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Chronology of Indian History UPSC PSC

 Paleolithic Age ( 2 Million BC to 10, 000 BC):

  • Stone tools were used.
  • Dependent on hunting and gathering for livelihood
  • Nomadic lifestyle
  • No settled agricultural practices
  • Evidence of cave paintings and rock art

For More details about the Stone Age or Prehistoric Period. Please refer to: the Stone Age or Prehistoric Period

Mesolithic Age ( 10,000 BC to 8,000 BC):

  • Usage of microliths and small stone tools
  • Beginnings of domestication of animals and plants
  • A transition period of more settled lifestyles

Neolithic Age ( 8,000 BC to 4,000 BC):

  • Agriculture and domestication of plants and animals started
  • Usage of polished stone tools and pottery
  • Shift from a nomadic to an agrarian lifestyle

Chalcolithic Age or Copper Age ( 4,000 BC to 1500 BC):

  • The usage of copper started
  • Trade and interaction between different regions started
  • Development of a more complex social structure

Indus Valley Civilization ( 2600 BC to 1900 BC):

  • Indus Valley civilization is also known as Harappan civilization as Harappa was the first site discovered by Daya Ram Sahni in 1921 under the supervision of John Marshall.
  • Northern Boundary: Manda( Jammu). It is on the bank of the Chenab River.
  • Southern Boundary: Daimabad (Maharashtra). It is on the bank of the Pravara River.
  • Eastern Boundary; Alamgirpur( Uttar Pradesh). It is on the bank of Hindon (a tributary of the Yamuna River).
  • Western Boundary: Sutkagender ( Baluchistan, Pakistan-Iran border). It is on the bank of the Dasht River.

For More details about Indus civilization Please refer: Indus civilization

Early Vedic Period ( 1500 BC to 1000 BC):

  • The Rigveda is the oldest of the four Vedas was composed in this period. Agni, Indra, and Varuna were the main deities.
  • Society was mainly tribal and pastoral. 
  • The social structure was organized into clans ( tribes) known as "Jana" or "Vish". 

For More details about the Early Vedic Period. Please refer: to the Early Vedic Period

Later Vedic Period ( 1000 BC to 600 BC):

  • Samaveda, Yajurveda, and Atharvaveda were composed in the later Vedic Period.
  • Upnishads emerged as philosophical texts, discussing the nature of reality, the self ( atman), and the ultimate reality ( Brahman).
  • Social classes ( Varnas) evolved, including Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Shudras.
  • The concept of dharma ( duty) becomes more emphasized in guiding individuals' conduct.
  • Manusmriti ( codification of law) happened in this period.

For More details about the Later Vedic Period. Please refer to the later Vedic Period

Six Schools of Indian Philosophy:

  • Indian Philosophy ( Hinduism ) has a diverse range of philosophical schools of thought, some of these are the six orthodox ( Aastika),  Sramana ( Jainism, Buddhism, and Ajivika/ Determinism), Nastika or Heterodox ( Charvaka, Jainism, and Buddhism), and Bhagavad Gita. 

For More details about the Indian Philosophy. Please refer to the. Indian Philosophy

Mahajanpada ( 600 BC-325 BC)

  • Vardhaman Mahvira ( 539-467 BC)
  • Gautama Buddha ( 567-487 BC)
  • 327-326: Alexander's invasion in India

For More details about Mahajanpada. Please refer: Mahajanapadas

Buddhism and Jainism:

Jainism and Busshims were both contemporary, both originated in about 600 B.C. Both belonged to Vajji  Mahajanpada.

For More details about:

Magadh Mahajanpada ( 684 BC to 320 BC):

  • Capital: Girivraj ( Modern Rajgir) and Pataliputra ( Patna)
  • Haryanka dynasty ( Bimbisara and Ajatashatru)
  • Shishunaga Dynasty ( Kalashoka and Nadivardhan)
  • Nanda Dynasty ( Mahapadma Nanda and Dhana Nanda)

For More details about Magadh Mahajanpada. Please refer: Magadh Mahajanpada

Mauryan Empire ( 321 BC to 185 BC):

  • The Maurya empire was founded by Chandragupta Maurya, who overthrew the Nanda Dynasty., with the help of Chanakya ( Kautilya). 
  • Chandragupta Maurya, Bindusara, and Ashoka were prominent kings of the Maurya Empire.

For More details about the Mauryan Empire. Please refer: to the Mauryan Empire

Sunga Kingdom ( 185 BC to 73 BC):

  • Sunga or Shunga dynasty was established in 185 BC by Pushyamitra after killing Brihadratha (The last Maurya king).
  • Rishi Patanjali was contemporary to Pushyamitra Sunga. 
  • Patanjali was the author of the Mahabhashya. Mahabhashya is an ancient Indian text on grammar and linguistics. It is a commentary on the Ashtadhyayi, which is Sanskrit grammar composed by ancient grammarian Panini. Mahabhasya provides detailed explanations, discussions, and interpretations of rules and principles outlined in the Ashtadhyayi.

For More details about the Sunga Kingdom. Please refer. Sunga Kingdom 

Kanva Kingdom ( 73 BC to 28 BC):

  • The founder of the Kanva dynasty was Vasudeva Kanva.  Vasudeva killed the last Sunga King “ Devabhuti”, he was a minister of Devabhuti.
  • The capital of the Kanva dynasty was Patliputra.
  • Susarma was the last ruler of the Kanva dynasty. Andhra Satvahana's king ( Simuka) killed the last ruler of the Kanva dynasty.

For More details about the Kanva Kingdom. Please refer. Kanva Rule

Satavahana ( 60 BC to 225 AD):

  • The Satavahanas Originated in the present-day state of Maharashtra and gradually expanded their influences to present-day Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh. 
  • The capital of the Satvahana Dynasty was initially at Pratishtan (modern-day Paithan in Maharashtra), which was situated on the bank of the Godavari River. Later their capital was shifted to Amaravati and Junnar.
  • Simuka was the founder of the Satavahana dynasty, they are known as “Andhra” in Matsya Purana.

For More details about the Satavahana. Please refer. Satavahana Rule

Chedi Dynasty ( 200 BC to 100 BC):

  • Kharavela dynasty also known as the Chedi Dynasty ruled the ancient kingdom of Kalinga, located in present-day Odisha during 200-100 B.C.

For More details about the Chedi Dynasty. Please refer. Chedi Dynasty

Indo-Greeks ( 312 BC to 10 AD):

  • Indo-Greek ruler is also known as the Yavana Kingdom.
  • Seleucus I Nicator was one of the generals of Alexanders, he was the founder of the Indo-Greek kingdom.
  • Menander was the most famous Indo-Greek ruler. He ruled between 165 BC to 145 BC. He was also known as Milinda. He later converted to Buddhism. Nagasena or Nagarjuna converted him (Milinda) to Buddhism. Milinda Panho is a book which was written by Nagarjuna, which is comprised of a conversation between Milinda and Nagarjuna related to Buddha teaching. 

For More details about the Indo-Greeks. Please refer. Indo-Greeks

Sakas Rule ( 100 BC to 400 AD):

  • Saka belonged to the Scythian ethnic nomadic tribe of Central Asia and Iran. He was mainly skilled in archery and innovated poisonous arrows.
  • Around 200 B.C., the Central Asian nomadic tribe "Yueh-chi" pushed the Saka out of central Asia, which forced them ( Saka) to invade India.
  • Initially, Saka invaded Parthia ( Iran) and Bactria ( Afghanistan), and after victory in these areas, they moved further to India.
  • Sakas are also called known as golden warriors.

For More details about the Sakas Rule. Please refer. Saka Rule

Kushanas (30 BC to 200 AD):

  • Kushanas belonged to the Yuezhi tribe who lived in Central Asia near the Chinese frontier. 
  • Kushana rulers are known as Guishuang in Chinese history.
  • Kushana initially made dominance in central Asia in other Yuezhi tribes, later they defeated Parthiansa ( Iran) and Saka in the first century AD.
  • The Kushan empire was spread in present-day Western China, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and northern India. They controlled the whole Indo-Gangetic plain during the mature period of the empire 
  • Kushana rulers were contemporaries of Saka and Satavahana rulers.
  • The most prominent ruler of Kushana was Kanishka, he organized the fourth Buddhist council in 72 CE in Kashmir.

For More details about the Kushanas  Rule. Please refer. Kushana Rule in India

Chola, Chera, and Pandya ( Sangam Period):

  • The Chera, Chola, and Pandya were three ancient Tamil dynasties that ruled in South India from 300 BC to 300 CE.

For More details about the Sangam Period. Please refer. Sangam Period

Chola Kingdom:

  • The Chola dynasty was from the time of the Sangam period (300 BCE to 300 CE), although at the end of 300 CE, he lost his region in other states, and became feudal of Pallavas.
  • About 300 CEs, early Cholas completely disappeared from their original land, present northern Tamil Nadu and southern Andhra Pradesh.
  • Chola kingdom was re-established around 848 CE by Vijayalaya Chola. Therefore, Vijayalay Chola was considered the founder of the Chola empire.
  • The capital of the Chola Kingdom was Tanjore.

For More details about the Chola Dynasty. Please refer. Chola Dynasty

Gupta Empire [ 319 CE -543 CE):

  • Sri Gupta founded the Gupta Empire in the Magadha region of present-day Bihar. Chandragupta I ( (grandson of Sri Gupta and son of Ghatotkacha)) expanded the empire's territory through matrimonial alliances and military conquests, consolidating power over northern and central India.
  • Chandragupta I's son, Samudragupta, is considered one of the most notable rulers of the Gupta dynasty. He expanded the empire through military campaigns and diplomacy, subjugating various neighboring kingdoms and establishing the Gupta empire over large parts of India. Samudragupta was not only a skilled warrior but also a patron of art and culture. He earned the title "Kaviraja" (King of Poets) due to his own poetic skills.

For More details about the Gupta Empire. Please refer. Gupta Empire

Pallavas Dynasty ( 2rd CE to 8th CE):

  • The Pallava dynasty was an ancient South Indian dynasty that ruled over the region of Tondaimandalam (present-day Tamil Nadu) from the 3rd century CE to the 9th century CE. The Pallavas were known for their patronage of art, architecture, and literature, and they made significant contributions to the cultural and architectural landscape of South India.
  • The origins of Pallvas are not clear. Some believe that the Pallavas were Parthian people, a tribe from Iran, whereas some believe that they are an indigenous dynasty within the southern region.

For More details about the Pallavas Dynasty. Please refer. Pallavas Dynasty

Rashtrakuta Dynasty [ 735-982 CE]:

  • The Rashtrakuta dynasty was a prominent Indian dynasty that ruled in the Deccan region. They were contemporary to the Pala Dynasty ( Bengal and Bihar), the Pratiharas Dynasty ( Gujarat and Malwa), the Chalukyas of Vengi ( Andhra Pradesh),  Pallavas of Kanchi, and the Pandyas of Madurai.

For More details about the Rashtrakuta Dynasty. Please refer. Rashtrakuta Dynasty

 Gurjara Pratihara Dynasty ( 8th to 10th century)

  • The Gurjar Pratihara dynasty, also known as the Pratira Empire or Gurjar Empire, was a major medieval Indian dynasty that ruled a significant part of North India from the 8th to 11th century.
  • The Gurjar Pratihara dynasty was of Rajput origin and played an important role in shaping the political landscape of the Indian subcontinent during his time.

For More details about the  Gurjara Pratihara Dynasty. Please refer.  Gurjara Pratihara Dynasty

Pala Dynasty ( 8th to 11th Century ):

  • The Pala dynasty was a prominent ruling dynasty in ancient and medieval Bengal ( Bangladesh and West Bengal) and Bihar regions of eastern India.
  • The Pala period is also considered as a " Golden Era" in Bengali history.
  • The founder of the Pala dynasty was Gopala, who rose to power in the early 8th century. Gopala's capital was initially at Karnasubarna in present-day West Bengal. 

For More details about the  Pala Dynasty. Please refer. Pala Dynasty

Chauhan Dynasty ( 8th to 12th Century):

  • The founder of the Chauhan dynasty was Chahamana (or Chauhan), who established his rule in the region of Shakambhari (present-day Rajasthan) in the 8th century.  As per historian James Tod, the founder of the Chauhan dynasty was Vasudev.
  • The dynasty gained prominence under the rule of Prithviraj Chauhan, who became the most famous ruler of the Chahamana dynasty. 

For More details about the  Chauhan Dynasty. Please refer. Chalukyas Rulers

Rashtrakuta Dynasty [ 735-982 CE]:

  • The Rashtrakuta dynasty originated in the Deccan region of India, specifically in present-day Karnataka. The Rashtrakuta dynasty was founded by Dantidurga who set up his capital at Manyakhet or Malkhed near modern Sholapur. However, it was his successor, King Krishna I, who expanded the kingdom's territory and laid the foundation for the dynasty's greatness.

For More details about the  Rashtrakuta Dynasty. Please refer. Rashtrakuta Dynasty

History of the Ganga Dynasty ( 11th to 15th century CE):

  • There were two Ganga dynasties in India. The first one was mainly ruled in Karnataka during the 4th to 11th Century CE, which was known as the Western Ganga dynasty. The second one was ruled in Odisha from the 11th to 15th century CE, which was known as the Eastern Ganga Dynasty.

For More details about the Ganga Dynasty. Please refer. Ganga Dynasty.

Ghazni, Turkish Invasion, and Delhi Sultanate (1200-1526 AD):

  • In the 8th century, the Umayyad Caliphate initiated military campaigns into the Indian subcontinent. His military general, Muhammad bin Qasim invaded Sindh, which is now part of modern-day Pakistan. Therefore, Muhammad bin Qasim was the first Muslim to attack India.

For More details about the Ghazni and Turkish Invasion. Please refer. Ghazni and Turkish Invasion.

Delhi Sultanate ( 1206 to 1526 AD):

The following are five dynasties ruled under Delhi SultanaeL

  • Slave Dynasty
  • Khilji Dynasty
  • Tuglaq Dynasty
  • Sayyid Dynasty
  • Lodi Dynasty

For More details about the Delhi Sultanate. Please refer. Delhi Sultanate

History of Deccan Sultanates | the Bahmani Kingdom [ 1347-1527 AD]:

  • The Bahmani Kingdom, also known as the Bahmani Sultanate, was a medieval Islamic state in South India. It was founded by Alauddin Hasan Bahman Shah in 1347 and lasted until 1527. 
  • The kingdom was named after its founder and its capital was first established in Gulbarga (now in the state of Karnataka) and later moved to Bidar ( Karnataka).

For More details about the Deccan Sultanates. Please refer. Deccan Sultanates

Gajapati dynasty [1434 - 1541 CE]:

  • The literal meaning of Gajapati is the army of elephants. It was believed that the Gajapati rulers had more than 2 lakh elephants in their army.
  • The Gajapati dynasty was a prominent dynasty that ruled over the Kalinga region, present-day Odisha in India, from the 14th century to the 16th century. The dynasty is known for its strong influence on the political and cultural landscape of Odisha.

For More details about the Gajapati dynasty. Please refer. Gajapati dynasty

Vijayanagara Kingdom ( 1290 CE to 1351 CE) :

  • Vijayanagar Empire was established at the end of the Delhi Sultanate period.  In 1336 CE, Harihara and Bukka founded the Vijayanagar Empire, and both had served in the army of Muhammad bin Tughlaq, Sultan of Delhi. So, at the time of the foundation of the Vijayanagar empire, Muhammad bin Tughlaq ( 1290 CE to 1351 CE) was the ruler of Delhi.

For More details about the Vijayanagara Kingdom. Please refer. Vijayanagara Kingdom

Mughal Dynasty ( 1526-17th century):

  • The Mughals were a powerful and influential dynasty, that ruled most of the Indian subcontinent from the beginning of the 16th century to the mid-19th century. The name "Mughal" is derived from the Persian word "Mughul", which means "Mongol", as the central Asian and Mongol origin of the dynasty.

For More details about the Mughal Dynasty. Please refer. 

Maratha Empire:

The Maratha Empire was one of the most significant and influential empires in Indian history. It rose to power in 1674 [ 17th century]

Modern India

  • Company Rule ( 1756 to 1857)
  • First War of Indian Independence ( 1857)
  • Indian Freedom Struggle ( 1857 to 1947)
  • 1885: Formation of Indian National Congress
  • 1906: Formation of Muslim League
  • 1920: Non-Cooperation Movement
  • 1930: Civil Disobedience
  • 1942: Quit India Movement
  • 1947: Partition of India

For More details. Please refer. Events and Timeline of the Indian Freedom Movement

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