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Chronology of Indian History

Chronology of Indian History

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Published by: ABID H on Jun 13, 2011
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A High-Level Chronology of India’s History
By Niraj Mohanka, Indologist (please refer to ‘The Royal Chronology of India’ at:http://www.indiahistoryonline.com/India_Chron.zipfor more information). If you have anyquestions, please feel free to email me at: newdharma2100@yahoo.com.
(Note: BCE = Before Common Era; all dates prior to 700 BCE are approximations)
25 million BCE – the island of India slams into Asia and starts uplifting the bordering land to create theHimalaya Mountain range – which is today the tallest in the world and the largest area of permanent snow andice outside the North and South poles.2 million BCE – potential oldest human/humanoid habitation in India90,000 to 40,000 BCE – stone-age tools of pre-historic man (“caveman”) found in India50,000 to 12,000 BCE – evidence for beginning of farming found in Rajasthan near dried up Sarasvati River valley.13,000 to 8000 BCE – earliest evidence for farming and civilization found in Ganga Valley.8000 to 7000 BCE – earliest layers of city of Mehrgarh (oldest archaeologically attestable city of the ancientSapta-Saindhvah Civilization; Sarasvati-Sindhu Civilization [which is often incorrectly referred to as the “IndusValley” civilization] ).8000 to 5000 BCE – earliest evidence for horses (wild and domesticated) in India6000 BCE – ancient pottery found in Lahuradeva, UP and Virana [Bhirrana], Haryana [part of SSC; Sapta-Saindhvah Civilization] and carbon-dated (C-14).5500 BCE – ancient cities of Mohenjo Daro and Harappa begin.5000 BCE – ancient city Mehrgarh attains a peak population of 20,000.5000 to 4000 BCE – Hakra Phase of SSC [Sapta-Saindhvah Civilization] urban development4600 BCE – excavations in Sumeria show evidence of trade with SSC (India).4500 BCE – potential start of RgVedic composition (concepts however may have existed long before this datebut were not formalized by ruling priests until this time)4100 BCE – a number of Chalcolithic Sites in UP (Sohagaura, Narahan, Lahuradeva, etc.) found.4000 BCE – approximate start of Indian Dynastic list of kings and priests (as documented in the RgVeda andcorrelated against the Puranas - synchronized by the Vedic Anukramanis) starting with Vivasvata.4000 to 3800 BCE – potential timeframe for the earliest major priests of India – (Bhrgu, Angiras, Marici, Atri);these four priests may have been the ancestors of the famous 'Sapta-Rishis' (7 Seers) and Agastya, the 8
Rishi. This list is as follows: Jamadagni (descendant of Bhrgu), Bharadvaja (descendant of Angira), Gotama(descendant of Angira), Kasyapa (descendant of Marici), Vasistha (descendant of Marici), Agastya(descendant of Marici), Atri (descendant of Atri), Visvamitra (descendant of Atri)4000 to 3500 BCE – leading priestly families develop specialization and expertise for specific deities. Thus theGrtsamadas are found to have been devoted to Brahmanaspati (or Brhaspati) as their family deity, theVamadevas to the Rbhus, the Atris to the Maruts, the Bharadvajas to Pusan and the Vasisthas to Mitra andVaruna.
Chronology of India’s History (Contd.)
3900 BCE – possible earliest eclipse documented in the RgVeda.3850 BCE – potential date of two men, Sudyumna and Ikshvaku – who went on to found the Lunar and Solar Royal Dynasties respectively. Both were sons of Manu Vaivasanta, who was the eldest son of Vivasvata.3825 BCE – Pururavas Aila, adopted son of Sudyumna, founds the city of Pra-Yagya or Prayaga in the center of the territory that was the heartland of the Arya (civilized people). This city evolved into a major center of religious pilgrimage and is still the host city for the Maha-Kumbha Mela (Sacred Pitcher Festival) held every 12years during the astronomical alignment of the Sun, Moon and Jupiter. This religious gathering is the largestcongregation of people in the world in one place (30 million+ in 2001).3775 BCE – King Nahusha (great-great grandson of Sudyumna) builds small city of Kashi (Varanasi).Nahusha is the joint author of RgVedic hymn IX.101.3725 BCE – potential war between Kutsa and Turavayana Clans as attested by passages in the RgVeda (seeRV verses: 6.18.13, 1.53.10, 2.14.7, 4.26.1 and 8.53.2).3700 BCE - ancient cities such as Lothal, Kalibangan, Rakhigarhi and smaller cities such as Kunal develop.3700 BCE – early burial sites at Nagwada. Early Harappan (Amri, Kot - Diji and Nal) type pottery from the twoburial sites from Nagwada and the very early radio carbon date of 3698 B.C. from Loteshwar. These sites andthe pottery have shown some migratory links with the site of Garo Biro and Kot-Kori of the lower Sindh(Sonawane et. al. 1994:136).3650 BCE – start of Haihaya Dynasty by King Haihaya who is an early descendant of King Sahasrajit (son of Yadu).3550 BCE – ancient city of Rakhigarhi [part of SSC]; The site of excavation, located in the plains of ancientDrishadvati river, a tributary of the Saraswati river, happens to be the largest Harappan site measuring 230hectares (more than twice the size of either Harappa or Mohenjodaro).3375 BCE – potential timeframe of Ikshvaku King Mandhatr and the Deva/Asura Priestly War (battle over allegiance of Arya priests to Devas or Asuras as who should be at the top of the Vedic Pantheon). The priestswho believed the Devas should be preeminent won and stayed in India whereas the followers of Asuras lostand were forced west into Persia).3325 BCE – timeframe of Emperor Bharata (Dauhsanti). The Rigveda, the Aitareya Brahmana, the SatapathaBrahmana, the Mahabharata and the Purana all sing his eulogies. He was a pious king, a great conquerer, amagnificient sacrificer and a man of high principles. Bharata won his victories on the Sarasvati (AitareyaBrahmana 8.23) as well as on the Ganga and the Yamuna (Satapatha Brahmana The Aryaterritory (Aryavarta) was renamed after him and became known as Bharatavarsha (Bharata Nation); see RV3.53.12.2950 BCE – timeframe of Rama Jamadagnya (“Parashu-Rama”). He was son of the famous Rishi Jamadagniand became famous for wielding a battle-axe (Parasu) and for defeating the Haihaya King Arjun Sahasrabahu.2925 BCE – timeframe of EPIC #1 of India, the Dasharajnya (Vedic War of 10 Kings). This war was fought bya confederacy of over 10 kings and tribal chieftans against the Puru-Bharata King Sudas. The war lasted afew years and major battles in the war were the Parushni River Battle, Yamuna River Battle and Sarayu River Battle. Despite being outnumbered, King Sudas eventually won and was highly eulogized by his priests(Vishvamitra and Vasistha) in the RgVeda (see RV verses: 7.18.8, 7.18.12, 7.18.13, 7.18.33, 7.18.83, 8.74.15,8.74.4).2750 BCE – timeframe of Rishi Agastya; the famous sage who spread Vedic knowledge south of the VindhyaMountain range.
Chronology of India’s History (Contd.)
2650 BCE – timeframe of Ikshvaku King Bhagiratha; became famous for expanding his kingdom in the GangaRiver region and later mythology honored him with “bringing the Ganga River down to Earth”.2600 BCE – the Drshadvati River (a tributary to the Sarasvati River) dries up.2500 BCE – Sarasvati River starts to lose strength due to shifting Indian tectonic plate. From 3000 to 2000BCE it ceases to be a perennial river and becomes seasonal – all while its volume decreases.2175 BCE – timeframe of Ikshvaku King Raghu, grandson of Dilipa II. Raghu expanded the kingdom bybeating the mountain tribal chiefs (Kiratas) all the way up to the slopes of the Himalayas.2100 BCE - timeframe of EPIC #2 of India, the Ramayana (The Late Vedic Legend of Rama). King Rama(Ramacandra Dasharathi) is famous for his noble character and honor. Rama is mentioned at the very end of the RgVeda, but is mentioned in later literature and of course in the immense Valmiki Ramayana (24,000verses of which at least 18,000 may comprise the core original story).1900 BCE – satellite and ground analysis show that the Sarasvati River completely dries up at this time andonly a few pools of water were left in certain locations (thus the name “Saras”). Due to geological forces(earthquakes, etc.), the rivers feeding into the Saraswati (Sutlej and Yamuna) change course and feed insteadinto other rivers such as the Sindhu (Indus). As a result, the Saraswati dries up (during the Brahmanic period,it is mentioned that the Saraswati now runs through a desert - later known as 'Rajasthan'). Later Vedic textscontain descriptions - Jaiminya Upanisad Brahmana (4.26.12) and the associated Srauta-sutras say thatSarasvati disappears in the desert sands at a place called Vinasana (literally disappearance).1625 BCE – beginning of the Brhadratha Dynasty of Magadha by King Brhadratha. There were supposedly32+ generations of the Brhadratha Dynasty that ruled Magadha. Roughly 10 generations before theMahabharat and 22 after till they were defeated by the Haryanka Dynasty.1500 BCE – timeframe of Sage Narada (who taught Sage Vyas Parasharya)1450 BCE – timeframe of King Shantanu of Hastinapura. The archaeological ruins of Hastinapur are located38 kilometers from present-day Meerut in UP.1375 BCE – timeframe of EPIC #3 of India, the Mahabharata (The Post-Vedic Great Civil War of Bharata/India). Krshna Vasudeva led the Paurava Clan to victory over the Kaurava Clan at the battlefield of Kuru-Kshetra (in present-day Haryana). During this war, each dynasty forced other kingdoms to pick sideswhich resulted in all India getting involved – essentially a civil war. Vrihadvala, a descendant of Rama (by 29generations), fought and was killed in this war. Krshna has been claimed to have as many as eight wives, buttwo are more likely as historically valid: Rukmini and Satyabhama. KRISHNA ruled at Dwaraka (Gujarat) for thirty-six years after the Kurukshetra battle was over. The Vrishnis, the Bhopas and other branches of theYadavas belonging to Krishna's tribe spent their days in unrestrained self-indulgence and luxury. Krishna'sclan pursued trade with the Phoenicians. The Satavata Yadavas formed a republican corporation and their Sanghamukhya, or Elder of the Confederacy, was for a long time King Ugrasena. Over time, Krshna becameso popular that he was elected to be the next Sangamukhya - a position he held until his death.1300 BCE – timeframe of Emperor Janmeejaya II. He was the first Indian Emperor to have full, DIRECTcontrol over all of India down to the Ocean (indirect control existed for Emperor Bharata).1200 BCE – Hastinapur is flooded during the reign of King Nichakshu. The entire city had to be moved. Somearchaeological evidence of this flood exists.1000 BCE – the Vedangas (“limbs of the Vedas”) scriptures may have been composed at this time.875 BCE – potential timeframe of Tirthankara Parshvanath who created a new order (Samgha) of monks andwas the precursor of Mahavira centuries later.

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