Namaste and welcome to India- the land of amazing diversity and stunning
landscapes. Stretching from the icy peak of the Himalayas to the tropical
greenery of Kerala, and from the sacred Ganges to the sea of sand dunes in
Thar desert, the country encompasses incomparable variety. It is steeped in
history, and every stone and ancient structure has a story to narrate.
India's history is more than just a set of unique developments but it is, in
many ways, a microcosm of human history . No matter how many Persians,
Greeks, Chinese nomads, Arabs, Portuguese, British and other raiders invaded
the land but India always formed a positive way out.
Pre- Vedic and Vedic Age
The history of this starling land begins with the birth of the Indus Valley
Civilisation in such sites as Mohenjodaro, Harappa and Lothal. The twin
cities of Mohenjodaro and Harappa now in Pakistan possessed a sophisticated
lifestyle, a highly developed sense of aesthetics, astonishing knowledge
about town planning together with effective road side drainage system and
multi storeyed houses. After surviving for about thousand years the
civilisation fell to tectonic upheavals. The coming of the Aryans around
1500 B.C gave the final blow to collapsing Indus Valley Civilisation. The
four Vedas or the important books of Hinduism were also compiled during this
Buddhism and Maurya Empire
In 567 B.C , the founder of Buddhist religion Gautama Buddha was born. His
Buddhism inspired the great king, Asoka of the Mauryan Empire to give up his
warfare and embrace Buddhism and spread the same in many parts of Asia. He
built the group of monuments at Sanchi ( a UNESCO world heritage site). The
Asoka Pillar at Sarnath has been adopted by India as its national emblem and
the Dharma Chakra adorns the national flag.
Blend of religions
The Mauryas were followed by the Guptas in the North while in the South
disparate Hindu empires, the Cholas, the Pandayas and the Cheras spread and
grew. During this time Christianity and Zoroastrianism established their
roots in India. In the 15th century Guru Nanak Dev laid the foundation of
the Sikh Religion in Punjab.
In 1192, the history of India took a new turn with the arrival of Mohammad
of Ghori from Afghanistan who captured several places in North including
Delhi. The rise of Islam was also witnessed during this period. The north
region of India strengthened with time, till Timur from Turkey attacked
India in 1398. He carried as much as valuables as he could and left India
again. After this, the Delhi Sultanate was never that strong and soon lost
their grip of the land to Mughals.
Mughal Era ( 16 th Century )
Babar, the great grandson of Timur came to India in 1526 . He fought and
defeated Ibrahim Lodhi, the last ruler of the Delhi Sultanate in the first
battle of Panipat and laid the roots of the Mughal Empire. However it was
Akbar, his grandson who contributed to a superlative degree in the
glorification of the empire. He initiated Din - i - Ilahi, which was an
attempt to blend Islam with Hinduism, Christianity, Jainism and other
Vijaynagar Empire( 1336- 1646 )
The Hindu Vijaynagar Empire founded by Harihara, also known as Hakka,
lasted for more than two centuries as the dominant power in South India.
Urbanisation and monetization of economy were the significant developments
of the period that brought all the peninsular kingdoms into highly
competitive political and military activities in the race for supremacy.
Great part of Vijaynagar Empire's history is obscure but its power and
wealth are attested by more than one European traveller.
The quest for wealth and power brought the Europeans to Indian shores . The
Portuguese, French Dutch, Danish and British started arriving in India in
the early 1600s. All of them held territories in India and got more and more
involved with the Indian Politics by making friends and enemies among the
Indian rulers. However it was the British who managed to control most of
India by their intelligence and made it one of their colonies for about 200
Fruit of Independence
The spirit of Indian nationalism was intensified with the growing
dissatisfaction and discontent with the British rule due to the racial
arrogance of the rulers. The economic exploitation both of the landlords and
tenants, destruction of the old and famous royal dynasties such as those of
Peshwas, Bhonsle, Avadh, Jhansi, Punjab and Satara, closure of Indian
industries and forced land increase in the land revenues were some of the
causes that led to the Revolt of 1857 also called as the Sepoy Mutiny. After
a tough long struggle of the masses of India, guided by great national
leaders, India managed to gain the fruit of independence on 15 th August
1947. In the years since independence India has achieved outstanding
progress in many fields and has coped with several problems.