Humanities 210 MIC/WIC- Cora Agatucci
Cultures & Literatures of Asia


India Timeline 1:
Early India (to CE 8th c.)

Asian Timelines Table of Contents Literary & Cultural History
Learn more about selected Indian topics by clicking the links embedded in these timelines.
The timeline pages are under construction and probably always will be...
Short Cuts on this web page: Aryans & the Vedic AgeSanskrit & the Vedas |
Ramayana & Mahabharata (ca. 500 BCE - CE 100) | Bhagavad Gita |

BC/BCE

Harappan Civilization

ca 6000

ca 4000

ca 3000

Agricultural settlements, domestication of animals

Spread of farming, villages in western India

Pre-Harappan* (?) settlements have bronze tools, pottery making.

*From Sarasvati-Sindhu Civilization (ca. 3000 B.C.E.) by Dr. S. Kalyanaraman - A tentative conclusion in need of further research: "This may mean a new paradigm in our protohistoric studies. Aryans and Dravidians and perhaps Mundas lived in harmony in this civilization. The so-called indo-aryan and so-called dravidian languages may have originated from the common lingua franca spoken by these people of the Indus and Sarasvati river valleys."
"The Indus Valley Civilization was one of the world's first great urban civilizations. It flourished in the vast river plains and adjacent regions in what are now Pakistan and western India. The earliest cities became integrated into an extensive urban culture around 4,600 years ago and continued to dominate the region for at least 700 years, from 2600 to 1900 B.C. It was only in the 1920's that the buried cities and villages of the Indus valley were recognized by archaeologists as representing an undiscovered civilization" (From Around the Indus in 90 slides).
2600
(to 1900)
Harappan Civilization emerges in (then) forested Indus River region: (see map of the region), an urban society, with centralized gov't, writing system, long-distance trade, priestly class, monumental architecture, skilled crafts, copper.The major cities of the Harappan complex of villages and cities are Harappa (map) and Mohenjo Daro. (Don't miss A Walk through Mohenjodaro and Ancient Cities of the Indus Valley.)
2300 - 2000 Cultural exchange between the Indus Valley civilization and Mesopotamia (present day Iraq) is especially prominent. See Chronology: India; a beautiful Harappan Unicorn Seal, the most common motif on Indus seals appearing to represent a mythical animal that Greek and Roman sources trace back to the Indian subcontinent, with long inscription of eight symbols running along the top of the seal; and links to more images from Exploring World Cultures' Image Index: India.
"The only inference that can be drawn from the anthropological and linguistic evidences... is that the Harappan population in the Indus Valley and Gujrat in 2000 BC was composed of two or more groups, the more dominant among them having very close ethnic affinities with the present day Indo-Aryan speaking population of India. In other words there is no racial evidence of any such Indo-Aryan invasion of India but only of a continuity of the same group of people who traditionally considered themselves to be Aryans" (The Myth of the Aryan Invasion of India, by David Fawley).
"As old as the pyramids of Egypt and the ziggurats of Mesopotamia, this is one of the major civilizations of the ancient world, yet it remains virtually unknown to American audiences" (Great Cities, Small Treasures: The Ancient World of the Indus Valley. "This exhibition will underscore the importance of South Asia [see big map], specifically Pakistan and western India [linked to more big maps], as the birthplace of a unique, highly developed and technologically sophisticated civilization.")
1600-1200 Decline of Harappan Civilization (see map of ancient Indus River Valley Civilizations), which reverts to rural, regionally distinct lifeways, but Harappan cultural traditions survive: "Further excavation revealed that the Indus Valley culture was not destroyed by outside invasion [ie.by the Aryans, see below], but according to internal causes and, most likely, floods" (The Myth of the Aryan Invasion of India, by David Fawley).

The Aryans and the Vedic Age

ca. 2000(?)
to 1000
Aryan migrations, invasions (?) into India (see Demise of the Aryan Invasion Theory, a scholarly essay by Dr. Dinesh Agrawal). The Aryans are said to have entered India through the Khyber Pass and invaded or perhaps more peacefully intermingled with the Indus Valley peoples at least since 1600 BCE, and perhaps earlier. Legend tells us the Aryans cross the River Sindhu and settled in a region they called Saptsindu, or the land of seven rivers (now known as the Punjab, the land of five rivers). The Aryans were Indo-European warlike herders from Asian steppes. Bronze users and horse handlers, Aryans had a superior military and their cavalry warfare enabled them to spread their culture from the Punjab across northern India, preparing the way for emergence of large empires. The Aryans had a complex cosmology and knowledge of astral sciences--astronomy considered central to Aryan statecraft. Aryans spoke the Sanskrit language (the basis of a majority of Indian languages today), had a polytheist religion (one basis of Hinduism) with a rich pantheon of deities, and a stratified class system: with Kshatriyas (warriors) to rule, and Brahmins (priests and teachers) at the top of the social hierarchy, supported by Vaisyas (farmers) and the Sudras (outcasts).
From the introduction to The Aryan-Dravidian Controversy, by David Frawley: "The British ruled India [see Timeline 3], as they did other lands, by a divide-and-conquer strategy. They promoted religious, ethnic and cultural divisions among their colonies to keep them under control. Unfortunately some of these policies also entered into the intellectual realm. The same simplistic and divisive ideas that were used for interpreting the culture and history of India. Regrettably many Hindus have come to believe these ideas, even though a deeper examination reveals they may have no real objective or scientific basis. One of these ideas is that India is a land of two races - the lighter- skinned Aryans and the darker-skinned Dravidians - and that the Dravidians were the original inhabitants of India whom the invading Aryans conquered and dominated."

Sanskrit & the Vedas
(ca. 1500 – 200 BCE)

Vedic Sanskrit, the language used in the Vedas* (sacred Hindu scriptures) and the earliest form of Sanskrit, flourished: see Aryans and the Vedic Age, Sanskrit Documents: Vedas. The Vedic religious scriptures (Rig-Veda/Vedic Hymns, Brahmanas, Upanishads) are the oldest preserved forms of Indian speech. From these oral beginnings, Indian "literary" traditions of verse have sprung. The earliest works were composed to be sung or recited, and were orally transmitted for many generations before being written down.
*"
The hymns of the Rig Veda are considered the oldest and most important of the Vedas having been composed between 1500 and the time of the great Bharata war (of the Mahabharata) about 900 BC. More than a thousand hymns are organized into ten mandalas or circles of which the second through the seventh are the oldest and the tenth is the most recent....As the only writings from this ancient period of India they are considered the best source of knowledge we have,...Essentially the Rig Veda is dominated by hymns praising the Aryan gods for giving them victories and wealth plundered from the local Dasas through warfare" (Political and Social Ethics of India)
*"
The word Veda is derived from the root vid - "to know." Veda, therefore, means `Knowledge'. The `Knowledge' of the divinity lurking in man and the technique by which it can be brought out to full manifestation are the theme of the veda text books, and the truth of this theme is eternal" (for more, see list of definitions of key terms in Hinduism). Many of the religious beliefs and practices of Hinduism, which comes from sindhu, the Indo-Aryan word for "the sea," and came to apply to the region east of the Indus River, cam from the Vedas (knowledge. "Composed over many centuries, Hindus believe that the Vedas are "revelations" that were heard, not text composed by people. Amongst the major concepts is dharma, one's duty in this lifetime, and , karma, the actions one has performed in previous lifetimes and the actions one performs in this lifetime"--The principle of action (karma) is explained as "one becomes good by good action, bad by bad action" (Vedas and Upanishads).
See also rita (or reta), brahman, , samsara, and moksha; the Sanskrit Home Page for a variety of texts in Sanskrit scripts; and don't miss Vedavid - an extraordinary site worked up for a dissertation on early Vedic traditions and texts of Ancient India, c. 1500 BCE, with "Tourist" and "Academic" Visa versions--John Gardner, Ph.D. candidate, Univ. of Iowa..

The Upanishads
(ca. 800 – 500 BCE)

In the Upanishads, the doctrines of rebirth and the transmigration of souls* appeared, leading to important theological transformations within Hinduism. "As a king prepares a chariot or ship when going on a journey, one should prepare one's soul with the mystic doctrines of the Upanishads. The knowledge that is the light in the heart enables one to transcend this world and death while appearing asleep" (Sanderson Beck, Vedas and Upanishads; see also Sanskrit Documents: Upanishads). *In the early Upanishads "the supreme achievement has been indicated by the term Immortality, meaning 'deathlessness' (amritattvam), although...in the later Upanishads the same has come to be indicated by the term 'birthlessness'" (see list of definitions of key terms in Hinduism). "The doctrine of reincarnation is clearly implied in the Chandogya Upanishad as it declares that those whose conduct is pleasant here will enter a pleasant womb of a Brahman, Kshatriya, or Vaisya; but those of stinking conduct will enter a stinking womb of a dog, swine, or outcast [Sudra]. Thus reincarnation is explained as an ethical consequence of one's actions (karma)" (Sanderson Beck, Vedas and Upanishads). Related to dharma and karma are "transmigration of the soul after death, and rebirth of the soul depending upon one's karma in this life. This endless succession of births can be ended by moksha, or salvation, attainable only by a strict practice of liberation from desire and education in the higher forms of knowledge....In Hinduism exists the trinity of Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver, and Shiva the destroyer and regenerator. Vishnu and Shiva incarnate themselves into other forms, as humans, animals or other living beings on earth to help the beings on earth in times of crisis" (Hinduism).
"Although as the major teachings passed down orally from the century before the Buddha, the Upanishads don't tell us too much about the worldly society of India, they do express a widespread mysticism and spiritual life-style that was to prepare the way for the new religions of Jainism and Buddhism as well as the deepened spirituality and mystical philosophies of Hinduism" (Sanderson Beck, Vedas and Upanishads).
700 - 550 Era of unrivaled Brahmin dominance: Brahmins are religious leaders and political advisors among the social elite. "The priests placed themselves at the top of the caste system as they supervised a religion most of the people could not understand without them.... The Brahmins...had three obligations or debts to pay back in life: they paid back the seers by studying the Vedas, the gods by offering sacrifices, and their fathers by raising a family" (Sanderson Beck, Vedas and Upanishads). The Aryan religion had blended with older indigeneous beliefs. In this period, the Aryans establish themselves in the fertile Ganges plain region, with large states ruled by kings claiming divine descent, and the development of cities and a rich merchant class.
6th century Holy men and their followers, seeking more meaningful religious beliefs & worship, reject or try to reform empty rituals of the self-serving Aryan-Vedic religion. Jainism joins Buddhism and other reform religions to spur the reform and growth of Hinduism in the 6th century (see also Introduction to Hinduism).
ca. 542 - 483



540 -
ca. 486

Siddartha Gautama (or Siddharta Gotama), the Buddha, born in a region now present-day Nepal, lived and founded Buddhism: See Introduction to Buddhism; and great photo of the Deer Park at Sarnath ( UPenn) where Buddha gave his first sermon - the Middle Path (CUNY-Brooklyn). "Having taught for forty-five years from his enlightenment to his death, the Buddha left behind a large compendium of teachings that were memorized by various of his disciples. Since writing was a rarity then in India they were passed on through the Community (sangha) until they were written down several centuries later. These earliest texts are in the common Pali language and usually are dialogs between the Buddha and others. Often the Buddha emphasized that it was more important for disciples to see the dharma (doctrine) than the Buddha, because the dharma would remain and was what they needed to practice to attain enlightenment and even afterward." See also the text of The Dhammapada [trans. John Richards], an anthology of 423 verses, belonging to the part of the Theravada Pali Canon of scriptures known as the Khuddaka Nikaya; and The Gospel of Buddha.

Mahavira, the founder of Jainism, lives.

Later Upanishads & Buddhist Jatakas
(ca. 4th century)

In the later Upanishads, such as the Mahanarayana Upanishad, a long hymn to the various forms of God, "[t]he influence of Buddhism can be seen in the description of liberation from one's own thoughts. As fire destitute of fuel goes out, so thought losing activity becomes extinct in its source. What is one's thought, that one becomes; this is the eternal mystery. By the serenity of thought one destroys good and bad karma; focused on the soul one enjoys eternal delight. The mind is the means of bondage and release. Though the sacrificial fire is still important, meditation has become the primary means of liberation" (Sanderson Beck, Vedas and Upanishads).
From the 4th century - Jatakas: "Ancient folktales of India come down to us primarily in two collections of stories many of which are about animals. These are the Buddhist tales of the former lives of the Buddha known as the Jatakas and the Panchatantra [traditional Hindu animal stories considered a textbook for wise conduct in this world]. Many of the original stories probably predate the Buddha, but the Jatakas were organized into verses about the Buddha and placed into his biography starting about the fourth century BC, though the whole collection with its prose stories and commentaries was not completed for several centuries. The Jataka tales always begin with an incident in the life of the Buddha, usually a sermon he is giving which he illustrates with a story from one of his previous lives. After the tale is told he often indicates who were the other characters in the story of their previous existence. In this way the law of karma, or the consequences of actions, is illustrated, and the deep patterns of different souls can be seen. The Buddha, who is referred to as the Bodhisattva in the stories since he is then a future Buddha, is usually the most heroic and wisest character. He is often an animal or a tree spirit and is frequently the leader of his group. He never seems to be a female, and in fact there is a strong bias against women in many stories. The Jatakas are primarily moral tales illustrating the wisdom and goodness of the Bodhisattva figure, and, with the exception of the prejudice against women, the ethical lessons are usually quite good" (Sanderson Beck).
537
517-509
Cyrus the Persian campaigns west of the Indus River.
Darius the Persian conquers the Indus Valley region, making the area a province of the Persian Empire.

The Ramayana & the Mahabharata
(ca. 500 BCE - CE 100)

Written down & formally composed during this period were the two great oral Sanskrit epics: The Mahabharata and The Ramayana: An Enduring Tradition (a great learning site and illustrated! from Syracuse Univ. based on an NEH institute). "The greatest imaginative literature of ancient India can be found in the long epic poems, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Written over many centuries and not completed until sometime between the fourth century BC and the fourth century CE, they probably grew out of the story-telling of the traditional bards (sutas) who acted as charioteers to kings."

The Ramayana (note graph) "is the story of Rama, the seventh incarnation of Vishnu, who was born on earth to kill the demon king Ravana of Lanka, and to re-establish righteousness in the world"; The time period of the Ramayana has been estimated as between the twelfth and tenth centuries BC" (Sanderson Beck, Ramayana). ). This epic works on many levels. As a political treatise, it describes how the Aryans rose in power and conquered the indigenous peoples who lived peacefully by the Ganges River. At the same time, "The Ramayana" is an action drama. But it is also a philosophical treatise filled with tales of love, betrayal, jealousy, greed, and heroism.

The legendary author of the The Mahabharata is Vyasa, who is also given credit for compiling the Vedas and writing the Puranas." This epic centers in a great war (see chapter 1 of the Bhagavad Gita: Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra) that probably took place in the late tenth century BC and "is filled with stories and situations that describe the culture of ancient India and has been an entertaining schoolbook for millions. Along with the virtues it also reveals the vices of the conquering and warlike Aryans and their racist caste system. Even the divine Krishna becomes a spokesperson for the warrior mentality, as a nearly apocalyptic disaster destroys millions and threatens their whole world. Still a heroic epic of military glory like the Ramayana, the Mahabharata contains much more real and well defined characters and portrays many aspects of life. If only humanity could learn from its negative lessons of violence and ambition, perhaps the peace of the sages could be found.... Sanderson Beck, The Literature of India). Linked to J. D. Smith's Cambridge files and his Web page for Sanskrit epic texts, is a sample of the Mahabharata text printed in Nagari script.
The earliest records of such written texts may be later by several centuries than the conjectured date of its composition, because they were created and passed down orally through generations. Furthermore, much Indian literature is either religious or reworkings of familiar stories from the Sanskrit epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, and the mythological writings known as Puranas, so the authors often remain anonymous.
(See some Sanskrit documents with English translations, and India Glossary, including dharma, rita (or reta), brahman, karma, samsara, moksha.)

The Bhagavad Gita

Later, the Bhagavad Gita* [see e-text of the Gita this online version trans. Ramanand Prasad) was added as an episode in the Mahabharata and "now ranks as one of the three principal texts that define and capture the essence of Hinduism; the other two being the Upanishads and the Brahma Sutras"(Exploring Ancient World Cultures: India). See another online text of the Gita; and essays "The Historical Context of The Bhagavad Gita and Its Relation to Indian Religious Doctrines" (Soumen De); On the Nature of Brahman: An Introduction to the Bhagavad-Gita (Jeff Hooks, St. Petersburg Junior College), including links to The Drama of the Gita and the Film of the Mahabharata; and Mohan Ayyar's Hindu Image Gallery of Deities, including Surya (the Sun & Karna's father) and depictions of Mahabharata scenes from the Bhagavad Gita like Krishna advising Arjuna.
*The term Yoga has been used in the context of the evenness of mind through work,... tranquillity for mental composure in all pairs-of-opposites, is defined here as Yoga. Defined thus, the term Yoga, as used here, indicates a special condition of the mind in which it comes to a neutral equilibrium in all the ebb and flow of life's tides. The instructions in the stanza [of the Bhagavad Gita] advise us that desireless action can be performed only when one gets completely established in Yoga, where the term means, precisely what Vyasa [reputed author of the Mahabharata] defines it to mean here" (and see more definitions of key terms in Hinduism). For another explanation of Bhakti Yoga, "divine science of yoga as spoken in Bhagavad-gita," see What Is Bhakti?

Classical Sanskrit (ca. 400 BCE)

Classical Sanskrit was "perfected" by Indian grammarian Panini in his Sutra (lesson), written in the Devanagari alphabet and script. Vedic and classical Sanskrit have both come to be considered "high" (artificial or written) languages of literary and technical works, and maintained as the languages of the priestly, learned, and cultivated castes of India. However, Sanskrit also retains oral traditions, handed down orally by generations of priestly singers and still exists in many nonliterary vernacular dialects of the Indian subcontinent. (See Origins of Sanskrit and try a modern lesson in Sanskrit Grammar)

The Pankrits (ca. 3rd c. BCE - CE 12th c. )

3rd cent. BCE (to ca. CE 12th century): Middle Indo-Aryan languages emerged, embracing the vernacular dialects of Sanskrit called Pankrits. The best known and oldest literary Pankrit is Pali, the language of Buddhist canonical writings and Jain religious texts. The themes and forms of much traditional Indian literature are derived from Sanskrit and Pankrits (medieval dialects of Sanskrit). This is true of the literature of the Dravidian-speaking regions, as well as that of the Indo-Iranian languages of the north. (See The Buddha and the Texts of the Pali Canon, Australian National Univ., from Anthology of Scriptures of World Religions, by John Powers and James Fieser, McGraw-Hill, 1996.)
377 Buddhist Council at Vaisali.
327 - 325 Alexander ("the Great") crosses Hindu Kush and invades northwest India; stimulation of cultural exchange with the West. (See Alexander's Invasion of India and the World of Alexander.)
323

324

Alexander the Great dies, providing the opportunity for an independent state in India.
Chandragupta Maurya founds the Maurya dynasty, the first Indian empire. Its capital is in Patna (see Chronology: India)
321-184

273-232
Mauryan Empire flourished (see Mauryan Empire, Ashoka and History):
Emperor Ashoka, grandson of Chandragupta Maurya and most impressive ruler in the Maurya dynasty, rules in India and institutes a series of edicts designed to bring about moral reform: seeThe Edicts of King Ashoka. Trade and commerce grows. Ashoka having converted to Buddhism, his policy on reform flows from his Buddhist orientation. See the Dhammapada, "one of the greatest literary works of early Buddhism....Put together from highlights of Buddha's ethical teachings it was in existence by the time of Emperor Ashoka in the third century BC. It begins with the idea that we are the result of our thoughts, impure or pure."
250 A general council of Buddhist monks is held in Patna, where the canon of Buddhist scriptures is selected.(See Rise of Religions and Emergence of the State: Buddhism and Jainism)
after 184 Mauryan Dynasty ends when the last ruler is assassinated by an ambitious army commander, and India undergoes political fragmentation.

AD/CE

1 - 105 Kushans invade northwest India and the Punjab,and establish the Kushan Empire. The Kushans were patrons of Buddhism, and engaged in international trade overland and by sea. Northern Indian cities develop along overland routes, and busy port cities attract foreigners.
1st - 3rd c. South Indian Kingdoms of the Cholas, Cheras, and Pandavas develop and flourish.

Tamil Language Literature
(CE 1st - 5th centuries)

Tamil language writings stem from oral traditions predating classical Sanskrit, including secular lyrics on love and war, and the grammatical-stylistic work Tolkappiyam (Old Composition). Between the 2nd and 5th centuries, two long Tamil verse romance-epics were written: Cilappatikaram (The Jeweled Anklet) by Ilanko Atikal, which has been translated into English (1939 and 1965); and its sequel Manimekalai (The Girdle of Gems), a Buddhist work by Cattanar. (See also a 4th century image of Relief Fragment with Buddha Flanked by Worshipers, and visit Tamils - a brief introduction to their history, culture and literature, by Prof. A. Veluppillai, from Tamil Electronic Library).
320 -535 Gupta Empire (descendants of Mauryan) flourishes in northern India, with an agricultural economic base, flourishing trade and cities (though most Indians lived in villages), manufacturing, and technological advances. Considered "India's Golden Age" the Gupta period featured an opulent court and scholarly achievements in math, arts, philosophy, and sciences. Sanskrit revived as the literary language, along with Tamil as one of major languages of India. During this "Hindu Renaissance," reformed Hinduism supplants Buddhism, the Brahmins emphasize the Upanishads (the later books of the Vedas - see above), and religious freedom encouraged, with education centered in Hindu Brahminical schools and Buddhist monasteries.
5th century The astronomer Aryabhatta advanced explanations of time concepts. The concept of different units of time dates back to the Rig Vedas. (See Panchanga, literally 'five limbs' - pancha, 'five' and anga, 'limb' - is the almanac of the Hindus, so named because it deals with the five Hindu divisions of time.)
The Notion of Time in India: An Introduction, (Prof. Charles Ess, Drury College, based on Hajime Nakamura's Notion of Time in India) "...the substance of things is seen as basically unchanging, its underlying reality unaffected by the ceaseless flux. The Indian does not concede that we never step into the same river twice; he directs our attention not to the flow of water but to the river itself, the unchanging universal. Indian thought places a high value on universality, and the connection between this, and the static conception of phenomena, is of course not accidental. 'The one remains, the many change and flee.'" See also: "Indian versus Chinese Attitudes Towards History" (Charles Ess, Professor of Philosophy, Drury College).
405-411 Fa Hien of China travels through India.

By the 6th century, India and China developed two major cultural centers of East Asia, each with distinctive cultures and highly developed civilizations.

India's Pattern: political disunity, short-lived empires divided by rival kingdoms; regional identities and cultural diversity pronounced, with common religious ideas and cultural traditions to bind; caste system; foreign invaders converted and assimilated to Indian ways.

Late 5th c. First Hun invasions and fall of the Gupta Empire
570-632 Muhammed, founder of Islam, lived. After 632, Islam emerged as major world religion and power.

Precursors of the Bhakti Tradition & Emergence of Hindi
(6th - 9th centuries)

Tamil language sectarian devotional poems were composed, considered some of the first examples of the Indian bhakti* tradition (ecstatic personal devotion to a god); for example the Tamil Alvars (mystics) wrote ecstatic hymns to Vishnu between the 7th and 10th centuries. (See also 6th c. image of Shiva from World Art Treasures).
*
"Self-less love, seeking a fulfilment in itself, when directed towards the divine with firm faith and an all out belief, is called Bhakti. Love itself means identifying with the object of love in such a way that the joys and sorrows of the beloved become equally poignant joys and sorrows of the lover. In short, the lovers become one with their beloveds, both in their physical and emotional lives" (and see more definitions of key terms in Hinduism).

"[Old] Hindi [language] started to emerge as Apabhramsha in the 7th cent. and by the 10 cent. became stable. Several dialects of Hindi have been used in literature. Braj was the popular literary dialect until it was replaced by khari boli in the 19th century" (Hindi: The Language of Songs, including a timeline).

"Hindi, which is a descendant of the Sanskrit language, is not strictly the name of any chief dialect of the area but is an adjective, Persian in origin, meaning Indian....[from] a mixed speech spoken around the area of Delhi, North India, which gained currency during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries as a contact language between the Arabs, Afghans, Persian and Turks, and native residents." "Hindi is written in the Devanagari script which is ranked as the most scientific writing system among the existing writing systems of the world. The Devanagari script is written from left to right and is a descendant of the Brahmi script which was well
established in India before 500 B.C. The script is phonetic in nature and there is a fairly regular correspondence between the letters and their pronunciation."he literary history of Hindi goes back to the twelfth century. Some notable literary figures of Hindi are Kabir, Surdas, and Tulsidas. It also has an approximately three-century old, well-attested and rich grammatical tradition of its own." Today "Hindi is a modern Indo-Aryan language spoken in South Asian countries (India, Pakistan, Nepal) and also in other countries outside Asia (Mauritius, Trinidad, Fiji, Surinam, Guyana, South Africa and other countries). Approximately six hundred million people speak Hindi, as either a first or second language. It is ranked among the five most widely spoken languages of the world. Along with English, it is the official language of India.
Hindi/Urdu conversation lessons on the Web at Syracuse University

 

7th c.

8th c.

Missionaries carry Buddhism to Tibet, where it begins merging with indigenous Bon religion.
Kings and wealthy families support Buddhism in Tibet. The "great eighth century A.D. teacher Padmasambhava...travelled from India to
teach in Tibet" (see Saraha Maha-siddha, b. CE 769, credited with founding Tantra; also Background of the Tibetan Educational System and Dictionary of Tibetan Buddhist Terms (Erik Shmidt [aka Erik Padma Kunsang] of Rangjung Yeshe Publications, Nitartha International, the Tibetan teachings preservation project--from Hindu Tantric Home Page).
712 Arab conquest of the Sind, northwest India, by Mohammed bin Qasim.
735 First Parsi (of the Zoroastrian religion) settlement in India.
ca. 750 Islam reaches borders of India and China, carried by traders, merchants, and missionaries, eventually spreading to No. Asia and Indonesia


India Timeline 1 TOP of this page Early India (to CE 8th c.)
URL of this webpage: http://www.cocc.edu/cagatucci/classes/hum210/tml/IndiaTML/indiatml1.htm
India Timeline 2: Muslim & Mughal Empires (9th - early 18th c.)
India Timeline 3:
The British Raj (late 17th - early 20th c.)
India Timeline 4:
Independence of India & Pakistan (20th c.) & India Timelines Sources

Asian Timelines: India China Japan
 were first prepared by Cora Agatucci, in 1998. 

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Last updated: 25 September 2006

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