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The emergence of the Indus Valley Civilization marked the history of ancient India. The earliest literary source that accounted the history of ancient India was the Rig Veda, created between 1,500 to 1,000 BC. During the 5th century, Ashoka the Great united most parts of India, while the Gupta Empire is considered as India’s golden age.
- The arrival of the Aryans in the Indus Valley started one of the oldest civilizations in the world. It is generally categorized as the pre-Vedic and Vedic periods. Vedas, written in Sanskrit, are considered the oldest literary texts and one of the holy scriptures in Hinduism.
- In the 6th century, as the Kingdom of Magadha dominated the Great Janapadas, Buddhism and Jainism emerged as a religion and philosophy to challenge the existing Brahmanic orthodoxy.In 530 BC, Cyrus the Great, ruler of the Persian Empire, invaded India (parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan today). His son Darius I continued the Persian rule.
- By 327 BC, Alexander the Great conquered Northern India and introduced the Greco culture.
- The Mauryan Empire, founded by Chandragupta Maurya, ruled from 322 BC to 185 BC. It was after he overthrew the Nanda Dynasty.
- Ashoka the Great, son of Bindusara, led the rapid expansion of the empire. He was known as the ruthless king after the bloody annexation of Kalinga. The Mauryan empire ended in 185 BC because of political instability and weak leaders.
- After 400 hundred years of Mauryan rule, peace and stability was restored by the Guptas. It was during the Gupta Empire when Hindu temple architecture began.
- Two of the most famous ancient cities in India were Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa, located in Sindh and Punjab. The civilization of Mohenjo-Daro was a city with organized streets and drainage systems. The Great Bath was also excavated by archeologists.
Ancient India Culture:
- The predominant religion in ancient India was Hinduism. Hinduism is considered the oldest religion in the world and has more than 900 million followers today. It is the 3rd most practiced religion next to Christianity and Islam. It is believed that Hinduism originated from Northern India as a result of the Aryan migration. Hindus believe in the supreme god, Brahman, along with his manifestations including Shiva, Vishnu, Krishna, and others.
- Aside from the Vedas, Hindus are guided by holy scriptures and texts like the Upanishads, the Puranas, the Mahabharata, and the Ramayana.
- In 500 to 600 BC, Buddhism and Jainism were established. Both are considered to be compilations of philosophies that focused on man’s inner soul and salvation.
- Siddharta Gautama Buddha was the known founder of Buddhism. Buddhist principles are guided by the Four Noble Truths and the ultimate goal of nirvana or enlightenment. Jainism was founded by Mahavira also known as the great hero.
- The coming of the Aryans in ancient India dominated the natives’ social class through the creation of the caste system. The caste system is the social hierarchy determining a person’s social, political, economic, and religious status. Indians are divided into rigid levels from the Brahmins (high priest), Kshatriyas (public servants and warriors), Vaishyas (skilled merchants), Sudras (unskilled workers), and Pariahs (untouchables).
Ancient India Contributions:
- Around 800 BC, the value of pi was calculated in Budhayana, India. In addition, the Pythagorean Theorem, number zero, and decimal places system were invented by Pythagoras and Aryabhata. As early as the 2nd century, numbers were used by Indians. Furthermore, Bhaskaracharya, a great mathematician and astronomer first calculated the time taken by the Earth to orbit the sun.
- About 5,000 years ago, yoga became part of Indians’ physical, mental, and spiritual practices. It was mentioned in the Rig Veda during the pre-Vedic times and became known at the height of Buddhism and Jainism.
- In the field of ancient medicine, the great physician Sushruta conducted surgeries such as cesareans, cataract operations, setting fractures, and brain surgery. Furthermore, the use of anesthesia was well known in ancient India.
- Medical treatments were compiled in the Sushruta Samhita, which includes descriptions of 1,120 illnesses, 700 herbal plants, and detailed studies of human anatomy.
- Kalidas, the poet, created his masterpieces Shakuntala and Kamasutra.
- During the earliest time of the Mauryan Empire, stupas were created where religious relics were stored.
- The board game chess was also created by ancient Indians.
Ancient India Worksheets
This bundle contains 11 ready-to-use Ancient India Worksheets that are perfect for students who want to learn more about the emergence of the Indus Valley Civilization which marked the history of ancient India. The earliest literary source that accounted the history of ancient India was the Rig Veda, created between 1,500 to 1,000 BC. During the 5th century, Ashoka the Great united most parts of India, while the Gupta Empire is considered as India’s golden age.
Download includes the following worksheets:
- Ancient India Facts
- Ancient Indian Empires
- The Caste System
- Religions in Ancient India
- Mapping Ancient Civilizations
- Hindu Deities
- Ancient Rulers
- Fascinating India
- Contributions to the World
- Let’s Excavate!
- Ancient and Modern India
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Link will appear as Ancient India Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, December 12, 2017
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