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India Vacations

The Indian History, the fall of the Vedic till the death of Alexander

In the period between 600 and 1000 BC, the power of the Aryan civilization and their center was shifted towards the East from the Punjab to the Doab and the Indian heartland between Ganges and Yamuna.

Many great works of literature has risen in this period including the Sama, the Yajur, and the epic poems of Mahabaharta and Ramayana. Although these works of art can never be considered as accurate historical records, they can tell us about the martial myths and legends.

The Mahabaharta for example had the Kurukeshtra battle as its main theme.  This battle was most probably true and it took place near the modern Delhi today in the period between the 8th and the 10th century BC. Many travelers prefer to spend their India vacations because of its long rich history and remarkable literature.

This battle was between two of the most important and strongest tribes in the Aryan Civilization; the Kurus and the Paschalis to claim power over certain pieces of lands.

The archeological findings unearthed two of the major human settlements mentioned in the Mahabaharta; Indraparsha, the modern day Delhi, and the Hastinapura, the capital of the Kurus that is located nowadays to the north of Ganges. Many excavation findings can be seen in many museums added to a number of tours to India.

By the time the Kurukeshtra took place, the Aryans were advancing to the area located in the mid-Gangetic Valley and this was where they established the kingdom of Kosala with its capital the ancient city of Ayodahya, the seat of the hero god, Rama.

The Aryan civilization started controlling central India as well and the migrating tribes even pushed further to the East and established the kingdoms of Kashi, Videha, and Anga. These kingdoms had their own structures and their ruins can be added to many custom tours to India.

Other tribes traveled to the south down the River Chambal to found the kingdom of Avanti. By the end of this period the Aryans have had their influence and control all over India even past the northwest of Deccan. However, they never invaded or thought of invading Southern India. Perhaps they never knew of its existence from the first place.

This expansion in their empire was always associated with development in the Aryan civilization in general. Upon their arrival in India, their knowledge of the metallurgy was limited to the use of gold, copper, and bronze. However, shortly afterwards, according to the ancient Indian literature, they got to know the use of copper, lead, tin, and silver.

The knowledge of how to use iron together with the taming of many elephants have made it easier for the Aryans to clear forests for human settlements, a process that is actually still taking place in different regions in the world until today. The civilization of the Aryans is an important section of the ancient history of the country that many travelers who spend their holidays in India would be interested to know about.

The Aryan farmers at the time had the knowledge to cultivate a large variety of crops including rice. Many trading activities were carried out and many products were being crafted. The Aryan tradesmen have even reestablished the trading rout with Mesopotamia that was stopped with the collapse of the Indus civilization.

The Vedic Society and cultures were transformed through the contact between the Aryans and indigenous people and at the end of this period; the Aryan civilization was divided into smaller independent kingdoms, each with its own governing system and its own capital.

The old traditional tribal system of governing started declining to a new model of politics that was centered on a king. The kingship has started being more absolute and it was limited only to the influence of the priests. These kingdoms were the starting point for many empires to come in the near future with establishments and structures that still gather the attention of tourists who travel to India.

The Barhmana literature illustrates the sacrifices of the offerings symbolizing the king power. This included the sacrifices ceremonies and the offerings of horses.
The evolution that took place to the Aryan civilization in the late Vedic period involved some introspection and a feeling of insecurity among the many tribes and kingdoms that have become independent.

This inspired a number of nonconformists that later on developed the sense of not believing the priests blindly the way they used to do. This led to the creation of the concepts and ideas of the ancient Indian philosophy.

At the end of the sixth century BC, more than fifteen spate kingdoms were established and indecently founded in India.  The hereditary concept and the holiness of the king and his royal family have preserved the status quo of the Indian monarchy at the time.

This enabled the unorthodox views to develop and gave space to new religions like Buddhism and Jainism to rise in small kingdoms of the time. Many historical Buddhism institutions are visited by large number of travelers spending their tours in India.

The consolidation of the separate Indian kingdoms at the time depended mainly on the continuous agriculture and the rich trading activities. All of this led to the invention of coins, and the Brahmi scripts, which all the languages in India, Sri Lanka, Tibet, Myanmar, and Java were derived from.

At the end of the fifth century BC, the many independent kingdoms in Northern India have been centered around five major kingdoms; Magadha, Kashi, Koshala, Vasta, and the republic of Vrijjis. Many of the marks left behind by these kingdoms can be added to the tourist’s package to China.

With sometime passing by, Magadha emerged supreme under the leadership of Bimbisara, who ruled from 543 till 491 BC, who was, according to the legend, a true friend and great patron of Buddha.

The son of Bimbisara, who ruled from 491 till 461 BC, moved the capital to Pataliputra, the founder of the modern day Patna. He had control over the Indian Valley and reduced the status of the inhabitants of this region to become Vassals in order to control the trading routs in the area.

In the middle of the forth century BC, the Nanda Kingdom starting to appear in the picture and took the power from the Magadha. They even conquered Orissa and the northern coast of Andhra and took control of the Deccan.  Many group tours to India may include a visit to these regions.

After the death of their last king, the Nanda nobles struggled a lot in order to claim the throne. This paved the way for the first Indian Empire to take place in 320 BC.  The first Indian Empire had its own structures that grab the attention of many tourists who travel to India.

The wealth and richness of Northern India has started to attract the interest of ruler of Central Asia by the 4th century BC, a reoccurring theme that will take place in India over and over again for more than 1000 years. India has witnessed several battles between locals and different invaders who established their power in the country and left behind ruins that can be added to many affordable tours to India.

Darius I, the third Acheamenid ruler of Asia has already conquered Gandhara, Pakistan and Eastern Afghanistan around 520 BC.

Alexander the Great who was able to defeat the Persians has crossed India in 325 BC and then took control of Punjab. Alexander remained only for two years in India and before he left he appointed a Greek ruler of India.

However, after his death, the influence and the power of these assigned rulers have faded away leaving it open for the local rulers of the Magadha Empire to assume power over India once again.

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