2500BC to 500 BC

7500 BC : Civilization at Gulf of Khambar 2500-1500 BC: Indus Valley Civilisation. 2000-1500: Aryans arrive from central Asia. 1500-1000: The Early Vedic Age – Rigveda. 1000-500: Later Vedic Period - Samaveda, Yajurveda and Atharvaveda, Brahmanas, Aranyakas, Samhitas, early Upanishads and Sutras. 563-483 : Gautama Buddha – born at Lumbini (Nepal); attainment of knowledge – Bodh Gaya (Bihar); first sermon – Sarnath, near Varanasi (UP); Nirvana – Kusinagar (Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh). 540-468 : Mahavira – born at Kundagrama near Vaishali (Bihar) and nirvana at Pavapuri (Patna, Bihar). 492-460 : Rule of Ajatasatru, son of Bimbisara


Gulf of Cambut Culture

7500 bc

The Gulf of Cambut culture which was discovered
recently from the Bay of Cambut in Gujarat
dates back to 7500 BC.
 This was found out by the National Institute of
Open Technology (NIOT).

Indus Valley Civilisation

2500 bc - 1500 bc

 The Harappan culture spread over the whole of
Sind, Baluchistan, almost the whole of Punjab,
northern Rajasthan, Kathiawar and Gujarat.
 Harappa the first Indus site, was discovered by
Dayaram Sahni in 1921. It is situated in the province
of West Punjab, Montgeomery district in Pakistan.
 Harappa is located on the bank of river Ravi.
 Mohanjedaro was excavated in 1922 by R.D.
Banarjee. It is situated in the Larkhana district in
Sind on the right bank of river Indus (Now in
 The Great Granery, the Great Bath a piece of
woven cotton, a beared man in steatite and a
bronze dancing girl are found from Mohanjedaro.
 An assembly hall was also discovered from
 The most important feature of Harappan
civilisation was town planning and urbanism.
 The word Mohanjedaro in Sindi language means
‘the mount of the dead’.
 Mohanjodaro was believed to have destructed
by flood.
 Harappans knew the art of growing cereals, wheat
and barley.
 Banawali is situated in Hariyana.
 Chanhudaro, discovered by N. Gopal Majundar
and Mackey, is situated in Sind on the bank of
river Indus.
 Kalibangan, another famous Indus city discovered
in 1953 by A Ghosh, is situated in Rajasthan
on the banks of River Ghaggar. Kalibangan stands
for black bangles.
 Lothal, first man made port in the world and dockyard
made of burnt bricks, was discovered in 1953
by S.R. Rao is situated in Gujarat on Bhogava
river near Gulf of Cambay.
 Ropar is the site situated in Punjab on the banks
of river Sutlej. It was discovered in 1953 by
 Harappan people were the earliest people in the
world to grow cotton and rice.
 People cultivated rice at Lothal and Rangpur and
barley at Benawali.
 Harappan people domesticated oxen, buffaloes,
goats, camel, sheeps, domestic fowls and pigs.
Humped bulls were given special importance.
Horses were unknown to the Harappan people.
 Indus people had trade contacts with Persian Gulf
and Mesopotamia.
 The ancient name given to Indus region was
 Indus people used a gold - silver mixture called
 They used bronze and copper but iron was unknown
to them.
 Indus people were the first to use copper in India.
 Harappans used a system of weights and measures
based on 16 and its multiples.
 The chief male deity of the Indus people was
Pasupati Mahadeva (Porto Siva).
 Their Chief female deity was the Mother Goddess.
 They also worshipped fire, pipal trees and Unicorn.
 Harappan script was Pictographic in nature, which
has not been desciphered so far.
 Harappan seals were made of Terra - Cotta.
 Chess - like game of Harappans was called Sent.
 Indus Valley civilisation belongs to the
Chalcolithic period dated between 3000 BC and
1500 BC. It is a Bronze Age civilisation or a proto
Historic civilisation.
 The largest number of Harappan sites in post independent
India have been discovered from
 Harappan civilisation extended from Jammu in the
North to Narmada in the South and from Makran
coast of Baluchistan in the West to Meerat in the
 The Northern most point of Indus valley
civilisation was Gumla in Jammu and the Southernmost
was Daimbad.
 Floods and Earthquakes, change in the course of
river Indus, aridity of the area, or drying up of
river Ghaggar, the invasion of Aryans are the supposed
reasons for the decline of the civilisation
towards 1500 BC.

Vedic Age

1500 bc - 500 bc

 Vedic Age is the period of Aryans in India from
1500 - 500 BC.
 Most Probable Home of the Aryans is Central
Asia. This theory is of Max Muller.
 The word Aryan literally means high born, but it
generally refers to language.
 The word ‘Veda’ is derived from the word ‘vid’
which means knowledge.
 Vedas are the oldest literary works of mankind.
Vedas are four in number, they are Rig Veda,
Yajurveda, Samaveda and Atharva Veda. Rig veda
is the oldest veda.
 Vedas are collectively known as Sruti
 Vedangas are collectively known as Smriti
 Vedangas are six in number. They are,
Siksha - Phonetic
Kalpa - Ritual
Vyakarana - Grammar
Nirukta - Etymology
Chhanda - Metrics and
Jyotisha - Astronomy
 There are 1028 hymns in Rigveda. It is divided
into ten Mandalas (Chapters).
 Rig Vedic Hymns sung by priests were called
 ‘Sruti’ literature belonged to the Sathyayuga,
Smriti belonged to Treatayuga, Puranas belonged
to Dwaparayuga and Thanthra literature belonged
to Kaliyuga.
 Rigveda starts with the line ‘Agnimele Purohitam’
 Famous Gayatri Mantra is contained in the
Rigveda (It is believed to have composed by
 Yajurveda deals with sacrifices and rituals.
 Yajurvedic hymns are meant to be sung by priests
called ‘Adhavaryu’.
 Yajurveda is derived into two: SuklaYajurveda
(White Yajurveda) and Krishna Yajur Veda (Black
 Sama Veda deals with Music.
 Sama Vedic hymns are meant to be sung by priests
called Udgatri.
 Atharva veda is a collection of spells and incantations.
Ayurveda is a part of Atharva Veda, which
deals with medicine.
 The saying, ‘‘War begins in the minds of men’’ is
from Atharva Veda.
 The 10th Mandala of Rigveda contain the
Purusha Sukta hymn which tells about the origin
of caste system.
 Upanishads are 108 in number. Upanishads are
philosophical works
 Upanishads are known as the Jnanakantas of
 The words ‘Sathyameva Jayate’ have been taken
from ‘Mundaka Upanishad’
 Brahdaranya Upanishad was the first to give the
doctrine of Transmigration of Soul and Karma.
 Puranas are the part of Smriti literature. They are
18 in number 6 vishnupuranas, 6 sivapuranas and
6 Brahmapuranas.
 Bhagvata purana is divided into 18 skandas The
10th skanda mentions about the childhood of Sri
 Skanda purana is considered as the largest
 Brahmapurana is also known as Adipurana.
 Adhyatma Ramayana is included in the
 Cattle was the chief measure of wealth of the vedic
 Rigvedic tribe was referred to as Jana .
 Many clans (vis) formed a tribe.
 The basic unit of society was kula or the family
and Kulapa was the head of the family.
 ‘Visah’ was a cluster of gramas.
 Important tribal assemblies of the Rig Vedic period
were Sabha, Samiti, Vidhata and Gana.
 The Aghanya mentioned in many passages of
Rigveda applies to cows.
 The Rigvedic religion was primitive animism.
 Indra was the greatest God of Aryans and Agni
occupied second position.
 Varuna was God of water and Yama was the Lord
of dead.
 Savitri was a solar diety to whom the famous
Gayatri Mantra is attributed to.
 Prithvi was Earth Godess.
 The battle of ten kings mentioned in the Rig Veda
was fought on the division of water of river Ravi.
It was fought on the banks of River Ravi
 Indra was known as Purandara.
 The people called Panis, during the Vedic period
were cattle breeders.
 The Vedic God in charge of truth and moral order
was Varuna.
 Indra Played the role of the Warlord. He is also
considered as the rain god.
 The two priests who played a major part during
the Rig Vedic period were Vasishta and

Later Vedic Period

1000 bc - 600 bc

 The period assigned to Later Vedic Phase is 1000
BC to 600 BC.
 Later Vedic people used particular type of pottery
called Painted Grey Ware (PGW)
 The Later Vedic Aryans were familiar with two
seas, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean.
 Rice became the staple diet of Indian people during
the Later Vedic Period.
 The term ‘Rashtra’ which indicates territory first
appeared in the later vedic period.
 Mention of the word ‘Sudras’ - Rigveda (10th
 Mention of the ‘Gotra’ is found in the
 Origin of Kingship is found in Aitareya
 ‘Soma’ was an intoxicating drink mentioned in
the 9th Mandala of the Rig Veda.
 Mention of the word Varna is found in Rigveda.
 The fourfold division of the society is found in
the 10th Mandala of the Rigveda.
 Mention about the Varnashranadhrama is found
in the Jabla Upanishad.
 The Doctrine of Trimurti is found in the
Maitrayani Upanishad.
 Mention about the origin of Universe is found in
the Rig Veda (10th Mandala).
 Purohita Senani and Vrajapati were the important
functionaries who assisted the king in dayto-
day administration.
 The officer who enjoyed authority over the pasture
land was called Vrajapati.
 The king’s power increased during the Later Vedic
 First law giver of ancient India was Manu. He
wrote ‘Manusmrithi’.
 Manusmrithi was translated into English by William
 Shyma Shastri translated Arthasastra into English
 Bali was a tax, which the king used to collect from
the people of the Vedic period.
 Aryans used iron for the first time India.
 Horse, Iron, Sugarcane, Pulses etc reached India
by the coming of Aryans.
 The God who occupied supreme position in the
Later Vedic Period was Prajapati.
 Rudra was regarded as preserver and protector
of the people.
 The most important functionary who assisted the
Vedic king was Purohita.
 Manarchy was the normal form of Government in
the vedic period.
 Each Tribal republic was headed by Ganapati or
 The Vedic Education system revealed through
‘Frog Hymn’ in the Rigveda and ‘Wedding Hymn’
describe the oldest marriage rituals.
 Max Mullar was the first person to speak of ‘Aryans’
as a race


900 bc

 Hinduism has two epics Ramayana and
 Mahabharata was written by ‘Vyasa’.Mahabharata
is also known as Jayasamhita, Satasahasri
Samhita and the fifth veda.
 Mahabharata has 1,17,000 hymns in it.
 Mahabharata is divided into 18 Purvas, an appendix
Harivamsa is considered as 19th Purva.
 12th Purva is the largest and 7th is the smallest.
 It describes the 18 days battle of Kurukshetra.
 Stories of Sakuntalam, Pralayam, Ramcharitam,
Rishysringan, Satyavan Savitri,Nala and
Damayanthi etc are included in the Mahabharata.
 Valmiki is the author of Ramayana.
 Ramayana has 24000 hymns and is divided into
Seven Skandas (Kandas)
 Bhagavatgita is included in the Bhishma Purva of
Mahabharata. It is divided into 18 chapters and
has about 700 hymns


600 bc

Buddhism originated in the 6th century BC
Buddhism does not recognise the existence of
God and Soul (Atman)
 Buddha accepted the traditional belief in transmigration
of the soul and law of Karma.
 The ‘three jewels’of Buddhism are – Buddha,
Dhamma and Sangha.
 The first Buddhist council was held in 483 BC at
Sattaparni (Rajagriha) under the presidentship
of Mahakashyapa and under the patronage of king
Ajatasatru of Magadha..
 Vinayapitaka and Suddhapitaka were codified at
the first council.
 Second Buddhist council was held in 383 BC at
Vaishali under the presidentship of Sabhakami
and under the patronage of king Kalashoka.
 At the second Buddhist council Buddhism was
divided into two Staviravadins and
Mahasankikas which later came to be known a
Hinayana and Mahayana respectively.
 Third council of Buddhism was held in 250 BC at
Pataliputhra under the presidentship of
Mogaliputta Tissa and under the patronage of
Ashoka the Great.
 Abhidhamma Pitika was codified at the third council.
 At the third council decision was also taken to
send missionaries to spread Buddhism.
 The fourth Buddhist council was held in the first
century AD at Kundalavana in Kashmir under
the President-ship of Vasumithra and Ashvagosha
and under the patronage of Kanishka.
 Clear division of Buddhism into Hinayana and
Mahayana tookplace at the fourth council.
 Upagupta converted Ashoka to Buddhism.
 Ashvagosha was the first biographer of Buddha
who wrote Budhacharitam in Sanskrit.
 Vasubandu is known as Second Buddha.
 Ashoka is known as the Constantine of Buddhism.
 Ashoka accepted Buddhism after the battle of
Kalinga in BC 261.
Birth ....................................... Lotus and Bull
Renunciation ........................................Horse
Enlightenment ................................ Bodhitree
First Sermon ......................... Dharma Chakra
Nirvana (Death) ............................ Foot prints
 Buddhist worshipping centre is known as Pagoda.
 Viharas are the Buddhist monastries.
 Vajrayana was a sect of Buddhism which believed
in achieving salvation through Mantras and
 ‘Jataka stories’ describe the stories related to
the birth of Buddha. They are 500 in number.
 Holy book of Buddhism is Tripitika- Vinayapitika,
Suddhapitika and Abhidhamapitika are collectively
known as Tripitika.
 Bimbisara of Magadha was a contemporary of
 Kanishka who worked to spread Buddhism like
Ashoka is known a Second Ashoka.
 Ashoka sent his son and daughter, Mahendra
and Sanghamitra to SriLanka to spread Buddhism.
 Sri Buddha is known as the ‘Light of Asia’ He
was named as such by Edvin Arnold.
 Edvin Arnold’s ‘Light of Asia’ was translated into
Malayalam by Nalappad Narayanamenon.
 Hinayanism is wide spread in Sri Lanka.
 The Bodhi tree at Gaya was cut down by Sasanka,
a Bengal ruler.
 The chief Buddhist monastery was at Nalanda,
which was under the patronage of Pala kings.
 Previous Buddhas are known as ‘Bodhisatvas’.
 Milandapanho a book of Nagasena describes how
Greek king Menandar accepted Buddhism.

Gautama Buddha

563 bc - 483 bc

 Gautama Buddha the founder of Buddhism was born in Lumbini in Kapilavasthu on the border of Nepal in 563 BC.
 Buddha’s mother Mahamaya died seven days after his birth. He was brought up by hisaunt Mahaprajpati
Gautami, hence he got the name ‘Gautama’.
 First Buddhist nun was Gautami
 Budha’s birth place is now known as Binla.
 Budhas orginal name was Sidhartha.
 Buddha belonged to the Sakhya clan of Kshatriyas.
 His father was Subhodhana.
 Buddha’s wife was Yasodhara and his son was Rahulan.
 Four sights changed his mind and initiated him to
spiritual life they were death, old age, sadness
and sufferings.
 He left home at the age of 29 along with his charioteer
Channa and favourite horse Kandaka. This incident is known as Mahanishkramana.
 Buddha got enlightenment at Bodha Gaya, on the banks
of Niranjana river in Bihar at the Age of 35.
 After enlightenment Buddha came to be known
as ‘thadhagatha’. He is also known as
Buddha made his first sermon after enlightenment
at a deer park at Saranath in Uttar Pradesh. This
incident is known as ‘Dharmachakra
 Buddha’s first teacher was Alara Kalama and second
teacher Udraka Ramaputra.
 During his first sermon at Sarnath, Buddha described
the ‘four noble truths’ and the eight fold
 Buddha made his sermons in Pali language and
the early Buddhist texts were also written in Pali
 Buddha died at the age of 80 in 483 BC at
Kushinagara in UP. This was known as
Parinirvana. Buddha died by consuming poisoned
meat or poisoned mushroom.
 Last meals of Buddha was served by a blacksmith
 His last words were All composite things decay,
strive diligently.
 Four noble truths of Buddhism are:
life is full of misery, desire is the cause of misery,
killing desires would kill sorrows, Desire
can be killed by following the eight-told path.
 The eight fold path of Buddhism are:
Right Belief, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Living, Right Effort, Righ
Recollection, Right Meditation.


540 bc

Six systems of Indian Philosophy
 Samkya ................................ Sage Kapila
 Yoga ......................................... Patanjali
 Vaisheshika ..............................Kannada
 Nyaya ................... Akshapada (Gautama)
 Vedanta Gaudapada and Shankaracharya.
 Mimamsa.................................... Jaimini
Jain sacred texts are called Angas.
 Jain texts were written under Bhadrabahu in BC
 Jain texts were written in the Prakrit language of
 ‘Ahimsa Paramo Dharma’ is the sacred hymn of
 Ahimsa, Satya, Asateya, Aparigriha and
Brahmacharya are the five major principles of
 Brahmacharya is the principle added by Mahavira.
 Mahavira taught the three Jewels of Jainism
(Triratna) - Right Faith, Right Knowledge and
Right Conduct.
 The Jains repudiated the authority or infallibility
of the vedas. The Jains rejected the concept of
Universal soul or a supreme power as the creator
and sustainer of the Universe.
 Jainism does not condemn the Varna system.
Mahavira believed that all individuals irrespective
of caste can strive for liberation through good
deeds and living.
 First Jain council was held at Pataliputra in the
fourth century BC under the leadership of
 Second Jain council was held at Vallabhipur in
third Century BC under the leadership of
Aryaskandil Nagarjuna Suri.
 Third Jain council was held at Vallabhipur in
Gujarat in 5th Century AD under the leadership
of Devardhi Kshamasramana.
 Jainism was divided into two sects Swetambaras
and Digambaras after the first Jain Council.
 Digambaras are sky-clad or naked and
swetambaras are clad in white.
 Gomateshwara statue is
situated in Sravana
 ‘Syad Vada’ is a Jain philosophy
of Knowledge.
 Kharavela of Kalinga
gave patronage to
 Mahavir Jayanti and
Rakshabandan are the
festive occassions of
 Temple on the Mount Abu in Rajasthan is a famous
centre of Jain worship.
Jain Temple at Sravanabelgola in Hassan district
in Mysore is known as ‘Kasi of the Jains’.
 Names of Rishabhadeva and Arishtanemi are also
mentioned in the Rigveda.
 Chandragupta Maurya the founder of the
Mauryan Empire, abdicated the throne towards
the end of his life, accepted Jainism reached
Sravanabelgola and died there

Vardhamana Mahavira

540 bc

Vardhamana Mahavira was believed to have born
in 540 BC in Kundala Grama in Vaishali the capital of Vajji. Now it is in Mussafar district in Bihar.
 He belonged to Jnatrika Kshatriya clan.
 Mahavira’s family was connected with the royal
family of Magadha.
 Sidhartha, ruler of Nandadynasty which ruled
Kundalapuri, was the father of Vardhmana
 Mahavira’s mother was Trissala and Yasodha was
his wife.
 Jameli was the daughter of Mahavira.
 Mahavira is also known as ‘Vaishalia’ as he was
born in Vaishali.
 He got Kaivalya at the age of 42 under a Sal tree
on the bank of river Rajpalika near Village
 At first Mahavira followed the practice of an ascetic
group called Nirgrandhas , which earlier led
by Parswanath.
 Makhali Gosala was a companion of Mahavira.
Who later founded the Ajivika sect.
 Mahavira attained Nirvana at the age of 72 at
Pavapuri near Rajagriha in 468 BC.
 Jains observe the day of his nirvana as Dipavali.
 Gautama Indrabhuti is considered as his first

Mauryan Empire

321 bc - 185 bc

Major sources for the study of Mauryan Empire
are the Arthasastra of Kautilya and Indika of

321-297 Chandragupta Maurya (Sandracotta, to the Greeks)

321 bc - 297 bc

 Chandragupta Maurya was the founder of
Mauryan Empire.
 Details about his early life are not available
 He is believed to have belonged to Moriya Clan,
hence got the name Maurya.
 It is also said that his mother was Mura a women
of lower birth hence got the name Maurya.
 In some texts he is referred to as Vrishala and
 He conspired with Chanakya (Kautilya or
Vishnugupta) the minister of Nanda to overthrew
the last Nanda ruler DhanaNanda.
 Chandragupta Maurya ascended the throne in
BC 321.
 He fought against Selucus in 305 BC. Selucus
surrendered before him and sent an ambassador,
Megasthenese to the court of Chandragupta
 Chandragupta’s Governor Pushygupta constructed
the famous Sudarshana lake.
 ChandraGupta Maurya was converted to Jainism,
abdicated the throne in favour of his son
Bindusara, passed his last days at Sravanabelagola (Near Mysore) where he died in
298 BC.
 Chandragupa Maurya was responsible for the political
unification of North India for the first time


297 bc - 272 bc

 Bindusara was a follower of Ajivika sect.
 Bindusara was known as Amitragatha


268 bc - 232 bc

 Ashoka ascended the throne in 273BC and ruled
upto 232 BC.
 He was known as ‘Devanampriya priyadarsi the
beautiful one who was the beloved of Gods.
 Maski and Gujara Edicts of Ashoka gave the
name Devanampriya Priyadarsi.
 Buddhist tradition says Ashoka killed 99 of his
brothers to capture the throne.
 Ashoka was the first king in Indian history who
had left his records engraved on stones.
 Ashokan inscriptions were written in Kharoshti
and Brahmi scripts.
 Ashoka fought the Kalinga war in 261 BC Kalinga
is in modern Orissa.
 Ashokan inscriptions were deciphered by James
 After the battle of Kalinga Ashoka became a Buddhist,
being shocked by the horrors of the war.
 Ashoka was initiated to Buddhism by Upagupta
or Nigrodha a disciple of Buddha.
 For the propagation of Buddhism Ashoka started
the institution of Dharmamahamatras.
 The IV Major Rock Edict of Ashoka tells about
the practice of Dharma
 The Major Rock Edict XII of Ahoka deals with
the conquest of Kalinga.
 Ashoka held the third Buddhist council at his
capital Pataliputra in 250BC under the
presidentship of Moggaliputa Tissa.
 He sent his son and daughter to Sri Lanka for the
spread of Buddhism (Mahendra and Sanghamitra)
 Ashoka spread Buddhism to SriLanka and Nepal.
 He is known as the Constantine of Buddhism.
 In his Kalinga Edict he mentions ‘‘All man are as
my children’’.
 Ceylones ruler Devanmpriya Tissa was Ashoka’s
first convert to Buddhism.
 Ashoka ruled for 40 years and died in 232 BC.
 The emblem of the Indian Republic has been