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.
Spice Routes & Silk Roads/The Growth of Civilization (#103H) Duration: 56:46 SRND51 TVPG (Secondary audio: DVI)
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."
Ages of Gold (#104H) Duration: 56:46 SRND51 TVPG (Secondary audio: DVI)
Reaching the time of the Fall of Rome in the West, Michael Wood seeks out the amazing achievements of India's golden age from 300 to 1000 AD. Viewers learn how India discovered zero, calculated the circumference of the earth and wrote the world's first sex guide, the Kama Sutra. In the south, he visits the giant temple of Tanjore, meets the current "Senior Prince" and watches traditional bronze casters, working as their ancestors did 1,000 years ago. After sampling southern vegetarian food with a Tamil family, Wood goes on pilgrimage to a sacred mountain, where the annual fire festival was already famous in 700 AD. With unprecedented access to amazing festivals, age-old crafts and intimate family rituals, Wood shows how the Middle Ages laid the social and imaginative foundations of today's India.