Mauryan

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Post-Mauryan art in India – 100 BC to 300 AD

By |2017-09-14T17:16:08+00:00September 13th, 2017|Art, India|

Relief from Saidu Sharif I, in the Swat Valley. 50 BC - 50 AD. Now in the Swat Museum, Pakistan. The Mauryan Empire collapsed about 150 BC, but India remained a rich place thanks to Silk Road trade. Indian artists kept right on carving new sculptures. Sometime around 50 BC - 50 AD, [...]

Mauryan art in India – 300 to 100 BC

By |2017-09-14T17:17:58+00:00September 13th, 2017|Art, India|

Buddha comes down from heaven. Butkara I, Swat Valley, Pakistan, 100s BC. (Now in Swat Museum.) The rise of Buddhism in India during the Mauryan Empire brought with it a new interest in carving the stories of the Buddha's life. And Indian artists were now seeing scenes from Greek mythology on the metopes [...]

Who is Vishnu? – Hinduism – India

By |2017-07-21T13:35:30+00:00July 21st, 2017|India, Religion|

Vishnu and Lakshmi (Kashmir, 1000s AD now in Los Angeles) Vishnu was one of the Hindu gods. He was mentioned in the Rig Veda as a god of light and the sun. But people first began to worship Vishnu as a really important god around 300 BC. About this time, people began to think about Vishnu as being like the sun's energy, everywhere, [...]

The god Varuna – Hinduism – India

By |2017-07-21T13:25:30+00:00July 21st, 2017|India, Religion|

Monsoon rain (Goa) Around 1000 BC, in the Vedic period in India, Varuna was an important Hindu god. Varuna was originally a sky god - his name means "the one who covers everything." Often people think of Varuna as a rain god. He represented order in the universe (against the forces of chaos). Some parts of Varuna's identity, at [...]

Shiva – Hindu god – Ancient India

By |2017-07-21T13:13:00+00:00July 21st, 2017|India, Religion|

The Hindu god Shiva Shiva was a Hindu fertility god, who made the crops grow. He was not mentioned in the Rig Veda, about 1000 BC, and seems to have come into Hinduism later than that. Around 300 BC, in the Mauryan period, people began worshipping Shiva. This might be another name for the Harappan god Rudra. But unlike the earlier Hindu gods, [...]

Who is Krishna? Hinduism in India

By |2017-07-21T10:37:03+00:00July 21st, 2017|India, Religion|

The god Krishna killing the horse demon (Guptan Empire, 400s AD,now in Metropolitan Museum, NYC) Krishna was one of the Hindu gods. He was actually just one of the many forms of the god Vishnu. People thought of Krishna as one reincarnation of Vishnu. The god Krishna doesn't appear in Indian stories before about 300 BC. Probably he [...]

Jataka Tales – Buddhist stories from India

By |2017-07-20T17:21:06+00:00July 20th, 2017|India, Literature|

(Thanks to Alan Murphy) During the 300s BC, when the Mauryan Empire was first uniting northern India, Buddhist monks and nuns in India began to tell stories about the earlier lives of the Buddha before he was reborn as the Buddha. Alphabetic writing was still pretty new and exciting in India at this time, and the Buddhists used the new alphabet to write down their stories [...]

Mauryan India – history of India

By |2017-09-13T08:21:08+00:00July 20th, 2017|History, India|

These punch-marked silver coins might be from the time of Chandragupta I Alexander went back to Babylon in 324 BC. Then a man named Chandragupta overthrew the old Vedic kingdom of Nanda and formed a big new empire. He ruled all of northern India and into Afghanistan. Greek historians said that Chandragupta got the idea from Alexander. But it [...]

India after the Mauryans

By |2017-07-20T11:59:25+00:00July 20th, 2017|History, India|

Rock-cut temples at Ajanta, India (100s BC) About 150 BC, the Mauryan Empire collapsed. India split up into a lot of small kingdoms. These small kingdoms were weak and so they were often invaded by stronger neighbors. The Greeks under their king Seleucus came back in 150 BC. They conquered the Indus Valley (modern Pakistan) again, but they didn't [...]

History of India – Early South Asia

By |2017-07-20T11:54:00+00:00July 20th, 2017|History, India|

Clay figurines from Mehrgahr India was one of the first places people came to after they left Africa. They travelled along the coast around the Arabian Peninsula and the Persian Gulf. The first people probably arrived in India about 50,000 BC. They probably lived along the coast, and used small boats. They ate a lot of fish and shellfish, like [...]