Bharatas were a tribe mentioned in the Rigveda, especially in Mandala 3 attributed to the Bharata sage Vishvamitra. Scholars believe the Bharatas to be a Vedic tribe around river Ravi in modern Punjab in the second millennium B.C.E. Bharatá is also used as a name of Agni (literally, "to be maintained", viz. the fire having to be kept alive by the care of men), .36.8.
Mandala 7 (7.18 etc.) mentions the Bharatas as taking part in the Battle of the Ten Kings, where they are on the winning side. Due to the victory of the Bharata chieftain Sudas in this battle, the Bharata rulers were able to settle in the Kurukshetra area. They appear to have been successful in the early power-struggles between the various Vedic tribes.
In the epic Mahābhārata, the ancestor of Kurus becomes Emperor Bharata, and his ruler and kingdom is called Bhārata. The Bharata clan mentioned in Mahabharata is a Kuru clan which is a sub clan of the Puru Clan who were the cousins of the Yadavas. "Bhārata" today is an official name of the Republic of India.
- Scharfe, Hartmut E. (2006), "Bharat", in Stanley Wolpert (ed.), Encyclopedia of India, 1 (A-D), Thomson Gale, pp. 143–144, ISBN 0-684-31512-2
- Thapar, Romila (2002), The Penguin History of Early India: From the Origins to AD 1300, Allen Lane; Penguin Press (published 2003), p. 114, ISBN 0141937424
- Witzel, Michael (1995), "Early Sanskritization. Origins and Development of the Kuru State." (PDF), Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies, 1–4: 1–26, archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-02-20, retrieved 2017-09-16
- Pāṇini; Katre, Sumitra Mangesh (1989-01-01). Aṣṭādhyāyī of Pāṇini. Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 9788120805217.
- ORIGINS AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE KURU STATE by Michael Witzel, Harvard University  Archived 2011-11-05 at the Wayback Machine
- Julius Lipner (2010) "Hindus: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices.", p.23
- National Council of Educational Research and Training, History Text Book, Part 1, India
- Article 1 of the English version of the Constitution of India: "India that is Bharat shall be a Union of States."