Compiled by Imran Ahmed firstname.lastname@example.org +923004159514
1206-1526 The Delhi Sultanate
Some of the earliest relics of Stone Age man were found in the Soan valley near Rawalpindi, dating back to at least 50,000 years. Predominantly an agricultural region, its inhabitants learned to tame and husband animals and cultivate crops some 9,000 years ago. Farming villages dating from 6000 BC have been excavated in Baluchistan, the North West Frontier Province and Punjab. The Indus Valley Civilization is considered to have evolved around 2600 BC. Built on the ruins of fortified towns near Kot Diji, it is now believed to have emerged from farming communities of the area. The Civilization boasted immense cities like Moenjodaro and Harappa. These towns were well planned, with paved main roads, multistoried houses, watchtowers, food warehouses, and assembly halls. Their people developed an advanced script that still remains un-deciphered. The Indus Civilization's decline around 1700 BC is attributed to foreign invaders, who at some sites violently destroyed the cities. But with recent research, historians have become unsure as to the exact causes of decline of the Indus Civilization. Aryans, who were rough cattle breeders, came from Central Asia around 1700 BC, seeking grazing land for their herds. Their religion was well developed, with gods identified from elements of nature. They followed a strict caste system, which later became Hinduism. They wrote the first book of Hindu scripture, the Rig Veda, which was a collection of hymns remembered through several generations. Some anthropologists believe that there is no real historical evidence to prove the coming of Aryans, and consider their coming as a myth. In sixth century BC, the people of the region were getting increasingly dissatisfied with the Hindu caste system. When Buddha, son of a Kshatriya king preached equality in men, his teachings were quickly accepted throughout the northern part of the Sub-continent. Around the same time Gandhara, being the easternmost province of the Achaemenid Empire of Persia, became a major power in the region. Its two cities - Pushkalavati, or present day Charsadda near Peshawar, and the capital Taxila, were the center of civilization and culture.
Alexander the Great invaded the Subcontinent in 327 BC. Conquering the Kalash valley, he crossed the mighty Indus at Ohind, sixteen miles north of Attock. He then defeated the mighty elephant army of Porus at Jhelum, and began his march towards the long Ganges plain. However, he was forced to plan for homeward sailing when his warwary troops refused to advance further. On his way back, a serious wound, received while battling the Malloi people at Multan, finally took its toll, and Alexander died in 323 BC, leaving his conquests for grab among his own officers. Chandragupta Maurya was an exiled member of the royal family of Magadha, a kingdom flourishing since 700 BC on the bank of river Ganges. After Alexander's death, Chandragupta captured Punjab with his allies, and later overthrew the king of Magadha in 321 BC to form the Mauryan Empire. After twenty-four years of kingship, his son, Bindusara, who added Deccan to the Mauryan rule, succeeded Chandragupta. Ashoka, son of Bindusara, was one of the greatest rulers the world has ever known. Not only did he rule a vast empire; he also tried to rule it compassionately. After initially causing thousands of lives during his conquest of Kalinga, he decided to rule by the law of piety. He was instrumental in spreading Buddhism within and outside the Sub-continent by building Buddhist monasteries and stupas, and sending out missionaries to foreign lands. The Greek king of Bactria, Demetrius, conquered the Kabul River Valley around 195 BC. The Greeks re-built Taxila and Pushkalavati as their twin capital cities in Gandhara. They were followed in 75 BC by the Scythians, Iranian nomads...