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.zip for more information). If you have any questions, 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 the Himalaya Mountain range – which is today the tallest in the world and the largest area of permanent snow and ice outside the North and South poles. 2 million BCE – potential oldest human/humanoid habitation in India 90,000 to 40,000 BCE – stone-age tools of pre-historic man (“caveman”) found in India 50,000 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 ancient Sapta-Saindhvah Civilization; Sarasvati-Sindhu Civilization [which is often incorrectly referred to as the “Indus Valley” civilization] ). 8000 to 5000 BCE – earliest evidence for horses (wild and domesticated) in India 6000 BCE – ancient pottery found in Lahuradeva, UP and Virana [Bhirrana], Haryana [part of SSC; SaptaSaindhvah 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 development 4600 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 date but 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 and correlated 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 8th 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 the Grtsamadas are found to have been devoted to Brahmanaspati (or Brhaspati) as their family deity, the Vamadevas to the Rbhus, the Atris to the Maruts, the Bharadvajas to Pusan and the Vasisthas to Mitra and Varuna.

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 12 years during the astronomical alignment of the Sun, Moon and Jupiter. This religious gathering is the largest congregation 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 (see RV 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 two burial sites from Nagwada and the very early radio carbon date of 3698 B.C. from Loteshwar. These sites and the 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 ancient Drishadvati river, a tributary of the Saraswati river, happens to be the largest Harappan site measuring 230 hectares (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 priests who believed the Devas should be preeminent won and stayed in India whereas the followers of Asuras lost and were forced west into Persia). 3325 BCE – timeframe of Emperor Bharata (Dauhsanti). The Rigveda, the Aitareya Brahmana, the Satapatha Brahmana, the Mahabharata and the Purana all sing his eulogies. He was a pious king, a great conquerer, a magnificient sacrificer and a man of high principles. Bharata won his victories on the Sarasvati (Aitareya Brahmana 8.23) as well as on the Ganga and the Yamuna (Satapatha Brahmana 13.5.4.11). The Arya territory (Aryavarta) was renamed after him and became known as Bharatavarsha (Bharata Nation); see RV 3.53.12. 2950 BCE – timeframe of Rama Jamadagnya (“Parashu-Rama”). He was son of the famous Rishi Jamadagni and 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 by a confederacy of over 10 kings and tribal chieftans against the Puru-Bharata King Sudas. The war lasted a few 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 Vindhya Mountain range.

Chronology of India’s History (Contd.) 2650 BCE – timeframe of Ikshvaku King Bhagiratha; became famous for expanding his kingdom in the Ganga River 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 2000 BCE 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 by beating 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 (24,000 verses 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 and only 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 instead into 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 texts contain descriptions - Jaiminya Upanisad Brahmana (4.26.12) and the associated Srauta-sutras say that Sarasvati 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 supposedly 32+ generations of the Brhadratha Dynasty that ruled Magadha. Roughly 10 generations before the Mahabharat 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 located 38 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 sides which resulted in all India getting involved – essentially a civil war. Vrihadvala, a descendant of Rama (by 29 generations), fought and was killed in this war. Krshna has been claimed to have as many as eight wives, but two 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 the Yadavas belonging to Krishna's tribe spent their days in unrestrained self-indulgence and luxury. Krishna's clan 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 became so 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, DIRECT control 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. Some archaeological 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 and was the precursor of Mahavira centuries later.

Chronology of India’s History (Contd.) 800 BCE – Takshashila University thrives. 800 BCE – Pradyota Dynasty begins. King Pradyota ascends the throne of Avanti ending the Brhadratha Dynasty and commencing the Pradyota Dynasty of Magadha. 750 BCE – timeframe of Grammarian Panini. Panini created roughly 4,000 rules (exactly 3,995 aphorisms in his Ashtadhyayi) of Sanskrit grammar that he evolved. Rules that are so scientific and logical in manner that they closely resemble structures used by computer scientists throughout the world. Panini lived BEFORE the Buddha since Panini mentions Janapadas at his time existing in a state that we know they were in before Buddha. 675 BCE – start of the Shishunaga Dynasty. The Pradyota dynasty ruled for 138 years, and then it was taken over by Shishunaga dynasty. The fifth king of Shishunaga dynasty was Bimbsara. It is a well known historical fact that Gautama Buddha was propagating his religion during the reigning period of King Bimbsara. 575 BCE – Mahavira (Great Hero), 24th Tirthankara and revered founder of historical Jainism. His parents (Siddhartha and Trisala) were followers of Parsvanatha. His teachings stress strict codes of vegetarianism, asceticism and nonviolence. When he was thirty years old, Vardhamana renounced the household and became a Nigantha (mendicant). After twelve years of severe ascetism, at the age of forty-two, he attained kevala-jnana (omniscience) and became a Jina (Tirthankara). He lived to age 72. 550 BCE - Siddhartha Gotama, the "Buddha" founder of Bauddha Dharma. He was a member of the Shakya clan (Ikshvaku branch) from Lumbini, in what is now at the India/Nepal border and attained enlightenment at age 35. He is known to have studied with two teachers, Alara Kamala and Udraka Ramaputra, who probably taught him a form of Yoga. He was fond of meditation and very skilled in it. He was an old man when Mahavira died. Buddha died during the 8th year of the reign of King Ajatashatru. 500 BCE – first council of Buddhism set up. 425 BCE – second council of Buddhism. About one hundred years after the Buddha's passing away, the Second Council was held to discuss some Vinaya rules. The meeting(s) may have been held in Vaisali and in Pataliputra (Patna). At this Council, the Sangha (order) split. 350 BCE – Jaina Council of Pataliputra where Jaina Dharma split into two groups, Digambaras (nude followers) and Shvetambaras (followers dressed in white). 326 BCE - Alexander the Great of Macedon invades NW India and is stopped by Raja Puru (“Porus”). 325 BCE – Chandragupta Maurya. After a period of over 100 years where there was a lack of leadership, Chandragupta Maurya subjugated the Punjab region and then the Magadha Empire of the Nandas with the help of Arya Chaanakya in 317 B.C. Chandragupta Maurya defeats Greek garrisons of Seleucus, founder of Seleucan Empire in Persia and Syria. Pataliputra, at the confluence of the Ganga and Soan rivers, was a city 9 miles long along the banks of the Ganga, with 64 gates on wooden walls and 570 towers. 275 BCE – Emperor Asoka ruled one of the largest empires in world history. Repudiating conquest through violence after his brutal invasion of Kalinga (modern Orissa), 260 B.C. (where over 100,000 men were killed), Ashokavardhana converts to Buddhism. Excels at public works and sends diplomatic peace missions to Persia, Syria, Egypt, North Africa and Crete, and Buddhist missions to Sri Lanka, China and other Southeast Asian countries. Under his influence, Buddhism becomes a world power. His teachings are preserved in Rock and Pillar Edicts (e.g., lion capital of the pillar at Sarnath, present-day India's national emblem). 250 BCE – Third Council of Buddhism. During the reign of Emperor Asoka in the 3rd Century BCE, the Third Council was held to discuss the differences of opinion among the bhikkhus of different sects. After the Third Council, King Asoka sent missionaries to Sri Lanka, Kanara, Karnataka, Kashmir, Himalaya region, Burma, even nowadays Afghanistan. These teachings later became known as the "Pali-canon".

Chronology of India’s History (Contd.) 100 BCE – timeframe of the poet Kalidasa (the “Shakespeare of India”). Sanskrit poet and dramatist, author of Shakuntala and Meghaduta. 50 BCE – King Vikramaditya. Vikramaditya regained his ancestral kingdom in Ujjain by expelling the Sakas from there after 9 years of their rule (66-57 BCE). In order to commemorate his victory over them, he introduced a new era called Vikram Samvat (or Malawa Samvat) in 57 BCE. 50 CE – Kushan Dynasty. 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. They came to Central Asia and then spread to Bactria, Paritha and Afghanistan. Gradually they were divided into five branches. One of these branches -- Kouel Chougang (Kushans) -- was superior to all. The Kushans under Kujala attacked the Parithans, took possessions of Ki-pin and Kabul and became the complete master of the Indian borderland. 125 CE – Fourth Council of Buddhism. The Fourth Buddhist Council was held under the auspices of King Kaniska at Jalandhar or in Kashmir around 100 CE. 200 CE – Hindu Kingdoms established in Cambodia (Kambhoja) and Malaysia. 250 CE – Gupta Dynasty. Most of northern India is united under the Gupta dynasty. It is the golden age of literature, art and science. The Hindu temple emerges as India’s classic architectural form, and the decimal system is invented. 625 CE – Emperor Harsha. Buddhist Harshavardhana ("Isvaragupta"), reigning 606-647, establishes first great kingdom after the Hephtalite invasions, eventually ruling all India to the Narmada River in the South. 725 CE – Arabs invade Sind. The conquest of Sind in 711-12 by Muhammad ibn al-Qasim. Raja Dahir Sen, the last Hindu Sindhi King died on the battlefield. Arabs learn Indian astronomy, numerical system and decimal system. The Arabs pass this knowledge to the west. 750 CE – Pala Kings of Bengal. c 500-1300: A number of rival powers control southern and central India. Among them are the Cholas, Pandyas, Cheras, Chalukyas and Pallavas. They were all great builders of temples. Some of these include Mahabalipuram, Nadras and Kailash temple in Ellora (built by the Rastrakutas). 800 CE: Adi Shankara (788-820) A.K.A. Adi Shankaracharya (the great Hindu crusader), was born in Malabar (in village Kalati in Kerala to Shivguru and Ayamba - a Namboadri Brahmin family), he was attracted to contemplation and Vedantic studies from early age. He became a famous monk philosopher of Smarta tradition who writes mystic poems and scriptural commentaries including Viveka Chudamani, and regularizes ten monastic orders called Dashanami. Preaches Mayavada Advaita, emphasizing the world as illusion and God as the sole Reality. He established 4 Monasteries which are still famous. 997-1027: Afghan raiders repeatedly attack northern India. 1206: The Turk Qutub-ud-din becomes the first Sultan of Delhi following the conquest of the Gangetic plain. The Delhi Sultanate will dominate northern India for 200 years. Built Kutub Minar- 240 feet high tower in Delhi. 1398: Mongols from central Asia led by Timur (Tamerlane) mount a devastating raid on Delhi. 1490: Guru Nanak founds the Sikh religion (Shishya Dharma) – originally a reformist Hindu sect which later became a martial force to counter the growing Mughal Islamic power in Northern India. 1498: The Portuguese navigator Vasco de Gama finds a sea route to Kerala, India. With the capture of Goa in 1510, the Portuguese open a century long monopoly of European trade with India.

Chronology of India’s History (Contd.) 1526: Babar, from Kabul, Afghanistan, defeats the Sultan of Delhi and establishes Moghul rule in northern India. The Mughals were originally from Mongolia and gradually adopted Islam. 1556-1605: Emperor Akbar, the third Mughal emperor, extends his territory from the Arabian Sea to the Bay of Bengal. He creates a central administration manned by both Muslim and Hindus. Akbar’s policy of tolerance fosters a new golden age of Indian culture, this time influenced by Persian motifs. He sponsors a new religion, a mix of Hinduism and Islam, called Deen-i-Ilahi. (The religion does not last very long). Maharana Pratap of Mewar is the only Hindu king to successfully resist Akbar. 1600: Queen Elizabeth I of England grants a charter to the East India Company, which proceeds to establish trading posts in Surat (1612), Madras (1640), Bombay (1668) and Calcutta (1690). 1632-1653: Shah Jahan, the fifth Moghul emperor, builds the Taj Mahal in memory of his wife Mumtaz. He also buit the Red Fort in Delhi. 1674: A French trading post is set up in Pondycherry, south of Madras. 1680: (Chhatrapati) Shivaji Bhonsle, a Hindu leader of Maharashtra, dies after a life time of war with Moghuls. The Maratha kingdom he founded in Western India is a dominant power. 1707: Aurangzeb, sixth and the last of the great Moghul emperors, dies. Though he extended the realms, his religious zealotry has divided and weakened his empire. 1751: Robert Clive, a young British clerk-turned-soldier, leads 210 men to victory over French force at Arcot near Madras. The battle chokes French political ambitions in India. 1757: The Nawab of Bengal, theoretically beholden to the Moghul emperors, attacks and occupies Calcutta. Clive retakes Calcutta and defeats the Nawab at the end of the battle of Plassey, giving the British an effective control of Bihar, Orissa and Bengal. 1758: The Maratha kingdom reaches its zenith. 1761: Afghan leader Ahmed Shah Abdali defeats the Marathas at Panipat, ending their ambitions in northern India and creatin g a power vacuum into which the British will step. 1774: Warren Hastings, Bengal’s first Governor General, lays the foundation of British civil administration. 1813-1849: The East India Company acquires control of Maratha territory and is acknowledged as suzerain in Rajasthan. With the annexation of Assam, Sind, Kashmir and Punjab, the East India Company brings all of India under its control. 1853: The first Indian railroad opens to speed cotton to Bombay for shipping to the mills in England. 1857: The Indian mutiny begins among native soldiers and spreads to others. It is crushed after 14 bitter months. Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi fights valiantly and dies to save Jhansi from British takeover. 1858: The government of India is transferred from East India Company to the British Crown. 1877: Queen Victoria is proclaimed Empress of India. 1885: The Indian National Congress holds its inaugural meeting. Bal Gangadhar Tilak slogan “Swaraj is our birth right and we will have it” awakens Indians’ patriotism. 1911: The British build a whole new city of New Delhi. India’s capital is moved from Calcutta to New Delhi. 1913: The Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore becomes the first non-white to win a Nobel Prize for literature.

Chronology of India’s History (Contd.) 1914: Gujarat-born Mohandas Gandhi returns to India after 21 years in South Africa, where he successfully fought unfair laws applying to people of Indian origin. 1919: After political disturbances, British troops fire into a large crowd of Indians, killing over 400 at Jalianwalla Baag under General Dyer’s command. 1920: Gandhi becomes head of Congress and launches a campaign for social and political equality using the weapons of non-cooperation. 1930: Salt Satyagraha – Gandhi leads Dandi March, is jailed soon after. 1935: The Government of India Act enfranchises one sixth of the population and makes the provinces autonomous from the central government. Congress and Muslim League form ministries in several provinces. 1941: Subhash Chandra Bose wins and resigns as president of Congress. He is imprisoned and escapes to Germany. Joins and leads the Indian National Army in S.E. Asia (1943). Killed in a plane crash (1945). 1942: As Japanese forces sweep through Burma and threaten India, Gandhi and Congress launch anti-British “Quit India” movement. Gandhi and Congress leaders are imprisoned. 1947: After negotiating with Gandhi and other Indian leaders, Viceroy Louis Mountbatten grants India independence as a dominion within the British Commonwealth. On August 15, India becomes an independent nation. As a part of this arrangement, India is partitioned and Pakistan becomes a separate Muslim nation. The partition results in a violent struggle and hundreds of thousands die in the civil strife. Jawaharlal Nehru becomes the first Prime Minister of India. First war between India and Pakistan takes place over Kashmir. 1948: Mahatma Gandhi is assassinated by a Hindu extremist in Delhi. The princely states are integrated into India. 1950: On January 26, Republic of India is inaugurated. Rajendra Prasad becomes the first president. Nehru defines India’s foreign policy as non-alignment with the superpowers and peaceful coexistence with its neighbors. 1952: First general elections take place. Congress government comes to power 1956: The states are reorganized on a linguistic basis. 1962: War takes place with China over border disputes. 1964: Lal Bahadur Shastri becomes Prime Minister after Nehru’s death. 1965: War takes place with Pakistan over Kashmir. Ceasefire is declared. 1966: Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri dies at Indo-Pak summit at Tashkent. Indira Gandhi, Nehru’s daughter, comes to power. 1971: India and Pakistan wage another war over India’s support for autonomy in Pakistan’s eastern province. Eastern Pakistan becomes Bangladesh. 1972: Simla agreement is signed between Indira Gandhi and Pakistan Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. 1974: India becomes the world's sixth nuclear power, explodes nuclear device in Pokhran, Rajasthan.

Chronology of India’s History (Contd.) 1975: Indira Gandhi is found guilty by court of electoral malpractice. President declares state of emergency due to "internal disturbance threat". Democracy is suspended for 19 months. 1977: Emergency ends in sixth General elections. Janata Party, the first non-Congress party comes to power. Morarji Desai becomes the Prime Minister. 1980: Indira Gandhi returns to power. 1984: Indira Gandhi is assassinated by her Sikh bodyguard (as revenge for the Indian government’s attack on the Sikh Holy Temple in Amritsar). Her son Rajiv Gandhi becomes Prime Minister. In Bhopal, Union Carbide gas leak kills over 2,200. 1989: Rajiv Gandhi's Congress is defeated in ninth general elections and a minority government led by Janata Dal's V.P Singh comes to power. 1991: V.P Singh's government falls. Rajiv Gandhi is assassinated by Sri Lankan Tamil suicide bomber. Tenth general elections sees Congress government return to power with P.V. Narasimha Rao as Prime Minister. Manmohan Singh initiates significant economic reforms. 1992: A Hindu mob demolishes the Babri Masjid (Babur’s mosque; actually a disputed structure at that time and a non-functional site) at Ayodhya, and sparks off Hindu-Muslim riots in several cities across the country. Dozens of Hindu temples are destroyed by Muslim mobs the following day in Pakistan and Bangladesh. 1996: Narsimha Rao’s Congress Party is defeated. H.D. Gowda followed by I.K. Gujral; both were Prime Ministers for short times. 1997: Congress withdraws support to coalition government. Deve Gowda resigns, I.K. Gujral becomes India's 12th Prime Minister. 1998: BJP forms a coalition government, and A.B. Vajpayee becomes Prime Minister. India completes Nuclear Testing successfully and incurs surprise and economic reprisals from the U.S. (and echo nuclear tests from Pakistan). 1999: Pakistan surprise attacks India at high mountain passes of Kargil. India wins after taking some losses. The Pakistani general who organized this war would later take over that country by force to become its president – Pervez Musharaf. 2001: Indian Parliament is attacked by terrorists sponsored by Pakistan. U.S. changes relationship with India, Pakistan and many other nations after the 9-11 attacks on the U.S. by Islamic terrorists. 2003: Bus service from Delhi to Lahore is resumed as a good faith move between India and Pakistan. Vajpayee visits China to achieve improved relations between the two countries. 2004: BJP loses the election and Congress forms a Coalition government with Manmohan Singh as P.M. and Sonia Gandhi (an ethnic Italian) at the head of the Congress Party. 2004: Tsunami generated in Indonesia causes widespread damage and many deaths throughout Asia including the southern shores of India. Over 300,000 people were killed in Asia. 2005/2006: Indian economy continues to accelerate as China’s economy starts to cool off. India currently has foreign exchange reserves of $175 Billion and growing. 2040: India overtakes China as the most populous nation on Earth with 1.45 Billion people (against China’s 1.41 Billion at that time).

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