Websites on the History of India and Hinduism
Nalanda, one of the oldest universities in the world
The history of ancient India is like an abstract painting with a few dots here and there and a few daubs of paintings. Historians look at them and draw their own conclusions. There is not much reliable information about India’s past, which clearly tell us what really happened. The scriptures are useful to reconstruct its past, but they are not very reliable. Here we have included a few links about the history of India with specific reference to Hinduism and Hindu culture.
India is home to some of the oldest proto human settlements which may date back to 500,000 years. Isolated remains of Homo erectus were found at Hathnora in the Narmada Valley in central India which suggest that earlier human species might have lived in the subcontinent long before the Neolithic human settlements, which appeared about 12,000 years ago, at the end of the last Ice Age in parts of Madhya Pradesh and Bihar. The Bronze Age settlements began at the beginning of the Indus Valley civilization about 3500 BC.
It was followed by the Sindhu-Saraswathi Civilization, which appeared during the Iron Age about 2500 BC. Both civilizations covered a wide geographical area from western borders of Afghanistan to the Narmada Valley in the South and the Himalayas in the North. It was followed by the appearance of several urban centers in the Gangetic Valley, formation of large kingdoms and empires, republics and diverse cultures. The rise of the Magadhan dynasties, starting with the Nandas, witnessed the flourishing of several ascetic, shramanic, and religious traditions including the birth of Buddhism and the popularity of Vedism and Jainism. It is difficult to say when the actual history of Hinduism began, because it has many sources some of which may date back to prehistoric cultures that flourished in the Indian subcontinent which are not part of its folk and tribal traditions.
By the first century AD, India was a well developed, advanced civilization, compared to many civilizations in other parts of the world. In its long history, India faced numerous challenges. So did Hinduism and its sects and schools of philosophy. From then on until the advent of the British, India witnessed the rise and fall of numerous dynasties and an expansive growth of many languages, sub cultures and vernacular literature.
Prominent among the dynasties which established their sway in the subcontinent were the Mauryas, the Sungas, the Satavahanas, the Kushanas, the Barashivas, the Guptas, the Cholas, Chalukyas, Ikshvakus, Sakas, Pratiharas, etc. They were followed by several Muslim dynasties and the Mughals. The history of India is intricately associated with the history of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The following links provide comprehensive information on the history of India with specific reference to Hinduism and Hindu culture.
Resources on Indian History and Hindu Culture
Suggestions for Further Reading
- The Samkhya Philosophy and 24 Principles of Creation
- The Bhagavadgita On The Problem Of Sorrow
- The Concept of Atman or Eternal Soul in Hinduism
- The Practice of Atma Yoga Or The Yoga Of Self
- The Problem of Maya Or Illusion and How To Deal With It
- Belief In Atman, The Eternal Soul Or The Inner Self
- Brahman, The Highest God Of Hinduism
- The Bhagavad Gita Original Translations
- The Bhagavadgita, Philosophy and Concepts
- Bhakti yoga or the Yoga of Devotion
- Hinduism And The Evolution of Life And Consciousness
- Why to Study the Bhagavadgita Parts 1 to 4
- The Triple Gunas, Sattva, Rajas and Tamas
- The Practice of Tantra and Tantric Ritual in Hinduism and Buddhism
- The Tradition Of Gurus and Gurukulas in Hinduism
- Origin, Definition and Introduction to Hinduism
- Hinduism, Way of Life, Beliefs and Practices
- A Summary of the Bhagavadgita
- Avatar, the Reincarnation of God Upon Earth
- The Bhagavadgita on Karma, the Law of Actions
- The Mandukya Upanishad
- The Bhagavadgita On The Mind And Its Control
- Symbolic Significance of Numbers in Hinduism
- The Belief of Reincarnation of Soul in Hinduism
- The True Meaning Of Renunciation According To Hinduism
- The Symbolic Significance of Puja Or Worship In Hinduism
- Introduction to the Upanishads of Hinduism
- Origin, Principles, Practice and Types of Yoga
- Hinduism and the Belief in one God
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