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Why was the Indian Ocean named after India?

The Indian Ocean is also the youngest of the world's oceans. When the super-continent Gondwana began to break up approximately 150 million years ago, the Indian Ocean began to form. It did not achieve its current position and size, however, until about 36 million years ago.First official use of name was in somewhere around 1515 AD.
When the Silk Route (shown in Red in below figure) was blocked by the Ottoman Empire, the Europeans were in search of a sea-route to India and China. By that time, the maritime trade in south Asia had been very well established over the course of a few millennia. The route shown in blue was the spice trade route.

India in World
The Brits, French, Portuguese and Spanish were in a rat race to discover the sea route to India from Europe. Towards the end of the medieval period, a vast portion of the royal finances was spent in building ships to find the sea route to India. With the silk route and the spice route blocked by the Ottomans in the funnel like region near the Tigris.

India along with some Southeast Asian countries form the most populous region in the Indian Ocean. In fact, it is combined the most populous region, overcoming China. The countries share the trait of inter-linked culture with huge dose of "Indianans". The region is called Greater India.

Route to India
At the time, Greater India was divided in to hundreds of individual kingdoms. The region was broadly referred to as India by the Europeans as it lied to the other side of the Indus river.

  • Greater India is the most populous region surpassing China.
  • It has the longest border along the Indian Ocean.
  • This region pretty much dominated the trade in the Ocean.
  • There is no land mass to the south of this region until we hit Antarctica.
  • Having a presence in the Indian Ocean was of utmost importance to the Europeans as it was the most happening water body due Greater India.
  • Greater India was among the wealthiest regions in many millennia.
  • Greater India pretty much fueled the Industrial Civilization (so the abundance of resources, markets and wealth can be imagined).
Since no other region had ever dominated a water body as Greater India had, the water body was called Indian Ocean.

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