Why didn't Indian civilization spread to its west?


Ad Honorem
Aug 2013
Lorraine tudesque
Indian (South Asian) civilization (culture, religion, language and so on), when it spread, it spread to the east of India. But it didn't expand to its west. Why? What prevented it?

Here are some maps that show the spread of Indian civilization, and all of it is to its east:

Spread of Hinduism:

Expansion of Indian cultural Influence:

Spread of Indic script:

Greater India - Wikipedia

Expansion of Buddhism:

Jun 2012
The Western neighbour to India was Persia, the elite of which was already under overwhelming influence from the cultures of Tigris-Euphrates valley. Indic civilisation could not influence the middle-east simply because the middle-eastern people were superior in many ways to the Indic people themselves, in terms of civilisation.

1.) Script - Middle-east had scripts from 5th mil. BCE, while India had it's first recorded script in 5th century BC (which has its origins in the middle-east itself). No question of influence here.

2.) Religion - Middle-east was already having organised and very zealous religions by the ancient times, unlike China, Tibet, or South East Asia.

3.) Culture and science - In my opinion, Iranians were a major obstacle in the cultural relations between India and the middle-east. Pre-Islamic Iranians were never a curious people, were very ethno-centric and xenophobic and were never interested in any kind of intellectual pursuit. When they were conquered by the Greeks, a era of cultural and diplomatic interactions between the West Asia and India started. Same happened when the Arabs conquered Iran, at this time the level of cultural interactions between the middle-east and India was unparalled in history. Most of the Indic influences on the West come from this period. A few centuries after the Arabs,the Indic civilisation was conquered and went under a long decline, so there is no question of influence after that. All of this being said, I think the main reason behind relatively less Indic influence on the middle-eastern and eastern mediterranean people is because they themselves had great civilisations of their own which not only rivalled Indic civilisation, but also surpassed it in certain aspects. From whatever contact Greeks had with Indians, the Greek cultural impact on the Indic civilisation is far greater than the Indic cultural impact on the Greek civilisation.

Sounds like someone has been indulging in his own profound, personal, jealousy-motivated, Indian-centric Iran bash-fest.

Dude. Iran had not one but several dynastic regional empires that could match the best that ever came up in India. Ctesiphon & Susa could match any ancient Indian city in their time. While the Iranians were not any more so called 'ethnocentric" or 'xenophobic' than the Greeks or the Romans, but rather quite obviously much less so.

The Medes acquired the territories of the Assyrians whom they had defeated, and expanded further on them. The Persians did similarly after defeating the Medes.

Just because most of Iran was sparsely populated due to the infertile land & arid climate does not make the Iranian nation 'much less civilised' than India. Their people more than made up for disadvantages in that regard through well organised international trading & empire management.
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Aug 2017
I believe this has been mentioned in this thread already, but the fundamental reason for the strong impact of Indian civilization on SE Asia was simply because these influences penetrated the region at a time when state formation there was nascent. Though trade played a role in transmitting Indian culture, the primary initial impetus was the presence of brahmanas who transmitted Hindu conceptions of kingship, societal organization, and so on.
Mar 2019
Well, I'm sorry but we are assuming AIT to be true for the topic at hand, and the Indo-Aryans in Mitanni migrated there in Bronze age in 1700 BC, while Indic civilisation in eastern Gangetic plains did not emerge until 1000 BC or so.
The notion that indo aryan/indian language speakers originated anywhere else outside indian subcontinent is akin to english speakers originating in australia just because its spoken there
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Mar 2019
Hindus were/are a weak people made up of various indigenous tribes that thoughout most of history lived in primitive conditions. They were no match for Persia and western Asia which was more advanced in every way possible compared to the indians.
The strong persians got decimated by alexander and arabs and it were the hindus who held them back.
Mar 2019
Outdated colonial narrative that only hardcore British nationalists and their intellectually barren mental slaves from former colonies believe.

....Native pirates certainly existed. The Gujarati Sanganians against whom Hamilton had so distinguished himself qualified, as did the Muscat Arabs whose forays reached as far south as the real Malabar. But to describe as pirates all those local rulers on India's west coast who maintained a squadron of fighting ships was a peculiarly English conceit. True the records abound with references to buccaneers with exotic names like 'The Sow Raja', 'The Seedee' and 'The Kempsant'; but on closer inspection these same rougues turn out to be legitimate sovereigns and feudatories going about their usual business of defending a section of the coastline and policing the merchant traffic that used it. 'the Kempsant' was in fact the Khem Sawant Raja of Wadi, the Sidi the Mugha;s naval contractor, and 'The Sow Raja' Satravati Shahu, the legitimate claimant to the Maratha throne....

...Kanhoji, though, was no more a pirate than 'The Seedee' or 'The Sow Raja'. By 1712 he had already been appointed Surkhail, or Grand Admiral, of the Maratha fleet and Viceroy of the Konkan. These titles the English in Bombay chose, of course, to ignore just as they disdained to apply for Kanhoji's dastak, or passes, when sailing through what the Marathas claimed as their territorial waters....

Source: The Honourable Company - A history of the English East India company By John Keay
Again I would like to reiterate the same humble advice....There is nothing wrong in applying some logic!!!
Mate the entire indology is at the mercy of eurocentric colonial brit narrative from the 'aryan mugration' to the colonial periods