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A Cronology of Hindu History

Re-Writing the narrative from emerging discoveries

Like many people seeking to know the truth of our existence, I have questioned the historic narrative handed down to us through various governmental agencies to find this narrative has been heavily tainted by political expediency, personal bias, religious and other belief systems.

The Western, patriarchal capitalist point of view backed by the irrational idea of moral authority dominates the world in pursuit of pleasure. History instead of being a search for truth is only important to validate patriarchal capitalist point of view and justify behavior as in drawing borders and exercising authority.

Under a Western flexible morality, people say nice things but do dastardly deeds in the name of power and profits. Conversely in the East and by East I mean east of the Mediterranean ones reason for being was to seek the truth of life and live happily without need of borders - a life of Dharma.

By believing in a false narrative as many Hindus do today, they are dis-empowered and sucked into the Western, patriarchal capitalist system where they turn aside from celebrating and seeking to know life to become co-conspirators in not only the dismantling of India but in increasing suffering and destabilizing the planet.

Are you content to believe without proof? 

In analysis the 'out of Africa theory' for humanities existence has fallen over and it seems that the 'modern human' perhaps evolved from the mixing between the various pre 'modern humans' meaning that the continental features we see of people's in our modern world may well be indigenous.

Geographically, about 90 million years ago India rifted away from Madagascar and began its rapid movement northward, ultimately closing the Tethys Sea, colliding with Asia between 55 and 50 million years ago commencing the creation of the Himalayas. The Deccan Traps began forming 66.25 million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous period. The bulk of the volcanic eruption occurred at the Western Ghats some 66 million years ago. This series of eruptions may have lasted fewer than 30,000 years.

For some time now I have seen that civilisation emerged from the general region of India where perhaps 30,000 years ago people were coming together, understanding that being happy was more important than power and possessions. They questioned their place in the cosmos and learned things that even today's most technologically equipped scientists are only just learning, confirming or yet to comprehend.

"Trade between India, Tibet and Persia 35K BC" ~ David Adams

Note this page loosely based on a Wikipedia page,  the difference being the time scale of this narrative in contrast to the narrow Western narrative that would rather people live in ignorance and just believe what they are told. It is a work in progress and occasionally updated. You're welcome to contribute/ contact via my facebook page

2,000,000 BC

Tools crafted by proto-humans that have been dated back two million years have been discovered in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent. The earliest archaeological site in the subcontinent is the palaeolithic hominid site in the Soan River valley. Soanian sites are found in the Sivalik region across what are now India, Pakistan, and Nepal - is this a precursor to the IVC?

Note that stone with good fracture qualities—such as flint, jasper, and chert—was not always as readily available in Asia as it was elsewhere in the world. Asian populations, therefore, depended on coarse-grained quartz, volcanic tuff, and petrified wood, none of which lends itself to fine tool fabrication.

Madrasian Culture sites have been found in Attirampakkam located near Chennai (formerly known as Madras), Tamil Nadu. Tools related to this culture have been found at various other locations in this region. Bifacial handaxes and cleavers are typical assemblages recovered of this culture. Flake tools, microliths and other chopping tools have also been found. Most of these tools were composed of the metamorphic rock quartzite. The stone tool artefacts in this assemblage have been identified as a part of the second inter-pluvial period in India.

1,000,000 BC

Evidence for presence of Hominins with Acheulean technology in Tamil Nadu. (Acheulean artifacts from Africa have been dated to 1.6 million years ago. The oldest Acheulean sites in India are only slightly younger than those in Africa..)

700,000 - 125,000BC

Bhimbetka and Daraki-Chattan Capules which constitute the oldest prehistoric art ever discovered dated to around 700,000 BC

A skull fragment found in Hathnora in the Narmada Valley in central India indicates that this part of Indian subcontinent might have been inhabited around 300,000 years ago. Anek R. Sankhyan describes it as "debated and conveniently interpreted as "evolved" Homo erectus or "archaic human".

100,000 BC

Bhimbetka shelters in the foothills of the Vindhyan Mountains on the southern edge of the central Indian plateau were inhabited by Homo erectus with rock art adding to the Daraki-Chattan Capules.

74000 BCE

Technology similar to contemporary artefacts found used by Homo sapiens in Africa found in Jwalapuram is an archaeological site in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh, southern India, which shows hominid habitation before and after the Toba eruption event (dates for this event vary between 75000 and 7300 BC)

50,000 BC

Narmada Valley harboured pre-historic human settlements, possibly pre-Harappan ‘civilisation’ including the only pre-modern human fossil known in Asia.

40,000 BC

The house mouse dependent on agricultural activity begins to migrate out of India.

Narasimha idol found in Germany carbon dated to 35000 BC

The Hindu sense of cosmology claims that our entire universe is alive, it is born and dies over and over. They knew about 26,000 year cycle we call axial precession implying a continuous knowledge over as many years. Although it is possible it was later calculated, 30k BC is a likely date that what we call Hindu civilisation was beginning to evolve.

30,000 BCE

Early Vedic Period:

Possible first gold crafted as Kalpa Vigraha, a Vishnu Idol circa 26000 BC

It seems at this time that there were likely pockets of civilisation across the region of greater India with travel and communication. People were likely wondering what the purpose of life was and observed the emotive states (happiness, joy, sadness et cetera) and sought some way of control so that they could be always happy.

They had probably been thinking on this for some time and observing the phenomenon of life taking steps to ensure a full belly and protection from the extremes of nature and of course dangerous animals. At some time in this period or perhaps earlier, the first yogi appeared and the people came to understand that there are only two directions of life, inwards and outwards but the two affected each other.

17000+ Years Unbroken Indian Civilization
with Nilesh Oak

Spending time looking inwards and in a sense being there (meditation) gave rise to a deep sense of joy and happiness and this became part of the enculturation process. Those equipped with self-knowledge looked at the material world and over the millennia helped to improve life for people and ways of living. Sanatana Dharma was being born and the accumulating knowledge was being passed on through schools employing rote learning.

Paleolithic industries in South India Tamil Nadu

First confirmed semi permanent settlements in the Bhimbetka rock shelters in modern Madhya Pradesh. Some of the Stone Age rock paintings found among the Bhimbetka rock shelters are thought to be approximately 30,000 years old. The ancient history of the region includes some of South Asia's oldest settlements and some of its major civilisations.

Silk Road trade route between China and all points west with the Oxus river (Video part six, The Wakhan Corridor) as central.

23,720 years BCE - The Rig Veda composed ?

It is said that the suptarishies went to all corners of the earth and if they are direct students of Shiva as the first yogi who according to legend lived around 12,000 BC, one of them went to the Americas where we find many cultural similarities as in ancient India. The Tamils of course have a reputation as being great seafarers.

As far as known, Hindu culture was matriarchal and the culture of creating deities or gods prevalent. Matriarchal cultures are about coexistence with nature and creating conditions for future generations to flourish.

"As no clear record remains from before 9500 BC, perhaps we can imagine a collection of villages and towns covering the region of north-east Bharatha interconnected by foot paths and waterways. The people would have been farming, collecting wild food and hunting. They would be experimenting with different lifestyles and under the influence of the wandering yogis, becoming more accepting of the unpredictability of life. more

14,500 BCE

The composition of the astronomical text Surya Siddhanta. Nilish Oak again explains how the age of this ancient texts has been calculated and the discrepancies in some of the earlier historical reckoning.

Given that this is not an introduction to astronomy but an advanced text indicates that the level of knowledge is indicative of a settled civilisation with a strong multigenerational heritage?

12,000 BCE

India did not exist in isolation, there had been a trade in objects and ideas over thousands of years before now. Hindlogists see related motifs in the artwork at Göbekli Tepe.
We should remember that the entire region from India to the Mediterranean was much wetter and even the Sinai was a mixture of forests and grasslands as North Africa was a mix of savanna, forests and great Lakes.

Rock art develops

9,000 BCE

The Sarasvati Civilization (Indus Valley Civilization) begins as we are discovering though it's likwly the roots stretch back many thousands of years. The civilization used an early form of the Indus signs, the so-called Indus script.  Over the course of next 8000 years, inhabitants of the Civilization developed new techniques in handicraft (carnelian products, seal carving) and metallurgy (copper, bronze, lead, tin and iron) had elaborate urban planning, baked brick houses, efficient drainage systems, water supply systems, and clusters of large non-residential buildings.

The civilization depended significantly on trade, was the first civilization to use wheeled transport in form of bullock carts, and also used boats. The cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro become large metropolises and the civilization expands to over 2,500 cities and settlements across the whole of Pakistan, much of northern India, and large parts of Afghanistan, covering a region of around one million square miles, which was larger than the land area of its contemporaries Egypt and Mesopotamia combined, and also had superior urban planning and sewage systems.

The commencement of natural desertification hastened by agriculture and the use of wood for brickmaking and metal smelting - copper.

The city of Mehrgarh existed - with a large city of about 30,000 persons - showing  evidence ofthe world's first dental drilling of tooth decay (approximately 7,000 to 9,000 years ago) has been found in Merhgarh, as well as the first use of cotton fiber (6th millennium BC).

Possibly the  end of the Rig Veda era?

6,000 BC

The Kurukshetra War perhaps 5561 (When Did the Mahabharata War Happen by Nilesh Nilkanth Oak) but there is some conjecture:

    • P. V. Vartak calculates a date of 16 October 5561 BCE using planetary positions.
    • P. V. Holey states a date of 13 November 3143 BCE using planetary positions and calendar systems.
    • Aihole inscriptions give the date of Kurukshetra war around 3102 BCE.
    • K. Sadananda, based on translation work, states that the Kurukshetra War started on 22 November 3067 BCE.
    • B. N. Achar used planetarium software to argue that the Mahabharata War took place in 3067 BCE.
    • S. Balakrishna concluded a date of 2559 BCE using consecutive lunar eclipses.
    • R. N. Iyengar concluded a date of 1478 BCE using double eclipses and Saturn+Jupiter conjunctions.
    • P. R. Sarkar estimates a date of 1298 BCE for the war of Kurukshetra.
    • V. S. Dubey claims that the war happened near 950 BCE ~ wiki
    • Discussion paper 

The submersion of Dwarka as sea levels rose and the covering of the continental shelf. Perhaps then the area between South India and Sri Lanka was more wetland as opposed to ocean but was previously dry?

Migrations from India to the Mediterranean and beyond.

Perhaps the Kurukshetra War created a rift in Hindu culture or perhaps it was the arrival of capitalism combined with a patriarchal mentality returning to India with traders that began to undermine the sense of Dharma. We don't know when Manu created his laws but he talks about possessions, human rights and of course money which as far as we know began to emerge at this time.

The Life of Lord Rama 5114 BC (vifindia.org). It is thought that the Rama were a clan who over time became the Rajputs and coined the name Rajasthan.  According to scholars and the evidences across Iraq and Iran, the Rama clan ruled extensively and were influential in the development of Egyptian culture (Ramses).  This image is one of many similar found across the region of greater Persia said to symbolise Lord Rama.

Creation of The Laws of Manu History and Influence of Law Code of Manu.

5000 BC

By one theory, this is the beginning of the Kali Yuga? with a duration of 432,000 years, leaving us with 427,000 years until the end of the present age. This theory is not so widely accepted.

Seaward travel east and either seafarers stranded in Australia or migrants who settled and mixed with the local inhabitants as per modern genetic evidence.

The Saraswati river begins to diminish causing westward migrations and Hindu influence in Egypt - probably two way trade in ideas and technology.

Tamil DNA appears in Australian Aboriginals indicating Tamil travel and trade.

3300 BC

Commencement of Copper - Bronze age in India although this may have been earlier (Hindustan Times)

Cotton growing becomes widespread in South America - indicating trade across the Pacific.

3140 BC

By another and most accepted theory matching axial precession and our movement through the constellations, the Kali Yuga began:

"in 3140 BCE, the Kurukshetra War ended, and in 3102 BCE, Krishna left his body. Three to four months after the war, the Kali Yuga began. As of 2012 AD, Krishna’s era ended 5,114 years ago. If you subtract 2592, which is the cumulative number of years of the two Kali Yugas that are at the bottom of the ellipse which describes the axial precession, you arrive at 2522 years. That means we have already completed 2522 years of Dwapara Yuga, and since its total duration is 2592 years, we still have 70 years until its completion. In the year 2082, we will complete Dwapara Yuga and move on to Treta Yuga."  ~ Sadhguru

Some conjecture on dates of the  Kurukshetra War.

3000 BC

Hindu settlement exists at Shortugai (near Bactria or Bactra as is sometimes spelt) on the Oxus River (Amu Darya) on trade route between China and all points west with the Oxus river navigable to the Mediterranean (and Aral, Caspian and Black Sea ports). Perhaps for lapis lazuli, wool, gold, silver, copper, bronze, tin, lead, herbs and spices on this 'silk route' ?

Extensive land and maritime trade network operating between the Harappan and Mesopotamian civilizations.

Global warming intensifies with the drying up of the Saraswati River and mass westward migrations of people from North West India.

2200 BC - Iron Age India:

Officially, the beginnings of the Iron Age around the world dates to 1200 BC, however, the Iron Age in India clearly goes back to 2200 BC. Archaeologists have found artefacts including knives and blades dated to this time.  These findings clearly attest to India's ancient achievements in the field of metallurgy and push back the Iron Age in India.

C14 carbon studies performed by the metallurgists have shown that there were many other ancient mines from which silver, copper, tin, zinc and lead were produced.

2000 BC

The population of the Indian subcontinent is estimated at  6,000,000 but could be many times greater.

The development of swords (Academia) based on the supposition that the Rigveda and Atharvaveda are later works where as swords in other regions have been found dating to 1400 years earlier?

Possible date for the Horsemen of the Pir Panjal - some say they seem to be more Bactrian inspired than Indic

Chariots and weaponry in burial chambers at Sinauli, about 70 kilometres north of New Delhi.

1900 BC

The Sarasvati River ceases to flow as a result of tectonic upheavals marking the end of the Harappan/Indus Valley Civilisation.

Mass migrations from North West India, The formative Jews?

1800 BC

Adichanallur urn-burial site in Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu.

Hindu culture (Sanatana Dharma) is strong across Southeast Asia and perhaps here we have the beginnings of Angkor Wat?

1300 BC

Cemetery H culture comes to an end.

Late date for the Rigveda ?

A widely accepted birth/death dates for Shakyamuni Buddha 1029 BCE to 949 BCE

Late Vedic period (to 500 BCE)

1000 BC

Kanchi district, gold mine of Megalithic sites in South India

Iron Age kingdoms rule India— KuruPanchalaKosalaVideha

The growth in education and the rise of universities - any Greek scholar worth his salt must travel and spend time studying in India

Increased desertification hastened by agriculture and the use of wood for funerals, brickmaking and metal smelting - the Saraswati dries up and IVC ends

Kashi (Varanasi),  the spiritual and cultural capital of ancient India existed in this period. It's undisputed as the oldest inhabited city of the world and thought to have existed since long before.

Dharmic (Hindu) civilization evolved beyond the subcontinent shaping the social construct and statehood of Southeast Asia. Through trade and education, small indigenous states were transformed into major kingdoms and empires led by a Maharajah with statecraft concept akin to those in India. It gave birth to the former Champa civilisation in southern parts of Central Vietnam, Funan in Cambodia, the Khmer Empire in Indochina, Langkasuka Kingdom and Old Kedah in the Malay Peninsula, the Sriwijayan kingdom on Sumatra, the Medang Kingdom, Singhasari and the Majapahit Empire based in Java, Bali and parts of the Philippine archipelago. The civilisation of India influenced the languages, scripts, written tradition, literature's, calendars, scientific knowledge and artistic aspects of these peoples and nations.

877 BC

Birth of Parsvanatha, 23rd Jain Tirthankara (traditional date)

700 BC

The Upanishads, a sacred text within Hinduism, are written.

Buddha Shakyamuni was born as a royal prince in 624 BC in a place called Lumbini, in what is now Nepal. ~ Kadampa

Carbon dating proves Adichanallar relics found in Tamil know to date from 905 to 696 BC

600 BC

Sixteen Maha Janapadas ("Great Realms" or "Great Kingdoms") emerge.
Vedic period ends?
The capital of the Early Pandyan Kingdom was initially Korkai, all around 600 BCE, and was later moved to Koodal (now Madurai) during the reign of Nedunjeliyan I.

Takshashila University is the most famous and the world's first university. Also known as Taxila or Takshila existing from about 600 BC to 500 AD, Taxila was in the kingdom of Gandhar, in Ancient India.

Pāṇini the renowned Sanskrit scholar and considered the father of linguistics lived in this period.

599 BC

Mahavira, 24th Tirthankar of Jainism is born (traditional date).

According to some, Gautama Buddha was born c. 563/480 BCE as per evidence at Lumbini

Rein of Perisan King Darius the Great (550–486 BC). Outside of India, but a partner.

Commencement of the Sangam period of  Tamil Nadu and Kerala spanning from c. 5th century BCE to 3rd century CE. Sangam literature based in Madurai has literary evidences of urban civilisation in Tamil Nadu.

543 BC

The Vanga-based Prince Vijaya (c. 543 BCE) married a daughter of the Pandyan king of Madurai, to whom he was sending rich presents every year. Sinhalese chronicle Mahawamsa mentions this event.

538 BC

Cyrus, founder of the Persian Achaemenid Empire reached up to northwestern parts of the Indian subcontinent, today's Afghanistan, which later proved to be his nemesis and caused his death.

527 BC

Nirvana of Mahavira

500 BC

The followers of Buddha begin institutionalising Buddhism

Extensive trade as far as Rome.

Envoys to and from China with special interest in Buddhism.

An early Greek coin discovered from Gandhara region, dated 500-400 BCE. This is one of the earliest evidence for Hindu contacts with Greece, dating to pre-Alexandrian era.

Kālidāsa, a Classical Sanskrit writer lives about this time.

483 BC

Another proposed date for the Mahaparinirvana of Gautama Buddha at Kushinagar.

350 BC

Panini, a resident of Gandhara, describes the grammar and morphology of Sanskrit in the text Ashtadhyayi. Panini's standardized Sanskrit is known as Classical Sanskrit.

333 BC

Persian rule in the northwest ends after Darius 3 is defeated by Alexander, who establishes the Macedonian Empire after taking over the Persian Achaemenid Empire and migration of Greeks into the region.

326 BC

Ambhi king of Takshila, a university city surrenders to Alexander.
Porus who ruled parts of the Punjab, defeated Alexander at the Battle of the Hydaspes River 

321 BCE

Mauryan Empire is founded by Chandragupta Maurya in Magadha after he defeats the Nanda dynasty and Macedonian Seleucid Empire. Mauryan capital city is Pataliputra (Modern Patna in Bihar)

305 BCE

Chandragupta Maurya defeats Seleucus Nicator of the Seleucid Empire.

304 BCE

Seleucus gives up his territories in the subcontinent (Afghanistan/Baluchistan) to Chandragupta in exchange for 500 elephants. Seleucus offers his daughter in marriage to Chandragupta to seal their friendship.

300 BC

Beginning of the Satavahana kingdom covering present-day Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Possible composition of the Arthashastra credited to Kautilya, also identified as Vishnugupta and Chanakya

273 BCE

Ashoka the Great regarded as the greatest ancient Indian emperor, grandson of Chandragupta Maurya, ascends as emperor of the Mauryan Empire.

266 BCE

Ashoka conquers and unifies most of South Asia, along with most of Afghanistan and Balochistan.

265 BCE

Kalinga War takes place between Ashoka and the kingdom of Kalinga.
After conquering Kalinga, Ashoka reportedly regrets what he had done, leading him to adopt Buddhism, which then became the quasi-official state religion of the Mauryan Empire.

260 BCE

Ashoka begins displaying religious tolerance, grants animal rights, builds hospitals for people and animals, treats his subjects as equals regardless of caste or creed, and promotes non-violence and republicanism.

Ashoka inscribes the Edicts of Ashoka, written down using Brahmi script.

232 BCE

Ashoka dies and is succeeded by Kunala.

230 BCE

Simuka declares independence from Mauryan rule and establishes the Satavahana Empire

Patañjali. the eminent composer of the Yoga Sutras dated to mid 2nd century BCE by both Western and Indian scholars

200 BCE

Kuninda Kingdom is established.
Tholkappiyam describes the grammar and morphology of Tamil; it is the oldest existing Tamil grammar (dates vary between 200 BCE and 100 CE). (to 100 BC)

Buddhism expands north westward and artefacts found in Scandinavia dated to this time.

Kalaripayattu - written evidence of martial arts in Southern India described in the Sangam literature of this period

Puspagiri University - Buddhist University is established (Lalitgiri).  Today, its ruins lie atop the Langudi hills about 90 km from the Mahanadi delta, in the districts of Jajpur and Cuttack, Orissa.

184 BCE

The Mauryan Empire, which shrank considerably, collapses after its emperor Brihadrata is assassinated by his general Pushyamitra Shunga. Pushyamitra Shunga then establishes the Shunga dynasty.

100 BC

Sugar was first produced from sugarcane in northern India sometime after the first century.

78 BC

Gautamiputra Satkarni becomes Satavahana emperor and starts Shalivahana era calendar after defeating Scythian king Maues.

68 BC

Establishment of the Kushan empire by Kujula Kadphises.

65 BC

The Pandyan king sends ambassadors to the Greek and Roman lands.

58 BC

Beginning of Vikram Era - The Vikram Samvat calendar starts half a century before the Gregorian calendar and works on an Indian calendar cycle.

35 BC

Western Satraps 35–405 CE (Kshatrapa the longest reigning Indo-Scythian group in India) formed.

Increased desertification hastened by agriculture and the use of wood for funerals, brickmaking and metal smelting.

Year 0

Buddhism expands into South East Asia and begins to replace the existing Hindu culture.

"In the high plateau of eastern Iran, in the oases of Serindia, in the arid wastes of Tibet, Mongolia, and Manchuria, in the ancient civilized lands of China and Japan, in the lands of the primitive Mons and Khmers and other tribes of Indo-China, in the countries of the Malaya-Polynesians, in Indonesia and Malay, India left the indelible impress of her high culture, not only upon religion, but also upon art, and literature, in a word, all the higher things of spirit." Rene Grousset (1885-1952) French art historian. Author of several books including Civilization of India and The Empire of the Steppes: A History of Central Asia.

References and further reading

Last updated August 2019

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