History of Hinduism


Indus-Sarasvati Civilization

Approx. 3,000 BC - Approx. 1,700 BC

First signs of practicing some form of Hinduism are found in Indus-Sarasvati civilization (Ancient sculptures, seals and pottery related to Hinduism) World's largest and most advanced civilization at the time, located in South Asia. They even had drain systems. Bronze-age civilization.

The Vedic Period

Approx. 1500 BC - Approx. 500 BC

The four central holy books( called Vedas, this is where this period gets it's name.) of Hinduism were composed during this time. Focus was on yajna, performance of ritualistic sacrifice and joining ancestors in heaven. Aryans migrate to the sub continent and become a dominant cultural force.

The Epic, Puranic and Classical Age

Approx. 500 BC - Approx. 500 CE

More texts are created such as: Dharma Sutras and Shastras, the two Epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, and subsequently the Puranas, containing many of the stories still popular today. The central idea of Hinduism called chantra is formed. (Law, duty and truth.) The religion starts to take it's shape with new rituals and deities.

Muslim period

Approx. 700 ce - Approx. 1700 CE

Arabs and Muslims start to conquer India. First attacks start somewhere between 620-750 CE. 20 million Indians die during these times, The prosperity of India was ruined during the Islamic rule but the Hindu-culture still survived. (More taxes on Hindus called Jizya and destruction of temples.) Great Hindu leader Shijavi drove the Muslims away.

The Delhi Sultanate

1206 - 1526

The Muslim Sultanate of Delhi stretched over large parts of the Indian subcontinent. For five dynasties the Sultanate of Delhi was ruled and ti had a major impact and effect on the Indian society and culture.

The arrival of Europeans

Approx. 1500 - Approx. 1800

In 1498 Vasco de Gama lands in Calicut and links Europe and Asia through and ocean route, thus marking the start of global imperialism.
East India Company (International trade route between the United Kingdom and the subcontinent of India.) is formed by Britain in 1600s. Britain started to gain control of India thorugh politics and private armies.

The Mughal Empire

1526 - 1857

The Muslim dynasty of the Mughal Empire rules a major part of the Indian subcontinent. (With a part of Afganistan.) The Mughal Empire was formed when it's founder Babur is victorious over the the last ruler of the Delhi sultanate, Ibrahim Lodi. The empire falls in the siege of Delhi which was the result of a long conflict between East India company and The Mughal Empire.


1828 - Present

Brahmo Samaj is a theistic Hindu movement that does not accept the authority of the four holy books Vedas and it does not have faith in avatars.
Neo-Vedanta is a Hindu movement that has a liberal attitude towars the Vedas and it was a response to colonialism when it was created in the 19th century.
Arya Samaj is Hindu movements whose members believe in only one God and reject the worship of any idols.

The British reign

1858 - 1947

During this time, United Kingdom ruled over the subcontinent of India as a part of is empire. This ended with non violent means in 1947 by the help of Gandhi.