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India History

India History



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Published by him_changu

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Published by: him_changu on Feb 03, 2010
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In this chapter, you will learn concepts w.r.t.:
Ancient India
Medieval India
Modern India
Chapter 1
History of India
Temple of Learning
History is a record of time. Ages have come and brought with them their foundations and ruins. Thestudy of Ancient India begins with the study of the Stone Age.
Stone Age
The Stone Age or the stages of early man can be classified into
Paleolithic Age
 – This period was essentially the stage of hunters and food gatherers. Theyused crude tools made of flakes. They had no knowledge of cultivation and house building.Goat, sheep & other cattle were used. They lived on roots & fruits. By the end of the PaleolithicAge, the flint industry came up. The important development of this age was the emergence of Homo-Sapiens.
Mesolithic Age
 – This age was the transition between the Paleolithic & the Neolithic Ages.Mesolithic people lived on hunting, fishing & food gathering. At a later stage, they domesticatedanimals. They used microlith - a small raw-stone tool.
Neolithic Age
- These people used tools & implements of polished stone. They particularly used stoneaxes. Parashurama became an important axe-wielding hero. Dwelling pits, ceramics, a variety of stone& bone tools & a complete absence of microliths marked this age. Cattle, sheep & goat weredomesticated.
2.Indus Valley Civilization
The most important event of ancient Indian history was the development of Indus Valley Civilization.This Civilization prospered on the Banks of river Indus. It extended from Jammu in the North toAhmednagar in the South, and covered various regions of Gujarat. The main sites which have been found in the excavation are:Kalibangan in RajasthanLothal in GujaratBanwali in Haryana andRopar in Punjab.The Indus Valley Civilization existed between
2350 BC and 1750 BC.
The main cities associatedwith the civilization were
Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro and Lothal
. The main feature of thiscivilization was Town Planning. They had great buildings, well-planned roads, cities and drainagesystems. Trade and agriculture were the main sources of livelihood for the people. People of theIndus Valley were the first to produce cotton. Mother Goddess was the most important deity of worship.
Temple of Learning
3.Vedic Period
This period is marked by the entry of the Aryans, who were originally inhabitants of Central Asiaaround the Caspian Sea and probably came through the Hindukush Mountains. The period inwhich they existed was between
1500-600 BC.The Main Features of the Aryans were:
i)They were admirers of nature and worshipped the Sun, Fire and Water.ii)Indra was an important deity for the Aryans.iii)Metal iron was used for the first time during this period in
1000 BC.
The following religious books were written during this period
These were their most sacred books.(These are also the oldest known books of Indus Valley Civilization). They were four innumber, viz. :a)
Rig Veda
 –The oldest, and it contained prayers of God, Vayu, Varun, Indra and Agni. b)
Sam Veda
 It dealt with music.c)
Yajur Veda
 –It dealt with formulae, sacrifices and rituals.d)
Atharva Veda
 It dealt with medicines.
ii)The Upanishads:
They are the foundation stones of Indian Philosophy and are 108 in number.
4.Rise of Religions
The two major religions that came into prominence after the vedic period:
- Initiated by a Kshatriya prince of the Shakya clan, Siddhartha, (who later came to be known as
) around 6th century BC. Siddhartha was born in 567 BC at
inKapilavastu (present day Nepal). He was the son of king Shuddhodhana. He went in search of truth and attained enlightenment under a pipal tree at
Bodh Gaya
, and delivered his first sermonsat Sarnath in U.P. He died at Kushinagar in U.P.The main Buddhist teachings of the eight–fold path of right faith, thought, action, livelihood, efforts,speech, remembrance and concentration, belief in nirvana (freedom from the cycle of birth and death),ahimsa and law of karma were recorded in Triptikas, the religious book of Buddhists.
- Initiated by Rishabha (a Kshatriya prince), Jainism attained peak under VardhamanaMahavira (the 24th Tirthankara). Mahavira was born at Kundagrama in 540 BC at Bihar, andattained perfect knowledge ‘Kaivalya’ after he became an ascetic at the age of 30. He became a‘Jina’ (one who has conquered happiness and misery) and died at Pavapuri (present day Bihar).

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