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India History

India as a country is steeped deep into history. One can trace its origin right to the Stone Age. The vast Indian history has been divided into four phases. These are:

Ancient Indian History (400,000BC-1000AD) :
The period of the ancient Indian History began from 400,000 BC and lasted till 1000AD. The pre historic period culminated from 400,000 BC-2500 BC comprising of the different phases of the Stone Age. The main civilization of the following Bronze Age was the Indus Valley Civilization marked from 2500 BC-1500 BC. Discovery of the ruins of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro shows how advanced India was at that time.

Aryans were the first nomadic tribe to have come and settled in India in the Vedic period. Their culture of nurturing Vedic religion and hymns formed the base for Hinduism. The society was divided into four casts viz; Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra. The Vedic Age is marked from 1500 BC-1000 BC followed by the Epic Age between 1000 BC-600 BC. The two famous epics written in this period are "The Ramayana" and "The Mahabharata"

Some of the famous kingdoms that ruled over India in the ancient period were :
  • Mauryan Empire
  • Satavahana Empire
  • Kushan Empire
  • Gupta Empire

Medieval Indian History (1000AD-1857AD):
During this period India faced many foreign invasions. Some invaders came in to rule while some came merely to loot India 's vast wealth. The Afghans and the Huns crossed the Hindukush mountain range on the North East frontier and invaded India . They plundered many important Indian cities and temples and looted its wealth. Mahmud of Ghazni plundered the Somnath Temple seventeen times. They formed the Delhi Sultanate and ruled India for many years.

It was during this period that Delhi gained a lot of importance. Many battles were fought amongst several dynasties to gain control over Delhi , which became the capital city for many kingdoms. These foreign dynasties, who ruled over India promoted art and architectural works. Influence of Persian and Arabic art can be seen in the art and architecture of the period. Their impact can also be seen in the social life, food habits and clothing.

Slowly these dynasties permanently settled in India and became an inseparable part of India making it their native country. Some of the important dynasties of this period are:
  • The Slave Dynasty
  • The Khilji Dynasty
  • The Tughlaq Dynasty
  • The Vijaynagar Empire
  • The Bahama Kingdom
  • The Mughal Dynasty
  • The Maratha Dynasty

Some of the famous battles fought in his period were :
  • Battle of Tarain
  • Battle of Panipat

British Period (1857 AD-1947 AD): The rule of East India Company, is considered a separate period in the history of India . The British had come to India as spice traders but slowly colonized it and began ruling over it. The Indian Freedom Struggle has been considered one of the most important freedom movements in the world.

Modern Indian History
Modern Indian History (1947AD onwards): The period of modern India history begins from the 15 th of August 1947, the day India gained independence. After achieving independence, India emerged as a sovereign, democratic, republic with a parliamentary form of government. Today, India , a country with mixed economy has shown commendable development in the field of agriculture, science, technology and industry. The living standards of the people have increased and it has been successful in bringing itself amongst the elite countries in the field of space and technology.

People have lived in India for almost 75,000 years, from the early Indus Valley civilization. From around 1500 BC to 500 BC the Vedic civilization existed in Northern India, known for the creation of the Vedas, sacred texts of the Hindu religion.

In the later Vedic period, from around 1000 BC to 500 BC, the Mahajanapadas emerged, and sixteen republics were established: Kasi, Kosala, Anga, Magadha, Vajji/Vriji, Malla, Chedi, Vasta/Vamsa, Kuru, Panchala, Matsya, Surasena, Assaka, Avanti, Gandhara, and Kamboja.

In 520 BC, the Persian Achaemenid Empire conquered the Northwest subcontinent, under the leadership of Darius the Great. The empire lasted two centuries, until Alexander the Great took control of the Achaemenid Empire. The Achaemenid Empire was followed by the large and powerful Mauryan Dynasty, lasting from 322 BC to 185 BC.

In 1526, Babur established Mughal Empire, an imperial power that grew to include the regions of modern-day India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. His son, Humayun succeeded him, and the Mughal dynasty lasted until 1857, though it shrank and weakened long before that time. The Mughal Empire was one of the largest and richest empires in Indian history.

During the Mughal Empire, European explorers began arriving in India, beginning with the Portuguese in 1498, and soon followed by the Dutch, British, and French. European traders began establishing settlements and trading posts in India, as per an arrangement with the Mughal leaders. The British East India Company gained influence in India around 1600. During a period of instability in India, with the Carnatic Wars beginning in 1746, Britain then began to acquire territory in India, soon controlling much of the region. In 1857, India revolted against the British East India Company, but the British government then took control of the Company and India became a Crown territory.

The period of British control, known as British Raj, led India through conflicts and famines, including the Great Famine of 1876-1878. Dissatisfaction with British rule brought India together, and with their new unified front, Indians began their movement toward independence, with Indian leaders like the freedom fighters. When Britain was weakened from its efforts in the World Wars, the movements for India's freedom were successful.

With independence in mid-August of 1947 came the partition of the nation into India and Pakistan. This partition led to religious conflict and increased migration between India and Pakistan for primarily religious reasons. India adopted its new constitution in 1950, establishing the nation as secular and democratic.

Last Updated Date: August 13, 2016

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