India History

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
India Research Topics
Flag of India.png
Beginning Research
Record Types
India Background
Local Research Resources
Agra, India.jpg


The Indus Valley civilization, one of the oldest in the world, dates back at least 5,000 years. Aryan tribes from the northwest infiltrated onto Indian lands about 1500 BC; their merger with the earlier Dravidian inhabitants created the classical Indian culture. Arab incursions starting in the 8th century and Turkish in the 12th were followed by those of European traders, beginning in the late 15th century.

By the mid- to late 18th century, Britain's Honourable East India Company had assumed political control of virtually all Indian lands. The Honourable East India Company controlled virtually all trade with India and performed all the functions of government until the Government of India Act of 1858, when full control was assumed by Queen Victoria as Empress of India.

Indian armed forces in the British army played a vital role in both World Wars. Nonviolent resistance to British colonialism led to independence in 1947. The subcontinent was divided into the secular state of India and the smaller Muslim state of Pakistan.

A third war between the two countries in 1971 resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh. Despite impressive gains in economic investment and output, India faces pressing problems such as the ongoing dispute with Pakistan over Kashmir, massive overpopulation, environmental degradation, extensive poverty, and ethnic and religious strife.
[1] You may be interested in listening to "Hidden Women: Uncovering the Veil of Silence During the Partition of Punjab, India 1947" at the FamilySearch Learning Center.


1846 - 1885 Historians consider India's modern age to have begun sometime during this time period
1917 - Approximately one million Indians served in World War I
1947 - Partition of India into two states: India and Pakistan
1950 - Vital to India's self-image as an independent nation was its constitution which put in place a secular and democratic republic
1971 - A third war between India and Pakistanthe resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh

2500 -
1600 BC
Indus Valley Culture
1500 -
500 BC
Migrations of Aryan-speaking tribes; The Vedic Age
1000 BC 
Settlement of Bengal by Davidian-speaking peoples
600 BC 
Territorial states emerge: Magadha, Kosala, Kuru, and Gandhara 
500 BC

Most of northern India inhabited

563 -
483 BC
Life of Siddartha Gautama - the Buddha; founding of Buddhism
320 BC
550 AD

Gupta Empire: Classical Age of a united India (confined mostly to the north)

326 BC

Alexander the Great's Indus Campaign, fusing several Indo-Greek elements

326 -
184 BC
Mauryan Empire; reign of Ashoka (269-232 BC); spread of Buddhism: First Indian imperial power
180 BC -
150 AD
Shaka dynastics in Indus Valley
100 BC 300 AD 

Deccan Indian Kingdoms: Power decentralized in the hands of local chieftains

606 -
47 AD
North Indian empire of Harsha
711 AD 
Arab invaders conquer Sindh, establish Islamic presence in India 
750 -
1150 AD
Pala Dynasty
1150 -
1202 AD
Sena Dynasty
997 -
Mahmud of Ghazni raids Indian subcontinent from Afghanistan
1202 AD

Turkish conquerors defeat Sena Dynasty and overrun Bengal

1206 -
1398 AD

Delhi Sultanate

1527 AD

Southern Dynasties in India establish rule

1398 AD

Timur sacks Delhi

1414 -
1450 AD

Sayyid Dynasty; renewal of Delhi Sultanate

1451 -
1526 AD

Lodi Dynasty

1526 AD Babur lays foundation of Mughal Empire; wins First Battle of Panipat
1556 -
1605 AD
Akbar expands and reforms the empire; Mughals win Second Battle of Panipat
1600 AD East India Company granted British Crown charter with exclusive rights to India
1605 -
1627 AD
Reign of Jahangir; in 1612 East India Company opens first trading post (factory)
1619 AD

English East India Company establishes outpost at Surat on the northwestern coast

1628 -
1658 AD
Reign of Shah Jahan 

1658 -
1707 AD

Reign of Aurangzeb, last great Mughal ruler
1707 -
1858 AD
Lesser emperors; decline of the Mughal Empire 
1757 AD 
Battle of Plassey - British victory of Mughal forces in Bengal; British rule in India begins
1835 AD 
Institution of British educaiton and other reform measures
1857 -
1858 AD
Revolt of Indian sepoys (soldiers) agains East India Company
1858 AD

East India Company abolished and Queen Victoria becomes Empress of India (the British Raj); begins with Government of India Act; formal end of Mughal Empire

1869 AD

The creation of the Suez canal radically reduces journey time from India

1885 AD
Indian National Congress formed
1892 AD

Dadabhai Naoroji first Indian to win a Parliamentary seat in England

1897 AD

Ayah's Home established in Aldgate, London

1916 AD 
Congress-League Scheme of Reforms (Lucknow Pact) signed
1935 AD 
Government of India Act of 1935 
15 August
1947 AD
Partition of British India; India achieves independence and incorporates West Bengal and Assam;Jawaharlal Nehru becomes prime minister of India. Pakistan is created and incorporates East Bengal and territory in the northwest.
1962 AD

Commonwealth Immigrants Act limits the migration of South Asians to England

1968 AD

"Rivers of Blood" Speech: Enoch Powell calls for forced return of immigrants settled in england

Internet Research Links