Evidences of cultural history of India goes back to thousands of years ago, India was home to the Indus Valley civilization, one of the world’s oldest civilizations. In the 300s and 200s BC, the Maurya Empire ruled the land. It became one of the largest empires in the world. Years later, the Golden Age of India would take place during the Gupta dynasty. Lasting from 319 to 554 AD, the Gupta dynasty produced new developments in science, great art, and advanced culture.
With the rise of Islam in the Arab nations, it began to spread into India. During the 10th and 11th centuries the Turks and the Afghans invaded India and ruled as the Delhi Sultanate. Years later the Mughal Empire would rise to power and rule the land for over 300 years.
In the 16th century, European explorers began to enter India. Britain eventually took control of India. In the early 1900s India began to fight for independence from Britain. Led by Mohandas Gandhi, non-violent protests were made against the British. After many years of struggling, India was granted independence from Britain in 1947.
The country was later divided up into India and Pakistan. Later East Pakistan became a third country, Bangladesh. India and Pakistan have had strained relations over the years including both countries testing nuclear weapons.
India does have significant problems including poverty, corruption, and overpopulation. However, the country has recently seen strong economic and technology development.
History of India Before beginning of Common Era (BCE)
- 3000 – The Indus Valley civilization is established in Northern India and Pakistan.
- 2500 – Large cities such as Harappa and Mohenjo-daro develop.
- 1700 – The Iron Age begins in India.
- 1500 – The Aryan peoples arrive from Central Asia. The Indus Valley Civilization collapses. The Vedic period begins. The oldest sacred scriptures of Hinduism are written.
- 520 – Buddhism is founded by Siddharta Gautama.
- 326 – Alexander the Great arrives in Northern India.
- 322 – The Mauryan Empire is founded. (Important event in the History of India )
- 272 – Asoka the Great becomes emperor of Maurya. He expands the empire greatly.
- 265 – Asoka the Great converts to Buddhism. He implements many reforms in the government.
- 230 – The Satavahana Empire is established.
History of India after begining of Common Era (CE)
- 60 – The Kushan Empire gains control of Northern India. Southern India is controlled by the Satavahana Empire.
- 319 – The Gupta Empire takes control of much of India. The rule of the Gupta Empire is a time of peace and prosperity. Many advances are made in science and the arts during this time.
- 500 – The decimal numeral system is invented in India.
- 554 – The Gupta Empire begins to collapse.
- 712 – Islam arrives in Northern India with the Umayyad Caliphate.
- 1000 – The Ghaznavid Empire invades from the north.
- 1210 – The Delhi Sultanate is founded.
- 1221 – Genghis Khan leads the first invasion of the Mongols in India.
- 1398 – The Mongols, led by Timur, invade Northern India.
- 1498 – Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama arrives in India. He is the first European to reach India by sea. He establishes trade between Europe and India.
- 1527 – The Mughal Empire is established by Babur. (Important event in the History of India )
- 1556 – Akbar the Great becomes the Mughal Emperor. He will expand the empire to include much of the Indian Subcontinent. The arts and literature flourish during his reign.
- 1600- The British East India Company is granted a charter by Queen Elizabeth I to have exclusive rights to trade with India.
- 1653 – The Taj Mahal is completed in Agra. It is built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in honor of his of wife Mumtaz Mahal.
- 1757 – The East India Company defeats Bengal at the Battle of Plassey. (Important event in the History of India )
- 1772 – Warren Hastings is appointed the first Governor-General of Bengal.
- 1857 – The Indians rebel against the rule of the British East India Company.
- 1858 – The British Empire takes over the East India Company. The British Indian Empire is established.
- 1877 – Queen Victoria claims the title the Empress of India.
- 1885 – The Indian National Congress is formed in an effort to gain independence for India. (Important event in the History of India )
- 1911 – The capital city is moved from Calcutta to Delhi by the British government.
- 1920 – Mahatma Gandhi begins his campaign of non-violence against the British government. (Important event in the History of India )
- 1930 – Gandhi leads the Salt March against the British salt monopoly.
- 1942 – The Quit India Movement is launched by the Indian National Congress.
- 1947 – India becomes an independent nation. The Muslim state of Pakistan is established in the north. Jawaharlal Nehru becomes the first Prime Minister of India. (Important event in the History of India )
- 1948 – War breaks out between India and Pakistan over the border land of Kashmir.
Also read: Modern History of India
- 1948 – Mahatma Gandhi is assassinated.
- 1950 – India becomes a republic.
- 1966 – Indira Gandhi, the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, is elected prime minister.
- 1971 – India goes to war with Pakistan over the creation of the country of Bangladesh from East Pakistan.
- 1974 – India detonates its first nuclear weapon. (Important event in the History of India )
- 1984 – Indira Gandhi is assassinated.
- 1972 – India signs the Simla Agreement with Pakistan.
- 1996 – The Hindu nationalist party, the BJP, becomes the major political party for first time against Congress.
- 2000 – The population of India passes one billion people.
- 2002 – Tensions mount between India and Pakistan over Kashmir.
- 2004 – A large Indian Ocean earthquake causes a tsunami wave that hits India killing over 10,000 people.