History of Chattisgarh from Vedic Age to Gupta Period
- In ancient times, Chattisgarh was known as Dakshina Kosala.
- Chattisgarh area also finds mention in Ramayana and Mahabharata.
- Between the sixth and twelfth centuries, Sharabhpurias, Panduavanshi, Somavanshi, Kalachuri and Nagavanshi rulers conquered Chattisgarh region.
- The Bastar region of Chhattisgarh was invaded by Rajendra Chola I and Kulothunga Chola I of the Chola dynasty in the 11th century.
- Vedic Age is the period of Aryans in India from 1500 – 500 BC.
- Most Probable Home of the Aryans is Central This theory is of Max Muller.
- The word Aryan exactly means high born, but it generally refers to language. The word ‘Veda’ is derived from the word ‘vid’ which means
- Vedas are the oldest literary works of mankind. Vedas are four in number, they are Rig Veda, Yajurveda, Samaveda and Atharva Veda. Rig veda is the oldest veda.
- Vedas are collectively known as Sruti while Vedangas are collectively known as Vedangas are six in number. They are,
- Siksha – Phonetic
- Kalpa – Ritual
- Vyakarana – Grammar
- Nirukta – Etymology
- Chhanda – Metrics and
- Jyotisha – Astronomy
- Rigveda:- There are 1028 hymns in Rigv It is divided into ten Mandalas (Chapters).
Rig Vedic Hymns sung by priests were called Hotris. Sruti’ literature belonged to the Sathyayuga, Smriti belonged to Treatayuga, Puranas belonged to Dwaparayuga and Thanthra literature belonged to Kaliyuga. Rigveda starts with the line ‘Agnimele Purohitam’ Famous Gayatri Mantra is contained in the Rigveda (It is believed to have composed by Vishwamitra)
- Yajurveda deals with sacrifices and rituals. Yajurvedic hymns are meant to be sung by priests called ‘Adhavaryu’. Yajurveda is derived into two: SuklaYajurveda (White Yajurveda) and Krishna Yajur Veda (Black Yajurveda)
- Sama Veda deals with Music. Sama Vedic hymns are meant to be sung by priests called Udgatri.
- Atharva veda is a collection of spells and incantations. Ayurveda is a part of Atharva Veda, which deals with medicine. The saying, ‘‘War begins in the minds of men’’ is from Atharva Veda.
- The 10th Mandala of Rigveda contain the Purusha Sukta hymn which tells about the origin of caste system.
- Upanishads are 108 in number. Upanishads are philosophical works. Upanishads are known as the Jnanakantas of The words ‘Sathyameva Jayate’ have been taken from ‘Mundaka Upanishad’
- Brahdaranya Upanishad was the first to give the doctrine of Transmigration of Soul and Karma.
- Puranas are the part of Smriti literature. They are 18 in number 6 vishnupuranas, 6 sivapuranas and 6 Brahmapuranas. Bhagvata purana is divided into 18 skandas The 10th skanda mentions about the childhood of Sri Krishna.
- Skanda purana is considered as the largest Brahmapurana is also known as Adipurana. Adhyatma Ramayana is included in the Brahmantapurana.
- Cattle was the chief measure of wealth of the vedic Rigvedic tribe was referred to as Jana . Many clans (vis) formed a tribe. The basic unit of society was kula or the family and Kulapa was the head of the family. ‘Visah’ was a cluster of gramas.
- Important tribal assemblies of the Rig Vedic period were Sabha, Samiti, Vidhata and Gana. The Aghanya mentioned in many passages of Rigveda applies to cows.
- The Rigvedic religion was primitive animism. Indra was the greatest God of Aryans and Agni occupied second position. Varuna was God of water and Yama was the Lord of dead. Savitri was a solar diety to whom the famous Gayatri Mantra is attributed to.
- Prithvi was Earth Godess. The battle of ten kings mentioned in the Rig Veda
was fought on the division of water of river Ravi. It was fought on the banks of River Ravi (Purushni). Indra was known as Purandara.
- The people called Panis, during the Vedic period were cattle breeders.
- The Vedic God in charge of truth and moral order was Varuna. Indra Played the role of the Warlord. He is also considered as the rain god.
- The two priests who played a major part during the Rig Vedic period were Vasishta and Visvamitra.
Later Vedic Period
- The period assigned to Later Vedic Phase is 1000 BC to 600 BC.
- Later Vedic people used particular type of pottery called Painted Grey Ware (PGW)
- The Later Vedic Aryans were familiar with two seas, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean.
- Rice became the staple diet of Indian people during the Later Vedic Period.
- The term ‘Rashtra’ which indicates territory first appeared in the later vedic period.
- Mention of the word ‘Sudras’ – Rigveda (10th Mandala). Mention of the ‘Gotra’ is found in the Atharvaveda.
- Origin of Kingship is found in Aitareya
- ‘Soma’ was an intoxicating drink mentioned in the 9th Mandala of the Rig Veda.
- Mention of the word Varna is found in Rigveda. The fourfold division of the society is found in the 10th Mandala of the Rigveda.
- Mention about the Varnashranadhrama is found in the Jabla Upanishad. The Doctrine of Trimurti is found in the Maitrayani Upanishad.
- Mention about the origin of Universe is found in the Rig Veda (10th Mandala).
- Purohita Senani and Vrajapati were the important functionaries who assisted the king in dayto- day administration.
- The officer who enjoyed authority over the pasture land was called Vrajapati. The king’s power increased during the Later Vedic
- First law giver of ancient India was Manu. He wrote ‘Manusmrithi’. Manusmrithi was translated into English by William
- Shyma Shastri translated Arthasastra into English
- Bali was a tax, which the king used to collect from the people of the Vedic period.
- Aryans used iron for the first time India. Horse, Iron, Sugarcane, Pulses etc reached India by the coming of Aryans.
- The God who occupied supreme position in the Later Vedic Period was Prajapati.
- Rudra was regarded as preserver and protector of the people.
- The most important functionary who assisted the Vedic king was Purohita.
- Manarchy was the normal form of Government in the vedic period.
- In the 6th century BC there originated 16 Mahajanapadas in North India
- Four prominent royal dynasties stand out prominently out of these Janapadas. They were Haryankas of Magadha, the Ikshvakus of Kosala, the Pauravas of Vatsa and the Pradyotas of Avanti.
- Haryanka is the name of a new dynasty founded in Magadha by Bimbisara.
- Bimbisara founded the dynasty by defeating the Bimbisara was a contemporary of Buddha.
- Magadha became a supreme power in North India under Ajatasatru. So Ajatasatru is considered as the founder of Magadhan Supremacy. Pataliputra and Rajagriha were the capitals of Magadhan kingdom.
- Magadha falls in the Patna region of Bihar.
- Haryankas were overthrown by Sisunaga and he founded the Sisunaga dynasty there. Kalasoka the son and successor of Sisunaga was succeeded by Mahapadma Nanda and he founded the Nanda dynasty.
- Ajatasatru’s successor Udayin was the founder of the city of Pataliputra.
- The Achaemenian king of Persia, Darius (522 – 486 BC) captured some territories the east of Sindhu in 518 BC.
- The Persian domination over Indian territory lasted upto 330 BC.
- Xerxes was the persian ruler who enlisted Indians in his army.
- The Kharoshti script was brought to India by
- Alexander was born in 356 BC as the son of King Philip II of Mascedonia.
- Epirus or Olympias was Alexanders mother. Aristotle was Alexander’s teacher. He became the king in 336 BC He defeated the Persian ruler Darius III.
- Alexander founded the city of Alexandria in Egypt
- In 326 BC Alexander defeated Porus (Purushothama) the ruler of Punjab and Captured Taxila through the battle of Hydaspes on the banks of river Jhelum.
- Ambhi the ruler of Taxila invited Alexander to India. Alexander died of Malaria at the age of 33 in 323 BC while he was in Babylon.
- Alexander was cremated at Alexandria. Alexander was known as Shehansha in Persia and Sikhandar-I-Asam in Indo-Pak region.
- The Last general of Alexander in India was Alexander’s first General in India was Selucus Nikator. Alexander IV succeeded Alexander as the Masedonian King.
- Alexander’s teacher Aristotle is considered as the father of Politics, Biology, Taxonomy and the Science of Logic.
Mauryan Empire (321-185 BC)
Major sources for the study of Mauryan Empire are the Arthasastra of Kautilya and Indika of Megasthenes.
- Chandragupta Maurya was the founder of Mauryan Empire. Details about his early life are not available He is believed to have belonged to Moriya Clan,hence got the name Maurya. It is also said that his mother was Mura a women of lower birth hence got the name Maurya. In some texts he is referred to as Vrishala and
- He conspired with Chanakya (Kautilya or Vishnugupta) the minister of Nanda to overthrew the last Nanda ruler DhanaNanda.
- Chandragupta Maurya ascended the throne in BC 321. He fought against Selucus in 305 BC. Selucus surrendered before him and sent an ambassador, Megasthenese to the court of Chandragupta Maurya.
- Chandragupta’s Governor Pushygupta constructed the famous Sudarshana lake. ChandraGupta Maurya was converted to Jainism, abdicated the throne in favour of his son Bindusara, passed his last days at Sravanabelagola (Near Mysore) where he died in 298 BC.
- Chandragupa Maurya was responsible for the political unification of North India for the first time.
- Bindusara was a follower of Ajivika sect. Bindusara was known as Amitragatha.
Ashoka (273-232 BC)
- Ashoka ascended the throne in 273BC and ruled upto 232 BC. He was known as ‘Devanampriya priyadarsi the beautiful one who was the beloved of Gods.
- Maski and Gujara Edicts of Ashoka gave the name Devanampriya Priyadarsi. Buddhist tradition says Ashoka killed 99 of his brothers to capture the throne.
- Ashoka was the first king in Indian history who had left his records engraved on stones. Ashokan inscriptions were written in Kharoshti and Brahmi scripts.
- Ashoka fought the Kalinga war in 261 BC Kalinga is in modern Orissa. Ashokan inscriptions were deciphered by James
- After the battle of Kalinga Ashoka became a Buddhist, being shocked by the horrors of the war.
- Ashoka was initiated to Buddhism by Upagupta or Nigrodha a disciple of Buddha.
- For the propagation of Buddhism Ashoka started the institution of Dharmamahamatras.
- The IV Major Rock Edict of Ashoka tells about the practice of Dharma The Major Rock Edict XII of Ahoka deals with the conquest of Kalinga.
- Ashoka held the third Buddhist council at his capital Pataliputra in 250BC under the presidentship of Moggaliputa Tissa.
- He sent his son and daughter to Sri Lanka for the spread of Buddhism (Mahendra and Sanghamitra)
- Ashoka spread Buddhism to SriLanka and Nepal. He is known as the Constantine of Buddhism. In his Kalinga Edict he mentions ‘‘All man are as my children’’.
- Ceylones ruler Devanmpriya Tissa was Ashoka’s first convert to Buddhism.
- Ashoka ruled for 40 years and died in 232 BC.
- The emblem of the Indian Republic has been adopted from the four lion capital of one of Ashokas pillars which is located in Saranath. Rock-cut architecture in India made a beginning during Ashoka’s reign.
- Brihadratha the last Mauryan ruler was killed by Pushyamitra Sunga who founded the Sunga Dynasty in 185 BC.
- Megasthenese the first foreign traveller to India mentions about the existence of seven castes in India during the Mauryan period.
- Stanika in Mauryan administration refers to tax
Post Mauryan Period
Sunga Dynasty (185-71 BC)
- Sunga Dynasty was founded by Pushyamitra Sunga the commander-in-chief of last Mauryan king, Brihadratha.
- Kalidasa’s drama Malavikagnimitram is about the love story of Pushyamitra’s son Agnimitra and Malavika.
- Last ling of sunga dynasty was Devabhuti.
Kanva Dynasty (72 BC – 27 BC)
- Kanva dynasty was founded by Vasudeva Kanva in 72 BC after defeating the last Sunga ruler Devabhuti.
- This dynasty ruled for a period of 45 years.
- Vasudeva, Bhumimitra, Narayana and Susuman were the rulers of Kanva dynasty.
Cheta (Cheti) Dynasty of Kalinga
- The Cheti Dynasty was believed to have founded by Maha Meghavahana
- The Hatigumbha inscription of Kharavela, of the Kalinga ruler gives details about the Chedis of Kalinga.
- Kharavela was a follower of Jainism.
Satavahanas (235 BC – 100BC)
- Satavahanas were the most powerful ruling dynasty after the Mauryas. Satavahanas were also known as Andhras.
- Satavahanas were the Indian rulers who prefixed their mother’s name along with their names. Most important Satavahana ruler was Gautamiputra Satakarni.
- Satavahanas were Brahmanas. Nagarjuna Konda and Amaravati in Andhrapradesh became important seats of Buddhist culture under the Satavahanas.
- The two common structures of Satavahanas were the temple called Chaitya and the monastery called Vihara.
- Satavahanas mostly issued lead coins. The official language of the Satavahanas was Prakrit
- First to invade India were the Greeks who were called Indo-Greeks.
- The most famous Indo-Greek ruler was Menander with his Capital at Sakala in Punjab (Modern Sialkot)
- The Indo-Greeks were the first to issue gold coins in India.
- The introduction of Hellenistic art features into India were also the contribution of Indo-Greek rule.
- Menander was converted into a Buddhist by Buddhist monk Nagasena (Nagarjuna)
- Indo-Greeks were the first to issue coins bearing the figure of kings.
- Demitrius, the king of Bacteria invaded India about 190BC. He is considered as Second
- Alexander (But the Indian ruler who accepted the name second Alexander (Sikandar-i-sani) was Alauddin Khilji)
- Indo-Greeks were the first to introduce military governorship in India.
The Parthians (19 – 45 AD)
- Parthians also known as Pahalavas were Iranian Gondophernes was the greatest of the Parthian rulers.
- Thomas is said to have came to India for the propagation of Christianity during the period of Gondophernes.
The Sakas (90 BC – Ist AD)
- Sakas were also known as Scythians. The first Saka king in India was Maues or Moga who established Saka power in Gandhara.
- The most famous of the Saka rulers in Western India was Rudra Daman I. His achievements are highlighted in his Junagarh inscription written in 150 AD.
- Junagarh inscription of Rudradaman was the first inscription in Sanskrit.
- Ujjayini was the capital of Rudradaman.
- Kushans are also known as Yuch-chis or Kushans came to India from North Central Asia. First great Kushana king was Kujala Kadphises or Kadphises I. The most famous Kushana ruler was Kanishka.
- He became the ruler in 78 AD and started Saka Era in 78 AD.
- The Capital of Kanishka was Peshawar or Purushapura.
- Kanishka convened the fourth Buddhist council in Kashmir.
Gupta Empire (320 – 540 AD)
- Gupta Empire was founded by Sri Gupta. Ghatotkacha was the second ruler.
- Chandra Gupta I was the real founder of the Gupta He came to the throne in 320 AD. He was the first ruler to adopt the title Maharajadhiraja. He laid the foundation of Gupta Era on 26 February 320 AD.
- Samudra Gupta succeeded Chandragupta I in 335 The Allahabad Pillar inscription composed by Harisena contains information about Samudragupta’s conquests. Allahabad Pillar inscription is also known as ‘Prayagaprasasti’.
- Samudra Gupta is also known as ‘Linchchavi Dauhitra’’. (son of the daughter Kumaradevi of Lichchavis) Samudra Gupta is described as ‘Indian Napoleon’ by V.A. Smith.
- Samudra Gupta composed ‘‘Vahukabita’’ and had the title ‘‘Kaviraja’. Sanskrit was the court language of the Guptas. India became ‘‘Greater India’’ under Samudra Samudra Gupta was an accomplished Veena player.
- Chandragupta II the greatest of Gupta rulers was popularly known as Vikramaditya. He adopted the title ‘Sakari’ after his victory over Rudradaman II of Gujarat.
- Fa hein, the Chinese traveller, visited India during his period.
- The exploits of Chandragupta II are glorified in an iron pillar inscription fixed near Qutub Minar. Chandragupta II adopted the title Vikramaditya as a mark of his victory over the Sakakshatraps.
- ‘Nine gems’ or ‘Navratnas’ was a famous Scholastic Assembly in the court of Chandragupta II. The members in the Ninegems were – Kalidasa, Kadakarbhara, Kshapanaka, Varahmihira, Vararuchi, Vethalabhatta, Dhanvantari, Ammarasimha, Sanku.
- Chandragupta II was succeeded by his son Kumaragupta I.
- Skandagupta Vikramaditya was the last great ruler of Gupta Empire. Skandagupta Vikramaditya was the only hero in Asia and Europe who defeated the Hunas in their glorious period.
- Vishnu Gupta was the last ruler who died in 570
- Mantriparishad assisted the king in administration. Most important Industry of the Gupta period was
- Period of the Gupta is compared to ‘Periclean Age of Greece’, ‘Augustan Age of Rome’ and ‘Elzabethan Age of England’. Period of the Guptas is considered as the Golden Age in the history of India.
- Earlier Guptas had their capital at Prayag in Allahabad, later it was shifted to Ujjain by Chandragupta II. The most important officers in the Gupta empire were Kumaramatyas.
- The royal seal of the Guptas bore the emblem of
- Aryabhatta was the first to treat Mathematics as a separate subject. He wrote Aryabhattiyam. He belonged to the Gupta period. Aryabhatta was the first to use Decimal System.
- Panchsidhanta, Brihat Jataka, Laghu Jataka and Brihat Samhita are the works of Varahamihira.
- The best specimen of the Gupta paintings are seen at Ajanta caves and the Bhaga caves.
- The Gupta period marked the beginning of Indian temple architecture.
- Guptas issued large number of gold coins in India. Guptas largely patronised art and architecture.
- Guptas patronised the Gandhara school of art, Madhura School of Art and the Andhra School of Art.
- The Fresco paintings in the Ajanta caves are examples of the art of the Guptas.
- The chief source of income was land revenue.
- The position of women declined during the Gupta period.
- A renowned physician of the Gupta period was Vaghbhatta
- Nalanda and Taxila were the two universities of this period.
- Kalidasa is generally called ‘‘Indian Shakespeare’ and the ‘Prince of Indian Poets’.
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