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India's Timeline

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about 3500 BC

Civilization sprang up in the Indus River valley.

about 1700 BC

Aryan tribes invaded India and settled mainly in the Punjab region of India. Their arrival set off a series of wars.

326 BC

Alexander the Great began to conquer India before his own troops forced him to turn back.

about AD 150-450

Sanskrit culture thrived under the Kushan Empire, and later under the Gupta Empire. Trade with the Middle East and the Roman Empire greatly enriched India.


Invading Huns under Mihirakula destroyed Gupta power in India.

1175-about 1200

Islamic invaders from Afghanistan overran much of northern India. They founded the Delhi Sultanate.


The Mongol conqueror Tamerlane sacked Delhi. The Delhi Sultanate split into small warring kingdoms.


The Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama arrived at Calicut. Portugal soon dominated Indian Ocean trade.


The English East India Company was founded.


English East India Company forces under Robert Clive won control of Bengal at the Battle of Plassey. The company soon began expanding its control.


The Sepoy Mutiny erupted. Indian forces massacred British residents at Delhi, Lucknow, and many other places. The revolt was later crushed by British forces, and the British government assumed full control of India.


The Indian National Congress was founded.


British forces killed more than 400 Indians and wounded over 1200 in the Amritsar Massacre.


Mohandas Gandhi introduced nonviolent tactics that transformed the Indian independence movement into a popular campaign.


British India was divided into the independent states of India and Pakistan. Jawaharlal Nehru became India’s first prime minister.


Mohandas Gandhi was assassinated.


India exploded an atomic bomb, altering the balance of power in South Asia.


Prime minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by Sikh members of her security guard.


Tensions increased between India and Pakistan over the continuing conflict in Jammu and Kashmr.


Elections swept the Congress Party from power and awarded the Bharatiya Janata Party the highest number of parliament seats. No party won a majority, making a coalition government necessary.