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Ancient History

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Indus Valley Civilization –

The Indus Valley Civilization was a Bronze Age civilization (3300–1300 BC; mature period 2600–1900 BC) extending from what today is northeast Afghanistan to Pakistan and northwest India. Along with Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia it was one of three early civilizations of the Old World, and of the three the most widespread. It flourished in the basins of the Indus River, one of the major rivers of Asia, and the Ghaggar-Hakra River, which once coursed through northwest India and eastern Pakistan. The Indus Valley Civilization is also known as the Harappan Civilization, after Harappa, the first of its sites to be excavated in the 1920s, in what was then the Punjab province of British India, and is now in Pakistan. A uniform culture had developed at settlements spread across nearly 500,000 square miles, including parts of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Baluchistan, Sindh and the Makran coast. It was a highly developed civilization and derived its name from the main river of that region— Indus.

|Year |Site |Discovered by |
|1920 |Harappa |Rai Bahadur Daya Ram Sahni |
|1922 |Mohenjodaro |R. D. Banerjee |
|1927 |Sutkagen dor |R. L. Staine |
|1931 |Chanhudaro |N. G. Majumdar |
|1953 |Rangpur |M. Vats |
|1953 |Kalibangan |A. Ghosh |
|1955-56 |Ropar |Y. D. Sharma |
|1957 |Lothal |S. R. Rao |
|1972-75 |Surkotada |I. Joshi |
|1973-74 |Banwali |R. S. Bisht |
| |Dholavira Rann of Kachh (Gujarat) |R. S. Bisht |
| |Ganverivala Pakistan |Rafeeq Mugal |
| |Rakhi Garhi Jeend (Haryana) |Rafeeq Mugal |

Indus Valley Civilization culture divided into two parts 1. Pre-Harappan culture 2. Proto-Harappan culture Cultures that preceded Harappan culture are pre-Harappan, while proto-Harappan cultures are those pre-Harappan cultures which have some close similarities with the Harappan culture or which may be said to have anticipated certain essential elements of Harappan culture. In short, all Proto-Harappan cultures are necessarily pre-Harappan cultures, but all pre-Harappan cultures are not necessarily proto-Harappan cultures.
Script and Language – Harappan script is regarded as pictographic since its signs represent birds, fish and a variety of human forms. The script was boustrophedon. Written from right to left in one line and then from left to .right in the next line. The number of signs of the Harappan script is known to be between 400 and 600. The language of the Harappans is still unknown and must remain so until the Harappan script is deciphered.
Pottery – • Harappan Pottery is bright or dark red and is uniformly sturdy and well baked. • It is chiefly wheel made, and consists of both plain and painted ware, the plain variety being more common. • Harappan people used different types of pottery such as glazed, polychrome, incised, and perforated and knobbed. The glazed Harappan pottery is the earliest example of its kind in the ancient world.
Seals – • They are the greatest artistic creations of the Indus people. Most commonly made of steatite (soft stone). • The majority of the seals have an animal engraved on them with a short inscription. • Unicorn is the animal most frequently represented on the seals. • Main type - (a) the square type with a carved animal and inscription, (b) the rectangular type with inscription only.
Religion – • The chief male deity was the Pashupati Mahadeva (proto-Siva), represented in seals as sitting in a yogic posture on a low throne, and having three faces and two horns. He is surrounded by lour animals (elephant, tiger, rhino and buffalo), each lacing a different direction, and two deer appear at his feel. • The chief female deity was the Mother Goddess, who has been depicted in various forms • The worship of fire is proved by the discovery of fire altars at Lothal. Kalibangan and Harappa. • Indus people also worshipped Gods in the form of trees (piapal, etc.) and animals (unicorn etc) Further they believed in ghosts and evil forces and used amulets as protection against them.
Trade and Commerce – • Inter regional trade was carried on with Rajasthan, Saurashtra, Maharashtra. South India, parts of Western Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. • Foreign trade was conducted mainly with Mesopotamia and Bahrain. • Trade was carried on by overland as well as overseas transport. Bullock carts and pack-oxen were employed for land transport. There is evidence of sea and river transport by ships and boats in several seals and terracotta models, apart from the dockyard at Lothal. • The Sumerian texts refer lo trade relations with Meluha’ which was the ancient name given to Indus region and they also speak of two intermediate stations called Dilmun (identified with Bahrain) and Makan (Makran coast).
Decline – After 2000 BC, the Indus culture slowly declined and gradually faded out. Some ascribe this to the decreasing fertility of the soil, account of the increasing salinity, caused by the expansion of the neighboring desert. Others attribute to some kind of depression in the land, which caused Hoods. Still others point out that the Aryans destroyed it. According to some scholars, decline of trade, particularly oceanic trade with the Sumerians, must have contributed partly in the decline. Even though there are various theories for the downfall of this

Vedic age -

The Vedic period (Vedic age) was a period in history during which the Vedas, the oldest scriptures of Hinduism, were composed. The time span of the period is uncertain. Philological and linguistic evidence indicates that the Rig-Veda, the oldest of the Vedas, was composed roughly between 1700 and 1100 BC. We can divide Vedic age into two parts. Aryans first appeared in Iran and a little later than 1500 BC they appeared in India. Kassite Inscription of about 1600 BC and Mittani Inscription of 1400 BC found in Iraq bear some Aryan names, which suggest that from Iran a branch of Aryans moved towards west. The Rig Veda has many things in common with the Avesta - the oldest text in Iranian language. Rig Veda is the earliest specimen of any Indo-European language. According to Rig Veda, early Aryans first settled in the region called ‘Sapta-Sindhava’ or the land of seven rivers encompassing the present East Afghanistan, Punjab and Western UP. Early Aryans were semi-nomadic and kept large herds of cattle. As they settled down in villages, they also became cultivators. Using ox to draw their ploughs. They were ruled by warriors, who depended upon priests to perform the rituals to protect their crops and cattle, and insure victory in war. The Indian sub-continent got its name Bharat Varsha after the Bharata tribe, which was the strongest one. During the later Vedic phase, the Aryans moved away from their 1. Early Vedic Period (1500-1000 BC)- After the collapse of the Indus Valley Civilization, which ended 1900 BC, groups of Indo-Aryan peoples migrated into North-western India and started to inhabit the northern Indus Valley. They brought with them their distinctive religious traditions and practices. The knowledge about the Aryans comes mostly from the Rigveda-samhita 2. Later Vedic period (1000-500 BC)- After the 12th century BC, as the Rig Veda had taken its final form, the Vedic society transitioned from semi–nomadic life to settled agriculture. Vedic culture extended into the western Ganges Plain. This period saw also the beginning of the social stratification by the use of Varna, the division of Vedic society in Kshatriya, Brahmins, Vaishya and Shudra. By the sixth century BC, the political units consolidated into large kingdoms called Mahajanapadas.

Original home of Aryans

|Original Home |Scholar |
|Central Asia |Max Muller |
|Tibet |Dayanand Saraswati |
|German plain |Prof. Penka |
|Pamirs |Mayor |
|Turkistan |Hurz Feld |
|Bactria |J. C. Rod |
|Steppes |Brandstein |
|Arctic Region |B.G. Tilak |
|Central India |Rajbali Pandey |
|Kashmir |L. D. Kala |
|Sapta Sindhu |A.C. Das |

Rivers Mentioned in Rig Veda
|Old Name |New Name |
|Gomati |Gomal |
|Krumu |Kurram |
|Kubha |Kabul |
|Suvastu |Swat |
|Sindhu |Indus |
|Drishadvati |Ghaghar |
|Satudri |Satluj |
|Parushni |Ravi |
|Asikni |Chenab |
|Vitasta |Jhelam |

Vedic Polity – • The chief was the protector of the tribe or Jana. However, he did not possess unlimited powers for he had to reckon with the tribal Assemblies. • Sabha, Samiti, Vidhata and Gana were the tribal Assemblies. Of these, Vidhata was the oldest. These assemblies exercised deliberative, military and religious functions. • The two most important Assemblies were the Sabha and Samiti. Samiti was general in nature and less exclusive than Sabha. • Women attended Sabha and Vidhata in Rigvedic times. • There were a few non-monarchical states {ganas), which are described whose head was Ganapati or Jyestha • By the end of the later Vedic age, different kinds of political systems such as monarchical states (rajya), oligarchical states (gana or sangha), and tribal principalities had emerged in India.
Vedic Society – • Rig Vedic society was relatively egalitarian in the sense that a distinct hierarchy of socio–economic classes or castes was absent. • Political hierarchy was determined by rank, where rajan stood at the top and dasi at the bottom. • The Vedic household was patriarchal and patrilineal. The institution of marriage was important and different types of marriages— monogamy, polygyny and polyandry are mentioned in the Rig Veda. • The wife enjoyed a respectable position; she was subordinate to her husband. • The family was essentially patriarchal and birth of son was desired. The family was a large unit • Quadruple division of society made its formal appearance only at one place in the Tenth Mandala of Rig Veda (Purushsukta hymn). • People consumed milk, milk products, grains, fruits and vegetables. Meat eating is mentioned, however, cows are labelled aghnya (not to be killed). Clothes of cotton, wool and animal skin were worn. • Soma and sura were popular drinks in the Rig Vedic society, of which soma was sanctified by religion. Flute (vana), lute (vina), harp, cymbals, and drums were the musical instruments played and a heptatonic scale was used. Dancing, dramas, chariot racing, and gambling were other popular pastimes.
Vedic Religion – • The Vedic forms of belief are the precursor to modern Hinduism. Texts considered to date to the Vedic period are mainly the four Vedas, but the Brahmanas, Aranyakas and the older Upanishads as well as the oldest Shrautasutras are also considered to be Vedic. The Vedas record the liturgy connected with the rituals and sacrifices performed by the 16 or 17 Shrauta priests and the purohitas. • The main deities of the Vedic pantheon were Indra, Agni (the sacrificial fire), and Soma and some deities of social order such as Mitra–Varuna, Aryaman, Bhaga and Amsa, further nature deities such as Surya (the Sun), Vayu (the wind), Prithivi (the earth). Goddesses included Ushas (the dawn), Prithvi and Aditi (the mother of the Aditya gods or sometimes the cow). Rivers, especially Saraswati, were also considered goddesses. Deities were not viewed as all-powerful. The relationship between humans and the deity was one of transaction, with Agni (the sacrificial fire) taking the role of messenger between the two. • The mode of worship was the performance of sacrifices (Yajna) which included the chanting of Rigvedic verses (Vedic chant), singing of Samans and 'mumbling' of sacrificial mantras (Yajus). • In later Vedic religion , India and Varuna lost their previous importance and Prajapati attained the Supreme position. Rudra and Vishnu became more important than before. Pushan became the God of Shudras. Brahmin monopoly over divine knowledge was established. An elaborate system of Yajnas developed. Among the important ones were— Rajasuya, Ashvamedha and Vajapeya
Position of Women – Women held respectable position in society. They could attend tribal assemblies. They took part in sacrifices along with their husbands. There are no examples of child marriage and the marriageable age for girls was 16 to 17 years. We also get evidence of widow remarriage and practice of Niyoga (levirate) in which a childless widow would co-habit with her brother-in-law until the birth of a son. Monogamy was the established practice. However, polygamy and polyandry were also known.
Important Rituals – • Rajasuya: The King’s influence was strengthened by rituals. He performed this sacrifice, which was supposed to confer supreme power on him. • Asvamedha: A King performed the Asvamedha, which meant unquestioned control over the area in which the royal horse ran uninterrupted. The ceremony lasted for 3 days at the end of which horse sacrifice was performed. • Vajapeya: A King performed the Vajpeya or the chariot race, in which the royal chariot was made to win the race against his kinsmen (a case of match-fixing!). The ritual lasted for 17 days and was believed not only to restore the strength of the middle-aged king but also to elevate him from the position of Raja
Chief Priests –
The chief priests who were engaged in performing the sacrifices were - • Hotri - the Invoker, he recited hymns from Rigveda. • Adhvaryu - the executor, he recited hymns from Yajurvada. • Udgatri - the singer, he recited hymns from Samveda
Types of Marriage – • Brahma: Marriage of a duly dowered girl to a man of the same class. • Daiva: The father gives a daughter to a sacrificial priest as a part of his fee. • Arsa: A token bride-price of a cow and a bull is given in place of the dowry. • Prajapatya: The father gives the girl without dowry and without demanding the bride-price. • Gandharva: Marriage by the consent of the two parties (love marriage). • Asura: Marriage in which the bride was bought from her father. • Rakshasa: Marriage by capture was practised especially by warriors. • Paishacha: Marriage by seduction..
Administrative Officers –

|Purohita |Chief priest |
|Senani |The leader of the army. |
|Vrajapati |Officer who enjoyed authority over pasture ground. |
|Kulapas |Heads of families led by Vrajapati. |
|Gramini |Head of fitting hordes under Vrajapati. |
|Spies (Spasa) |to watch over anti-social activities like theft and burglary. |

Later Vedic Age(1000 BC-600 BC) –

During the Later Vedic Age the Aryans thoroughly subdued the fertile plains watered by Yamuna, Ganges
And Sadanira. They crossed the Vindhyas and settled in the Deccan, to the north of Godavari.
Political & social structure – • During the Later Vedic Age popular assemblies lost much of their importance and royal power increased at their cost. In other words, chiefdom gave way to kingdom. Formation of large kingdoms made the king more powerful. Women were no longer permitted to attend the assemblies. Which came to be dominated by nobles and Brahamanas. • Gotra - The institution of Gotra appeared in the Later Vedic Age. Literally meaning cowpen, Gotra signified descent from a common ancestor. People began to practice Gotra exogamy. In other words, marriage between persons belonging to the same Gotra was prohibited. • Society in the Later Vedic Age came became increasingly complex and came to be divided into four Varnas - Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas and Sudras. • Brahamanas: The growing cult of sacrifice enormously added to the power of Brahmanas, who performed various rituals and sacrifices for their clients. In the beginning, they were merely one of the sixteen classes of priests, but later on they overshadowed others. • Kshatriyas: They constituted the warrior class. Majority of the rulers belonged to this class. • Vaisyas: They were the agriculturists, cattle-rearers, traders, artisans and metal workers, which formed the bulk of population. In some texts, the Kshatriyas are represented as living on the tributes collected from the Vaisyas. • Sudras: They were the lowest in social • hierarchy and were meant to serve the upper three varnas. The upper three varnas were known as the Dvijas (twice born). The upper three varnas were entitled to ‘upanayana’ or investiture with the sacred thread. Education began with upanayana ceremony. Sometimes the girls were also initiated. The age of upanayana was 8 years for Brahamana. 11 for Kshatriya, and 12 for Vaisyas. Certain sections of artisans such as Rathakara or chariot-maker enjoyed high status and were entitled to the sacred thread ceremony. • The Ashrama system is found mentioned for the first time in the Aitareya Brahman a. Meant mainly for regulating the life of the male members of the higher castes, they consisted of four stages: 1. Brahmacharin or student life; 2. Grihastha or life of the householder; 3. Vanaprastha or partial retirement and Sanyasin or complete retirement (ascetic life). 4. Full recognition of the fourth stage was done only in the post-Vedic period.
Vedic literature – Brahmanas are the prose commentaries on various Vedic hymns. They explain the Vedas in an orthodox way. They explain the hidden meaning behind the hymns They are ritualistic by nature They are expressive of the cause hetu. Etymology (nirvachana), censure (ninda). dount (samshaya) and injunction (vidhi). The word Veda is derived from the Sanskrit word Veda meaning, to know or knowledge par excellence. Vedic texts are divided between Sruti (based on hearing), which is distinct from Smriti (based on memory). Four Vedas and their Samhitas, the Brahmanas, the Aranyakas and the Upanishads form a class of literature known as Sruti. 1. Rig Veda - It is divided into 10 Books or Mandalas. Books II to VII are considered the oldest. Book I, VIII and X seem to be later additions. A collection of 1028 hymns of a number of priestly families. Written between 1700-1500 B.C. when Aryans were still in Punjab. Books II to VII are earliest and are also called as family books. They are attributed to Gritsamada, Visvamitra, Vasudeva. Bhardwaj, Vashishtha. Kanva and Angiras. The IX Mandala is dedicated exclusively to Soma The X Mandala contains the famous Purushsukta hymn that explains the origin of four Varnas. 2. Yajur Veda - A ritualistic Veda. It is divided into Shukla Yajurveda and Krishna Yajurveda. Yajur Veda mentions beliefs and practices of non-Aryans. In Yajur Veda, Sabha and Samiti are described as uterine sisters – the two daughters of Prajapati. Written in prose, it deals with procedure for performance of sacrifices and contains rituals as well as hymns. 3. Sama Veda – Sam Veda derives its roots from Saman. This means a melody, a collection of 1603 hymns. Except 99, all others were derived from Rig Veda. 4. Atharva Veda - A collection of 711 hymns, it is divided into 20 Kandas. It is the latest Veda. Atharva Veda is a book of magical formula. It contains charms and spells to ward-off evil and disease. Its content throws light on the practices of non-Aryans. 5. The Upanishads – The term Upanishada indicates knowledge acquired by sitting close to the teacher. They consisted of discussions on several problems such as the creation of the universe, the nature of God. the origin of mankind etc. They are anti-ritualistic and define the doctrine of Karma (Action), Atman (Soul) and God (Brahma). They are spiritual and philosophical in nature. They are called the Vedanta or the end of Vedas. They are anti-ritualistic in nature. There are 108 Upanishads. Generally, the period from 800 to 500 BC is known as the period of Upanishads. The Aitareya and Kaushitaki Upanishads belong to Rig Veda. Chhandogya and Kena Upanishad belong to Sama Veda. Taittiriya. Katha and Svetasvatara Upanishad belong to the Krishna Yajur Veda. Brihadaranyaka and Isa belong to the Shukla Yajur Veda. 6. Kalpa Sutras - These are the treatises dealing with Vedic rituals on one hand, and with customary law on the other They are written in a laboriously compressed style, sometimes approaching the structure of algebraic formulas, unintelligible without the help of Authoritative commentaries. With a view to conveying to the future generations the ancient and contemporary literature, the Aryan sages invented a special concise method called the Sutra style. Thus the massive Vedic texts were condensed into short, terse formulae, which could be easily remembered and transmitted orally - from father to son or from Guru to ShisyaThe Sutra literature is divided into three classes: (a) Srauta Sutras - dealing with large public sacrifices. (b) Griha Sutras: dealing with rituals connected with birth, naming, marriage etc. (c) Dharma Sutras - explain social and local customs. which later on became the basis of Mann Smriti. 7. Dharma-Shastras - Dharma-Shastras are the later Vedic Age or Epic Age treatises on ethical and social philosophy. They deal systematically with the proper conduct of life and describe social, ethical and religious obligations. The Dharma-Shastras are in fact, another name for Smritis, which are the law books, written in the sloka. The chief among them are the Manav Dharma Shastra, the Vishnu Dharma Shastra. The Yajnavalkya Smriti. and the Narad Smriti. Manav Dharma Shastra or Mann Smriti is the oldest and the most famous. Its author Manu is supposed to be the first king and the first law-giver. Later on, some minor Smritis and commentaries like the Mitakshara were compiled. These books are not merely accounts of civil and criminal laws of the time but they also cover all aspects of the daily life of the individual. They throw considerable light on the social and political life of the age -the caste system, Ashram’s of life, economic conditions as also state of professions, arts and crafts, architecture and the working of administration. 8. Vedangas - In order to understand the Vedic Literature, it was necessary to learn-Vedangas or the limbs of Vedas. These are treatises on science and arts. They are (a). Shiksha (Phonetics) (b). Kalpa (Ritual) (c). Vyakarana (Grammar) (d). Chhand (Metrics) (e). Nirukta (Etymology) (I) . Jyotisha (Astronomy) Yaska’s Nirukta (5th century BC) is the oldest Indian linguistic text. Panini wrote Ashtadhyayi (4lhCentury BC) on Vyakaran, 9. Upvedas - The term upaveda ("applied knowledge") is used in traditional literature to designate the subjects of certain technical works. There were four Upvedas- (A) Ayurveda dealing with medicine (B)Dhanurveda dealing with the art of the warfare (C) Gandharvaveda dealing with music (D)Shilpaveda dealing with art and Literature 10. Epics - Mahabharata is older compared to Ramayana and possibly reflects the state of affairs of Vedic era . Originally Mahabharata consisted of 8800 verses and was called Jayasamhita’. These were raised to 24000 and came to be known as Bharata. The final compilation brought the number of verses to 100,000 and came to be known as Mahabharata. The Ramayana of Valmiki originally consisted of 6000 verses which were raised to 12000 and finally to 24.000 Composition of Ramayana started in 5 th century BC. It passed through several stages and attained its present form as late as 12 th centuries AD. 11. Puranas - These include mythology, cosmogony, various legends, genealogical accounts, folk beliefs, law codes and miscellaneous topics. The Puranic literature is thus a unique outcome of the ever-continuing synthesis of various socio-economic formations operative between the 5th century BC and the 12th century AD. The change in the mode of worship (from sacrifice to worship of idols), visual appeal of the denies as against the worship of ideas, the fact of idol worship being more satisfying than yajna or sacrifice, revulsion to the violence and bloodshed involved in animal sacrifices-all these explain the socio-religious- economic transformations taking place in the Aryan society. The Puranas may be regarded as a unique record of the outcome of continual clash and friction, readjustment and mobilization, conservatism and the accommodating spirit of the Indian society. keen to come to terms with its evolving ethos.

Economy – Economy in the Vedic period was sustained by a combination of pastoralism and agriculture. Economic exchanges were conducted by gift giving, particularly to kings and priests, and barter using cattle as a unit of currency. While gold is mentioned in some hymns, there is no indication of the use of coins.
Sanskritization – Since Vedic times, "people from many strata of society throughout the subcontinent tended to adapt their religious and social life to Brahmanic norms", a process sometimes called Sanskritization.
System of Philosophy –
1. Nyaya (Analysis) - Gautam
2. Vaisesika (Atomic Characteristic) - Kanada
3. Sankhya (Enumeration) - Kapil
4. Yoga (Application) - Patanjali
5. Purva Mimansa (Enquiry) - Jaimini
6. Uttar Mimansa (Vedanta) - Vyasa

Religious Movements -

The period between 7th and 5th century BC was a turning point in the intellectual and spiritual development of the whole world, for it witnessed the emergence of early philosophers of Greece, the great Hebrew poets, Confucius in China and Zoroaster in Persia. It was at this time that Jainism and Buddhism arose in India, each based on a distinctive set of doctrines and each laying down distinctive rules of conduct for attaining salvation position. There were many reasons behind religious movements. • The Vedic philosophy had lost its original purity. • The Vedic religion had become very complex and degenerated into superstitions, dogmas, and rituals. • Supremacy of the Brahmans created unrest in the society and Kshatriya reacted against the Brahmanical domination. • Introduction of a new agricultural economy in eastern India. • The desire of Vaishyas to improve their social position with the increase in their economic power.


Buddhism is a non-theistic religion that encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, who is commonly known as the Buddha, meaning "the awakened one". According to Buddhist tradition, the Buddha lived and taught in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BC. Two major branches of Buddhism are generally recognized: Theravada and Mahayana. The foundations of Buddhist tradition and practice are the Three Jewels: the Buddha, the Dharma (the teachings), and the Sangha (the community). Taking "refuge in the triple gem" has traditionally been a declaration and commitment to being on the Buddhist path, and in general distinguishes a Buddhist from a non-Buddhist.
Life of Buddha – • Gautama, the Buddha also known as Siddhartha, Sakyamuni and Tathagata. Born in 563 BC (widely accepted), on the vaisakha purnima day at Lumbini, near Kapilvastu, capital of the Sakya republic. • Gautama (known as Siddhartha as prince) was born in Lumbini near Kapilvastu to Suddhodhana, the king of Sakya republic & Mayadevi who died seven days after his birth. • Gautama was married to Yasodhara from whom he had a son Rahul. • Left home at the age of 29 and attained Nirvana at the age of 35 at Bodh Gaya Bihar. • Delivered his first sermon at Sarnath. • He attained Mahaparinirvana at kushinagar in 483 BC.
Buddhist Councils –
|I Buddhist Council |500 BC at |Ajatsataru . |Record the Buddha's sayings (sutra) and codify monastic rules (vinaya). Rajgaha|
| |Rajgaha |Presided by |is today’s Rajgir |
| | |Mahakasyapa | |
|II Buddhist Council |383 BC at |Kalasoka |The conservative schools insisted on monastic rules (vinaya). The secessionist |
| |Vaishali | |Mahasangikas argued for more relaxed monastic rules. Rejection of the |
| | | |Mahasanghikas |
|III Buddhist Council |250 BC |Ashoka.. |Purpose was to reconcile the different schools of |
| |Pataliputra | |Buddhism. Presided by Moggaliputta Tissa |
|IV Buddhist Council |100 AD |Kanishka |Division into Hinayana & Mahayana. Theravada |
| |Kashmir |Presided by |Buddhism does not recognize the authenticity of |
| | |Vasumitra & |this council, and it is sometimes called the |
| | |Asvaghosha |"council of heretical monks". |
|V Buddhist Council |1871 |King Mindon |recite all the teachings of the Buddha and |
| |Myanmar | |examine them in minute detail to see if any of |
| | | |them had been altered |
|VI Buddhist Council |1954 |P.M. U Nu | |
| |Yangoon | | |

Buddhist Scriptures – • The Vinaya Pitaka: (a) mainly deals with rules and regulations, which the Buddha promulgated, (b) it describes in detail the gradual development of the Sangha. (c) An account of the life and leaching of the Buddha is also given. • The Sutra Pitaka: (a) Consists chiefly of discourses delivered by Buddha himself on different occasions, (b) Few discourses delivered by Sariputta, Ananda. Moggalana and others are also included in it. (c) It lays down the principles of Buddhism. • The Abhidhamma Pitaka: (a) the profound philosophy of the Buddha’s teachings, (b) It investigates mind and matter, to help the understanding of things as they truly are. • The Khandhakas: contain regulations on the course or life in the monastic order and have two sections - the Mahavagga and the Cullavagga. The thud part - the Parivara is an insignificant composition by a Ceylonese monk. Among the non-canonical literature Milindapanho, Dipavamsa and Mahavamsa are important. The later two are the great chronicles of Ceylon.
Important Facts – • Asvaghosha— Contemporary of Kanishka. He was poet, dramatist. Musician, scholar and debater. • Nagarjuna— He was a friend and contemporary of Satavahana king Yajnasri Gautamiputra of Andhra. He propounded the Madhyamika School of Buddhist philosophy popularly known as Sunyavada. • Asanga and Vasubandhu— Two brothers who flourished in the Punjab region in fourth century AD. Asanga was the most important teacher of the Yogachara or Vijnanavada School founded by his guru, Maitreyanatha. Vasubandhu’s greatest work, Abhidharmakosa is still considered an important encyclopedia of Buddhism. • Buddhaghosha — who lived in the fifth century AD was a great Pali scholar. The commentaries and the Visuddhimaga written by him are a great achievement in the Post- Tripitaka literature. • Dinnaga—the last mighty intellectual of the fifth century, is well known as the founder of the Buddhist logic. • Dharmakirti—lived in the seventh century AD was anther great Buddhist logician. He was a subtle philosophical thinker and dialectician.
Buddhist Philosophy – • Idealism: Two source of valid knowledge: (a) Perception and (b) Inference. Doctrine of dependent origination • (Pratisamutpada): Central theory of Buddhist Philosophy. It tells us that in the empirical world dominated by the intellect, everything is relative, conditional. Dependent, subject to birth and death and therefore impermanent. • Theory of momentariness {Kshanabhanga or Impermanence): It tells that everything, in this world is merely a conglomeration of perishable qualities. According to it. Things that can produce effect exist and whatever can not produce effect has no existence.
Five Great Events of Buddha’s – • Life and their Symbols 1. Birth: Lotus and Bull 2. Great Renunciation: Horse 3. Nirvana: Bodhi tree 4. First Sermon: Dharmachakra or wheel 5. Parinirvana or Death: Stupa • Four Noble Truths 1. The world is full of sorrows. 2. Desire is root cause of sorrow. 3. If Desire is conquered, all sorrows can be removed. Desire can be removed by Following the eight-fold path. • Eight Fold Path 1. Right understanding 2. Right speech 3. Right livelihood 4. Right mindfulness 5. Right thought 6. Right action 7. Right effort 8. Right concentration • Three Ratnas 1. Buddha 2. Dhamma 3. Sangha • Sacred Shrines Lumbini, Bodh-Gaya. Sarnath and Kusinagar, where the tour principal events of the Buddha’s life namely, Birth, Enlightenment. First sermon and Mahaparinirvana took place. To these are added tour places Sravasti, Rajgriha. Vaishali and Sankasya—these eight places have all along been considered as the eight holy places (ashtamahasthanas). Other centres of Buddhism in Ancient India—Amravati and Nagarjunikonda in Andhra Pradesh; Nalanda in Bihar; Junagadh and Valabhi in Gujarat; Sanchi and Bharhut in MP; Ajanta-Ellora in Maharashtra, Dhaulagiri in Orissa; Kannauj. Kausambi and Mathura in U.P.: and Jagadala and Somapuri in West Bengal. Buddhist architecture developed essentially in three forms, viz. (a) Stupa (relics of the Buddha or some prominent Buddhist monk is preserved) (b) Chaitya (prayer hall) (c) Vihara (residence)
Types of Buddhism –
1. Hinayana -
(a) Its followers believed in the original teachings of Buddha,
(b) They sought individual salvation through self-discipline and meditation.
(c) They did not believe in idol-worship,
(d) Hinayana, like Jainism, is a religion without God, Karma taking the place of God.
(e) Nirvana is regarded as the extinction of all.
(f) The oldest school of Hinayana Buddhism is the Sthaviravada (Theravada in Pali) or the ‘Doctrine of the Elders’, (f) Its Sanskrit counterpart, which is more philosophical is known as Sarvastivada or the doctrine which maintains the existence of all things, physical as well as mental,
(g) Gradually, from Sarvastivada or Vaibhasika branched another school called Sautantrika, which was more critical in outlook.
2. Mahayana:
(a) Its followers believed in the heavenliness of Buddha and sought the salvation of all through the grace and help of Buddha and Bodhisatvas.
(b) Believes in idol- worship,
(c) Believes that Nirvana is not a negative cessation of misery but a positive state of bliss,
(d) Mahayana had two chief philosophical schools: the Madhyamika and the Yogachara.
(e) The former took a line midway between the uncompromising realism of Hinayanism and the idealism of Yogachara.
(f) The Yogachara school founded by Maitreyanatha completely rejected the realism of Hinayana and maintained absolute idealism.
3. Vajrayana:
(a) Its followers believed that salvation could be best attained by acquiring the magical power, which they called Vajra.
(b) The chief divinities of this new sect were the Taras.
(c) It became popular in Eastern India, particularly Bengal and Bihar.
Contribution of Buddhism – • According to Buddhism there is no-self, no God, no soul and no spirit. • There is very little theological or philosophical speculation involved • Buddhism is scientific in approach, a search for cause and effect relationships and knowledge of reality, as each individual human being experiences it. • It is psychological in approach, that is, it begins with human being. “If women were not admitted into the monasteries, Buddhism would have continued for a thousand years, but because this admission has been granted, it would last only five hundred years” – Buddha • Roots of Buddhism in the Past 1. The Vedanta 2. Sankhya philosophy 3. The Upanishads: Ideas about Karma, soul, rebirth, moksha, ahinsa etc. • The doctrine of Ahimsa—so strongly stressed, devoutly preached and sincerely practiced by the Buddhists. Was incorporated in Hinduism of later days. • The practice of worshipping personal Gods, making their images and erecting temples in their honour became a part of the later day Hinduism. • Buddhism proved to be one of the greatest civilizing forces, which India gave to the neighbouring countries. • Buddhism broke the isolation of India and helped in establishment of intimate contacts between India and foreign countries.

Jainism –

Jainism traditionally known as Jaina dharma is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings and emphasizes spiritual independence and equality between all forms of life. Jainism is one of the oldest religions in the world. Jains traditionally trace their history through a succession of twenty-four propagators of their faith known as tirthankara with Ādinātha as the first tirthankara and Mahāvīra as the last of the current era. For long periods of time Jainism was the state religion of Indian kingdoms and widely adopted in the Indian subcontinent.
Origins – The origins of Jainism are obscure. During the 5th century BC, Vardhamana Mahāvīra became one of the most influential teachers of Jainism. Vardhamana Mahāvīra Born in 540 BC at Kundagrama near Vaisali. Siddhartha was his father: Trisala his mother, Yasoda his wife and Jameli was the daughter. Attained Kaivalya at Jrimbhikagrama in eastern India at the age of 42. Died at the age of 72 in 468 BC at Pavapuri near Rajagriha.
He was called Jina or Jitendriya, Nirgrantha and Mahavira. He accepted 4 doctrines of Parsava & added celibacy to it.
Three Ratnas – • Right faith (Samyak vishwas) • Right knowledge (Samyak jnan • Right conduct (Samyak karma)
The Principles of Jainism – Rejected the authority of the Vedas and the Vedic rituals. Did not believe in the existence of God. Believed in karma and the transmigration of soul. Laid great emphasis on equality. 1. Non-injury (ahinsa) 2. Non-lying (saryai) 3. Non-stealing (asateya) 4. Non-possession (aparigraha) 5. Observe continence (Bramacharya).
(The first four principles are of Parsavanath and the fifth Bramacharya was included by Mahavira).
Sacred Literature –
The sacred literature of the Svetambaras is written in a form of Prakrit called Ardhamagadhi, and may be classified as follows: 1. The twelve Angas 2. The twelve Upangas 3. The ten Parikarnas 4. The six Chhedasutras 5. The four Mulasutras.
Jaina Philosophy – • Syadvada: All our judgments are necessarily relative, conditional and limited. According ‘ to Syadvada (the theory of may be) seven modes of predication (saptabhangi) are possible. Absolute affirmation and absolute negation both are wrong. All judgments are conditional • Anekantavada: The Jaina metaphysics is a realistic and relativistic pluralism. It is called Anekantavada or the doctrine of the ‘manyness of reality’. Matter (Pudgala) and Spirit (Jiva) are regarded as separate and independent realities
Spread of Jainism – Jainism received patronage from the kings of the time, including Chandragupta Maurya. In the south, royal dynasties such as the Gangas, Kadambas. Chalukyas and Rashtrakutas patronized Jainism. In.Gujarat, patronage came from wealthy merchants. The concrete expression of Jainism’s religious zeal is seen all over the country in works of art and architecture. The 57-foot high statue of Gomateshvara at Sravanabelagola in Mysore, erected in 983 or 984 AD is a marvel of its kind. The temples at Mount Abu and those at Palithana in Gujarat and Moodabidri and Karkala in the south make a rich contribution to the Indian heritage.
Jaina Councils – By the end of fourth century BC, there was a serious famine in the Ganges valley leading to a great exodus of many Jaina monks to the Deccan and South India (Sravana Belgola) along with Bhadrabahu and Chandragupta Maurya. They returned to the Gangetic valley after 12 years. The leader of the group, which stayed back at Magadha was Sthulabahu. The changes that took place in the code of conduct of the followers of Sthulabahu led to the division of the Jainas into Digambaras (sky-clad or naked) and Svetambaras (white-clad). • First Council was held at Pataliputra by Sthulabahu in the beginning of the third century BC and resulted in the compilation of 12 Angas to replace the lost 14 Purvas. • Second Council was held at Valabhi in the 5th century AD under the leadership of Devaradhi Kshamasramana and resulted in final compilation of 12 Angas and 12 Upangas.

Political development in ancient India (500 BC to 300 AD)–

At same time that these philosophical and social transformations were occurring, state formation in both the Indus and the Ganges basins led to the rise of dozens of competing polities. More than 70 tribal entities are recorded. The historical tradition records heightened levels of violence as local rajas vied for supremacy in each river basin. Since the polities along the Indus emerged during the Epic Era and enjoyed significant local heritage they tended to retain local autonomy. The Punjab region of the upper Indus Valley remained the seat of Vedic/Hindu learning and of ancient Vedic heritage. Tribally based polities included the Purus, the Kambojas, the Gandharas, the Kurus, the Pancalas, and the Madras. Since agricultural production in the arid Indus region could not be expanded beyond a certain ceiling and expansion southward was restricted by the Thar desert, the natural direction for population expansion was eastward into the Ganges Valley. In the Ganges the main settlements extended in a chain-like line along the Himalayan foothills into southern Nepal and then southward along the banks of the Ganges. Tribes here included the Panchalas, the Chedis, the Kosalas, the Videhas, and the Magadhas. The challenges presented by land clearance, urban development, and communications in this region tended to favor the rise of more centralized authority. Indian territorial empires tended to emerge first in the Ganges and to expand outward. The independence and deep seated animosities that prevailed among polities in the Indus, on the other hand, left that region exposed to repeated external invasion. These invasions invariably proceeded from the land routes that descend from the Afghan plateau (the Khyber and the Swat passes). The Persian emperor Darius I (522-486 BC) conquered the entire Indus Valley and according to Herodotus made it his most productive satrapy. The Persians were unable to sustain their authority in this distant region, however, and within a century local warfare among the rajas of the Punjab accelerated to higher thresholds of violence.

The Mahajanapadas –

In the later Vedic period, the tribal organizations changed its identity and gradually shifted to the territorial identity, and the area of settlement was now regarded as janapadas or states. In transition from tribe to monarchy, they lost the essential democratic pattern of the tribe but retained the idea of government through an assembly representing the tribes. About 6th century BC, iron implements began to be used widely. As iron implements helped clear the dense forests of the Gangetic plains, civilization expanded eastwards. The new agricultural tools and implements improved the knowledge of cultivation. This helped in the production of surplus food grains, which could be collected by the Kings to meet their military and administrative needs. Establishment of an agrarian economy enabled the people to lead a settled life, to stick to their land, and also to expand at the cost of the neighboring virgin areas. These states consisted of either a single tribe such as Shakyas, Kolias, Malas etc. The people in the lower Ganges Valley and Delta, which were outside the Aryan pale, were not incorporated. There was, therefore, a strong consciousness of the pure land of the Aryans called Aryavarta. Each janapada tried to dominate and subjugate other janapadas to become Mahajanapadas.

|Sr. |Mahajanapadas |Capital |Locations |
|No. | | | |
|1 |Gandhara |Taxila |Covering the region between Kabul and Rawalpindi in North Western |
| | | |Province. |
|2 |Kamboja |Rajpur |Covering the area around the Punch area in Kashmir |
|3 |Asmaka |Potana |Covering modern Paithan in Maharashtra; on the bank of River Godavari |
|4 |Vatsa |Kaushambi |Covering modern districts of Allahabad and Mirzapur |
|5 |Avanti |Ujjain |Covering modern Malwa (Ujjain) region of Madhya Pradesh. |
|6 |Surasena |Mathura |Located in the Mathura region at the junction of the Uttarapath & |
| | | |Dakshinapath |
|7 |Chedi |Shuktimati |Covering the modern Budelkhand area |
|8 |Maila |Kushinara, Pawa |Modern districts of Deoria, Basti, Gorakhapur in eastern Uttar |
| | | |Pradesh. Later merged into Maghada Kingdom |
|9 |Kurus |Hastinapur/Indraprastha |Covering the modern Haryana and Delhi area to the west of River Yamuna|
|10 |Matsya |Virat Nagari |Covering the area of Alwar, Bharatpur and Jaipur in Rajasthan |
|11 |Vajjis |Vaishali |Located to the north of the River Ganga in Bihar. It was the seat of |
| | | |united republic of eight smaller kingdoms of which Lichhavis, |
| | | |Janatriks and Videhas were also members. |
|12 |Anga |Champa |Covering the modern districts of Munger and Bhagalpur in Bihar. The |
| | | |Kingdoms were later merged by Bindusara into Magadha. |
|13 |Kashi |Banaras |Located in and around present day Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. |
|14 |Kosala |Shravasti |Covering the present districts of Faizabad, Gonda, Bahraich, etc. |
|15 |Magadga |Girivraja/Rajgriha |Covering modern districts of Patna, Gaya and parts of Shahabad. |
|16 |Panchala |Ahichhatra (W. Panchala), |Present day Rohilkhand and part of Central Doab in Uttar Pradesh. |
| | |Kampilya (S. Panchala) | |

Important Republics: The kings in these states had the supreme authority. The Mahajapandas of Vriji, Malla, Kuru, Panchal and Kamboj were republican states and so were other smaller states like Lichhavi, Shakya, Koliya, Bhagga, and Moriya. These republican states had a Gana-parishad or an Assembly of senior and responsible citizens. This Gana-Parishad had the supreme authority in the state. All the administrative decisions were taken by this Parishad. Again, the republics were basically of two types:
(a) The republics comprising a single tribe like those of the Sakyas, the Kolias and the Mallas,
(b) The republics comprising a number of tribes or the republics of confederacy like the Vrijjis.

Magadhan Ascendancy-

Between the sixth and the fourth centuries BCE, Magadha (in present day Bihar) became the most powerful Mahajanapada. • The Haryankas: Magadha came into prominence under the leadership of Bimbisara (542-493 BC), who belonged to the Haryanka dynasty. He took three wives. His first wife was the daughter of the king of Kosala and the sister of Prasenajit. His second wife Chellana was a Lichchhavi Princess from Vaishali, and his third wife was the daughter of the chief of the Madra clan of Punjab. The earliest capital of Magadha was at Rajgir, which was called Girivraja at that time. Bimbisar was succeeded by his son Ajatasatru (492-460 BC). Ajatasatru was succeeded by Udayin (460-444 BC), His reign is important because he built the fort upon the confluence of the Ganga and made capital Pataliputra. This was done because Patna lay in the centre of the Magadhan kingdom. • The Sisunagas: Udayin was succeeded by the dynasty of Sisunagas, who temporarily shifted the capital to Vaishali. Their greatest achievement was the destruction of the power of the Avanti with its capital at Ujjain. • The Nandas: The Sisunagas were succeeded by the Nandas,. The Nandas added to the Magadhan power by the conquering Kalinga from where they brought an image of the Jina as a victory trophy. All this took place in the reign of Mahapadma Nanda. The Nandas were the first non-kshatriya rulers. The last Nanda ruler was defeated by Chandragupta Maurya who founded the Maurya Empire.
Causes for the rise of Magadha – • Advantages geographical location with both Rajgir and Pataliputra situated at strategic locations. • Abudance of natural resources, such as iron, enabled Magadhan rulers to equip with effective weapons. • The alluvial soil of the Gangatic plains and sufficient rainfall were they conductive for agriculture produces. • Rise of town and use of metallic money boosted trade and commerce. The princess could levy tolls and accumulate wealth to pay and maintain their army. • Use of elephants on a large scale in wars with its proximity to ancient Kalinga. • Unorthodox character of Magadhan society • Contribution of several enterprising and ambitious rulers. • Ambitious rulers and their policies.

Alexander Invasion in India –

The Indian campaign of Alexander the Great began in 326 BC. Alexander was born July 20, 356 B.C. in Pella, in the Kingdom of Macedonia. During his leadership, he united the Greek city-states and led the Corinthian League. He also became the king of Persia, Babylon and Asia, and created Macedonian colonies in Iran. After conquering the Achaemenid Empire of Persia, the Macedonian king (and now high king of the Persian Empire) Alexander launched a campaign in North West India In the fourth century BC, the Greeks and the Iranians fought for the supremacy of the world. The Greek ruler Alexander conquered not only Asia Minor and Iraq but also Iran. From Iran, he marched to India, obviously attracted by its great wealth. Alexander conquered principalities one by one. Among the rulers of these territories, two were well-known: Ambhi, the prince of Taxila, and Porus whose kingdom lay between the Jhelum and the Chenab. Alexander moved on to Kabul, from where he marched India through the Khyber Pass. Ambhi. The king of Taxila sent a mission to Alexander, Offering to help him, if his own kingdom was spared and augmented his army and replenished his treasure. The Battle of the Hydaspes was fought by Alexander in July 326 BC against king Raja Purushottama (Poros) on the Hydaspes River (Jhelum River) in the Punjab of Pakistan, near Bhera. The Hydaspes battle was the last major battle fought by Alexander. Porus was defeated but was restored to his dominion as a vassal of Alexander. Alexander wanted to continue his advance but his soldiers mutinied and refused to go beyond river Hyphasis (Beas) and he had to retreat. Alexander died in Babylonia in 323 BC. After his death, most of the Macedonians returned home Though Alexander’s stay in India was brief.
Effects of Greek Invasion – • The Greek invasion of India opened the trade route between North West and Western India Eastwards trade went through the Ganga delta to the coast of Northern Burma and south along the east coast. • Money was introduced. Punch-marked coins in gold and silver and of copper cast have been discovered. Introduction of money facilitated the trade. • Opening up of four distinct routes between India & Greek by land sea paving way for increased trade and cultural contacts between the two regions. • Establishments of more Greek settlements in north-western region • Ashokan pillars were also influenced by Greek Art. • Establishment of the coast and search for harbours from the mouth of the Indus to that of the Euphrates. • Promotion to expansion of the Mauryan empire in north-west India due to destruction of local powers by Alexander • India and Greek established trade contact. • Coins of India non inscribed on 'Uluk Model' of the Greeks • Many Greek scholars came to India with Alexander and wrote on Indian history which is relevant in constructions of contemporary socio-religious aspect.

The Mauryan Empire (325 BC -183 BC)-

There are mainly two literally sources of the Mauryan period. One is the Arthashastra written by Kautilya or Chanakya, the Prime Minister of Chandragupta Maurya, which explains how a good government should be organized. The other source is Indica written in Greek by Magasthenes, the ambassador of Seleucus Nicator head the court of Chandragupta. Magasthenes wrote not only about the capital city of Pataliputra but also about the Maurya Empire as a whole and about the society.
Origin – Maurya Empire was originated from the kingdom of Magadha in the Indo-Gangetic plains which is currently a part of modern Bihar, eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bengal (eastern side). It was ruled through the capital Patliputra (modern Patna). Chandragupta Maurya was the founder of the dynasty (322 BC) who had overthrown the Nanda Dynasty and rapidly expanded his power westwards across central and western India by taking advantage of the disruptions of local powers in the wake of the withdrawal westward by Alexander the Great’s Greek and Persian armies. By 320 BC the empire had fully occupied Northwestern India, defeating and conquering the satraps left by Alexander. It was one of the largest empires to rule the Indian subcontinent, stretched to the north along the natural boundaries of the Himalayas, and to the east stretching into what is now Assam. To the west, it reached beyond modern Pakistan, annexing Balochistan and much of what is now Afghanistan, including the modern Herat and Kandahar provinces.
Chandragupta Maurya (321-293 BC)- The Maurya dynasty was founded by Chandragupta Maurya. He took advantage of the growing weakness and unpopularity of the Nandas in the last days of their rule. With the help of Chanakya, who is known as Kautilya, he overthrew the Nandas and established the rule of Maurya dynasty. • In 305 BC Chandragupta defeated Seleucus Nikator, who surrendered a vast territory. • Megasthenese was a Greek ambassador sent to the court of Chandragupta Maurya by Seleucus. • Chandragupta became a Jain and went to Sravan belgola with Bhadrabahu, where he died by slow starvation (Sale/than). • Under Chandragupta Maurya, for the first time, the whole of northern India was united. • Trade flourished, agriculture was regulated, weights and measures were standardized and money came into use. Taxation, sanitation and famine relief became the concerns of the State.
Bindusar (296 BC-273 BC)- • Bindusara extended the kingdom further and conquered the south as far as Mysore. • Bindusar asked Antiochus I of Syria to send some sweet wine, dried figs, and a Sophist. Antiocus I sent wine and figs but politely replied that Greek philosophers are not for sale. • Bindusar patronized Ajivikus.
Ashokvardhan / Ashoka (273 BC-232 BC)- • Ashoka, the most famous of the Mauryan Kings. He ruled for 36 years. The Mauryan Empire reached its peak under the rule of Ashoka. • Asoka ought the Kalinga war in 261 BC in the 9 th years of his coronation. • Ashoka believed in high ideals, which, according to him, could lead people to be virtuous, and peace loving. This he called Dhamma (which is a Prakrit form of the Sanskrit word Dharma).. • Ashoka sent his son Mahendra to Sri Lanka to preach Buddhism there. He propagated Buddhism to Chola and Pandya kingdoms, which were at the extreme southern part of the Indian peninsula then Buddhist missions to Burma and other Southeast Asian countries too.

|Asoka's Hellenistic Contemporaries |
|Antiochus II Theos |Syria |
|Ptolemy II Philadelpus |Egypt |
|Magas |Cyrne |
|Antigonus Gonatas |Macedonia |
|Alexander |Epirus |

|Various Names Epithets Of Asoka |
|Devanamkpriya |Monarchial Epithet |
|Ashokavardnan |Purana |
|Piyadassiraja |Barabar cave inscription |
|Ashoka Maurya |Junagarh Inscription |
|Piyadasi |Piyadasi |

Decline- Ashoka was followed for 50 years by a succession of weaker kings. Brihadrata, 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 faith.
The empire- • The empire was divided into a number of provinces. Probably, five. • The northern province, called Uttarapatha had Taxila as its capital • Western province, known as Avantipatha had its capital in Ujjain. • Prachyapatha with its capital Toshali (Kalinga) formed the Eastern province • While Dakshinapatha with its capital Surarnagiri was the southernmost province. • Central province. Magdha, with its capital at Pataliputra, was the headquarters of the entire kingdom.
Mauryan Administration:- The Mauryan rule was vast and highly centralized bureaucratic rule with the king as the Fountainhead of all the powers. The king claimed not divine rule; rather it was paternal despotism, Kautilya called the king dharmapravartaka or promulgator of social order.

|Mauryan Administration posts (Mantriparsihad) |
|Mantrin |Chief Minister |
|Pirohita |High Priest |
|Senapati |Commander-in-charge |
|Yuvraj |Crowned Prince |
|Samaharta |Collector of revenue |
|Prashasti |Head of prisons |
|Sannidata |Head of treasury |
|Nayaka |Had of city security |
|Paur |City police |
|Vyabharika |Chief Judge |
|Karmantika |Head of industries and factories |
|Dandapala |Had of police |
|Durgapala |Head of Royal Fort |
|Annapala |Head of food grains Department |
|Rajjukas |Officers responsible for land measurement and fixing its boundary |
|Pradesika |Head of district Administration |

Mauryan culture – • The Mauryas introduced stone masonry on large scale. Fragments of stone pillars and slumps indicating the existence of an 80-pillared hall have been discovered at Kumarhar on outskirts of Patna. • The pillars represent the Masterpiece of Mauryan sculpture. Each pillar is made of single piece of sandstone. Only their capitals which are beautiful pieces of sculpture in form of lion or bulls are joined with pillar on the top. Single Lion capital at Rampurva and Lauriya Nandangarh. Single bull capital at Rampurva. Four lion capital at Sarnath and Sanchi. • A carved elephant at Dhauli and engraved elephant at Kalsi. • The Mauryan artisans also started the practice of hewing out caves from rocks for monks to live in. the earliest example are Barabar caves in Gaya. • Stupas were built throughout the empire to enshrine Buddha. Of these, the most famous are at Sanchi ,Bui hut and sarnath.
Mauryan economy – • During Mauryan rule, though there was banking system in India. yet usury was customary and the rate of interest was 15’/’ per annum on borrowing money. In less secure transactions (like sea Voyages etc) the rate of interest could be as high as 60’# per annum. • During Mauryan period, the punch marked coins (mostly of silver) were the common units of transactions. • Tamraliptim the Gangetic delta was the most prosperous port on the East Coast of India. • Chandragupta Maurya established a single currency across India, and a network of regional governors and administrators and a civil service provided justice and security for merchants, farmers and traders. • India's exports included silk goods and textiles, spices and exotic foods. • The state controlled almost all economic activities. • Tax collected from peasants varied from ¼ to 1/6 of the Produce. • The state also provided irrigation facilities and charged water-tax. • Tolls were also levied on commodities brought to town for sale and they were collected at gate. • The slate enjoyed monopoly in mining, sale of liquor, manufacture of arms etc
Mauryan Army- • The most striking feature of Mauryan administration was maintanence of a huge army. They also maintained a Navy. • According to Megasthenes the administration of Army was carried by a board of 30 officers divided into six committees, each committee consisting of 5 members. They are: 1. Army 2. Cavalry 3. Elephants 4. Chariots 5. Navy 6. Transport
Mauryan Scholars – Chanakya (370–283 BC)- Chanakya was an Indian teacher, philosopher, and royal advisor. A professor of economics and political science at the ancient Takshashila University, Chanakya managed the first Maurya Emperor Chandragupta's rise to power at a young age. He is widely credited for having played an important role in the establishment of the Maurya Empire, which was the first empire in archaeologically recorded history to rule most of the Indian subcontinent. Chanakya served as the chief advisor to both Chandragupta and his son Bindusara. Chanakya is traditionally identified as Kautilya or Vishnu Gupta, who authored the ancient Indian political treatise called Arthasastra (Economics). He is considered as the pioneer of the field of economics and political science in India.
Megasthenes (350 – 290 BCE) -
Megasthenes was a Greek ethnographer and explorer in the Hellenistic period, author of the work Indica. He became an ambassador of Seleucus I of the Seleucid dynasty possibly to Chandragupta Maurya in Pataliputra, India. His report about the culture, history and religion of India was the basis of Western knowledge about India.

India after Mauryas (200 BC-A.D. 100)-

The period which became an in about 200 BC did not witness a large empire like that of Mauryas, but it is notable for intimate and widespread contacts between Central Asia and India. In eastern India, Central India and the Deccan, the Mauryas were succeeded by a number of native rulers, such as Sungas, the Kanvas and the Satavahanas. In north-western India they were succeeded by a number of ruling dynasties from Central Asia.
In north India the tribal states which had earlier succumbed to Mauryan imperialism, now reasserted themselves. In Punjab his existence of several people republics is attested by numismatic evidence. Trigarthas ruled the plane country between the rivers Ravi and Sutlej. Yaudheyas, who were famous warriors, ruled the territory between Sutlej and Yamuna and parts of eastern Rajasthan. Arjunayanas, Malavas and Sibis were distributed in different parts of Rajasthan.
Following are some of the major dynasties which came in existence after Mauryas.
The Sunga dynasty (185-71 BC): The founder of Sunga dynasty was Pushyamitra Sunga, the commander in chief of Brihadratha, the last Mauryan king. According to Puranas, Pushyamitra ruled for 36 years and his reign ended in 148 BC. Pushyamitra was succeeded by his son Agnimitra. From Kalidasa's drama Malvikagnimitram, we learned that Agnimitra was the governor of Vidisha during his father's rule. He ruled for eight years. Agnimitra was succeeded by Jyestha. The next important king of this dynasty was Vasumitra, who was the son of Agnimitira. The last king of this dynasty was Devabhuti or Devabhumi. According to Puranas, he was an incapable and is loving ruler. He was put to death by his minister or amatya called Vasudeva Kanva. Thus, the kingdom of Magadha passed from Sungas to the Kanvas. The Sunga dynasty's greatest achievement was the safeguarding of India from invasion of Hunas. They valiantly resisted the Huna's attacks and saved India from being destroyed. The contributed a lot to the development of culture also. The Sunga kings greatly encouraged the Brahman religion and literature.
Hunas – Hunas were only of the fierce tribes from Central Asia. They have been periodically invading India since Sunga period. They were resisted by the rulers until the second half of the fifth century A.D. But the weakness of the Empire provided them with a chance and by 485 A.D. they were able to occupy eastern Malwa and a good portion of central India.
Kanva dynasty (72 BC-27 BC)- The rule of the Kanvas lasted for about 45 years. For kings ruled during this period. Vasudeva ruled for a period of nine years and Bhumimitra for 14 years. Narayana held the reigns of administration for 12 years --Susharma was the last of the Kanvas. He was a peek King wholly devoid of administrative ability. He could rule hardly for 10 years. During the Kanva dynasty, the Brahmanical reaction persisted.
Cheta (Chetis) dynasty of Kalinga- It is evident that Kalinga succeded from the Mauryas Empire in the years following the death of Asoka, though it's history is not known with any degree of certainty till the first century BC. It records the exploits of Kharavela belonging to the Cheta or Cheti line of kings, founded by Maha Meghavahana. He assumed the title of Kalingadhipati or Kalinga Chakravartin as a mark of his paramountcy. A follower of Jainism, Kharavela was a liberal patron of Jain monks for whose residence he constructed caves on the Udayagiri hills, near Bhubaneswar in Orrisa.
Satavahanas dynasty (235 BC-100 BC)- This Is the most important of the native successors of the Mauryas in the Deccan and in Central India were the Satavahanas. The Satavahanas are considered to be identical with the Andhras mentioned in the Puranas. The early Satavahanas kinks appeared not in Andhra, but in Maharashtra where most of their early inscriptions have been found. Gautamiputra Satakarni (A.D. 106-130) was the most powerful Satavahana king. The successors of Gautamiputra ruled till A.D. 200. • The rise of Satavahanas signified that the economic revolution of the Gangetic region was repeated all over India. • Since Satavahanas had controlled part of the Deccan and part of the northern India they acted as the career of Aryanism to Southern India.
The Kushanas (30 A.D.- 230 A.D.) – The Parthian was followed by Kushanas, who are also called Yuehis or Tocharians. The Kushans were one of the five clan’s into which the Yuechi tribe was divided. There were two successive dynasties of Kushans. The first dynasty was founded by a house of Chief who were called Kadphises and who ruled for 28 years from about A.D. 50. It has two Kings the first Kadphises I, who issued coins south of the Hindukush. Kadphises I was succeeded by his son kadphises II or Vima Kadphises. Kanishka was the greatest Kushana king. He spread his kingdom in and beyond the western Himalayas, including Khotan in Sinkiang. He is credited with popularizing Buddhism in Tibet, China, Central Asia and other parts of the world.
Main kings of kushanas • Kujula Kadphises (ca. 30 – ca. 80) • Vima Taktu or Sadashkana (ca. 80 – ca. 95) • Vima Kadphises (ca. 95 – ca. 127) • Kanishka I (ca. 127 – ca. 140) • Vāsishka (ca. 140 – ca. 160) • Huvishka (ca. 160 – ca. 190) • Vasudeva I (ca. 190 – ca. 230)

Sangam period –

'Sangam' is the Tamil form of Sanskrit word "Sangha" meaning a group of persons or an association. The Tamil Sangam was an Academy of poets and bards, who flourished in three different periods and in different places under the patronage of the Tamil kings. According to tradition, the first Sangam was founded by Sage Agastya and its seat was at the Madurai (South Madurai). The Sangam literature speaks highly of three South Indian kingdoms- Chola, Pandya and Chera.
The Pandayas (Emblem - Fish)- • The Pandyas were first mentioned by Megasthanese. who said that then kingdom was famous for pearls. • The Pandyan territory included modern districts of Tirnelvelli. Ramanad and Madurai in Tami Nadu it had its capital at Madurai. Situated on the banks of Vaigai river. • The Pandya king Profited from trade with Roman Empire and sent emissaries to Roman emperor Augustus and Trojan. • The Pandyas find mention in the Ramayana and Mahabharata. The earliest known Pandyan ruler was Mudukudumi, who ruled from Madurai. He accused Kovalan of theft. As a result, the city of Madurai was laid under a curse by Kannagi (Kovalan’s wile).
The Cholas (Emblem - Tiger)- • The Chola kingdom called as Cholamandulam was situated to the north-east of Pandya kingdom between Pennar and Vellar rivers. • The Chola kingdom corresponded to modern Tanjore and Tiruchirapalli districts. • Its inland capital was Uraiyaur a place famous for cotton trade. One of the main sources of wealth for Cholas was trade in cotton cloth. • Puhar identical with Kaveripattanam was the main port of Cholas and served as alternative capital of Cholas. • The earliest known Chola king was Elara who in 2 nd century B C conquered Sri Lanka and ruled over it for nearly 53 years. • Their greatest king was Karikala (man with charred leg) who founded Puhar and constructed 160 km of embankment along die Kaveri River. • They maintained an efficient navy. The Cholas were wiped out in the attack of Pallavas from North.
The Cheras (Emblem - Bow)- • The Chera country occupied the portion of both Kerala and Tamil Nadu • The capital of Cheras was Vanjji. • It main ports were Muzris and Tondi. • The Romans set up two regiment at Muzris (identical with Cranganore) in Chera country. The also built a temple of Augustus at Muzris. • One of the earliest and better known among Chera rulers was Udiyangeral. • The greatest of Chera king however was Senguttuvan of Red Chera. It is said that he invaded north and even crossed the Ganga
Sangam Administration- The king was the center of administration. He was called Ko, Mannam, Vendan Korravan or Iraivan, Avai was the court of crowned monarch. The court of the crowned monarch was called avai.

|Amaichhar |Ministers |
|Purohitar |Purohits |
|Dutar |Envoys |
|Senapatiyar |Senapati |
|Orar |Spies |

The kingdom was divided into mandalam, nadu (province), ur (town), sirur (small village), perur (big village).
Revenue administration- The commonest and possibly the largest source of revenue was land-tax called Karai, but the share of the agricultural proudce, claimed and collected by the king, is not specified. The ma and veli was the measure of land and kalam as measure of grain. A well-known unit of territory yielding tax was a variyam (Vari meant tax) and an officer in-charge of collecting the tax from that unit of land was called a Variyar.
Military Administration- The state maintained a rudimentary army and it consisted of chariots drawn by oxen, of elephants, cavalry and infantry. Elephants played an important part in war. Horses were imported by sea into the Pandyan kingdom. The institution of virakkal or nadukul (hero-stone), which was a practice of erecting monuments for the dead soldiers and worshiping them, was prevalent at that time. The institution of Kavalmaram or Kadimaram was also prevalent. Under it, each ruler had a great tree in his palace as a symbol of power.
Sangam Economy- The Sangam economy was simple and mostly self-sufficient. Agriculture was the main occupation and the chief crops were rice, cotton, ragi, sugarcane pepper, ginger, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon etc. Weaving, ship-building, metal working, carpentry, rope-making, ornament-making, making of ivory products, tanning etc were some of the handicrafts, which were widely practiced. The market place was known as avanam. This period also witnessed the emergence of various towns like Puhar, Uraiyur, Vanji, Tondi, Muzuris, Madurai, Kanchi, etc. Industry and crafts was given a fillip by a rising demand in the foreign markets.
Sangam Literature- The Sangam literature which combines idealism with realism and classic grace with indigenous industry and strength is rightly regarded as constituting the Augustan age of Tamil literature. It deals with secular matter relating to public and social activity like government, war charity, trade, worship, agriculture etc. The chief merits of the sangam works is their absolute devotion to standards and adherence to literary conventions. • The first Sangam was attended by Gods and legendary sages and its entire works have perished. • Of the second Sangam. The only surviving work is Tolkappiyam, an early work on Tamil grammar written by Tolkapiyyar. • The Sangam literature can roughly be divided into two groups narrative and didactic. • The narrative texts are called Melkannaku or eighteen major works consisting of eight anthologies (Ettutogai) and ten idylls (Pattupattu). • The didactic works are called Kilkannaku or eighteen minor works consisting of Tirukural and Naladiyar
Sangam epic- • Silappadikaram (The Jewelled Anklet) - Written by Mango Adigal. It deals with the story of Kovalam and Madhavi of Kaveripattinam. • Manimekalai - Written by Sattnar. Deals with the adventures of Manimekalai. daughter born of Kovalan and Madhavi. • Sivaga Sindamani, written by Tiruttakkadevar a Jaina ascetic, is the story of Sivaga or Jivaka

Gupta dynasty –

The Gupta Empire was an ancient Indian empire, founded by Maharaja Sri Gupta, which existed from approximately 320 to 550 CE and covered much of the Indian Subcontinent. The peace and prosperity created under the leadership of the Guptas enabled the pursuit of scientific and artistic endeavors. This period is called the Golden Age of India and was marked by extensive inventions and discoveries in science, technology, engineering, art, dialectic, literature, logic, mathematics, astronomy, religion and philosophy that crystallized the elements of what is generally known as Hindu culture. Chandra Gupta I, Samudra Gupta the Great, and Chandra Gupta II the Great were the most notable rulers of the Gupta dynasty.
Chandragupta I(320 A.D.-335 A.D.)- • Chandragupta I was the first to great ruler of the dynasty. • He married Kumaradevi, the Lichchavi Princess. • His empire included modern Bihar, Oudh, Allahabad, and Tirhut, in addition to Magadha. • He assumed the title of Maharajadhiraj. He started the Gupta era in A.D. 320, which marked the date of his accession. • Lichchhavi Princess Kumari Devi was the first Indian Queen featured on a coin.
Samudragupta (335 A.D.-375 A.D.)- Samudragupta increased the throne in 335 A.D. The basic information about his reign is provided by an inscription Prayaga Prasasti composed by Harisena, the poet at his court, and engraved on an Ashokan pillar at Allahabad Pillar Inscription. The places and the countries conquered by Samudragupta can be divided into five groups. • Group 1 includes Princes of the Ganga - Yamuna doab who were defeated. • Group 2 include the rulers of eastern Himalayan states and some frontier states such as princes of Nepal, Assam and Bengal. It also covers some republics of Punjab. • Group 3 includes the forest kingdom is situated in the Vindhya region and known as atavika rajyas. • Group 4 includes the 12 rulers of the eastern Deccan and South India, who were conquered liberated. • Group 5 includes the name of the Sakas and Kushans.
Samudragupta embarked upon a policy of conquest. In fact, Digvijay became the ultimate call of his life. For his military achievements, he has been aptly complemented by the historian V.A Smith as the Indian Napoleon. he has described Samudragupta as the Hero of Hundred Battles.
Chandragupta II (380 A.D.-412 A.D.)- • The reign of Chandragupta II (Vikramaditya) was the largest watermark of the Gupta Empire. He established a second capital at Ujjain and was the high point of the empire. • Chandragupta I married his daughter Prabhavati with a Vakataka Prince who belonged to the Brahmana cast and ruled in central India. • Chandragupta II adopted the title of Vikramaditya which had been first used by an Ujjain ruler in 57 BC as a mark of his victory over the Saka Kshatrapas of western India. • In Chandragupta's regin that the Chinese pilgrim Fa-Hien (399-414) visited India and abroad and elaborate account of the life of its people. • The Court of Chandragupta II at Ujjain was adorned by an numerous scholars.

Chandragupta II's Nine Gems
|Person |Field |Famous works |
|Amarsimha |Lexicography |Amarkosha |
|Dhanvantri |Medicine |Ayurveda |
|Harisena |Poetry |Allahabad Inscription |
|Kalidesa |Drama and Poetry |Abhijananashakuntalam |
|Kahapanaka |Drama and Poetry |Jyothisyashastra |
|Sanku |Astrology |Shilpashastra |
|Varahamihira |Architecture |Brihadsamhita |
|Vararuchi |Grammer |Vyakarana |
|Vetalabhatta |Magic |Mantrashastra |

Kumargupta I, Mahendraditya (415-455 A.D.)- • Adopted the title of Mahendraditya. • Introduced worship of God Kartikeya. Founded the monastery of Nalanda, which developed into a great centre of learning. • Kalidas flourished in the reign of both Kumar Gupta 1 and Chandragupta II.
Skandagupta Vikramaditya (455-467 A.D.) – • Skandagupta, the last ruler of the Gupta dynasty, probably came to the throne when the war Pushyamitra was still going on. • Success in repelling the Hunas scenes to have been celebrated by the assumption of the title Vikramaditya.
Gupta Art- In art, architecture, sculpture, and painting the period witnessed unprecedented activities and development all over India. That is why the period is also referred to as the Golden Age of ancient India.
Famous Temples

|Vishnu Temple |Tigawa(Jabalpur) |
|Shiva Temple |Bhumara(Nagaud) |
|Parvati Temple |Nachria Kuthara |
|Dasavtar Temple |Deogarh(Jhansi) |
|Shiva Temple |Koh(Nagaland) |
|Bhitragaon Temple |Bhitragaon |
|Lakshman Temple |Kanpur(Brick made) |
|Lakshman Temple |Sirpur (Raipur) |
|Mukund Darra Temple |Kota |
|Dhammekh Temple |Sarnath |
|Jarasangh's Sitting |Rajgrih (Bihar) |

Gupta Architecture & Sculpture – • The Gupta plastic conception had its birth at Mathura and spread to Sarnath, Shravasti, Prayag and other places. • Gupta age marks the beginning of the main styles of temple architecture in India namely the Nagara style and Dravida style. The finest example of temple architecture is the Dasavatara Temple at Deogarh. It is also an example of early stone temple with a Shikara. • The greatest specimen of Buddhist art in Gupta Times is provided by Ajanta paintings. They depict the various events in the life of Gautama Buddha and previous Buddhas, of jataka stories. • Lofty stone images of Buddha at Bamiyan in Afghanistan belonged to Gupta period.
Development of literature during Gupta period- • During the Gupta period, Sanskrit literature greatly encouraged. Prose and poetry both were written during the Gupta period. The Allahabad pillar inscription indicates that Harisena was a great poet.
Important Literary Works During the Gupta Period

|Epics |
|Raghuvansa, Ritusamhara, |Kalidas |
|Meghaduta | |
|Ravanabadha |Batsabhatti |
|Kavyadarshana and Dasakumarcharita |Dandin |
|Kiratarjuniyam |Bharavi |
|Nitishataka |Bhartrihari |
|Dramas |
|Vikramovarshiya, Malvikagnimitra and Abhijnansakuntalam|Kalidasa |
|Mrichchakatika | |
|Pratignayaugandharayana |Bhasa |
|Mudrarakshasa and Devichandraguptam |Vishakhadatta |
|Eulogy |
|Pragya-Prasasti |Harisena |
|Philosophy |
|Sankhyakarika |Ishwar Krishna |
|Nyaya Bhasya |Vatsyayana |
|Vyasa Bhasya |Acharya Vyasa |
|Grammmer |
|Amarakosha |Amarsimha |
|Chandravyakarana |Chandragomin |
|Kavyadarsha |Dandin |
|Narrative Story |
|Panchatantra and Hitopadesha |Vishnu Sharma |
|Mathematics and Astronomy |
|Aryabhattiya |Aryabhatta |
|Brihatsamhita and Panchasidhantika |Varamihira |
|Suryasidhanta |Brahmagupta |
|Miscellaneous Works |
|Nitisastra |Kamandaka |
|Kamsutra |Vatsyayana |
|Kavyalankara |Bhamah |

Guptas Administration- • It was during the Gupta rule that the village headmen became important than before In towns. Organized professional bodies (Guilds) were given considerable share in the administration. Guilds of artisans, merchants and scribes conducted the affairs of the town. • The Kumar amatyas were the most important officers of the Gupta period who were in charge of several portfolios. It was from them the mantris. Senapati. • Mahadanda-nayaka (Minister of justice) and Saiulhi vigrahika (Minister of war and peace) were generally chosen. • The Gupta military organization was feudal by character (though the emperor had a large standing army) Decentralization of the administrative authority began during the Gupta age. • The Gupta age also experienced an excess of land grants. Land grants included the transfer of royal rights over salt and mines, which were under the royal monopoly during the Maurya period. • In Gupta period land taxes increased in number and those on trade and commerce declined. • The king collected taxes varying from ¼ to 1/6 of the produce. • In Gupta period the army was to be fed by the people whenever it passed through the countryside. This tax was called Senabhakta. The villagers were also subjected to forced labour called vishti for serving royal army and officials. • In the Gupta period for the first time civil and criminal law were clearly defined and demarcated.
Social Developments- • The Brahamanas claimed many privileges on account of wealth accumulated by land grants. • The position of Sudras improved in Gupta period. They were now permitted to listen to the epics and Puranas. They could also worship lord Krishna. They were also allowed to perform certain domestic riles. which brought fees to priests. • The practice of untochability became more intense than before. The untouchables especially Chandalas increased in number.
Religious Developments- Since the society was highly materialistic, Hindu revived. Bhagavatism centered on the worship of Vishnu or Bhagwat, and originated in post-Mauryan times. Vishnu was a minor God in Vedic times. He represented the sun and also the fertility cult. By the second century BC he was merged with the God called Narayana. He was also called Bhagwat, and his worshippers were called Bhagavatas. Under the patronage of Gupta ruler. Vaishnavism became very popular. The Gods were activated by their unions with the respective consorts. Thus, Laxmi got her association with Vishuu (Skandgupta’s time) and Parvati got her association with Siva (Kumaragupta I’s time). This was the period of evolution of Vajrayanism and the Buddhist tantrum cults. Idol worship became a common Feature of Hinduism from Gupta period onwards.
Position of Women- In the Gupta period, woman were also allowed to listen the epics and the Puranas, and advised to worship Krishna. But woman of high year orders did not have access to independent sources of livelihood in pre-Gupta and Gupta Times. The main reason for the subordination of women belonging to the upper varnas was the complete dependence on the men for their livelihood.
Trade and Coinage – • In Gold content Gupta coins arc not as pure as Kushans • The Guptas also issued good number of silver coins for local exchange. • The Gupta copper coins are very few as compared to Kushanas, which show that use of money, did not touch common people. • Gupta period witnessed decline in long distance trade. • Trade with the Roman Empire declined after the third century AD. • Indian merchants began to rely more heavily on the south-east Asian trade
• Kalidas wrote a number of such excellent dramas like Sakuntala, Malavikagnimitram, Vikrumorvasiyatn, epics like the Raghuvamsa, and lyric poetry like the Ritu-Samhara and the Meghaduta. II the best-known work of Kalidas is his drama Sakunatala. his Meghaduta is among the most fascinating little poems that ever came to be written in Sanskrit. Both in drama and poetry. • Kalidas stands not only unsurpassed, but even unrivalled. His poetry is characterized by grace, simplicity and sentiment, and is decorated by striking figures of speech. He is unsurpassed in describing love and pathos.
Aryabhatta - Aryabhatta wrote Suryasiddh-anta, which dealt with epicyclic revolution of earth, nature of eclipse, reckoning of lime etc. Aryabhatta calculated Pi as 3.1416 and the length of the solar year as 365.358 days. He postulated that the Earth was a sphere rotating on its own axis and revolving around the Sun as well. He also postulated the exact cause of eclipses. He propounded the heliocentric theory of gravitation, thus predating Copernicus by almost one thousand years. Aryabhatta’s Magnum Opus, the Aryubhatliya was translated into Latin as early as 13th century.
Important Books-
|Author |Book |
|Bhasa | Svapanavasavdattam |
|Shudrak |Mrichchakatika |
|Amarkosh |Amarsimha |
|Iswara Krishna |Sankhya Karika |
|Vatsyana |Kama Sutra |
|Vishnu Gupta |Panchatantra |
|Narayan Pandit |Hitopdesha |
|Bhattin |Ravan Vadha |
|Bhaivi |Kiratarjunyam |
|Dandin |Daskumarachanta |
|Aryabhatta |Aryabhattyan |
|Vishakha Datta |Mudura Rakshasa |
|Indrabhuti |nanassiddhi |
|Varahamihara |Panchasiddh antika. |

The huna-
Huns were primitive pastoralists owning herds of cattle and horses but knowing nothing of agriculture. They roamed in the steppe in search of pasture and water. For their food they depended on hunting and food gathering. From the Oxus, the White Huns came into Afghanistan, destroyed the Kushan power there (in 415 AD) and after establishing themselves there, began to pour into India in 458 AD. However, Skandagupta. Who was at the time ruling in Northern India, checkmated them effectively. In 466-67, the Huns attacked again under Tormana and with the fall of the Persian Empire to the Huns, the Gupta Empire’s resistance collapsed and Huns occupied the areas up to Central India and Malwa about 500 AD.

Harshavardhana (606-647 AD)- • Harsha Vardhana was the son of Prabhakara Vardhana and the younger brother of Rajya Vardhana. • Harsha belonged to Pushyabhuti dynasty, which ruled from Thanesvar (Haryana). • Pushyabhuti were the feudatories of the Guptas, but had assumed independence after the Huna invasions. • His reign is comparatively well-documented, thanks to his court poet Bana, who was the author of works such as Harshacharita (an account of Harsha’s rise to power), Kadambari and Parvatiparinay. • Harsha’s dramas such as Ratnavali, Nagananda and Priyadarsika give us information about the political conditions in those days. • In his first expedition. Harsha drove away Sasanka from Kanauj who had occupied it after murdering Harsha’s brother. He made it his new capital • The area under his control covered many parts of northern India. Including the Punjab, eastern Rajasthan and the Ganga valley as far as Assam. But, his empire included territories of distant feudal kings too. • Harsha governed his empire on the same lines as the Guptas. The kings he conquered paid him revenue and sent soldiers when he was fighting war. They accepted his sovereignty, but remained rulers over their own kingdoms. • Harsha maintained diplomatic relations with China, which was under the rule of Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty. He also had good relations with the Tang rulers of China. • Harsha’s ambition of extending his power to the Deccan and southern India were stopped by Pulakesin II. The Chalukya king of Vatapi in northern Mysore.
Harshavardhana contribution- • Harsha, who was a Shaiva by faith, began celebration of religious festivals every five years, at the confluence of three rivers (The Ganga, The Yamuna, and The Saraswati) at Prayaga. It is said to be the beginning of the famous ‘Kumbha Mela’ of India. • Harsha is credited with two significant poems on Buddhist themes - the Ashtamahasricaityastotra (Praise to Eight Grand Caityas [Buddhist assembly halls]) and Suprabhatastotra (Laud to Morning) - and a tract on grammatical gender, the Linganusasanam. • Harsha was a tolerant ruler and supported all Indic faiths – Buddhism, Vedism and Jainism. Early in his life, he seems to have been a follower of Sun Worship, becoming a patron of Shaivism and Buddhism later on. • The great Indian mathematician Brahmagupta also lived in the Empire of Harshavardhana.

Hiuen tsang- • Chinese Buddhist monk Hsuan Tsang (var. Hiuen Tsiang) who visited India through the Silk Route between AD 627-643. He was a great traveler, scholar and translator. • Hsuan Tsang was born in AD 602 at present day’s Henan province, China. • All along his way, Hsuan Tsang faced many challenges and crossed deserts and mountains, passed through the central Asiatic regions of Turfan, Karashahr, Tashkent, Samarkand, and Bactria. After traveling about 34 kingdoms he finally entered India in 631 through Hindu Kush. He spent near about two years in northwest India and then went to Ganges region for visiting sacred Buddhist place. His travel included Kapilavastu (birthplace of Buddha), Benares; Sarnath (places where Budhha delivered lectures), Bodhgaya (Buddha accomplished Nirvana at this place) and then to Nalanda (Buddhist learning center in India). For 15 months.

Nalanda University- • The University of Nalanda was established during the reign of a king called Śakrāditya. Both Xuanzang and Prajñavarman cite him as the founder. • The Tang Dynasty Chinese pilgrim and scholar Xuanzang, was responsible for the translation of a large number of Buddhist scriptures from Sanskrit into Chinese. • Nalanda University was the first great university in recorded history and one of the world's first residential university as it had dormitories for students. • The university was considered an architectural masterpiece, and was marked by a lofty wall and one gate. Nalanda had eight separate compounds and ten temples, along with many other meditation halls and classrooms.

Pallavas (560-903 AD)- The Pallavas were the first well-known dynasty in the history of South India after the fall of the Satavahanas. Their origin is shrouded in mystery. According to some scholars they came from the north and were of Brahmanical origin. But most of the scholars think that the Pallavas were the original settlers of South India. A distinct feature of the Pallavas dynasty was a perennial war with the Chalukya in the earlier part and with the Rashtrakutas in the later part of the rule of the Pallava Empire.
Mahendravarman I: He was the son and successor of King Simhavishnu. Mahendravarman I was the first great king of the Palava dynasty. He was a versatile genius. He was famous for his many public works. Mahendravarman was a powerful ruler. But he was defeated by the Chalukyan king Pulakesin II who wrested Vengi from him.
Narasimhavarman I: Mahendravarmana was succeeded by his son Narasimhavarman I who was the most successful and distinguished king of this dynasty. He defeated the powerful Chalukya king Pulakesin II and occupied his capital Batapi. After this, Narasimhavarman I assumed the title of “Victor of Batapi”. This victory made the Pallavas the most dominant power in southern India. He laid the foundation of a new city which is known as Mahamallapuram (Mahabalipuram) and which he adorned with beautiful rock-cut Rathas or ‘Seven Pagodas’.
Paramesvarvarman I: Paramesvarvarman I (670-695) was next important king of the dynasty. During his reign the old enmity between the Pallavas and the Chalukyas was revived. Paramesvarvarman I was a devotee of Siva and built a number of fine Siva temples in his realm.
Nandivarman II: The last important king of Pallava dynasty was Nandivarman II (730-800). During his reign there was a renewal of Pallava ­Chalukya struggle for supremacy. Though initially hardly pressed, he was finally able to recover the lost ground. He also resisted the invasion of a league of southern states. Possibly he suffered a setback at the hands of Rashtrakuta monarch Dantidurga. But during his life time the Pallava power remained almost intact.
Culture, Literature, Art and Architecture- • The Pallavas should be specially remembered for their contribution to the cultural, literal, art and archeological history of South India. • The Kings of Pallava Dynasty warmly patronized the Sanskrit language. Kanchi became the famous seat of Sanskrit learning In the South. Dandi, Bharavi, Dignaga, the great poet, master of Sanskrit prose and scholar respectively, all came and stayed in Kanchi court. • Pallava architecture and sculptures as these two constitute the most brilliant chapter in the history of South Indian art. • We have found several styles in Pallava architecture. There was the Mahendra style, the Mamalla style, the Rajsimha style, the Aparajita style, though the Aparajita style followed the Chola architectural style. • The Mamallapuram town became an important sea port during the days of the Pallavas. They had friendly relation with the Malaysia, Indonesia and Greater India as well.

The Chola Empire (9th-12th Century)- The Chola Empire rose to prominence during the middle of the 9th century C.E. and established the greatest empire South India had seen. They successfully united the South India under their rule and through their naval strength extended their influence in the Southeast Asian countries such as Srivijaya. They dominated the political affairs of Lanka for over two centuries through repeated invasions and occupation. They also had continuing trade contacts with the Arabs in the west and with the Chinese empire in the east. • The founder of Chola Dynasty was Vijayalaya, who was at first a feudatory of the Pallavas. He captured Tanjore in 850 AD. • The greatest Chola rulers were Rajaraja (985-1014 AD) and his son Rajendra I (1014-1044 AD). • Raja built a Saiya a temple of Rajarajeshwara at Temple. • Rajendra I assumed the title of Gangaikondachola and built a city called Gangaikondacholapuram) • The Chola Empire was divided into Mandalams or provinces and these in turn were divided Into Valanadu and Nadu. • The arrangement of local self-government has been regarded as the basic feature of the administration of Cholas. • The style of architecture which came into vogue during this period is called Dravida e.g. Kailashnath temple of Kanchipuram. • Another aspect was image making which reached its climax in dancing figure of Shiva called Natraja. • Kambama who wrote Ramavatrama was one of the greatest figures of Tamil poetry. His Ramayana is known as Kamba Ramayana. • Pampa, Ponna and Ranna are considered as three gems of Kannada poetry.
Society and Culture- • Cholas under Rajaraja and his successors developed a highly organized administrative structure with central control and autonomous village assemblies. The system of government was a hereditary monarchy and the coronation of the king was an impressive ceremony. • Justice was administered by regularly constituted royal courts in addition to village courts. • Period of the Chola rule saw the maturity of the Tamil Temple architecture. Rajaraja built the great Brihadisvara Temple in Thanjavur. • The Shiva and Vishnava canons were collected and categorized during this period. the later half of this period saw the state sponsored persecution of those of the Vaishnava persuasion. Their spiritual leader Ramanuja was persecuted and driven out of the Chola country.

Palas dynasty- The Pala Dynasty was the ruling Dynasty in Bihar and Bengal India, from the 8th to the 12th century. Called the Palas because all their names ended in Pala, "protector". The Palas rescued Bengal from the chaos into which it had fallen after the death of Shashanka, a rival of Harsha of Kanauj. The founder of the dynasty was Gopala. Gopala reigned from 750-770 AD consolidated his position by extending his control over all Bengal. His successor, Dharmapala, 770-781AD, made the Palas a dominant power of northern India, installing his own nominee on the once-prestigious throne at Kanauj. Under Devapala, 810-850, the Palas were able to regain their eminence against both the Pratiharas and the Rashtrakutas. Devapala's successors were peaceful men, either by disposition or circumstance, and after 860 the Pala Empire disintegrated. Pala fortunes were revived briefly by Rampala 1077-1120, but by the middle of the 12th century the Pala kingdom had succumbed to the rising power of the Senas.
Society and Culture- The Palas, adherents to Mahayana Buddhism, were generous patrons of Buddhist temples and the famous universities of Nalanda and Vikramashila. It was through their missionaries that Buddhism was finally established in Tibet. The celebrated Buddhist monk Atisha 981-1054AD, who reformed Tibetan Buddhism, was the president of the Vikramashila monastery. The Palas also maintained cordial relations with the Hindu-Buddhist state of the Shailendras of Sumatra and Java.
Under Pala patronage a distinctive school of art arose, of which many noteworthy sculptures in stone and metal survive. The Somapura Mahavihara in present-day Bangladesh is a World Heritage Site. It is a monastery with 21 acre (85,000 m²) complex has 177 cells, numerous stupas, temples and a number of other ancillary buildings. The gigantic structures of other Viharas, including Vikramshila, Odantapuri, and Jagaddala are the other masterpieces of the Palas. These mammoth structures were mistaken by the forces of Bakhtiar Khilji as fortified castles and were demolished.
The Palas patronized several Sanskrit scholars. The Gauda riti style of composition was developed during the Pala rule. Jimutavahana, Sandhyakar Nandi, Madhava-kara, Suresvara and Chakrapani Datta are some of the other notable scholars from the Pala period. The notable Pala texts on philosophy include Agama Shastra by Gaudapada, Nyaya Kundali by Sridhar Bhatta and Karmanushthan Paddhati by Bhatta Bhavadeva. Sandhyakar Nandi's semi-fictional epic Ramacharitam (12th century) is an important source of Pala history. The texts on medicine include • Chikitsa Samgraha, Ayurveda Dipika, Bhanumati, Shabda Chandrika and Dravya Gunasangraha by Chakrapani Datta • Shabda-Pradipa, Vrikkhayurveda and Lohpaddhati by Sureshwara • Chikitsa Sarsamgraha by Vangasena • Sushrata by Gadadhara Vaidya • Dayabhaga, Vyavohara Matrika and Kalaviveka by Jimutavahana

The Pratiharas (650-1036 AD)- “Gurjara Pratiharas” means “the Pratihara clan of the Gurjaras”. Gurjara denotes some geographical unit of the modern Gujarat State in India. They belonged to the Rajput group of Indian people. They set foot in India during the Huns invasion and settle around Panjab Rajputana region. Soon they advanced to Aravali and Ujjain. The branch of the Pratiharas who ruled in the Gurjarat was the Gurjaras. Kanauj was the capital of imperial Gurjara Pratiharas. Harichandra is said to have laid the foundation of this dynasty in the 6th century. He created a small kingdom at Bhinmal near about 550 A.D. The Harichandra line of Gurjara-Pratiharas established the state of Marwar, based at Mandore near modern Jodhpur, which grew to dominate Rajasthan. The Pratihara rulers of Marwar also built the temple-city of Osian. Nagabhata I (730–756) extended his control east and south from Mandor, conquering Malwa as far as Gwalior and the port of Bharuch in Gujarat. He established his capital at Avanti in Malwa. In Battle of Rajasthan (738 CE) Nagabhata led a confederacy of Gurjars to defeat the Muslim Arabs. Vatsraja sought to capture Kanauj. Vatsraja was succeeded by Nagabhata II (805–833). Nagabhata II was initially defeated by the Rashtrakuta ruler Govinda III (793–814), but later recovered Malwa from the Rashtrakutas, conquered Kanauj and the Indo-Gangetic Plain as far as Bihar from the Palas, and again checked the Muslims in the west. He rebuilt the great Shiva temple at Somnath in Gujarat. Kanauj became the center of the Gurjar Pratihara state, which covered much of northern India during the peak of their power, c. 836–910. Bhoja I or Mihir Bhoja (c. 836–886) expanded the Gurjar dominions west to the border of Sind, east to Bengal, and south to the Narmada. His son Mahenderpal 1 (890–910) expanded further eastwards in Magadha, Bengal, and Assam.
Gurjara Pratihara art- The Gurjara-Pratihara rulers great patrons of arts, architecture and literature. Mihir Bhoj, was the most outstanding ruler of the dynasty. Notable sculptures of this period, include Viswaroopa form of Vishnu and Marriage of Siva and Parvati from Kannauj. Beautifully carved panels are also seen on the walls of temples standing at Osian, Abhaneri and Kotah. The female figure named as Sursundari exhibited in Gwalior Museum is one of the most charming sculptures of the Gurjara-Pratihara art. The image of standing Laksmi Narayana from Agroha, now preserved in the Chandigarh museum, is also a fine piece of art of the Gurjara-Pratihara period. They are known for their open pavilion temples. The greatest development of Gurjar Pratihara style of temple building took place at Khajuraho.

The Chalukyas (543-757 AD)-

The Chalukyas Dynasty was a powerful Indian royal dynasty that ruled large parts of southern and central India between the 6th and the 12th century C.E. During this period, they ruled as three related, but individual dynasties. • The earliest dynasty, known as the "Badami Chalukyas", ruled from their capital Vatapi (modern Badami) from the middle of the 6th century. The Badami Chalukyas began to assert their independence at the decline of the Kadamba kingdom of Banavasi and rapidly rose to prominence during the reign of Pulakesi II (609 – 642) C.E. • The Eastern Chalukyas became an independent kingdom in the eastern Deccan. They ruled from their capital Vengi until about the 11th century. • The Western Chalukyas, in late 10th century. These Western Chalukyas ruled from Kalyani (modern Basavakalyan) till the end of the 12th century.

In 550 Pulakesi I established the Chalukya dynasty. He took Vatapi (Badami in Bagalkot district, Karnataka) under his control and made it his capital.
Their style of architecture is called "Chalukyan architecture" or "Karnataka Dravida architecture". Rock cut (cave) and structural, are found in the Malaprabha river basin in modern Bagalkot district of northern Karnataka. The structural temples at Pattadakal, built in the 8th century and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, marks the culmination and mature phase of Badami Chalukyan architecture.
The Aihole inscription of Pulakesi II (634) written by his court poet Ravikirti in Sanskrit language and Kannada script is considered as a classical piece of poetry. Vijnaneshwara who achieved fame by writing Mitakshara, a book on Hindu law, and King Somesvara III, a noted scholar, who compiled an encyclopedia of all arts and sciences called Manasollasa. The Kappe Arabhatta in tripadi (three line) metre is the earliest available work in Kannada poetics. Karnateshwara Katha, which was quoted later by Jayakirti, is believed to be a eulogy of Pulakesi II and to have belonged to this period. The "three gems" of Kannada literature, Adikavi Pampa, Sri Ponna and Ranna belonged to this period. In the 11th century, Telugu literature was born under the patronage of the Eastern Chalukyas with Nannaya Bhatta as its first writer.

Rashtrakuta dynasty (753-982)-

The Rashtrakuta Dynasty ruled south India i.e. Karnataka from 725 -985 A.C.E. The word Rastra in Sanskrit means region and kuta indicates Chieftains. They were chieftains in central India before becoming a ruling dynasty. Dantidurga of Rashtrakuta dynasty (752-756 C.E) was the first and the most important king, who defeated the Chalukyas of Badami. He laid the foundation of Rashtrakuta Empire. Dantidurga’s uncle took up the throne for budding the Rashtrakuta Empire by overpowering the last king of Chalukyas of Badami Kirtivarman-II. Govinda succeded the throne from his father Krishna –I and he identified his incursion of Vengi and the defeat of Eastern Chalukya kind Vishnuvardhana IV. One of the most proficient kings of the Rashtrakuta Dynasty, he succeeded the throne from Govinda-II from his elder brother. He also attained the titles as Maharajadiraja, Dharavarsha, Parmeshavara and Kalivallaba.Amoghavarsha (814-880 A.D) is the most famous Rashtrakuta kings.
Rashtrakuta Architecture- The Rashtrakuta contributions to art and architecture are reflected in the splendid rock-cut cave temples at Ellora and Elephanta .Krishana I built the world famous Kailasha Temple at Ellora (modern Verul in Maharashtra) which is a massive structure is carved out of the single rock (monolithic) hewn out of a mountain and is believed to be a truly a remarkable engineering feat of the 8th century.
Kannada became more prominent as a literary language during the Rashtrakuta rule with its script and literature showing remarkable growth, dignity and productivity. This period effectively marked the end of the classical Prakrit and Sanskrit era. Famous scholars such as the Mahaviracharya wrote on pure mathematics in the court of King Amoghavarsha I. Kavirajamarga (850) by King Amoghavarsha I is the earliest available book on rhetoric and poetics in Kannada. The Jain writer Adikavi Pampa became famous for Adipurana (941). Written in champu (mixed prose-verse style) style, Pampa's other notable work was Vikramarjuna Vijaya (941). Another great Jain writer in Kannada was Sri Ponna, patronised by King Krishna III and famed for Shantipurana. He earned the title Ubhaya Kavichakravathi (supreme poet in two languages) for his command over both Kannada and Sanskrit. His other writings in Kannada were Bhuvanaika-ramaabhyudaya, Jinaksharamale and Gatapratyagata, Adikavi Pampa, Sri Ponna are called "gems of Kannada literature".

Hoysala Empire (1026–1343)-

The Hoysala Empire was a prominent Southern Indian Kannadiga empire that ruled most of the modern-day state of Karnataka between the 10th and the 14th centuries. The capital of the Hoysalas was initially located at Belur but was later moved to Halebidu. Vinayaditya (1047-98) ruled an an area centered on Dorasamudra (modern Halebid), which became the dynasty's capital. His grandson Bittiga (later called Vishnuvardhana; reigned c.1110-42) made extensive conquests, including the Mysore plateau, and built magnificent temples at Dorasamudra that were noted for their intricate and elaborate sculpture. Bittiga's grandson, Vira Ballala II (reigned 1173-1220) extended Hoysala control N of Mysore and made the dynasty the most powerful in S India. The Hoysalas later came into conflict with the empire of Vijayanagar and the Muslim sultans of Delhi.
Although Sanskrit literature remained popular during the Hoysala rule, royal patronage of local Kannada scholars increased. In the 12th century some works were written in the Champu style. The Hoysala court supported scholars such as Janna, Rudrabhatta, Harihara and his nephew Raghavanka, whose works are enduring masterpieces in Kannada. In 1209, the Jain scholar Janna wrote Yashodharacharite. In Sanskrit, the philosopher Madhvacharya wrote Rigbhshya on Brahmasutras (a logical explanation of Hindu scriptures, the Vedas).
Their architectural style, an offshoot of the Western Chalukya style, shows distinct Dravidian influences. The Hoysala architecture style is described as Karnata Dravida as distinguished from the traditional Dravida. Hoysala temple sculpture emphasis on delicacy and craftsmanship in its focus on depicting feminine beauty, grace and physique. The Hoysala artists achieved this with the use of Soapstone (Chloritic schist), a soft stone as basic building and sculptural material. The Chennakesava Temple at Belur (1117), the Hoysaleswara temple at Halebidu (1121), the Chennakesava Temple at Somanathapura (1279), the temples at Arasikere (1220),Amruthapura (1196), Belavadi (1200),Nuggehalli (1246),Hosaholalu (1250), Aralaguppe (1250), Korvangla (1173), Haranhalli (1235), Mosale and Basaralu (1234) are some of the notable examples of Hoysala art.

Important ancient art -

Gandhara Art- Gandhāra is noted for the distinctive Gandhāra style of Buddhist art, which developed out of a merger of Greek, Syrian, Persian, and Indian artistic influence. This development began during the Parthian Period (50 BC – AD 75). Gandhāran style flourished and achieved its peak during the Kushan period, from the 1st to the 5th centuries. It declined and suffered destruction after invasion of the White Huns in the 5th century. However, patrons of this art were not Greeks but Sakas and Kushanas.
The art specialized in Buddha and Bodhisattva images, stupas and monasteries. Built mostly of blue schist stone. Buddhas of this school are gentle The chief characteristics arc the realistic representation of human figures, distinguished muscles of the body and transparent garments

Mathura Art- Mathura art, style of Buddhist visual art that flourished in the trading and pilgrimage centre of Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, India, from the 2nd century BC to the 12th century AD; its most distinctive contributions were made during the Kushan and Gupta periods (1st–6th century ad). The material used in this school was the spotted red sandstone. The Mathura School of Art, noted for its vitality and assimilative character, was a result of the religious zeal of Brahmanism, Jainism and Buddhism. Images of Vaishnava and Shaiva faiths are also found at Mathura but Buddhist images are found in large numbers. The images of Vishnu and Shiva are represented by their weapons. Images of the Buddha, Yakshas, Yakshinis, Shaivite and Vaishnavite deities and portrait statues are profusely sculpted. The traditional centre, Mathura, remained the main art production site whereas Sarnath and Kosambi also emerged as important centers of art production.

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