History

history of IndiaMark Twain said “India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of  human speech, the mother of history, grandmother of legend, and great grand mother of tradition. Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only.

Isolated remains of Homo erectus in Hathnora in the Narmada Valley in central India indicate that India might have been inhabited since at least, somewhere between 500,000 and 200,000 years ago. Tools crafted by proto-humans that have been dated back two million years have been discovered in the northwestern part of India.

Ancient history of India can be divided into a period from 7000 BC to 1000 AD, then Medieval India (1000 AD to 1756 AD) and modern day (1757 to 1947 AD).

Ancient India (BC to 1000 AD)

Age Event
7000-3750 BC Vedic Age
3000-2000 BC Harappa (Indus and Saraswati) civilization
2200-1900 BC Decline of Indus and Saraswati civilization, causing migration
1000 BC Civilization expands into the Ganga valley from the Indus valley
800 BC Civilization expands to Bengal
550 BC Composition of the Upanishads
544 BC Buddha’s Nirvana
327 BC Alexander’s Invasion
324 BC Chandragupta Maurya defeats Seleacus Nicator
322 BC Chandragupta establishes first Indian Empire
272 BC Ashoka begins reign
180 BC Fall of the Mauryas; Rise of the Sungas
145 BC Chola king Erata conquers Ceylon
30 BC Rise of the Satvahana Dynasty in the Deccan
40 AD Sakas in power in Indus Valley and Western India
320 AD Chandragupta I establishes the Gupta dynasty
340-60 AD Samudragupta conquers the North and most of the Deccan
380 AD Chandragupta II comes to power; Golden Age of Gupta Literary Renaissance
405 AD Fa-hein begins his travels through the Gupta Empire
415 AD Accession of Kumara Gupta I
467 AD Skanda Gupta assumes power
476 AD Birth of astronomer Aryabhatta
606 AD Accession of Harshavardhan Gupta
711 AD Invasion of Sind by Muhammad Bin Qasim
892 AD Rise of the Eastern Chalukyas
985 AD The Chola Dynasty: Accession of Rajaraja, the Great
1001 AD Defeat of Jaipal by Sultan Mahumd

 Medieval India (1000 AD to 1756 AD)

Age Event
1026 Mahmud Ghazni sacks Somnath Temple
1191 Prithviraj Chauhan routs Muhammad Ghori
1192 Ghori defeats Prithviraj Chauhan
1206 Qutbuddin establishes the Slave Dynasty
1221 Mongol invasion under Genghis Khan
1232 Foundation of the Qutub Minar
1288 Marco Polo visits India
1290 Jalaludin Firuz Khilji establishes the Khilji dynasty
1320 Ghiyasuddin Tughluk founds the Tughluk dynasty
1336 Foundation of Vijayanagar (Deccan)
1398 Timur invades India
1424 Rise of the Bahmani dynasty (Deccan)
1451 The Lodi dynasty established in Delhi
1489 Adil Shah dynasty at Bijapur
1490 Nizam Shahi dynasty at Ahmednagar
1498 First voyage of Vasco da gama
1510 Portuguese capture Goa
1518 Kutub Shahi dynasty at Golconda
1526 Establishment of the Mughul Dynasty; First Battle of Panipat: Babur defeats Lodis
1530 Humayun succeeds Babur
1538 Death of Guru Nanak
1539 Sher Shah Suri defeats Humayan and becomes Emperor of Delhi
1555 Humayun recovers the throne of Delhi
1556 Death of Humayun; Hemu re-establishes the Hindu Raj in India in Oct 1556, after winning 22 battles against Afghan rebels and Akbar. After Hemu is killed in a freak accident in Panipat, accession of Akbar.
1564 Akbar abolishes poll tax on Hindus
1565 Battle of Talikota: Muslim rulers in Deccan defeats Vijaynagar Empire
1572-73 Akbar annexes Gujarat and Surat
1576 Battle of Haldighat: Akbar defeats Rana Pratap; Subjugation of Bengal
1580 Accession of Ibrahim Adil Shah II in Bengal; Rebellion in Bihar and Bengal
1586-97 Moghuls complete conquests of Kashmir, Sind, Orissa, Ahmednagar, Baluchistan
1600 Charter to the English East India Company
1605 Death of Akbar and Accession of Jahangir
1606 Rebellion of Khusrav; Execution of the Fifth Sikh Guru, Arjan
1612 The English establish a factory at Masulipatnam
1615 Mughul Governor of Bengal defeats the Afghans; Mughuls annex Kuch ajo
1616 Submission of Mewar to the Mughuls
1622 Shah Abbas of Persia besieges and takes Qandahar
1623-24 Suppression of Shah Jahan’s rebellion against Jahangir
1627 Death of Jahangir; Accession of Shah Jahan
1631 Death of Shah Jahan’s wife Mumtaz Mahal; The construction of Taj Mahal
1633 Mughul invasion of Bijapur, End of Ahmednagar Dynasty
1639 Foundation of Fort St. George at Madras by the English
1656 The Mughuls attack Hyderabad and Golkunda; Annexation of Javli by Shivaji
1657 Invasion of Bijapur by Aurangzeb; Aurangzeb captures Bidar and Kalyani
1658 Coronation of Aurangzeb
1661 Cession of Bombay to the English; Mughul capture of Cooch Bihar
1664 Shivaji sacks Surat and assumes royal title
1666 Death of Shah Jahan; Shivaji’s visit to Agra and escape
1674 Shivaji assumes the title of Chhatrapati
1680 Death of Shivaji; Rebellion of Prince Akbar
1686 English war with the Mughuls; Fall of Bijapur
1689 Execution of Sambhaji
1690-91 Peace between the Mughuls and the English. Aurangzeb at the zenith of his power
1707 Death of Aurangzeb; Battle of Jajau
1714 Husain Ali appointed Viceroy of the Deccan, signs treaty with the Marathas
1720 Accession of Baji Rao Peshwa at Poona
1739 Nadir Shah conquers Delhi; The Marathas capture Salsette and Bassein
1740 Accession of Balaji Rao Peshwa; The Marathas invade Arcot
1742 Marathas invade Bengal
1748 First Anglo-French war in India
1756 Siraj-ud-daulah captures Calcutta

 Modern Day India (1757 till date)

Year Event
1757 Battle of Plassey: The British defeat Siraj-ud-daulah
1760 Battle of Wandiwash: The British defeat the French
1764 Battle of Buxar: The British defeat Mir Kasim
1775 The First Anglo-Maratha war
1784 Second Mysore War: The British defeat Hyder Ali
1790 Third Mysore War between the British and Tipu
1799 Fourth Mysore War: The British defeat Tipu; Death of Tipu; Partition of Mysore
1805 The Second Anglo-Maratha war: The British defeat the Marathas at Assaye: Treaty of Amritsar
1817 The last Anglo-Maratha war: Marathas finally crushed by the British
1839 First Afghan war
1845 First Anglo-Sikh war
1849 Second Anglo-Sikh war, British annex Punjab as Sikhs are defeated
1852 Second Anglo-Burmese war
1853 Railway opened from Bombay to Thane; Telegraph line from Calcutta to Agra
1857 First War of Indian Independence: The Sepoy Mutiny
1877 The Queen of England proclaimed Empress of India
1905 The First Partition of Bengal
1906 Formation of Muslim League; Congress declaration regarding Swaraj
1912 The Imperial capital shifted from Calcutta to Delhi
1919 Jalianwalla Bagh massacre; The Montague-Chelmsford Reforms offer limited autonomy
1922 Civil Disobedience Movement; Chauri-Chaura violence leads to Gandhi suspending movement
1930 Civil Disobedience movement continues; Salt Satyagraha: Gandhiji’s Dandi March
1942 Subhash Chandra Bose forms Indian National Army
1944 Gandhi-Jinnah Talks break down on Pakistan issue
1947 Announcement of Lord Mountbatten’s plan for partition of India
1947 Partition of India and Independence (15th August). Jawaharlal Nehru becomes the first Prime Minister

sardar patel iron man of indiaThough India’s freedom struggle involved millions of its patriotic citizens, significantly only Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru are always mentioned. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Subhash Chandra Bose do not get the credit they deserve.

The 1946 election for the Congress presidency was important because the elected President would lead free India’s first Government. Gandhi asked all 16 states representatives and Congress to elect the right person and Sardar Patel’s name was proposed by 13 states representatives out of 16, but Patel respected Gandhi’s request to not be the first prime minister.

When Pakistani infiltrators attacked Kashmir in August 1947, Sardar Patel strongly advised Nehru against going for arbitration to the United Nations, insisting that Pakistan had been wrong to support the invasion and the accession to India was valid. He did not want foreign interference in a bilateral affair.

Sardar Patel handled the integration of 565 princely states into the Indian Union with great expertise. Sardar Patel dealt with Hyderabad and Junaghad firmly when these states tried to join Pakistan or remain independent. Sardar Patel is also the man behind the integration of Lakshadweep Islands with the Republic of India. Nikita Khrushchev said “You Indians are remarkable people. How did you manage to liquidate the princely states without liquidating the princesses!”

Patel was a key force behind the appointment of Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar as the chairman of the drafting committee, and the inclusion of leaders from a diverse political spectrum in the process of writing the constitution. Proponents of free enterprise cite the failings of Nehru’s socialist policies as opposed to Patel’s defense of property rights and his mentorship of the Amul co-operative project. He was known as the “Iron Man of India” and often addressed as Sardar.

Independent India (1947 till date)

Year Event
Oct 1947 Maharaja of Kashmir accedes to Indian Sovereignty
Jan 1948 Assassination of Mahatma Gandhi
Sep 1948 Troops of Government of India enter Hyderabad state
Jan 1949 UN monitored cease fire takes effect in Kashmir
Jan 1950 Constitution of India comes into force
Oct 1951 First General Election in India
1952 Atomic Energy establishment set up in Bombay; Chandernagar incorporated with India
1959 TV transmission introduced in New Delhi
Mar 1959 Dalai Lama flees from Tibet to India
Oct 1959 Military confrontation with China in Aksai Chin
1960 Bombay Presidency bifurcated into Maharashtra and Gujarat states
Dec 1961 Liberation of Goa
Oct 1962 Indo-China war
April 1965 Pakistan tanks penetrate India. India wins the war.
1966 Tashkent Conference; Lal Bahadur Shastri dies
Dec 1971 India-Pakistan War; Formation of Bangladesh
1972 Pakistan and India sign Simla Accord
May 1974 Underground nuclear explosion at Pokhran
April 1975 Indian satellite Aryabhatta launched from a Soviet cosmodrome
May 1975 Sikkim joins India
June 1975 Emergency declared
Dec 1982 The Ninth Asian games held in Delhi
June 1983 India wins the Cricket World Cup
July 1988 Insat-IC launched
Aug 1988 The Darjeeling Accord
Jun 1991 Rupee devalued by Finance Minister Dr Manmohan Singh
Dec 1992 Demolition of Babri Masjid
Jan 1996 Prithvi test-fired
1998 Chess legend Vishwanathan Anand wins the Super Grand Master Title; India conducted three underground Nuclear tests at the Pokhran Range in Rajasthan
May 1999 The Lahore bus yatra is followed by Pakistan-aided militants and Pakistan’s security forces intrude the Indian territory in Kargil
1999 Paes and Bhupati win three grand slams and end the year with No. 1 seed in the world.
2001 Agni II successfully test-fired; Indian population reached 1 billion
2007 India launches 4 satellites with PSLV rocket; also spacecraft SRE1 successfully completes 12 day orbit.
2008 India sets world record by launching 10 satellites in 1 launch; Also moon-mission Chandrayan I launched. Abhinav Bindra becomes first Indian to win individual gold medal at the Olympics.
2009 India launches its first nuclear submarine Arihant
2010 Commonwealth games are held in New Delhi
2011 India wins its second cricket world cup. Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev hold massive protests against corruption in India
2012 India successfully tests 5,000 km range Agni V .
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