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Earliest historical evidence from Mehargarh (north-west Indian sub-continent) shows beginning of civilization in India at around 6500 B.C.

It is the earliest and largest urban site of the period in the world. Two important cities were discovered: Harappa on the Ravi river, and Mohenjodaro on the Indus during excavations in 1920. The remains of these two cities were part of a large civilization and well developed ancient civilization, which is now called by historians as 'Indus Valley Civilization', or 'Saraswati Civilization'. Indus Valley civilizations covering approx 1/2 million miles of Northern Indian subcontinent is the largest ancient civilization in history till now. Since both stone and copper are used it is a chalcolithicivil. Harappa Civilisation - Architecture Great Bath: Mohenjo Daro has a sophisticated system of water supply & drainage and its brickwork, is highly functional and the amazing part of it is - that it is completely waterproof. The granaries are also intelligently constructed, with strategic airducts and platform are divided into units. Mehrgarh, Harappa, Mohenjodaro, Kalibangan and Lothal are peripheral cities of the great Sarasvati civilization with more than 500 sites along its banks awaiting excavation. Rig Veda The Rig-Veda is a collection of over 1,000 hymns, which contain the mythology of the Hindu gods, and is considered to be one of the foundations of the Hindu religion. While the Rig is the oldest of the Vedas, there are three other Vedas. There is the Sama Veda, which is the "knowledge of chants" or a number of basic hymns recited at sacrifices. There is also the Yajur Veda or "knowledge of rites" which serve basically as a "how to make sacrifices" book. The final Veda is the Athara Veda, this Veda represents the knowledge given by Athara who was a sage. These Vedas were passed on oral. Vardhamma Mahavira was not the founder of Jainism, but he reformed and refined previous teachings of the Jaina tradition. Mahavira became the 24th Tirthankara or "fordmaker" of the Jain or Jaina Religion. Mahavira taught that the center of right conduct was the five great vows of which he preached until his death. Four were from the previous teacher Parshva, and the fifth was his own. The vows were (asteya) to not take anyone's private possessions, (satya) to always tell the truth, (aparigraha) to not own any property, (ahimsa) to not injure or annoy any living thing, and (brahmacarya) to have complete celibacy. Mahavira's quest, for himself and others, was to finally reach nirvana or salvation. Nirvana is the attainment of the blissful state of one's self and of total freedom from the cycle of birth, death, life, pain, and misery. Not only did Mahavira attain nirvana but he also attained kevala. Kevala is the absolute knowledge and is the highest awareness. Gautama Buddha Sidhartha was born (c. 563 BC; Kapilavastu, Nepal) into the Gautama family of the Shakaya clan. He taught as the Buddha or "Shakyamuni" (sage of the shakaya"). He also established a community of monks called sanga. Around 500 BC, when the Persian kings Cyrus and Darius, pushing their empire eastward, conquered the ever-prized Indus Valley. The Persians were in turn conquered by the Greeks under Alexander the Great, who came as far as the Beas River, where he defeated king Porus and an army of 200 elephants in 326 BC. The tireless, charismatic conqueror wanted to extend his empire even further eastward, but his own troops (undoubtedly 1

exhausted) refused to continue. Alexander returned home, leaving behind garrisons to keep the trade routes open. Chandragupta, with the help Chanakya (Kautilya), who is also known as the Indian Machiavelli, destroyed the Nanda rulers of Magadha and established the Mauryan empire. After ruling for about twenty five years, Chandragupta left his throne to his son Bindusara and became a Jain ascetic. Bindusara preferred the Ajivika philosophy rather than Jainism. Ashoka, the most trusted son of Bindusara and the grandson of Chandragupta Maurya, was a brave soldier. He was the most famous of the Mauryan kings and was one of the greatest rulers of India. To his ideas he gave the name Dharma. Ashoka died in 232 BC. The capital of Ashoka pillar at Sarnath is adopted by India as its national emblem. The "Dharma Chakra" on the Ashoka Pillar adorns our National Flag.

Sungas Dynasty The last ruler of the Mauryan dynasty was Brithadratha. He was killed by his own commander-in-chief Pushyamitra Sunga in 185 BC. With the fall of Mauryas, India lost its political unity. Pushyamitra Sunga became the ruler of the Magadha and neighbouring territories. Pushyamitra died after ruling for 36 years (187-151 BC). He was succeeded by son Agnimitra. This prince is the hero of a famous drama by India's greatest playwright, Kalidasa. Kanva Dynasty (75BC - 30BC) The last ruler of the Sunga dynasty was overthrown by Vasudeva of the Kanva dynasty in 75 BC. The Satvahana Dynasty After the decline of the Mauryan empire the Satvahanas established their kingdom in the Deccan. They were also known as Andhras. They first rose to power in present Maharashtra on the banks of the Godavari. The founder of the Satvahanas was Simuka. But the man who raised it to eminence was Satakarni I. AD 80-104: Reign of Gautamiputra Gautamiputra Satakarni was the famous king during the Satvahana dynasty. He defeated the Sakas (Scythians), Yavanas (Greeks) and Pahlavas (Parithans). His son, Vasishtiputra, ruled at Paithan on the banks of Godavari. Kings succeeding Gautamiputra lost many of their territories. But the power of Satvahanas revived under Sri Yajna Satakarni, who was the last great king. After him, the empire began to decline. The Satvahana empire was divided into provinces called aharas, each under an amatya or minister. Many Buddhist chaityas (prayer halls) and viharas (monasteries) were carved out of solid rocks. The most famous chaitya is at Karle, in Maharashtra. The Satvahanas used Pratik, a form of Sanskrit, for their inscription and books. AD 50: Establishment of Kushans The Kushans were a branch of the nomadic Yeuhchi tribe of China. The Yeuhchi tribe was in conflict with another tribe and so was forced to leave China. The Kushans under Kujala attacked the Parithans, took possessions of Ki-pin and Kabul and became the complete master of the Indian borderland. 2

Kujala became the first king of the Kushans and was known as Kadphises I. He was a great warrior. He was succeeded by his son Wima Kadphises known as Kadphises II. He conquered the north-western region of India. He defeated Saka Satraps in the north-west. Punjab and Sind were his dominions. AD 120: Reign of Kanishka Kanishka was the most famous of the Kushan kings. He annexed three provinces of the Chinese empire, namely, Tashkand, Khotan and Yarkhand. He was the only king who ruled over these territories. He had two capitals at Purushpura (Peshawar now in Pakistan) and at Mathura in west Uttar Pradesh. Successors of Kanishka Kanishka's immediate successor was Vashiska who was then succeeded by Huvishka. Mathura became the centre of Kushans. Many monuments were erected during Huvishka's reign. The last great king of Kushans was Vasudev I. The Kushans were overthrown by the Sassanians of Persia in the north-west and the Guptas in the north. The rule of Kushans ended almost at the same time as that of the Satavahans in the south. Kanishka's court was adorned by many scholars like Ashvaghosha, Vasumitra, Nagarjuna and Charaka. Ashvaghosha was a great poet and a master of music. He wrote Buddhacharita, a biography of the Buddha. Charak was a great physician and he wrote a book Charak Samhita, which is based on the Ayurvedic system of medicine. The Kushanas were patrons of Gandharan art, a synthesis between Greek and Indian styles, and Sanskrit literature. They initiated a new era called Shaka in A.D. 78, and their calendar, which was formally recognized by India for civil purposes starting on March 22, 1957, is still in use.

Reign of Chandragupta I (AD 320-335) The first famous king of the Gupta dynasty was Ghatokacha's son Chandragupta I. He married Kumaradevi, the daughter of the chief of the Lichhavis. This marriage was a turning point to Chandragupta I. He got Patliputra in dowry from the Lichhavis. From Patliputra, he laid the foundation of his empire and started conquering many neighbouring states with the help of the Lichhavis. Chandragupta I also got the title of Maharajadhiraja (King of Kings) and ruled for about fifteen years. An important act of Chandragupta I was the holding of an assembly of councillors and members of the royal family at which Prince Samudragupta was formally nominated as the successor of the Gupta empire. Samudragupta's Conquest Samudragupta was the son of Chandragupta I. Samudragupta is considered as one of the greatest rulers in Indian history. He is also compared to Alexander or Napoleon as a conqueror. He performed Ashwamedha Yajna (horse sacrifice) after defeating nine kings in the north and twelve kings in the south to underline the importance of his conquest of almost the whole of India. He also assumed the title of Maharajadhiraja (King of Kings) and Chakravartin (Universal Monarch). Empire of Chandragupta II [AD 380-413] Chandragupta succeeded his father Samudragupta. He got the title of Vikramaditya (son of power), so he is also known as Chandragupta Vikramaditya. Land revenue was the main 3

source of income of the state and was normally one-sixth of the produce of the land. The account of administration of Chandragupta's reign is known from the Chinese pilgrim Fa Hein who came to India during that period. Reign of Kumaragupta [AD 415-455] Chandragupta II (Vikramaditya) was succeeded by his son Kumaragupta. The Gupta empire was threatened by the invasions of Pushyamitras. The Pushyamitras were a tribe of foreigners who were settled in Central India. However, Kumaragupta was successful in defeating the invaders and performed Ashvamedha Yajna (horse sacrifice) to celebrate his victory. Skandagupta becomes the King Kumaragupta died in AD 455 and was succeeded by his son Skandagupta. During his reign, the invasions of the Huns became more frequent. Kumaragupta is known to have been ruling in AD 473-474, Buddhagupta from AD 476-495, Vainyagupta in AD 508 and Bhanugupta in AD 510-511. Harsha Vardhana : Prabhakar Vardhana, the ruler of Thanesar, who belonged to the Pushabhukti family, extended his control over all other feudatories. Prabhakar Vardhan was the first king of the Vardhan dynasty with his capital at Thanesar now a small town in the vicinity of Kurukshetra in the state of Haryana. After the death of Prabahakar Vardhan in 606 A.D., his eldest son, RajyaVardhan, became king of Kananuj. Harsha ascended the throne at the age of 16 after his brother Rajya Vardhana was killed in a battle against Malwa King Devigupta and Gauda King Sasanka.. Harsha, quickly re-established an Indian empire. From 606-647 AD, he ruled over an empire in northern India. Harsha was perhaps one of the greatest conquerors of Indian history, and unlike all of his conquering predecessors, he was a brilliant administrator. In many ways, the period during and following the Gupta dynasty was the period of "Greater India," a period of cultural activity in India and surrounding countries building off of the base of Indian culture. The history of the Kingdom of Kanauj after the death of Harshavardhana can be said to have been uncertain till the year 730 AD, when Yashovarman is said to have ruled till 752 AD. This was followed by the Ayudha dynasty which comprised three kings. The first was Yajrayudha who is said to have ruled in about 770 AD. After Ayudhs, Prathihara King Nagabhatta II annexed Kannauj.

Pala and Sena: 730-1197 A.D. The Pala empire was founded in 730 AD. They ruled over parts of Bengal and Bihar. Dharmapala (780-812 AD) was one of the greatest kings of the Pala dynasty. He did much to restore the greatness of Pataliputra. The Nalanda university was revived under their rule. In the early twelfth century, they were replaced by the Sena dynasty. In early 13th century, Tughan Khan defeated the Sena king, Laxman. After this defeat the Nalanda University was destroyed. 4

Pratiharas 750-920 AD The greatest ruler of the Pratihara dynasty was Mihir Bhoja. He recovered Kanauj (Kanyakubja) by 836, and it remained the capital of the Pratiharas for almost a century. He built the city Bhojpal (Bhopal). Raja Bhoja and other valiant Gujara kings, faced and defeated many attacks of the Arabs from west. Between 915-918AD, attack by a Rashtrakuta king, to the weakening of the Pratihara Empire and also who devastated the city of Kannauj. In 1018 AD, Mahmud of Gazni sacked Kannauj then ruled by Rajyapala Pratihara. The empire broke into independent Rajput states. Rashtrakutas 753-973 A.D. Dantidurga laid the foundation of Rashtrakuta empire. The Rashtrakuta's empire was the most powerful of the time. They ruled from Lattaluru (Latur), and later shifted the capital to Manyaketa (Malkhed). Amoghavarsha (814-880 A.D) is the most famous Rashtrakuta kings. Indra III, greatgrandson of Amoghvarsha defeated the Pratihar king Mahipala. Krishana III was the last great king of Rashtrakuta dynasty. Krishana I, built the Kailasa Temple at Ellora. The caves at Gharapuri (Elephanta near Mumbai) were also built by this dynasty. The South Indian Rulers During the Kushana Dynasty, an indigenous power, the Satavahana Kingdom (first century B.C.-third century A.D), rose in the Deccan in southern India. The Satavahana, or Andhra, Kingdom was considerably influenced by the Mauryan political model, although power was decentralized in the hands of local chieftains, who used the symbols of Vedic religion and upheld the varnashramadharma. Further south were three ancient Tamil kingdoms- Chera (on the west), Chola (on the east), and Pandya (in the south)--frequently involved in internecine warfare to gain regional supremacy. Peninsular India was involved in an eighth-century tripartite power struggle among the Chalukyas (556-757) of Vatapi, the Pallavas (300-888) of Kanchipuram, and the Pandyas (seventh through the tenth centuries) of Madurai. Their subordinates, the Rashtrakutas, who ruled from 753 - 973 AD, overthrew the Chalukya rulers. The Satvahana Dynasty Pallava dynasty: They established a capital at Kanchipuram (Tamil Nadu state) and came to hold sway in the south. They were defeated by the Guptas in about 360 AD but continued to rule until the Cholas finally conquered their lands. The dynasty was at its peak under MahendraVarman I (600-630 AD), when architecture flourished, notably in temples such as Mahabalipuram. Pandya (around 200s B.C to 1378 AD): They were the longest ruling dynasty of Indian history. They ruled the southern most part of India and the capital of the Pandya kings was Madurai (Tamil Nadu). First Indian Ambassador from Pandya Dynasty is sent to Rome. After forces from the Delhi sultanate invaded Madurai in 1311, the Pandyas declined into merely local rulers. 850: The Chalukyas gained Importance

After Satvahan, the next great empire in the Deccan was the Chalukya empire. The Chalukyas were sworn enemies of the Pallavas and rose to power in Karnataka. The first great ruler of the Chalukya dynasty was Pulakesin I. The kingdom was further extended by his sons Kirtivarman and Mangalesa by waging many successful wars against the neighbours including Mauryans of the Konkans. 608-642: Reign of Pulakesin II Pulakesin II was the son of Kirtivarman. He was the the greatest ruler of the Chalukya dynasty. His greatest achievement was his victory in the defensive war against Harshvardhan in 620. In 641, the Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsang, visited the kingdom and said that the king was served by his nobles with perfect loyalty. Pulakesin was defeated and killed by the Pallav king Narasimhavarman in 642. His capital Vatapi was completely destroyed. End of Chalukya Dynasty Pulakestin was succeeded by his son Vikramaditya who was also as great a ruler as his father. Even his great grandson Vikramaditya II was also a great warrior. He actually entered the Pallava capital. In 753, Vikramaditya and his son were overthrown by a chief named Dantidurga who laid the foundation of the next great empire of Karnataka and Maharashtra, that of Rashtrakutas. 850: The Cholas gained Importance The territory south, of rivers Krishna and Tungabhadra extending upto Cape Comorin is known as South India or Carnatic region. South India was divided into three kingdoms namely the Cholas, the Chera and the Pandyas of which Cholas was the most famous kingdom. The Chola dynasty rose to prominence when in 850 their ruler Vijayalaya defeated the Pallavas and snatched Tanjore from them. Then Tanjore became the capital of the Chola kingdom. In the ninth century Aditya Chola and Parantaka I were the successors of Vijayalaya. 985-1018: Reign of Rajaraja I The most important ruler of Chola was Rajaraja I. He was one of the greatest kings of the South India and was known as "Rajaraja the Great". Rajaraja I and his able son Rajendra, conquered nearly the whole of the present Madras Presidency. He was not only an able administrator but also a great builder. He built a magnificent temple at Tanjore and which is named as Rajarajeshwar after his name. 1018-1048: Reign of Rajendra Chola Rajendra Chola was also a able ruler like his father. He even went upto Bengal. He was victorious upto the banks of Ganges. He assumed the title of "Gangaikonda" (the victor of Ganges). On his way he built up a new capital called Gangaikondacholapuram. His greatest achievement was the conquest of Andaman and Nicobar islands. During his reign the kingdom was called the "Golden Age of Cholas." Yadavas of Devagiri : Their capital was situated at Chandor (Nasik district). They built the Deogiri fort in 11th century. Marathi language received the status of a court language in Yadava rule. The Yadava king Singhana was great patron of learning Sant Dnyaneshwar belonged to this age. In 1294, Alla-ud-din Khilji laid four sieges to Deogiri. Kakatiyas of Warangal : 6

Telgu language and literature flourished under Kakatiyas. They also built many forts . The last king Prataprudra defeated Allaudin Khilji when he was first attacked in 1303. In 1310, after another war, he agreed to pay heavy tributes to Malik Kafur (Alladin's general.) In 1321 Ghias-ud-din Tughlaq marched with a large army, and took Prataprudra as a prisoner to Delhi. Prataprudra died on the way to Delhi. Hoysalas of Belur-Halebid : King Sala was the founder of Hoysala dynasty. Hoysalas built as many as 1500 temples. The style of their architecture became famous as the Hoysala style. Most famous are the temples of Belur and Halebid with intricate carvings. Allaudin Khilji, defeated this kingdom between 1308-1312.