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India history

Travel report India - information on the history and the ruling dynasties in India

India and the Indian subcontinent are ancient civilized cultural lands. The so-called originated here about 5000 years ago Indus culture with the still enigmatic cities of Mohenjo Daro (= place of the dead) and Harappa. In this Indus culture, some researchers see the first beginnings of dividing society into clans and castes. The characters of the Indus culture have not yet been fully deciphered.
Migrated about 1500 years before the calendar Aryan peoples to northern India and mingled with the residents who were already living there. This cultural mixture shaped and promoted the classical, old Indian culture as well as the rise of Hinduism in India.
From approx. 6th century BC. developed in India the Buddhismwhich worked parallel to Hinduism for more than 1000 years and influenced society.
Over the centuries, India has repeatedly been the target of attempts at conquest, especially from the states of Persia and Afghanistan bordering to the west and northwest. Not only did the Aryans come from this direction, but also already Alexander the Great, with his Greek troops, the Scythians, Huns and later the Arab-Islamic invaders advanced from this direction to India.

Maurya Empire:
A first ancient Indian empire emerged shortly after Alexander's attempt at conquest between 320-180 B.C.E. with the Maurya Empire. The first ruler and founder of the dynasty was Chandragupta Maurya. Under his rule the empire was expanded and the capital was today's Patna. Became one of the most famous Maurya rulers Ashoka, under whose rule the largest Indian empire as far as Pakistan and Afghanistan arose. Many stone inscriptions and pillars (such as the stone pillar in Feroze Shah Kotla in Delhi) testify to his power. 180 B.C.E. the last Maurya ruler was overthrown by one of his generals.
the Maurya rulers:

* Chandragupta Maurya (approx. 320-297 B.C.E.)
* Bindusara (approx. 297-268 B.C.)
* Ashoka (approx. 268-232 B.C.)
* Kunala and Dasaratha (approx. 232-224 B.C.)
* Samprati (224-215 B.C.E.)
* Saliska (215-202 B.C.)
* Devadharama (202-195 B.C.E.)
* Satamdhanu (195-187 B.C.E.)
* Brihadratha (187-180 B.C.E.)

Feroze Shah Kotla with Ashoka column
Iron column of Ashoka in Delhi-Mehrauli

The Shunga Dynasty:
Around 180 B.C.E. murdered general Pushyamitra the last Maurya ruler and ended their rule. He was the first ruler of the Shunga dynasty, which ruled northern India for around 110 years. Only a few details are known about the Shunga kingdom. The following rulers belonged to the Shunga dynasty:

* Pushyamitra Shunga (185-149 B.C.)
* Agnimitra (149-140 B.C.E.)
* Vasujjestha (approx. 140 B.C.E.)
* Vasumetra (approx. 140-135 B.C.)
* Andraka
* Poolindaka
* Ghoshavasu
* Vayrametra (around 115 B.C.E.)
* Bhagavata (115-83 B.C.E.)
* Devabhuti (83-73 B.C.E.)
the Kushana:
At the beginning of the 1st century C.E. ruled the kingdom of the Kushana over large parts of Asia from Central Asia to the Caspian Sea and northern India. The Kushana originate in Indo-Scythians from the area of ​​today's Xinjiang in China. The Kushana Empire existed until about 250 C.E. and maintained trade contacts as far as the Roman Empire and the Sassanid Empire in Persia. Around 100-120 the Kushana reached its greatest extent.
Some of the Kushana rulers were:
* Kujula Kadphises (approx. 30-80 C.E.)
* Vima Takto (approx. 80-90)
* Vima Kadphises (approx. 90-100)
* Kanishka I. (approx. 100-125)
* Vaschischka (approx. 125-140)
* Huvischka (140-183)
* Vasudeva I (184-220)
* Kanischka II. (Approx. 220-240)
* Kanishka III.

In the early Middle Ages up to the 11th century, various regional small empires ruled India, e.g. the Gupta, Mahrsha, Pratihara or Chola. From the 10th century onwards there were repeated attacks and attempts at conquest from the Muslim countries in the west.

the Chauhan Dynasty in Rajasthan:
The family of Chauhan was one of the big ones Rajput-Dynasties headquartered in the area around Ajmer and their power bloom in the 11th-12th centuries Century. In the 12th century the Chauhan extended their power to Delhi. Under their rule, around 1180, became the 1st Delhi city Qila Rai Pitbora built. The most famous representative of the Chauhans was the king Pritviraj III.On the one hand, he succeeded in defeating the Muslim Ghurid ruler in 1191 Mu'izz ud-Din MuhammadHowever, a year later in 1192 he was defeated and taken prisoner by this very same Muhammad of Ghur. With this defeat, the final conquest of North India by Muslim troops began, leading to the establishment of the Muslim Sultanate of Delhi. As the story progressed, the Chauhan clan split into many branches in various Indian provinces.
With the victory of Muhammad von Ghur, a brief Ghurid Empire emerged in northern India, which only existed until 1206. In 1206, Muhammad was murdered by one of his generals, making the Sultanate of Delhi a place in Indian history.

Pritviraj Chauhan III. in Ajmer
Grave of Iltutmisch in Delhi-Mehrauli

the Sultanate of Delhi
In the period between 1206-1526, Delhi was ruled by various Muslim, Turkic-Afghan dynasties. The Ghuride Muhammad of Ghur (Ghori) was born in 1206 by his own slave general Qutb ud-Din Aibak murdered. This justified the Mamluk (slave) dynasty of Delhi between 1206-1290. The Mameluk dynasty maintained relationships up to the Abbasid caliphate in Baghdad and successfully defended itself against attacks by Genghis Khan.
Mamluk rulers of Delhi:

* Qutb ud-Din Aibak (1206-1210)
* Aram Shah (1210-1211)
* Shams ud-Din Iltutmisch (1211-1236)
* Rukn ud-Din Firuz (1236)
* Razijayad (female) ud-Din Sultana (1236-1240)
* Muiz du-Din Bahram (1240-1242)
* Ala ud-Din Masud (1242-1246)
* Nasir ud-Din Mahmud (1246-1266)
* Ghiyas ud-Din Balban (1266-1286)
* Muiz ud-Din Qaiqabad (1286-1290)
The Mameluk dynasty was of the short term Khilji dynasty replaced who ruled the Sultanate of Delhi between 1290-1320. The Khilji were also constantly busy repelling Mongol attacks from the north. The ruler Ala ud-Din Khilji left the 2nd Delhi city Siri build.
Khilji rulers of Delhi:
* Jalal ud-Din Firuz II. Khilji (1290-1296)
* Ibrahim I (1296)
* Muhamad Ala ud-Din Khilji (1296-1316)
* Jihad ud-Din Omar (1316)
* Qutb ud-Din Mubarak Shah (1316)
* Nasr ud-Din Chusrau (1320)
From 1321-1413, North India was of Turkish descent Tughluq dynasia controlled. Especially the two rulers Muhamad bin Tughluq and Feroz Shah Tughluq were very successful dynasts. Under their rule became the 3rd Delhi city Tughlaqabad as well as the 4th Delhi city Jahanpanah built. Under Firuz Shah Tughluq became the citadel Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi as well as that Qutub Minar erected in Delhi-Mehrauli.
Tughluq rulers of Delhi:
* Ghiyas ud-Din Tughluq Shah I (1320-1325)
* Muhamad Shah II (1325-1351)
* Mahmud ibn Muhamad (1351)
* Firuz Shah Tughluq (1351-1388)
* Ghiyas ud-Din Tughluq II. (1388-1389)
* Abu Bakr (1389-1390)
* Nasir ud-Din Muhamad Shah III. (1390-1394)
* Sikandar Shah I (1394)
* Mahmud II Nasir ud-Din (1394-1413)

Qutub Minar Tower in Delhi Mehrauli
Tomb of Sikandar Lodi in Delhi

After the Mongol Khan Timur Lenk In 1398 northern India and Dehli were conquered and Delhi was plundered, thereby severely weakening the rule of the Tughluq. In 1414 an Arab "Sayyid", descendant of the Prophet Mohammed, succeeded in seizing power in Delhi and ensuring a certain stability. The short Sayyid dynasty existed from 1414-1451. They were nominally vassals of the Mongols in India until they were expelled by the Afghans Lodi family in 1451.
Sayyid rulers of Delhi:

* Khidr Khan (1414-1421)
* Mubarak Shah II (1421-1434)
* Muhamad Shah IV (1434-1445)
* Ala ud-Din Shah (1445-1451)
The Lodi dynasty was the last ruling family of the Delhi Sultanate from 1451-1526. There were only 3 Lodi rulers in total. The 2nd Lodi ruler founded the place Sikandar, where the tomb of the Mughal emperor Akbar was later built. The 3rd Lodi Sultan was defeated by the Afghan invaders in 1526 Babur, whereby the Sultanate of Delhi became extinct and the era of the Mughal rulers began.
Rulers of the Lodi Dynasty in Delhi:
* Bahlul Lodi (1451-1489)
* Sikandar Lodi (1489-1517)
* Ibrahim Lodi (1517-1526)

the Mughal rule:
Babur was a petty prince from Uzbekistan. One of his ancestors was the Mongol ruler Timur Lenk (Tamerlane). Babur fought with his relatives about rule in Uzbekistan in his homeland, but was unable to assert himself there. He therefore moved to Afghanistan with his troops. From Kabul he repeatedly attacked the southern sultanate of Delhi until he was finally in the 1. Battle of Prinipat about the Delhi Sultan Ibrahim Lodi was victorious and thereby conquered Delhi, Agra and gradually northern India. Babur's victory was largely due to the use of superior cannons and firearms.
Babur became the founder of the legendary Mughal (= Mongolian) Empire in India, which existed from (1526-1858) and had its greatest heyday in the 17th century. Both Babur and his successors had to repeatedly break the resistance of various warrior princes in today's Rajasthan in order to be able to enforce their rule.
• Under Babur's son Humayun there were setbacks and almost collapse of the new Mughal empire due to power struggles within the family line of succession. Humayun was not a strong ruler, but the balance of power was in his favor.
• Humayun's son Akbar was the most important and tolerant Mughal emperor who strengthened and consolidated the still young Mughal empire. He tried to find a balance between Hindus and Muslims. He was an excellent diplomat, statesman, and army leader. He married a Hindu Rajput princess from Amber, which gave this principality a special position at the Mughal court. The warrior Rajputs from Amber / Jaipur should produce many excellent military commanders, state officials and politicians at the Mughal court in the future.
• Among Akbar's son Jahangir the empire had a period of relative prosperity and peace. Jahangir conquered the last large, independent Rajput state of Merwar (Udaipur). He promoted the sciences and arts in his empire.
• Jahangir's son Shah Jahan brought the Mughal Empire to its highest level of cultural prosperity. He called scientists, artists, architects, musicians and craftsmen into the country. Among other things, he was the builder of the overwhelming Taj Mahal Mausoleum for his late favorite wife Mumtaz. The construction of many new palaces and castles (e.g. Red Fort in Delhi) became an extremely heavy burden on the state finances, which led to inflation and rural exodus of the peasants. As a result of various wars of succession, his son Aurangzeb prevailed against his brothers. He had his father Shah Jahan captured in 1658 and placed under house arrest in the Red Fort Agra. Inaccessible from there, Shah Jahan could only look at the grave of his wife Mumtaz from a distance until he died in the Red Fort Agra in 1666.
Aurangzeb reached the greatest extent of the Mughal Empire. Ongoing wars of expansion as well as religious intolerance and the destruction of Hindu temples ruined the state. There were permanent tensions between Hindus and Muslims, some of which lead to regional disputes to this day. Numerous uprisings in the country followed and undermined the emperor's power. The state administration deteriorated much more and more. In south-central India, the Marathas a steadily growing threat to the Mughal Empire.
• The next Mughal ruler Bahadur Shah tried to reform the state, which he did not succeed in his short reign.
• The subsequent Mughal emperors were weak or incompetent rulers. Their influence and power waned more and more. Between 1710-1720 the British acquired East India Company ever stronger positions and powers in India.
Muhamad Shah was able to consolidate the empire a little again, but was defeated by the Persians and lost large areas of the country and state finances. From 1803, the British finally received sovereignty in the Mughal Empire.
The most important Mughal emperors in India:

* Babur (1483-1531 / ruled 1526-1530)
* Humayun (1508-1556 / r. 1530-1556)
* Akbar (1542-1605 / reg. 1556-1605)
* Jahangir (1569-1627 / ruled 1569-1627)
* Shah Jahan (1592-1666 / r. 1627-1658)
* Aurangzeb (1618-1707 / ruled 1658-1707)
* Bahadur Shah (1643-1712 / ruled 1707-1712)
* Farrukhsiyar (1658-1719 / ruled 1713-1719)
A chronological table of the Mughal rulers in India follows here as a PDF file!
Shah Jahan's Red Fort Delhi
Jahangir Palace in the Red Fort Agra

the marathas
With the slow collapse of the Mughal Empire under Emperor Aurangzeb, a formerly loose alliance of petty kings from southern India grew in power and size. The Central Indian Empire of the Marathas existed between 1674-1818. It was not a fixed state, but a confederation of regional rulers established by the authority of a prime minister, the Peshwa were held together. Under Aurangzeb the Marathas were still defeated, but the Mughals grew weaker and the Marathas grew stronger. The Marathas were even able to conquer Delhi around 1760 and include them in their empire. As a result of inheritance disputes, the Marathas split up into Chhatrapatis and Peshwas around 1710.
The Marathas had to defend themselves against the ever increasing power and influence of the British. In the so-called Marathas Wars of 1817/18, the Marathas were finally defeated by the British East India Compay and their empire dissolved.
Some Marathas rulers were:

• "Chhatrapatis"
* Shivaji (1674-1680)
* Sambhaji (1680-1689)
* Rajaram (1689-1700)
* Shahu (1707-1749)
• "Peshwas"
* Balaji Vishwanath I (1713-20)
* Baji Rao I. (1720-40)
* Balaji Baji Rao (1740-61)
* Baji Rao II (1796-1818)

British rule in India:
The Portuguese were the first Europeans to find shelter Visco da Gama the sea route to India and landed at Calicut. In 1510 the Portuguese founded their colony Goa.
1600 was the British East India Company (BEIC), which competed with the Dutch East India Company for many years.
In 1617 the British obtained their first trading rights in the Mughal Empire through Jahangir. Under the rule of Aurangzeb, the British were given more and more privileges and powers.
Around 1750 the British succeeded in conquering Bengal, from where they continued to expand.
The British conquest of Delhi followed in 1813. During the Marathas Wars of 1817/18 the BEIC retained the upper hand and thereby gained sovereignty over parts of southern and central India, further conquests followed until 1856. After the Indian auxiliary troops of the BEIC in 1857, the Sepoy, revolted - but lost the uprising - Great Britain took direct rule over India. India became a British crown colony with a British viceroy for India.
In 1873 the British East India Company was dissolved and in 1877 the British Queen declared herself Victoria I. to the Empress of India.
In 1885 the Indian National Congress founded, who campaigned for Indian independence.
To demonstrate its claim to power over India, the British colonial government built the new administrative district from 1911-1931 New Delhi. During the First World War, around 1.3 million Indian soldiers fought on the side of the British Army in Asia, Africa and partly in Europe.
Under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) the passive resistance against British rule was organized after the First World War. The in All-India Congress Organized efforts by Gandhi and Nehru led to the success and independence of India in 1945, but also to the separation of the Muslim national territory of East and West Pakistan from the main Indian area.
1947 became the independent Indian Union officially proclaimed. Jawaharl Nehru became first Indian Prime Minister. Then, at the end of 1949, the Republic of India was founded.
In 1971 the 3rd Indo-Pakistani War for independence from East Pakistan / Bangladesh broke out.

the India Gate as a symbol of independence
the tomb of Mahatma Gandhi