india

India's earliest known civilization arose about 5,000 years ago on the Indus River in what is now Pakistan. Archaeologists uncovered the remains of two huge cities with brick houses, piped water, and sewer systems. Nobody knows why, but these cities, called Harappa and Mohenjo Daro, were abandoned in 1700 B.C.

The Aryan people were farmers from Central Asia who arrived in India around 1500 B.C. They spoke Sanskrit, one of the world's oldest known languages. The Vedic Scriptures, writings that form the basis of the Hindu religion, were written during the Aryan reign.

In the 200-year reign of the Gupta Empire, starting in the fourth century A.D., arts, crafts, and sciences flourished. During this time, the Indian astronomer Aryabhatta determined that the Earth revolved around the sun. This was long before the Western world accepted the theory.

Beginning in the 16th century, following a series of invasions by Muslim forces, a Mongol leader named Babur founded the Mongol Empire. The Mongols oversaw a golden age of art, literature, and architecture in India between 1527 and 1707. They built roads, mosques, gardens, and enormous tombs, including the grand Taj Mahal.

In the late 1400s, Europeans arrived in India and began setting up trading companies. In 1757, Britain gained control over most of the country. Uprisings against British rule began in 1856. In 1920, the famous Mahatma Gandhi began nonviolent protests to push the British out. In 1947, India had independence.

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