Write articles and earn !

(Return to GatewayforIndia - Tourism)

INDIA… IN THE VERY BEGINNING - How the Indian Subcontinent was Formed  


Page 5

Page 1 2 3 4 5

The first Indians 

Probably, a million years ago, a group of wandering primitive men and women -- on the move -- looking for newer hunting grounds, stumbled upon a pass high in the mountains. As they wandered into the richly forested valleys on the other side of the mountains, they came upon a land with an abundance of animal life and plenty of water.

For thousands of years, they lived on these plains, hunting deer and other wild creatures. They lived -- at first -- in caves. In time, they decorated the walls of their caves with the scenes of their hunts. Bhimbetka -- in Madhya Pradesh -- is one of the most famous caves, painted by early caveman in India. These cavemen hunted bison and pigs. They used stone tools to skin their prey. Implements such as choppers and scrapers are found in the Narmada Valley and as far south as Madras. 

The tribes that had wandered into the Indian sub-continent, were relatively at peace and hence could progress far more than the wandering-warring tribes north of the Himalayas. These mountains, stood like sentinels, allowing passage only through the high passes, like the Khyber and Bolan.

Left in peace, the next great change came about 60,000 years ago. The clans of hunters on the plains began to settle in groups around the many rivers of India. They had already developed a vast range of all the basic tools required for hunting. These tools are found at sites in Karwar (Karnataka) and the Narmada Valley. Living near the rivers, they discovered the secrets of agriculture. To help them to grow crops, they perfected a different set of instruments. They acquired the skill of grinding and polishing stone implements to make sickles and axes. Later, they made baskets and pots. 

The Early Indian Civilizations 

The little villages of ancient India got better organized. Earliest historical evidence of advance civilization are available from about 6500 BC from Mehargarh (8000 years). About 5,000 years ago, the land was dotted with numerous large villages and towns. Their remains have been found from Shimla to Madras. But the most famous of these cities are Mohenjo-daro and Harappa of the Indus River Valleys. Although Mohenjo-daro and Harappa, were 350 miles apart, the cities had learned to trade and communicate using an efficient river boat system. These, and the other marvels of the civilization, were due to ten centuries of relative peace.

The cities had streets laid out in grid fashion. Courtyards surrounded the houses of the wealthy. There was a system of water supply and a separate drainage system. The nobles used a magnificent public bathhouse. A system of written language existed, but it is un-deciphered, till today. They left behind many sets of terra-cotta seals, depicting bulls, elephants, rhinos and mythical beasts.

They made two distinct contributions to subsequent civilizations -- the discovery of cotton and the taming of the jungle fowl. They had a flourishing trade with the Persian Gulf, from a port that they maintained at the mouth of the Indus. The crews used a "compass bird" -- a crow that would fly, when released, towards the nearest point of land.

Rest is history...

Page 1 2 3 4 5