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Geography of India

Geographic Features
Examples
Effects on Society
Location
-in the Indian Ocean
-subcontinent made up of India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
-Himalayas block India from the rest of Asia

-little invasion because of natural barriers
-access to bodies of water and a large, rough coastline favorable for trade

Resources
-tea
-spices
-opium (poppy seed)
-cotton

-the availability of resources caused industrializing Western nations to imperialize India
Mountains
-Himalayas
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Hindu Kush (Khyber Pass)
-Western and
Eastern Ghats

-protection and isolation from foreigners (in the history of India, the only significant invasion was by the Aryans, through the Khyber Pass)
Rivers
-Indus (site of first ancient civilization of India)
-
Ganges (holy river for Hinduism)
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Brahmaputra

These rivers provide fertile soil which allowed these to be sites of ancient river valley civilizations.
Climate
-Monsoons
-Climate varies with each region of India

-Winter monsoons blow dry air from the northeast across the country, westward.
-Summer monsoons shift in direction carrying moisture form the ocean in huge clouds. These clouds create storms which cause floods.
-when summer monsoons do not develop, which causes drought.

Plateau/Desert
-Deccan Plateau
-Thar Desert
-makes up most of the Indian peninsula
-hard living because the monsoons interfere with everyday life
-Thar Desert borders the northwestern part of India which provides a natural barrier.


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Founding of Hinduism:


Hinduism was developed slowly, and cannot be traced back to a specific founder (Aryans are thought to have started the religion).

Hinduism is a REILGION and a WAY OF LIFE, the majority of India is Hindu.
Basic Beliefs:

· Moksha- freedom from reincarnation (“Hindu Heaven”)
· Mandala- wheel of reincarnation, this will continue until moksha is reached
· Samsara- reincarnation
· Dharma- the duties of one’s caste
· Karma- the deeds of the present will effect your reincarnation in the future
· Gods- Brahma (creator), Vishnu (protector), and Shiva (destroyer)

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· Caste System- rigid social stratification of Hinduism. Social mobility only occurs between lives


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Caste System

The Vedas are one of the main holy books of Hinduism, others include: the mantras, agamas, itihasas, and others.

Hindus are free to choose the gods they worship, if any at all and the path they want to take to achieve moksha. There are three paths:

1) the path of right thinking
2) the path of right action
3) the path of religious devotion


The beliefs of Hinduism and one's caste dominated every part of a Hindu’s life:


-Control what a person wears, eats and the way they ate, the people they could associate with, their cleanliness and their wealth.


Founding of Buddhism:

Buddhism was started by Siddhartha Gautama (aka Buddha or the "enlightened one")and spread to the East and Southeast Asia by missionaries and traders. Buddhism was not very dominant in India because of Hinduism’s popularity among the people.

During Buddha’s experience of enlightenment, he discovered the

Four Noble Truths:
1) Life is painful.
2) Pain is caused by desires.
3) To end pain, you must end desire.
4) To end desire, follow the eightfold path.


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The Eightfold Path- guide to behavior, like a staircase. Those seeking enlightenment have to master one step at a time, this would occur over various lifetimes. If one followed the eightfold path, they accomplish nirvana


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Middle Way- one should live his/her life in moderation. It is like a Buddhist practice of non-extremism
Nirvana

- the release from selfishness and pain to end reincarnation


Indus River Valley Civilization:

Little information is known about how the first settlers arrived in India, possibilities may be that travelers came through the Khyber Pass, or by ship from Africa. People were settled in ancient civilizations as early as 7000 BCE. The largest cities were Kalibangan, Mohenjo-Daro, and Harappa. The Indus Valley Civilization is also known as the Harappan Civilization.

Mohenjo-Daro: This city is most known for its plumbing system. Almost every house in this city had a plumbing system in their house in which connected pipes carried dirty water to underground sewage systems.

Harappa: This ancient city is a good example of how urban planning was used. The city was built partly on top of mud-bricks to prevent flooding. Also, a thick wall about three and a half miles long surrounded the city itself. Streets were paved in a grid system and walls divided residential areas.


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Urban Planning

Culture of the Indus Valley

Language
-Developed written language that remains impossible to decode.
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Culture
-Each of the cities had the same culture and religion. Socially. there was much of a division in society.
-Economically, the cities flourished due to the fabrication of nonessential items such as children’s toys.
-Limited conflict existed, small supply of weapons.
-Animals were an important part of culture, and respected. They are depicted on many artifacts.

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Animals Depicted on Artifacts
Religion in Daily Life
-Civilization was a theocracy based on a religion that has close ties with the beliefs of Hinduism.
Trade and Agriculture
-Stones, silver and gold, sometimes made into jewelry were the main basis of trade.
-Cotton was also popular since not many people knew know to grow it.
-The Indus River provided transportation for trade in close regions and also linked to the sea for trade with distant peoples.
-People of the Indus Valley civilization traded with Mesopotamians.



Decline of the Harrapan Civilization
Around 1750 BCE the
Indus Valley cities began to decline. Shifts in tectonic plates provide evidence that earthquakes and floods contributed to the downfall. Trade decreases and many cities were destroyed. Environmental challenges prevented good harvests.



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Ruler
Accomplishment/Important Events
321 BCE: Chandragupta Maurya
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Chandragupta Maurya

- He proclaimed the Mauryan Empire, the first Indian empire
- He united most of India by conquering all others with a vast army
- The Indian Empire was divided into four zones, each having a prince. Each of the four zones was made up of many local regions headed by officials who collected taxes and enforced law.
-Chandragupta’s son ruled the empire for only 32 years before Asoka brought the Empire to its greatest heights.

269 BCE: Asoka
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Asoka

- Buddhism in India originated when Chandragupta’s grandson, Asoka became king of the Mauryan Empire in 269 BCE.
- He studied Buddhism and decided to rule by Buddha’s teaching of peace to all
- Asoka’s rules promised his subjects would be treated fairly and humanely
- He built extensive roads and improved communication in India to uphold the well-being of the Indian people
- When Asoka died (in 232 BCE), his policies of nonviolence and toleration no longer controlled India.

AD 320: Chandra Gupta I
(started Gupta Empire, not associated with Mauryan Empire)

Chandra Gupta I
Chandra Gupta I

-After 500 years or turmoil, a leader came to power, his name was Chandra Gupta.
-He founded India’s second empire, the Gupta Empire.
-This period was characterized as a golden age of India and Hinduism was made an important part of life.








The Gupta Empire:

The Gupta dynasty ruled the Gupta Empire of India from around 320 BCE to 550 BCE.

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Gupta Empire


The Gupta Empire covered almost all of Northern India and Eastern Pakistan.


  • Included parts of present day west India and Bangladesh.
The capital of the Gupta Empire was Pataliputra, present day Patna.


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The Gupta Empire had many contributions throughout the years that it existed.



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RULERS
ABOUT THE RULER
Sri-Gupta
· The Gupta Empire was founded by Sri-Gupta.
· His reign was from about AD 240-280.
Ghatotkacha
  • Ruled from AD 280-319.
  • Ghatotkacha had son named Chandra Gupta, marred princess Kumardevi, holding power in Magadha.

Chandra Gupta
  • Chandra Gupta got control on the flow of northern India's commerce on the Ganges River (major flow of commerce in northern India)
  • Ten years later Chandra Gupta died, told his son named Samudra to rule.
  • Set up efficient bureaucracy that collected taxes, built roads and harbors, established government owned factories and shipyards.

Samudragupta
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· Ruled for about forty-five years until his death in AD 380
· Reign had much to do with the military (constant warfare)
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· Ruled around 380
· Chandra Gupta II was Samudrgupta’s son
· Extended the empire through the west coast of India, where there were trading ports to increase the commerce of India
· The Gupta Empire was prosperous in many ways: made their own businesses and were prosperous, wealthy and middle class people in the cities who enjoyed music, dancing, drinking wine and many other pleasures.
Kumara Gupta I
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Kumaragupta I coin

· Chandragupta II passed away in 415 and his son Kumara Gupta I maintained the prosperity of India
· The Gupta Empire suffered invasions and after Kumara Gupta’s (forty year) rule, (during the invasions) his son Skanda Gupta fought off the invaders.
Skanda Gupta
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Skandagupta coin

· Hephthalites returned where all Skanda Gupta was doing was fighting them for twenty-five years, weakened the Gupta Empire.
· Skanda Gupta died in 267, empire collapsed eventually after not being able to withstand attacks.


Alexander the Great in India:

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Alexander The Great

(Blending of Persian, Egyptian, Greek, and Indian cultures due to the empire of Alexander the Great was called Hellenistic culture.)

· After Alexander the Great’s conquest Hellenistic culture spread, it was the period of Greek literature and learning after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BCE.


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- Alexander the Great was a Macedonian king;
- He conquered northern India in 325 B.C
- One of his greatest battles in India was against Porus, (a powerful Indian leader) on July 326 B.C.E.
- Alexander the Great gave an independent territory to Porus as a gift after fighting.


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After the battle against Porus his next goal was to reach the Ganges River because he thought that it flowed into the Ocean.

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  • Alexander the Great's troops heard stories about Indian tribes that lived on the Ganges, as a result refused to go further east.
  • Alexander was upset about the refusals but accepted their concern and had them travel south down the Indus and Hydaspes rivers to possibly reach the southern part of the Ocean.
  • During the trip they stopped at a village that was the territory to the Mali, an Indian war tribe.
  • Alexander the Great was wounded many times from the attacks.
  • Macedonian* officers rescued Alexander.
  • Alexander and his troops in July 325 B.C.E reached the Indus and after returned home.
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Alexander The Great


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Indus and Hydaspes Rivers


Macedonia: an area of southeast Europe on the Balkan Peninsula

· Includes parts of modern-day Greece, Bulgaria, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

· After the fall of the Alexandrian empire, it was held by Romans, Byzantines, Bulgars, Serbs, and Turks.

· The present division was largely determined after the Second Balkan War in 1913.



Map of Macedonia
Map of Macedonia

British East India Company

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By: Shea Kroez and Nicole Altchiler