The long history of Montessori education in India dates to 1915, and it was expanded through Maria and Mario Montessori's work in India between 1939 to 1946 and 1947 to 1949. The article characterizes a century of Montessori education in India as a series of adapted, competing, and contested framings with key disputes over Montessori education's intended purpose, audience, and how much it could be adapted. First, from 1915 to 1939, Montessori education was connected to the Indian independence movement as nation-building education, but it was eclipsed by a parallel rise of elite, private Montessori schools, a framing reinforced by Maria Montessori's insistence on fidelity to her method. Starting in the 1950s, other Indian educators adapted Montessori for poor children, an emphasis that continues today with government and foundation-funded schools. Finally, in the last thirty years, India's new middle class has driven demand for early childhood education, leading to branded Montessori franchises, some bearing little resemblance to Montessori's original pedagogy.