The Jainism and Buddhism were developed by Mahavira

The Story of India

The
story of India starts with the first migration from Africa around 70000 years
back. In the period between 3000 – 1500 BC, a civilization flourished along the
rivers Ravi and Indus (as the land near river site were most fertile in compare
to other land region) which was called Indus Valley Civilization and the
sites like Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro etc. were found along the erstwhile
course of the river Ravi. After 700 years of stability, due to drying of the
monsoon the Ghaggar-Hakra River (also called Sarasvati) changed its course to
its modern state and due to which people living in that region also moved, as
shown by later Harappa sites. Around the same period (Bronze Age-Iron Age in
North India), Vedas were written by Vyasa. This period was also called
the Vedic Period. Later, religions of Jainism and Buddhism were
developed by Mahavira and Buddha questioning the old order of the Vedas.
Darius-I of Persia also conquered the Indus Valley only later to be overthrown
by Alexander the Great. People of the Indus valley from then were called
as Hindush (Indus in Persian).

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Around
500 BC -200 BC the Mahabharata (and Ramayana) were composed based on the
‘Battle of the Bharatas’. They were basically descendants of Aryans. Around
326 BC, Alexander invaded India and came close to Beas River in Punjab, but was
turned back due to mutiny by his army. After that, the Nanda dynasty was dethroned by a young general named Chandragupta Maurya and laid
foundation for the Mauryan Empire with capital at Pataliputra (presently
Patna). Around the same time, Megasthenes (the Greek Ambassador) was
sent to India. Chandragupta’s son Bindusara and grandson Asoka further
expanded Mauryan Empire. At its peak it was the largest empire of its time. After
the battle of Kalinga, Asoka turned to Buddhism and constructed many pillars
carrying his message of peace.

Around
200-100BC through the first Jews via the Kochin Port another religion, Judaism,
came to India. On the base of spice trade, they established their businesses.
Around 150BC, Greek sailor Hippalus identified the Monsoon winds and thus a direct route from the Red sea to India was
established which laid as the foundation of spice
trade between India and Roman Empire. In the first century CE, India’s
spices—especially black pepper and malabathrum (a type of cinnamon)—became an
important commodity in trade with the eastern Mediterranean. The Silk route established between
Mediterranean and China was also the route for many invasions into India from
Central Asia. One of the most prominent ones were the Kushans (most
famous of them being King Kanishka). The Kushans built an empire (supported by
the Silk Road trade) and lavished their wealth on the arts and on Buddhist
monasteries, importing Greek artisans to carve elaborate sculptures depicting
the life of the Buddha which were known as Gandharan
art (synthesis of western artisans carving eastern subjects). King Kanishka
was influential in spreading Buddhism across central Asia and also China.

 

Around
300-1000CE , known as “Ages of Gold”
for India, Northern India was under the Gupta Empire. During this time,
math, science, culture, literature and art flourished in India as in Aryabhatta described the orbits of
planets in his Arbhattiya, Kalidasa
also wrote many plays (Meghdoot, Abhijanashakuntalam etc.).  But the empire was ultimately weakened by
repeated invasions from Huna tribe (related to Huns) from Central Asia. In the
south, Cholan Empire took his foundations with its capital at Tanjore. Under the great ruler Rajaraja, the last classical civilization reached its peak. Around this time,
the Muslim traders of Central Asia introduced Islam in India. Mahmud
of Ghazni invaded India numerous times and looted huge bounty
destroying many kingdoms. Places such as Kanauj,
Mathura, and Thaneshwar were raided, and the Shiva temple at Somnath got destroyed. His conquests laid the
foundation of the Ghaznavi dynasty
followed by the Delhi Sutanate till 16th century.

Qutb-ud-Din
Aybak, a slave who rose to the rank of general
under the command of the Afghan ruler Muhammad of Ghor, defeated the Chauhan
Rajput king, Prithvi Raj and captured
Delhi in 1192. He founded the Slave Dynasty. The four unrelated Turkish
and Afghan dynasties that followed, including the Khaljis, the Tughluqs, the
Sayyids, and the Lodis, ruled North India for more than 300 years, until 1526.
During the time period of Sultanate, yet another religion Sikhism took birth in
India after being founded by Guru Nanak. It was the merger of both Islam and
Hinduism. In 1498, Vasco de Gama
arrived in India navigating a sea route from Europe to India. The same route
was to be later used for trade by all major European powers with India.

With
the fall of the Sultanate, Babur founded the Mughal Empire in 1526. Akbar, who was the most important of the
Mughal rulers, was known for his principle of ‘universal tolerance’ in
administration. Mansabdari system
was also implemented by Akbar. Under this system, a Mansabdar was appointed to
govern a tract of land in return for a fixed amount and promise of soldiers for
battle. Another famous Mughal ruler, Shah
Jahan who was known for his architectural achievements (most prominent
being Taj Mahal). Following Shah Jahan a feud broke out between his sons, of
which Aurangzeb became the victor. He
imposed zajiya (a tax on
Hindus) and also increased customs tax on non-Muslims. Aurangzeb was at
constant war with the great Maratha ruler Sivaji Bhosle, founder of
Maratha Empire. Also, formation of militant Sikh army, ‘Khalsa’, dates back to this Aurangzeb’s period. Following
him, Mughal Empire suffered a declination which led to give way to the British
following the 1857 War of Indian
Independence.

In
the year 1600, British East India
Company was granted monopoly rights for trade in the East Indies. They
established their trading ports in Calcutta, Madras and Bombay. In 1757, the Company defeated and killed
the Mughal governor of Bengal, Sirajud-Dawla. By 1765, the Company had acquired control of the revenue systems of
Bengal, Orissa, and Bihar, on India’s east coast, and became the largest
territorial power in India. The India Act of 1784 gave Parliament control of the
company’s affairs in London which the head of the company oversaw the
governance of India. British implemented Mansabdari system and the Zamindari
system from Mughals for effective governance. Also they formed alliances with
the princely states offering them rewards and security for loyalty. Also, for religious
matters to govern the state better, they followed the principles of Akbar. In 1947,
200 year old British rule came to an end. In 1949, India adopted is own
constitution which was implemented on 26th Jan, 1950. Following this
India adopted a socialist closed model of an economy for next 3-4 decades.