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Hindu Empire

What is the largest empire India could plausible have hed?
Could they rule China and Russia?
If no, could they at least double OTL India's size and population, if not triple it?
India has clear natural borders all around not completely unpassable, but very solid. By way of land I think the best they could do is conquering Burma and holding Afghanistan and parts of Iran, while gobbling up Tibet and parts of Turkesta. Most of all, it depemnds on their capacity of diffusing a cohesive imperial culture. such as India seldom had.
By way of sea, things are far more interesting. Historically, South India had close ties with all Southeastern Asian countries, which Hindicized (sp?) significantly, aprt from Sinicized Vietnam. A colonial thalassocracy could so include, like colonies or subject kingdoms, all of Indonesia (with further exploration to the Pacific), Malaya, Kampuchea, southern Vietnam (Hindu Cham),
and in the Indian Ocean Madagascar, Reunion and Mauritius, Znzibar, maybe the Cape colony, Oman, Yemen.
It all depends on how much the Indians could reach in inner unity, tolerance, scientific development etc. Realistically, very few. With some luck... well, who knows?


What if the British Raj had shifted the center of British culture to India, instead of being a colonial influence? Let's say there was no Sepoy rebellion but rather a Hindu influenced Great Awakening in Britain. (No connection between the two). This would give you the scientific/tecnical development and this would aid in the cultural unity. By definition, the whole thing would have to emphasize religious tolerance just to get started.