Names of India

Two blogs that I try to follow(they update quite quickly) have begin a discussion on “Name Changing” Since the last few years a number of Indian cities have been renamed. Mr. Gill. a politician, sports minister to be precise, prescribed a name change for Delhi. This sparked a debate, that why is India no called Bharata or Hindustan or any other name for that matter.
This is a misconception or you can say lack of GK. India has 20 official names in it’s 20 official languages. It is just that we use the English name “India”.
The list of the official names of India is as follows:-
1) Bharat – Assamese, Bhojpuri, Hindi, Gujrati, Kannada, Konkani, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sindhi, Urdu.

2) Intiya – Malyalam. Tamil.

3) Bharatam – Malyalam, Sanskrit, Telegu

4) Bharot – Bengali

5) India – English

I have only written the short forms of the different names. The full names differ from each other.

I did some more research and found that historically, India has been called different names at different times. Some of them are:-

1) Aryavarta – The ancient name of Northern and Central India.

2) Tenjiku – Japanese name for India which means the heavenly center of the world, in reference to Buddha.

3) Jambudvipa – It is a story from Jain mythology and some Buddhist tales.

4) India – Derived from the river Indus. India has been called India in Greek, Latin and Byzantine tongues. Herdotus used this name in the 5th century B.C. Also by Friar Jordanus in 1328 A.D.

5) Inde – The french version for India

6) Indike – Used by Megasthenes in 300 B.C.

7) Indoi and Indou – Arrian in 140 B.C.

8) Five Indies – Xuanzang in 650 A.D.

9) In 1298 A.D. Marco Polo said that India was divided into 3 parts, India the greater, India the minor and Middle India.

10) Clavijo reffered to India Minor in 1404 A.D.

11) Hind – This comes from the Sanskrit name of the Indus River, and it was “Sindhu”. The land was called Sindh and it got corrupted into Hind and the people were called Hindus. Though there is a part in Pakistan called Sindh and the people from that place are called Sindhi. The name was used by Al-Biruni 1020 A.D., Hasan Nizami 1205 A.D., Istakhri 590 A.D.,

12) Sind – Masudi reffered to India by this name in around 944 A.D.

13) Hidush – Tha names comes from the book title Naksh-i-Rustam, 486 B.C., in which King Darius-I of Persia refers to India by this name.

14) Hindustan – This was the name for India in Persian. It became popular when the Persian kings (Mughals, Delhi Sultanate etc), ruled India or Northern India to be precise.

15) Bharat – The most ancient name of India. Named after the Legendary King Bharat. This name is mentioned in the Vishnu Purana and Bharatas or Indians are mentioned in the Rig Veda.

4 Responses to “Names of India”
  1. Beautiful Mind says:

    pretty enlightening 🙂

  2. Panthera Tigris says:

    Thank You. I hope you found it interesting.

  3. dreamysap says:

    Brilliant post Prateek. I didn't know India has so many names…

  4. Panthera Tigris says:

    Thank you, Sapna

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