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Ancient Empires (Pre Historic)


Hinduism's history is closely linked with social and political developments, such as the rise and fall of different kingdoms and empires. Hinduism's ancient/early history is the subject of much debate. Hinduism is not a single religion but embraces many traditions. Some of them are very ancient traditions which may go back several thousand years

Notions of time

Hindus in general believe that time is cyclical, much like the four seasons, and eternal rather than linear and bounded. Initially, different periods were based on dividing complete precessional earth cycle of 26,000 years
Texts refer to successive ages (yuga), designated respectively as golden, silver, copper and iron. With each successive age, good qualities diminish, until we reach the iron or dark age (kali yuga) marked by cruelty, hypocrisy, materialism and so on. This looks like popular misconception "Old is Gold". All ages are same. Good and evil coexist. Only cultural values change.
  1. Before 2000 BCE: The Indus Valley Civilisation, Kumari Continent, Dwaraka and so on
  2. 1500–500 BCE: The Vedic or Indo Persian Period, Early Tamil Kingdom, ....
  3. 500 BCE–500 CE: The Epic, Puranic and Classical Age during Kanishka, Maurya..
  4. 500 CE–1500 CE: Medieval Period
  5. 1500–the present: Modern Period
Ancient dynasties with approximate period:
  1. before 3000 BC - The Mahabharata War (just guess/estimate);
  2. 2000 - 3000 BC - Brihadrath, Pradyota
  3. 1500 -2000 BC - Shishunaga , Nandas
  4. 1000 - 1500 - BC - Maurya Shunga and Kanau dynasty
  5. Before 300 BC - Andhra Gupta dynasty
  6. 300 BC - 78 AD - Mauryas, Alexander's invasion, Ashoka, Vikrama,
In India, there are two commonly used calendars - The first one is the Saka which starts from 78 AD when the Shalivahana king of South India defeated the Saka king of Malwa and the second one is called the Vikram calendar which starts from 57 BC.

Indus Valley Civilisation

The Indus Valley civilisation was located in the basin of the river Indus, which mostly flows through present day Pakistan. It had developed by about 2500 BCE although its origins reach back to the Neolithic period. Charles Masson, 1829, made major archaeological discovery in Harappa. Alexander Burnes noted the baked bricks employed in the site's ancient masonry, but noted also the haphazard plundering of these bricks by the local population. Systematic excavations began in Mohenjo-daro in 1924–25 with that of K. N. Dikshit, continuing with those of H. Hargreaves and Ernest J. H. Mackay. Dholavira in Gujarat, is one of the largest cities of Indus Valley Civilisation, with stepwell steps to reach the water level in artificially constructed reservoirs.

The Indus Valley is similar to the civilisations of Mesopotamia and Egypt. Two major cities Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa have been uncovered. These cities housed about 40,000 people who enjoyed quite a high standard of living with sophisticated water systems; most houses having drainage systems, wells, and other infrastructure. The people of the Indus Civilisation achieved great accuracy in measuring length, mass, and time. Harappans evolved some new techniques in metallurgy and produced copper, bronze, lead, and tin.Some cities of the Indus valley culture have yet to be excavated.

Little of the religion, social structure or politics of this early civilisation are known as we do not know the language. Seals have been found with what looks like a script inscribed on them. This has not been deciphered successfully. Religion seems to include temple rituals and ritual bathing in the 'great bath' found at Mohenjo-Daro. There is some evidence of animal sacrifice. A number of terracotta figurines have been found. A human deity with the horns, hooves and tail of a bull also appears in the seals, in particular in a fighting scene with a horned tiger-like beast. These are common to all ancient religions.

Dwarka

Dwarka means Gateway to Heaven, is a sacred historic city in Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism. The underwater ruins of Dwarka constitute one of the greatest archaeological mysteries of all time. Dwarka, Marine archaeological explorations off Dwarka have brought to light a large number of stone structures, randomly scattered over a vast area. The ruins below the Gulf of Cambay go back at least 9 thousand years, i.e. to the time when the area submerged under water.

The first thing to be excavated, were the ruins around the island of Bet Dwarka, around 30 km north of Dwarka. The works began in the 1930s but soon stopped. The next exploration was carried out in 1969-1970 and yielded varied results. The last one was undertaken in 2007. One of the main players involved in an effort to solve the mystery of the ancient city was Dr. S.R. Rao. He and his team succeeded in finding the submerged city off the Gujarat coast. (Dr. Rao presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lF8aMBGLzlM)

In 2001, in a follow-up investigation , they’ve found a piece of wood, pottery sherds, weathered stones initially described as hand tools, fossilized bones, and a tooth. Debris recovered from the site - including construction material, pottery, sections of walls, beads, sculpture and human bones and teeth has been carbon dated and found to be nearly 9,500 years old. They spotted something more than the original underwater ruins 40 meters deep, and 9km away from the shores of Dwarka.

Just by accident, they found new structures while monitoring the seafloor for pollution. This time the structures There was an ancient city on the two islands at the current Gulf of Cambay and the nearby shores – dating more than 13,000 thousand years.

Kumari Kandam - Poompuhar

Background findings and facts:
பஃறுளி யாற்றுடன் பன்மலை யடுக்கத்துக்
குமரிக் கோடுங் கொடுங்கடல் கொள்ள
வடதிசைக் கங்கையும் இமயமும் கொண்டு
தென்றிசை யாண்ட தென்னவன் வாழி"         (சிலப்பதிகாரம். 11:17-22)

"முன்னீர் விழவின் நெடியோன்
நன்னீர் பஃறுளி மணலினும் பலவே"     (புறம்-9)

கலித்தொகை 104 
மலி திரை ஊர்ந்து தன் மண் கடல் வௌவலின்,
மெலிவு இன்றி, மேல் சென்று, மேவார் நாடு இடம்பட,
புலியொடு வில் நீக்கி, புகழ் பொறித்த கிளர் கெண்டை,
வலியினான் வணக்கிய, வாடாச் சீர்த் தென்னவன்
தொல் இசை நட்ட குடியொடு தோன்றிய   5
நல் இனத்து ஆயர், ஒருங்கு தொக்கு, எல்லாரும்
The Silappadhikaram, states that the "cruel sea" took the Pandiyan land that lay between the rivers Pahruli and Kumari, to replace which the Pandiyan king conquered other lands belonging (Maturaikkandam, verses 17-22). Purananuru talks about Pandyan's victories.

Kalitogai 104: Pastor tribe lived along with the Pandian clan/dynasty. When the tidal sea came and conquered Pandian land, Pandyas won Cholas and Cheras with tiger and bow flags. Pandyas established their new kingdom with carp symbol in their country.

Lemuria is a continent, according to a disproved scientific theory put forward in 1864 by zoologist Philip Sclater. The theory was proposed as an explanation for the presence of lemur fossils in both Madagascar and India, but not in Africa or the Middle East. Alfred Wegener's theory of continental drift, explains the similarity of living organisms in different parts of the world. Lemuria finds a place in the writings of Blavatsky. Currently, the concept of Lemuria has been rendered obsolete by modern understanding of plate tectonics.

There are many scattered references in Sangam literature, such as Kalittokai 104 and Silappadhikaram, how the sea took the land of the Pandiyan kings, upon which they conquered new lands to replace those they had lost. There are also references to the rivers Pahruli and Kumari, that are said to have flowed in a now-submerged land. None of these texts name the land "Kumari Kandam" or "Kumarinadu" (குமரிகண்டம்), which is named in the medieval Tamil text "Kantapuranam". Kanda Puranam narrates about the birth of Shasta identified with Aiyanar. Appar identifies Vishnu as Parvati (Uma), the female counterpart of Shiva. The words "Kumari Kandam" first appear in Kanda Puranam, written by Kachiappa Sivacharyara (1350-1420).

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Tamil nationalists came to identify Kumari Kandam with Lemuria, a hypothetical "lost continent". These ideas gained popularity in Tamil academic literature over the first decades of the 20th century

Kumari Kandam (குமரிக்கண்டம்) may refer to lost continent with an ancient Tamil civilization. Kumari Kandam might be the place where the first two Tamil literary academies (sangams) were organized during the Pandyan reign. As per some literature, the temple at Kanyakumari was established by those who survived the flood that submerged Kumari Kandam. Another name used was "Pandya nadu", after the Pandyas.
The discussion of a katalkol ("seizure by ocean", possibly tsunami) of Pandyan land is found in works of Iraiyanar Akapporul. It mentions that the Pandyan kings, an early Tamil dynasty, established three literary academies (Sangams): the first Sangam flourished for 4,400 years in a city called Tenmaturai (South Madurai) presided over by Shiva. The second Sangam lasted for 3,700 years in a city called Kapatapuram (Murugan). Both the cities were "seized by the ocean", resulting in loss of all the works created during the first two Sangams. The third Sangam was established in present Madurai, where it is said to have lasted for 1,850 years.
Adiyarkunallar mentions that the lost land extended from Pahruli river in the north to the Kumari river in the South. It was divided into 49 territories, classified in the following seven categories: Moon; mango; front sandy; back sandy; hilly; coastal; and dwarf-palm Country.

Poompuhar, also called "Kaveripoompattinam" is an ancient historic town in Tamil Nadu. It was once a major port during the reign of Cholas. Graham Hancock date for the undersea structure near original Poompuhar was 9500 B.C. The Last Ice Age global warming and sea submergence of lands occurred before 12000 years ago. There are also legends of temples submerged under the sea, such as the Seven Pagodas of Mahabalipuram.

Now lemuria and Kumari Kandam are political theories and models, with lots of fiction (95% fiction?), developed based on some facts. Some writers used "Navalan Tivu" (or Navalam Island), the Tamil name of Jambudvipa, to describe the submerged land. They are all very popular with story writers and movies.

Vedic Culture

The language of vedic culture was vedic Sanskrit, which is related to other languages in the Indo-Persian/European language group. But Vedic texts contain elements of the indigenous traditions they encountered.
It appears that the Sapta Sindhu or the Sarasvati region was the centre of this cultural tradition and origin of the Vedic texts. Scriptures would have been originally developed (written/told) in many languages. The ancient India had very many language families and majority of them are extinct now. Much of the ancient texts centres around war between clans/tribes, the sacrifice and gods.
This period, around the time of Buddha (400 BCE), saw the composition of further texts, the Dharma Sutras and Shastras, the Epics and subsequently the Puranas, containing many of the stories still popular today.

Ancient Kingdoms/Empires

Indian subcontinet includes Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Lanka.
North West:
Kuru; Panchala; Vatsa; Matsya; Kamboja; Darada; Parada; Parasika; Tushara; Huna; Rishika; Trigarta; Salwa; Madra; Sindhu; Sauvira; Sivi; Kekeya; Gandhara; Youdheya; Kasmira; Kamboja; Madra; Yavana; Khasa; Saka;
North-Central:
Kosala; Kasi; Malla
Western India:
Saraswata; Abhira; Sudra; Nishada; Surasena; Dwaraka; Anarta; Saurashtra; Gurjara; Karusha; Chedi; Kunti; Avanti; Malava; Heheya; Dasarna; Vidarbha; Anupa; Surparaka; Nasikya; Konkana; Asmaka; Danda;
Eastern India:
Kalinga; Magadha; Kikata; Videha; Anga; Pragjyotisha; Sonita; Vanga; Pundra; Suhma; Utkala; Odra;
Southern India:
Andhra; Telinga; Kishkindha; Gomanta; Karnata; Pallava; Kanchi; Tulu; Mushika; Chera; Pandya; Chola; Mahishaka; Satyaputra; Lanka

Ancient Tribes

Popular groups include Bharatas; Gandharva; Yaksha; Kinnara; Kimpurusha; Rakshasa; Naga; Suparna; Vanara; Vidyadhara; Valakhilyas; Pisacha; Rudra; Aditya; Danava; Marut; Nivatakavacha; Daitya; Kalakeyas; and Vasus.
Bharatas may be the final tribe, who have been successful in the early power-struggles
Other groups include: Alina; Ānava; Anu; Āyu; Bhajeratha; Bhalanas; Bhrigus; Chedi; Dasa; Dasyu (Iranian: Dahyu); Dṛbhīka; Druhyus ancestors of the Iranian, Greek or European or Celtic?; Guṅgu; Iksvaku; Kīkaṭa; Krivi; Kuru; Mahīna; Matsya; Maujavant; Nahuṣa; Paktha.; Panis; Pārāvata; Parsu (Persians or assyrian?); Puru; Ruśama; Sārasvata; Srñjaya; Tritsu; Turvasa; Yadu;

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