Introduction: There are three main phases of the Indian history: Pre-historic and Ancient era, the Medieval era, and the Modern era.
Prehistoric and Ancient Era (Prehistoric era up to 1187 CE)
Fossil records show that India was inhabited as early as the Middle Pleistocene period. The Soan Valley River contains some of the early archeological sites. The Neo-lithic era followed the Mesolithic era.
The Indus Valley civilization is regarded as a cradle of civilization and also South Asia’s first civilization. The Indus Valley Civilization took place in the Indus river. The original inhabitants of the Indus River Valley migrated to the south of the present country of India around 2500 BC.
The Harrappan made a major contribution to handicraft as well as metallurgy. They were mainly traders of agricultural products, but climatic changes made the trade unsustainable and led to the collapse of the civilization.
In the second millennium BC, the influence of the Aryan Tribe begin to rise. This period was referred to as the iron age civilization. It was an era in which Vedas, the most ancient scriptures associated Hinduism, were composed. The caste system, a type of social stratification, also emerged during this time. The Vedic civilization was basically a blend of Aryan and Indus Valley civilizations.
The following are the empires that dominated Ancient India: Achaemenid empire, Maurya empire, Satavahana empire, Sunga Dynasty, Saka Kingdom, Kushan empire, The Gupta empire, Rashtrakuta dynasty, Gurjara Pratiharas, Chola empire, Kakatiya dynasty, and Chauhan dynasty.
Note: Some experts suggest that the Medieval period of Indian history began at 800 CE. In that scenario, the Rashtrakuta dynasty, Chola empire , Kakatiya empire, and Chauhan dynasty would be empires of Medieval India.
Medieval Period ( c. 1206 – 1858 CE)
The term medieval India is a term that is used to refer to the post-classical period of the country. This period is defined by clans from central Asia entering the Indian soil. It entails the following dynasties: Delhi Sultanate, Vijayanagar empire, Mughal empire, Maratha empire and The Sikh empire.
The Mughals worked with the leaders of existing kingdoms, allowing each to rule their kingdom while pledging loyalty and taxes to the empire as a whole. Emperor Mohammed Akbar is considered the most successful of all Mughal emperors.
During the reign of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, India witnessed the rise of Maratha empire. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was the founder of Maratha empire in India. The Marathas played an important role in shaping India’s history during the period 1674 to 1818. The gained control over a large portion of the Indian sub-continent. The emergence of the Marathas is considered an important factor the decline of Mughal empire in India.
Hindu, Sikh, and Muslim empires and dynasties also grew during this period, fueled mainly by military technology.
Modern era (After 1850)
The mid 1800’s saw the start of India’s colonization by the British empire. Large parts of the Indian sub-continent were taken control of by the British East India Company towards the end of the 18th century up to the mid-19th century.
The first significant event that characterized modern India was the Indian rebellion (1857). Notably, the Hindu Renaissance was composed of distinguished people of India who contributed to scholarship and philosophy.
The dissatisfaction with the British rule led to the clamor for independence led by the Indian National Congress under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. Ultimately, India was granted independence in 1947. After gaining independence from the British in 1947, the existing provinces were divided into the territories of India and Pakistan.
The history of India is characterized by features of various ruling dynasties as well as constant and stubborn invasion by the foreigners. Since Independence, India officially adopted its own constitution on 26th January, 1950 (Republic Day). At present, the country’s economic as well as social changes are not dependent on any foreign power.
- History of India: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_India
- Medieval India: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_India
- Delhi Sultanate: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delhi_Sultanate
- Mughal Empire: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mughal_Empire
- Maratha Empire: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maratha_Empire
- British Raj: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Raj
- Indian Independence Movement: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_independence_movement