The article also gives dates and major events from the pre-historic period to 5th Century A.D.s
India has a rich historical legacy. This mystical country has seen the earliest civilizations and has preserved evidence of the same till today. Many cultures came and left behind their impact on Indian history. India was invaded many times by foreign rulers and has preserved their cultural heritage too. One finds a cultural and historical mish-mash of various ethnicities and religions in India co-existing very harmoniously and beautifully.
The ancient history of India is as old as the country itself. The ancient civilizations that were cradled in the rich lands of India laid a strong foundation for the present day cities. The civilizations started off with a crude and unrefined form of governance and lifestyle. With the arrival of big kingdoms, the administration became organized and many new developments took place.
Different important events slowly shaped up the country of India as we know it now. The rich historical legacy of ancient India is covered here in the form of a timeline. This Indian timeline presents the ancient history in a summarized version.
The Indian timeline takes us on a journey of the history of the subcontinent. This period begins from the ancient India which included Bangladesh and Pakistan, to the free and divided India.
The following timeline consists of dates which are approximate and conjectural, obtained through research in the fields of anthropology, archaeology, genetics, geology, or linguistics and are subject to revision due to new discoveries or improved calculations.
During this pre-historic period, a number of artifacts dating back to as much as 500,000 years have been found like for instance the Rock Paintings, Cave Life as well as the Cave Art.
Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka (9000 BC to 7000 BC)
The earliest records of the Indian history exist in the form of the Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka. These shelters are situated on the southern edge of the central Indian plateau, in the foothills of the Vindhyan Mountains. There are five groups of rock shelters, each of them adorned with paintings that are believed to date from the Mesolithic Period right through to the historical period.
Mehrgarh Culture (7000 BC to 3300 BC)
Mehrgarh is one of the most significant sites belonging to the Neolithic Age. At the same time, it is one of the oldest sites that indicate the introduction of the concept of farming and herding.
Situated on the Kachi plain of Baluchistan (Pakistan), it lies to the west of the Indus River valley. The site of Mehrgarh, spread over an area of 495-acre, was discovered in the year 1974.
2000 BC to 1000 BC
In this time period, the following developments took place:
1. The Harappa and Mohenjodaro Communities formed as well as prospered between 2500 and 1550 BC.
2. During this time, the Dravidian traditions were also established in the South
1000 BC – 600 BC
This time period saw:
1. The Aryans migrating to the Indian subcontinent
2. The composition of the Vedas
3. The composition of Indian epic Mahabharata
4. The expansion as well as propagation of Hinduism
5. The establishment of the caste system
600 BC – 400 BC
the time of 600 to 400 BC recorded the following developments:
1. The birth, enlightenment, and popularity of Gautama Buddha (563 to 483 BC)
2. The birth, enlightenment, and popularity of Lord Mahavira (599 BC)
3. Rule of Bimbisara of Magadha (542 to 490 BC)
4. The rise of Jainism
400 BC – 0 BC
In this time period, history witnessed:
1. Invasion of India by the Great Alexander (326 BC)
2. Rule of Chandra Gupta Maurya (300 BC)
3. Establishment of the Indian Empire
4. Rule Emperor Ashoka (272 BC)
5. Spread of Buddhism
6. The rise of the Mauryan Empire
0 BC – 1200 A.D
The final stage of Ancient India saw the following events:
1. Construction of Khajuraho Temples
2. Reign of Hoysala Dynasty
3. Construction of Belur and Halebid temples
4. Rule of the Gupta Empire (320 to 647 AD)
5. Reign by the Pallavas of Kanchi (300 to 888 AD)
6. Coming of Chinese Traveler, Fa-Hien to India (400 AD)
7. Coming of Chinese Traveler, Hiuen-Tsiang to India (630 AD)
8. Invasion of Somnath Temple by Mahmud Ghazni (1026 AD)