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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.In 2016, a survey on World Tourism rankings compiled by United Nations World Tourism Organization, the nation is visited by approximately 14.6 million tourists every year (2016), making it the 8th most visited country in the Asia-Pacific.In 2017, the Indian economy was the world's sixth largest by nominal GDP and third largest by purchasing power parity.The Hindu text Skanda Purana states that the region was named "Bharat" after Bharata Chakravartin.Gaṇarājya (literally, people's State) is the Sanskrit/Hindi term for "republic" dating back to ancient times.) is a Persian name for India dating back to the 3rd century BCE.In the mid-18th century, the subcontinent came under British East India Company rule, and in the mid-19th under British crown rule.
The Sangam literature of the Tamil language reveals that, between 200 BCE and 200 CE, the southern peninsula was being ruled by the Cheras, the Cholas, and the Pandyas, dynasties that traded extensively with the Roman Empire and with West and South-East Asia.
Eschewing tribal bonds and Islamic identity, especially under Akbar, the Mughals united their far-flung realms through loyalty, expressed through a Persianised culture, to an emperor who had near-divine status.
Newly coherent social groups in northern and western India, such as the Marathas, the Rajputs, and the Sikhs, gained military and governing ambitions during Mughal rule, which, through collaboration or adversity, gave them both recognition and military experience.
By the 8th and 9th centuries, the effects were felt in South-East Asia, as South Indian culture and political systems were exported to lands that became part of modern-day Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, and Java.
Indian merchants, scholars, and sometimes armies were involved in this transmission; South-East Asians took the initiative as well, with many sojourning in Indian seminaries and translating Buddhist and Hindu texts into their languages.