I goofed around with different starts as India, I'm going to try and write a guide. India must choose a pantheon the turn he settles his capital. This has some disadvantages, you cannot scout very much, nor can you reveal resources. However, this ability is as a whole a very strong positive trait, which pairs excellently with cheaper great prophets. India has multiple options for a strong pantheon, regardless of your starting position. I'm going to explain several openings for India, this only covers the first few turns of the game. India should coordinate its pantheon, build order, and research order carefully, in order to turn the early pantheon into an impactful early game bonus. Spoiler Stonehenge-Beauty Opening : Build a monument, research pottery, take Goddess of Beauty Build Stonehenge after discovering pottery. If your monument finishes before you discover pottery, just put one turn into a warrior, shrine or worker, then switch to Stonehenge. Stonehenge should finish by turn 30 on almost any start, which will be before the AI 99% of the time, even on Deity. I used turn 30 for all math, but you will finish earlier most of the time. The engineer will appear by turn 45. The artist will appear by turn 50, and can make a great work (3 culture and 1 faith). Let’s say you take majesty as your third policy, for another +3 faith in your capital, on turn 50. This will give you a religion on turn 79, with 0 shrines. Its very possible to get it much earlier by building shrines, taking majesty before justice, finishing Stonehenge earlier, or building another wonder (you have a great engineer). You can also enhance your religion extremely quickly, often before turn 100. This opening is good with progress too, but not authority. Of all the starts I tried, the ones involving Goddess of Beauty felt the strongest, things like getting inspiration on turn 65 or iconography on turn 100 are just stupidly strong. Be aware that city states usually give their first quest on turn 40 something, and you sometimes will get a quest for an artist or engineer, with a reward of like 50 culture, so as tradition, you can consider not working the specialists on purpose. The high roll potential is really high, and the only tech it requires you to research is pottery. This is a good way to win a one-city challenge too. Spoiler Greedy Worker Openings : Normal civs really need to build a shrine quickly, but not India. He has a pantheon already, so no pressure to spend hammers on a shrine. Normally if you aren’t building a shrine, you should build a monument, but India can build worker first, especially if your pantheon gives culture. So you build worker first and research whatever tech he needs. Have your pathfinder do a small circle around your capital, he needs to be back home to stand on the worker. You do need to adjust your build order and what you use gold on slightly for different social policies. Tradition- early culture is more important. It is best with strong culture from the pantheon, otherwise you must take monument second, and consider using your early gold to speed up the monument. Progress- early culture is less important, and you have the tools to expand and improve tiles very quickly. This can lead to connecting a monopoly very quickly, silver is really notable for its +2 culture. Authority- sometimes you can research mining, the bronze working, and start getting tribute from city states extremely early. Authority can benefit the most from not having to build a shrine. Good Pantheon Options: Goddess of the Hunt Best on furs because you’ll have 2 culture per tile when improved. Research trapping first, probably pottery second. You get to build archers instead of warriors. Sun-God You must build monument second, because the pantheon gives no culture. You improve the wheat, you get big food, that helps your early game a lot, obvious synergy with tradition and progress. Even with just one wheat in the capital, this is pretty strong. Sun-God's granary bonus alone is a good benefit, its okay to have cities without any wheat in them. Earth Mother Best with gold, which gives culture when improved, or silver, which gives 2 culture with its monopoly. Research mining first. Salt is also good because it helps you grow and work all of your boosted mines. Long term 1 hammer per 3 citizens is incredibly powerful, especially with India. Goddess of Festivals: It just gives a ton of culture and gold extremely quickly. You can consider settling right on top of a resource to connect it faster. Be aware, this is far better if the resources need only 1 tech to connect, plantations and quarries are still slow. God of the Stars and Sky: You don't want to be on Tundra, but if you are this will really help your early game. Research both trapping and mining, know that you can settle directly on a resource to get bonus immediately, and remember that bronze working might reveal iron on tundra. Also remember that you an build farms on fresh water Tundra. Spirit of the Desert: You don’t actually need a worker to use this pantheon, but immediately putting a farm on a floodplain is an option. India is just really strong desert, partially from this pantheon. However, it doesn't give culture, which is a serious downside. Spoiler Goddess of Fertility Opener : This is better if your capital can build a well instead of a watermill. This can help tradition grow to 4 pop, so that when you take your social policy, you’ll immediately hit 6 pop and get 3 culture instead of 2. Overall, I don't recommend this pantheon with the current happiness system, but its close to being extremely good. Spoiler Goddess of Protection : Goddess of protection immediately gives +1 culture, and +2 faith, you’ll have earned 60-70 faith and culture by the time a normal civ would even claim their pantheon. Your build order can be basically anything and all social policies work well. Be aware that researching and building walls and barracks will consume a lot of science and production, so you shouldn’t be researching things like trade or bronze working or building wonders. A thing to be aware of, if you have tradition you want to grow to 4 pop before taking your first social policy, so if you have Goddess of Protection, you should consider not monument first, otherwise you might not have enough time to grow. Long term Goddess of Protection is an amazing pantheon, whether you play defensively, aggressively, or even just peacefully. Just because Ghandi was peaceful doesn't mean you have to be. If you just have no clue what to do, this pantheon won't let you down. This is by no means an inclusive list of what India can do, it's just the strategies that I have tested out extensively.