal language and formal grammar: The 4th-century BC Indian scholar Pāṇini is regarded as the forerunner to these modern linguistic fields. [MacTutor Biography|id=Panini]

* Furnace: The earliest furnace was excavated at Balakot, a site of the Indus Valley Civilization, dating back to its mature phase (c. 2500-1900 BC). The furnace was most likely used for the manufacturing of ceramic objects.citation|last=Dales|first=George|title=Excavations at Balakot, Pakistan, 1973|journal=Journal of Field Archaeology|volume=1|issue=1-2|year=1974|pages=3-22 [10] ]


* Hindu-Arabic numeral system: The Hindu-Arabic numeral system originated in India. Flegg, pages 67-70.] Graham Flegg (2002) dates the history of the Hindu-Arabic system to the Indus valley civilization. The inscriptions on the edicts of Ashoka (1st millennium BCE) display this number system being used by the Imperial Mauryas. This system was later transmitted to Europe by the Arabs.

* Hospital, early development of: Brahmanic hospitals were established in what is now Sri Lanka as early as 431 BCE. The Indian emperor Ashoka (ruled from 273 BCE to 232 BCE) himself established a chain of hospitals throughout the Mauryan empire (322–185 BCE) by 230 BCE.Piercey & Scarborough (2008)] One of the edicts of Ashoka (272—231 BCE) reads: "Everywhere King Piyadasi (Asoka) erected two kinds of hospitals, hospitals for people and hospitals for animals. Where there were no healing herbs for people and animals, he ordered that they be bought and planted."

* Hypertension, first mention and treatment of: Sushruta (6th century BCE) explained hypertension in a manner which matches the modern symptoms of the disease.


* Indian clubs: The Indian club—which appeared in Europe during the 18th century—was used long by India's native soldiery before its introduction to Europe.Todd, Jan (1995). [ "From Milo to Milo: A History of Barbells, Dumbells, and Indian Clubs"] . Accessed in September 2008. Hosted on the LA84 Foundation Sports Library.] During the British Raj the British officers in India performed calisthenic exercises with clubs to keep in for physical conditioning. From Britain the use of club swinging spread to the rest of the world.

* India ink, carbonaceous pigment for: The source of the carbon pigment used in India ink was India.Gottsegen, page 30.] In India, the carbon black from which India ink is produced is obtained by burning bones, tar, pitch, and other substances. ["India ink", "Encyclopædia Britannica", 2008] Ink itself has been used in India since at least the 4th century BC. "Masi", an early ink in India was an admixture of several chemical components.Banerji, page 673] Indian documents written in Kharosthi with ink have been unearthed in Xinjiang. [Sircar, page 206] The practice of writing with ink and a sharp pointed needle was common in ancient South India. [Sircar, page 62] Several Jain sutras in India were compiled in ink. [Sircar, page 67]

* Indigo dye: Indigo, a blue pigment and a dye, was used in India, which was also the earliest major center for its production and processing.Kriger & Connah, page 120] The "Indigofera tinctoria" variety of Indigo was domesticated in India. Indigo, used as a dye, made its way to the Greeks and the Romans via various trade routes, and was valued as a luxury product.

* Inoculation and Variolation: The earliest record of inoculation and variolation for smallpox is found in 8th century India, when Madhav wrote the "Nidāna", a 79-chapter book which lists diseases along with their causes, symptoms, and complications. He included a special chapter on smallpox ("masūrikā") and described the method of inoculation to protect against smallpox.Hopkins, page 140]

* Iron, early development of: Iron was developed in the Vedic period of India, around the same time as, but independently of, Anatolia and the Caucasus. Archaeological sites in India, such as Malhar, Dadupur, Raja Nala Ka Tila and Lahuradewa in present day Uttar Pradesh show iron implements in the period between 1800 BC1200 BC. [ The origins of Iron Working in India: New evidence from the Central Ganga plain and the Eastern Vindhyas by Rakesh Tewari (Director, U.P. State Archaeological Department)] ] Early iron objects found in India can be dated to 1400 BC by employing the method of radio carbon dating. Spikes, knives, daggers, arrow-heads, bowls, spoons, saucepans, axes, chisels, tongs, door fittings etc. ranging from 600 BC to 200 BC have been discovered from several archaeological sites of India.Marco Ceccarelli (2000). "International Symposium on History of Machines and Mechanisms: Proceedings HMM Symposium". Springer. ISBN 0792363728. pp 218] Some scholars believe that by the early 13th century BC, iron smelting was practiced on a bigger scale in India, suggesting that the date the technology's inception may be placed earlier. In Southern India (present day Mysore) iron appeared as early as 11th to 12th centuries BC; these developments were too early for any significant close contact with the northwest of the country.I. M. Drakonoff (1991). "Early Antiquity". University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0226144658. pp 372]

* Iron pillar: The first iron pillar was the Iron pillar of Delhi, erected at the times of Chandragupta II Vikramaditya (375–413). [Balasubramaniam, R., 2002]


* Jute, cultivation of: Jute has been cultivated in India since ancient times. Raw jute was exported to the western world, where it was used to make ropes and cordage.Encyclopedia Britannica (2008). "jute".] The Indian jute industry, in turn, was modernized during the British Raj in India. The modern day area of Bengal-Bangladesh region was the major center for Jute cultivation, and remained so before the modernization of India's jute industry in 1855, when Kolkata became a center for jute processing in India.


* Kabaddi: The game of "kabaddi" originated in India during prehistory.Alter, page 88] Suggestions on how it evolved into the modern form range from wrestling exercises, military drills, and collective self defense but most authorities agree that the game existed in some form or the other in India during the period between 1500-400 BCE.


* Large numbers: The religious texts of the Vedic Period provide evidence for the use of large numbers. By the time of the last Veda, the "IAST|Yajurvedasaṃhitā" (1200-900 BCE), numbers as high as 10^{12} were being included in the texts.Hayashi, page 360-361] For example, the "mantra" (sacrificial formula) at the end of the "annahoma" ("food-oblation rite") performed during the "aśvamedha" ("horse sacrifice"), and uttered just before-, during-, and just after sunrise, invokes powers of ten from a hundred to a trillion.

*Leprosy, earliest mention and cure of: Kearns & Nash (2008) state that the first mention of leprosy is described in the Indian medical treatise "Sushruta Samhita" (6th century BCE).Kearns & Nash (2008)] However, "The Oxford Illustrated Companion to Medicine" holds that the mention of leprosy, as well as ritualistic cures for it, were described in the Hindu religious book "Atharva-veda" (1500–1200 BCE), written before the "Sushruta Samhita". [Lock etc., page 420]

* Limit (mathematics): The mathematicians of the Kerala school of astronomy and mathematics were the first to make use of an intuitive notion of a limit to compute their results in infintie series.

* Linguistics, earliest practice of: The study of linguistics in India dates back at least two and one-half millennia.Encyclopedia Britannica (2008). "Linguistics".] During the 5th century BCE, the Indian scholar Pāṇini had made several discoveries in the fields of phonetics, phonology, and morphology.

* Ludo: Pachisi originated in India by the 6th century.MSN Encarta (2008). [ "Pachisi"] .] The earliest evidence of this game in India is the depiction of boards on the caves of Ajanta. This game was played by the Mughal emperors of India; a notable example being that of Akbar Khan, who played "living Pachisi" using girls from his harem. A variant of this game, called Ludo, made its way to England during the British Raj.


* Mahalanobis distance: Introduced in 1936 by the Indian statistician Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis (June 29, 1893–June 28, 1972), this "distance measure", based upon the correlation between variables, is used to identify and analyze differing pattern with respect to one base. [ Taguchi & Jugulum, pages 6-7]

* Mean value theorem: An early version of this calculus theorem was first described by Parameshvara (1370–1460) from the Kerala school of astronomy and mathematics in his commentaries on Govindasvāmi and Bhāskara II. [J. J. O'Connor and E. F. Robertson (2000), [ Paramesvara] , "MacTutor History of Mathematics archive"]

* Metrology, contributions to: The inhabitants of the Indus valley developed a sophisticated system of standardization, using weights and measures, evident by the excavations made at the Indus valley sites.Baber, page 23] This technical standardization enabled gauging devices to be effectively used in angular measurement and measurement for construction. Calibration was also found in measuring devices along with multiple subdivisions in case of some devices.

* Molecular biophysics: Gopalasamudram Narayana Iyer Ramachandran is considered one of the founders of the rapidly developing field of molecular biophysics, [citation|title=Indian science slows down: The decline of open-ended research|first=Gangan|last=Prathap|journal=Current Science|volume=86|issue=6|date=March 2004|page=768-769 [768] ] for bringing together different components such as peptide synthesis, X-ray crystallography, NMR and other optical studies, and physico-chemical experimentation, together into the one field of molecular biophysics. He founded the first Molecular Biophysics Unit in 1970.

* Muslin: The fabric was named after the city where Europeans first encountered it, Mosul, in what is now Iraq, but the fabric actually originated from Dhaka in what is now Bangladesh. [ [ Muslin] , "Banglapedia". Asiatic Society of Bangladesh (2008)] citation|first=S.|last=Ahmad|title=Rise and Decline of the Economy of Bengal|journal=Asian Affairs|volume=27|issue=3|pages=5-26|date=July-September 2005] In the 9th century, an Arab merchant named Sulaiman makes note of the material's origin in Bengal (known as "Ruhml" in Arabic).


* Negative numbers: The use of negative numbers was known in early India, and their role in situations like mathematical problems of debt was understood. Bourbaki, page 49] Consistent and correct rules for working with these numbers were formulated. The diffusion of this concept led the Arab intermediaries to pass it on to Europe.


* Obesity, first mention and treatment of: Obesity was known to Sushruta (6th century BCE), who also related it with diabetes and heart disorder. He recommended physical work in order to help cure it and its side effects.

* Optical fibre: Narinder Singh Kapany is often described as the "father of fibre optics", for inventing the glass fibre with cladding during the early 1950s. [ [ Jack Baskin School of Engineering. (2008) "Narinder Kapany, Ph.D.". UC Santa Cruz.] ] [citation|title=Indian science slows down: The decline of open-ended research|first=Gangan|last=Prathap|journal=Current Science|volume=86|issue=6|date=March 2004|page=768-769 [769] ]

* Oven: The earliest ovens were excavated at Balakot, a site of the Indus Valley Civilization. The ovens date back to the civilization's mature phase (c. 2500-1900 BC).


* Pagoda, origin of: The origin of the pagoda can be traced to the Indian stupa (3rd century BCE).Encyclopedia Britannica (2008). "Pagoda".] The Buddhist pagoda, a dome shaped monument, was used in India as a commemorative monument associated with storing sacred relics. The stupa architecture was adopted in Southeast and East Asia, where it became prominent as a Buddhist monument used for enshrining sacred relics. Upon its discovery, this architectural became known as "pagoda" to the people from the western world.

* Palampore: पालमपुर् (Hindi language) of Indian originEncyclopedia Britannica (2008). "interior design"] was imported to the western world—notable England and Colonial america—from India.Encyclopedia Britannica (2008). "crewel work"] Encyclopedia Britannica (2008). "quilting"] In 17th century England these hand painted cotton fabrics influenced native crewel work design. Shipping vessels from India also took palampore to colonial America, where it was used in quilting.

* Panini-Backus Form: Pāṇini's grammar rules have have significant similarities to the Backus–Naur Form or BNF grammars used to describe modern programming languages, hence the notation is sometimes referred to as the Panini–Backus Form. [P. Z. Ingerman (1967), "Panini-Backus form suggested", Communications of the ACM" 10"' (3): 137] [T. R. N. Rao, [ "Panini-backus form of languages"] , 1998]

* Pascal triangle: The so-called Pascal triangle was solved by the Indian mathematician Pingala by 300 BCE.Fowler, page 11]

* Pati-Salam model, contributions to: A mainstream Grand Unification Theory proposed by Jogesh Pati in collaboration with Abdus Salam in 1974. [Abdus Salam & Jogesh Pati (1974), "Phys. Rev." D10: 275]

* Pell's equation : Indian scholar Brahmagupta (598–668) was able to find (integral) solutions of Pell's equation,: x^2-Ny^2=1, where N is a nonsquare integer. Stillwell, pages 72-73]

* Perpetual motion machine, concept of: The earliest conceptual design of a perpetual motion machine dates back to 1150, by an Indian mathematician-astronomer, Bhāskara II. He described a wheel that he claimed would run forever. [Lynn Townsend White, Jr..] [Pacey, page 14]

* Pi, infinite series: The infinite series for π was first stated by Madhava of Sangamagrama (c. 1340-1425) and his Kerala school of astronomy and mathematics. He made use of the series expansion of arctan x to obtain an infinite series expression, now known as the Madhava-Gregory series, for pi. Their rational approximation of the "error" for the finite sum of their series are of particular interest. They manipulated the error term to derive a faster converging series for pi. They used the improved series to derive a rational expression, 104348/33215 for pi correct up to nine decimal places, "i.e." 3.141592653 .Roy, Ranjan (1990), "Discovery of the Series Formula for pi by Leibniz, Gregory, and Nilakantha", "Mathematics Magazine" (Mathematical Association of America) 63 (5): 291-306]

* Plastic surgery: Plastic surgery was being carried out in India by 2000 BCE.MSN Encarta (2008). [ "Plastic Surgery"] .] The system of punishment by deforming a miscreant's body may have led to an increase in demand for this practice. The surgeon Sushruta contributed mainly to the field of Plastic and Cataract surgery.Dwivedi & Dwivedi 2007] The medical works of both Sushruta and Charak were translated into Arabic language during the Abbasid Caliphate (750 CE). [Lock etc., page 607] These translated Arabic works made their way into Europe via intermidiateries. In Italy the Branca family of Sicily and Gaspare Tagliacozzi (Bologna) became familiar with the techniques of Sushruta.Lock etc., page 607]

* Plough, animal-drawn: The earliest archeological evidence of an animal-drawn plough dates back to 2500 BC in the Indus Valley Civilization. [citation|title=Thematic evolution of ISTRO: transition in scientific issues and research focus from 1955 to 2000|first=R.|last=Lal|journal=Soil and Tillage Research|volume=61|issue=1-2|date=August 2001|pages=3-12 [3] ]

* Prayer Flags, origin of: The Indian Buddhist Sutras, written on cloth in India, were transmitted to other regions of the world.Barker, page 13] These sutras, written on banners, were the origin of prayer flags. Legend ascribes the origin of the prayer flag to the Shakyamuni Buddha, whose prayers were written on battle flags used by the "devas" against their adversaries, the "asuras".Beer, page 60] The legend may have given the Indian "bhikku" a reason for carrying the 'heavenly' banner as a way of signyfying his commitment to "ahimsa".Wise, page 11-12] This knowledge was carried into Tibet by 800 CE, and the actual flags were introduced no later than 1040 CE, where they were further modified. The Indian monk Atisha (980-1054 CE) introduced the Indian practice of printing on cloth prayer flags to Tibet.

* Prefabricated home and movable structure: The first prefabricated homes and movable structures were invented in 16th century Mughal India by Akbar the Great. These structures were reported by Arif Qandahari in 1579. [Irfan Habib (1992), "Akbar and Technology", "Social Scientist" 20 (9-10): 3-15 [3-4] ]

* Private bathroom and Toilet: By 2800 BCE, private bathrooms, located on the ground floor, were found in nearly all the houses of the Indus Valley Civilization. The pottery pipes in walls allowed drainage of water and there was, in some case, provision of a crib for sitting. The Indus Valley Civilization had some of the most advanced private lavatories in the world. "Western-style" toilets were made from bricks using toilet seats made of wood on top. The waste was then transmitted to drainage systems.

* Puppets and Puppetry: Evidence of puppetry comes from the excavations at the Indus Valley.Ghosh, Massey, and Banerjee, page 14] Archaeologists have unearthed terracotta dolls with detachable heads capable of manipulation by a string dating to 2500 BCE. Other excavations include terracotta animals which could be manipulated up and down a stick—-archiving minimum animation in both cases. The epic "Mahabharata"; Tamil literature from the Sangam Era, and various literary works dating from the late centuries BCE to the early centuries of the Common Era—including Ashokan edicts—describe puppets.Ghosh, Massey, and Banerjee, pages 14-15] Works like the "Natya Shastra" and the "Kamasutra" elaborate on puppetry in some detail.Ghosh, Massey, and Banerjee, pages 15-16] The Javanese "Wayang" theater was influenced by Indian traditions.Bell, page 46] Europeans developed puppetry as a result of extensive contact with the Eastern World.Bell, page 37]

* Pythagorean theorem, statement of: Baudhayana (c. 8th century BCE) composed the "Baudhayana Sulba Sutra", the best-known "Sulba Sutra", which contains examples of simple Pythagorean triples, such as: (3, 4, 5), (5, 12, 13), (8, 15, 17), (7, 24, 25), and (12, 35, 37)Joseph, page 229] as well as a statement of the Pythagorean theorem for the sides of a square: "The rope which is stretched across the diagonal of a square produces an area double the size of the original square." It also contains the general statement of the Pythagorean theorem (for the sides of a rectangle): "The rope stretched along the length of the diagonal of a rectangle makes an area which the vertical and horizontal sides make together."


* Radio, contributions to: In 1894, the Bengali physicist, Jagdish Chandra Bose, demonstrated publicly the use of radio waves in Calcutta, but he was not interested in patenting his work. [" [ Jagadish Chandra Bose] ".] He also ignited gunpowder and rang a bell at a distance using electromagnetic waves, showing independently that communication signals can be sent without using wires. In 1896, the Daily Chronicle of England reported on his UHF experiments: "The inventor (J.C. Bose) has transmitted signals to a distance of nearly a mile and herein lies the first and obvious and exceedingly valuable application of this new theoretical marvel." The 1895 public demonstration by Bose in Calcutta was before Marconi's wireless signalling experiment on Salisbury Plain in England in May 1897. [Emerson, D.T. (1998)] [Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (2008). " [ Jagadish Chandra Bose] ". HTML.]

* Ramachandran plot, Ramachandran map, and Ramachandran angles: The Ramachandran plot and Ramachandran map were developed by Gopalasamudram Narayana Iyer Ramachandran, who published his results in the "Journal of Molecular Biology" in 1963. He also developed the Ramachandran angles, which serve as a convenient tool for communication, representation, and various kinds of data analysis.citation|first=C.|last=Ramakrishnan|title=In Memoriam: Professor G.N. Ramachandram (1922–2001)|journal=Protein Science|year=2001|volume=10|pages=1689-11]

* Raman effect: The Encyclopedia Britannica (2008) reports: "change in the wavelength of light that occurs when a light beam is deflected by molecules. The phenomenon is named for Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman, who discovered it in 1928. When a beam of light traverses a dust-free, transparent sample of a chemical compound, a small fraction of the light emerges in directions other than that of the incident (incoming) beam. Most of this scattered light is of unchanged wavelength. A small part, however, has wavelengths different from that of the incident light; its presence is a result of the Raman effect." [Encyclopedia Britannica (2008). "Raman effect"]

* Ramanujan theta function, Ramanujan summation, Ramanujan graph, and Ramanujan's sum, discovered by the Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan in the early 20th century.

* Reservoirs: Sophisticated irrigation and storage systems were developed by the Indus Valley Civilization, including the artificial reservoirs at Girnar in 3000 BCE and an early canal irrigation system from circa 2600 BCE. [Rodda & Ubertini, page 161] Irrigation was developed in the Indus Valley Civilization around 4500 BCE. The size and prosperity of the Indus civilization grew as a result of this innovation, which eventually lead to more planned settlements which further made use of drainage and sewers.Rodda & Ubertini, page 279]

* Rocket artillery, iron-cased and metal-cylinder: The first iron-cased and metal-cylinder rockets were developed by Tipu Sultan, ruler of the South Indian Kingdom of Mysore, and his father Hyder Ali, in the 1780s. He successfully used these iron-cased rockets against the larger forces of the British East India Company during the Anglo-Mysore Wars. The Mysore rockets of this period were much more advanced than what the British had seen, chiefly because of the use of iron tubes for holding the propellant; this enabled higher thrust and longer range for the missile (up to 2 km range). After Tipu's eventual defeat in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War and the capture of the Mysore iron rockets, they were influential in British rocket development, inspiring the Congreve rocket, and were soon put into use in the Napoleonic Wars. [Roddam Narasimha (1985), [ Rockets in Mysore and Britain, 1750-1850 A.D.] , National Aeronautical Laboratory and Indian Institute of Science] "Hyder Ali, prince of Mysore, developed war rockets with an important change: the use of metal cylinders to contain the combustion powder. Although the hammered soft iron he used was crude, the bursting strength of the container of black powder was much higher than the earlier paper construction. Thus a greater internal pressure was possible, with a resultant greater thrust of the propulsive jet. The rocket body was lashed with leather thongs to a long bamboo stick. Range was perhaps up to three-quarters of a mile (more than a kilometre). Although individually these rockets were not accurate, dispersion error became less important when large numbers were fired rapidly in mass attacks. They were particularly effective against cavalry and were hurled into the air, after lighting, or skimmed along the hard dry ground. Hyder Ali's son, Tippu Sultan, continued to develop and expand the use of rocket weapons, reportedly increasing the number of rocket troops from 1,200 to a corps of 5,000. In battles at Seringapatam in 1792 and 1799 these rockets were used with considerable effect against the British." - Encyclopedia Britannica (2008). "rocket and missile."]

* Rolle's theorem: The calculus theorem now known as "Rolle's theorem" was first stated by the Indian mathematician, Bhāskara II, in the 12th century. [citation|first=T. A. A.|last=Broadbent|title=Reviewed work(s): "The History of Ancient Indian Mathematics" by C. N. Srinivasiengar|journal=The Mathematical Gazette|volume=52|issue=381|date=October 1968|pages=307-8]

* Ruler: Rulers made from Ivory were in use by the Indus Valley Civilization period prior to 1500 BCE. Excavations at Lothal (2400 BCE) have yielded one such ruler calibrated to about 1/16 of an inch—less than 2 millimeters.Whitelaw, page 14] Ian Whitelaw (2007) holds that 'The Mohenjo-Daro ruler is divided into units corresponding to 1.32 inches (33.5 mm) and these are marked out in decimal subdivisions with amazing accuracy—to within 0.005 of an inch. Ancient bricks found throughout the region have dimensions that correspond to these units.'Whitelaw, page 15]

* Saha ionization equation: The Saha equation, derived by the Indian scientist Meghnad Saha (October 6, 1893 – February 16, 1956) in 1920, conceptualizes ionizations in context of stellar atmospheres. [Narlikar, page 188]

* Seamless celestial globe: Considered one of the most remarkable feats in metallurgy, it was invented in Kashmir by Ali Kashmiri ibn Luqman in 998 AH (1589-90 CE), and twenty other such globes were later produced in Lahore and Kashmir during the Mughal Empire. Before they were rediscovered in the 1980s, it was believed by modern metallurgists to be technically impossible to produce metal globes without any , even with modern technology. These Mughal metallurgists pioneered the method of lost-wax casting in order to produce these globes.citation|first=Emilie|last=Savage-Smith|title=Islamicate Celestial Globes: Their history, Construction, and Use|publisher=Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.|year=1985]

* Series (mathematics): One of the main achievements of Indian mathematics was the development of the series expansions for trigonometric functions (sine, cosine, and arc tangent) by mathematicians of the Kerala School in the fifteenth century CE. Their work, completed two centuries before the invention of calculus in Europe, provided what is now considered the first example of a power series (apart from geometric series).Stillwell, page 173]

* Sewage collection and disposal, large-scale: Large-scale sanitary sewer systems were in place in the Indus Valley by 2700 BCE. The drains were 7-10 feet wide and convert|2|ft|m below ground level.Teresi, pages 351-352] The sewage was then led into cesspools, built at the intersection of two drains, which had stairs leading to them for periodic cleaning. Plumbing using earthenware plumbing pipes with broad flanges for easy joining with asphalt to stop leaks was in place by 2700 BCE.

* Snakes and ladders: Snakes and ladders originated in India as a game based on morality. Augustyn, pages 27-28] This game made its way to England, and was eventually introduced in the United States of America by game-pioneer Milton Bradley in 1943.

* Spinning wheel: The origins of the spinning wheel are unclear but the device was probably invented in India. ["spinning wheel" in Britannica Concise Encyclopedia (2007). 1994-2008 Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.] [Encyclopeedia Britnnica (2008). "spinning] The device certainly reached Europe from India by the 14 century CE, and is still popular today. [MSN Encarta (2008). [ "Spinning] ]

* Stepwell: Rock-cut step wells in India date from 200-400 CE. Subsequently, the wells at Dhank (550-625 CE) and construction of stepped ponds at Bhinmal (850-950 CE) takes place.Livingston & Beach, page xxiii] The city of Mohenjo-daro has wells which may be the predecessors of the step well; as many as 700 wells, constructed by 3rd millennium BCE, have been discovered in just one section of the city, leading scholars to believe that 'cylindrical brick lined wells' were invented by the people of the Indus Valley Civilization.Livingstone & Beach, page 19]

* Stones, mention and treatment of: The earliest operation for curing stone is also given in the "Sushruta Samhita" (6th century BCE). The operation involved exposure and going up through the floor of the bladder.Lock etc., page 836]

* Sugar: Sugarcane was originally from tropical South Asia and Southeast Asia. Different species likely originated in different locations with "S. barberi" originating in India and "S. edule" and "S. officinarum" coming from New Guinea. [ Sharpe, Peter (1998). "Sugar Cane: Past and Present". Illinois: Southern Illinois University.] ] Crystallized sugar was discovered by the time of the Imperial Guptas Adas, page 311] , and the earliest reference of candied sugar come from India.Kieschnick (2003)] The process was soon transmitted to China with traveling Buddhist monks. Chinese documents confirm at least two missions to India, initiated in 647 CE, for obtaining technology for sugar-refining.Kieschnick, page 258] Each mission returned with results on refining sugar.


* Taylor-Maclaurin series: In the 14th century, the earliest examples of the Taylor-Maclaurin series were first given by Madhava of Sangamagrama and his successors at the Kerala school of astronomy and mathematics. They found a number of special cases of the Taylor series, including those for the trigonometric functions of sine, cosine, tangent, and arctangent. They also found the second-order Taylor approximations for these functions, and the third-order Taylor approximation for sine.Bressoud, David (2002), "Was Calculus Invented in India?", "The College Mathematics Journal" (Mathematical Association of America) 33 (1): 2-13] [Harvard reference
title=The "Error" in the Indian "Taylor Series Approximation" to the Sine
journal=Historia Mathematica
] Katz, V. J. (1995), "Ideas of Calculus in Islam and India", "Mathematics Magazine" (Mathematical Association of America) 68 (3): 163-74]

* Trigonometric functions: The trigonometric functions of Sine and Versine, from which it was trivial to derive the Cosine, were discovered by the Indian mathematician, Aryabhata, in the late 5th century. [J. J. O'Connor and E.F. Robertson (1996), [ Trigonometric functions] , "MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive"] [Harvard reference | last=Pingree | first=David | authorlink=David Pingree | title=The logic of non-Western science: mathematical discoveries in medieval India | journal=Daedalus | volume=132 | issue=4 | year=2003 | pages=45-54 | url= | page=45 Quote: "Geometry, and its branch trigonometry, was the mathematics Indian astronomers used most frequently. In fact, the Indian astronomers in the third or fourth century, using a pre-Ptolemaic Greek table of chords, produced tables of sines and versines, from which it was trivial to derive cosines. This new system of trigonometry, produced in India, was transmitted to the Arabs in the late eighth century and by them, in an expanded form, to the Latin West and the Byzantine East in the twelfth century."]


* Veterinary medicine, early developments in: The Egyptian "Papyrus of Kahun" (1900 BCE) and literature of the Vedic period in India offer the first written records of veterinary medicine. [Thrusfield, page 2] One of the edicts of Ashoka (272 - 231 BCE) reads: "Everywhere King Piyadasi (Asoka) erected two kinds of hospitals, hospitals for people and hospitals for animals. Where there were no healing herbs for people and animals, he ordered that they be bought and planted."Finger, page 12]


* Water wheel, Watermill, and Noria: Ancient Indian texts dating back to the 4th century BC refer to the term "cakkavattaka" (turning wheel), which commentaries explain as "arahatta-ghati-yanta" (machine with wheel-pots attached). On this basis, Joseph Needham suggested that the machine was a noria. Terry S. Reynolds, however, argues that the "term used in Indian texts is ambiguous and does not clearly indicate a water-powered device", and Thorkild Schiøler argues that it is "more likely that these passages refer to some type of tread- or hand-operated water-lifting device, instead of a water-powered water-lifting wheel." [Reynolds, p. 14.]

* Wootz steel: Wootz originated in India before the beginning of the common era.Srinivasan & Ranganathan] Wootz steel was widely exported and traded throughout ancient Europe, China, the Arab world, and became particularly famous in the Middle East, where it became known as Damascus steel. Archaeological evidence suggests that this manufacturing process was already in existence in South India well before the Christian era.Srinivasan 1994] Srinivasan & Griffiths]


* Zinc, earliest use of: Zinc mines of Zawar, near Udaipur, Rajasthan, were active during 400 BC.Craddock 1983] There are references of medicinal uses of zinc in the Charaka Samhita (300 BC). The Rasaratna Samuccaya (800 AD) explains the existence of two types of ores for zinc metal, one of which is ideal for metal extraction while the other is used for medicinal purpose.



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ee also

* Ancient Greek technology
* History of science in Classical Antiquity
* History of science and technology in China
* Inventions in the Islamic world
* List of Chinese inventions
* Roman technology
* Science in Medieval Western Europe

External links

* [ Essays on Indian Science and Technology.]

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