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G O I N G B A C K T O T H E R O O T S
PREHISTORY OF INDIA
› Ancient India began with one of the first human civilizations alongside the Indus river,
Indus valley civilization.
› Indus valley people known as the Dravidians developed their own art, architecture,
literature, tools and crafts.
› The two main cities constituting the Indus valley civilization are Harappa and Mohenjo
› The architecture of the Indus valley
civilization was created using unique urban
› The key features include the drainage system
and city planning.
› The city was divided into 2 parts, the citadel
and the lower city.
› The citadel included public baths, town hall, granaries and large residential houses for
› The lower city included center market place, with a large central well and houses of
› The drainage system was worth appreciating. It included all the modern architecture
features and amenities.
› The forms of art found from various sites of civilizations include sculptures, seals,
pottery, ornaments, terracotta figures, artifacts etc.
› The materials used were gold, terracotta, clay, stone, bronze etc.
The seals were mainly for commercial use with a pictographic script.
Men and women decorated themselves with a variety of ornaments produced from
precious metals and gem stones to bone and baked clay.
› The language was largely pictorial including many abstract signs and mostly written
from left to right. It was knows as Indus script.
› It is assumed to be based on Brahmi script.
END OF INDUS VALLEY CIVILIZATION
The civilization is said to have come to an abrupt end. Following reasons are put forward
› Regular floods and change in river patterns destroyed the area.
› Aryan invaders killed the people and destroyed the civilization.
› Earthquakes and epidemics caused destruction.
The Indus valley people gave India it’s earliest cities, it’s town planning, it’s
architecture in stone and clay and showed their concern for health and
BEGINNING OF VEDIC PERIOD
› Around 1500 B.C. the Indo Europeans who called themselves the Aryans, conquered
the Indus valley.
› They were responsible for the evolution of Sanskrit language, great literary works like
the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, caste system, a new
education system, the foundation of Hinduism in India etc.
› The vedic age has been divided in two parts,
the early Vedic age and the later Vedic age.
Area conquered by Aryans
› Development of specific caste
system was one of the most far-
reaching changes which occurred
during the Vedic period.
› People were divided into classes
based on their occupation.
› The Vedic period is also noticed as the period of
feminine glory as the women were considered even
superior to men. However in the later Vedic age
their importance declined.
› They worshipped various manifestations of
nature such as the sun, the moon, the wind
› Vedic hymns were composed in praise of
› The idea of single supreme power governing
and controlling the universe seemed to have
› They worshipped nature through prayer and
sacrifice which later on formed the basis of
LITERATURE AND EDUCATION
› The Vedas form the oldest literary works of the Aryans and occupy a very distinguished
place in the history of the world literature.
› Vedas include Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, and Atharva Veda, which included the
ideas and practices of Vedic religion.
› The Gurukul system of education developed during the Vedic period aimed at proper
development of mind and body of an individual.
› Agriculture was the principal occupation of
the people. They even ploughed the field by
means of a pair of oxen.
› Water was supplied into the fields by
means of irrigation canal. Use of manure
was known to them.
› Animal husbandry and weaving were also
› There were trade and maritime activity.
DECLINE OF VEDIC PERIOD
› In Vedic period the priests became the gods of earth demanding obedience from the other
sections of the society which showed emergence of a religious culture which, would lead to
the appearance of three distinct but closely-related religions - mature Hinduism, Buddhism
and Jainism. Together, these religions claim the allegiance of billions of people in the world
› The destructive war of Mahabharata and development of non-Vedic culture’s led to decline
of the Civilization.
ESTABLISHING MAURYAN EMPIRE
› The Maurya Empire established by Chandragupta Maurya, was a geographically
extensive and powerful political and military empire in ancient India.
› Under Chandragupta, the Mauryan Empire conquered the trans-Indus region.
› Chadragupta created a single and efficient system of finance,
administration, and security.
› The Empire was divided into four provinces, with the imperial capital at Pataliputra.
› The head of the provincial administration had been the Kumara(royal prince), who
governed the provinces as king's representative. Mahamatyas and council of ministers
assisted the kumara.
› A network of regional governors and administrators and a civil service provided justice
and security for merchants, farmers and traders.
› The empire wielded a large military of infantry, cavalry, and war elephants.
› Chandragupta Maurya established a single currency across India.
› Farmers were freed of tax and crop collection burdens from regional kings, paying
instead to a nationally-administered system of taxation as advised by the principles in
› After Chandragupta Maurya the empire was in the hands of his son Bindusar, whose
succesor was Ashoka.
› As a young prince, Ashoka served as a brilliant commander who crushed revolts in
Ujjain and Taxila. He re-asserted the Empire's superiority in southern and western
› But his conquest of Kalinga prompted Ashoka, already a non-engaged Buddhist, to
devote the rest of his life to ahimsa and to dharma-vijaya .
POST KALINGA WAR
› Ashoka then began to embrace the teachings of Gautama Buddha.
› He implemented principles of ahimsa by banning hunting and violent sports activity
and ending indentured and forced labour.
› He propagated the faith by building stupas and pillars urging, amongst other things,
respect of all animal life and enjoining people to follow Buddhisim. Perhaps the finest
example of these is the Great Stupa of Sanchi, (near Bhopal, India).
SPREAD OF OTHER RELIGIONS
› Emperor Chandragupta Maurya embraced Jainism.
› Jainism teaches that the way to liberation and bliss is
to live a life of harmlessness and renunciation. The
aim of Jain life is to achieve liberation of the soul.
› Hinduism began absorbing the ideals and
values of Jain and Buddhist teachings and
spread all over India.
› Hinduism was marked with statues of the
religion's gods and goddesses, as well as
› Ashoka was followed for fifty years by a succession of weaker kings.
› Brhadrata, the last ruler of the Mauryan dynasty, held territories that had shrunk
considerably from the time of emperor Ashoka, although he still upheld the Buddhist
› The Mughal empire was founded by Babur after his victories in the Battle of Panipat.
› Different mughal kings who ruled ancient India are :
CULTURE AND RELIGION
› The Mughal period saw remarkable
cultural development in which Indian and
Islamic traditions were fused into
› Mughal King Akbar was the secular and
religious head of the India. A more
tolerant attitude towards the Hindus was
seen during this age.
The greatness of the Mughal achievement in the political unification of India was
matched by the splendour and beauty of the work of the architects, poets, historians,
painters, and musicians who flourished in the period.
› The period witnessed the introduction and development of Persian literature. A new
language Urdu was formed by a combination of Sanskrit and Arabic.
› Mughal Architecture was the combination of the Hindu and Muslim style of
Architecture. Mughal Emperors, particularly Akbar, made conscious effort to
amalgamate the two styles and lay the foundation of the national Indian architecture.
› The Mughal rulers built magnificent gates, forts, mausoleums, mosques, palaces, public
buildings and tombs etc.
THE RED FORT, DELHI
DECLINE OF THE MUGHALS
› The period of the Great Mughals, which began with Babur’s accession to the throne,
ended with the death of Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb’s death marked the end of an era in
› Wars of succession, Aurangzeb’s policies, weak successors of Aurangzeb, empty
treasury and many other reasons led to the downfall of Mughals.
› Many independant states were created in India which include Hyderabad, Awadh,
Mysore, Punjab etc.
The British empire began after the Mughals and a new modern India
came into existence since then.
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PREPARED BY :
K O M A L M O D I
N I T A V S H A H
V I R E N S H A H
K H U S H B U U P A D H Y A Y