Travel in Rajasthan, India
A Rajasthani Kid is playing "Ek Tara"
Thar Desert Jaisalmer in Background, Rajasthan, India

A n c i e n t   H i s t o r y  o f  R a j a s t h a n

Rana Udai Singh Rana Pratap Chauhans of Ajmer -  Delhi
A Past Period of Bikaner Colonel James Tod Raja Jai Singh
The Rajputs Rana Khumba Rana Lakha
Rana Sanga Rao Jodha Kutch - Wahas
Imperial Guptas Hara Chauhans of Bundi - Kota Early Period of Rajasthan
Sisodias of Mewar Mughal History Rajasthan The Mauryans

Early Period of Rajasthan

Early Periods

The earliest known civilisation of the subcontinent is called the Harappan or Indus Valley civilisation (3000-2000 BC). Excavations indicate a high standard of urban development with strong links with parallel civilisations, such as the Sumerian.

The territorial extent of this civilisation is not fully known, but recent excavations show that it embraced Rajasthan. In Bikaner district in north Rajasthan, excavations at Kalibangan have revealed levels of habitation that go back to the pre-Harappan and Harappan age.

The Aryans

About 2000 BC, a branch of the great migrating hordes from Central Asia known as the Aryans entered the Indian subcontinent through the northern passes of the Hindu Kush mountains. They conquered the established Harappans and settled in the northern plains, gradually extending their control over the entire north and finally penetrating southwards.

The Aryans brought with them a virile and warlike strength, a language of great precision and f lexib i I ity- Sanskrit, and a sense of racial exclusiveness. The religion of the Aryans has come down to us in the Vedas, an oral literature of great antiquity. Pantheistic, they assimilated the ideas and deities of local cults gradually formulating the religious philosophy and elaborate ritual of Hinduism.

Aryan society was divided into four major sects or castes: brahmins or priests, kshatriyas or warriors. vaisyas or agriculturists and traders and sudras or menial labourers which also included the conquered races. These castes were, at first, fluid and flexible, but slowly hardened into hereditary sects and subsects as society grew more organised.

The sources of Aryan history are the Upanishads, philosophic texts, the Puranas, religious texts and the two great epics of Hinduism which integrate and underlie Hindu thought and action even today. These epics are the Ramayana (1500 BC) and the Mahabharata (1100 BC). Bairath near Jaipur is mentioned in the Mahabharata as a place of exile where the five Pandav princes stayed. Many other places in Rajasthan are connected with these heroes.

In 600 BC, Gautama Buddha the founder of Buddhism lived -and preached the second great religion of India. Buddhism did not reco , gnise caste. The monks preached in the common dialect, Prakrit, and the new religion proved a unifying factor spreading from the extreme north now Afghanistan, to Ceylon and even to the Near and Far East.

By 400 BC north India had come under the suzerainty of the Persian empire, However Darius, ruler of Persia was defeated by Alexander the Hellene in the 3rd century BC who then extended his empire to northern India.

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