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Story of India
Genre: History
For more than 2,000 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. 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.

Below is a list of broadcasts scheduled to air in the next 60 days on any of our three channels.

Episode #102
The Power of Ideas
The second episode covers the last centuries BC -- the age of the Buddha, the coming of the Greeks with the invasion by Alexander the Great and the rule of the emperor Ashoka, one of the greatest figures in world history. The episode's theme is the power of ideas in Indian history, and among the people Wood meets is the Dalai Lama, who explains why Buddhism is relevant today. The journey continues by railway to the famous sites of the Ganges plain, Benares, Sarnath and Bodhgaya; by helicopter and army convoy through northern Iraq to the site of the greatest battle in the ancient world; by truck up the Khyber Pass; then by river to the first great Indian capital, Patna. Using archaeology, living traditions, legends and "India's Rosetta stone," Wood tells the story of the first great Indian state. Viewers hear the dramatic tale of the first great emperor, who renounced his kingship and starved himself to death, and of his grandson, who renounced warfare and introduced the dangerous idea of non-violence, which runs through Indian history all the way to Mahatma Gandhi and the Freedom Movement.
56 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

Sun Jul 13th @ 5:00 pm

Episode #103
Spice Routes & Silk Roads
The third episode covers the early centuries AD, the time of the Roman Empire. In this period, India, located at the "center of world, " became a great player in the first global economy. As the spice routes and the silk roads opened up, Indian civilization grew, enriched by contact and exchange. Beginning in Kerala, Michael Wood journeys on an old wooden sailing boat plying its trade from South India to the Gulf and relates how the spice trade with Rome opened India up to the world. He finds the lost site of the greatest Roman trading port, samples the earliest cuisine of India and travels by train to Madurai, the great ancient capital of south India. The film then shows how north India was opened up to the world at the same time, as merchants' caravans began to use the silk route between China and the West. Journeying to Merv in the deserts of Turkmenistan, Wood tells the story of the forgotten empire of the Kushans, who ruled India in the first centuries AD: one of the greatest and least known empires in history whose story can only now be told with the recent decipherment of their language. Coming down the Khyber to Peshawar in Pakistan, Wood finds the remains of what was then the greatest building in the world; traveling on to Mathura, he tells the amazing story of one of India's greatest rulers who laid the foundations of medieval India -- only to be overthrown in his own capital.
56 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

Sun Jul 20th @ 5:00 pm

Episode #104
Ages of Gold
The fourth episode is the story of India in the Middle Ages. At the time of the fall of the Roman Empire and the European Dark Ages, India experienced a series of great flowerings of culture, both in the north and the south. In this episode, Michael Wood shows viewers some of the amazing achievements of medieval India: In astronomy, Indians discovered the heliocentric universe, absolute zero and the circumference of the earth; they mastered the world's first large-scale wrought iron technology -- the Delhi iron pillar; and their courtly culture was the setting of the world's first sex manual, the Kama Sutra. Meanwhile in the south, the rising power of the Cholan Empire spread Indian arms and culture to the Maldives, Sri Lanka and the Andamans and to Java and the Malay peninsula. Wood visits the Cholan capital at Tanjore and takes viewers inside the greatest temple of that time (founded in 1010) to see ancient rituals still being performed. In one sequence, viewers see traditional bronze casters making religious images for the temples, just as their ancestors did 1,500 years ago. The program visits a traditional Tamil family in the temple city of Chidambaram, goes with them on pilgrimage and witnesses the ancient mountaintop festival of fire that was already famous in 700 AD. The story ends in Multan (Pakistan) in the early 11th century, with the first invasions by Turks and Afghans bearing the Muslim faith that will turn the subcontinent into the largest Muslim civilization in the world.
56 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

Sun Jul 27th @ 5:00 pm

Episode #105
The Meeting of Two Oceans
The fifth episode takes viewers to the time of the Renaissance in Europe, when India was the richest, most populous civilization in the world. Michael Wood visits the desert cities of Rajasthan and travels among the fabulous Moghul cities of Delhi, Agra and Fatepur Sikri. At the Taj Mahal -- just voted one of the new Seven Wonders of the World by 100 million voters worldwide -- Wood demolishes an old myth about the Taj and offers a new theory about its construction. Exploring the legacy of the Moghul empire that stretched across today's political borders, Wood tells the tale of the early Moghuls, starting with the redoubtable Babur, founder of the dynasty, and his grandson Akbar the Great, a Muslim king who tried to make India a multi-racial and multi-religious state. His aim was to achieve a Hindu-Muslim equilibrium based on the brotherhood of mankind. The Moghul story, which contains some of the most fascinating characters in all of history, ended in tragedy as two brothers fought over Akbar's legacy in a battle that destroyed Akbar's dream. Waiting in the wings to pick over the spoils were ... the British.
56 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

Sun Aug 3rd @ 5:00 pm

Episode #106
Freedom
The final episode relates how a foreign multinational (the East India Company) thousands of miles away gradually and almost by chance took power over great swaths of the Indian subcontinent; how, after the horrendous shock of the 1857 "Mutiny," the British state took over and turned this supremacy into the Raj, the jewel in the crown of the greatest empire the world had ever seen; and how the Freedom Movement delivered independence to India in 1947, albeit a divided India. The series ends by acknowledging the extraordinary achievements of Indian democracy over 60 years, and flags India's predicted rise to be the largest country and the second-largest (or even the largest) economy in the world in the next three decades. This epic journey "over 10, 000 years and 10,000 miles," as Wood puts it, ends overlooking the seven ancient cities of Delhi. India has been shaped and sustained by the deep-rooted equilibrium of its past, but do the ideas of the Buddha, Ashoka, Akbar, Gandhi and the rest still have lessons for India and the world today? On that question may depend not only India's future, but that of the rest of the world as well.
56 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

Sun Aug 3rd @ 6:00 pm


This list includes any broadcasts that aired in the past 2 months on any of our three channels.

Episode #101
Beginnings
India's famous "unity in diversity." Using all the tools available to the historical detective -- from DNA to climate science, oral lore, ancient manuscripts, archaeology and exploration of the living cultures of the subcontinent -- Wood takes viewers from the tropical heat of South India to the Ganges plain and from Pakistan and the Khyber Pass out to Turkmenistan, where dramatic archaeological discoveries are changing the view of the migrations that have helped fashion Indian identity. The episode begins long before recorded history, with the first human journey out of Africa. In the tropical backwaters of Kerala, Wood finds survivals of human sounds and rituals from a time before language. In Tamil Nadu, the latest DNA research takes him to a village where everyone still bears the genetic imprint of those first "beachcombing incomers" -- the "first Indians" who went on to populate the rest of the world, excluding Africa. Wood investigates India's "first civilization" -- the lost cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro in today's Pakistan -- and the mystery of their collapse, which Wood speculates may have been due to massive and far-reaching climate change. He also covers the "Age of Heroes" in the time of the great Indian epic, the Mahabharata. Throughout, this colorful and exciting film is full of the sights, sounds and people of today's India. Wood ends the episode among a vast crowd of pilgrims at the festival of Holi in Mathura in northern India. Covered from head to foot in colored powder, he tells his viewers, "This is just the beginning!"
56 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

Sun Jul 6th @ 5:00 pm


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