Story of India
For more than 2000 years, India has been a massive component in world history. But what are the country's origins and how did it come to be what it is today? These are just two of the questions behind this intrepid journey around the contemporary subcontinent. Michael Wood embarks on an expedition through today's India, looking to the present for clues to its past, and to the past for clues to its future. The journey presents majestic landscapes and reveals some of the greatest monuments and artistic treasures on earth. From Buddhism to Bollywood, from mathematics to outsourcing, Wood discovers India's impact on history.
Story of India Previous Broadcasts
Spice Routes & Silk Roads/The Growth of Civilization (Episode #103H)
KQED 9: Sun, May 22, 2016 -- 10:00 AM
Michael Wood takes viewers to India in the days of the Roman Empire. In India's tropical deep south in Kerala, the spice trade opened India to the world - and gave the world a recipe for dormouse stuffed with pepper! Wood takes one of the great old sailing boats that still cross the Indian Ocean carrying pepper and cloves. He discovers the lost site of Rome's greatest trading port in India and visits the fabulous ancient city of Madurai, with its giant temple and its gold and silk bazaars that were a delight for visiting Greek traders - and still are today. Moving north, Wood takes the Silk Road from the deserts of Turkmenistan through the Khyber Pass into Pakistan to unveil the forgotten Indian empire of the Kushans, who opened up the Silk Road and built a lost Wonder of the World in the caravan city of Peshawar. "In today's world, with the Asian powers rising again," says Wood, "this time looks like the precursor - the first globalization."
The Power of Ideas (Episode #102H)
KQED 9: Sun, May 15, 2016 -- 10:00 AM
Michael Wood's epic series moves into the revolutionary years after 500 BC - the Age of the Buddha. Traveling by road and rail between the ancient cities of the Ganges plain, he tells the tale of the young prince who gave up the good life and became the Buddha: "India's first and greatest protester." Then, moving by army convoy through Northern Iraq and down the Khyber Pass into Pakistan, Wood shows how Alexander the Great's invasion changed the course of India's history and inspired her first empire. He visits India's earliest capital, Patna, and using archaeology, legend and "India's Rosetta stone," explains how the ideas of the Buddha were turned into political reality by the great Indian emperor Ashoka - "one of the most remarkable figures in history" - who sowed the seeds of "history's most dangerous idea."
Beginnings (Episode #101H)
KQED 9: Sun, May 8, 2016 -- 10:00 AM
Michael Wood's fascinating journey through the history of the Indian subcontinent chronicles the incredible richness and diversity of its peoples, cultures and landscapes; outlines the originality and continuing relevance of its ideas; and relates some of the most momentous and moving events in world history. Beginning with the first human migrations out of Africa, using DNA and climate science, ancient manuscripts and oral tales, Wood takes viewers from the tropical backwaters of South India to lost ancient cities in Pakistan - the scene of India's first civilization. He travels on to Turkmenistan in Central Asia, where dramatic new archaeological discoveries cast fresh light on India's deep past. Finally, Wood travels to the vibrant cities of the Ganges plain, where India's ancient myths and histories still intertwine.