When I decided to write an article on Indian history, I wondered for a while, how can one write an article in a page or two about the history of humans for over 5000 years, about the land where all human pasts are still alive, about the story of India, the Incredible India! India is the only land on the earth where the unbroken chain of human history is there. So , I decided to split the article in to 4 parts, pre-literature, literature, pre-modern and modern histories of India. The first part, Pre-literature, history doesn’t mean that the history of India when there were no written languages but it is the period where we had very little clues about the development of civilization. This part mainly includes the Harappan civilization, which I covered earlier.(http://www.knowindia.yolasite.com/ancient-history/indus-valley-civilization-an-untold-story)
Im starting this article with the literature period, for which we have enough evidences to conclude what, had happened in that period. After the collapse of mysterious Harappan civilization, the next historical evidence for the human civilization can be found around 1000 BC. The literature period was majorly dominated by most influential thinkers like Lord Gauthama Buddha and others. This was the period of light for not only India but also to the world with some other influential thinkers lived in Greece and China. You can read a complete article on Gauthama Buddha here,. (http://www.knowindia.yolasite.com/ancient-history/siddhartha-gautama-lord-buddha-)
After the Demise of Lord Buddha, the next major event in the Indian history was linked to the history of the contemporary world, at that time. A series of events had taken place in rest of the world that had changed the face of India and the world. Around the time of Buddha demise, a Persian empire invaded the Greece, because of which they had come to east to seek revenge. Wars always act as the catalyst for the change. Buddha’s ideologies were transferred to the world with the great war of human history between the Persian Empire and Alexander the great. Alexander, in the journey to conquer the world, had travelled over the mountains and the rivers to reach India, at last. We didn’t had any great king to defend ourselves, against Alexander. Though the Indian kings had fought with him to the last soldier, we didn’t have the victory. however, his wish to conquer entire Indian sub-continent never fulfilled. Greatest emperor of Indian history, Chandra Gupta Maurya, was a child when alexander came to India. Later he formed the greatest kingdom that India has ever seen with over 50,00,000 sq.kms area. This is one of the greatest empire that world has seen stretched from deep south of India to the Himalayas and from Assam to the Afghanistan. He renounced his empire to attain moksha, starved himself to death in the caves of Sravan Belogola.
The successor of the Chandra Gupta is the most famous king of Indian history, Asoka the cruel. There is a reason behind why I called him ‘the cruel’, he constructed a separate city to torture people, called ‘hell on earth’. Of course, as you know, he had hit on the most dangerous idea in history, Non-violence, after the war with Kalingas.
Coming to commerce in ancient India, we had the ancient Roman empire as the trading partner. South India, particularly Kerala, had helped very much in trading with rare spices that were only available in India. The foreigners had visited India to get the spices and silks, if you want, you can watch Urimi movie which was based on the war against Vasco da gama. We were so rich to ask anything from the romans or from any other foreigners against the spices we offered to them, apart from wine and gold. Who wouldn’t want to stay in the land of prosperity and richness, that is why many religions and many tribes came into Indian culture. South Indian land was/is so fertile to give three harvests a year. Capital of South India was City of Madurai. Tamil is the only living ancient language in the world, in other words, it is the oldest surviving language.
In the deserts of central asia, another civilization has developed, trading with those nations had changed the face of India. In the meantime, a great empire has risen whose origins is still a mystery, the Kushan Empire. Kushans opened the silk route to India, the route in which the silks has traded. One more major contribution that Kushans made was the spreading Buddhism to China and Tibet. Of course, they opted Buddhism. Actually, the Kushan empire was limited to North India. In parallel with the Kushan Empire in north, one great empire has risen in the south, The Cholas. The greatest literature and the technological advancements in the history of India had developed in that period only. Let us discuss about the way India had guided world in that period in the following article, Pre-modern history.
In : ancient history
Tags: mauryan kingdom ancient buddha kalinga ashoka history india great persian alexander kanishka
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