Why is India So Diverse?

Uh, good question. You see, the thing is, I actually really don’t know. Nobody does. The only way to truly figure out why it is so diverse would be to invent a time machine, go back in time 5000 years to the beginning of Ancient Indian civilization, and publish a New York Times-bestselling book about your findings. Unfortunately, time machines haven’t been invented yet (but if you have invented one, call me.), so for now, we can only speculate.

My suspicion is that it has something to do with the fact that India has at least 5000 years of history backing it up. India has been conquered so many times by so many different people- the Moghuls, the Portuguese, the Mauryans, and most notably, the British (interestingly enough, India was never conquered by the Mongol Empire-although it was the most powerful empire in the world), each bringing their own bits and pieces of culture along with them. During Moghul rule, rulers built many iconic monuments-the Taj Mahal, for example.  In Goa, the Portugese have influenced religion enough that there is a disproportionate amount of Catholic Indians in Goa, compared to the rest of India.  The Mauryan Empire gave India its national emblem- the Lion Capital of Ashoka. And the British gave India its current parliamentary system.

In terms of cuisine, I believe that India derives its very distinct and separated cuisine from the various climates throughout it, due to its vast size. According  to the Koppen system, India has six different climatic subtypes: a  hot desert climate, a hot semi-arid climate, a hot-summer Mediterranean climate, a humid subtropical climate, a oceanic climate, and a tropical savanna climate. All these various climates have spawned different types of agriculture and different types of crops, thus creating very distinct cuisine that can be linked to its geographical origin. Also, we can link this distinct cuisine to outside influences. Once again using the Portuguese as an example, their influence on the Indian state of Kerala  makes them use an extensive amount of coconut in their dishes.

This type of diversity is a stark contrast to the diversity of America, which got its diversity from the millions upon millions of immigrants  arriving in a very short space of time, rather than the gradual influence of 5000 years of various empires invading that land. Intellectual rant aside, hopefully you learned enough about the facts backing up my opinion to make your own. What are your thoughts?

Author: Apoorva Malarvannan

My name is Apoorva, and I am currently a high school student in the Greater Twin Cities area. I enjoy reading, writing, speaking, and photography. I have a blog here: www.outrospects.com.


  1. For your information, India was not invaded by Mauryans. Chandragupta Maurya was a brahmin. Dont spead false information if you dont know anything.

    • Vikram,

      I apologize for the confusion. Upon fact-checking my sources, I realized that the word ‘invaded’ was not a particularly accurate word choice. I’ve updated the article to reflect a more accurate version of events, and of the origin of Chandragupta Maurya. Thanks for reading, and thanks for pointing out the mistake.


  2. Vikram,
    Brahmins (Aryans) did invade India, if you don’t know the facts please don’t change the history. Just google around and read it yourself.

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