The history of the Indian sub-continent has been profoundly shaped by its geography, which has helped forge an underlying cultural unity within its diversity of peoples, languages and religious practices. Historically, the sub-continent has seen the arrival and absorption of many different cultures and traditions, some through conquest and some through migration and trade, some from neighbouring civilisations and some from overseas.
The Mughal Empire was founded by Muslim invaders from central Asia. During its peak, 1526 to 1707, the empire controlled most of India. Mughal emperors were noted for their interest in the arts, including gardens.
The Indian subcontinent was ruled by Britain from 1858 to 1947. Its natural resources and manpower made an immense contribution to British society, but at the expense of famine and racialism in the subcontinent.