Empires of the Indus : The Story of a River, Paperback

Empires of the Indus : The Story of a River Paperback

3.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


One of the largest rivers in the world, the Indus rises in the Tibetan mountains, flows west across northern India and south through Pakistan.

For millennia it has been worshipped as a god; for centuries used as a tool of imperial expansion; today it is the cement of Pakistans fractious union.

Five thousand years ago, a string of sophisticated cities grew and traded on its banks.

In the ruins of these elaborate metropolises, Sanskrit-speaking nomads explored the river, extolling its virtues in Indias most ancient text, the Rig-Veda.

During the past two thousand years a series of invaders - Alexander the Great, Afghan Sultans, the British Raj - made conquering the Indus valley their quixotic mission.

For the people of the river, meanwhile, the Indus valley became a nodal point on the Silk Road, a centre of Sufi pilgrimage and the birthplace of Sikhism.

Empires of the Indus follows the river upstream and back in time, taking the reader on a voyage through two thousand miles of geography and more than five millennia of history redolent with contemporary importance.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 400 pages, 2x8 colour
  • Publisher: John Murray General Publishing Division
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Asian history
  • ISBN: 9780719560057



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

Every now and then a refreshingly different travel or history or combination of both comes along andthis is it. Informative, well written and timely; Alice Albina's debut describing her journey from mouth to source along the mighty Indus explaining the various histories of its hinterlands in some depth is a delight to read and I highly recommend it. Reminiscent of early Dalrymple. More please Alice.

Review by

I give this book a three star because it has been well written. Alice Albinia certainly seems to have been a brave woman, traveling up and down the Indus, and writing the history of the river around the various places in the river. The concept is interesting, and so is the history. I also like the concerns and issues that she has pointed out, with respect to the damming of the river. We, as a race of animal, seem to be really good at the task of killing our environment and our rivers. The book is terrible as a travelogue. There is almost nothing about the places that she has visited, nothing that gives you a sense of space. As a history book, this is very good indeed

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