India History: The Indian timeline takes us on a tour across the subcontinent’s history. From ancient India, which includes Bangladesh and Pakistan, to the free and divided India, this time line covers every facet of the country’s past and current. Continue reading to learn more about India’s timeline:
First humans migrate to India (70,000–50,000 BCE)
- The first human migrations out of Africa are believed to have occurred 70,000 years ago. Over a few thousand years, migrants made their way down India’s shore.
- Because sea levels were 200 feet lower than they are now, the migration was possible, permitting travel through long-since drowned land bridges.
- DNA markers have been used to identify the descendants of the migrants as far north as the Pakistani coast and as far south as the Kallar clan on the Kerala coast in modern India, where entire villages share ancient DNA strains.
- There are pockets of tribal peoples along India’s west coast who may be descendants from these initial human migrations.
- They have remained essentially self-contained, endogamous (marrying within the tribe), physically distinct in appearance, and outside the Hindu caste system until the contemporary day.
- Many people still speak languages that are separate from the major Northern and Southern Indian language groupings.
Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka (9000 BC to 7000 BC)
· The Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka contain the earliest documents of Indian history.
· These shelters are located in the foothills of the Vindhyan Mountains on the southern edge of the central Indian plateau.
· There are five groups of rock shelters, each having paintings that are thought to date from the Mesolithic Period to the Historical Period.
Mehrgarh Culture (7000 BC to 3300 BC)
· Mehrgarh is one of the most important Neolithic Age sites. It is also one of the oldest sites indicating the arrival of the concept of farming and herding.
· It is located on the Kachi plain of Baluchistan (Pakistan), west of the Indus River valley. Mehrgarh, which covers an area of 495 acres, was discovered in 1974.
Indus Valley Civilization (3300 BC to 1700 BC)
In the 1920s, the Indus Valley Civilization was found. The following are the important events in the Indus Valley timeline:
Early Harappan Phase (3300 BC to 2600 BC)
- The early Harappan Phase lasted for approximately 700 years, starting with the Ravi Phase.
- It is one of the three first urban civilizations and used an early variation of the Indus script for writing, known as Harappan script.
- The Kot Diji era of the Indus Valley Civilization began around 2800 BC.
- Harappa was a Bronze Age urban town discovered in the 1920s near the former route of the Ravi River in northeast Pakistan.
- Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro, a similarly structured city further south on the banks of the Indus River, are considered to be part of the same huge civilization, the Indus Valley Civilization, which flourished from 2600 to 1900 BCE.
Mature Harappan Phase (2600 BC to 1700 BC)
- Around 2600 BC, the Mature Harappan Phase began. Large towns and urban regions began to emerge, and the civilization grew to include approximately 2,500 cities and settlements.
- Other characteristics of the mature phase include great sewage and drainage systems, a system of consistent weights and measures, knowledge of proto-dentistry, and so on.
- Even though many of its bricks were looted during the construction of a railway in the nineteenth century, remnants of Harappa’s fortress wall are still visible.
- Archaeological discoveries show that the city’s granaries were positioned north of the citadel, with a cemetery to the south.
Late Harappan Phase (1700 BC to 1300 BC)
- The Late Harappan Phase started around 1700 BC and ended around 1300 BC. However, many features of the Indus Valley Civilization can be found in succeeding societies.
- The streets were planned up in a grid-like form, similar to the other towns of the Indus Valley Civilization, running either north to south or east to west.
- The settlement’s one- or two-story flat-roof houses included indoor plumbing that connected to a highly constructed drainage and waste management system.
- Painted pottery, bronze and copper tools, terra cotta figures, and numerous inscribed stamped seals with animal patterns have been discovered at Harappa and Mohenjo-daro.
- Despite these discoveries, the identities of the cities’ rulers remain unknown.
Vedic Period/Age (1700 BC to 500 BC)
- The Vedic Period or Vedic Age refers to the period in India when the revered Vedic Sanskrit writings were compiled.
- The Vedic Civilization, located on the Indo-Gangetic Plain, served as the foundation for Hinduism and Indian culture.
- The Vedic Period can be divided into two sections:
Early Vedic/Rig Vedic Period (1700 BC to 1000 BC)
· The Early Vedic Period is the time when the Rig Veda was compiled. During this time, the monarch was seen as the people’s protector, and he was actively involved in government.
· The caste system became more rigid, and families became more patriarchal. The following notable events occurred during this period:
o 1700 BC – Late Harappan and Early Vedic periods converge
o 1300 BC – End of the Cemetery H culture
o 1000 BC – India’s Iron Age
Later Vedic Age (1000 BC to 500 BC)
· The development of the later Vedic period was marked by agriculture being the major economic activity and cow rearing declining in importance.
· The political organisation shifted dramatically, with fewer persons involved in administration.
· The following are the key events:
o 600 BC – The formation of Sixteen Maha Janapadas (Great Kingdoms)
o 599 BC – The birth of Mahavira, the founder of Jainism
o 563 BC – The birth of Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha), the founder of Buddhism
o 538 BC – Cyrus the Great conquered parts of Pakistan
o 500 BC – Panini standardised grammar and morphology of Sanskrit, converting it The Vedic Civilization came to an end with this.
Ancient India (500 BCE – 550 AD)
Rise of Jainism and Buddhism
- Jainism, also known as Jain Dharma, is a religious philosophy that originated in Ancient India. The religion is based on the Tirthankaras’ teachings.
- Lord Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara, is credited with spreading the faith throughout the world. Buddhism is based on Lord Buddha’s teachings, who was born as Prince Siddhartha Gautama.
- Following his enlightenment, Lord Buddha began about teaching people how to obtain nirvana.
- Emperor Asoka later spread his teachings throughout the world.
- The following are the other key events of the Ancient Indian period:
- 333 BC – Darius III is defeated by Alexander the Great.
- The Macedonian Empire was founded in 326 BC, when Ambhi, King of Taxila, surrendered to Alexander at the Battle of the Hydaspes River.
- 200 to 100 BC – Tholkappiyam standardized grammar and morphology of Tamil
- 184 BC – Collapse of the Maurya Empire with the assassination of Emperor Brihadrata, establishment of the Sunga dynasty
- 180 BC – Establishment of the Indo-Greek kingdom
- 80 BC – Establishment of the Indo-Scythian kingdom
- 10 BC – Establishment of the Indo-Parthian kingdom
- 68 AD – Establishment of the Kushan Empire by Kujula Kadphises
- 78 AD – Gautamiputra Satk – Chandragupta I established the Gupta Empire
- 335 AD – Samudragupta established the Gupta Empire and began extending it 350 AD – Pallava Empire established
- 380 AD – Chandragupta II established the Gupta Empire
- 399 to 414 AD – Chinese scholar Fa-Hien travels to India
Medieval Period (550 AD to 1526 AD)
The medieval period can be divided into the following two phases:
Early Medieval Period (Upto 1300 AD)
· 606 AD – Harshavardhana became King
· 630 AD – Hiuen Tsiang travelled to India
· 761 AD – First Muslim invasion by Mohammed Bin Qasim
· 800 AD – Shankaracharya’s birth
· 814 AD – Nripatunga Amoghavarsha I became Rashtrakuta king
· 1000 AD – Invasion by Mahmud of Ghazni
· 1017 AD – Alberuni travelled to India
· 1100s AD – Rule of the Chandelas, Cholas, Kadambas, and Rashrakutas
· 1120 AD – Kalyani Chalukya Empire reached its peak, and Vikramaditya VI established the Vikrama Chalukya Era
· 1191 AD – First battle of Tarain between Mohammed Ghori and Prithivi Raj Chauhan III
· 1192 AD – Second battle of Tarain between Ghauri and Prithivi Raj Chauhan III
Late Medieval Period (1300 AD to 1500 AD)
· 1300 AD – Establishment of the Khilji Dynasty
· 1336–1565 AD – Vijayanagar Empire
Post-Medieval Era (1526 AD to 1818 AD)
The major events in the post medieval era are:
- 1526 AD – Babur, the Mughal ruler of Kabul, invaded Delhi and Agra and killed Sultan Ibrahim Lodi
- 1527 AD – Battle of Khanwa, in which Babur annexed Mewar
- 1530 AD – Babur died and was succeeded Humayun
- 1556 AD – Humayun died and was succeeded by his son Akbar
- 1600 AD – East India company was formed in England
- 1605 AD – Akbar died and was succeeded by Jehangir
- 1628 AD – Jehangir died and was succeeded by Shah Jahan
- 1630 AD – Shivaji was born
- 1658 AD – Shah Jahan built Taj Mahal, Jamia Masjid and Red Fort.
- 1659 AD – Shivaji defeated Adilshahi troops at the Battle of Pratapgarh
- 1674 AD – Maratha Empire was established
- 1680 AD – Shivaji died
- 1707 AD – Aurangzeb died and was succeeded by Bahadur Shah I
- 1707 AD – Maratha Empire broke into two divisions
- 1734 AD – Pamheiba invaded Tripura
- 1737 AD – Bajirao I conquered Delhi
- 1740 AD – Bajirao I died and was succeeded by Balaji Bajirao
- 1757 AD – Battle of Plassey was fought
- 1761 AD – Third battle of Panipat ended the expansion of Maratha Empire
- 1766 AD – First Anglo-Mysore War
- 1777 AD – First Anglo-Maratha War
- 1779 AD – Battle of Wadgaon
- 1780 AD – Second Anglo-Mysore War
- 1789 AD – Third Anglo-Mysore War
- 1798 AD – Fourth Anglo-Mysore War
- 1799 AD – Tipu Sultan died, Wodeyar dynasty was restored
- 1803 AD – Second Anglo-Maratha War
- 1817 AD – Third Anglo-Maratha War begins
- 1818 AD – End of the Maratha Empire and British control over most of India
Colonial Era (1818 AD to 1947 AD)
The Colonial Era started with the British taking control over almost all the parts of India and ended with the freedom of India in 1947. The major events that took place during the Colonial Era are:
- 1829 AD – Prohibition of Sati
- 1857 AD – First Indian war of Independence, known as Indian Mutiny
- 1885 AD – Indian National Congress was formed
- 1930 AD – Dandi Salt March, Simon Commission, First Round Table Conference
- 1915 AD – Home Rule League was founded by Annie Besant
- 1919 AD – Massacre at Jallianwalabagh
- 1931 AD – Bhagat Singh was hanged by the British, Second Round Table Conference, Gandhi-Irvin Pact
- 1919 AD – Khilafat Movement, Jalianwala Bagh Massacre, Rowlat Act
- 1937 AD – Congress won power in many states, World War II broke out
- 1921 AD – Civil Disobedience Movement
- 1928 AD – Murder of Lala Lajpat Rai
- 1942 AD – Quit India Movement, Rise of Subhash Chandra Bose
- 1922 AD – Quit India Movement suspended after the Chauri-Chura violence
- 1946 AD – Muslim League adamant about the formation of Pakistan
- 1947 AD – India gained independence and witnessed partition
Free and Modern India (1947 onwards)
· India gained independence in 1947, and the country’s battle to become one of the world’s leading nations began that year.
· Today, the country is regarded as having one of the world’s fastest expanding economies.
Table of Timeline of India History
The following table illustrates the major events and respective timelines of India −
|9000 BCE||Period of early Neolithic culture|
|9000 BCE||Bhimbetka rock shelters (found in Madhya Pradesh region); also evidenced some of the Stone Age rock paintings|
|7000 to 2500 BCE||Mehergarh Culture (Neolithic Age)|
|3300 to 1700 BCE||Phase of Indus Valley Civilization|
|1800 BCE||Indo-Aryan migration|
|1500 to 1000 BCE||Early Vedic Period|
|1300 BCE||End of Cemetery H culture|
|1200 BCE||Rigveda Period|
|1000 to 500 BCE||Late Vedic period|
|1000 BCE||Iron Age of India|
|877 BCE||Birth of Parsvanatha (23rd Jain Tirthankara)|
|700 BCE||Age of Upanishads|
|600 BCE||Period of Sixteen Maha Janapadas|
|599 BCE||Birth of Mahavira (24th Tirthankar of Jainism)|
|563 BCE||Birth of Siddhārtha Gautama (Buddha)|
|558–491 BCE||Bimbisara (also known as Srenika) founded Haryanka dynasty|
|527 BCE||Nirvana of Mahavira|
|492–460 BCE||Period of Ajatshatru (son of Bimbisara)|
|483 BCE||Mahaparinirvana of Gautama Buddha|
|350 BCE||Panini (a resident of Gandhara) had written Ashtadhyayi (Sanskrit Grammar book)|
|326 BCE||Battle of the Hydaspes River between Porus and Alexander|
|321 BCE||Chandragupta Maurya established Mauryan Empire in Magadha|
|305 BCE||Chandragupta Maurya defeated Seleucus Nicator|
|300 BCE||Chola dynasty (in south India)|
|297–273 BCE||Period of Bindusara (son of Chandragupta Maurya)|
|268–232 BCE||Period of the Great Ashoka (son of Bindusara)|
|265 BCE||Kalinga War (between Ashoka and the kingdom of Kalinga)|
|260 BCE||Ashoka inscribed the Edicts of Ashoka (written in Brahmi script)|
|251 BCE||Mahinda (son of Ashoka) introduced Buddhism to Ceylon (Sri Lanka)|
|250 BCE||The followers of Buddhists carved the first cave temples (namely Lomas Rishi)|
|232 BCE||Ashoka died (Kunala, his son, succeeded)|
|184 BCE||After the assassination of Brihadrata (by his general Pushyamitra shunga), Mauryan empire collapsed|
|184 BCE||Establishement of the Shunga dynasty by Pushyamitra Shunga|
|78 BCE||Beginning of Saka era|
|57 BCE||Beginning of Vikram Era|
|Common Era (CE)|
|10 CE||The Indo-Parthian kingdom established|
|240 CE||Sri-Gupta established the Gupta Empire in Magadha (and its capital was in Pataliputra)|
|275 CE||Pallava dynasty established|
|320 CE||Chandragupta I became the king of Gupta empire|
|335 CE||Samudragupta became the king of Gupta empire|
|380 CE||Chandragupta II (son of Samudragupta) became the Gupta Emperor|
|405 CE||Fahien, the Chinese traveler came India|
|450 CE||Huna invasions|
|554 CE||After the death of skandagupta, Gupta empire collapsed|
|606 CE||Harshavardhana became the kind|
|629 CE||Chinese monk Huang Tsang (Xuanzang) came to India|
|753 CE||After defeating Chalukyas of Badami, Danti Durga established Rashtrakuta Kingdom|
|788 CE||Birth of Adi Shankaracharya|
|1001 CE||Invasion of Mahmud Ghazni|
|1025 CE||Last invasion of Mahmud Ghazni that lead to destruction of temple of Somnath|
|1030 CE||Death of Mahmud of Ghazni|
|1030 CE||Alberuni came India|
|1191 CE||First battle of Tarain between Mohammed Ghori and Prithviraj III (Ghauri was defeated)|
|1192 CE||Second battle of Tarain between Mohammed Ghori and Prithviraj III (Prithviraj was defeated)|
|1154 CE||Battle of Chandawar fought between Ghauri and Jaichand of Kannauj (Ghauri defeated Jayachandra and killed)|
|1192 CE||Qutb al-Din Aybak constructed the Qutub Minar in Delhi|
|1206 CE||Qutb-ud-din Aibak established ‘Slave Dynasty’ (which later came to known as Delhi Sultanate)|
|1210 CE||While playing polo, Qutb-ud-din Aibak died|
|1221 CE||Invasion of Changez Khan (Mongol invasion)|
|1240 CE||Razia Sultan was killed by Turkish nobles|
|1336 CE||Harihara I and his brother Bukka Raya I founded the Vijayanagara Empire|
|1398 CE||Timur’s invasion|
|1483 CE||Babur born|
|1498 CE||The first voyage of Vasco de Gama from Europe to India|
|1526 CE||The first Battle of Panipat in which Mughal ruler Babur defeated Ibrahim Lodi|
|1530 CE||Babur died and his son Humayun became the emperor|
|1539 CE||Battle of Chausa fought between Mughal emperor Humayun and Sher Shah Suri (Humayun defeated)|
|1540 CE||Battle of Kannauj fought between Humayun and Sher Shah Suri and Humayun. Humayun lost the Mughal empire and hence escaped from India|
|1545 CE||Sher Shah Suri died and his son Islam Shah Suri succeeded|
|1554 CE||Islam Shah Suri died|
|1555 CE||Humayun recuperated the throne of Delhi|
|1556 CE||Humayun died and Akbar (his 12-year-old son) succeeded|
|1556 CE||Second Battle of Panipat fought between Hemu and Akbar’s forces (Hemu was defeated and killed)|
|1576 CE||Battle of Haldighati fought between Rana Pratap and Akbar (Akbar defeated Rana Pratap)|
|1600 CE||East India company is formed (in England) resultantly received exclusive trading rights with India|
|1605 CE||Akbar died and his son Jahangir succeeded|
|1628 CE||Jehangir died and his son Shah Jahan succeeded|
|1627 CE||Birth of Chatrapati Shivaji|
|1658 CE||Aurangzeb became the Mughal emperor|
|1666 CE||Shah Jahan died|
|1674 CE||Shivaji defeated Mughal emperor’s troops and established Maratha empire|
|1680 CE||Death of Shivaji|
|1707 CE||Death of Aurangzeb|
|1739 CE||Invasion of Nadir Shah|
|1756 CE||Black Hole of Calcutta incident|
|1760 CE||Battle at Wandewash (British troops defeated French)|
|1761 CE||Third Battle of Panipat fought between Maratha and Afghans (led by Ahmad Shah); Marathas were defeated|
|1767 CE||First Anglo-Mysore War (Haidar Ali of Mysore defeated the combined armies of the East India Company)|
|1772 CE||Birth of Ram Mohan Roy|
|1773 CE||Warren Hastings appointed as first Governor-General of India|
|1799 CE||Fourth Anglo-Mysore War (Tipu Sultan died in the war)|
|1806 CE||Vellore Mutiny|
|1814||Raja Ram Mohan Roy established “Atmiya Sabha”|
|1820 CE||Birth of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar|
|1824 CE||Birth of Dayananda Saraswati|
|1836 CE||Birth of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa|
|1853 CE||Started Postal Service in India|
|1853 CE||First Rail run between Bombay and Thane|
|1855 CE||Santhal rebellion|
|1856 CE||Hindu Widows’ Remarriage Act|
|1856 CE||Birth of Bal Gangadhar Tilak|
|1857 CE||Sepoy Mutiny|
|1861 CE||Birth of Rabindranath Tagore|
|1863 CE||Birth of Swami Vivekanand|
|1865 CE||Birth of Lala Lajpat Rai|
|1869 CE||Birth of Mahatma Gandhi|
|1873 CE||Satyashodhak Samaj was established by Jyotirao Phule|
|1875 CE||Arya Samaj was established|
|1877 CE||First time Delhi Durbar organized|
|1885 CE||Indian National Congress was founded|
|1899 CE||V.D.Savarkar organized ‘Mithra Mela’|
|1902 CE||Anushilan Samiti was organized|
|1905 CE||Partition of Bengal|
|1906 CE||Muslim League formed in Dacca|
|1907 CE||Congress Session at Surat (Congress divided as Moderate and Extremists)|
|1908 CE||Alipore bomb case|
|1909 CE||Morley-Minto Reforms|
|1911 CE||Cancellation of Partition of Bengal|
|1911 CE||British government moved capital city from Calcutta to Delhi|
|1912 CE||Delhi conspiracy case|
|1913 CE||Formation of Gadar Party|
|1914 CE||Hindu–German Conspiracy|
|1916 CE||Lucknow Pact|
|1917 CE||Champaran and Kheda Satyagraha|
|1919 CE||Jallianwala Bagh massacre|
|1919 CE||Montagu–Chelmsford Reforms|
|1919 CE||Rowlatt Act|
|1920 CE||Non-cooperation movement (Khilafat Movement)|
|1922 CE||Chauri Chaura incident|
|1924 CE||Formation of Hindustan Socialist Republican Association|
|1925 CE||Kakori conspiracy|
|1927 CE||Simon Commission|
|1928 CE||Bardoli Satyagraha|
|1929 CE||Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt bombed on Central Assembly|
|1929 CE||Resolution of Purna Swaraj|
|1930 CE||Salt Satyagraha (Dandi March)|
|1930 CE||First Round Table Conferences|
|1931 CE||Gandhi–Irwin Pact|
|1931 CE||Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev martyred|
|1931 CE||Second Round Table Conferences|
|1932 CE||Poona Pact|
|1932 CE||Communal Award|
|1932 CE||Third Round Table Conferences|
|1935 CE||Government of India Act 1935|
|1937 CE||Indian provincial elections|
|1939 CE||Subhas Chandra Bose established ‘All India Forward Bloc’|
|1940 CE||Lahore Resolution|
|1940 CE||August offer (1940)|
|1942 CE||Cripps’ Mission|
|1942 CE||Quit India Movement|
|1942 CE||Subhas Chandra Bose established Indian National Army|
|1944 CE||Subhas Chandra Bose named Mahatma Gandhi as the ‘Father of the Nation’|
|1945 CE||Wavell Plan (Simla Conference)|
|1946 CE||Royal Indian Navy Mutiny|
|1946 CE||Cabinet Mission|
|1946 CE||Great Calcutta Killings|
|1947 CE||Indian Independence Act 1947|
|1947 CE||Partition of India and Pakistan (both became independent nations)|