HomeIndian history and culture is full of richness and affluence, which undoubtedly has had a significant impact on the evolution of the current society. Home to the Indus Valley civilization and a region of historic trade routes and vast empires, the Indian history is identified with its commercial and cultural wealth over the past thousands of years. Four major world religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism originated here, while Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Islam and Christianity arrived in the first millennium AD and mingled into the region's diverse culture. India became a modern nation-state in 1947 after a struggle for independence that was marked by widespread nonviolent resistance. The history of India can be divided into four major segments, the ancient era, the medieval era, the modern era and the post-independence era.
The hallmark of Indian history dates back to the stone age with paintings at the Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka in Madhya Pradesh. These paintings symbolise the earliest known traces of human life in India. The first known permanent settlements appeared over 9,000 years ago and gradually developed into the Indus Valley Civilization, dating back to 3300 BCE in western India. It was followed by the Vedic Civilization, which laid the foundations of Hinduism and other cultural aspects of early Indian society. From around 550 BCE, many independent kingdoms and republics known as the Mahajanapadas were established across the country.
The empire built by the Maurya dynasty under Emperor Ashoka united most of South Asia in the third century BCE. From 180 BCE, a series of invasions from Central Asia followed, including those led by the Indo-Greeks, Indo-Scythians, Indo-Parthians and Kushans in the north-western Indian subcontinent. From the third century CE, the Gupta dynasty oversaw the period referred to as "The Golden Age" of Indian history. Among the notable South Indian empires were the Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas, Hoysalas, Pallavas, Pandyas, and Cholas. Science, engineering, art, literature, astronomy, and philosophy flourished under the patronage of these kings. Paintings at the Ajanta Caves in Aurangabad, Maharashtra were made in the 6th century.
A number of invasions from Central Asia between the tenth and twelfth centuries is an important landmark in history of India, as much of north India came under the rule of the Delhi Sultanate, and later the Mughal dynasty. Mughal emperors gradually expanded their kingdoms to cover large parts of the subcontinent. Nevertheless, several indigenous kingdoms, such as the Vijayanagara Empire, flourished, especially in the south. In the seventeenth and eighteenth century, the Mughal supremacy declined and the Maratha Empire became the dominant power. From the sixteenth century, several European countries, including Portugal, Netherlands, France, and the United Kingdom, started arriving as traders and later took advantage of the fractious nature of relations between the kingdoms to establish colonies in the country.
The first half of the twentieth century is an important period in the history of India, as a nationwide struggle for independence was launched by the Indian National Congress and other political organizations. Led by Mahatma Gandhi, and displaying commitment to ahimsa, or non-violence, millions of protesters engaged in mass campaigns of civil disobedience. Finally, on 15 August 1947, India gained independence from British rule, but was partitioned, in accordance with the wishes of the Muslim League, along the lines of religion to create the Islamic nation-state of Pakistan. Three years later, on 26 January 1950, India became a republic and a new constitution came into effect. Unfortunately, Indian history since independence has been marked by poverty, corruption, and intermittent periods of chaos.
The history of India is a mingle between the East and the West. India has always been an invader's paradise, while at the same time its natural isolation and magnetic religions allowed it to adapt to and absorb many of the peoples who penetrated its mountain passes. No matter how many Persians, Greeks, Chinese nomads, Arabs, Portuguese, Britishers and other raiders had their way into this great country, many of them merged into the society giving rise to a country full of diversity in terms of culture, religion, language and architecture.
Partition of India
Religions in India
Arrival of Non-Indo Religions
|Assamese||A language of Assam that's spoken by nearly 60 percent of the State's population.|
|Bengali||An official language of West Bengal, now spoken by nearly 200 million people in West Bengal and in Bangladesh.|
|Dogri||Jammu and Kashmir|
|Gujarati||It is the official language of Gujarat. 70 percent of the State's population speak Gujrathi but it the most spread language not only in India but also abroad.|
|Hindi||The official language of India, accent and dialect differs with different regions but almost every Indian has a working knowledge of Hindi. It is written in a Devanagiri script.|
|Kannada||A language of Karnataka and is spoken by 65 percent of the state's population. It belongs to the Dravidian family.|
|Kashmiri||Though the language is mistaken as a state language of Kashmir only 55 per cent of the state's population speak Kashmiri.|
|Konkani||Goa, Karnataka, Maharashtra|
|Malayalam||The state language of Kerala. It is the youngest of all developed languages in the Dravidian family.|
|Marathi||An official language of Maharashtra. It has a fully developed literature of the modern type.|
|Nepali||Sikkim, West Bengal|
|Oriya||A branch of the Indo-Aryan family, is the official language of the State of Orissa.|
|Punjabi||The official language of the State of Punjab. It is written in Gurmukhi script, created by the Sikh Guru, Angad.|
|Sanskrit||The classical language of India that has lost it's value in the modern world. It is also one of the oldest languages in the world- perhaps the oldest to be recorded. All the ancient scripts are found to be written in the same language.|
|Santhali||Santhal tribals of the Chota Nagpur Plateau (comprising the states of Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa)|
|Sindhi||Is spoken by a great number of people in the Northwest frontier of the Indian sub-continent comprising parts of India and Pakistan.|
|Tamil||The State language of Tamil Nadu. Tamil literature goes back to Centuries before the Christian era and is spoken by more than 73 million people. It belongs to the Dravidian language family.|
|Telugu||A language of Andhra Pradesh. It is numerically the biggest linguistic unit in India.|
|Urdu||The state language of Jammu and Kashmir and is spoken by more than 28 million people in India. Urdu and Hindi have proceeded from the same source. Urdu is written in the Persio - Arabic script and contains many words from the Persian language.|
Science and Mathematics in India