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Ancient Indian History An Overview

The known history of India commences with the Indus Valley Civilization, which disseminate and prospered in the northwesterly part of the Indian subcontinent, from c. 3300 to 1300 BCE. Its Ripe Harappan period survived from 2600-1900 BCE. This Bronze Age civilization cracked at the commencing of the second millennium BCE and was adopted by the Iron Age Vedic period, that covered over much of the Indo-Gangetic plains and which saw the rise of major kingdoms called as the Mahajanapadas. In one of these kingdoms the Magadha Kingdom, the two legend figures of India - Gautama Buddha and Mahavira - were born during the 6th century BCE, who spread their Buddhism and Jainism respectively among the masses. In the successive years, many other empires and kingdoms reigned the region and ameliorated its culture - from the Achaemenid Persian Empire during the time of 543 BCE to Alexander the Great in 326 BCE. The Indo-Greek Kingdom which was instituted by Demetrius of Bactria included the regions of Gandhara and Punjab from 184 BCE; it accomplished its greatest extent under Menander, founding the Greco-Buddhist period with advancements in trade and culture.

During the ancient time, the Indian subcontinent was unified under the Mauryan Empire which was founded by Chandragupta Maurya (340-293 BCE) during the 4th and 3rd centuries BCE. It later on became fragmentized, with several parts ruled by legion Middle kingdoms for the next ten centuries. Its northern parts were unified once again in the 4th century BCE, and continued so for two centuries thereafter under the Gupta Empire. This period of Ancient India, of Hindu religious and intellectual resurgence, is famed among its champions as the "Golden Age of India". During the same age and for various centuries afterwards till the age of the coming of Medieval Era in the Indian history, Southern India, under the reign of the Chalukyas, Cholas, Pallavas and Pandyas, went through its own golden age, during which Indian civilization, administration, culture and religions both Hinduism and Buddhism spread out to much of south-east Asia – a sort of Indian colonies.

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