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Geography

Indus River(site of one of the worlds oldest civilizations).


Huge triangular peninsula of South Asia

3 DISTINCT LANDSCAPE
1. Hindustan- in the north lies on the slope of the himalayas.
2. Deccan Plateau- center is bounded by the Gnats (mountains) on the
east and west.
3. Tamil- south includes coastal plains on both sides.
BASIC FACTS
. Worlds largest democracy
. Worlds 7th largest industrial nation
. 2nd largest textile producer
. Largest exporter of jewelry
. Worlds largest population
. 14 languages & 831 dialects
. Hindi- language

PEOPLE

Majority are Aryan (Caucasian) origin; the rest- Mongoloid or


Negroid
Hinduism- dominant religion (85%); the rest- Muslim, Buddhist,
Sikh, Jain, Christian & Parsee.

EARLY HISTORY
3000 B.C - civilization begun (Indus Valley)
Mohendro-Daro & Harrapa- ruins of the ancient cities are found
Dravidians- early dark-skinned people. They built cities, temples &
artworks.
2000 B.C.- Aryans invaded Indus Valley.
- spoke Sanskrit, founded small kingdomsNorth India
- Vedic literature, Sanskrit epics, Hinduism
VEDIC LITERATURE
Reflects life and culture on ancient Aryans.
4 literary works:
-vedas, brahmanas, arankayas, upanishads

Vedas- Prayers, hymns, rituals & poetry.


Brahmanas- prose texts containing observations on religious rites.
Legends of exploits ancient kings & heroes.
Arankayas- books of instructions for the hermits in the forest.
Rules for the performance of religious ceremonies.
Upanishads- book of instruction given by a father of his son.

2 SANSKRIT EPICS:
Mahabarata- longest epic poem in the world; lofty philosophical
poem (Bhagayad Gita)
Ramayana- shorter (Valmiki)
HINDUISM- main religion. Begun as nature worship (animism). 300
million gods & goddesses.
BRAHMA- chief god, creator & world soul
GURU- spiritual leader
Karma & reincarnation

BUDDHISM- Siddharta Gautama (6th century B.C.)


Branches:
-Mahayana- greater vehicle, involves priests
-Hinayana- lesser, personal, direct worship
4

NOBLE TRUTHS:
Mans life is filled w/ suffering.
Mans suffering is caused by his selfish desires.
Man can end his suffering by conquering his selfish desires.
After suffering, man attains Nirvana ( perfect happiness)

1.) PERSIAN & GREEK INVASION


-end 6th century B.C.-Persian hordes of Darius conquered Aryan kingdoms.
-Purdah- aramaic writing (practice secluding women at home wearing veil
in public
-Zoroastrianism- religion of Parsees in Bombay
-326 B.C.- Alexander the Great (Macedonia)-invade india
-opened to european trade, indian unity
2.) MAURYA EMPIRE
-1st hindu empire
-Chandragupta Maurya- founder
-Asoka(grandson)- greatest Maurya emperor,made buddhism state
religion
-inns, orphanages, hospitals
-whole indian peninsula, except south india
3.) GUPTA EMPIRE (Golden Age)
-Chandragupta I (raja of Magadha)-founder
-North & central India
-middle 6th century A.D.- declined

of

4.) ISLAMIZATION
-711 A.D.- invasion
-14th century- islamic kings rule
-Islam
-destroyed hindu temples, persecuted Brahmans
HINDUSTANI-( Islam-Hinduism) indian subcontinent, new language
& literature
Akbar the Great- grandson of Babur(founder of Mogul Empire)
-south India, policy of reconcilation to Hindus
Shah Jahan- grandson of Akbar, Taj Mahal (Agara)- Mumtaz Mahal
(wife)
-worlds most beautiful tomb
5.) BRITISH IMPERIALIST

CONTRIBUTION
4 Religions- Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism
Philosophical system(ahead)- yoga
Panchatantra-1st fable
The Clay Cart(Sudakra) & Sakuntata (Kalidasa)- 1st dramatic
masterpieces
Zero & numerals in math
First arithmetic & Algebra

BRITAIN- improvements- modern India:


Centralized government,Customary laws
Transportation, communications ( railways, highways, telephones,
telegraph & postal system)
Peoples lives- printing, newspapers, modern farming methods,
irrigation systems, better sanitation & medical care.
Western style education-English language & western values &
practices
INDIAN NATIONALISM
Mohandas K. Gandhi- Father of Indian Independence (Mahatmagreat soul)
August 15,1947- Independence day by Lord Mountbatten- last
british viceroy