Sources Of Ancient Indian History

Although we have many sources to get information about the ancient literature and philosophy of India, but those sources are not beneficial for the information of ancient Indian history, due to which we do not get information about the history of ancient India. Still, we have some such sources or means available with the help of which we get information about the history of ancient India. Although many sources are available with us, but some sources are either based on believable scientific reasons and some are based only on beliefs and personal thinking. The types is :-
(1) Literary sources
(2) Description of foreigners
(3) Archaeological sources

(1) Literary Sources:-

The thinking that gives the most information about the history of ancient India is the literary source. Literary sources mean those historical books which give us information about the past. Literary sources can be divided into two parts:-
1. Religious Literature
2. Non-religious literature

1. Religious Literature:-

Religious literature refers to historical books which are related to some religion or the other, these books give us information about the people of any community or religion. Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism were the main religions in India in ancient times. The people of Jainism expanded themselves, the scholars and philosophers of these religions composed a lot of literature, books and by reading these books, we get information about them, what was the lifestyle of the people at that time, what was their socio-economic condition. We get information about their political life, their civilization, about their culture, about their way of life from these books.

Literature related to Hinduism:-

Hinduism is the oldest religion of India, only after this religions like Buddhism and Jainism have emerged. After the decline of the Indus civilization, the Vedic civilization was born. Aryans came after the Indus civilization, they wrote many books and literature, which gave us the life style of Hinduism, their social, economic, political life, their culture, their way of life. Get information about the. Many books and texts have been written in Hinduism: Vedas, Upanishads, Aranyakas, Brahmanas, Vedangas, Sutras, Puranas, Mahabharata, Ramayana.

Veda :-

It is the oldest religious text of India, whose compiler is considered to be Maharishi Krishna Dvaipayana Veda Vyasa. The number of Vedas is 4 :- Rigveda, Samveda, Yajurveda, Atharvaveda. Vedas are written in Sanskrit language and verse. As an exception, Yajurveda is written in Gad and Pad. There is also a prose part in the Atharvaveda, which is the sixth part of the whole book.

1. Rigveda :-

  • The collection of systematic knowledge of hymns is called Rigveda.
  • It is divided into 10 circles. It has 1028 verses in which there are 11 Valakhilya verses and 10462 hymns.
  • This web gives information about the history, political system of Aryans.
  • The first and tenth mandalas of Rigveda are written last, hence it is called Kshepak.
  • A sage who reads the thoughts of Rigveda is called Hotr.
  • Vishwamitra is the author of Rigveda.
  • In its third mandala is the Gayatri Mantra, which is addressed to a deity named Savitri (Savitri). Soma is discussed in the ninth division. The hymns of the eighth division of this are called Khil. The tenth mandala of this describes the concept of Chatushvanya society, according to which four varnas Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras have been born from the face, arms, thighs and feet of the Brahmin respectively.
  • In Rigveda, more importance has been given to male deities. A total of 33 deities are mentioned in Rigveda. Out of which Indra, Varuna, Agni, Soma and Surya are considered as the main deities.
  • One who recites Rigveda is called Hotr.
  • In the Rigveda 250 hymns have been composed for Indra and 200 for Agni.
  • In this Veda, there is a mention of learned women like Vishwavara, Ghosa, Lopamudra etc. The woman who gives importance to religion and philosophy for life is called Brahmavadini.
  • The Rigveda also describes the conflict between the Aryans and the non-Aryans.
  • In this Veda there is a mention of ‘Dasaragya war’. This battle took place on the banks of the Ravi river and Sudas was victorious in this war.
  • Indra has been called by names like Purandar, Dasyuhan, Purobhit.
  • Saraswati is depicted as a holy river in the Rigveda.
  • Names like Gritsamad, Vishwamitra, Vamadeva, Bharadvaja, Atri and Vashishta are found in the Rigveda as the composers of mantras.
  • Scholars say that the Rigveda was composed in Punjab.
  • The sentence ‘Asato Ma Sadgamaya’ has been taken from Rigveda itself.
  • Gods and Goddesses of Sky in Rigveda
  • Savitri (Savitri) Surya Usha Pushan Vishnu Nasatya

2. Samaveda :-

  • The literal meaning of ‘Saam’ is song. Most of the verses and mantras of Samaveda have been taken from Rigveda. This Veda mainly describes the same mantras which are sung on the occasion of Yagya.
  • The priests who recite the verses and mantras related to this Veda are called Udratri.
  • There are total 1810 hymns in this Veda which are all taken from Rigveda.
  • Samaveda is related to music, it is called the father of Indian music.
  • The 78 hymns in Samaveda are new and original.
  • Samaveda can be divided into three branches :- (1) Gemini, (2) Ranayaniya, (3) Kauthum
  • Samaveda is in the form of music. This Veda is said to be the root of music science.
  • In which Vedas mention of Savita, Agni and Indra is mentioned.

3. Yajurveda :-

  • Yajurveda is a ritualistic text, it is divided into two parts (1) Krishna Yajurveda (prose), (2) Shukla Yajurveda (verse). It is in both prose and verse.
  • Yajurveda contains a compilation of verses and mantras used in rituals and rituals.
  • Yajurveda describes various techniques of agriculture and irrigation. Different types of rice are described in this Veda.
  • In which Vedas, mantras for recitation and various rules to be followed at the time of sacrifice have been described.
  • One who reads Yajurveda is called Adhwaryu.
  • In which Veda the method of sacrifice is also described.
  • In which Veda Yajna like Rajasuya, Vajapeya and Ashwamedha have also been discussed.
  • Various types of women officers (ratnis) during the Vedic period are also described in Yajurveda.
  • Yajurveda has two branches :-
  • (1) Krishna Yajurveda :- Vaishampayana is related to Rishi Krishna Yajurveda, four more branches of this branch are Maitrayani Samhita, Kathak Samhita, Kapinthal and Samhita.
  • (2) Shukla Yajurveda :- Yajnavalkya is related to Rishi Shukla Yajurveda. Thanks Javed has two branches :- Madhyandin and Kanva Samhita.

4. Atharvaveda :-

  • The word ‘Atharva’ literally means ‘holy magic’. Atharva gives information about things like disease prevention, royal devotion, superstition and marriage.
  • Atharva Veda has been composed by Atharva Rishi.
  • Most of the mantras of Atharvaveda are related to witchcraft and occultism. The mantras of this Veda are also considered as the basis of Indian science.
  • Medicines for the prevention of diseases have also been described in this Veda.
  • A total of 6000 verses are given in this Veda and there are 731 mantras. There are some mantras in this Veda which are older than the mantras of Rigveda.
  • Atharvaveda condemns the birth of girls. Which shows that the society of that time was patriarchal.
  • The thoughts and superstitions of common man are also mentioned in this Veda.
  • In this Veda, there are descriptions of mystical disciplines, herbs, miracles and Ayurveda etc.
  • In which Veda, there is description of house construction, disease prevention, coordination, election of king, marriage, curse, search of trade routes, about plants and medicines, atonement, progress of agriculture etc.
  • In this, Parikshit has been called the king of Kurus and the prosperity of Kuru country is depicted well.
  • The Atharvaveda is divided into two branches – Saunaka and Paippalad.
  • In this Veda, Sabha and Samiti are said to be the two daughters of Prajapati.
  • The last Veda is the Atharvaveda.

Upveda :-

  • Upveda is an appendix to the Vedas, through which the technical aspects of the Vedas are clarified.
  • Sushruta and Bhava Prakash considered Ayurveda to be the teachings of Atharvaveda. Later on, the architectural Vedas and Shilp Shastra were also placed in the category of Upveda.
  • Rigveda- Ayurveda (medical science)
  • Yajurveda- Dhanurveda (related to warfare)
  • Samaveda- Gandharvaveda (musical science)
  • Atharvaveda- Shilpveda (the art of building construction)

Brahmin :-

  • The prose composition of each Veda is a Brahmanical text. The Vedic mantras and institutions are called Brahman.
  • From this we get information about the culture and society of the later Vedic period.
  • There are 8 mandalas in the Aitareya Brahmin, it was composed by Mahidas Aitareya.

Vedas, Upveda and major Brahmin texts :-

Vedas Upveda creator Brahmin texts
Rigveda Ayurveda Prajapati Aitreya, Kaushitaki
Yajurveda Dhanurveda Vishwamitra Taittiriya, Shatapatha
Samveda Gandharvaveda Narada Panchvish, Jaimniya, Shadvish, Tandya
Atharvaveda Shilpveda Vishwakarma Gopad

  • These brahmin texts give us information about the events that happened after Parikshit and before Bindusara.
  • Maharishi Yagyavalkya has received the teachings of Brahmin texts including mantras from Aditya.
  • The Aitareya Brahmana has 8 mandalas and 5 chapters. It is also called register. In Aitareya the rules of consecration and the names of kings of some ancient times are given.
  • The names of kings like Guru Panchal Vidhi and Kaushal etc. have been given and mentioned in the Shatapatha Brahmana by saying Gandhara Shalya. In this, the woman is said to be the half-wife of the man.

Aranyaka :-

  • The word Aranyak is derived from ‘Aranya’ which means forest. In this information about soul, divine birth, death, rebirth etc. is found. It acts as a link between the path of knowledge and the path of action.
  • In this, more importance has been given to the knowledge side than rituals.
  • The texts composed by the sage in the forests are called Aranyakas.
  • All Aranyaka texts are associated with Brahmin texts, at present 7 Aranyakas are available:- Aitareya, Taittiriya, Talvakar, Jaimini.

Upanishads :-

  • Its literal meaning is ‘to operate near’ or ‘to sit near’. It refers to the knowledge which is learned in solitude while sitting near the guru. It describes the relationship between Atman and Brahman.
  • The number of Upanishads is 108 out of which 13 are placed in the category of fundamental Upanishads.
  • There is a very beautiful dialogue between the disciple and the sage in the Upanishad, which takes the reader to the heart of the Veda.
  • The four Ashrams are mentioned in the Jabalopanishad.
  • The dialogue between Shvetaketu and his father is in the Chandogyoshanid.
  • The dialogue between Yama and Nachiketa is in the Kathopanishad.

Memoirs :-

  • Smriti Purana and Dharmashastra come under Smriti literature. In the Smriti texts, the ethics and rules of life have been described.
  • Smriti texts are less complex than the Vedas. They contain many stories and Vedas, due to which they are very easy to understand.
  • The Smriti texts have had the greatest impact on Hinduism. Smriti Granth was composed after the Sutras.
  • Manusmriti is the oldest of the Smriti texts, it was composed in the Shunga period in the second century BC, it is the standard text of the Shunga period. Meghatithi Govindraj and Kullukabhatri have commented on this.
  • Narada Smriti describes about the Gupta age.
  • Vishwaroop and Aparaka commented on Yajnavalkya Smriti.
  • Social rules have been told from them.

Vedanga :-

  • Vedanga has been created to understand the meaning of Vedas.
  • There are six Vedangas, they are education, kalpa, nirukta, grammar, verses and astrology.
  • Vedanga has been created to reduce the discrepancy of the Vedas.
  • Formula :-
  • In Vedic literature, the Sutra literature has been used to present the law and rules, which is called Kalpasutra.
  • It has 3 parts – Source Sutra, Griha Sutra and Dharma Sutra.
  • From the study of the sources and religious sources, we get important information about the rituals and politics of Yagya.
  • Source Sutra :- This is the first part of the Vedanga Kalpasutra, it gives information about the detailed rituals related to Mahayagya.
  • Griha Sutra :- In this sutra the rituals related to festivals, family rites and personal sacrifices have been described.
  • Dharmasutra :- This is the fourth part of the Kalpasutra, in which social, religious law is described.

Puranas :-

  • Puranas are the best systematic description of historical events. It brings out historical trends.
  • The credit for its compilation goes to Ved Vyas.
  • The total number of Puranas is 18, in which the main Puranas are Matsya, Vayu, Vamana, Markandeya, Vishnu etc. These Puranas give information about the genealogies of various kings, so it is very important.
  • There are descriptions of ancient sages and kings in the Puranas.
  • Among the Puranas, Matsyapuran is the most ancient and authentic, it describes the Satavahana dynasty, in which 10 incarnations of Vishnu have been told.
  • There is a description of Ganesh worship in Agni Purana.
  • Goddess Durga is described in the Markandeya Purana.
  • Vayu Purana describes the Gupta dynasty.
  • Most of the Puranas which are old are written in simple Sanskrit verses, the women and Shudras of these Puranas can hear the Puranas being recited by the priests in the temple.
  • The names of the 18 Puranas are as follows – Brahma, Markandeya, Skanda, Padya, Agni, Vamana, Vishnu, Bhavishya, Kurma, Shiva, Brahmavarta, Matsya, Bhagavata, Linga, Garuda, Narada, Varaha and the Brahmanda Purana.
  • Agni Purana is very important in this because it describes the monarchy as well as agriculture.

Conspiracy :-

Apart from Vedic literature, there are other texts giving direction to Indian society and philosophy, from which Indian philosophy has been formed. In these, an attempt has been made to understand the soul, soul, world, brahman etc. in different ways.

Indian philosophy
sankhya kapil
justice gautam
Yoga Patanjali
Vaisheshika Kanad
purva mimamsa jamini
Uttar Mimamsa Badrayan

Ramayana :-

The Ramayana was composed by Maharishi Valmiki. It is in Sanskrit language. It is also called as Chaturvinshati Sahastri Samhita because it has 24000 verses at present. Ramayana is divided into 7 parts:- Balakand, Ayodhyakand, Aranyakand, Kishkindhakand, Sundarkand, Yudhkand and Uttarkand.

Mahabharata :-

The Mahabharata is divided into 18 parvas, it is also called Jayasamhita or Shatsahastra Samhita. It was composed by Maharishi Ved Vyas. It had 8800 verses but now it has 1 lakh verses, hence it is called Mahabharata. It has 18 parts:- Sabha, Van, Virat, Adi, Udyog, Drona, Bhishma, Karna, Shalya, Saptik, Shanti, Woman, Discipline, Ashwamedha, Ashramavasi, Ascension, Mausal, Mahaprasthanik.

Literature related to Buddhism :-

  • As the spread of Buddhism increased, so did a lot of literature related to Buddhism. Tripitaka, Nikaya and Jataka are the main texts in Buddhist texts.
  • The Jataka describes the stories of Buddha’s previous births. The Sutta Pitaka describes the teachings of the Buddha, the Vinaya Pitaka deals with the rules related to monks and nuns, and the Adhimadhammapitaka gives a philosophical explanation of Buddhist doctrines.
  • The main book of Hinayana is Kathavastu, it describes the life character of Mahatma Buddha.
  • Information about the Mauryan period is obtained from the Buddhist texts Deepvansh, Mahavansh. Milindapanho, composed by Nagasena, tells about the Hindu Yavana ruler Minandar.
  • Tripitaka is the oldest Buddhist literature, it was composed after the creation of Mahatma Buddha.
  • Tripitaka has three parts:- Sutta Pitaka, Vinaya Pitaka and Abhidhamma Pitaka.
  • The Sutta Pitaka describes the principles of Mahatma Buddha. The Vinayapitaka describes the organization and discipline of Buddhist monasteries and the Vedantic doctrine is described in the Adhigampitaka.

Literature related to Jainism :-

  • The main feature of Jain literature is that the stories are presented in such a way that historians do not face any difficulty in compiling facts.
  • Jain literature describes the principle propounded by Mahavira.
  • Jain literature is called Agam. Jain literature is written in Prakrit language. There are 12 Angas, 12 Upangs, 10 Prakarna and 6 hole sutras in the Agama.
  • The life and contemporary events of Mahavir Swami are described in the Jain text Bhagwati Sutra. The early history of Jainism is known from the Kalpasutra. The Jain text Bhadrabahu character describes the events of the reign of Maurya dynasty ruler Chandragupta Maurya.

2. Non-religious literature :-

Apart from religious sources, other sources from which information about historical events are obtained are called non-religious literature. There have been many scholars and diplomats in history who wrote many books, accounts and biographies and information about the source of history is obtained from those books, biography, literature. These literatures are called non-religious literature. There are many such scholars and diplomats as follows:-

1. Arthashastra of Kautilya :- Kautilya who is also known as Chanakya and Vishnugupta is the author of Arthashastra. Kautilya was the prime minister of Chandragupta Maurya. He composed the Arthashastra in the 4th century BC. Arthashastra is a Sanskrit treatise composed by Kautilya. It describes various aspects like agriculture, justice, politics and polity. Evidence is found in this book about the immediate governance system. This is the first book written on the political system. It is divided into 15 officers and 180 cases.

2. Panini’s Ashtadhyayi :- Ashtadhyayi is the first text of Sanskrit grammar, it was composed by Panini. The word script is used for the first time in Ashtadhyayi. From this book, the history before Maurya and the political, social condition of Maurya era is depicted.

3. Mudrarakshas of Visakhadatta :- The book written by Visakhadatta describes about the decline of the Nanda dynasty from Mudrarakshas and the making of Chandragupta Maurya as the king.

4. Mahabhashya of Patanjali :- Patanjali was the priest of Pushyamitra Shunga. In Shunga period, Patanjali wrote Mahabhashya on Panini’s Ashtadhyai. Information about the post-Mauryan system is obtained from this Mahabhashya. Information about the history of Shungas is obtained from this Mahabhashya.

5. Kalhana’s Rajatarangini :- The first attempt was made by Kalhana to write the historical events sequentially in Sanskrit literature. The book Rajatarangini (River of Kings) has been composed by Kalhan. This book was composed in the 12th century. The history of Kashmir is described in Kalhana’s Rajatarangini. There are 8 cantos in this book which are called Tarang. In this book, the emperor Harshavardhana of Kalhan has been praised.

6. Harshacharita of Banabhatta :- The historical events of the time of King Harshavardhana’s reign have been described in Harshacharita, a book composed by Banabhatta. Harshacharita was composed in the seventh century.

7. Katyayan’s Gargi :- The book Gargi Samhita composed by Katyayan is an astrological text. In this treatise, the attacks on India by Yeh No have been described.

(2) The account of the foreigner :-

From time to time many writers and scholars came to India from outside and they wrote many books to describe the social, cultural, political, economic, religious and geographical system here, from these books we can learn about various sources of history. Information is available on the subject. For easy understanding of these literary sources, we can divide them into four parts. He is:- Greco-Roman writer, Chinese writer, Arabic writer, other writer.

Greek Roman writers :-

1. Herodotus :- This was an Iranian writer, he was the oldest Greek historian. It is also called the ‘Father of History’. The book composed by him is ‘Historica’ in which he describes the relationship between India and Persia of the fifth century. Fable stories have been given place in his works.

2. Tesius :- This was an Iranian royal doctor. The information he has given about India is astonishing, so it is not right to believe in him.

3. Writers who came with Alexander :- Alexander, who was a Greek ruler, came with many Greek rulers to India, among them Niarchus, Anesikratus and Aristobulus are important.

4. Megasthenes :- Megasthenes was the ambassador of the Greek ruler Seleucus in the court of Chandragupta Maurya. The book written by him is Indica, which gives details of Mauryan society and culture.

5. Dimachus :- Dimachus was the ambassador of King Antiochus of Syria. It came in the court of Bindusara. The description of a writer like Dimachus is also related to the Maurya-era.

6. Dionysius :- Dionysius came to the court of Ashoka, it was the ambassador of Ptolemy Philidelphus, the king of Egypt.

7. Ptolemy :- In the second century, Ptolemy composed ‘Geography of India’, in which the geographical landscape of India has been described. Or was a Greek writer, many important information is obtained from his book.

8. Pliny :- Pliny wrote a book named ‘Natural History’ in the first century. This book describes the flora, fauna and minerals of India as well as the trade relations between India and Italy. This book gives information about many Indian animals, plants and minerals.

9. Periplus of the Erythian-Sea :- This book is written by an unknown Greek author. Information about its author is not available from this book. This writer had settled in Egypt and traveled to the Indian coast in 80 AD. In the description made by it, the mention of ports and information about the imported-exported goods is also available. This unknown author has given information about the ports and trade goods of India.

10. Srevo :- This is a famous Greek writer who considered the given description of Megasthenes as fictional.

Chinese writer :-

1. Fahien :- It came during the reign of Chinese traveler Chandragupta II. He lived in India for 14 years, wrote a book called ‘Pho Kyun Ki’, in this book he has given information about Indian society, politics and culture, it has told the people of Madhya Pradesh to be prosperous and happy. He has written particularly about the state of Buddhism in India.

2. Hiuen Tsang :- Hiuen Tsang came to India during the reign of Harshavardhana. It left China for India in 629 AD and after about 1 year it reached the state of India called Kapisha. He had come mainly to study at Nalanda University and to carry Buddhist texts from India. It stayed in India for 15 years. Hiuen Tsang’s composition is Si-yu-ki. He has described the religious condition of India as well as the political condition. Historians have called Hiuen Tsang the ‘King of Travellers’. According to this the king of Sindh was Shudra. Hiuen Tsang’s composition gives details of 138 countries. Hiuen Tsang worshiped the idol of Mercury as well as the idols of Sun and Shiva.

3. Itsing :- Itsing came to India in the seventh century. He studied Buddhism by staying at Vikramshila and Nalanda University. He made a detailed description of Nalanda University, Vikramshila University, Buddhist educational institutions and Indian society in his work. He wrote in his work about Buddhist costumes and food.

Arabic Writers :-

1. Alberuni :- Alberuni is the most prominent among Arabic travelers. This Mahmud came to India with Ghaznavi. Alberuni was a resident of Khwarizm (modern Turkmenistan). He had composed a treatise named ‘Tahqeeq-e-Hind’ in Arabic. Chapters such as religion and philosophy, festivals, alchemy, customs, practices, social life, method of weighing and measuring, sculpture, law, astronomy have been given in this book. In this book, he has thrown light on the condition of India of 11th century AD.

2. Ibn Battuta :- He has written his travelogue in Arabic language which is known as ‘Rehla’. In the fourteenth century, Sultan Mohammad bin Tughlaq, pleased with his scholarship, declared him the Qazi or Judge of Delhi.

3.Sulaiman :- This writer came to India in the 9th century, he wrote the history of Pala and Pratihar rulers.

4. Alberuni :- His real name was Abu Rihan. He wrote the book ‘Tehqeeq-e-Hind’. By studying Sanskrit language, he has given a detailed description of Indian society in his work. He was a contemporary of Mahmud Ghaznabi.

Other Authors :-

1. Bodhlama Taranatha :- This was a Tibetan writer, he wrote texts named Kangyur and Tangyur. Information about the history of India is obtained from these texts, as well as the Maurya period and subsequent events are also described from this text.

2. Marcopolo :- Marcopolo came to India at the end of the 13th century to visit a country called Pandya and we get this information from studying Pandya history.

(3) Archaeological sources :-

  • The archaeological source is of special importance for the study of ancient history. These sources provide a clear and accurate knowledge of chronology.
  • Archaeological sources include inscriptions, currency, sculptures, monuments and paintings etc. These things provide information about history.
  • The Father of Archeology of India is called ‘Sir Alexander Cunningham’. Archaeological evidences include inscriptions, coins, monuments/buildings, sculptures and paintings etc.

Records/Inscriptions :-

  • The study of records is called epigraphy.
  • Inscriptions are inscribed on rocks, pillars, copper plates, walls, postures and statues etc.
  • Inscriptions are obtained in different forms, they are of different types, when the inscription is written on a rock, it is called an inscription, when it is written on a pillar, then a pillar inscription, when it is written on a copper inscription, and when it is written on an idol. When written, the inscription is said to take the idol.
  • The inscription provides accurate and detailed information about the state and the king.
  • The oldest records in the history of India have been received from the Indus Valley Civilization. Since the script of the Indus Valley Civilization is unknown, it cannot be read, so these inscriptions are difficult to read.
  • The Bogazkoi inscription, which dates back to 1400 BC, shows that the Aryans came from Iran to the east. This inscription describes the Vedic gods Mitra, Varuna, Indra and Nasatya.
  • Records of Mahasthan and Sahgaura :- These inscriptions belong to the time of Chandragupta Maurya’s reign. In this inscription, there is talk of giving relief to the people suffering from drought and at the same time in this inscription safe food grains to be used in times of crisis. has also been asked to do.
  • The oldest inscriptions belong to the Mauryan ruler Ashoka and most of the inscriptions composed by Ashoka are written in the Brahmi script. Ashoka’s inscription gives a description of the religion and kingship of that time.
  • Hathigumpha inscription :- First of all Bharatvarsha was used in Hathigumpha inscription.
  • Visnagar (Vidisha) Garuda Pillar inscription :- This pillar inscription gives evidence of the development of Bhagwat religion in Madhya Pradesh. This pillar inscription was erected by the Yavan ambassador, Holiodorus.
  • Inner Pillar Article :- The Pillar Article gives information about the first Hun invasion of India.
  • Eran inscription :- This inscription provides the first evidence of the practice of Sati, which were built by Bhanugupta.
  • Mandsaur inscription :- This inscription gives information about silk weavers.
  • The name of Ashoka is mentioned in the inscriptions established in Masaki and Gurjara. The names of Ashoka are also found in the inscriptions of Nettur and Uddegolam. Samudragupta’s inscription is engraved on Ashoka’s Prayag inscription.

Major Records/Inscriptions :-

Record Ruler
Prayag inscription – Samudragupta
Hathigumpha inscription – Kalinga State Kharavela
Nashik inscription – Gautami Balshree
Junagadh (Girnar) inscription – Rudradaman
Bhitri and Junagadh inscriptions – Skandagupta
Aihole Inscription – Pulakeshin-ll
Mandsaur inscription – Yashovarman
Gwalior Inscription – Bhoj Parmar
Eran inscription – Bhanugupta
Mehrauli inscription – Chandragupta ll
Devapada inscription – Vijayasena

Coins :-

  • The study of coins is called numismatics or currency science. The oldest coins are found made of gold, silver, bronze, copper, lead.
  • Ancient coins are called ‘hurt coins’. These coins were the oldest coins without inscriptions (Punchmark coins). Wounded coins have been called Karshapan in historical texts.
  • The tradition of engraving names on coins came from the Greeks. The Hindu Greeks were the first to issue gold currency. The maximum gold currency was issued by the Kushanas and the purest gold was issued by the Guptas. Glass currency was issued by the Satavahana rulers. The complete history of the Satavahana kings is found on the basis of their inscriptions.
  • On a coin of Samudragupta, he is shown playing the Veena, which shows that Samudragupta was a lover of music.
  • Silver coins were introduced by Chandragupta II and he issued these coins to commemorate his victory. These coins were prevalent in western India.
  • The picture of the ship is engraved on the posture of Yagya Shree Shatkarni.
  • The description of the victory of the Shakas is found in the posture of the tiger style of Chandragupta Vikramaditya.

Temple :-

  • Buddhist viharas and stupas were built only after 4th to 5th century BCE. Temples were built in different styles. Two types of poetry were followed by which temples were built, that is – Nagara style and Dravidian style. The art style of building temples of North India is called Nagara style and the art style of building temples of South India is called Dravidian style. Is. The temples in which both these styles are used in construction are called Vaisara style temples. The best examples of temples built on Vaisara style are the temples of Dakshinapatha.
  • When a Hindu temple is surrounded by four subsidiary temples, that temple is called a Panchayatan style temple. Examples of temples built on Panchayatan style are Dashavatar Temple (Devgarh), Gondeshwar Temple (Maharashtra), Lingaraj Temple (Bhubaneswar), Kandariya Temple (Khajuraho), Brahmeshwar Temple (Bhubaneswar), Lakshmana Temple (Khajuraho).

Memorial :-

  • Among the native monuments, the monuments of Harappa, Mohenjodaro, Nalanda, Hastinapur are prominent.
  • Among foreign monuments, the Angkor Wat Temple in Cambodia and the Borobudur Temple in Java show the spread of Indian culture to South Asia.
  • Sculptures :-
  • Because many religions originated in India, so many idols also developed and they came into vogue.
  • Bodh Gaya, Amravati, Sarnath, Bharhut were the major centers of sculpture in ancient India.
  • Gandhara art and Mathura art are prominent among various sculpture styles.

Pottery :-

  • Information about ancient history is also obtained from different types of pottery.
  • In the Indus Valley Civilization, red pottery, painted gray pottery in the later Vedic period while black pottery was prevalent in the Maurya period.

Painting :-

  • A lot of information about history can be obtained through painting. Through paintings, we get information about the life-style of the people of ancient times, their culture, art.
  • The paintings of the Ajanta caves date from the 1st century BC to the 7th century AD.
  • Information about the culture of ancient times is obtained from the paintings received from the caves of Bhimbetka in Madhya Pradesh.

Conclusion :

Here we have given you detailed information about “Sources of Ancient Indian History”, if you have any kind of question related to this information, or want to get any other information related to it, then you can comment in the comment box. You can ask through us, we are waiting for your feedback and suggestions.

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