Historical Chronology of Bharat

As you know it

Contributor:Alok Vijay (on soc.culture.indian)
Note: With the interest in Indian history on this group, let me post the Indian history as I know of ... It is mostly from the Hindustan Year Book but there are some personal touches added in some places especially PART V). Most of it was written way back in 1990 and posted on SCI. Sections for 1991-94 are added today.

Part I - Year 3200 B.C. - 712 A.D.

Part II - Year 712 A.D. - 1605 A.D.

Part III - Year 1612 A.D. - 1858 A.D.

Part IV - Year 1858 A.D. - 1950 A.D.

Part V - Year 1950 A.D. - 1994 A.D.

Indian Chronology (Part I)

(Source: Hindustan Year-Book)

(Indus civilization, Birth and Rise of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Islam, Invasions of Alexander and Hun)


3200-2000 The traditionally accepted date of the Indus Valley Civilization. The civilization flourished between 2350-1750.
1200-1000 Rigveda compiled
1000-500 Age of the Ramayana, the Mahabharata or the Bhagwad Gita.
623-543 Traditional years of birth and death of the Buddha (Sidhartha). Buddhism founded in India (Sanchi, Bihar)
540-468 Traditional years of birth and death of Mahavira (Founded Jainism)
377 Buddhist Council at Vaisali
326 Invasion of India by Alexander
324 Maurya Empire founded by Chandragupta
273-232 Reign of Asoka : Asoka spreads message of Buddhism to China and towards East.
190 Greek Kingdoms of N.W. India.
187 End of the Maurya dynasty
187-75 Rule of the Sungas
58 Beginning of Vikram Era.

A.D. (Death of Jesus Christ)

64-225 Kushan dynasty in N.W. India; South Indian Kingdoms of Cholas, Cheras and Pandavas.
78 Accession of Kanishka. Beginning of Saka Era.
320-475 Gupta dynasty; Ajanta Cave frescoes and Ellora Cave carvings
335-376 Reign of Samudra Gupta.
376-414 Reign of Chandragupta II (Vikramaditya).
405-11 Fa-Hien from China travels India.
454 First Hun invasion.
480-90 Fall of Gupta Empire.
606-647 Reign of Harshavardhana.
630-644 Another Chinese Hiuen Tsang travels India.
600-700 Birth and Rise of Islam in the Middle East and Jerusalem area. Followers instructed to spread Islam around the world.
712 Arab conquest of Sind by Mohammed bin Qasim.

Indian Chronology (Part II)

(Period of Islamic invasions, North India enslaved by 1200 A.D., Entire India enslaved by 1526 A.D., Foundation of Sikhism, Defiance against Mughal rule by Rajput King Rana Pratap, East India Co. founded in India)

712 Arab conquest of Sind by Mohammed bin Qasim.
730 Accession of Yasovarman of Kanyakubja
735 First Parsi settlement
750-1202 Palas & Senas of Bengal
820 Death of Sankaracharya
800-900 Kashmir's Hindu/Budhist culture destroyed. Temples buried.
960-1200 Chandellas of Bundelkhand
1000-1026 Islamic invasion of India by Mahmud of Ghazni.
1050 Buddhist missions to Tibet
1191 Invasion of Muhammad of Ghur
1192 Defeat and Death of Prithviraj, the last Rajput King of Delhi
1206-1290 Establishment of Muslim rule in North India; Reign of Slave Kings
1221 First Mongol invasion by Chengiz Khan.
1228 Conquest of Assam by the Ahoms.
1230 Vijaynagar Kingdom founded in the South.
1290-1316 Reign of the Khalifis at Delhi
1320-1412 Reigh of Tughlak Sultans of Delhi
1347 Bahmani Kingdom of Deccan founded in the South.
1398 Invasion of Timur.
1436-1533 Life of Sri Chatanya, Saint of Bengal.
1451-1526 Reign of Lodi Sultans of Delhi.
1469-1545 Birth and Hindu reformist teachings of Guru Nanak. Exiled by Slave Hindu King. Foundation of Sikhism.
1494 Foundation of Agra by Sikander Lodi.
1498 Vasco da Gama (Portugese) discovered India by sea route & reached Calicut.
1510 Portugese invasions. Portugese captured Goa.
1526 First Battle of Panipat, Establishment of Mughal Empire by Babar. Empire include many Southern kingdoms.
1539-45 Reign of Sher Shah.
1556-1605 Second Battle of Panipat (1556), Reign of Akbar
1556-1597 Rajput King Rana Pratap defies Akbar and retains his Kingdom
1597 Death of Rana Pratap.
1600 East India Co. founded by Royal Charter.
1605 Death of Akbar

Indian Chronology (Part III)

(Moghul Decline, British arrive in India, Building of the Taj Mahal, Terror of Aurangzeb, Shivaji outsmarts Mughuls, Courageous Sikh resistance to Islamic terror and oppression, Nadir Shah sacked North West India, East India Co. takes over North East India, Reforms in Hindu practices, English introduced as medium of instruction in 1835, Indian Mutiny of 1857, India governed by British Crown in 1858)

1612 1st English factory set up at Surat.
1627 Birth of Shivaji
1627-57 Reign of Shah Jahan.
1644 Farman permitting the English to trade in Bengal.
1658-1707 Reign of Aurangzeb.
1668 1st French factory set up at Surat.
1675 Sikh resistance to Moghuls intensifies. Execution of Guru Teg Bahdur, 9th Sikh Guru, by Aurangzeb.
1680 E.I. Company established trading center at Calcutta.
1686-87 Fall of the Kingdoms of Bijapur and Golconda.
1698 The E.I. Co. obtained Zamindari of three villages of Sutanati, Kalikata, and Gobindpur - nucleus of Calcutta.
1707 Death of Aurangzeb, the "terrorist" Mughul King.
1734 Nadir Shah sacked North India/Delhi.
1757 Battle of Plassey
1761 Third Battle of Paniput.
1764 Battle of Buxar.
1765 Grant of Dewani of Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa to E.I. Co. by Mughal Emperor Shah Alam.
1772 Warren Hastings appointed first Governal-General of British India.
1775 Execution of Nanda Kumar.
1781 First Newspaper, Hickey's Calcutta Gazette in India.
1784 Pitt's India Bill passed by the British Parliament.
1786-90 Reforms of Cornwallis.
1790 Third Mysore war.
1792-1839 Ranjit Singh succeeds his father as leader of a Sikh Misl. Had lavish life style and Harems, Hindu's eldest son raised as Sikh. Tenth Guru Govind Singh's teachings, Sikhs brave Islamic terror and oppression.
1793 Permanent settlement of Bengal.
1799 Death of Tipu Sultan.
1828-35 Lord Bentinck as Governor-General.
1829 Brahmo Samaj founded by Raja Rammohan Roy; Prohibition of Sati.
1835 Introduction of English as medium of instruction.
1839 Death of Ranjit Singh.
1839-42 Anglo-Afghan War.
1854 First postage stamp introduced.
1856 Annexation of Oudh by the British; Introduction of Hindu widow marriage.
1857 Indian Mutiny. Tantaya Tope, Jhansi Rani Lakshmi Bai bravely fight the British army but lose the 'freedom movement'. British reassert.
1858 Transfer of India from E.I. Co. to British Crown.

Indian Chronology (Part IV)

(British Rule, Birth of Rabindranath Tagore, M.K. Gandhi, Arya Samaj Founded by Swami Dayanand Sarsawati, Birth of Subhas Chandra Bose, Swami Vivekanand travels to America, Indian National Congress founded, Muslim League founded, British reforms, Gandhi returns to India from South Africa, Gandhi's quest for freedom and non-cooperation movement, Jalianwalabagh massacre by British at Amritsar, Sikhs join the freedom struggle against British, World War I, Burma separated from India, Provincial autonomy granted, Congress ministries in most provinces, World war II, Bose's I.N.A. movement, Cripps mission, Quit India movement. India partitioned, Freedom at midnight, Kashmir attacked by Afghan/Pakistan, Gandhi's assasination, India becomes Republic)

1858-1947 Transfer of India from E.I. Co. to British Crown in 1857. Period of growth of technology and socio-religious reforms but accompanied with arrogant racism and suppression of native Indian people's rights, Hard labor and widespread economic exploitation.
1861 Birth of Rabindranath Tagore
1869 Birth of Mahatama (Mohandas Karamchand) Gandhi (2nd October).
1874 Great Famine of Bengal
1875 Arya Samaj founded by Swami Dayanand Saraswati.
1885 Indian National Congress founded in Bombay.
1892 Swami Vivekanand travels to America to attend First World Religious Conference. Enlightens attendies about Hinduism.
1897 Birth of Subhash Chandra Bose (23rd Jan).
1905 Partition of Bengal. Anti-Partition Movement begins.
1906 Foundation of the Muslim League
1907 Congress split between extremists and moderates.
1909 Morley-Minto Reforms.
1911 Partition of Bengal revoked. First inland airmail flight.
1913 Nobel Prize for Rabindranath Tagore.
1914 Gandhi returns to India from South Africa; Beginning of World War I
1918 Montague-Chelmsford Reforms; Jalianwalabagh massacre at Amritsar by British (13 April); Sikhs join Indian freedom struggle; Third Afghan war. World War I ends.
1920-22 Non-cooperation Movement; Khilafat Movement.
1930 Civil Disobedience Movement started by Congress
1931 1st Round Table Conference and Gandhi-Irwin pact.
1932 Second Civil Disobedience Movement.
1935 Government of India Act passed.
1937 Inauguration of Provincial Autonomy; Congress Ministries in most provinces; Burma separated from India (1st April).
1939 Second World War begins, Resignation of Congress Ministries in 9 provinces.
1941 Subhash Chandra Bose escapes from India to organize the I.N.A. Movement.
1942 Cripps' Mission; 'Quit India' Movement started by Gandhi. 1943 - Bengal Famines.
1946 Cabinet Mission's plan; Interim Government with J.L. Nehru as Prime Minister and widespread communal riots.
1947 Partition of India; India becomes independent (15 August); Home Minister Vallabh Bhai Patel consolidates Indian states. Jawahar Lal Nehru is the first Prime Minister. Kashmir attacked by Afghans/Pakistan. Raja Hari Singh signs Kashmir documents to make it a part of India.
1948 Mahatama Gandhi contends India owed Pakistan 55 million rupees. Volunteers to travel to Pakistan to seek reconciliation but is assasinated by Nathuram Godse (Jan 30). UN resolutions on Kashmir.
1949 India's new constitution passed into law (26 Nov)
1950 India becomes a Republic (26 Jan). Kashmir given special status.
Indian History (Part V) (Source: Hindustan Year Book, Personal Recollections)

Indian Chronology (Part V)

(Independent India, Democracy and Elections, Economic Development- Five Year Plans, Indo-China war of 1962, Indo-Pakistan wars of 1965 and 1971, India's scientific & technological achievements, Jai Prakash Narain movement, Emergency Period of 1975-77, Growth of Indian opposition parties, Assam Unrest, Punjab/Sikh Unrest, Assasination of Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi Leads, Indo Sri-Lanka Accord, Indias High Technology Ventures, Rise in Corruption, Decline of Rajiv Gandhi, India develops an alternative governing coalition, Kashmir Unrest, V.P. Singh, Rajiv Gandhi Assasinated, Rao leads)

1950 India becomes a Democratic, Socialistic Republic with its own Constitution (Jan 26).
1951 First Five-Year Plan launched.
1952 First General Election
1953 Mt. Everest conquered for the first time by Tenzing & Hillary.
1954 French Settlements in India merged to India; Doctrine of Panch Shila (Five principles of non-interference) accepted basis for Indo-Chinese relations. US supports Pakistan while USSR supports India on issues like Kashmir.
1956 Indian States reorganized on linguistic basis; 2nd Five-Year Plan launched.
1957 Second General Elections held.
1958 Metric System of weights and measures introduced.
1960 Bombay and Sourashtra regions converted into Maharashtra and Gujarat.
1961 Portugese surrender. Goa again becomes part of India.
1962 Communist China attacked India (Oct.); Third General Elections.
1963 Rocket centre of Thumba launched its first rocket.
1964 Jawahar Lal Nehru dies of heart attack (May 27), Lal Bahadur Shastri becomes Prime Minister (June 9).
1965 Mt. Everest conquered by Indians (May 20); Indo-Pak undeclared war (August 5 - September 22). India wins territories of Pakistan. Reaches very close to Lahore. Pakistan wins some parts of Kashmir.
1966 USSR mediates the talk between India and Pakistan. POWs and territories won to be returned to each other. Indian army viewed it as an unjust settlement. Lal Bahadur Shastri signs such accord and dies (Jan 11) suddenly in Tashkent, USSR after signing the accord. His death remained a mystery - Whether it was heart attack or an act of murder. Indians decide to negotiate on their own in future.
1966 Indira Gandhi becomes Prime Minister (24 Jan). Punjab unrest starts. Punjab partitioned again into Punjabi speaking Punjab and Hindi speaking Haryana.
1967 Fourth General Election held.
1968 Congress Party splits - Mrs Indira Gandhi expelled from the Congress. 1970 - Creation of Meghalaya State.
1971 Himachal pradesh becomes a State (2nd April): Mid-term Lok Sabha Elections (March), Nixon-Indira Gandhi meetings in US do not go well. Indira Gandhi pushes for and Indo-Soviet Friendship treaty (Aug 9) is signed; Indo-Pak war takes place (Dec 3-16). Bangladesh created.
1972 Fifth General Election; New States of Tripura and Manipur formed. Mutually negotiated Simla agreement signed between India and Pakistan to resolve differences between them without use of force.
1973 Indian dacoit gangs surrender under Jai Prakash Narayan's efforts. JP starts movement for social equality. It slowly becomes a movement for greater socialism. Change of priorities from Science & Technology to more socialistic values is suggested.
1974 Indira Gandhi continues to push Science & Technology. India conducts underground nuclear explosion (May 18). Seen as deterrent to China.
1975 Sikkim becomes a State of India (April); First Indian satellite launched; Sanjay Gandhi pushes a very aggressive and ambitious family planning program. Excesses are committed with the villagers. Jai Prakash Narayan movement for Socialism gains momentum. State of Emergency declared.
1977-78 Dissolution of Lok Sabha and the nation goes to the polls. The Congress party led by Indira Gandhi is rejected by the people. Janata government gains power. Morarji Desai becomes PM. President F.A. Ahmed dies. Indira Gandhi is harassed and almost put into jail.
1979 PM Morarji Desai resigns in face of no-confidence motion (July 15). Chaudhary Charan Singh became the PM on July 28 but resigned on August 20. President Sanjiva Reddy dissolves the Lok Sabha (Aug 22).
1980 Seventh Lok Sabha Poll is held. Mrs. Indira Gandhi wins handily and returns as PM once again (Jan 14).
1981 Rohini Satellite launched from Sriharikota (May 31). First Telecomm. satellite APPLE put into orbit by European Space Agency.
1982-84 Sikh unrest starts. It becomes violent. Khalistan demands are made. Sant Bhindranwale directs a violent Sikh movement from the Golden Temple Complex. Indira Gandhi orders Army assault to capture Bhindranwale and crush the violent movement (June). Bhindranwale dies in the assault. Sikhs take revenge by assasinating Indira Gandhi in Ocotober. North India/Delhi witnesses widespread Hindu-Sikh riots. Almost 3000 of Sikhs are killed in revenge. Sikhs claim killings were organized and premeditated by Congress officials. Rajiv Gandhi is sworn as PM. Rajiv Gandhi seeks people's mandate and wons handily in the December polls (Eighth Lok Sabha). Rajiv pushes Science & Technology, visions of taking India into 21st century.
1985-88 Assam agreement is signed with students. Assam life returns normal. Punjab problem continues. Sikhs remain emotionally alienated. Thousands are killed in Sikh terrorist violence in Punjab. Rajiv Gandhi pushes for economic development. High tech industries prop up. Consumerism and prices rise in India. Indian software industry becomes highly successful. Public corruption increases. Relations with US, Pakistan and China are improved. Relations with Sri Lanka and Nepal deteriorate. Indian peace keeping force is sent to Sri Lanka under Indo-Sri Lanka agreement to weed out extremists and bring peace to the strife torn island nation. It is met with mixed success. Tamil minority rights are gained but LTTE resists IKPF.India helps Maldives fight a government overthrow attempt.
1989 Rajiv Gandhi comes under strong fire from VP singh and others for mishandling Bofors case. He is also cited as ineffective to solve the Punjab problem despite a strong people's mandate in 1984 polls. He is deemed inexperienced and adventuristic. Ninth Lok Sabha elections are held and Rajiv Gandhi's congress party is rejected for power. Janata Dal, Bhartiya Janata Party and Communist Parties forge a ruling alliance. VP Singh, once defense and finance minster in Rajiv Gandhi's govt. becomes the Prime Minister. He makes attempt to sooth Sikh emotions by travelling to Golden Temple and meeting Sikh religious leaders. Kashmir militancy meanwhile rises.
1990 Kashmir unrest grows. External hand of Pakistan is seen. Indo-Pak relations take a steep fall. Kashmir is put under Governor's rule. Army is kept on the alert. Ayodhya temple issue flares up. VP Singh pulls out Mandal report and orders additional 27% reservations for Backward Castes (BC). Student unrest.
1991 VP Singh loses no confidence motion due to Ayodhya and Reservation Issues. BJP splits from coalition. Chandrashekar becomes PM with support from Rajiv Gandhi's Congress party. Devi Lal is the deputy PM. Devi Lal and Rajiv Gandhi don't get along. Rajiv Gandhi is harassed in Bofors case. Rajiv Gandhi withdraws support and govt. falls. New elections ordered by the President R. Venkataraman. Rajiv Gandhi is once again popular and is favorite to win election. Rajiv assasinated in Tamilnadu by LTTE suicide bomber. Rao is chosen as successor. Narsimha Rao leads congress party and nation. BJP gains as a party and becomes major opposition.
1992-94 India almost defaults on foreign loans. Precarious foreign exchange situation. Manmohan Singh lauches widespread economic reforms. India rebounds economically. VHP leads Ayodhya temple issue. Babri site is destroyed and makeshift Ram temple is built on the disputed site. VHP is banned. RAA and BJP also banned but later restored. BJP governments in four northern states dismissed. State elections one year later has mixed results for BJP. Congress gains majority. Janata Dal splits. BJP continues as major opposition party. Foreign companies invest in India in large numbers. Stock exchange and major buildings in Bombay are rocked with Bomb explosions. Pakistani hand seen in violence in Bombay. Kashmir situation worsens. Punjab violence is controlled.


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