Timeline of South Asian history

Last updated

Below is a timeline of South Asian history.

South Asia Timetable
Timeline and
cultural period
WestcoastNorthwestern Sub-continent
(West Punjab-Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)
Indo-Gangetic Plain Central India
Deccan Plateau
Southern India
Western Gangetic Plain
Northern India
(Central Gangetic Plain)
Northeastern India
South Asian Stone Age (until c. 3300 BCE) South Asian Stone Age (until c. 1100 BCE)
Culture Paleolithicum (until c. 10,000 BCE)
70,000 - 10,000 BCE Sanghao Caves Bhimbetka rock shelters
(30,000-15,000 BCE)
Culture Mesolithicum (c. 10,000-7,000 BCE) Mesolithicum (c. 10,000-3,000 BCE)
c. 10,000-7,000 BCE
Culture Neolithicum (c. 7000-3300 BCE) Mesolithicum (c. 10,000-3000 BCE)
c. 7,000-3,300 BCE Mehrgarh
BRONZE AGE (c. 3300-1100 BCE) NEOLITHIC (c. 3000-1400 BCE)
Culture Early Harappan
3300-2600 BCEEarly Harappan
Culture Integration Era
2600-1900 BCE Indus Valley civilization Indus Valley civilization Indus Valley civilization
Culture Localisation Era/Late Harappan
OCP/Cemetery H
1900-1500 BCEEarliest known rice cultivation [lower-alpha 1]
Culture Localisation Era/Late Harappan
OCPCemetery HEarly Vedic periodGandhara grave culture
(c. 1400-1100 BCE)
1500-1300 BCE Indo-Aryan migration
1300-1100 BCE Wandering Vedic Aryans
IRON AGE (c. 1100-300 BCE)
CultureMiddle Vedic Period
Gandhara grave culture Black and red ware culture
1100-800 BCEVedic settlements
Vedic settlements
CultureLate Vedic Period
Gandhara grave culture (Brahmin ideology) [lower-alpha 2] • early UpanishadsPainted Grey Ware culture (Kshatriya/Shramanic culture) [lower-alpha 3] Northern Black Polished Ware
800-600 BCE Gandhara Kuru-Pancala Kosala-Videha
CultureLate Vedic Period
Gandhara grave culture (Brahmin ideology) [lower-alpha 4] • early UpanishadsPainted Grey Ware culture (Kshatriya/Shramanic culture) [lower-alpha 5] Northern Black Polished Ware
 6th century BCE Gandhara Kuru-Panchala Kosala
Adivasi (tribes)
Culture Persian-Greek influences "Second Urbanisation"
Later Upanishads Rise of Shramana movements
Jainism - Buddhism - Ājīvika - Yoga
Later Upanishads
 5th century BCE(Persian rule) Shishunaga dynasty Adivasi (tribes)
 4th century BCE(Greek conquests)

Nanda empire

Culture Spread of Buddhism Pre-history Sangam period
(300 BCE – 200 CE)
 3rd century BCE Maurya Empire Early Cholas
Early Pandyan Kingdom
Satavahana dynasty
CulturePreclassical Hinduism [lower-alpha 6] - "Hindu Synthesis" [lower-alpha 7] (c. 200 BCE-300 CE) [lower-alpha 8] [lower-alpha 9]
Epics - Puranas - Ramayana - Mahabharata - Bhagavad Gita - Brahma Sutras - Smarta Tradition
Mahayana Buddhism
Sangam period
(300 BCE – 200 CE)
 2nd century BCE Indo-Greek Kingdom Shunga Empire Adivasi (tribes) Early Cholas
Early Pandyan Kingdom
Satavahana dynasty
 1st century BCE Yona Maha-Meghavahana Dynasty
 1st century CE Indo-Scythians
Kuninda Kingdom
 2nd century Pahlava Varman dynasty
 3rd century Kushan Empire Western Satraps Kamarupa kingdom Kalabhra dynasty
Culture"Golden Age of Hinduism"(c. 320-650 CE) [lower-alpha 10]
Co-existence of Hinduism and Buddhism
 4th century Gupta Empire Kadamba Dynasty
Western Ganga Dynasty
 5th century Vishnukundina
 6th century Maitraka Adivasi (tribes)
CultureLate-Classical Hinduism (c. 650-1100 CE) [lower-alpha 11]
Advaita Vedanta - Tantra
Decline of Buddhism in India
 7th century Maitraka Indo-Sassanids Vakataka dynasty
Empire of Harsha
Mlechchha dynasty Adivasi (tribes) Pallava
 8th century Kidarite Kingdom Kalachuri
 9th century Indo-Hephthalites (Huna) Gurjara-Pratihara Chalukya
10th century Pala dynasty
Kamboja-Pala dynasty
CultureIslamic rule and "Sects of Hinduism" (c. 1100-1850 CE) [lower-alpha 12] - Medieval and Late Puranic Period (500–1500 CE) [lower-alpha 13]
11th century Western Chalukyas (Islamic conquests)
Kabul Shahi
(Islamic Empire)
Rajputs Pala Empire
Paramara dynasty
Chaulukya dynasty
Eastern Ganga dynasty
Sena dynasty Adivasi (tribes) Chola Empire
Yadava dynasty
Western Chalukyas
Eastern Chalukyas
Kakatiya dynasty
Hoysala Empire
12th century Western Chalukyas Rajputs Paramara dynasty
Chaulukya dynasty
Eastern Ganga dynasty
Chola Empire
Yadava dynasty
Western Chalukyas
Eastern Chalukyas
Kakatiya dynasty
Hoysala Empire
13th century Delhi Sultanate Chola Empire
14th century Delhi Sultanate Vijayanagara Empire
15th century Delhi Sultanate
16th century Mughal Empire
17th century Mughal Empire Maratha Empire
CultureMaratha Empire and British Colonisation - Company rule in India
18th century Maratha Empire Maratha Empire British Maratha Empire/British
CultureBritish Colonisation - British Raj
19th century Sikh Empire
Culture British Raj - Independence struggle - Pakistan - India - Bangladesh
20th century Pakistan India Bangladesh India
21st century

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Historical Vedic religion</span> 1500–500 BC Indo-Aryan religious practices of northwest India

The historical Vedic religion constituted the religious ideas and practices among some of the Indo-Aryan peoples of the northwest Indian subcontinent during the Vedic period. These ideas and practices are found in the Vedic texts, and some Vedic rituals are still practiced today. It is one of the major traditions which shaped Hinduism, though present-day Hinduism is markedly different from the historical Vedic religion.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bhairava</span> Hindu and Buddhist deity

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Karna</span> Warrior in the epic Mahabharata

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Iravan also known as Iravat and Iravant, is a minor character from the Hindu epic Mahabharata. The son of Pandava prince Arjuna and the Naga princess Ulupi, Iravan is the central deity of the cult of Kuttantavar (Kuttandavar) which is also the name commonly given to him in that tradition—and plays a major role in the sect of Draupadi. Both these cults are of Tamil origin, from a region of the country where he is worshipped as a village deity and is known as Aravan. He is also a patron god of well-known intersex communities called Alis.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vanniyar</span> Hindu agrarian caste

The Vanniyar, also spelled Vanniya, formerly known as the Palli, are a Dravidian community or jāti found in the northern part of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

Alha was a legendary general of the Chandel king Paramardideva, who fought Prithviraj Chauhan in 1182 CE. He is one of the main characters of the Alha-Khand ballad.

Konar (Kōṉār) is a sub-caste of Yadav or Yadava community from the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. They are traditionally held to be a pastoral community also involved in cattle herding and cultivation. who are otherwise also known as Ayar and Idaiyar, and who appear in the ancient Sangam literature as occupants of the Mullai. However, historically they have held positions such as kings and chieftains.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vedic period</span> Ancient South Asian historical period

The Vedic period, or the Vedic age, is the period in the late Bronze Age and early Iron Age of the history of India when the Vedic literature, including the Vedas, was composed in the northern Indian subcontinent, between the end of the urban Indus Valley Civilisation and a second urbanisation, which began in the central Indo-Gangetic Plain c. 600 BCE. The Vedas are liturgical texts which formed the basis of the influential Brahmanical ideology, which developed in the Kuru Kingdom, a tribal union of several Indo-Aryan tribes. The Vedas contain details of life during this period that have been interpreted to be historical and constitute the primary sources for understanding the period. These documents, alongside the corresponding archaeological record, allow for the evolution of the Indo-Aryan and Vedic culture to be traced and inferred.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Three Crowned Kings</span> Monarchs in Ancient India

The Three Crowned rulers, or the Three Glorified by Heaven, or World of the Three or The Tamil Kings, primarily known as Muvendar, refers to the triumvirate of Chera, Chola and Pandya who dominated the politics of the ancient Tamil country, Tamilakam, from their three Nadu (countries) of Chola Nadu, Pandya Nadu and Chera Nadu in southern India. They signalled a time of integration and political identity for the Tamil people. They frequently waged war against one another under a period of instability and between each other, held control over Greater Tamilakam from 6th century BCE to the 13th century. After being defeated by the Pandyas, the Cholas fled to Devicottah and are later mentioned in various texts that participated in wars in the 16th century.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dravidian folk religion</span> Indigenous Dravidian folk religion

The early Dravidian religion constituted a non-Vedic form of Hinduism in that they were either historically or are at present Āgamic. The Agamas are non-Vedic in origin, and have been dated either as post-Vedic texts, or as pre-Vedic compositions. The Agamas are a collection of Tamil and Sanskrit scriptures chiefly constituting the methods of temple construction and creation of murti, worship means of deities, philosophical doctrines, meditative practices, attainment of sixfold desires and four kinds of yoga. The worship of tutelary deities and sacred flora and fauna in Hinduism is also recognized as a survival of the pre-Vedic Dravidian religion. Dravidian linguistic influence on early Vedic religion is evident; many of these features are already present in the oldest known Indo-Aryan language, the language of the Rigveda, which also includes over a dozen words borrowed from Dravidian. The linguistic evidence for Dravidian impact grows increasingly strong as one moves from the Samhitas down through the later Vedic works and into the classical post-Vedic literature. This represents an early religious and cultural fusion or synthesis between ancient Dravidians and Indo-Aryans that went on to influence Indian civilisation.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pashupati seal</span> Steatite seal discovered at Mohenjo-daro

The Pashupati seal, is a steatite seal which was uncovered in the 1928–29 Archaeological Survey of India excavations of the Indus Valley civilisation ("IVC") site of Mohenjo-daro, then in the British Raj, and now in Pakistan. The seal depicts a seated figure that is possibly tricephalic. The seated figure has been thought to be ithyphallic, an interpretation that has been questioned by many, but was still held by the IVC specialist Jonathan Mark Kenoyer in a publication of 2003. The man has a horned headdress and is surrounded by animals. He may represent a horned deity.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Religion of the Indus Valley Civilization</span> Religious practices of Indus valley civilization

The religion and belief system of the Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC) people have received considerable attention, with many writers concerned with identifying precursors to the religious practices and deities of much later Indian religions. However, due to the sparsity of evidence, which is open to varying interpretations, and the fact that the Indus script remains undeciphered, the conclusions are partly speculative and many are largely based on a retrospective view from a much later Hindu perspective.


  1. Samuel (2010) p.49
  2. Samuel
  3. Samuel
  4. Samuel
  5. Samuel
  6. Michaels (2004) p.39
  7. Hiltebeitel (2002)
  8. Michaels (2004) p.39
  9. Hiltebeitel (2002)
  10. Michaels (2004) p.40
  11. Michaels (2004) p.41
  12. Michaels (2004) p.43
  13. Flood (1996) p.21-22