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Title: U1 India Notes India

Vedic India, Hinduism, and the formation of the core Indian culture. India Topography. Khyber Pass. Deccan Plateau. Centrally located for trade. Indian Ocean & Silk Road. Himalayas insulate India from China.

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Title: U1 India Notes India

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Title: U1 India NotesSlide2


Vedic India, Hinduism, and the formation of the core Indian cultureSlide3

India Topography

Khyber Pass

Deccan PlateauSlide4

Centrally located for trade

Indian Ocean & Silk Road

Himalayas insulate India from ChinaKhyber Pass in Hindu-Kush mountains makes India accessible from Central Asia and West Asia (the Islamic world)The Indus & Ganges River valleys provide fertile lands for population to grow in North

The Deccan Plateau is marked by deep rift valleys, making access to the South difficult (lack of Indian unity)Implications of Indian Geography on the Development of IndiaSlide5


Harappan CivilizationSlide6



2500 – 1600 BCE

Indus River Valley

Dravidian (dark-skinned)

Herded cattle and farmed

Worshipped fertility gods

Icons in the shape of cattle and pregnant women

Ritualized bathing pools

Houses showed evidence

of distinct class divisions

Aryan Migrations

1600 – 1000 BCE

Large, light-skinned

Nomadic horseman from

central Asia (S. Russia)



Oral tradition in SanskritAryan Gods4 Classes

Blend of Dravidian andAryan influences+Called the “Vedic Age”

Classical HinduismBy 500 BCE (start of the Classical Era)Oral traditions written down in the Vedas4 Varnas = Castes and their (Dharma)Brahmin = Priests (learn scriptures)Kshatriyas = Warrior/Aristocrats (govern and fight)Vaishyas = Merchants (to sell goods/work)Shudras = Peasants (to serve)--------------------------------------------------------- UNTOUCHABLESJati = Sub-castes that further divide the varnasSamsara = reincarnation (cyclical existence of the soul)Dharma = dutyKarma = good and bad deedsMoksha = Salvation or release fron the cycle of Samsara


Do the dharma

Of your varnaAnd get good

karmaTo achieve mokshaFrom the cycle of samsara.Free your atmanTo reunite with Brahman.

Know, understand, and use these terms.WTF?! (freak)Slide8



KarmaMokshaReview the Upanishads – identify phrases that deal with each concept (quotes that support the idea).Can you find examples of these?dharma


MAIN IDEAS of Classical India:

Aryans created many small kingdoms in India that often were at war with each other

The Mauryan Empire founded a centralized state that unified much of India but didn’t last

The Gupta also unified much of India for a short timeIndia lacked a tradition of lasting centralized rule, even after these dynasties existed.Slide10

Economic & Social Developments

Aryans settled, began to farm with metal tools, and civilization grew in Ganges River Valley.

Social hierarchy developed, as the Aryans forced SHUDRAS or “serfs” to work the fields

Towns & trade flourished, causing the further development of the caste system.

Towns & Trade

Manufactured goods for local consumption

Pots, textiles, iron tools, metal utensils

Luxury goods for elites (jewelry, etc.)

Trade flourished

Large factories & marketplaces emerged

Empire built roads to facilitate trade within IndiaSlide11

Long-Distance Trade

Political links with Persia & the Mediterranean (Alexander) established trade with those regions

Silk Road trade to ChinaIndian Exports = cotton, aromatics, black pepper, pearls, gemsImports = horses from west & silk from China

Indian Ocean Sea Routes Increasingly UsedMerchants used Monsoon patterns to get aroundSpring & Summer = from southwestFall & Winter = from northeast

Indian merchants to SE Asia for spicesSlide12


Mauryan Empire

Persians and Alexander as evidence of political fragmentation and weakness of India – significance of Alex = political vacuum (may have met / inspired Chandragupta)Mauryan Dynasty (321-185 BCE)

Chandragupta Maurya united northern India in a state via conquest beginning in Magadha (Ganges & Indus River Valleys)Slide13


marked the high point of Mauryan Dynasty (uniting most of southern & northern)

Ashoka ruled via organized bureaucracy Efficient tax collectionStone edictsBuddhist valuesPromoted farming by building irrigation systems

Promoted trade by building roadsAshoka’s policies did not last past his death in 232 BCEAshokaSlide14

A pillar of


Hammurabi’s Code Slide15

Classical India 184 BCE-320 CE


Mauryan & Guptan EmpiresCultural vibrance

despite political decentralizationFlourishing trade (guilds)Thriving religion (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism)Recording of Indian epics: Ramayana & Mahabharata (Bhagavad-Gita)

Advances in science & technology

Lesser Dynasties after


Bactrian (Greek) Rule in Northern India (182 BCE – 1 CE)


Empire in Northern India (1-300 CE)Slide16

Gupta Dynasty (320 – 550 CE)

Modeled after


EmpireSmaller empire than Mauryan

Less centralized (local regions made many policies and decisions)

Theatre state

Supported sciences (concept of zero and “Arabic” numerals)

Decline in women’s rights (patriarchal dominance,



Reemergence of Hinduism and caste


White Huns (500 CE +)

Invaded from Central Asia

Left India in a feudal arrangement of local kingsIndia disunified until Mughals in 16th century.

Fall of Classical IndiaSlide18

Title: Mauryan / Gupta Venn Diagram

Create a Venn Diagram for the

Mauryan and Gupta Empires. Label each empire with the appropriate dates.Be sure to include similarities, as well as differences.Include information from ALL themes


Environment – brown/orangeCulture - Yellow

Political – Blue/PurpleSocial – Red/Pink

Economic - GreenThemes: