In the 3rd millenium BCE, the Indus Valley Civilization evolved into the largest ancient civilization of the world.
The earliest anatomically modern human remains found in South Asia are from approximately 30,000 years ago. Near contemporaneous Mesolithic rock art sites have been found in many parts of the Indian subcontinent, including at the Bhimbetka rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh. Around 7000 BCE, the first known neolithic settlements appeared on the subcontinent in Mehrgarh and other sites in western Pakistan. These gradually developed into the Indus Valley Civilisation, the first urban culture in South Asia, which flourished during 2500–1900 BCE in Pakistan and western India. Centred around cities such as Mohenjo-daro, Harappa, Lothal, and Kalibangan, and relying on varied forms of subsistence, the civilisation engaged robustly in crafts production and wide-ranging trade.
During the period 2000 BCE–500 BCE, many regions of the subcontinent evolved from copper age to iron age cultures. The Vedas, the oldest scriptures of Hinduism, were composed during this period, and historians have analyzed these to posit a Vedic culture in the Punjab region and the upper Ganges Plain. Most historians also consider this period to have encompassed several waves of Indo-Aryan migration into the subcontinent from the northwest. The caste system, creating a social hierarchy, appeared during this period. In the Deccan, archaeological evidence from this period suggests the existence of a chiefdom stage of political organization. In South India, the large number of megalithic monuments found from this period, and nearby evidence of agriculture, irrigation tanks, and craft traditions suggest progression to sedentary life.
Introduction India is a huge multicultural country with different religions and different languages. The culture of India is one of the oldest and unique. In India, there is amazing cultural diversity throughout the country. Every religion has their own rituals like clothing, food and festivals. But they all live like family all over the world. India is home to some of the most ancient ...
By the fifth century BCE, the small chiefdoms of the Ganges Plain and the northwest regions had consolidated into sixteen major oligarchies and monarchies called Mahajanapadas. The emerging urbanization as well as the orthodoxies of the late Vedic age created the religious reform movements of Buddhism and Jainism. Buddhism, based on the teachings of India’s first historical figure, Gautam Buddha, attracted followers from all social classes; Jainism came into prominence around the same time during the life of its exemplar, Mahavira. In an age of increasing urban wealth, both religions held up renunciation as an ideal, and both established long-lasting monasteries. Politically, by the 3rd century BCE, the kingdom of Magadha had annexed or reduced other states to emerge as the Mauryan Empire.
The Lion Capital of Ashoka was adopted for the modern national emblem.
The empire was once thought to have controlled most of the subcontinent excepting the far south, but its core regions are now thought to have been separated by large autonomous areas. The Maurya kings are known as much for their empire building and determined management of public life as for Ashoka the Great’s renunciation of militarism and his far flung advocacy of the Buddhist dhamma.
The Sangam literature of the Tamil language reveals that during the period 200 BCE–200 CE, the southern peninsula was being ruled by the Cheras, the Cholas and the Pandyas, dynasties that traded extensively with the Roman Empire and with west and south-east Asia. In north India during the same time, Hinduism asserted patriarchal control within the family. By the fourth and fifth centuries CE, the Gupta Empire had created a complex administrative and taxation system in the greater Ganges Plain that became a model for later Indian kingdoms. Under the Guptas, a renewed Hinduism based on devotion rather than the management of ritual began to assert itself and was reflected in a flowering of sculpture and architecture, which found patrons among an urban elite. Classical Sanskrit literature flowered as well, and Indian science, astronomy, medicine, and mathematics made significant advances, in the period regarded as the Golden Age of India.
... <http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Gupta_Empire>. • Gupta Empire in India. (1995, September). Indian Child. A Parent’s Guide to Internet ... in all branches of Indian art. Popularization of Sanskrit language brought to considerable rise ... Gupta Empire, which lasted for two centuries on the territories of modern northern India, can be ... the South and the West. This caused the split up of the Empire and ...
Early medieval and medieval India
Paintings at the Ajanta Caves in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, sixth century
The Indian early medieval age (600 CE to 1200 CE) is defined by regional kingdoms and cultural diversity. When Harsha of Kannauj, who ruled much of the Ganges plain from 606 to 647 CE, attempted to expand southwards, he was defeated by the Chalukya ruler of the Deccan. When his successor attempted to expand eastwards, he was defeated by the Pala king of Bengal. When the Chalukyas attempted to expand southwards, they were defeated by the Pallavas from farther south, who in turn were opposed by the Pandyas and the Cholas from still farther south. No ruler of this period was able to create an empire and consistently control lands much beyond his core region. During this time, pastoral peoples whose land had been cleared to make way for the growing agriculture economy were accommodated within caste society, as were new non-traditional ruling classes. The caste system consequently began to show regional differences.
In the sixth and seventh centuries CE, the first devotional hymns were created in the Tamil language. These were imitated all over India and led both to the resurgence of Hinduism and to the development of all the modern languages of the subcontinent. Indian royalty, big and small, and the temples they patronized drew citizens in great numbers to the capital cities, which became economic hubs as well. Temple towns of various sizes began to appear everywhere as India underwent another urbanisation. By the eight and ninth centuries, the effects were evident elsewhere as well as South Indian culture and political systems were being exported to Southeast Asia, in particular to what today are Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Java. Indian merchants, scholars, and sometimes armies were involved in this transmission, and south-east Asians took the initiative as well with many sojourning in Indian seminaries and translating Buddhist and Hindu texts into their languages.
When thinking back to the Gupta Empire in India, one might remember the famous works of literature, or perhaps the vast lands conquered by the great rulers of the time. But it would be imprudent to ignore the influential achievements made in the areas of science, medicine, mathematics, and astronomy that made the empire scientifically advanced. Many people fail to realize that countless things ...
Muslim rule in the subcontinent began in 712 CE when Arab General Muhammad bin Qasim conquered Sindh and Multan in southern Punjab in modern day Pakistan, setting the stage for several successive invasions from Central Asia between the 10th and 15th centuries CE, leading to the formation of Muslim empires in the Indian subcontinent such as the Delhi Sultanate and the Mughal Empire.
Mughal rule came from Central Asia to cover most of the northern parts of the subcontinent. Mughal rulers introduced Central Asian art and architecture to India. In addition to the Mughals and various Rajput kingdoms, several independent Hindu states, such as the Vijayanagara Empire, the Maratha Empire, and the Ahom Kingdom, flourished contemporaneously in southern, western, and northeastern India respectively. The Mughal Empire suffered a gradual decline in the early 18th century along with rise of the Marathas. The decline of Maratha Confederacy by defeats at Panipat and Anglo-Maratha Wars was followed by ascendancy of the Afghans, Balochis, the Sikhs over large areas in the west and northwest of the subcontinent and of the British East India Company over South Asia.