Important Facts of Indian History for IES Part 1

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History of Ancient India

  • The Harappan Fort in the shape of a parallel square is 460 yards in length (north-south) 215 yards in breadth (east-west) and 15-17 yards in height.

  • The script of Indus civilization was pictorial in which there were more than 600 picture-letters and 60 original letters.

  • The excavations of Chanhudaro were carried out in 1925 under the leadership of Earnest M’ckay. This town had no fort.

  • Naal, Daburkot, Rakhi Garhi, Banawali, Rangpur, Lothal, Des Morasi, Kulli, Rana Ghundai, Anjira, Gumla, Amri, Ghundai, Mundigak, Diplabaga, Sahar-i-Sokhta, Bampur and Queta etc. are famous historical sites where the remains of Indus civilization and pre Indus civilization have been excavated.

  • Daburkot, Periano, Ghundai, KulIi, Mehi, Chanhudaro, Amri, Lohumjodaro, Alimurad, Ropar, Rangpur, Sutkegender are the prominent (spots) places of Indus Valley civilization.

  • The excavations of Kalibangan, a historical place in Rajasthan began in 1961 under the direction of B. K. Thapar and B. B. LaI. From the lower layer of the excavation, the remains of pre Indus civilization and from the upper layer of the Indus civilization are discernible. The fortress and the city both were surrounded with walls.

  • The excavations at Rangpur—an Indus site in Gujarat were carried out in 1953-54 under the leadership of Ranganath Rao. Forts of raw bricks, drainage, terracotta utensils, weights and slabs of stone have been found but the idol of mother Goddess (Marudevi) and coins have not been found.

  • Lothal was situated at that time near the ocean. In excavations the remains of a dockyard have been found which testify to the trade relations of Indus people with western Asia.

  • In the district of Kutchh in Gujarat state, 12 kms north-east of Adesar is situated Surkotada which was explored and excavated in 1964 under the guidance of Jagatpati Joshi.

  • In the excavation of Indus civilization, a very big building has been explored. It is 242 ft long and 112 ft broad. The walls are 5 ft thick.

  • Some figurines on tables have been found in Indus Civilization in the centre of which is a round shaped Sun and around it are the pictures of 6 gods arranged in a way that they appear as if they are the Sun beams. This testifies to the worship of Sun in the period.

  • The proof of the existence of a Man-like being are 1 crore to 20 lacs years old.

  • In the Indian population, there are four basic racial sub-difference. These are Negritos, Astro Australians, Kakeshisi and Mongoloids.

  • In India, skeletons (human body in bones-kankal) have been found in Sarai Nahar Rai near Allahabad, Bataikhor and Lekhania. High in length, flat nose and broad mouth are their characteristics. These belong to Mesolithic age.

  • The pre stone civilisation came to be known in the region of river Sohan a subsidiary of Sindhu. Hence it is called Sohan civilization. The Vatikapoom in the form of (Gandasa) axe and Khandak were its main implements.

  • In Harappan culture, the worship of Earth as goddess was in vogue. This is indicated by the idol of a woman with a plant growing out of her womb.

  • Along with the Elephants, Rhinoceros, Buffalos, Lions and Deers, the picture of Yogi engraved on a seal (Muhar) suggests the worship of Shiva in Harappan civilization. This god had three heads and he sat with crossed legs.

  • The Talismans obtained in large numbers indicate that the people of Harappan culture believed in witchcraft or the dead souls. These talismans were made of bronze and copper in the form of plate.

  • In Harappan culture the weight (for measuring) were 16 or of its multiplied numbers.

  • The dogs and cats were the domesticated animals and their foot prints confirm this fact.

  • The remains of the horses have been found at Surkotada. The existence of the horse is not known from the upper layer of Mohenjo-Daro excavation. The terracotta small figurines provide knowledge about it.

  • The people of Lothal used rice in 1800 B.C.

  • As Sindh was one of the oldest region for cultivating cotton, the Greeks named it as Sedon.

  • In Harappan culture, silver was obtained from Afghanistan, Iran, South India, Arabia and Baluchistan. Gold was imported from Afghanistan and Persia.

  • The stone Lajward was brought from Badakshan, Feroza was brought from Iran. Jayumani was brought from Maharashtra, Moonga and Redstone were brought from Saurashtra and Western India and the precious greenstone (Panna) was brought from Central Asia.

  • The Ahar culture (Rajasthan) belonged to the Copper age. The houses were built of stone and a mixture of lime and soil. Paddy was cultivated and Metal Work in Bronze were in vogue. All these were the characteristics of this culture which existed about 2000 B.C.

  • The remains of Malwa stone and bronze culture have been found in Navdatoli where the houses were built of mud, bamboo and dry grass in a square and round shape. The terracotta utensils and agricultural products of wheat, oil seeds, pulses (Masur) and green and black gram are the characteristics of this culture.

  • The Rishis (Sages) like Gritsamad, Vishwa Mitra, Bhardwaj, Atria and Vashishta composed the Suktas or the Vedic Mantras.

  • The prominent female sages were Lop mudra, Ghose, Shachi and Poulomi.

  • Sam Ved is divided into three branches—(1) Kouthum, (2) Ranayaniya, (3) Jaminiya.

  • Prominent among the Ayurvedacharyas were Acharya Aswini Kumar, Dhanvantari, Banabhatt, Sushrut, Madhav, Jeevan and Lolimbaraja etc.

  • Ayur Ved is an ‘Upaved’ of Rig Ved, Dhanur Ved ¡s ‘Upaved’ of Yajur Ved, Gandharva Ved is the ‘Upaved’ of Sam Ved and Shilpa Ved is the ‘Upaved’ of Atharva Ved.

  • Rig Ved has two Brahmans—(1) Aitereya, (2) Kaushitaki.

  • Krishna Yajur Ved has the Brahman—Taitteriya and Shukla Yajur Ved has the Shatpath Brahman.

  • The Brahmans of Sam Ved are Tandav, Panch Vish, Sadvish and Chhandogya.

  • The Aranyakas deal with life, death and other serious themes. These are written and studied in loneliness of the forests.

  • Aitereya and Kaushitaki are the Aranyakas of Rig Ved. The author of Aitereya was Mahidas Aitereya.

  • Taitteriya Aranyaka belongs to Krishna Yajur Veda.

  • Sam Ved and Atharva Ved have no Aranyakas.

  • Prominent among the Upanishads are Ish, Ken, Kath, Prashn, Mundak, Mandukya, Taitteriya, Aitereya, Chhandogya, Vrihadaranyak, Shwetashwara Kaushitaki and Maha Narayana.

  • During the Rigveda period Nishk was an ornament for the neck; Karnashobhan was an ornament for the ear and Kumbh was the ornament for the head.

  • In the Rigvedic age, the Aryans domesticated the cow, the buffalo, goat (ajaa), horse, elephant and camel etc.

  • Bheeshaj was the person who treated the sick people.