Answer by Raakhee Venugopal:
Thank you for the A2A.
Yes, the original name of the Indian subcontinent was Bhaarata or Bharatavarsha. Here is a map of the geographical region containing the Indian subcontinent.
It is indeed named after Emperor Bharata, the son of Shakuntala and King Dushyanta.
In his youth, Bharata became the King after his father, King Dushyanta. Young Bharata conquered and ruled the entire sub continent of India, from sea to Himalaya. His empire was named Bharatavarsha, the land of Bharata.
Vishnu Purana accounts the extent of Bharatavarsha,
उत्तरं यत्समुद्रस्य हिमाद्रेश्चैव दक्षिणम् ।
वर्षं तद् भारतं नाम भारती यत्र संततिः ।।
uttaraṃ yatsamudrasya himādreścaiva dakṣiṇam varṣaṃ tadbhārataṃ nāma bhāratī yatra santatiḥ
“The country (varṣam) that lies north of the ocean and south of the snowy mountains is called Bhāratam; there dwell the descendants of Bharata.”
Quite contrary to common folklore, mankind was not ‘annihilated’ at the end of the Mahabharata war. After the war, there is a part where Dhritarashtra asks Yudhishthira to give an account of the casualties. I copy paste the text here…
The royal sage Dhritarashtra, however, restraining the grief that arises from folly, enquired of Yudhishthira the just, saying, ‘If, O son of Pandu, thou knowest it, tell me the number of those that have fallen in this battle, as also of those that have escaped with life!’
“Yudhishthira answered, ‘One billion 660 million and 20,000 men have fallen in this battle. Of the heroes that have escaped, the number is 240,165.’