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The two different color palettes for Gandhi (blue flower) and Chandragupta (purple flower), used in the vanilla version and Rise and Fall expansion.

The Indian people represent a civilization in Civilization VI. They have two different leaders and color palettes: Gandhi, under whom their colors are purple (#922479) and light blue (#74DBCA); and (with Rise and Fall) Chandragupta, under whom their colors are reversed. With the release of Gathering Storm, their colors were changed to turquoise and indigo.

The Indians' civilization ability is Dharma, which provides their cities with the follower beliefs of all religions practiced within them. In Gathering Storm, Indian cities also receive +1 Amenities6 Amenity for every religion with at least one follower, their Missionaries have 2 more spreads and their TradeRoute6 Trade Routes output +100% Religious Pressure. Their unique unit is the Varu (which replaces the Horseman), and their unique tile improvement is the Stepwell.


Dharma Edit

If going for a Religious Victory, this is somewhat counter-intuitive. Rather than attempting to extinguish all other religions in your cities (by using an Inquisitor, for example), it is in India's best interest to have a flourishing mixed pot of different religions.

Satyagraha Edit

India receives 5 Civ6Faith Faith for free for each civilization that has founded its own religion and with which they are not at war. This includes India itself. While this certainly is a significant bonus at the start of the game, it pales a bit in the later stages of the game where you have multiple cities with Holy Sites producing Civ6Faith Faith, in addition to other sources.

For reference, a single Holy Site with a +2 adjacency bonus, a Shrine, a Temple, and a worship building that yields +3 Civ6Faith Faith (Cathedral, Gurdwara, Meeting House, Mosque, Pagoda or Wat) will produce 13 Civ6Faith Faith per turn. This is practically the lower limit for how much a well-placed Holy Site can produce; combine the right policy cards and pantheon, and you can easily break 30.

If a civilization no longer has any cities following its own religion, the bonus for that particular civilization no longer counts. This can happen on its own given time, or more likely because of an Apostle with the Proselytizer promotion. While this seems like a good reason not to convert all of a civilization's cities, actually doing so ensures that the religion does not bloom again due to Inquisitors.

In addition, any civilization at war with Gandhi receives double the penalty to Amenities6 Amenities. While this is insignificant for short wars, a longer war will cripple an opponent's city and force them to beg for peace.


Chandragupta's ability allows you to play more aggressively. With Arthashastra, you may declare a War of Territorial Expansion after researching the Military Training civic. After using this Casus Belli, units gain +5 Civ6StrengthIcon Combat Strength and +2 Civ6Movement Movement for 10 turns. This gives every military unit a significant bonus, especially the Varu. Pre-preparation and quick attack may get you a city or two.

Stepwell Edit

India's Stepwell improvement mostly resembles a Farm in the early game. It provides +1 Civ6Food Food, with an additional +1 for being adjacent to a Farm. If adjacent to a Holy Site, it also provides +1 Civ6Faith Faith. But the main benefit is that it provides 1 Housing6 Housing, as opposed to a Farm's 1/2. This allows India to grow much larger cities than any other civilization prior to the availability of Neighborhoods. The only other civilization that can come close is Rome, with its +4 Housing6 Housing from Baths, but these have strict positional restrictions.

Victory Types Edit

With their boost to Civ6Faith Faith from Stepwells and Satyagraha, India is among the top contenders for a Religious Victory. The penalty to Amenities6 Amenities for other civilizations helps India survive the inevitable backlash in the form of Holy Wars from practically all other founders of religions.

Alternatively, the bonus Civ6Faith Faith may be fueled towards Great People, particularly if India can acquire the Oracle. Following this approach, they can focus on a Cultural Victory, but there are a lot of other civilizations that have the advantage against them.

A third approach is to build massive amount of Civ6Faith Faith generation, change government to a Theocracy and purchase a massive army with Civ6Faith Faith to conquer the world. In addition to your advantage in warmongering, your enemies' cities will struggle against the inevitable Amenities6 Amenity penalty.

Science Victory is a possibility if focusing on building tall (large cities) and funnelling the Citizen6 Population towards scientific districts, provided you can acquire enough Amenities6 Amenities to keep them all happy.

Domination Victory becomes a more viable option when playing as Chandragupta. Both the Stepwell and the Varu are available along with the Dharma ability while the leader bonus becomes Arthashastra. With Arthashastra, declaring a War of Territorial Expansion gives you +2 Civ6Movement Movement and +5 Civ6StrengthIcon Combat Strength for military units for 10 turns, which can be a decisive factor in the war.

Civilopedia entry Edit

Until the British East India Company made their appearance, India was a mish-mash of competing city-states and small kingdoms ruled over by an assortment of nawabs, satraps, sultans, rajas, shahs, khans, nabobs, diwans, princes and various other feckless social climbers. There were dozens and dozens of these vest-pocket countries; for instance, what would later be the Punjab was composed of 34 “princely” states. Several empires had tried to unite the subcontinent into one banner before – Maurya, Chola, Pala, Gupta, Mughal, Maratha, and so forth – but failed. Seems profit rather than power was the key to making India whole.

In 1498 AD Vasco de Gama’s fleet managed to find its way around Africa and “discovered” India, even though some of its kingdoms and empires had been trading with the West since the days of the Roman Empire. The Portuguese stuck trading posts along the coast of the subcontinent; they were followed by the Dutch, the British, and eventually the French – all in the guise of chartered trading companies. The Honorable East India Company, a joint-stock corporation, had been granted its charter by Elizabeth I in December 1600 to trade in basic commodities with the Far East; at its height, it would account for half the world’s trade. In time, it was the only European company with holdings in India.

Besides the complexities of the local politics, what with all those princelings about, the Company also had to deal with the religious locals. India was a land of faith … in fact, many faiths. The subcontinent was the founding place of four major religions – Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism – with their many sects and offshoots. In addition, several other religions had their toehold, brought by merchants or conquerors, such as Islam, Zoroastrianism and even Judaism. The British had to handle all these “isms” carefully. Some efforts proved successful, such as stamping out the Kali cult of Thuggee; others less so, like trying to curb the rite of suttee.

It was a crisis of faith that led the British government to end the charade of Company autonomy. By 1857, the Company was the dominant power on the subcontinent, with its own administration, army and social infrastructure, corrupt and inefficient as they may have been. Although there were several reasons – as is always the case – for the Sepoy Mutiny, the spark was the introduction of new, greased, cartridges for the muskets used by the native troops. Whether unfounded or not, they came to believe that the cartridges, which had to be bitten to open the powder, were greased with beef tallow (offensive to Hindus) and pork fat (anathema to Muslims). Since the British, displaying their usual insular empathy, insisted their troops use these cartridges, in short order the native soldiers revolted.

After much bloodshed, the British Army had to be called in to quell this “First Indian War of Independence” (though it was hardly so grand); public outrage at the reports of native atrocities in England caused the Crown to dissolve the Company the next year and absorb all its holdings. The British, nothing if not efficient, over the next few years reorganized the Indian army, financial system and colonial administration. India became part of the British Empire, and Queen Victoria had “Empress of India” added to her impressive list of titles. For the next 90 years, the British Raj was the centerpiece of an empire “on which the sun never set.”

While the British busied themselves with completing the unification, skirmishes along the frontiers (making for some wonderful tales of adventure in literature and on film), and squeezing out as much wealth as they could, their rule was not without benefit to the Indians. The British built schools and hospitals and libraries and bandstands and all the other trappings of civilization, to which many Indians had access. They stamped out the bloodier religious sects, and tried to do away with the persistent caste system. They instituted uniform standards of law, coinage, penal incarceration, methods of execution, and postage. The British brought along the advanced technology (well, moreso than the natives had) of the Victorian Age, building a network of telegraph lines, newspapers, irrigation systems, roads and railroads across the land. And they fostered a sense of Indian identity; if nothing else giving all the disparate native peoples an equally-detested common enemy.

Under the Raj, from 1880 to 1920 the Indian economy grew one-percent each year, as did the population. But the British penchant for meddling in the social and moral forms of the locals repeatedly caused upset. For instance, in the last decade of the 1800s various reformers (British and Indian) took up the cause of widow remarriage. Others spoke out against the venerated caste system, and sought to incorporate the “untouchables” into society. In an effort to soothe religious dissention (and improve administrative efficiency), Lord Curzon divided Bengal into a Muslim east and a Hindu west in 1905; that lasted until he was recalled in 1906. The Morley-Minto Reforms of 1909 gave Indians a limited role in the colonial and provincial governments, spurring the growth of the All-Indian Muslim League and the Indian National Congress. With all their reforms, the British had laid a firm ideological and organizational foundation for a nationalist movement to independence, especially among the relatively new Indian middle-class. Oops.

Adding to this impetus for self-rule was the reoccurrence of severe famine, allegedly due to colonial mismanagement and the shipment of food stuffs back to England for profit. The Great Famine of 1876-78 AD took 5.5 million lives in British-controlled territory alone, and millions more in the yet unincorporated princely states. The famine twenty years later cost another five million dead, and two years after that the 1899 famine another million. And this doesn’t count the rounds of pandemics that decimated the population on a regular basis. Although the subcontinent certainly had natural disasters aplenty before and after the Raj, the British were blamed for these deaths. And the 64.5 thousand casualties among Indian regiments during World War I.

The First World War proved a watershed in the progression towards independence, and self-reliance. It was greeted – at first – with an outpouring of patriotic fervor by the Indian nationalists, and most others in the country. The already revered Mahatma Gandhi agreed to actively recruit his young countrymen for the war … and in contrast to his recruitment efforts during the Boer and Zulu wars, this time for combat roles rather than the medical corps. (Some apologists have argued he did so in order for India to have a trained and experienced military when it did gain its independence later.) The various native political parties as well as the general nationalist movement waved the flag with gusto, save for a few hotspots such a Bengal where the unrest was such as to paralyze the local administration. But the high casualty rates, soaring inflation compounded by high taxation, and disruption of trade united the usually bickering nationalist organizations, who argued the sacrifice of the Indian peoples deserved a reward... like self-rule. In 1916, the Hindu National Congress and the Muslim League forged the Lucknow Pact, an agreement to work together to pressure the British to get out.

In 1921 AD, in the wake of the bloody 1919 Amritsar Massacre, Gandhi assumed leadership of the Indian National Congress, not without controversy. With the influence of Gopal Gokhale and other moderates, he was elected president and promptly implemented a policy of resistance through non-violent civil disobedience. This led other leaders of the movement to resign from the Congress, among them such militant stalwarts as Chitta Das, Annie Besant and Motilal Nehru. The Congress was split.

For the next 20 years Gandhi, as the “image” of resistance to British rule, organized rallies, boycotts of British imports, protests and marches, including the famous “Salt March” in 1930, in which he and thousands of followers marched to the sea to make salt in protest of the British tax on it. He was imprisoned on a number of occasions, including a two-year stint in 1942 for his role in the Quit India movement, during which his wife died and he contracted malaria. He was soon released because the British authorities feared he would die in prison, making him a martyr to the cause. (He became one eventually, being assassinated by a Hindu nationalist just months after independence was granted.)

Weakened by two world wars and frustrated in finding no answer to Gandhi’s irritating tactics, in 1947 the British Parliament passed the Indian Independence Act. The act set a date for withdrawal of all British administrative and military presence and a partition of the British colony into two countries along the much-disputed Radcliffe Line: Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan. On August 14 at 11:57 p.m. Pakistan was declared independent and free; just after midnight, at 12:02 am, the same for India. The remaining 560 princely states were given the right to join one or the other or be independent – a commendable intent which didn’t last long once the Indian and Pakistani military got rolling.

The partition and creation of two nations with radically different beliefs in this faith-ridden land set off one of the greatest mass migrations in history as some 15 million believers scrambled to get on their side of the Radcliffe Line. The refugees, abandoning everything, displayed sound good sense, for it also saw unimaginable acts of mass violence, as the two new nations were simply unable to stem a tide of bloodshed that belied the non-violent nature of the successful resistance that had brought freedom. It is estimated that over a million Hindus, Moslems and Sikhs were killed, leaving a legacy of distrust between Pakistan and India.

In January 1950, India was declared a socialist, democratic republic. Since then, India has become a progressive and peaceful – save for the occasional war with Pakistan and border dispute with China – member of the brotherhood of nations.

Cities Edit

Main article: Indian cities (Civ6)


Males Females Modern males Modern females
Darshan Anasuya Ameretat Aanya
Govind Asha Armaan Aarohi
Kuruvilla Bhadraa Dhruv Diya
Krishna Dakshina Jaskirit Lakshya
Narayan Kerani Krishna Mrinalini
Paramveer Lajila Pranay Navya
Pulkit Reeya Rayansh Priyanka
Purshotam Savatari Tanish Tanvi
Surya Sita Utkarsh Sushma
Uday Vineeta Vivaan Vaani


  • The Indian civilization's symbol is the Sacred (Indian) Lotus, the national flower of India, which occupies a unique position in ancient Indian art and mythology.
  • India is, after Greece, the second civilization to have two leaders with radically different gameplay styles.
  • The Indian civilization ability is named after the Hindu and Buddhist principle of cosmic order.
  • The Indian architecture style in the Medieval Era is based on Mughal architecture. The Mughal style is also shared by the Arabs, the Persians, the Scythians and the Ottomans.



Related achievementsEdit

Steam achievement Be the Change You Wish to See In the World (Civ6)
Be the Change You Wish to See In the World
Win a regular game as Gandhi
The phrase is a famous quote by Gandhi.
Steam achievement Give Peace a Chance (Civ6)
Give Peace a Chance
Playing as India on a Huge map, receive +35 Faith in one turn from the Satyagraha ability
'Give Peace a Chance' is the name of a song written by John Lennon, who was a known pacifist.
Steam achievement A Burning Splendor (Civ6)
A Burning Splendor
Win a regular game as Chandragupta
Part of an inscription praising Chandragupta II on the iron pillar of Delhi.
Steam achievement I Thought We'd Moved Past This Joke (Civ6)
I Thought We'd Moved Past This Joke
As Chandragupta, launch a nuclear weapon
A reference to the Civilization fanbase's inside joke of Gandhi's tendency to use nuclear weapons.
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