Remnants of civilization in the greater Bengal region date back three millennia. The civilization that flourished in this region before the Aryan conquest was the Alpine civilization. The Alpines (Eastern Bracycephalic) from Taklamakan Desert in Central Asia settled in eastern India (Bengal, Orissa and the plains of Assam) and formed the main elements of today's Bengali people. The Alpines were divided into various indigenous tribes: Vanga (south Bengal), Pundra (north Bengal), and Rarh/Suhma (West Bengal) according to their respective Totems.
Mahasthangarh the oldest archaeological site of Bangladesh (dates back to 700 BCE) was the ancient capital of the Pundra kingdom

the Alpines successfully resisted the Vedic Aryan invaders for about a millennium. . It was only in the 4th century BCE when Aryanism started to flow into this region with the Mauryan conquest. Some deprecatory references indicate that the primitive people in Bengal were different in ethnicity and culture from the Vedic beyond the boundary of Aryandom and who were classed as 'Dasyus'. However.THE ALPINE CIVILIZATION Not much is known about this civilization. The Bhagavata Purana classes them as sinful people while Dharmasutra of Bodhayana prescribes expiatory rites after a journey among the Pundras and Vangas.

migrated from Bengal to South India and established their own kingdoms there. Andhra and Karnataka people are also said to be connected with the Bengalis. Madras and the Indonesian archipelago. A few Naga worshipping peoples -. Chera. The Chera. a Vanga prince.OVERSEAS COLONIZATION According to Mahavamsa. conquered Lanka (modern day Sri Lanka) in 544 BC and gave the name "Sinhala" to the country. Vijaya Singha. Pangalathirayar -.Marana. a Naga warrior migrated from bôn-lang (Bengal) to Anam (Vietnam) conquered the land (7th century BCE) and renamed it according to the name of his motherland (bonlang). The kings of Lac Long's line were known as bôns (Bongs) and they ruled Anam up to the 3rd century BCE. Tamil. Lac Long Quan. . Bengali people also colonized Laat (Gujarat).

200. was convinced that it was better to return. Coenus. 2.000 chariots and 4. after the meeting with his officer. with the invasion of Alexander the Great the region again came to prominence.000 infantry. Alexander.000 horses. . Gangaridai according to the Greek accounts kept on flourishing at least up to the 1st century AD.000 elephants trained and equipped for war. The allied forces of Gangaridai and Prasii (Nanda Empire) were preparing a massive counter attack against the forces of Alexander on the banks of Ganges.GANGARIDAI EMPIRE In 326 BCE. Diodorus Siculus mentions Gangaridai to be the largest and the most powerful empire in India whose king possessed an army of 20. The Greek and Latin historians suggested that Alexander the Great withdrew from India anticipating the valiant counter attack of the mighty Gangaridai and Prasioi empires that were located in the Bengal region.