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This period also saw the emergence of several powerful Hindu states, notably Vijayanagara, Gajapati, Ahom, as well as Rajput states, such as Mewar. The early modern period began in the 16th century, when the Mughals conquered most of the Indian subcontinent.

Inhabitants of the ancient Indus river valley, the Harappans, developed new techniques in metallurgy and handicraft (carneol products, seal carving), and produced copper, bronze, lead, and tin.

The history of India includes the prehistoric settlements and societies in the Indian subcontinent; the advancement of civilisation from the Indus Valley Civilisation to the eventual blending of the Indo-Aryan culture to form the Vedic Civilisation; the onset of a succession of powerful dynasties and empires for more than three millennia throughout various geographic areas of the subcontinent, including the growth of Muslim dominions during the Medieval period intertwined with Hindu powers; the advent of European traders and privateers, resulting in the establishment of British India; and the subsequent independence movement that led to the Partition of India and the creation of the Republic of India.

This civilisation collapsed at the start of the second millennium BCE and was later followed by the Iron Age Vedic Civilisation.

For the modern Republic of India, see History of the Republic of India.

For Pakistan and Bangladesh in focus, see History of Pakistan and History of Bangladesh.

In one of these kingdoms, Magadha, Gautama Buddha and Mahavira propagated their Shramanic philosophies during the fifth and sixth century BCE.

Most of the Indian subcontinent was conquered by the Maurya Empire during the 4th and 3rd centuries BCE.

The civilisation is noted for its cities built of brick, roadside drainage system, and multi-storeyed houses and is thought to have had some kind of municipal organisation.