The 13 Best Documentaries about India

Jul 27, 2023 | Best Of, Culture, History

India is a land of many wonders, full of vibrant cultures and traditions that span generations. From the ancient to the modern day, India has been through a remarkable transformation throughout its history. To learn more about this incredible country, explore these amazing documentaries that provide an insightful look into Indian culture and customs. Whether you’re interested in discovering more about India’s past or simply want to gain greater insight into a foreign land, these films will be sure to educate and entertain you on your journey!

1. Delhi, India’s MEGACITY: Capital of a Billion People

Welcome to Delhi, India’s bustling megacity and the capital of a billion people. Home to more than 31 million residents, this chaotic city has a complicated history that is still impacting the lives of its citizens today. In this video, we explore how Delhi became what it is today: from British imperialists taking ownership of vast quantities of natural resources to the revolutionary Mahatma Gandhi’s dream for an idyllic ‘Total Society’ free from injustice and inequality. We also look at some of Delhi’s current issues like housing shortages, inequality, and transportation problems as well as how these can be addressed for the betterment of its citizens. Join us on this journey through time as we discover all there is to know about one of India’s most important cities – welcome to Delhi!


2. Megacity Mumbai: From slums to skyscrapers

Welcome to the megacity of Mumbai, where 20 million inhabitants live side by side in both luxury skyscrapers and slums. Meet Mahesh (27), who was born and raised in Dharavi, Asia’s largest slum with over 1 million people living in extremely crowded conditions. He runs a recycling plant that employs around 20 people but the future of his neighbourhood is uncertain as it is located right in the heart of Mumbai and real estate magnate Babulal Varma wants to build luxury housing for upper-class families instead. This documentary follows Mahesh and others as they battle to save their homes from destruction while also exploring what life is like living in a megacity such as this one.


3. India: Exploring Delhi

Take a journey into the heart of India with Markus Spieker, a documentary maker from Germany. Explore the beauty and justice of Delhi, a city full of stories that range from pleasant to unpleasant. Discover exclusive restaurants and bustling street cafés as well as cult dancers who have different interests than most people expect. Meet star chefs competing for the best pita bread, hard rock fans breaking records while living their daily lives – all this in one film! Get ready to explore India’s capital territory, where there are twice as many stories waiting to be told.


4. Aghori: Holy Men Of The Dead

This documentary takes you on an inspirational journey with three travelers, Dakota, Jar and Kyle. On their spiritual pilgrimage through India they learn about the Aghori – holy men of the dead who live in cremation grounds outside Hindu society. Wearing ash from corpses as part of their rituals, these people take what’s considered scary or taboo and transform it into something divine. Join them as they explore a culture that looks to find harmony between life and death by embracing both fear and beauty in each moment.


5. The Super Rich Maharajahs Of India

This documentary explores the lives of India’s Super Rich Maharajahs, those who have made their fortunes from India’s growing economy. We follow these new billionaires on their journey to success, witnessing lavish weddings and yachts, gigantic towers and palaces. As we gain an insight into this tight circle of Indian billionaires, we discover the challenges they face along the way. From heirs with inherited wealth to self-made men: what does it take them to become part of this exclusive club? Join us as we investigate how different types of billionaires feel about success in India now that it has more billionaires than anywhere else in the world!


6. The Ganges: India’s Most Polluted Holy River

The Ganges is India’s most sacred and polluted river. In this documentary, we take a journey along its banks to explore the unique stories of those who live there – from indigenous communities in harmony with nature, to modern traders and artisans making their living on the river, as well as vast metropolises which rely heavily on technology to keep an ancient water source alive. Join us for an eye-opening look at how culture, faith and modern life intersect along India’s holiest river.


7. India’s Forgotten Majority

In this documentary, we explore India’s forgotten majority. What does it mean to be part of the demographic that has been overlooked in the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic? We look at how COVID-19 has further exposed the complex and vast socioeconomic inequalities that exist within India, and examine what can be done to help those who have been left behind. Join us as we take a look into the lives of many Indians who are struggling through these difficult times.


8. British Occupation Of India

India has a long and complicated history of occupation by the British Empire. But when World War II began, the British were forced to withdraw their troops from India and grant independence in 1947. This documentary dives into what happened leading up to Indian Independence as well as its aftermath. Get an insight into how the country was exploited for its wealth during the years of occupation, and find out what changed after Britain’s withdrawal from India.


9. Lost Treasures Of The Ancient World

This video is about India and its 4,000-year-old civilization. We take a journey through time to explore the Indus Valley city, built around 2000 BC. It was during this period that dynasties between kings flourished, along with timeless belief systems and golden ages of culture. The Taj Mahal is one example of the beauty created by these people – a reflection of their unique identity. This documentary is split into five parts — an exploration of how civilizations can be lost in time yet still leave behind wonders for us to admire today.


10. The Rich Origins Of India & The Oldest Civilisation

Take a journey with Michael Wood to explore India, the oldest continuously surviving civilization and one of the most populous countries on earth. From Calcutta – now Kolkata – to other parts of this vast country, we will uncover how 19th-century British colonial rulers have left their mark on our world today. Join us as we discover the rich origins of India in this documentary!


11. Inside India’s explosive population growth

We also explore how these measures are affecting job competition in a state that already struggles with high unemployment rates. Join us for an inside look into India’s explosive population growth and how it’s changing lives across the country!


12. Super-Rich & Surrounded by Poverty: India’s New Billionaires

Are you curious about India’s new billionaires? From the glitzy Bollywood weddings to building luxurious towers, these select individuals are living off of the country’s growing economy. In this video, we delve into their lives and uncover how many are getting away with tax evasion and money laundering. We also explore how they got to the top and what difficulties they face in maintaining such an extravagant lifestyle. Get ready for a 6-month long investigation as you immerse yourself in the world of India’s super-rich!


13. Backpacking India In 45 Days

Explore the wild and rugged beauty of India on a 45-day backpacking adventure! Our journey will take us through Kerala’s stunning backwaters, Hampi’s ancient sites, and across vast landscapes via train. We’ll experience the summer heat as we wander from village to village without roads or bridges – all while carrying just a backpack! Join us in this documentary for an unforgettable tour of India!


Read On – Our Latest Top Documentaries Lists

David B