Landmarks in India’s ancient and medieval history

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India’s history is rich and diverse because of its distinctive blend of ancient civilizations, cultures, beliefs, and ideas. To mention just a couple of the landmarks in Indian history would do grave injustices to the other significant events which might seem unimportant yet left a lasting impact on the history of India today. The Indus Valley Civilization laid the foundations stone of development and progress in several cities like Harappa and Mohenjo Daro. A significant and lasting impact was left by the Maurya Empire whose most popular King Chandragupta Maurya unified most of India. Chanakya was a well-known advisor of King Chandragupta Maurya who compiled many literary masterpieces.

The greatest Emperor of the Maurya empire, however, was Asoka who converted to Buddhism after the Battle of Kalinga after witnessing the bloodshed. The advent of the Aryan race saw the Vedas period in India from 1500 – 600 B.C. The Vedas age laid the foundation of Hinduism and gave rise to four main classes consisting of Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishya, and Shudra. With the fall of the Vijayanagar Empire in the South, the Classical age emerged with King Harsha’s conquests. The Arab Turkic invasion slowly gave rise to the Islam Empire in India, most notably the Delhi Sultanate.

In 1526, Babur established the Mughal Dynasty. Probably the most famous Kings to have emerged from this dynasty was Akbar the Great. The post-Mughal era saw the emergence of the Maratha Kingdom founded by Shivaji. Their territory stretched to practically the entire subcontinent before being defeated at the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761. With Vasco da Gama’s success in finding a brand fresh sea route to India, the Portuguese set up trading locations in Daman, Diu, Goa, and Bombay. They were shortly followed by the Dutch, the British and finally the French. With the coming of the British Eastern India Company and the Battle of Plassey in 1757, the Mughal Dynasty faded away marking the beginning of the British rule in India.

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