118 The major gains of the Arab presence in Sind were found in the wide cultural transmission from India to the West. It inaugurated a period of nearly three centuries of peaceful, cultural contacts between India and the Arab world, helping the transmission of Indian knowledge, particularly in mathematics, science, and literature, through Middle Eastern intermediaries eventually to the Western world. During the period, Baghdad, the seat of the caliphate, emerged as one of the major cultural and intellectual centers of the world, well known for art, architecture, and the sciences. Arab scholars thrived in Spanish universities, which became the conduits for transmission of knowledge to universities in France and England. In the process, some of the vital contributions of India to the world passed off as Arabic contributions. Thus, the Indian decimal system and Indian numerals known to the Arabs as tarikh-i-hind came to be called Arabic numerals in Europe. Knowledge of the Indian holistic system of medicine, ayur-veda, was first integrated with the Iranian unani system of medicine before transmission to Spain and Europe. Hindu physicians Ganga and Manka were invited to treat the well-known khalifa Haroon al-Rashid. A number of Hindu scholars were taken to Baghdad because of the caliph’s interest in getting Sanskrit texts in mathematics, sciences, medicine, and literature translated into Arabic. Another major Indian contribution was the game of chess, which became a preferred pastime at Arab and European courts. Translations of literature included the Indian treasuries of stories, the Panchatantra and Katha Sarita Sagar (Ocean of Stories), which provided the materials for Aesop’s Fables and the Arabian Nights. (pages 126–27)