Sunday, 4 December 2011


Ancient India
The Indus Valley Civilization existed in between 3000-1500 BC while the earlier Kot Diji cultures, of the pre-Indus period, existed in the period of approximately 3300-2800 BC. Harappa and the city of Mohenjo-Daro were the greatest achievements of the Indus valley civilization. These cities are well known for their impressive, organized and regular layout.

Then came Aryans who composed these evocative hymns to nature and celebrated life exuberantly referred to themselves as Aryas usually anglicised as Aryan meaning 'noble'. The 6th Century B.C. was the period of Magadh Kingdom. Chandragupta Maurya ousted the oppressive ruler of Magadh to find his own dynasty that existed from 322 - 298 B.C.

The most famous Maurya King Ashoka the Great ruled from 273 - 232 B.C over a large kingdom stretching from Kashmir and Peshawar in the North and Northwest to Mysore in the South and Orissa in the East. He after witnessing the carnage at the battle field of Kalinga (269 B.C.) in Orissa, dedicated himself to Dharmma ( righteousness ).

In the subsequent centuries, after the Ashoka empire disintegrated, India suffered a series of invasions, and often fell under the spell of foreign rulers - Indo Bactrians, the Sakas and others. After the next 400 years of instability the Guptas established their kingdom.

Kalidas, the famous Sanskrit poet and dramatist, author of Abhijnana Shankuntalam, Kumarsambhavam and Meghadutam is believed to have adorned the Gupta court. Also the great mathematicians like Aryabhatta and astronomers like Varahmihir lived during this period. The dazzling wall paintings of the Ajanta caves too are traced back to this era.

Cholas, Pandayas and Pallavas ruled over the southern part of India during the medieval period of Indias history. Cholas ruled the territory of Deccan (today the districts of Thanjavur and Tiruchirapally) while the Pandyas reined around present day Tirunelvelli and Madurai.

Pallavas of Kanchi rose to prominence in the 4th Century A.D. and ruled unchallenged for about four hundred years. The Nayanar and Alvar saint poets belong to this period. The gemlike shore temples at Mahabalipuram date to this period. The Cholas overthrew the Pallavas were in the 9th Century and regained political primacy in south India. The 15th Century saw the decline of the Pandyas.

   HISTORY INDIA : India's History : Timeline of India

  3000 - 2600 BC - Harappa Civilisation
  1200 - 500 BC - Vedic Era

  550 BC - Birth of Mahavira

  563 - 483 BC - Sidhartha Gautama, the Buddha

  327 BC - The Conquests of Alexander The Great

  325 BC - Alexander The Great, still goes on

  322 BC - Rise of the Mauryas, Chandragupta

  298 BC - Bindusara Coronated

  272 BC - Ashoka's Reign

  180 BC - Fall of the Mauryas & Rise of the Sungas

    30 BC - Rise of the Satvahana Dynasty

    50 AD - The Kushans and Kanishkas

  320 AD - Chandragupta I establishes the Gupta dynasty

  360 AD - Samudragupta conquers the North

  380 AD - Chandragupta II comes to power

  415 AD - Accession of Kumara Gupta I

  467 AD - Skanda Gupta assumes power

  892 AD - Rise of the Eastern Chalukyas

  985 AD - The Chola Dynasty

Medieval India

The Rajput period was an era of chivalry and feudalism. The Rajputs weakened each other by constant fighting. This allowed the foreigners (Turks) to embark on victorious campaigns using duplicity and deceit wherever military strength failed against Rajputs.

Mohammad Ghori defeated Prithviraj Chauhan, the Tomar ruler of Delhi, at the battle of Tarain in 1192 and left the Indian territories in the charge of his deputy, Qutubudin (reign - 1206 - 1210), who had started life as a slave. Khiljis, Tughlaqs, Sayyids and Lodis followed and this period is known as the Sultanate. When the power of the Sultans declined, the outlying provinces once again became important and the process of Hindu Islamic synthesis continued almost without any interruption.

Babur (reign - 1526-30), the founder of the Mughal Empire in India, was the descendant of Timur as well as Changez Khan. Ousted by his cousins, he came to India and defeated Ibrahim, the last Lodi Sultan in 1526 at the First Battle of Panipat. There was a brief interruption to Mughal rule when Babur's son Humayun (reign - 1530-40) was ousted from Delhi, by Sher Shah, an Afghan chieftain.

Sher Shah (reign - 1540-55), assumed power in the imperial capital for a short while. He is remembered as the builder of the Grand Trunk road that spanned the distance from Peshawar to Patna and also one who introduced major reforms in the revenue system, gratefully retained by the Mughals.

It was Babur's grandson Akbar (reign - 1556-1605), who consolidated political power and extended his empire over practically the whole of north India and parts of the south. Jahangir (reign - 1605-27) who succeeded Akbar was a pleasure loving man of refined taste. Shah Jahan (1628-58) his son, ascended the throne next. Shah Jahan's fame rests on the majestic buildings he has left behind - the Taj Mahal, the Red Fort and the Jama Masjid. Aurangzeb (reign - 1658-1707) was the last Mughal ruler.

In western India, Shivaji (1637-80) had forged the Marathas into an efficient military machine and given them a sense of national identity. They adopted guerrilla tactics to maul the Mughals and put a severe drain on their economic resources.

The contenders for political supremacy in the 17th and 18th Centuries included besides the Marathas, the Sikhs in Punjab and Hyder Ali (reign - 1721 - 1782) in Mysore. Tipu Sultan (reign - 1782 - 1799) - Hyder Ali's son and successor allied himself with the French against the British and strove to introduce the latest technical knowledge from Europe.

   HISTORY INDIA : India's History : Timeline of India

  1026 - Ghazni sacks Somnath Temple
  1191 - First Battle of Tarain

  1192 - Second Battle of Tarain

  1206 - Qutbuddin establishes the Slave Dynasty

  1221 - Mongol invasion under Genghis Khan

  1232 - Foundation of the Qutub Minar

  1288 - Marco Polo visits India

  1290 - Jalaludin Firuz Khalji establishes the Khalji dynasty

  1320 - Ghiyasuddin Tughluk founds the Tughluk dynasty

  1325 - Accession of Muhammad-bin-Tughluk

  1336 - Foundation of Vijayanagar (Deccan)

  1398 - Timur invades India

  1424 - Rise of the Bahmani dynasty (Deccan)

  1451 - The Lodi dynasty established in Delhi

  1469 - Birth of Guru Nanak - The Founder of Sikhism

  1489 - Adil Shah dynasty at Bijapur

  1498 - First voyage of Vasco da gama

  1510 - Portuguese capture Goa

  1526 - Establishment of the Mughul Dynasty; First Battle of Panipat

  1526-1530 - Reign of Babur

  1530 - Humayun succeeds Babur

  1539 - Sher Shah Suri defeats Humayan

  1555 - Humayun recovers the throne of Delhi

  1556 - Accession of Akbar

  1565 - Battle of Talikota

  1568 - Fall of Chittor Garh

  1576 - Battle of Haldighati

  1577 - Akbar troops invade Khandesh

  1597 - Akbar completes his conquests

  1600 - Charter to the English East India Company

  1605 - Jahangir

  1609 - The Dutch open a factory at Pulicat

  1615 - Submission of Mewar to the Mughals

  1620 - Capture of Kangra Fort

  1623 - Shah Jahan revolts against Jahangir

  1628 - Shah Jahan proclaimed Emperor

  1636 - Aurangzeb appointed Viceroy of Deccan

  1646 - Shivaji captures Torna

  1658 - Coronation of Aurangzeb

  1666 - Death of Shah Jahan

  1689 - Execution of Sambhaji

  1700 - Death of Rajaram

  1707 - Death of Aurangzeb

  1720 - Accession of Baji Rao Peshwa at Poona

  1742 - Marathas invade Bengal

  1748 - First Anglo-French war

  1750 - War of the Deccan; Death of Nasir Jang

  1756 - Siraj-ud-daulah captures Calcutta

Modern India

Vasco da Gama when landed at Calicut, sailing via the Cape of Good Hope in 1498, marked the beginning of the European era in Indian history. The Portuguese by the 16th Century had already established their colony in Goa.

In the next century, India was visited by a large number of European travellers - Italians, Englishmen, Frenchmen and Dutchmen. They were drawn to India for different reasons. Some were traders, others adventurers, and quite a few fired by the missionary zeal to find converts to Christianity. Eventually England, France, the Netherlands and Denmark, floated East India Companies.

During the late 16th and the 17th Centuries, these companies competed with each other fiercely. By the last quarter of the 18th Century the English had vanquished all others and established themselves as the dominant power in India. The British administered India for a period of about two centuries and brought about revolutionary changes in the social, political and the economic life of the country.

Once the British had consolidated their power, commercial exploitation of the natural resources and native labour became ruthless. By the middle of the 19th Century arrogant exploitation of the people had tried the patience of the Indians to the limit.

The six decades between the end of the "mutinous" war of 1857 - 59 and the conclusion of First World War saw both the peak of British imperial power in India and the birth of nationalist agitation against it. With increasing intrusion of aliens in their lives, a group of middle class Indians formed the Indian National Congress (1885) - a society of English educated affluent professionals - to seek reforms from the British.

The anticolonial struggle became truly a mass movement with the arrival of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869 - 1948) in 1915 who had suffered great humiliation in South Africa due to the policy of racial discrimination and later commited to rid his motherland of the ills of foreign rule.

Successive campaigns had the effect of driving the British out of India in 1947, but with independence came the independence of the country into Pakistan.

   HISTORY INDIA : India's History : Timeline of India

  1757 - Battle of Plassey: The British defeat Siraj-ud-daulah
  1760 - Battle of Wandiwash: The British defeat the French

  1761 - Third battle of Panipat

  1764 - Battle of Buxar: The British defeat Mir Kasim

  1765 - The British get Diwani Rights in Bengal, Bihar and Orissa

  1767 -1769 - First Mysore War

  1772 - Warren Hastings appointed as Governor of Bengal

  1773 - The Regulating Act passed by the British Parliament

  1775 -1782 - The First Anglo-Maratha war

  1780-1784 - Second Mysore War : The British defeat Hyder Ali

  1784 - Pitt's India Act

  1790-1792 - Third Mysore War between the British and Tipu

  1793 - Permanent Settlement of Bengal

  1799 - Fourth Mysore War: The British defeat Tipu

  1802- Treaty of Bassein

  1803-1805 - The Second Anglo-Maratha war

  1814-1816 - The Anglo-Gurkha war

  1817-1818 - The Pindari war

  1824-1826 - The First Burmese war

  1829 - Prohibition of Sati

  1831 - Mysore administration taken over by East India Company

  1833 - Renewal of Company's Charter

  1833 - Abolition of Slavery throughout the British Empire

  1838 - Tripartite treaty between Shah Shuja, Ranjit Singh and the British

  1839-1842 - First Afghan war

  1843 - Gwalior war

  1845-1846 - First Anglo-Sikh war

  1848 - Lord Dalhousie becomes the Governor-General

  1848-1849 - Second Anglo-Sikh war

  1852 - Second Anglo-Burmese war

  1853 - Railway & Telegraph line introduced

  1857 - First War of Indian Independence: The Sepoy Mutiny

  1857 - Zanshichi Rani Laxmibai - Freedom struggle in 1857

  1858 - British Crown takes over the Indian Government

  1877 - The Queen of England proclaimed Empress of India

  1878 - Vernacular Press Act

  1881 - Factory Act

  1885 - First meeting of the Indian National Congress

  1897 - Plague in Bombay; Famine Commission

  1899 - Lord Curzon becomes Governor-General and Viceroy

  1905 - The First Partition of Bengal

  1906 - Formation of Muslim League

  1911 - Partition of Bengal modified to create the Presidency of Bengal

  1912 - The Imperial capital shifted from Calcutta to Delhi

  1913 - Educational Resolution of the Government of India

  1915 - Defence of India Act

  1916 - Home Rule League, Foundation of Women's University at Poona

  1919 - Rowlatt Act evokes protests; Jalianwalla Bagh massacre;

  1920 - The Khilafat Movement started, Non-co-operation Movement

  1921 - Moplah (Muslim) rebellion in Malabar; Census of India

  1922 - Civil Disobedience Movement, Chauri-Chaura violence

  1925 - Reforms Enquiry committee Report

  1927 - Indian Navy Act; Simon Commission Appointed

  1928 - Simon Commission comes to India: Boycott by all parties

  1929 - Lord Irwin promises Dominion Status for India; Trade Union split

  1930 - Salt Satyagraha, First Round Table Conference

  1931 - Second Round Table Conference; Irwin-Gandhi Pact

  1932 - Third Round Table Conference, Poona Pact

  1934 - Civil Disobedience Movement called off; Bihar Earthquake

  1937 - Inauguration of Provincial Autonomy

  1939 - Political deadlock in India as Congress ministries resign

  1942 - Cripps Mission, Quit India Movement, Indian National Army

  1944 - Gandhi-Jinnah Talks break down on Pakistan issue

  1946 - Interim Government formed, Constituent Assembly's first meeting

  1904 - 1947 - History of Indian Flag

  3 June 1947 - Lord Mountbatten's plan for partition of India

  15 Aug 1947 - Partition of India and Independence