The history of India
In this article you can read information about India and its history. India is a country with diversity, there are so many languages, customs, traditions, cultures and etc, all these languages, customs, traditions, and cultures are a part of various ancient civilizations.
The coming of the Aryans and the birth of the Indus valley civilization is how the ancient history of India began. The Indus valley civilization took part in the northwest part of India; this was the most widespread civilization and one of the earliest civilizations.
This civilization was one of most widespread civilization because it originated in the northwestern parts of south Asia, Egypt and Mesopotamia. At its peak the Indus valley civilization had a population of around five million people.
Phases of Indian History
The phases of Indian History have been divided into two phases which are described as the Vedic and pre-Vedic age. The Vedic age saw the Hinduism arising. The Indo-Aryans during the beginning of the Vedic Period settled in the northern part of India.
The Vedic age saw a new beginning of rise of various cultures and religious traditions. However, being an Aryan was considered to be cultural, linguistic and religious but not at all racial, however, Arthur de Gobineau referred the term “Aryan” under the racial category by drawing references in 19th century in the Rig Veda by Western Scholars.
Aryans where then referred as Indo-European and Indo Iranian as they spoke an early form of Sanskrit which had a lot of similarities to other various Indo-European languages, Such as Latin, ancient Greek and Avestan in Iran.
The proof of the identity of the Aryans has not been yielded yet by the archaeology however; the spread and evolution of their culture through the Indo-Gangetic Plain cannot be disputed.
Empires and Kingdoms
The Aryans had occupied most of the northern part of India, however, there was an increase in the population and as well as an increase in the production which led to the creation of independent states with territorial boundaries because of which the disputes arose frequently.
It all started in the sixth century B.C, with the formation of Mauryan Empire which originated in the northwest part of India. The Mauryan Empire was led by its ferocious ruler Chandra Gupta Maurya who ruled the empire from 324 to 301 BC. Magadha, which was set on the eastern Indo-Gangetic plain started growing commercially.
The growth of the capital saw the initiation of some magnificent places such as temples, library, gardens, parks, university.
One of the key reasons for the Chandra Gupta Maurya’s success was due to his adviser Kautilya who was a brahman author of Arthashastra which also means the Science of material gain, he contributed towards the creation of political strategy and outlined governmental administration.
The Mauryan Empire was divided into villages, districts and provinces which was governed by some centrally appointed local officials.
The grandson of Chandragupta, Ashoka, ruled the empire from 268 BC to 232 BC. Ashoka being one of the most powerful and illustrious kings of the Indian subcontinent had almost conquered most parts of India.
It was also being said that his birth was predicted by Buddha. Ashoka had great weaponry skills too which made him one of the most prominent and skillful ruler.
Nonviolence in the Time of bloodshed-ASHOKA the great
In the time of bloodshed where most of the kings followed the policy of kill or get killed, Ashoka followed a policy of non-violence which was discovered through several inscriptions which Ashoka had carved on rocks and pillars throughout the empire.
The inscriptions that he made encourage nonviolence and promoted Buddhist morality. Ashoka wanted to be remembered as father as one of the inscriptions on the Kalinga rock edits he mentions to his people whom he addresses as his children and he also mentions that he wanted their desires to be fulfilled.
The Ashoka chakra which is at the center of the Indian flag is a depiction of the Wheel of Dharma also termed as Dharmachakra. The wheel i.e. the chakra has 24 spokes which represents the 12 Laws of Dependent Termination and 12 Laws Origination.
The Gupta dynasty according to some historians was a Vaishya dynasty, the historians derived at this conclusion as most of names which end with Gupta belong to the Vaishya Caste and also the ancient Indian texts was also taken into the consideration, however the theories regarding the homeland of the Gupta dynasty were contradicting.
The reasons of this controversy on the original homeland of the Gupta dynasty is because some historians believe that the Guptas hailed from Prayaga, Allahabad, and some historians believe that Guptas were the original inhabitants of Antarvedi, this is because there were several coins found in this regions which belonged to the Gupta Dynasty.
Srigupta, was the first empire of the Gupta dynasty, he ruled between the periods of 240-280 CE, the guptas during the rule of Srigupta the Gupta dynasty ruled some of the Hindu kingdoms which were a part of Magadha and also extended their reign to Bihar.
Ghatotkacha who was the son of Srigupta and also his successor ruled between the periods of 280-319 CE, after referring some of the inscriptions Ghatotkacha was known to be called as the Maharaja.
Some of the prominent rulers of the Gupta Dynasty
Chandragupta I who was the son and successor to Ghatotkacha ruled between the periods of 320-335 CE, the growth of the Gupta dynasty on a rapid progress during the rule of Chandragupta I as the emperor got married to Kumaradevi who was a Linchchhavi princess which was the most prominent power in Magadha, the emperor received the kingdom of Magadha in dowry and also established alliance with the Linchchhavis of Nepal, the emperor extended his reign to Saketa and Pragaya.
Samudragupta was one of the most prominent and powerful king of the Gupta dynasty as he ruled for a period of 45 years (from 335-380), he started with adding kingdoms like Padmavati and Ahichchhatra into his realm and then he attacked the Abhiras, the Arjunayanas, the Maduras, the Malwas and the Yaudheyas and by the end of his rule the emperor had added about twenty kingdoms in his reign and his rule had extended from the river Brahmaputra to the river Yamuna and from the Himalayas to the Narmada.
One of the famous historian Vincent Smith descripted Samudragupta as the Indian Napolean and the emperor himself had given tittles World Monarch and King of Kings. Samudragupta was also a great philanthropist of modern day art and literature.
Vikramaditya who was also known as Chandragupta II was nominated by Samudragupta to be his successor, the emperor ruled between the periods of 375 to 415 CE. Chandragupta II extended his reign westwards by defeating Western Kshatrapas of Malwa, Saka, Saurashtra and Gujrat in a campaign which lasted for till the end of 409 CE. The emperor extended his realms by defeating his prime opponent Rudrasimha III in 395 CE.
During the rule of Vikramaditya there was a lot of growth in the Hindu art as the Dashavatara Temple in Deogarh was established with a purpose to serve as an illustration to the Gupta Art.
Skandagupta was last of the prominent rulers of one of largest kingdoms, He is known for his victory over the Pushyamitra threat but the major challenge which he faced was when the Hephthalites invaded, In 455 he repulsed a Huna attacked but to no vain as the empire’s resources were drained out due to the war and from then on the dynasty went on a decline and never recovered back.
Harsha Vardhan-Empire of Harsha
The Empire of Harsha is considered to be one of the most prominent empires which was founded by Harsha Vardhan, he ruled the empire between the periods of 606 to 647 CE, unfortunately harsha vardhan didn’t have any successors to his throne, hence he was the only king who ruled the empire till it existed.
After the Gupta dynasty saw a decline and never recovered back in the mid-6th century, the major part of Western and Northern regions of India were handed over to Prabhakarvardhana who was the ruler of Thanesar, this helped him in gaining more control on some of the neighbouring states.
Rajyavardhana then became the successor to the throne of the king of Thanesar, he was known for defeating the Malava king, however after the death of Rajyavardhana in 606 CE, Harsha succeeded to his throne.
The Capital of the empire was Kanauj which gained prosperity as it had become a great center of trade.
The emperor possessed resources such as 50,000 infantry, 20,000 Cavalry and 5,000 elephants. The emperor also maintained good healthy relations with China, Which at that time under the rule of Emperor Taizong who belonged to the Tang dynasty.
Harsha always remained a patron of literature and Buddhism, the emperor had entered into a theological debate with Xuanzang who was a Chinese pilgrim and won the debate. It is to be believed that the emperor built several sculptures in the name of Lord Buddha.
He also made several contributions to the University of Nalanda by making several endowments.
Finally, we hope you’ve enjoyed reading the article about the chronology of indian history. If you have found a mistake in this article you can comment below.
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Date published: September 15, 2016