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History of India

  • Date Submitted: 04/28/2010 06:05 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 36.3 
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The history of India begins with evidence of human activity of Homo sapiens as long as 75,000 years ago (Tamil Nadu) and hominids (Homo Erectus) from about 500,000 years ago. The Indus Valley Civilization, which spread and flourished in the north-western part of the Indian subcontinent from c. 3300 to 1300 BCE, was the first major civilization in India. A sophisticated and technologically advanced urban culture developed in the Mature Harappan period, from 2600 to 1900 BCE. This Bronze Age civilization collapsed at the beginning of the second millennium BCE and was followed by the Iron Age Vedic Civilization, which extended over much of the Indo-Gangetic plains   and which witnessed the rise of major polities known as the Mahajanapadas. In one kingdom, Magadha, Mahavira   and Gautama Buddha were born in the 6th or 5th century BCE, who propagated their Shramanic philosophies.

Almost all of the subcontinent was conquered by the Maurya Empire during the 4th and 3rd centuries BCE. It subsequently became fragmented, with various parts ruled by numerous Middle kingdoms for the next 1,500 years. This is known as the classical period of India, during which India is estimated to have had the largest economy of the ancient and medieval world, controlling between one third and one fourth of the world's wealth up to the 18th century.

Much of Northern and Central India was once again united in the 4th century CE, and remained so for two centuries thereafter, under the Gupta Empire. This period, of Hindu religious and intellectual resurgence, is known among its admirers as the "Golden Age of India." During the same time, and for several centuries afterwards, Southern India, under the rule of the Chalukyas, Cholas, Pallavas and Pandyas, experienced its own golden age. During this period aspects of Indian civilization, administration, culture, and religion (Hinduism and Buddhism) spread to much of Asia.

The southern state of Kerala had maritime business links with the Roman...

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