List of largest empires that existed in India

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List of largest empires ever existed in India (with capital in present day Republic of India). An empire involves the extension of a state's sovereignty over external territories. The values given here should generally be interpreted as being only indicative, and not as determining a precise ranking. The calculation of the land area of a particular empire is controversial. In general, the list centres on the side of including any land area that was explored and explicitly claimed, even if the areas were populated very sparsely or not at all.

Empire Approximate
maximum extent
(Area in km²)
date of
maximum extent
Estimate by
Mauryan Empire 5,000,000 250 BCE Peter Turchin etal.[1]
Mughal Empire 4,000,000 1690 CE Peter Turchin etal.[1]
Gupta Empire 3,500,000 400 CE Peter Turchin etal.[1]
Republic of India (for comparison) 3,287,263 Present Government of India[2]
Delhi Sultanate 3,200,000 1312 CE Peter Turchin etal.[1]
Maratha Empire 2,800,000 1760 CE Peter Turchin etal.[1]
Kushan Empire 2,000,000 200 CE Peter Turchin etal.[1]
Empire of Harsha 1,000,000 648 CE Peter Turchin etal.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Peter Turchin, Thomas D. Hall and Jonathan M. Adams, "East-West Orientation of Historical Empires", Journal of World-Systems Research Vol. 12 (no. 2), pp. 219-229 (2006).
  2. ^ "India: Profile". National Portal of India. Retrieved 14 October 2015.