India

A timeline on India

Main

Indus Valley civilization

2500 B.C. - 2000 B.C.

The Indus Valley civilization develops around the valley of the Indus River (now in Pakistan). Its trade is based on crops grown on the fertile river plains. It reaches the height of its power and is larger than any other ancient empire, including that of Egypt.

The Aryan people invade India from the north.

1500 B.C.

The Aryan people, who come from the region between and including India and Europe, invade India from the north. They spread through the Indus Valley and down into the Ganges Valley.

alexander the great

326 B.C.

Alexander the Great of Macedon (northeastern Greece) crosses the Indus River into India.

Trade between Romans flourish

50 A.D.

Trade flourishes between India and the Roman Empire. Romans eagerly buy Indian pearls, ivory, silk, spices, cloth and precious stones.

India is ruled by the Gupta Empire

320 A.D. - 550 A.D.

After centuries of being split into small kingdoms and republics, India is ruled by the Gupta Empire. Under the rule of the Gupta kings, Hinduism becomes the major religion of the empire. Literature, art, architecture and science flourish during this "classical age" of peace and prosperity.

Mughal unification

1526

The rule of the Mogul Empire begins, unifying much of south India with the north for the first time.

Great Britain and France establish key trading posts in India.

1600

Eager to gain access to India's spices, rice, silk, tea and jewels, Holland, Great Britain and France establish key trading posts in India.

construction of the Taj Mahal

1638

Mogul Emperor Shah Jahan begins construction of the Taj Mahal in memory of his wife Mumtaz.

British overthrow the Moguls

1858

The British overthrow the Moguls and take control of India.

Gandhi

1915

After studying law in Britain and fighting for Indian rights in South Africa, Mohandas Gandhi launches a campaign of nonviolent resistance against British rule in India. Gandhi is called Mahatma, meaning "Great Soul."

India gains independence from the British

1947

India gains independence from the British and is divided into two countries, India and Muslim-controlled Pakistan.

Gandhi is assassinated.

1948

Mahatma Gandhi is assassinated.

Indira Gandhi becomes Prime Minister

1966

Indira Gandhi (not related to Mahatma) becomes Prime Minister and one of the first women elected to lead a nation.

India wins the cricket world cup.

1983

India wins the cricket world cup.

nuclear test

1998

India tests its first nuclear weapon, one of only seven nations to have done so.

1 billion

2000

India's population exceeds 1 billion.

Disasters

2004 - 2005

A series of natural disasters, including floods, earthquakes and tsunamis, brings destruction to southern coastal communities.

Female President

2007

Pratibha Patil becomes the first female President of India.