Dear Readers I would like to explore the Indian History, that’s why I’m starting this episode. Now I’m giving the general History of the India, I will give more history to next posts.
India’s history and culture is ancient and dynamic, spanning back to the beginning of human civilization. Beginning with a mysterious culture along the Indus River and in farming communities in the southern lands of India. The history of india is one puncuated by constant integration with migrating peoples and with the diverse cultures that surround India. Placed in the center of Asia, history in india is a crossroads of cultures from China to Europe, and the most significant Asian connection with the cultures of Africa.
India’s history is more than just a set of unique developments in a definable process; it is, in many ways, a microcosm of human history itself, a diversity of cultures all impinging on a great people and being reforged into new, syncretic forms. IndHistory.com brings you the india’s history starting from ancient history of india to modern indian history. Shown below is the india timeline starting from 3000 BC of ancient indus valley civilization and harappa civilization to 1000 AD of Chola Dynasty of ancient history of india.
|Indian History in Short :|
The History of India begins with the birth of the Indus Valley Civilization in such sites as Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa, and Lothal, and the coming of the Aryans. These two phases are usually described as the pre-Vedic and Vedic perio ds. It is in the Vedic period that Hinduism first arose: this is the time to which the Vedas are dated.
In the fifth century, large parts of India were united under Ashoka. He also converted to Buddhism, and it is in his reign that Buddhism spread to o ther parts of Asia. It is in the reign of the Mauryas that Hinduism took the shape that fundamentally informs the religion down to the present day. Successor states were more fragmented.
Islam first came to India in the eighth century, and by the 11th century had firmly established itself in India as a political force; the North Indian dynasties of the Lodhis, Tughlaqs, and numerous others, whose remains are visible in Delhi and scattered elsewhere around North India, were finally succeeded by the Mughal empire, under which India once again achieved a large measure of political unity.
The European presence in India dates to the seventeenth century, and it is in the latter part of this century that the Mughal empire began to disintegrate, paving the way for regional states. In the contest for supremacy, the English emerged ‘victors’, their rule marked by the conquests at the battlefields of Plassey and Buxar.
The Rebellion of 1857-58, which sought to restore Indian supremacy, was crushed; and with the subsequent crowning of Victoria as Empress of India, the incorporation of India into the empire was complete. Successive campaigns had the effect of driving the British out of India in 1947.
The Indus Valley Civilization existed in between 3000-1500 BC while the earlier Kot Diji cultures, of the pre-Indus period, existed in the period of approximately 3300-2800 BC. Harappa and the city of Mohenjo-Daro were the greatest achievements of the Indus valley civilization. These cities are well known for their impressive, organized and regular layout.
Then came Aryans who composed these evocative hymns to nature and celebrated life exuberantly referred to themselves as Aryas usually anglicised as Aryan meaning ‘noble’. The 6th Century B.C. was the period of Magadh Kingdom. Chandragupta Maurya ousted the oppressive ruler of Magadh to find his own dynasty that existed from 322 – 298 B.C.
The most famous Maurya King Ashoka the Great ruled from 273 – 232 B.C over a large kingdom stretching from Kashmir and Peshawar in the North and Northwest to Mysore in the South and Orissa in the East. He after witnessing the carnage at the battle field of Kalinga (269 B.C.) in Orissa, dedicated himself to Dharmma ( righteousness ).
In the subsequent centuries, after the Ashoka empire disintegrated, India suffered a series of invasions, and often fell under the spell of foreign rulers – Indo Bactrians, the Sakas and others. After the next 400 years of instability the Guptas established their kingdom.
Kalidas, the famous Sanskrit poet and dramatist, author of Abhijnana Shankuntalam, Kumarsambhavam and Meghadutam is believed to have adorned the Gupta court. Also the great mathematicians like Aryabhatta and astronomers like Varahmihir lived during this period. The dazzling wall paintings of the Ajanta caves too are traced back to this era.
Cholas, Pandayas and Pallavas ruled over the southern part of India during the medieval period of India�s history. Cholas ruled the territory of Deccan (today the districts of Thanjavur and Tiruchirapally) while the Pandyas reined around present day Tirunelvelli and Madurai.
Pallavas of Kanchi rose to prominence in the 4th Century A.D. and ruled unchallenged for about four hundred years. The Nayanar and Alvar saint poets belong to this period. The gemlike shore temples at Mahabalipuram date to this period. The Cholas overthrew the Pallavas were in the 9th Century and regained political primacy in south India. The 15th Century saw the decline of the Pandyas.
The Rajput period was an era of chivalry and feudalism. The Rajputs weakened each other by constant fighting. This allowed the foreigners (Turks) to embark on victorious campaigns using duplicity and deceit wherever military strength failed against Rajputs.
Mohammad Ghori defeated Prithviraj Chauhan, the Tomar ruler of Delhi, at the battle of Tarain in 1192 and left the Indian territories in the charge of his deputy, Qutubudin (reign – 1206 – 1210), who had started life as a slave. Khiljis, Tughlaqs, Sayyids and Lodis followed and this period is known as the Sultanate. When the power of the Sultans declined, the outlying provinces once again became important and the process of Hindu Islamic synthesis continued almost without any interruption.
Babur (reign – 1526-30), the founder of the Mughal Empire in India, was the descendant of Timur as well as Changez Khan. Ousted by his cousins, he came to India and defeated Ibrahim, the last Lodi Sultan in 1526 at the First Battle of Panipat. There was a brief interruption to Mughal rule when Babur’s son Humayun (reign – 1530-40) was ousted from Delhi, by Sher Shah, an Afghan chieftain.
Sher Shah (reign – 1540-55), assumed power in the imperial capital for a short while. He is remembered as the builder of the Grand Trunk road that spanned the distance from Peshawar to Patna and also one who introduced major reforms in the revenue system, gratefully retained by the Mughals.
It was Babur’s grandson Akbar (reign – 1556-1605), who consolidated political power and extended his empire over practically the whole of north India and parts of the south. Jahangir (reign – 1605-27) who succeeded Akbar was a pleasure loving man of refined taste. Shah Jahan (1628-58) his son, ascended the throne next. Shah Jahan’s fame rests on the majestic buildings he has left behind – the Taj Mahal, the Red Fort and the Jama Masjid. Aurangzeb (reign – 1658-1707) was the last Mughal ruler.
In western India, Shivaji (1637-80) had forged the Marathas into an efficient military machine and given them a sense of national identity. They adopted guerrilla tactics to maul the Mughals and put a severe drain on their economic resources.
The contenders for political supremacy in the 17th and 18th Centuries included besides the Marathas, the Sikhs in Punjab and Hyder Ali (reign – 1721 – 1782) in Mysore. Tipu Sultan (reign – 1782 – 1799) – Hyder Ali’s son and successor allied himself with the French against the British and strove to introduce the latest technical knowledge from Europe.
Vasco da Gama when landed at Calicut, sailing via the Cape of Good Hope in 1498, marked the beginning of the European era in Indian history. The Portuguese by the 16th Century had already established their colony in Goa.
In the next century, India was visited by a large number of European travellers – Italians, Englishmen, Frenchmen and Dutchmen. They were drawn to India for different reasons. Some were traders, others adventurers, and quite a few fired by the missionary zeal to find converts to Christianity. Eventually England, France, the Netherlands and Denmark, floated East India Companies.
During the late 16th and the 17th Centuries, these companies competed with each other fiercely. By the last quarter of the 18th Century the English had vanquished all others and established themselves as the dominant power in India. The British administered India for a period of about two centuries and brought about revolutionary changes in the social, political and the economic life of the country.
Once the British had consolidated their power, commercial exploitation of the natural resources and native labour became ruthless. By the middle of the 19th Century arrogant exploitation of the people had tried the patience of the Indians to the limit.
The six decades between the end of the “mutinous” war of 1857 – 59 and the conclusion of First World War saw both the peak of British imperial power in India and the birth of nationalist agitation against it. With increasing intrusion of aliens in their lives, a group of middle class Indians formed the Indian National Congress (1885) – a society of English educated affluent professionals – to seek reforms from the British.
The anticolonial struggle became truly a mass movement with the arrival of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869 – 1948) in 1915 who had suffered great humiliation in South Africa due to the policy of racial discrimination and later commited to rid his motherland of the ills of foreign rule.
Successive campaigns had the effect of driving the British out of India in 1947, but with independence came the independence of the country into Pakistan.