reader jk sent me a link to his blog responding to ayaz amir (dawn) and his rather disingenous notion that india was sans history before the muslims invaded.
jk shows that there was historical writing especially from foreigners before the muslim era, thus puncturing amir's assertion.
i would go one step further and suggest that a tremendous amount of puranic writing is actually history, thinly overlain with myth. indian history (itihasam) has however been reduced to the status of myth by the marxists and colonialists in yet another triumph of 'truth by repeated assertion'.
in a telling event, they celebrated their collaboration a few years ago: oxford university gave romila thapar an honorary doctorate. if you read the citation carefully, it says in more or less says that the award is for turning indian history into myth!
let me cite a few instances off the top of my head to support my contention that actual events were retold with a patina of myth in the puranas
1. the slaying of the water demon vrtra who stole the waters, by indra: this was the damming of a himalayan river in kashmir by a landslide and the subsequent release of the waters
2. the raising of the land of kerala from the sea by parasurama who threw an axe out into the ocean: through a tectonic movement, the western ghats and the land came up from the sea. evidence: on the peaks of the western ghats, you can find the fossilized remains of sea-bottom-dwelling creatures
3. the flooding of dwaraka after the mahabharata war, and of mahabalipuram by jealous demi-gods: tsunamis and/or tectonic movements flooded these areas and the manmade structures on the ocean floor are evidence
all this is no different from homer's illiad being treated as a pure myth until schliemann's discovery of troy which showed that the ballad had a historical basis. when the indian equivalents of troy are discovered, the jnu cabal comes up with totally illogical objections to prevent their acceptance. just about the only evidence they will accept is actual videotapes of ancient events. then they will complain that the video tapes have been doctored! of course, no evidence is required for the jnu versions of history. their assertions are sufficient proof. after all, they are 'eminent' historians and how dare you ask them for evidence?
what is also ironic is that on the other hand, christian/western historians tend to treat as 'history' the mythology of christianity. the events attributed to jesus christ, including his very existence, for instance, have no independent historical corroboration (joseph flavius is an enigmatic aberration), and should objectively be treated as pure mythology (which can be accepted as useful allegories, of course). but they are treated, unambiguously, as 'scripture' and as truthful records of actual events.