Indian history according to consensus in modern genetics, anatomically modern humans first arrived on the Indian subcontinent from Africa between 73,000 and 55,000 years ago. However, the earliest known human remains in South Asia date to 30,000 years ago. Settled life, which involves the transition from foraging to farming and pastoralism, began in South Asia around 7,000 BC. At the site of Mahrgarh presence can be documented of the domestication of wheat and barley, rapidly followed by that of goats, sheep, and cattle. By 4,500 BCE settled life had spread more widely, and began to gradually evolve into the Indus Valley Civilization, an early civilization of the Old world, which was contemporaneous with Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. This civilisation flourished between 2,500 BC and 1900 BC in what today is Pakistan and north-western India, and was noted for its urban planning, baked brick houses, elaborate drainage, and water supply.Early on in the second millennium BC, persistent drought caused the population of the Indus Valley to scatter from large urban centres to villages.
India is a land of ancient civilizations. India’s social, economic, and cultural configurations are the products of a long process of regional expansion. Indian history begins with the birth of the Indus Valley Civilization and the coming of the Aryans. These two phases are usually described as the pre Vedic and Vedic age. Hinduism arose in the Vedic period. The fifth century saw the unification of India under Ashoka, who had converted to Buddhism, and it is in his reign that Buddhism spread in many parts of Asia.
It was in the 17th century that the Europeans came to India. This coincided with the disintegration of the Mughal Empire, paving the way for regional states. In the contest for supremacy, the English emerged ‘victors’. 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. It was followed by India’s struggle for independence, which we got in the year 1947.
Ancient India History
The History of India begins with the Indus Valley Civilization and the coming of the Aryans. These two phases are generally described as the pre- Vedic and Vedic periods. The earliest literary source that sheds light on India’s past is the Rig Veda. It is difficult to date this work with any accuracy on the basis of tradition and ambiguous astronomical information contained in the hymns. Indus valley civilization, which flourished between 2800 BC and 1800 BC, had an advanced and flourishing economic system.
Vedic period (c. 1500 – 600 BC)
Starting ca. 1900 BC, Indo-Aryan tribes moved into the Punjab from Central Asia in several waves of migration. The Vedic period is the period when the Vedas were composed, the liturgical hymns from the Indo-Aryan people. The Vedic culture was located in part of north-west India, while other parts of India had a distinct cultural identity during this period. Many regions of the Indian subcontinent transitioned from the Chalcolithic to the Iron Age in this period.
The Vedic culture is described in the texts of Vedas, still sacred to Hindus, which were orally composed and transmitted in Vedic Sanskrit. The Vedas are some of the oldest extant texts in India. The Vedic period, lasting from about 1500 to 500 BC contributed the foundations of several cultural aspects of the Indian subcontinent.
The great ruler Chandragupta Maurya, who founded Maurya Dynasty was indisputably the first king of India, as he not only won almost all the fragmented kingdoms in ancient India but also combined them into a large empire, boundaries of which were even extended to Afghanistan and towards the edge of Persia.
Chandragupta Maurya was born around 340BC in Patliputra in Magadh, the region which is currently known as Bihar. He was only 20 years old when he founded Maurya Dynasty in Magadh with the help of great economist, scholar, philosopher and a Brahmin Chanakya.
In fact, it was Chanakya who discovered Chandragupta Maurya in Vinjha Forest. Chanakya wanted to take revenge from Dhana Nand, the King of the then ruling Nanda Dynasty of Magadh. Chanakya was in the search of a young warrior who could help him eliminate Nanda Empire as the King Dhana Nand had once insulted him badly due to his ugly looks. On his orders, the soldiers of Dhana Nand had even forcefully thrown Chanakya out of his assembly.
To fulfil his aim, Chanakya mentored and trained Chandragupta Maurya in different war skills. Simultaneously he also taught him humanities, crafts and all the political lessons required for becoming a powerful ruler. Later in the year 322 BC, Chandragupta Maurya successfully raised a strong army with the help of Chanakya and eliminated the empire of Dhana Nand and established Maurya Dynasty in Magadh.Chandragupta Maurya ruled till 298 BC and during his regime, he transformed Maurya Dynasty into a large empire by winning almost all the kingdoms ruling across the country and bringing them together under its wide umbrella.