History of India and its civilization dates back to at least 6500 BC which perhaps make the oldest existing civilization in the world. India has been a meeting ground between the East and the West. Throughout its history many invaders have come to India but Indian religions allowed it to adapt to and absorb all of them. All the while, these local dynasties built upon the roots of a culture well established. India has always been simply too big, too complicated, and too culturally subtle to let anyone empire dominate it for long. Based on archeological findings, Indian history can be broadly divided into five phases:1. Saraswati (Harappan) civilization: 6500 BC - 1000 BC or also called 'Vedic period' in history of India.2. Golden period of Indian History: 500 BC - 800 AD3. Muslim influence in India: 1000 AD- 1700 AD4. British period in India: 1700 AD - 1947 AD5. Modern India: 1947 - till date
Golden Period of Indian History
Ancient Indian History (Vedic Period) Earliest historical evidence from Mehargarh (north-west Indian sub-continent) shows beginning of civilization in India at around 6500 B.C. It is the earliest and largest urban site of the period in the world. This site has yielded evidence for the earliest domestication of animals, evolution of agriculture, as well as arts and crafts. The horse was first domesticated here in 6500 B.C. There is a progressive process of the domestication of animals, particularly cattle, the development of agriculture, beginning with barley and then later wheat and rice, and the use of metal, beginning with copper and culminating in iron, along with the development villages and towns. It has been suggested by some historians that an 'Aryan Invasion' of Indian subcontinent took place around 1500-1000 B.C. However, current archeological data do not support the existence of an Indo Aryan or European invasion into South Asia at any time in the pre or proto-historic periods (David Frawley). The people in this tradition were the same basic ethnic groups as in India today, with their same basic types of languages.
Two important cities were discovered: Harappa on the Ravi River and Mohenjodaro on the Indus during excavations in 1920. The remains of these two cities were part of a large civilization and well developed ancient civilization, which is now called by historians as 'Indus Valley Civilization', or 'Saraswati Civilization'. Later Harappan (Sarasvati) civilization 3100-1900 BC shows massive cities, complex agriculture and metallurgy, sophistication of arts and crafts, and precision in weights and measures. They built large buildings, which were mathematically-planned. The city planning in those ancient cities is comparable to the best of our modern cities. This civilization had a written language and was highly sophisticated. Some of these towns were almost three miles in diameter with thousands of residents. These ancient municipalities had granaries, citadels, and even household toilets. In Mohenjodaro, a mile-long canal connected the city to the sea, and trading ships sailed as far as Mesopotamia. At its height, the Indus civilization extended over half a million square miles across the Indus river valley, and though it existed at the same time as the ancient civilizations of Egypt and Sumer, it far outlasted them. This Sarasvati civilization was a center of trading and for the diffusion of civilization throughout south and west Asia, which often dominated the Mesopotamian region.
Mehrgarh, Harappa, Mohenjodaro, Kalibangan and Lothal are peripheral cities of the great Sarasvati civilization with more than 500 sites along its banks awaiting excavation.The year 4500 B.C. marks Mandhatr's defeat of Druhyus, driving them to the west into Iran. 4000-3700 B.C. was the Rig Veda period. In 3730 B.C. the 'Battle of Ten' Kings - occurred. That was the age of Sudas and his sage advisors, Vasistha and Visvamitra. From 3600 to 3100 B.C. was the late Vedic age during which Yajur, Sama, and Atharva Vedas were composed. 3100 B.C. is the probable date of the Mahabharata, composed by Vyasa. At this time, a tectonic plate shift resulted in river Yamuna which was a tributary of river Saraswati shifted its course and Saraswati became smaller. It was the beginning of 'Kali Yuga'. In 1900 B.C., another tectonic plate shift made Saraswati lose Sutlej. This dried up Sarasvati, causing massive exodus of people towards the Ganga valley in east, whence the classical civilization of India arose. Post-Harappan civilization 1900-1000 BC shows the abandonment of the Harappan towns owing to ecological and river changes but without a real break in the continuity of the culture. There is a decentralization and relocation in which the same basic agricultural and artistic traditions continue, along with a few significant urban sites like Dwaraka. This gradually develops into the Gangetic civilization of the first millennium BC, which is the classical civilization of ancient India, which retains its memory of its origin in the Saraswati region through the Vedas.