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Ghaznavid Dynasty – Medieval Islam

By |2017-07-23T23:47:02-07:00July 23rd, 2017|History, India, Islam, West Asia|

A minaret in Ghazni (Afghanistan), from about 1000 AD Beginning in the 850s AD, the Abbasid caliphs of the Islamic Empire were looking for soldiers they would be able to trust, who were not other Arabs who would be trying to get into power. The Abbasids thought that the Turks would be trustworthy soldiers. So they captured a [...]

Shiva – Hindu god – Ancient India

By |2017-07-21T13:13:00-07:00July 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, [...]

What is Hinduism? A religion of India

By |2017-10-14T16:35:20-07:00July 21st, 2017|India, Religion, What|

Arjuna fighting Karna, with Krishna as his charioteer (Duttapara Temple, ca. 1500s AD) The word Hindu comes from the river Indus, and it just means the people who live near the Indus river (actually in modern Pakistan). The Harappa people who lived near that river about 2500 BC carved images of several different gods on their clay seals. We can't read Harappan writing, [...]

Who was Ganesh? – Hinduism – India

By |2017-07-21T08:45:00-07:00July 21st, 2017|India, Religion|

Ganesh (Musee Guimet, Paris, from Tamil Nadu, ca. 1500 AD) Ganesh was one of the Hindu gods. He has an elephant head, so he's easy to spot in Indian art. Usually Ganesh also has a big belly and four arms. Sometimes Ganesh is dancing, or eating candy, or riding on a mouse. People in India first began to [...]

Hinduism project – India religions

By |2017-07-21T08:39:17-07:00July 21st, 2017|India, Religion|

Airavetesavara temple to Shiva in southern India (1100s AD) For a great project on Hinduism, and to learn the important vocabulary of this religion, write words related to Hinduism on pieces of paper and put them in a hat. Two kids draw a word, and then have to act it out or tell a story [...]

How Ganesh cursed the Moon – Hinduism – India

By |2017-07-21T08:19:48-07:00July 21st, 2017|India, Religion|

Ganesh (Musee Guimet, Paris, from Tamil Nadu, ca. 1500 AD) Now long ago Brahma was sitting with Shiva when a man called Narada came along. And Narada offered a beautiful fruit to Shiva as a sacrifice. It was a really wonderful fruit, that Narada had chosen specially for Shiva. But Ganesh, Shiva's son, really loves fruit. He said he [...]

Brahma – Hindu god – Indian religion

By |2019-02-21T21:14:18-07:00July 21st, 2017|India, Religion|

Brahma (Musée Guimet, Paris,from Madhya Pradesh, about 1100 AD) Who was the god Brahma? Brahma was, along with Vishnu and Shiva, one of the three main gods of Hinduism. More about Vishnu And about Hinduism Religions of India All our India articles Vishnu came first, according to Hindu stories, and then Brahma was born out of Vishnu's [...]

Mauryan India – history of India

By |2017-09-13T08:21:08-07:00July 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 [...]

Indian art – Ancient and medieval

By |2018-04-23T15:13:04-07:00July 19th, 2017|Art, India|

Indian art: Krishna The major themes of Indian art seem to begin emerging as early as the Harappan period, about 2500 BC. Although we're still not sure, some Harappan images look like later images of Vishnu and Shiva, and the tradition may start this early. With the arrival of the Indo-Europeans (or Aryans) around 1500 BC, came new Central Asian artistic [...]

Medieval Indian architecture

By |2019-02-23T16:19:53-07:00July 19th, 2017|Architecture, India|

Osian Sun temple, 700s AD Two styles of temples: north and south By the 700s AD, after the collapse of the Guptan Empire, there were two different styles of temple-building in India, a north Indian style and a south Indian style. Guptan architecture in India Medieval African architecture Medieval Islamic architecture All our India articles [...]