The process of partition, however, was not simple. In addition to the British-controlled territories, the subcontinent also consisted of many other territories under French, Portuguese or Omani rule, as well as more than 500 sovereign princely states ruled by local monarchs.
Upon independence, the British gave the princely states the option to join India or Pakistan – by signing the Instrument of Accession – or to remain independent. Some of these territories and princely states did not become part of India or Pakistan until recently.
Today, Kashmir remains the only region of British India that has not been integrated into one of the two nations or gained independence.
In the following two-minute animation, Al Jazeera looks at how the Indian subcontinent was divided by the British in 1947 and how it has changed since then.