history of India consist of a span of about 3500 years.
Indian culture can be understood in three different co-ordinates,
that is; time, space, and people.
Time: It starts from 3000 B.C to about 550 A.D. The
time span can be divided on other basis which could be overlapping.
Around 3000 B.C to 1500 B.C is described as the Dravidian
period-the silent witnesses being the ruins of the Indus
valley civilization of Mohenjo-daro, Harappa etc. Around
2000 to 1000 B.C witnessed Arab settlement of north India.
1500 to 500 B.C is denoted as the Vedic period when
Vedas, Brahmanas and Upanishads were composed and compiled.
500B.C to 550 A.D was the period of rise of Jain and Buddhist
Around the same time, the Maurya, Sunga, Kanva Andhra, Kusana
and the Gupta Dynasties reigned. During the same period
invasions by Greeks, Shaka, Kushan were faced by the Indian
Though India is known as the cradle place of the civilization,
the sphere of influence is much wider. From Kabul kandahara
to China it had influences of different kind. In return,
these regions contributed their art and science to India
thereby enriching the Indian civilisation. Srilanka
(Ceylon) from 5th Century B.C to 8th Century A.D was culturally
connected to India. Myanmar (Burma) was associated in 1st
to 8th century A.D. Java, Cambodia, Siam Thailand
and Tibet were other nations having cultural similarity.
Buddhist religion originated in India and spread in China,
Korea and Japan at later stages of the history.
People: Very little is known about aboriginal pure race,
which inhabited India a million years ago. In Europe China
and Indonesia, some skeletons of human race are found which
support the claim of human habitat around a million years
ago. Similar evidence is lacking about India. (Very recently
such skeleton is claimed in India, details and confirmation
of which is awaited).Hence
it was believed
different races migrated
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India and settled andgot mixed with other races existing
at that time. Indus valley civilization consisted of Mongoloid,
Australoid and Mediterranean race.
general six races in various form are believed to be inhabitants
that include the Negrito, proto Australoid, Mongoloid, Mediterranean,
Western alpinoid and Nordic.
languages originated from Dravidian languages Sanskrit
and Prakrit. Some of the words were borrowed from different
races and their respective languages. Some of the words
related to their spiritual concepts, their myths and rites
contributed to the development of Sanskrit and other languages.
same era developed the system of worship. Australoid
people invented art of agriculture. Zoomorphic deities are
believed to be originated from Austric totems.Aryans were
originally worshippers of nature. Worship of Shiva was a
prearyan custom. Pious fire (Yagnya) and sacrifices of animals
was also prevailing in less developed people.This system
was evolved further by eliminating animal sacrifice. Similarly
Phallic worship and animal worship was replaced by more
sophisticated forms of deities.
related to painting and sculpture was mainly related to
worship. The idols were made up of wood, unburnt soil, and
terracotta-like perishable materials. Hence early forms
of art did not survive. First such evidence is found in
Indus valley civilization.
literature started with prayers to various forms of God.
It was developed in prose and verses. Further stories related
to Gods, superhumans and heroes amongst humans were developed
in the form of myths. The description of the Universe through
perception gave rise to philosophy. This was possible as
the human beings developed from nomadic tribes to agrarian
rural civilization. By the time of Mohenjo- Daro
some of the villages were converted to urban population
or cities. The development gave rise to the social systems.
This lead to division of labour in society and the
evolution of political system of administration, judiciary
was evolved. In short, it was a civilization in the making.