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|File name||History of Ancient India PDF|
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|Date Added||Feb 6, 2023|
Overview of History of Ancient India
India plays a very important role on the global stage economically, socially and culturally. Don’t know India has been the place of many Siddhas and don’t know how many big inventions India has given.
If you are a student and preparing for any type of government and competitive exam, then you will definitely get immense help from the answers given in this ancient Indian history pdf. These questions are asked in various types of examinations and these questions also have a special contribution in interviews.
Indus Valley Period
As soon as we come to the Indus Valley period, we see very elaborate fortifications made of mud, burnt bricks and even stones. This period is rich in archaeological evidence which helps in understanding its architectural heritage in depth. An important feature of Indus Valley town planning was the division of settlements into two distinct areas: the Nagarkot (citadel) and the lower town. The city of Mohenjodaro was also divided into these two broad parts, and the Nagarkot (citadel) area was additionally surrounded by a moat. Kot Diji (3300 BC) was a fortified site with a massive wall made of limestone rubble and mud brick, and the settlement consisted of a nagarkot (citadel) complex and a lower residential area.
Kalibanga (2920–2550 BCE) was surrounded by massive fortifications made of mud-brick. Stone was widely used in the construction of fortified walls in the rocky areas of Kutch and Saurashtra. Dholavira in the Rann of Kutch was fortified with an imposing wall made of rubble stone set in mud mortar. This massive fortification wall and the remains of stone pillars in the citadel are very distinctive and are not seen at any other Harappan site.
Many scholars do not consider these constructions to have been built for a defensive function, but consider them either as protective embankments against floods or as structures built for social functions. However, the fortifications, especially grand fortifications like Dholavira, cannot be ignored. Force and conflict could not have been completely absent over such a large area over such a long period of time, including the Indus Valley Civilization.
Most of the ice age has passed in the Palaeolithic period. Indian Palaeolithic Age is divided into three parts on the basis of tools, climatic changes –
- Early or Lower Palaeolithic Age (25,00,000 BC – 100,000 BC)
- Middle Palaeolithic Age (100,000 BC – 40,000 BC)
- Upper Palaeolithic Age (40,000 BC – 10,000 BC)
Fossils of primitive humans have not been found in India. From the facts found at a place called Bori in Maharashtra, it is expected that the origin of human beings must have been 14 lakh years ago. It is almost universally accepted that humans settled in India later than in Africa. Although the stone skills of the people here developed almost in the same way as in Africa. The man of this time could collect his food only with difficulty. He neither knew farming nor building a house. This stage was in 9000 BC.
Palaeolithic tools have been found in the plateau of Chotanagpur which dates back to 1,00,000 BC. Can be up to 20,000 BC in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh. to 10,000 B.C. The tools of the middle have been found. Bone tools and remains of animals have also been found with them. It is known from the remains of animals found in Belan valley of Mirzapur district of Uttar Pradesh that goat, sheep, cow, buffalo etc. were reared. Yet the primitive stage of the Paleolithic man lived on hunting and food gathering. In the Puranas, there is mention of those who live by eating only fruits and tubers. Some such people have lived in mountains and caves till modern times.
After the decline of the Nanda dynasty, Chandragupta Maurya became the first king of the great Maurya dynasty (321 BCE) with the help of his famous minister Kautilya. Kautilya’s political treatise, the Arthashastra, is in fact one of the most important literary sources for understanding the military institutions and fortifications of that period.The Saptanga Rajya concept given in it considers the state as consisting of seven inter-related elements – Swami (king), Amatya (minister), Janapada (territory and people), Danda (justice), Durga (fortified capital), Kosha ( Treasure), and Mitra (associate). Describing the fourth element i.e. Durg, he has given detailed instructions for its construction.
They recommend building earthen ramparts with brick or stone ramparts, and suggest that soldiers be stationed around the fort. The walls of the fort should be surrounded by three moats (moats) filled with lotuses and crocodiles. The fort must have a well-stocked food supply to last the end of the siege and must have secret escape routes.
Kautilya also mentions different categories of forts: Dhanva Durga or desert fort; Mahi Durg or Mud Fort; Jal Durg or Water Fort; Giri Durg or hill fort; Van Durg or Forest Fort; A fort or male fortress guarded by loyal soldiers. The last Maurya king was overthrown by Pushyamitra Shunga, and he established the Shunga dynasty in 187 BCE. Fortifications belonging to the Shunga period were identified at Katrasgarh in the Muzaffarpur district of Bihar, which consisted of ramparts made of burnt brick walls with earthen interiors and moats.
Evidence from the Vedic period is found more in the form of literature and less in the form of physical archaeological evidence. The Rigveda mentions a famous Bharata king by the name of Divodas, who defeated the Dasa ruler Shambar, who commanded several hill forts. It also mentions the tribes living in the fortification called Pur.The Aitareya Brahmana refers to the three sacrificial fires as three forts that prevent the asuras (demons) from obstructing the sacrificial fire. Indra is referred to in the Vedic literature as Purandara or the destroyer of forts.
- Rigveda is a collection of compositions related to the praise of the gods.
- It is divided into 10 circles. In this, divisions from 2 to 7 are considered to be the oldest. The first and tenth mandals were added later. There are 1028 Suktas in it.
- Its language is poetic.
- There is mention of 33 types of devas (substances with divine qualities) in Rigveda.
- The famous Gayatri Mantra, which is addressed to the goddess Gayatri associated with the Sun, is first found in the Rigveda.
- The sentence ‘Asato Ma Sadgamaya’ is taken from Rigveda.
- In Rigveda, the names of women are also found in memorizing mantras, among which the main ones are- Lopamudra, Ghosha, Shachi, Poulomi and Kakshavriti etc.
- Its priest’s name is Hotri.
- Yaju means sacrifice. There is mention of archery.
- The methods of Yagya have been described in the Yajurveda Veda.
- In this, the compilation of mantras has been done for the purpose of reciting Sastar at the time of ritual sacrifice.
- In this, along with mantras, there is also a description of religious rituals, which has been suggested to be edited with chanting.
- The language of Yajurveda is both poetic and prose.
- There are two branches of Yajurveda – Krishna Yajurveda and Shukla Yajurveda.
- There are four branches of Krishna Yajurveda – Maitrayani Samhita, Kathak Samhita, Kapinthal and Samhita. There are two branches of Shukla Yajurveda – Madhyandin and Kanva Samhita.
- It is divided into 40 chapters.
- In this book, for the first time two state ceremonies like Rajsuya and Vajpayee are mentioned.
Sama Veda was composed to make the mantras given in Rigveda singable.
- It has 1810 verses, except 75 of which all the rest are mentioned in Rigveda.
- The Samaveda is divided into three branches – Kauthum, Raanayaniya and Jainiyam.
- Samveda has the distinction of being the first musical book of India.
- In this Veda, the description of mysterious knowledge, miracles, witchcraft, Ayurveda herbs is found.
- It has total 5687 mantras in 20 chapters.
- The Atharvaveda is divided into eight sections. There are two types of Bheshaj Veda and Metal Veda.