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India History


- India’s earliest human presence dates back to the Stone Age (400.000 – 200.000 BC.) by semi-nomadic hunters and gatherers.

- In 2500 BC, the first settlement appeared as the Indus Valley Civilization.

- The Vedic Age (1500 – 600 BC) started with the coming of Aryan tribe. This period laid the foundations of Hinduism.

- By the end of the Vedic period, Aryan tribe split into small kingdoms, like the Majanhanapadas established on North India.

- In 320 BC, on the South, Mauryan Empire showed up and lasted until 184 BC. This period was referred as the ancient Golden Age of India with the progress in art, philosophy. Science, mathematics and astronomy.

- After the collapse of Mauryan Empire, invasions from North India started. First invaders were Bactrian Greeks, followed by Shakas from Aral sea, Parthians from Iran, Kushans, Guptas, Rajputs etc. Despite the collapse of Mauryan Empire and the invasions of different kingdoms, India continued living its wealthy days. Merchants started trading overlands. The trading route passed through India and this was the old Silk Road, the most important trading road of the time which connected China to Mediterranean and the Central Asia.

- The Delhi Sultanate period started in 1206. A Muslim Mamluk invader Muhammad of Ghor had fought with Rajputs and after his assassination in 1206, his Turkish General Qutb-ud-Aiback ruled Mohammad’s Indian territories. Until 1526, several Turk and Afghan dynasties ruled the land until India’s most famous dynasty; the Mughals defeated the Ibrahim Lodi in 1526

- With the Mughal period under the rule of Akbar, India started its progress in economy, culture and religion. Mughals, with love of architecture, built the most impressive buildings and monuments which one can see today in India, mostly chosen as the world heritages by UNESCO such as the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri.

- Jahangir and Shah Jahan were other famous emperors of Mughals, who expanded the borders. However there was a major treat to Mughals from Marathas, a military power from central India. Shah Jahan resisted to the Marathas, while his sons Dara Shikoh and Aurangzeb fought for throne. Aurangzeb was the winner, who reigned until 1707. Aurangzeb’s son Bahad Shah reigned until 1712 until his death, and this started the end of the Mughal Empire.

- From the 16th century, India’s trading potential attracted the European interest, and Portuguese, Dutch, English, French and Danish companies started to settle in India. East India Company was created by British. During the conflicts in India, European countries established colonies in the country. By 1856, an important part of India was controlled by East India Company.

- In 1857, India’s first independence war showed up by rebelling military units and kingdoms, but it was a failure and after the uprising India totally was under the control of British Crown. The British India was no longer a trade operation, but an independent kingdom called Raj.

- In late 1800s, between the middle class, an Indian national identity movement was fired and with the force of the public, Indian National Congress was created in 1885.

- In 1906, All-India Muslim League was founded to present the Muslims of the country.

- In the 20th century, with the help of the Indian National Congress, a nationwide struggle for Independence started. An England-educated lawyer, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi who is known as the Mahatma or the Great Soul became the leader of the independence movement. He was against violation; he was a humanist supporting ‘truth’, ‘nonviolence’ and ‘faith’. He started with organizing people for daily strikes. The movement was mercilessly crushed by the government, many people died and got wounded.

- On 15 August 1947, India gained its Independence and was no longer under the British rule.


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