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Published by: api-3805118 on Oct 18, 2008
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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. The
study of Ancient India begins with the study of the Stone Age.
1.Stone Age
The Stone Age or the stages of early man can be classified into
Paleolithic Age\u2013 This period was essentially the stage of hunters and food gatherers. They

used 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 Paleolithic Age, the flint industry came up. The important development of this age was the emergence of Homo-Sapiens.

Mesolithic Age\u2013 This age was the transition between the Paleolithic & the Neolithic Ages.
Mesolithic people lived on hunting, fishing & food gathering. At a later stage, they domesticated
animals. They used microlith - a small raw-stone tool.
Neolithic Age - These people used tools & implements of polished stone. They particularly used stone

axes. 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 were domesticated.

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 to Ahmednagar in the South, and covered various regions of Gujarat. The main sites which have been found in the excavation are:

\u2022 Kalibangan in Rajasthan
\u2022 Lothal in Gujarat
\u2022 Banwali in Haryana and

\u2022 Ropar in Punjab.

The Indus Valley Civilization existed between2350 BC and 1750 BC. The main cities associated with the civilization wereHarappa, Mohenjo-Daro and Lothal. The main feature of this civilization was Town Planning. They had great buildings, well-planned roads, cities and drainage systems. Trade and agriculture were the main sources of livelihood for the people. People of the Indus 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 Asia around the Caspian Sea and probably came through the Hindukush Mountains. The period in which they existed was between1500-600 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 in1000 BC.
The following religious books were written during this period
i) Vedas:These were their most sacred books.
(These are also the oldest known books of Indus Valley Civilization). They were four in
number, viz. :
a) Rig Veda
\u2013 The oldest, and it contained prayers of God, Vayu, Varun, Indra and Agni.
b)Sam Veda
\u2013 It dealt with music.
c)Yajur Veda
\u2013 It dealt with formulae, sacrifices and rituals.
d)Atharva Veda
\u2013 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:
i) Buddhism - Initiated by a Kshatriya prince of the Shakya clan, Siddhartha, (who later came to

be known asBuddha) around 6th century BC. Siddhartha was born in 567 BC atLumbini in Kapilavastu (present day Nepal). He was the son of king Shuddhodhana. He went in search of truth and attained enlightenment under a pipal tree atBodh Gaya, and delivered his first sermons at Sarnath in U.P. He died at Kushinagar in U.P.

The main Buddhist teachings of the eight\u2013fold 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.

ii) Jainism - Initiated by Rishabha (a Kshatriya prince), Jainism attained peak under Vardhamana

Mahavira (the 24th Tirthankara). Mahavira was born at Kundagrama in 540 BC at Bihar, and attained perfect knowledge \u2018Kaivalya\u2019 after he became an ascetic at the age of 30. He became a \u2018Jina\u2019 (one who has conquered happiness and misery) and died at Pavapuri (present day Bihar).

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