history of india

The spirit of India has thus fascinated the world with its very mystique. A subcontinent with a 5000-year old history. A civilization united by its diversity - India has always been known as a land where history echoes itself with all its wonders in every piece of stone and every particle of dust.

India’s first major civilization flourished around 2500 BC in the Indus river valley much of which lies within present day India. This civilization, which lasted for 1000 years, and is known as the Harappan culture, appears to have been the culmination of thousands of years of settlement. From around 1500 BC onwards, Aryan tribes from Afghanistan and Central Asia began to filter into northwest India. Despite their martial superiority, their progress was gradual. Eventually though these tribes were able to control the whole of Northern India as far as Vindhya Hills, and many of the original inhabitants, the Dravidians, were pushed into south India. As the Aryan tribes spread out across the Ganges plain, in the seventh century BC, many of them were grouped together into 16 major kingdoms. Gradually these amalgamated into four large states, with Kosala and Magadha emerging to be the most powerful during the fifth century BC. North India however came to be dominated by the Nanda dynasty in about 364 BC. During this period however, North India narrowly avoided two other invasions from the west. The first was by the Persian king, Darius (521- 486 BC) and the second by Alexander the Great who marched into India from Greece in 326 BC.

However, use the beginning of mature agriculture in the Indus and Ganges valleys as the starting point of the story of Indian civilization. The calendar reads first millennium BC. By now, iron had been discovered, and even iron implements for clearing of forests and cultivation had been fashioned out. Beginning here, the art or science of metallurgy developed very rapidly in India. India had many copper, tin, lead, brass and silver reserves, not to mention gold mines. Indian steel was so well known that after the famous battle between Alexander the Great and Porus, the only gift Porus could think of giving Alexander was steel. Today, apart from many steel plants, India has held this thread of continuity even in indigenous research in titanium technology and composites.