Showing posts with label BHARAT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label BHARAT. Show all posts

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Ancient Maps India ,Ramayana ,Mahabharata


India Map sixth century BC
Ancient India during sixth century BC
Now that India is giving birth to its twenty-ninth State, Telengana,it is worth remembering that ancient India had fifty-six kingdoms.
Some of them are quite large and were Empires, some small like the Chera Kingdom in Tamil Nadu.
It is interesting to note that these small kingdoms were as prosperous if not more than the large kingdoms’ say in the period of Ramayana,Mahabharata.
The Tamil Chera King, Perunchotru Udiyan Cheralathan fed  both the armies of the Epic battle of Mahabharata.
For more details on this  read my post on this,
He used to liaise with both the warring groups, such was the respect he commanded and so was his states prosperity.
Even During Ramayana period the prosperity of the smaller states were in evidence.
What i have gleaned from these and other historical facts, in India, Austrian Empire, i that a State is prosperous if the Government is good and there are development activities.
The academic discussion that large Sates have more resources at their disposal, smaller easy to administer …are mere arm-chair discussions.
i was curious to find how ancient Map of India looked like.
Here are some Maps of ancient India from the Ramayana, Mahabharata days.
Ancient Map of India during Ramayana
India during The Ramayana period.
Kingdoms of India
Indian Kingdoms.
Ancient Kingdoms of India,

English: Author: JIJITH NR This image shows the locations places mentioned in Mahabharata and Ramayana. Some of the places retained their name during the period of Buddha and some even to the current times. Legend: yellow: kingdoms; blue: rivers; green: forests; brown: mountains; red: places (cities, towns, villages, mountain peaks, etc.)
India 100 BC
Indo Greeks in 100 BC.

Bharatvarsha, India Timeline.
  • . prehistoric
    Human habitation of India.
  • c. 5000 BCE – c. 1900 BCE
    The Indus Valley (or Harappan) Civilization.
  • c. 4000 BCE
    Indian village of Balathal inhabited.
  • c. 3000 BCE – c. 2600 BCE
    The rise of the great Indian cities of Mohenjo Daro and Harappa.
  • 2000 BCE
    Pepper is widely used in Indian cooking.
  • c. 1700 BCE – c. 1500 BCE
    Decline of the Harappan Culture in India.
  • c. 1700 BCE – 1100 BCE
    The Rig Veda written, mentioning the god Rudra (Shiva) for the first time.
  • c. 1700 BCE – 150 BCE
    The Vedic Period in India.
  • 1500 BCE
    The Indus Valley is invaded by Aryans - nomadic northerners from central Asia.
  • c. 1000 BCE
    The Aryans expand into the Ganges valley inIndia.
  • c. 700 BCE
    Indian scholars codify and reinterpret Aryanbeliefs to create the Upanishads texts forming the basis of Hinduism.
  • c. 700 BCE
    India is divided into 16 Aryan states or kingdoms.
  • c. 600 BCE
    Charaka and Sushruta found two schools of Ayurveda.
  • 599 BCE – 527 BCE
    Life of Indian philosopher Vardhamana, founder of Jainism.
  • 530 BCE
    Persia conquers the Indus Valley.
  • c. 500 BCE
    The kingdom of Magadha, ruled by Bimbisara, is the most powerful state in India.
  • c. 490 BCE – 410 BCE
    The life of Siddhartha Gautama or the Buddha, founder of Buddhism. The traditional date for his birth is 563 BCE, although contemporary scholarly consensus places his birth c. 490 BCE.
  • 327 BCE – 325 BCE
    Alexander’s campaign in northern India.
  • 320 BCE
    Chandragupta Maurya seizes the throne of Magadhan and expands the kingdom over northern and central India.
  • 298 BCE
    Indian ruler Chandragupta Maurya dies.
  • 298 BCE – 272 BCE
    Chandragupta’s son, Bindusara, rules and expands the Maurya Empire.
  • 273 BCE – 236 BCE
    Ashoka, grandson of Chandragupta Maurya,conquers most of central and southern India.
  • c. 269 BCE
    Ashoka becomes emperor of the Maurya dynasty in India.
  • c. 260 BCE
    Indian ruler Ashoka conquers the kingdom of Kalinga.
  • 232 BCE
    Indian ruler Ashoka dies and the Mauryaempire declines.
  • c. 200 BCE
    Beginning of the Greco-Bactrian conquests inIndia.
  • 186 BCE
    Demetrios wins a decisive battle in Gandhara, beginning the Yona (or Greek era) in India.
  • c. 165 BCE
    The Greco-Bactrian king Eucratides invadesIndia.
  • 160 BCE – 135 BCE
    Indo-Greek King Menander rules the Punjab.
  • c. 130 BCE
    Eucratids flee from Bactria to India. Rivalry between Eucratids and Euthydemids takes place in the Indo-Greek kingdoms.
  • 30 BCE
    Pepper is directly imported by Roman ships from India and its price decreases.
  • c. 1 CE
    First non-stop voyages from Egypt to India.
  • c. 1 CE – c. 100 CE
    The Mahayana movement begins in India with its belief in bodhisattva – saintly souls who helped the living.
  • 320 CE
    Gupta I founds the Gupta dynasty which would rule India for 600 years.
  • 380 CE – 415 CE
    Reign of Chandra Gupta II in India.
  • 450 CE
    India is invaded by the White Huns across theHindu Kush.
  • c. 500 CE – c. 600 CE
    In India the Tantric expands the number of deities to include helpful demons, contactable through ritual.
  • c. 550 CE
    The end of the reign of Visnugupta Chandraditya, last of the Gupta rulers in India.
  • 712 CE
    Muslim general Muhammed bin Quasimconquers northern India.

Thursday, December 26, 2013


Hindu History

History with its flickering lamp,
Stumbles along the trail of the past;
Trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echoes,
And re-kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days.

Nowhere is this observation more true than in the case of Hindu History. In tracing the roots of this ancient religion, we find ourselves floundering in the mists of time as there are few archeological evidences remaining that can corroborate the legends described in our ancient Puraans.

Ancient Map of India

The many facets of Indian history mirror the Geographical, Racial, Linguistic and Cultural complexities of the vast Indian sub-continent and as such are not very easy to decipher. However, it is abundantly clear that the chain of events extends way back into the pre-historic times..

That the Early Man, was present and thriving in the Indian heartland, is evident from the Cave-paintings of Bhimbetka in Madhya Pradesh. These paintings date from 40,000 BCE (earlier known as BC) and show the antiquity of human existence in this part of the world.

Pre-historic paintings from Bhimbetka Caves

A large amount of information is available through literary evidence of the Hindu Vedas, Persian Avesta, regional literature and assorted accounts of travelers from both East and West throwing ample light on different aspects of early Hindu civilization.

Through the analysis of these literary masterpieces and corroborating them with the evidence unearthed in recent excavations from Rajasthan and Gujarat in India and the North-western region of Pakistan have pushed back origins of ancient Indian civilization by at least three millenia more!

Earliest sites of Civilization in the Indian sub-continent

While the proto-cities excavated in Mehrgarh have been dated to around 6500 BCE, discoveries in the Gulf of Cambay, off the coast of Gujarat (where the fabled city of Dwarka was located), have revealed dates corresponding to >35000 BCE which is older than ANY other civilization in the World!

The 'Discovery' of Saraswati, the most glorified river in the Vedas, has given a huge boost to the efforts of finding a common ground between Hindu History and Mythology. The oft mentioned and much extolled river of ancient Hindu texts, was ironically not to be seen at all in modern India, and this had placed a great burden on scholars who endeavored to analyze the sacred texts from a historical view-point.

The Original course of Saraswati

However, recent research carried out by international archaeologists has shed a great deal of light on the origin, course and final disappearance of the mighty river referred to as the 'Mother of all rivers' in the Rigveda and can even help date the scriptures to a large extent!

In the article titled {The Riddle of India's Ancient Past}, the French proto-historian Michel Danino believes there are strong links between the Veda and the Harappan culture.

'We find statues and seals depicting yogis and yogic postures, we find a Shiva-like deity, worship of a mother-goddess, fire altars, all of which are suggestive of Vedic culture. Harappan symbols include the Trishul, the Swastika, the Conch shell, the Peepal tree, all of which are central to later Indian culture. The Rig-Veda itself is full of references to fortified cities and towns, to oceans, sailing, trade and industry, all of which are found in the Harappan civilization.'

Ruins of Mohenjodaro

Vedic altars found in these sites re-affirm that the culture followed in these sites extending from Pakistan-Iran border in the West to Uttar Pradesh in the East; and Kashmir in the North to Godavari in the South was a part of Vedic culture.

Similarly, thoughts are echoed by David Frawley, the director of the American Institute of Vedic Studies, in the article {The Myth of Aryan Invasion},

'The term 'Destroyers of cities' was used to disregard the Vedic as a primitive non-urban culture that destroys cities and urban civilization. However, there are also many verses in the 'Rig Veda' that speak of the Aryans as having having cities of their own and being protected by cities upto a hundred in number.

Destruction of cities also happens in modern wars; this does not make those who do this nomads. The idea of Vedic culture as destroying but not building the cities is based upon ignoring what the Vedas actually say about their own cities.'

With the new insights available, even the nomenclature of the Indus Valley Civilization is no more apt as a majority of sites in later excavations fit perfectly along the banks of the newly discovered course of Saraswati. Some scholars have therefore started referring to it as the Indus-Saraswati Civilization.

Indus Valley Seals

About this continuity of Indian civilzation, Jean Michel Varenne, a French Orientalist wrote in his book,{Yoga and the Hindu Tradition},

'The only remaining testimony to the prestigious civilization of ancient Egypt lay buried in archaeological remains; which meant that inhabitants of the Nile Valley had to wait for Champollion to decipher their hieroglyphics before they could know anything of the beliefs of their ancestors!!

Yet during all this time, Hindu families continued, and still continue today, to venerate the same Vishnu, who is celebrated in the hymns of the Rig Veda!'

Scholarly endeavors like Indian historian and freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak's phenomenal work, The Arctic Home in the Vedas; French historian Michel Danino's outstanding research, The Lost River: On the trail of Saraswati and American Indologist David Frawley's, The Eternal Tradition-Sanatan Dharma throw new light on ancient Hindu history.

Other scholars have tried to interpret the Astrological references in ancient literature and have come up with pretty conclusive dates. Verse 3.1.15 of the Taitreya Brahman describes Jupiter crossing the Pushya constellation thereby suggesting a date close to 4650 BCE.

Similarly, the Aitreya Brahman gives the date of 6000 BCE while the Rig Veda has references which throw up time-frames close to 10,000 BCE! One of the Medieval Islamic scholars, Al-biruni, lists many ancient Indian Astronomers who were well versed with the knowledge of both Space-science as well as Mathematics:

Brahmagupta (The first man to use Zero),
Aryabhata (The first man to calculate the value of Pie),
Bhaskar acharya (The first man to write numbers in decimal system) and
Varahamihira (The first astronomer to collate Hindu, Greek and Roman astronomy).

Other visitors like Hiun-Tsang, Fa-Hien and Megasthenes also left extensive accounts of life and its various nuances in ancient India.

Indian Empires were biggest in the world at one point of time

The actual dates of origin of the Indian civilization may yet be shrouded in the mists of time, but help has come from a totally unexpected branch of Science - Genetics.

According to the research findings such as MtDNA Haplogroup Study in Indian Peninsula and the Indian Genome Variation project, Indian sub-continent saw the first wave of migration of humanity out of Africa, directly into India about 50,000 years ago! It was from here that waves of people migrated to other parts of Asia as well as the continents of Europe and America!

The results also indicate that there has never been an Aryan Invasion NOR Migration INTO India. Our present genetic diversity evolved as waves of initial settlers in the central regions moved towards both north as well as south of the country, all the time intermixing and migrating to other countries.