It is a pluralistic, multilingual and multi-ethnic society and is also home to a diversity of wildlife in a variety of protected habitats.
is used by many Indian languages in its variations.
After the 10th century, Muslim Central Asian nomadic clans, using swift-horse cavalry and raising vast armies united by ethnicity and religion, repeatedly overran South Asia's north-western plains, leading eventually to the establishment of the Islamic Delhi Sultanate in 1206.
Much of the north fell to the Delhi sultanate; the south was united under the Vijayanagara Empire.
The economy expanded in the 17th century in the Mughal Empire.
The sultanate was to control much of North India and to make many forays into South India.
Although at first disruptive for the Indian elites, the sultanate largely left its vast non-Muslim subject population to its own laws and customs.