The British Raj was the rule by the British Crown in the Indian subcontinent from 1858 to 1947. The rule is called Crown rule in India, or direct rule in India; the region under British control was called British India or India in contemporaneous usage, included areas directly administered by the United Kingdom, which were collectively called British India, those ruled by indigenous rulers, but under British tutelage or paramountcy, called the princely states. The whole was informally called the Indian Empire; as India, it was a founding member of the League of Nations, a participating nation in the Summer Olympics in 1900, 1920, 1928, 1932, 1936, a founding member of the United Nations in San Francisco in 1945. This system of governance was instituted on 28 June 1858, after the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the rule of the British East India Company was transferred to the Crown in the person of Queen Victoria, it lasted until 1947, when it was partitioned into two sovereign dominion states: the Dominion of India and the Dominion of Pakistan.
At the inception of the Raj in 1858, Lower Burma was a part of British India. The British Raj extended over all present-day India and Bangladesh, except for small holdings by other European nations such as Goa and Pondicherry; this area is diverse, containing the Himalayan mountains, fertile floodplains, the Indo-Gangetic Plain, a long coastline, tropical dry forests, arid uplands, the Thar Desert. In addition, at various times, it included Aden, Lower Burma, Upper Burma, British Somaliland, Singapore. Burma was separated from India and directly administered by the British Crown from 1937 until its independence in 1948; the Trucial States of the Persian Gulf and the states under the Persian Gulf Residency were theoretically princely states as well as presidencies and provinces of British India until 1947 and used the rupee as their unit of currency. Among other countries in the region, Ceylon was ceded to Britain in 1802 under the Treaty of Amiens. Ceylon was part of Madras Presidency between 1793 and 1798.
The kingdoms of Nepal and Bhutan, having fought wars with the British, subsequently signed treaties with them and were recognised by the British as independent states. The Kingdom of Sikkim was established as a princely state after the Anglo-Sikkimese Treaty of 1861; the Maldive Islands were a British protectorate from 1887 to 1965, but not part of British India. India during the British Raj was made up of two types of territory: British India and the Native States. In its Interpretation Act 1889, the British Parliament adopted the following definitions in Section 18: The expression "British India" shall mean all territories and places within Her Majesty's dominions which are for the time being governed by Her Majesty through the Governor-General of India or through any governor or other officer subordinates to the Governor-General of India; the expression "India" shall mean British India together with any territories of any native prince or chief under the suzerainty of Her Majesty exercised through the Governor-General of India, or through any governor or other officer subordinates to the Governor-General of India.
In general, the term "British India" had been used to refer to the regions under the rule of the British East India Company in India from 1600 to 1858. The term has been used to refer to the "British in India"; the terms "Indian Empire" and "Empire of India" were not used in legislation. The monarch was known as Empress or Emperor of India and the term was used in Queen Victoria's Queen's Speeches and Prorogation Speeches; the passports issued by the British Indian government had the words "Indian Empire" on the cover and "Empire of India" on the inside. In addition, an order of knighthood, the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire, was set up in 1878. Suzerainty over 175 princely states, some of the largest and most important, was exercised by the central government of British India under the Viceroy. A clear distinction between "dominion" and "suzerainty" was supplied by the jurisdiction of the courts of law: the law of British India rested upon the laws passed by the British Parliament and the legislative powers those laws vested in the various governments of British India, both central and local.
At the turn of the 20th century, British India consisted of eight provinces that were administered either by a governor or a lieutenant-governor. During the partition of Bengal, the new provinces of Assam and East Bengal were created as a Lieutenant-Governorship. In 1911, East Bengal was reunited with Bengal, the new provinces in the east becam
The Sultanate of Bengal was an Islamic kingdom established in Bengal during the 14th century, as part of the Muslim conquest of the Indian subcontinent. It was the first independent unified Bengali kingdom under Muslim rule; the region became known as Bangalah and Bengala under this kingdom. The two terms are precursors to Bengal; the kingdom was formed. Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah united the region's states into a single government headed by an imperial Sultan; the kingdom was ruled by five dynasties. At the height of its territorial empire, the kingdom ruled over areas in Eastern South Asia and Southeast Asia, it re-established diplomatic relations between the Indian subcontinent. It permitted the creation of the Portuguese settlement in Chittagong, the first European enclave in Bengal; the kingdom looked west for cultural inspiration from Persianate cultures. Its rulers sponsored the construction of colleges in Mecca and Medina, which host the holiest sites of Islam. Literature was fostered with strong Sufi influences.
Bengali architecture evolved during this period, with several external influences. The kingdom had an influential Hindu minority, which included aristocrats, military officers and bureaucrats, it assisted the Buddhist king of Arakan to regain control of his country from the Burmese. The kingdom began to disintegrate in the 16th century, in the aftermath of Sher Shah Suri's conquests; the Mughal Empire began to absorb Bengal under Babur. The second Mughal emperor Humayun occupied the Bengali capital of Gaurh. In 1576, the armed forces of emperor Akbar defeated Daud Khan Karrani; the region became Mughal Bengal. The Delhi Sultanate lost its hold over Bengal in 1338 when separatist states were established by governors, including Fakhruddin Mubarak Shah in Sonargaon, Alauddin Ali Shah in Lakhnauti and Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah in Satgaon. In 1352, Ilyas Shah defeated the rulers of Sonargaon and Lakhnauti and united the Bengal region into an independent kingdom, he founded the Turkic Ilyas Shahi dynasty which ruled Bengal until 1490.
During this time, much of the agricultural land was controlled by Hindu zamindars, which caused tensions with Muslim Taluqdars. The Ilyas Shahi rule was challenged by Raja Ganesha, a powerful Hindu landowner, who managed to place his son, Jalaluddin Muhammad Shah, on the throne in the early 15th century, before the Ilyas Shahi dynasty was restored in 1432; the late 1480s saw four usurper sultans from the mercenary corps. Tensions between different Muslim communities affected the kingdom. After a period of instability, Alauddin Hussain Shah gained control of Bengal in 1494 when he was prime minister; as Sultan, Hussain Shah ruled till 1519. The dynasty he founded reigned till 1538. Muslims and Hindus jointly served in the royal administration during the Hussain Shahi dynasty; this era is regarded as a golden age of the Bengal Sultanate, in which Bengali territory included areas of Arakan, Orissa and Assam. The sultanate gave permission for establishing the Portuguese settlement in Chittagong. Sher Shah Suri conquered Bengal in the 16th century.
After conquering Bengal, Sher Shah Suri proceeded to Agra. The absorption of Bengal into the Mughal Empire was a gradual process beginning with the defeat of Bengali forces under Sultan Nasiruddin Nasrat Shah by Babur at the Battle of Ghaghra and ending with the Battle of Raj Mahal where the Pashtun Karrani dynasty, the last reigning Sultans of Bengal, were defeated; the Bengal Sultanate was an absolute monarchy. The Ilyas Shahi dynasty promoted a Persianate society, it copied the pre-Muslim Persian tradition of statecraft. The courts of the capital cities sanctified the sultan, used Persianized royal paraphernalia, adopted an elaborate court ceremony modeled on the Sasanian imperial paradigm, employed a hierarchical bureaucracy, promoted Islam as the state religion; the rise of Jalaluddin Muhammad Shah saw more native elements inducted in the courts. The Hussain Shahi dynasty employed many Hindus in the government and promoted a form of religious pluralism. Military strength was the existential basis of other parts of India.
The sultans had a well-organised army, including cavalry, artillery and war elephants. Due to the riverine geography and climate, it was not feasible to use cavalry throughout the year in Bengal; the cavalry was the weakest component of the Bengal Sultanate's army, as the horses had to be imported from foreign countries. The artillery was an important section. Portuguese historian João de Barros opined that the military supremacy of Bengal over Arakan and Tripura was due to its efficient artillery; the artillery used guns of various sizes. The paiks formed the vital part of the Bengal infantry during this period. There were occasions when the paiks tackled political situations; the particular battle array of the foot-soldiers who used bows and guns attracted the attention of Babur. War elephants played an important part in the Bengal army. Apart from carrying war materials, elephants were used for the movement of the armed personnel. In riverine Bengal the usefulness of elephants, though slow, could not be minimised.
The navy was of prime necessity in riverine Bengal. In fact, the cavalry could ensure the hold over this country for a period of six months whereas the boats backed by the paiks could command supr
The Vedic period, or Vedic age, is the period in the history of the northern Indian subcontinent between the end of the urban Indus Valley Civilisation and a second urbanisation which began in the central Indo-Gangetic Plain c. 600 BCE. It gets its name from the Vedas, which are liturgical texts containing details of life during this period that have been interpreted to be historical and constitute the primary sources for understanding the period; these documents, alongside the corresponding archaeological record, allow for the evolution of the Vedic culture to be traced and inferred. The Vedas were composed and orally transmitted with precision by speakers of an Old Indo-Aryan language who had migrated into the northwestern regions of the Indian subcontinent early in this period; the Vedic society was patrilineal. Early Vedic Aryans were a Late Bronze Age society centred in the Punjab, organised into tribes rather than kingdoms, sustained by a pastoral way of life. Around c. 1200–1000 BCE, Vedic Aryans spread eastward to the fertile western Ganges Plain and adopted iron tools which allowed for clearing of forest and the adoption of a more settled, agricultural way of life.
The second half of the Vedic period was characterised by the emergence of towns, a complex social differentiation distinctive to India, the Kuru Kingdom's codification of orthodox sacrificial ritual. During this time, the central Ganges Plain was dominated by a related but non-Vedic Indo-Aryan culture; the end of the Vedic period witnessed the rise of true cities and large states as well as śramaṇa movements which challenged the Vedic orthodoxy. The Vedic period saw the emergence of a hierarchy of social classes. Vedic religion developed into Brahmanical orthodoxy, around the beginning of the Common Era, the Vedic tradition formed one of the main constituents of the so-called "Hindu synthesis". Archaeological cultures identified with phases of Vedic material culture include the Ochre Coloured Pottery culture, the Gandhara grave culture, the Black and red ware culture and the Painted Grey Ware culture; the accepted period of earlier Vedic age is dated back to the second millennium BCE. After the collapse of the Indus Valley Civilisation, which ended c. 1900 BCE, groups of Indo-Aryan peoples migrated into north-western India and started to inhabit the northern Indus Valley.
The Indo-Aryans were a branch of the Indo-Iranians, which—according to the most widespread hypothesis—have originated in the Andronovo culture in the Bactria-Margiana area, in present northern Afghanistan. Some writers and archaeologists have opposed the notion of a migration of Indo-Aryans into India. Edwin Bryant and Laurie Patton used the term "Indo-Aryan Controversy" for an oversight of the Indo-Aryan Migration theory, some of its opponents; these ideas are outside the academic mainstream. Mallory and Adams note that two types of models "enjoy significant international currency" as to the Indo-European homeland, namely the Anatolian hypothesis, a migration out of the Eurasian steppes. According to Upinder Singh, "The original homeland of the Indo-Europeans and Indo-Aryans is the subject of continuing debate among philologists, historians and others; the dominant view is. Another view, advocated by some Indian scholars, is that they were indigenous to the subcontinent."The knowledge about the Aryans comes from the Rigveda-samhita, i. e. the oldest layer of the Vedas, composed c.
1500–1200 BCE. They brought with them practices; the Vedic beliefs and practices of the pre-classical era were related to the hypothesised Proto-Indo-European religion, the Indo-Iranian religion. According to Anthony, the Old Indic religion emerged among Indo-European immigrants in the contact zone between the Zeravshan River and Iran, it was "a syncretic mixture of old Central Asian and new Indo-European elements", which borrowed "distinctive religious beliefs and practices" from the Bactria–Margiana culture. The Rigveda contains accounts of conflicts between the Dasas and Dasyus, it describes Dasas and Dasyus as people who do not perform sacrifices or obey the commandments of gods. Their speech is described as mridhra which could variously mean soft, hostile, scornful or abusive. Other adjectives which describe their physical appearance are subject to many interpretations. However, some modern scholars such as Asko Parpola connect the Dasas and Dasyus to Iranian tribes Dahae and Dahyu and believe that Dasas and Dasyus were early Indo-Aryan immigrants who arrived into the subcontinent before the Vedic Aryans.
Accounts of military conflicts between the various tribes of Vedic Aryans are described in the Rigveda. Most notable of such conflicts was the Battle of Ten Kings, which took place on the banks of the river Parushni; the battle was fought between the tribe Bharatas, led by their chief Sudas, against a confederation of ten tribes. The Bharatas lived around the upper regions of the river Saraswati, while the Purus, their western neighbours, lived along the lower regions of Saraswati; the other tribes dwelt north-west of the Bharatas in the region of Punjab. Division of the waters of Ravi could have been a reason for the war; the confederation of tribes tried to inundate the Bharatas by opening the embankments of Ravi, yet Sudas emerged victorious in the Battle of Ten Kings. Purukutsa, the chief of the Purus, was killed in the battle and the Bharatas and the Purus merged into a new tribe, the Kuru, after the war. After the 12th
Parliament of India
The Parliament of India is the supreme legislative body of the Republic of India. It is a bicameral legislature composed of the President of India and the two houses: the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha; the President in his role as head of legislature has full powers to summon and prorogue either house of Parliament or to dissolve Lok Sabha. The president can exercise these powers only upon the advice of the Prime Minister and his Union Council of Ministers; those elected or nominated to either house of Parliament are referred to as Members of Parliament. The Members of Parliament, Lok Sabha are directly elected by the Indian public voting in Single-member districts and the Members of Parliament, Rajya Sabha are elected by the members of all State Legislative Assembly by proportional representation; the Parliament has a sanctioned strength of 545 in Lok Sabha including the 2 nominees from the Anglo-Indian Community by the President, 245 in Rajya Sabha including the 12 nominees from the expertise of different fields of science, culture and history.
The Parliament meets at Sansad Bhavan in New Delhi. The Sansad Bhavan is located in New Delhi, it was designed by Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker, who were responsible for planning and construction of New Delhi by British government. The construction of buildings took six years and the opening ceremony was performed on 18 January 1927 by the Viceroy and Governor-General of India, Irwin; the construction costs for the building were ₹8.3 million. The parliament covers an area of 6 acres; the Central hall consists of the chambers of Rajya Sabha and the Library hall. Surrounding these three chambers is the four storied circular structure providing accommodations for members and houses Parliamentary committees and the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs; the centre and the focus of the building is the Central Hall. It consists of chambers of the Lok Sabha, the Rajya Sabha and the Library Hall and between them lie garden courts. Surrounding these three chambers is the four storyed circular structure providing accommodations for Ministers, Parliamentary committees, Party offices, important offices of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Secretariats and the offices of the ministry of Parliamentary affairs.
The Central Hall is circular in shape and the dome is 29.87 metres in diameter. It is a place of historical importance; the Indian Constitution was framed in the Central Hall. The Central Hall was used in the library of erstwhile Central Legislative Assembly and the Council of States. In 1946, it was refurbished into Constituent Assembly Hall. At present, the Central Hall is used for holding joint sittings of both the houses of parliament and used for address by the President in the commencement of first session after each general election. A new Parliament building may replace the existing complex; the new building is being considered on account of the stability concerns regarding the current complex. A committee to suggest alternatives to the current building has been set up by the Former Speaker, Meira Kumar; the present building, an 85-year-old structure suffers from inadequacy of space to house members and their staff and is thought to suffer from structural issues. The building needs to be protected because of its heritage tag.
The Indian Parliament consists of two houses called the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha with the President of India acting as their head. The President of India, the Head of state is a component of Parliament. Under Article 60 and Article 111, President's responsibility is to scrutinise that bills/laws passed by the parliament are in accordance with constitutional mandate and stipulated procedure is followed before according his/her approval to the bills; the President of India is elected by the elected members of Parliament of India and the state legislatures and serves for a term of 5 years. Lok Sabha or the lower house has 545 members. 543 members are directly elected by citizens of India on the basis of universal adult franchise representing Parliamentary constituencies across the country and 2 members are appointed by the President of India from the Anglo-Indian Community. Every citizen of India, over 18 years of age, irrespective of gender, religion or race, otherwise not disqualified, is eligible to vote for the Lok Sabha.
The Constitution provides. It has a term of five years. To be eligible for membership in the Lok Sabha, a person must be a citizen of India and must be 25 years of age or older, mentally sound, should not be bankrupt and should not be criminally convicted; the total elective membership is distributed among the States in such a way that the ratio between the number of seats allotted to each State and the population of the State is, so far as practicable, the same for all States. Rajya Sabha or the upper house is a permanent body not subject to dissolution. One third of the members retire every second year, are replaced by newly elected members; each member is elected for a term of six years. Its members are indirectly elected by members of legislative bodies of the states; the Rajya Sabha can have a maximum of 250 members. It has a sanctioned strength of 245 members, of which 233 are elected from States and Union Territories and 12 are nominated by the President; the number of members from a state depends on its population.
The minimum age for a person to become a member of Rajya Sabha is 30 years. The period during which the House meets to conduct its business is called a session; the Constitution empowers the president to summon each House at such i
The Mughal Empire or Mogul Empire was an empire in the Indian subcontinent, founded in 1526. It was established and ruled by the Timurid dynasty, with Turco-Mongol Chagatai roots from Central Asia, claiming direct descent from both Genghis Khan and Timur, with significant Indian Rajput and Persian ancestry through marriage alliances; the dynasty was Indo-Persian in culture, combining Persianate culture with local Indian cultural influences visible in its court culture and administrative customs. The beginning of the empire is conventionally dated to the victory by its founder Babur over Ibrahim Lodi, the last ruler of the Delhi Sultanate, in the First Battle of Panipat. During the reign of Humayun, the successor of Babur, the empire was interrupted by the Sur Empire established by Sher Shah Suri; the "classic period" of the Mughal Empire began with the ascension of Akbar to the throne. Some Rajput kingdoms continued to pose a significant threat to the Mughal dominance of northwestern India, but most of them were subdued by Akbar.
All Mughal emperors were Muslims. The Mughal Empire did not try to intervene in native societies during most of its existence, rather co-opting and pacifying them through concilliatory administrative practices and a syncretic, inclusive ruling elite, leading to more systematic and uniform rule. Traditional and newly coherent social groups in northern and western India, such as the Marathas, the Rajputs, the Pashtuns, the Hindu Jats and the Sikhs, gained military and governing ambitions during Mughal rule which, through collaboration or adversity, gave them both recognition and military experience. Internal dissatisfaction arose due to the weakness of the empire's administrative and economic systems, leading to its break-up and declarations of independence of its former provinces by the Nawab of Bengal, the Nawab of Awadh, the Nizam of Hyderabad and other small states. In 1739, the Mughals were crushingly defeated in the Battle of Karnal by the forces of Nader Shah, the founder of the Afsharid dynasty in Persia, Delhi was sacked and looted, drastically accelerating their decline.
By the mid-18th century, the Marathas had routed Mughal armies and won over several Mughal provinces from the Punjab to Bengal. During the following century Mughal power had become limited, the last emperor, Bahadur Shah II, had authority over only the city of Shahjahanabad. Bahadur issued a firman supporting the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Consequent to the rebellion's defeat he was tried by the British East India Company for treason and exiled to Rangoon; the last remnants of the empire were formally taken over by the British, the British Parliament passed the Government of India Act 1858 to enable the Crown formally to displace the rights of the East India Company and assume direct control of India in the form of the new British Raj. At its height, the Mughal Empire stretched from Kabul, Afghanistan in the west to Arakan, Myanmar in the east, from Kashmir in the north to the Deccan Plateau in the south, extending over nearly all of the Indian subcontinent, it was the third largest empire in the Indian subcontinent, spanning four million square kilometers at its zenith, 122% of the size of the modern Republic of India.
The maximum expansion was reached during the reign of Aurangzeb, who ruled over more than 150 million subjects, nearly 25% of the world's population at the time. The Mughal Empire ushered in a period of proto-industrialization, around the 17th century, Mughal India became the world's largest economic and manufacturing power, responsible for 25% of global industrial output until the 18th century; the Mughal Empire is considered "India's last golden age" and one of the three Islamic Gunpowder Empires. The reign of Shah Jahan represented the height of Mughal architecture, with famous monuments such as the Taj Mahal, Moti Masjid, Red Fort, Jama Masjid and Lahore Fort being constructed during his reign. Contemporaries referred to the empire founded by Babur as the Timurid empire, which reflected the heritage of his dynasty, this was the term preferred by the Mughals themselves; the Mughal designation for their own dynasty was Gurkani. The use of Mughal derived from the Arabic and Persian corruption of Mongol, it emphasised the Mongol origins of the Timurid dynasty.
The term remains disputed by Indologists. Similar terms had been used to refer to the empire, including "Mogul" and "Moghul". Babur's ancestors were distinguished from the classical Mongols insofar as they were oriented towards Persian rather than Turco-Mongol culture. Another name for the empire was Hindustan, documented in the Ain-i-Akbari, and, described as the closest to an official name for the empire. In the west, the term "Mughal" was used for the emperor, by extension, the empire as a whole; the Mughal Empire was founded by Babur, a Central Asian ruler, descended from the Turco-Mongol conqueror Timur on his father's side and from Chagatai, the second son of the Mongol ruler Genghis Khan, on his mother's side. Ousted from his ancestral domains in C
The Maurya Empire was a geographically-extensive Iron Age historical power based in Magadha and founded by Chandragupta Maurya which dominated the Indian subcontinent between 322 and 187 BCE. Comprising the majority of South Asia, the Maurya Empire was centralized by the conquest of the Indo-Gangetic Plain, its capital city was located at Pataliputra; the empire was the largest political entity to have existed in the Indian subcontinent, spanning over 5 million square kilometres at its zenith under Ashoka. Chandragupta Maurya raised an army, with the assistance of Chanakya, overthrew the Nanda Empire in c. 322 BCE. Chandragupta expanded his power westwards across central and western India by conquering the satraps left by Alexander the Great, by 317 BCE the empire had occupied northwestern India; the Mauryan Empire defeated Seleucus I, a diadochus and founder of the Seleucid Empire during the Seleucid–Mauryan war, thus acquiring territory west of the Indus River. At its greatest extent, the empire stretched along the natural boundary of the Himalayas, to the east into Assam, to the west into Balochistan and the Hindu Kush mountains of what is now eastern Afghanistan.
The dynasty expanded into India's southern regions by the reign of the emperors Chandragupta and Bindusara, but it excluded Kalinga, until it was conquered by Ashoka. It declined for about 50 years after Ashoka's rule, dissolved in 185 BCE with the foundation of the Shunga dynasty in Magadha. Under Chandragupta Maurya and his successors and external trade and economic activities all thrived and expanded across South Asia due to the creation of a single and efficient system of finance and security; the Maurya dynasty built the Grand Trunk Road, one of Asia's oldest and longest trade networks, connecting the Indian subcontinent with Central Asia. After the Kalinga War, the Empire experienced nearly half a century of centralized rule under Ashoka. Chandragupta Maurya's embrace of Jainism increased socio-religious reform across South Asia, while Ashoka's embrace of Buddhism and sponsorship of Buddhist missionaries allowed for the expansion of that faith into Sri Lanka, northwest India, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and Hellenistic Europe.
The population of the empire has been estimated to be about 50–60 million, making the Mauryan Empire one of the most populous empires of antiquity. Archaeologically, the period of Mauryan rule in South Asia falls into the era of Northern Black Polished Ware; the Arthashastra and the Edicts of Ashoka are the primary sources of written records of Mauryan times. The Lion Capital of Ashoka at Sarnath is the national emblem of the modern Republic of India; the name "Maurya" does not occur in Ashoka's inscriptions, or the contemporary Greek accounts such as Megasthenes's Indica, but it is attested by the following sources: The Junagadh rock inscription of Rudradaman prefixes "Maurya" to the names Chandragupta and Ashoka. The Puranas use Maurya as a dynastic appellation; the Buddhist texts state that Chandragupta belonged to the "Moriya" clan of the Shakyas, the tribe to which Gautama Buddha belonged. The Jain texts state. According to the Buddhist tradition, the ancestors of the Maurya kings had settled in a region where peacocks were abundant.
Therefore, they came to be known as "Moriyas" "belonging to the place of peacocks". According to another Buddhist account, these ancestors built a city called Moriya-nagara, so called, because it was built with the "bricks coloured like peacocks' necks"; the dynasty's connection to the peacocks, as mentioned in the Buddhist and Jain traditions, seems to be corroborated by archaeological evidence. For example, peacock figures are found on the Ashoka pillar at Nandangarh and several sculptures on the Great Stupa of Sanchi. Based on this eviedence, modern scholars theorize that the peacock may have been the dynasty's emblem. According to Dhundiraja, a commentator on the Vishnu Purana, the word "Maurya" is derived from Mura, the name of the wife of a Nanda king and the mother of the first Maurya king. However, the Puranas themselves make no mention of Mura and do not talk of any relation between the Nanda and the Maurya dynasties. Dhundiraja's derivation of the word seems to be his own invention: according to the Sanskrit rules, the derivative of the feminine name Mura would be "Maureya".
The Maurya Empire was founded by Chandragupta Maurya, with help from Chanakya, at Takshashila, a noted center of learning. According to several legends, Chanakya travelled to Magadha, a kingdom, large and militarily powerful and feared by its neighbours, but was insulted by its king Dhana Nanda, of the Nanda dynasty. Chanakya vowed to destroy the Nanda Empire. Meanwhile, the conquering armies of Alexander the Great refused to cross the Beas River and advance further eastward, deterred by the prospect of battling Magadha. Alexander re-deployed most of his troops west of the Indus River. Soon after Alexander died in Babylon in 323 BCE, his empire fragmented into independent kingdoms led by his generals; the Greek generals Eudemus and Peithon ruled in the Indus Valley until around 317 BCE, when Chandragupta Maurya orchestrated a rebellion to drive out the Greek governors, subsequently brought the Indus Valley under the control of his new seat of power in Magadha. Chandragupta Maurya's rise to power is s
South Asian Stone Age
The South Asian Stone Age covers the Palaeolithic and Neolithic periods in South Asia. Evidence for the most ancient anatomically modern Homo sapiens in South Asia has been found in the cave sites of Cudappah of India and Belilena in Sri Lanka. In Mehrgarh, in what is today western Pakistan, the Neolithic began c. 7000 BCE and lasted until 3300 BCE and the first beginnings of the Bronze Age. In South India, the Mesolithic lasted until 3000 BCE, the Neolithic until 1400 BCE, followed by a Megalithic transitional period skipping the Bronze Age; the Iron Age began simultaneously in North and South India, around c. 1200 to 1000 BCE. Homo erectus lived on the Pothohar Plateau, in upper Punjab, Pakistan along the Soan River during the Pleistocene Epoch. Soanian sites are found in the Sivalik region across what are now India and Nepal. Biface handaxes and cleaver traditions may have originated in the middle Pleistocene; the beginning of the use of Acheulian and chopping tools of the lower Paleolithic may be dated to the middle Pleistocene.
Neolithic Stone Age of Indian subcontinent finds were excavated from Pinjore in Haryana on the banks of the stream flowing through HMT complex, by the Guy Ellcock Pilgrim, a British geologist and palaeontologist, who discovered 15 million years old prehistoric human teeth and part of a jaw denoting that the ancient people, who were intelligent hominins dating as far back as 1,500,000 ybp Acheulean period, lived in Pinjore region near Chandigarh. Quartzite tools of lower Paleolithic period were excavated in this region extending from Pinjore in Haryana to Nalagarh (Solan district in Himachal Pradesh. Analysis of mitochondrial DNA dates the immigration of Homo sapiens to South Asia to 75,000 to 50,000 years ago. An analysis of Y chromosome haplogroups found one man in a village west of Madurai to be a direct descendant of these migrators. Cave sites in Sri Lanka have yielded the earliest non-mitochondrial record of modern Homo sapiens in South Asia, they were dated to 34,000 years ago.. For finds from the Belan in southern Uttar Pradesh, India radiocarbon data have indicated an age of 18,000-17,000 years.
At the Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka humans lived throughout the Upper Paleolithic, revealing cave paintings dating to c. 30,000 BCE, there are small cup like depressions at the end of the Auditorium Rock Shelter, dated to nearly 100,000 years. Chert and quartzite were used by humans during this period; the aceramic Neolithic lasts c. 7000 - 5500 BCE. The ceramic Neolithic lasts up to 3300 BCE. One of the earliest Neolithic sites in India is Lahuradewa in the Middle Ganges region and Jhusi near the confluence of Ganges and Yamuna rivers, both dating to around the 7th millennium BCE. Another site along the ancient Saraswati riverine system in the present day state of Haryana in India called Bhirrana has been discovered yielding a dating of around 7600 BCE for its Neolithic levels. In South India the Neolithic began by 3000 BCE and lasted until around 1400 BCE. South Indian Neolithic is characterized by Ashmounds since 2500 BCE in the Andhra-Karnataka region that expanded into Tamil Nadu. Comparative excavations carried out in Adichanallur in the Thirunelveli District and in Northern India have provided evidence of a southward migration of the Megalithic culture.
The earliest clear evidence of the presence of the megalithic urn burials are those dating from around 1000 BCE, which have been discovered at various places in Tamil Nadu, notably at Adichanallur, 24 kilometers from Tirunelveli, where archaeologists from the Archaeological Survey of India unearthed 12 urns containing human skulls and bones, grains of charred rice and Neolithic celts, confirming the presence of the Neolithic period 2800 years ago. Archaeologists have made plans to return to Adhichanallur as a source of new knowledge in the future. History of Afghanistan History of Bangladesh History of Bhutan History of India History of Nepal History of Pakistan History of Sri Lanka Prehistoric Asia Modern Humans Arrival In South Asia May Have Led To Demise Of Indigenous Populations