India - Pictures of the Past

India has long sparked the imagination of many an explorer and adventurer, from the ancient temples and rolling heat soaked plains of the south to the chilling beauty of the Himalaya in the north, it is a country of extremes containing a diverse range of peoples and environments within its extensive borders.

From the arrival of the Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama on the shores of western India in the 15th Century to establish links with spice traders, and the later arrival of the British East India Company in Bengal, the beginnings of the extensive trade links with India we see today, were established. Today India is renowned for its rapid development and the growth of its high tech industries and is increasingly attractive to foreign investment. It is home to a diverse population of over 1 billion people and is the worlds largest democracy.

However the country has undergone many changes to become the nation it is today, most notably the alteration of its territory during the quest for independence in the 1940s which lead to the creation of the modern day countries of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The changes implemented during this particularly turbulent period are still felt today and have altered the social dynamics and geography of the country.

To learn more about India and its past, you can download factsheets for background information on each of the key questions below, in either Word or Pdf format. Use these with the associated downloadable activities to investigate each area in the classroom. Please note that this area of the site is currently being developed and further resources will shortly be made available.

Find out more about India:

Gandhi Saturday in Karachi - Pakistan

Why was the 60th anniversary of the partition of India and Pakistan marked in the UK in 2007? [Word] [Pdf]

What was the relationship between the British and the Punjab? [Word] [Pdf]

UK Punjab Heritage Association War Veterans


What can different sources tell us about partition? [Word] [Pdf]

What are the views on partition by people today? [Word] [Pdf]


Discover detailed information about how to use resources with students and relevant curriculum links for this theme in the Teachers Area.

This theme was developed with support from the UK Punjab Heritage Association, the Muslim Womens Welfare Association, Cartwright Hall Young Ambassadors and the North Hertfordshire Sikh Education Council. Workshops were conducted with these groups exploring some of the themes raised within these resources.

The photographs in the gallery form part of an exhibition exploring and expanding upon the themes raised in these resources. The exhibition entitled The Punjab: Moving Journeys is available for free hire by schools. Please contact for further information.

An education pack exploring the Punjab and its past has recently been developed. The pack entitled 'Pictures of the Punjab' contains activities for students from the ages of 8 to 12 and can be downloaded in sections here:

Pictures of the Punjab - Introduction
Pictures of the Punjab - Activity 1
Pictures of the Punjab - Activity 2 (part 1 & part 2)
Pictures of the Punjab - Activity 3 & Brief History of India Timeline
Pictures of the Punjab - Activity 4
Pictures of the Punjab - People's Exhibition
Pictures of the Punjab - Image Cards
Pictures of the Punjab - Archive map of India