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November 06, 2014

Indian history about Mauryan Age 300 B.C - 200 B.C hand notes for Group-I, Group-II, Group-IV, Jr.Lecturers & Degree Lecturers and Civil services prelims

MAURYAN'S AGE [300 B.C - 200 B.C]

Mauryan's were ruled entire Indian subcontinent except Tamil nadu and Kerala.

North : Himalayas
South : Kaveri region
East : Bangladesh
West : Afghanistan

Ashoka's inscriptions says, the southern India was ruled by some kingdoms: Cholas, Pandayas, keralaputta (Chera).

Sources:
  • Literary Sources
  • Epigraphical Sources
Literary:

Megastanese - Indica:
  • Greek ambassdor, in the court of Chandra Gupta Maurya sended by Selucus Nicator.
Controversies in Indica:
  • There is no slavery in India.
  • There are 7 castes in India.
  • There are no famines in India.
  • There is no usury system.
Shatapata Brahmana - First evidence to money lending in India.

Arthashastra: Kautilya / Chanukya / Vishnu Gupta

October 18, 2014

Indian history about Pre Mauryan Age hand notes for Group-I, Group-II, Group-IV, Jr.Lecturers and Degree Lecturers and Civil services prelims

PRE - MAURYAN AGE (600 -300 B.C)

Different Names:
Age of Shodasa Mahajanapadas.
Age of Buddha (Yugapurusha)

Mahajanapadas:
Anguttara Nikaya - Buddhist literature in pali language.

Important languages of Ancient India:
Sanskrit - Intellectual language
Pali & Prakrit - Convenient to common man
Buddhists - Pali language
Jain - Prakrit language

North-west India - 2 Janapadas
South India - 1 Janapada
North India - 13 Janapadas

S.No
Name
Capital
1 Magadha Raja Gruha - shifted to Pataliputra
2 Anga Champa
3 Malla Pava (Bihar), Kashi (U.P)
4 Vijji/Lichavi Vaishali (Bihar)
5 Kasi Varanasi
6 Kuru Hastinapur, Indraprasta
7 Saurasena Mathura
8 Panchala Ahichchatra
9 Kosala Shravasti
10 Matsya Virata Nagara (Jaipur)
11 Avanti (Central India) Ujjain (M.P)
12 Chedi (Central India)
(Bundelkhand)
Suktimati
13 Gandhara (North-west India) Takshasila (Taxila) (Rawalpandi), Pushkalavati (Pak-afghan border)
14 Kamboja (North-west India) Rajapura
15 Asmaka (South India) Podana (Bodar in Nizamabad)

September 22, 2014

Indian history about Vedic Aryan civilization hand notes for Group-I, Group-II, Group-IV, Jr.Lecturers and Degree Lecturers and Civil services prelims

Vedic/Aryan Civilization

Beginning of historical age because it has literature 700 sites were found.Painted grass wart was found in all those sites. So, this is also known as PWG civilization.

* Sources

Vedic literature - Not an isolated book.
It is massive one which as library full of books, Manuscripts were written from 400 A.D.
Vedic literature is sacral literature.
It is divided into 8 parts:
The First 4 are considered as Shruti Literature.

1. Vedas
2. Brahmanas
3. Aranyakas
4. Upanishads

The Next 4 are considered as Smriti Literature.

5. Vedangas
6. Puranas
7. Upavedas
8. Ethihasas (Epics)

Explanation as Follows

1. Vedas: Vedas are of 4 types.

a). Rigveda - 1028 Slokas. Gayatri Mantra address the goddess Savitri 10 chapters or mandalams.

10th chapter is important, Purushasukta.

* Purushasukta - First reference of caste system.

Every human being is created by Brahma from his home body but from different organs.

People created from the
  • Head of Brahma - Brahmanas
  • Shoulder of Brahma - Kshatriya's
  • Thies of Brahma - Vyshyas
  • Feet of Brahma - Shudras
b). Yajurveda: Describe about rituals. The biggest problem of rituals is there is no direct connection between the god and devotees.
c). Samaveda: This Veda gives importance to music. Slokas in Rigveda were tuned.

d). Atharvaveda: Describe prevention of diseases and evil spirits.

2. Brahmanas

Each Brahmana is associated with one of the 4 Vedas.
  • Rigveda
    • Aitareya Brahmana - First reference of Andhra.
    • Kaushitaki Brahmana
  • Yajurveda
    • Krishna Yajurveda
      • Taittiriya Brahmana
    • Shukla Yajurveda
      • Madhyandina Shakha
        • Shatapatha Brahmana, Madhyandina recension.
      • Kanva Shaka
        • Shatapatha Brahmana, Kanva recension.
  • Samaveda
    • Kauthuma and Ranayaniya shakhas
      • Tandya Mahabrahmana or Panchavimsha
      • Sadvimsha Brahmana
      • Samavidhana Brahmana
      • Arsheya Brahmana
      • Devatadhyaya or Daivata Brahmana
      • Chandogya Brahmana
      • Samhitopanishad Brahmana
      • Vamsa Brahmana
    • Jaiminiya Shakha
      • Jaiminiya Brahmana
      • Jaiminiya Arsheya Brahmana
      • Jaiminiya Upanishad Brahmana
  • Atharvaveda
    • Gopatha Brahmana

September 21, 2014

Language and Literature, Religion and Society of the Sathavahanas in Indian history

SATHAVAHANAS

LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE
  • During the Sathavahana period, Prakrit was the court language, the medium of literary efforts and the language of inscriptions. Besides, Telugu language also had its origins in the Sathavahana period, for the Gathasaptasati of Hala, though written in Prakrit language, has several Telugu words. 
  • Sathavahanas patronized several scholars and writers who wrote some commendable works:
    • i) Sarvavarman - Kaatantra vyaharana
    • ii) Gunadhya - Brihatkatha and Dasarupa
    • iii) Somadeva - Kathasaritsagara
    • iv) Nagarjuna (Famous Buddhist scholar) - Sunyavada, Madhyamika Karika, Pragna Parimiti Sastra, Dwadasa Mikaya Sastra, Suhurllekha, etc.,
    • v) Hala (Sathavahana ruler) - Gatha Sapthasati and Sattasi.
RELIGION
  • The Sathavahanas patronized "Brahmanism" and performed various vedic sacrifices, such as Aswamedha, Raasuya, Vajapeya and Agnistoma yagas. They praised themselves as the protectors and upholders of the "Varnasrama Dharma" and gave liberal donations to Brahmins. The Sathavahanas were, infact the first in the ancient Indian history to start the practice of granting revenue-bearing lands to religious persons. 
  • Buddhism also flourished in Andhra Desa during the Sathavahanas period. Appearing in Andhra around the 4th century B.C., it became a popular religion due to the tolerant polices and liberal donations of the Sathavahana rulers and more particular due to the active support given to it by some of the Sathavahana royal ladies who were ardent Buddhists. Several Buddhist thirthas came into existence in Andhra Desa, and most of the monuments at these places were erected during the Sathavahana period. 
  • In the beginning of the Christian era, Andhra become one of the important centres of Mahayana Buddhism and the person who was responsible for this was the great Acharya Nagarjuna. He was a multidimensional personality and contributed immensely to several fields like religion, philosophy, literature, physics, chemistry, astronomy, and education. A resident of Sriparvata (which is now known as Nagarjuna Konda), he was for a while in the court of Gautamiputra Yajnasri. One of the prominent scholars of the Mahayana Buddhism, he expounded "Sunyavada" within its philosophy. Besides, he was the founder of the Nagarjuna University, which attracted Buddhist students not only from different parts of India but also from abroad.
SOCIETY
  • The Society was organized on the basis of "Varnasrama Dharma", with the four varnas, namely Brahmin's, Kshatriya's, Vaishya's and Sudra's, supposedly carrying out their respective duties. 
  • The Sathavahana Society was divided into 4 classes on the basis of their official position and social status. The first and the highest was formed by high officials like Maharathas, Mahabhujas and Mahasenadhipathis. The second consisted of middle class officials like Mahamatras, Amatyas, Bhandargarikas, Naigamas, etc., The third comprised of small officials like Lekhakas, and professionals like Suvarnakaras. The fourth and the last class consisted of Lahavanijas, Vardhakis, Dassakas, etc., 
  • It was partriachal in nature, with the father enjoying immense powers over all the members of the family. Women, however, were respected in the family and occupied a good status in the society. Joint family system seems to be norm of the day.

Art and Architecture of the contribution of the Sathavahanas in Indian history

ART AND ARCHITECTURE

Though the Sathavahana rulers were followers of Brahmanism, some of them like Gautamiputra Satakarni, Vasistiputra Pulamavi, Gautamiputra Yajnasri, etc., were not only tolerant of Buddhism but gave liberal donations to Buddhists who, in turn, contributed immensely to the growth of art and architecture in Andhra Desa. The Sathavahana queens and princesses were mostly followers of Buddhism, and were greatly responsible for the spread of Buddhism in Andhra Desa. The entire Andhra Desa came to the studded with Buddhist Thirthas (religious centres) in which Buddhist monuments of various types and sizes were constructed.

The following were the main Buddhist Thirthas in Andhra Desa:
  1. Amaravathi, Bhattiprolu, Nagarjuna Konda,Motupalli, Chejerla, Buddam, Goli, Chebrolu, etc., in Guntur district.
  2. Ghantasala, Jaggayyapeta, etc., in Krishna district.
  3. Guntupalli, Gummadidurru, Alluru, Garikapadu, etc., in West Godavari district.
  4. Kottipudi, Timmavaram, Aduru, etc., in East Godavari district.
  5. Sankaram, Simhachalam, Ramathirtham, etc., in Visakhapatnam district.
  6. Gajulabanda, Panigiri, Kondapuram, etc., in Telangana State.
  • a) Architecture: The Buddhist architecture of the Sathavahana period can be seen in three categories.
      • i) Viharas (monasteries or residences of Buddhist monks).
      • ii) Chaityas (Buddhist temples where either the statues or symbols of Buddha were worshiped).
      • iii) Stupas (Buddhist tombs where the relics of Buddha or some other famous Buddhist monk were buried and worshiped.
    • Most of the Viharas and some of the Chaityas were cave monuments, while the Stupas had necessarily to be independent structures.
    • All these three categories or types of monuments are generally found at the above mentioned Buddhist Thirthas. But some of the Thirthas with their world-famous monuments deserve special mention. Amaravati is renowned, among others, for its massive Stupa, which measures 162 feet in diameter and 100 feet in height and has a railing of 192 feet in diameter. The monolithic Stupa crowning Bijjanakonda at Sankaram is the biggest monument of its kind. The four Ayakastambhas erected on four cardinal points of this Stupa were the invention of Andhra Stupa and hence unique in the history of Buddhist Architecture. The Nagarjuna Konda valley alone has, besides the Mahachaitya, 4 Viharas, 6 Chaityas and 8 Stupas.
  • b) Sculpture: The Sathavahana period witnessed the rise and growth of a separate school of art, known as the Amaravathi school of art, in Andhra Desa. The Amaravathi school flourished in the region between the lower valleys of the Krishna and the Godavari, which had become an important center of Buddhism as early as 2nd century B.C. Though the school also had its origins in the middle of the 2nd century B.C., it matured fully only in the later Sathavahana period (1st and 2nd centuries A.D). Its main centres were Amaravathi, Nagarjuna Konda and Jaggayyapeta, though other centres like Ghantasala, Goli, Gummadidurru, etc., also contributed. Its artists mainly used white marble in their sculptures.
    • i) Buddhist statues: The Great Amaravathi Stupa is adorned with limestone (marble) sculptures depicting scenes of the Buddha's life and surrounded with free standing Buddha figures. Beautifully balanced in composition to fit the circular frames, its relief medallions convey an intense vitality and sense of rapid movement. The slender, long legged figures are portrayed in vigorous action, often rising almost to frenzy, as in the famous medallion showing a host of ecstatic demigods carrying the Buddha's begging bowl to heaven. The sculptures on the main Stupa and its railing together cover a total surface area of 16,800 square feet.
    • ii) Secular statues: The Amaravathi artists have also created a large number of beautiful human images which infact out number those of religious nature. These figures and images of males and females have been regarded as some of the best among the contemporary sculptures not only from the point of view of their size, physical beauty and expression of human emotions, but also from that of their composition. They are so composed that they seem to be interlinked with each other and present before an onlooker not distraught figures but a well composed painting. Particularly the female paintings in different moods and poses, and endowed with full breasts, heavy hips and living flesh, are its best creations. Thus, the Amaravathi school of art is among others, frankly naturalistic and sensuous.

September 18, 2014

Indian history about Indus valley civilization hand notes for Group-I, Group-II, Group-IV, Jr. Lecturers and Degree Lecturers and Civil services prelims

Different Names
  • Harappan civilization:- 
    • Harappa is the Type site of civilization because it is first site discovered (1921) in entire civilization.
  • Bronze age civilization
  • Porto-Historic civilization
  • This civilization had script, but it is not studied by any archaeologist. So, it is called Porto-historic.
  • There are another 3 important civilizations contemporary to the Indus-civilization in the world.
  • Sumerian civilization (Mesopotamia)
  • "Mesopotamia" means land between two rivers
  • Two rivers are Tigris, Eupratese
  • Egyptian civilization (Nile valley)
  • Chinese civilization (Hwang HO valley)
* Extent of IVC (Indus-Valley Civilization)

                                        MANDA (Jammu & Kashmir) chenab river
                           /\
                           |
                           |
(Afgo Iran border) SUTKENJENDARO Dashk river<-------|------>ALANGIRPUR (U.P) Hindon river
                           |
                           |
                           \/
                                    DIAMABAD(Maharashtra), Pravara river

Fig: Indus-Valley Civilization

Total areal of civilization is 1.3 million Sq.Km.

* Authors of IVC

Archaeologists discovered 4 different races of people were built this civilization.
  • Mongoloids
  • Proto-Austroloits
  • Albinoids
  • Mediterranean/Dravideans
  • North - Indian languages - Aryan group of languages
  • South - Indian languages - Dravidean group of languages
* Important sites of IVC

Total = 1400 sites
India = 900 sites
Pakistan = 600 sites
Mohenjodaro means "mound of dead" (Sindhi)
Lothat means "mound of dead" (Gujarati)

* Important characteristics of IVC
  • Town planning:
    • Every city is divided into 2 parts:
      • Upper (citadel)
      • Lower
  • Chanhudaro --> Only city doesn't had citadel.
  • Bholavira --> The city was divided into 3 parts.
Following is the Periodization chat of the Indus-Valley Civilization
S.No
Name of the City
Year
Excavator
River
State
Findings or Significance
1
Harappa
1921
Dayaram Sahani
Raavi
Punjab (in Pak)

  • 6 Granaries
  • Wooden coffin - Box where dead bodies kept.
  • From a Grave - 12 Bronze mirrors, many Jems and Jewelry.
2
Mohenjodaro
1922
R.B.Benrjee
Sindh (in Pak)
Karachi
  • Great granaries
  • Great bath (so big in area) 39*23*8 feet.
  • A bronze dancing girl, satiate bust of a priest.

3
Chanhudaro
1931
M.G.Majumdar
Sindh
-
  • Lipsticks
  • Evidence of cat
4
Lothal
1935
S.R.Rao
Phogauo
Gujarat
  • Yard (రేవు)
  • Fire alter
  • Twin burial
5
Kalibangan
1961
B.B.Lal
Ghagger (Branch of Saraswathi)
Rajastan
  • 7 Fire alters (around some bone of cattle's)
6
Bholavira
1991
J.P.Joshi
-
Gujarat
  • Largest site in India
  • A reservoir
  • Stadium was found.
The cities built on Grid pattern (chess board pattern).

Chandigarh, only city built on Grid pattern in India.

Every city in IVC is built on Grid pattern except Banavali.
  • Under ground drainage system along with manholes.
    • Every city had this drainage system except Banavali.

* Social Structure of IVC: society is class divided based on wealth.

class - mobility is allowed.

caste - mobility is not allowed.

John Marshall, Director - General of ASI at the time of Indus-Valley Excavation.
  • According to him, Indus Society is Matriarchal society. i.e., Mother is head of family.
  • Religion is the reflection of society. IVC society was highly matured.

* Political System: This system is difficult to study.

D.D.Kaushambi - The priest class people are rulers. i.e., Theocracy.

R.S.Sharma rejected this hypothesis, because there were no religious symbols (i.e. temples) in IVC. If priests were the rulers then they built temples which reflects their religious culture.
According to him, merchants are rulers.

* Economy of IVC

Agrarian economy - Economy to which agriculture is backbone.

Important food grains - Barley & Wheat.

Commercial crops - Cotton, Mustard.

Rice was rarely cultivated.

In Lothal, a rice grain was found.

In Rangapur, rice was found.

Hoe was used by Indus people instead of Plough.
  • Plough usage evidences were found in two places:
    • Thalibangan - Furrows (a field which has plough marks).
    • Banavali - Terrakota replica of plough.
  • Evidences of Horse
    • Lothal (a doubtful terrakota horse was found).
    • Surkotado (Gujarat) - Skeleton of horse was found.
* Industries
  • Textile Industry (cotton)
  • Brick Industry
  • Metalogical Industry (Copper & Bronze)
  • Ship building Industry (only at Lohal)
  • Jewelry Industry (breads & shell ornaments) - located in 3 sites.
    • Chanhudaro
    • Lothal
    • Bholavira
* Trade and Barter

Trade is divided into 2 categories:

  • International (Lothal)
  • Internal
* Sumeria is important trading partner.
* The Indus valley seals were found in Mesopotamia.
* Seal - The small pieces of Steatite (1 cm).
* Seal consists the pictographs, animals etc.,
* 4000 seals found.
* Shape - Rectangle or Square.

* Mesopotamian seals were always in cylindrical shape
* Mohenjodaro - 3 seals of Mesopotamia were found.
* Indian cotton was found in "UMMA".
* In 2300 B.C. SINDON (means cotton) from Melura.
* Mesopotamia scripts were in cuneiform.
* Barter system - Exchanging the goods.

* Religious beliefs of IVC people

  • Mother Goddess.
  • Pashupati Mahadeva.
In Mohenjodaro, a seal was found consists the Pashupati Mahadeva image (with 3 heads, 2 horns) surrounded by animals.

In the opinion of John Marshal, Pashupati Mahadeva was "Proto-Shiva" and most of scholars accepted it.

  • Evidence of Linga-Yoni.
  • Bull, Snake, Tree,...worship.
  • Clear evidence of rituals along with animal slattering.
  • Large number of amulets (Talismans) were found in many sites.
* Causes for the end of IVC

Opinions of different scholars

  • Mortimum wheeler - Aryans invasion
  • Evidences - 13 skeletons were found at one place (including women and children), those are scattered and has some knife marks. Many scholars opposed this because the Aryans came to India in 1500 B.C.
  • Some scholars said, floods were the cause of end of IVC. Mohenjodaro, Chanhudaro cities were destroyed many times by floods and those cities were rebuilt. But there was no evidence of floods.
  • Earth - quakes.
  • Drying of rivers or the direction of flow of rivers was changed. Today, Indus rivers 40 KM away from the Mohenjodaro but in ancient period, this city was built on the banks of Indus.
  • Ecological Degradation.
  • Indiscriminate use of natural resources.
* Weights and Measures of IVC

16 is base for weights and measures
Today, 1 Rs = 16 anas.
1 Sare = 16 chakats.

September 13, 2014

Yellow pages for ancient Indian history class notes for Group-I, Group-II, Group-IV, Jr. Lecturers and Degree Lecturers, A.E.Es, DAO, S.I and Civil services prelims

Dear Aspirants, Here we are giving the basic knowledge of ancient Indian history. So, Aspirants like you need not struggle for material in searching. The basic concepts have been thoroughly explained here. It is useful for the competitive exams like Group-I and II, Group-IV, Jr. Lecturers and Degree Lecturers, A.E.Es, D.A.Os, S.I and Civil services prelims.

Pre-Historic Culture

Culture:- Living pattern / way of life / what you are.

Civilization:- What you have.

Advancement in materialistic development and Technology.

Features of civilization

a) Urban life
b) Script
c) Sophisticated technology
d) Materialistic development
e) Increasing use of metals (Alloys)

First civilization in India - Indus valley civilization (2500 BC).
The classification of ancient period on the basis of script is 2 types.
      1. Pre-historic Period
      2. Historic Period
1. Pre-historic Period:- 

The period where no script and records.
Not studied by any historians.

2. Historic Period:-

The age studied by historians.
Archaeologists name the culture based on metals, used to prepare weapons, coins, tools, etc.,
Earliest culture is named as stone age.
  • I. Old stone age (Paleolithic Culture)
  • II. Middle stone age (Mesolithic Culture)
  • III. New stone age (Neolithic Culture)
First metal used by human beings is "copper". Simultaneous use of stone and copper leads to fourth culture called copper-stone age.

Bronze Age Culture:- Bronze is an alloy (copper + tin)

Iron Age Culture:- In historians perspective Iron age is called as Aryan civilazation. The first four cultures are come under pre-historic cultures.

I. Paleolithic culture (Old stone age)

Bori Caves:- First evidence of Human beings in India (1.4 million years ago).

Pallavaram:- First paleolithic culture site (1863).

"Robert Bruce Foota", British Archaeologist identified the pallavaram site.

Archaeological survey of India (ASI) - 1861, First Director General - "Alexandar Cunningham".

Tools:- "Quartazite" is used to made all types of tools like blades, Hans axes, flakes, breeds, scrapads, etc.,

Race:- Homosapien (Human being with thinking capability)
  • Food hunting and food gathering are sources of economy.
  • Village communities were not formed. People were living as a Bands (Small group of people).
  • Pleistocene conditions (Extreme cold conditions).
  • Culture is determined by Geography.
  • Thousands of settlements were found at coastal areas except Kerala.

II. Mesolithic Culture (Middle stone age)

Man was so happy in this period because of comfortable conditions for living.
  • Holocene conditions (warming conditions).
  • Domestication of animals.
  • First demonstration of animals found at two sites.
    • Adamgar (Madhya Pradesh)
    • Bargor (Rajastan)
  • Construction of houses
    • First houses in India - Sarai Nahar Rai (U.P.)
  • Pottery
    • Mesolithic man started making pots.
    • First pots (hand made) in the world - Chopanimando (U.P.)
  • Microliths
    • The stone tools made by Mesolithic man were too small in range (1 cm - 8 cm). So these are called Microliths.
    • Bhimbetka:-
      • Mesolithic site in M.P (Narmada Region). So many paintings were found on the walls of rocks. This is one of the earliest art in the world.
    • UNESCO recognized it as world Heritage center.
    • Jantar-Mantar in Jaipur, recognized as world Heritage center recently by UNESCO, which was built by Sawai Jay Singh in 18th century.

III. Neolithic Culture (New stone age)
  • Agriculture
    • North India : Wheat, Barley.
    • South India : Ragi, Horse gram.
  • Villages were formed.
  • Mehargarh (Pak):-
    • First to take up agriculture in India sub continent. Mehargarh people invented cotton, potters wheel first time in world.
  • Koldthwa:-
    • First evidence of "rice" in world. Radio carbon or C14 method is used to find the dates of only organic materials. Half time decay of radio activity is 5568 yrs.
  • Burzahom:- Large number of ppt (horses under the earth) were found.
  • Chiran:- Large number of bone tools.
  • Karnataka sites:- Maski, Piklihal, Tekkela Kota (some gold ornaments were found), sanganakally.
  • Andhra Pradesh:- Nagarjuna Konda.
  • Tamil Nadu:- Piyomapally.
  • Assam:- Daojali Hading.
Chalcolithic Culture (Copper stone age)

Copper (3000 B.C.) - Bronze (2500 B.C.) - Iron (1000 B.C).
* Melting point of Iron is very high.
Most of the sites found at Rajastan because it is large source of copper.
  • Malwa region:- Kayatha, Navdatoli, Iran.
  • Maharashtra:- More than 200 sites. Jorwe, Inam gam, Chandoli, Daimabad.
  • Daimabad:- Population 4000
  • Cementry:- Burial ground, here skeletons does not have feets. Infent mortality rate (IMR) is very high (deaths of one year below children). people of daimabad has no dairy technology.

September 12, 2014

Sathavahana Dynasty and political history of ancient Sathavahana Era period

POLITICAL HISTORY
  • I. Simukha:
    • a) Founder of the Sathavahana Empire, which during his life time comprised of Maharashtra, Andhra Desa and northern Karnataka, and which had Pra-tisthana or Paithan (in Maharashtra) as its capital.
    • b) He ruled for about 23 years and was succeeded by his younger brother, Krishna, because of the minority of his own son, Sri Satakarni.
  • II. Krishna: During his reign of 18 years, he not only expanded the empire but also consolidated the rule of the Sathavahanas over the Deccan.
  • III. Sri Satakarni - I:
    • a) He is considered as the greatest of the early Sathavahanas rulers. Because of his military conquests as well as his patronage of Brahmanism.
    • b) Though his reign was a brief one (9 years) it was quite eventful. According to Nanaghat inscription, he conquered western Malwa, Anupa (Narmada valley), Vidarbha (Berar), etc.
    • c) He was a contemporary of Pushyamitra Sunga of Magadha and Kharavela of Kalinga. The latter praises the valour of Satakarni in his Hathigumpha inscription.
    • d) He performed two Aswamedhas, one Rajasuya and several other Vedic sacrifices. He assumed the titles of "Dakshinapathapati" and "Apratihata Chakra".
  • IV. Pulamavi - I:
    • a) He ruled for about 24 years.
    • b) His main military achievement was his victory over and execution of Susarma, the last Kanva ruler of Pataliputra.
  • V. Sri Satakarni - II: 
    • a) Another famous ruler among the early Sathavahanas, he ruled for a long period of 56 years.
    • b) He expanded the empire by conquering Vidisa (in M.P.) and annexing Kalinga which was then ruled by the week successors of Kharavela.
    • c) When the Sakas, after conquering Ujjain and Pataliputra, tried to capture Kalinga, he not only foiled their attempt but also pursued the retreating Sakas upto Pataliputra and occupied it for 10 years.
    • d) The four Toranas of Sanchi Stupa (M.P.) were constructed during his reign. 
  • VI. Lambodara:
    • a) He was the last of the early Sathavahanas.
    • b) He lost northern Maharastra to Saka ruler, Nahapana.
  • VII. Hala:
    • a) He was one of the middle group of Sathavahanas who were mostly weak rulers and during whose period there was a general decline of Sathavahana power and loss of territory.
    • b) He was the 17th ruler of the dynasty and ruled for a short period of 5 years.
    • c) Though he was no great conqueror, his contribution to literature is memorable. He was the author of two great works in Prakit language, namely, "Gatha Saptasathi" (an anthology of 700 years verses) and "Sattasi". Besides, he extended patronage to several poets and scholars of his period. An anonymous poet of his period wrote a poetical composition, called "Lilavathi Parinayam", describing the marriage of Hala with a Ceylonese princess, Lilavathi.
  • VIII. Gautamiputra Satakarni:
    • a) He was the 23rd king of the dynasty and the greatest of all the Sathavahanas. His reign of 25 years was a period of not only the revival of the Sathavahana power but also the peak of its glory.
    • b) The Nasik inscription gives a graphic account of his military conquests. He is described as the destroyed of the Sakas, Yavanas (Indo-Greeks) and Parthians, and his empire came to consist of the whole of the Deccan peninsula, South India upto Tungabhadra river, some parts of Central India, and Gujarat. He infact, assumed the river of "Tri Samudra Loya Pitha Vahana" (The one whose chargers drank the water of the three seas), signifying the fact that the Sathavahana Empire under him was at its largest extent.
    • c) He also praised himself as the "Varnasrama Dharmoddharaka", i.e., the protector and upholder of the four-fold division of the Hindu society. Under the able guidance and inscription of his mother, Gautami Balasri, he is said to have reformed the Hindu society of several of its abuses. Besides, he performed various Vedic sacrifices, including Aswamedha Yagas. Though he himself belonged to a Brahmin dynasty and was a great patron of Brahmanism, he was nevertheless tolerant of other religious and made liberal donations to Buddhists in particular.
  • IX. Vasistiputra Pulamavi:
    • a) He succeeded his father Gautamiputra Satakarni, but could not maintain his control over the vast empire inherited from his father. Known as Pulamavi-II to historians, he was the 24th ruler of the dynasty.
    • b) During his reign of about 23 years, the Sathavahana Empire was subjected to continuous attacks from the north by the Sakas, Yavanas and Parthians who finally succeeded in occupying some portions of the northern part of the Empire.
  • X. Gautamiputra Yajnasri:
    • a) After the death of Pulamavi-II, there was political chaos for about 10 years till Gautamiputra Yajnasri finally usurped the throne from his brother, Sivasri and established law and order. He ruled for about 28 years.
    • b) In order to strengthen his position, he married the daughter of Rudradaman, the famous Saka ruler of Western India. But his matrimonial alliance between the two traditional rivals could not establish long-lasting peace, and in fact did not prevent Rudradaman from defeating Yajnasri twice in successive battles and annexing the whole of the northern part of the empire.
    • c) Yajnasri was, however, successful in recovering and reestablishing his control over major parts of Western Deccan and Central India after the death of Rudradaman and the resultant period of confusion in the Saka territory.
    • d) He is considered as the last great ruler of the Sathavahana dynasty. Though he had to taste the bitter fruits of defeat at the hands of Rudradaman, after the death of the latter he was successful in restoring the last glory of the Sathavahanas at least partly, if not fully.
    • e) He was also responsible for enlarging the famous Amaravati stupa and for constructing the great railing around the Mahachaitya there.
  • XI. Pulamavi-III: Yajnasri was followed by a few weak successors, and Pulamavi-III was the 30th and the last ruler of the Sathavahana dynasty.

September 04, 2014

Sathavahana Dynasty: Literary Sources, Archaeological Sources - Empire history of ancient Sathavahana Era (221 B.C. - 174 A.D.) period

SATHAVAHANAS (221 B.C. – 174 A.D.)

SOURCES

I. Literary Sources
  • Aitareya Brahmana: It is the first and the oldest literary source to mention the Andhras.
  • Puranas: Among all the Puranas, Matsya, Vayu and Vishnu Puranas in particular describe the Sathavahans as “Andhra Desiyah” and “Andhra Jatiyah”, and state that totally 30 Sathavahana Kings ruled for about 400 years.
  • Somadeva's Kathasarit sagara: This secular contemporary source gives us a very good account of the political history of the Sathavahanas.
  • Foreign Accounts:
    • Megasthenese (Greek Ambassador at Chandragupta Mauryas court) was the first foreigner to make a mention of the Andhras. In his “Indica”, he describes 30 Andhra chiefs as having great military strength.
    • Two other Greek works, Ptolemy’s Geography and the Periplus of the Erythrean Sea by an unknown Greek sailor (both belonging to 1st century A.D.) give us a good account of the trade relations between South India, including Andhra, and the Western World.
II. Archaeological Sources
  • Asokan Edicts: The historical period of 'Andhra Desa' is said to have begun with the Mauryan period. The Asokan Edicts in Prakrit language using Brahmi script are found at several places in Andhra such as Erragudi, Rajulamandagiri, Amaravati and Kottam. They reveal the extent of Mauryan authority and its administrative system over Andhra Desa. They refer to the Sathavahanas as "Andhra Bhrityas". It is held that Asoka approached the 30 chiefs of Andhra Desa (Simukha, the founder of Sathavahana dynasty, being one of them) for help in his war against his brothers to capture the throne of Pataliputra. The Andhra chiefs not only helped him in this war but also remained faithful to him till his death, after which they declared their independence under the leadership of Simukha.
    • Note on Andhra Desa: Andhra Desa, according to "Saktisangama Tantra" (a religious work), is also known as "Trilinga Desa", i.e., the land covered by the three famous Sivalingas of Srisailam (Kurnool District), Kaleswaram (Karimnagar District), and Draksharamam (East Godavari District). At these three places Lord Siva is called Mallikarjuna, Kaleswara and Bhimeswara respectively.
  • Nanaghat Inscription: This inscription in Maharashtra was issued by Naganika, wife of Sri Satakarni. It deals with Sri Satakarni's military achievements.
  • Hathigumpha Inscription: In this inscription of Kharavela, the Chedi ruler of Kalinga, the valour of Sri Satakarni was praised.
  • Nasik inscription: Issued by Gautami Balasri, mother of Gautamiputra Satakarni, it describes the military achievements of her son who is considered as the greatest of all the Sathavahanas.
  • Kanheri and Karle cave inscriptions: Some of the early caves at Kanheri and Karle in Maharashtra were the contribution of the Sathavahanas and the inscriptions in them give us sufficient evidence about the patronage of art and architecture by some of the Sathavahanas.
  • Numismatics: The Sathavahanas issued a good number of coins, some of which were made of potin (mixed metals) and others of lead. Gautamiputra Satakarni's coins, in particular, are very useful of knowing the economic conditions of the Sathavahana empire. Most of them bear shipmast, revealing the brisk maritime trade carrier on by the Sathavahanas with the Western World. The discovery of a good number of Roman gold coins in several parts of Andhra Desa also suggest that the Sathavahans had large scale trade contacts with the Romans.

September 03, 2014

Importance points about the study of the life journey of the early man in Pre-Historic Age

PRE-HISTORIC AGE NAME'S DERIVATION
  • The name Bharata Varsha or the land of Bharata was given to the whole country, after the name of an ancient tribe called the Bharata's and the people were called Bharata santhati (The descendants of Bharata).
  • Bharata Varsha was said to be the part of larger unit Jambu Dvipa which was considered to be the inner most of the seven concentric island continents into which the earth was supposed to be divided.
  • The names India and Hindustan we owe to the early invaders of the country the Persians and the Greeks. The Greeks pronounced the word Sindu as Indus and hence India, Persians pronounced the letter 'S' and 'H' so, Sindu and Hindu and hence 'Hindustan'.
EVOLUTION OF MAN
  • First Fossil Male - Rama pithecus Female - Shiva pithucus (10-14 million years ago).
  • These fossils were found in Shivalik and Salt Range.
  • Homo eractus: Found at Hathnora (Lower palaeolithic 10 lakh B.C.)
  • Homo sapiens: Found in upper Palaeolithic regions in Indian sub-continent somewhere between 2,00,000 B.C. to 40,000 B.C.
  • First evidence of human skeleton was found at Sarai Nahar Rai (near Allahabad), and Bagaikhor and Lekhania (both in Mirzapur District), also from Bagor (Bhilwara, Rajasthan)
PRE-HISTORIC PHASE

The Pre-historic period dates back from 2,50,000 B.C. to about 3,500-2,500 B.C. which was the first manifestation of human civilization on the surface of the earth.

The period when these people were using stones for utilization purpose known as 'Stone Age', which is further divided into three broad divisions:
  1. Palaeolithic age or Old stone age (2,50,000 B.C. - 8,000 B.C.)
  2. Mesolithic age or Microlithis age (8,000 B.C. - 4,000 B.C)
  3. Neolithic age or New stone age (4,000 B.C. - 2,500 B.C.)
1. The Palaeolithic Age
  • Palaeo means old and lithic means stone (Old stone age)
  • The Palaeolithic culture of India developed in Pleistocene period.
  • People in Palaeolithic period were hunters and food gatherers.
  • Palaeolithic period in India can further be divided into three phases:
    • I. Lower Palaeolithic period (2,50,000 B.C. - 1,00,000 B.C.)
    • II. Middle Palaeolithic period (1,00,000 B.C. - 40,000 B.C.)
    • III. Upper Palaeolithic period (40,000 B.C. - 10,000 B.C.)
I. Lower Palaeolithic Culture

Covers the greater part of Ice and this period characterized by chooper or chooping culture and the tool techniques included block on block, cylinder, hammer clactonian and direct percussion etc., and their typology included pebble tools, cleavers, scrappers and hand-axes.

Important Sites

Sohan valley in Punjab (now in Pak), Belan valley in Mirzapur (U.P), desert area of Didwana in Rajastan, Narmada valley and caves and rock shelters of Bimbetka in M.P, Giddilaur and Karampudi in A.P are some important sites.

II. Middle Palaeolithic Culture

The Middle Palaeolithic industries are mainly based on flakes. The principal tools are variety of blades, pointed scrappers made of flakes.

Important Sites
  • Nevasa, suregaon, Belphandri and Nadur Madhmeshwar, Bankura and Purulia in W.B, Malaprabha and Ghataprabha, basins of North Karnataka and Renigunta in A.P.
  • The main credit goes to H.D sankalia for demonstrating the statigraphic context of this culture.
III. Upper Palaeolithic Culture
  • It marks the appearance of new flint industries and man of modern type (Homo sapiens).
  • Blades and burin tools were principal tools in Upper Palaeolithic age.
  • This culture sites were spread in particularly all parts of India expect the alluvial plains of Indus and Ganges.
  • The people of this age were food gatherers.
  • Man during this period used tools of unpolished, rough stoned and stones and lived in caves and rock shelters.
      • Homo habits (World Context) - Lower Palaeolithic
      • Homo Erectus (Indian Context) - Lower Palaeolithic
      • Nienderthan (World Context) - Middle Palaeolithic
      • Ancient Homosapiens (World Context) - Middle Palaeolithic
      • Homosapiens (Indian Context) - Upper Palaeolithic
  • The tools were usually made of hard rock quartzite and therefore Palaeolithic man in India are also called Quartzite Man.
  • They had no knowledge of agriculture, making potteries, lighting fire. They could not make houses and were ignorant of metals.
Important Sites

Belan valley (Allahabad), Renigunta (A.P), shorapur and Bijapur in Karnataka, Chotannagpur plateau in Jharkhand, Bhimbetka (Bhopal).

2. Mesolithic Age
  • It flourished between 8,000 B.C. - 4,000 B.C. This culture is known as Microlithic culture.
  • Grinding and polishing technique characterized it.
  • The tool typology included polished axes, chisel, ring-stone, saddle, quern and mullers.
  • This age the stone tools to be made more pointed and sharp.
  • The microlithics were first discovered by Carlyle in 1867 from Vindhyan Rock shelters.
  • The most important excavated sites of this period are Birbhanpur in West Bengal, Tirunelvely in T.N, Bagor in Rajastan, Langhraj in Gujarat, Bhimbetka and Adamgarh in M.P, Sarai Nahar Rai in U.P.
  • The Mesolithic people lived on hunting, fishing and food gathering.
3. Neolithic Age
  • Domestication of animals has been considered as one of the main characteristic feature of Neolithic Age.
  • The stone implements of Neolithic age were more skill fully made varied in from and often polished.
      • North - West                 7000 B.C. - 6000 B.C.
      • Vindhayan & Gangetic   6000 B.C.
      • Northern                       2500 B.C.
      • Southern                       2500 B.C.
      • Eastern                         2500 B.C.
      • North Eastern               2500 B.C.
  • Practice of agriculture, Grinding and polishing of stone tools, manufacture of pottery are main characteristics of this period.
  • The term 'Neolithic' settlements in India are not older than 4000 B.C. only Neolithic settlement in Indian subcontinent attributed to 7000 B.C. lies in Mehargarh (Baluchistan).
  • Pottery types known to Neolithic people Black Burished ware, Gray Ware, Mat impressed Ware.
  • The Dolmans of Meghalithic Tombs are characteristic features of Neolithic Age.
  • Tools used during Neolithic Age were Polished axes. Adze, chisel, Ring-stone, Saddle quern and Mullers etc.,
  • Major important sites of Neolithic age were Burza-hom, Gufkral (Kashmir), Deojali (North Cachar), Maski, Brahmasiri, Hallur in Karnataka, Raiyamapalli in T.N, Pikilihal and Utnur in A.P, Chopani-Mando, Koldihawa and Mahagara in Belan Valley (M.P).
  • Primitive communism, Pit dwelling, houses (Burzahom), evidence of dogs, circular hunts made of bamboo, hand made pottery, serpent cult (Chirand) etc., Characterized by Neolithic Age.
Chalcolithic Age
  • Chalcolithic Phase appeared towards the end of the Neolithic period. These people used bronze and copper tools.
  • The sites of this period are found in areas of Chota Nagpur Plateau to the upper Gangetic basin. Brahamagiri (near Mysore), and Navada Toli on the Narmada river are some other important sites.

September 01, 2014

Indian Ancient Period between 1000 B.C. to 180 A.D

ANCIENT PERIOD (1000 B.C. - 180 A.D.)

Ramayana states that Visravasu – the father of Kubera and Ravana, the lords of Yaksas Raksasas respectively, ordered Kubera to move from south India to north to provide the Raksasas, led by Ravana, a place in the south. This shows clearly that south India was not separated from the north even in pre-Aryan times and that there were even movements of communities from south to north and vice versa. As a corollary, it can be deduced that, in pre-Aryan India, there were some off-treaded tracks that served as means of communication between the northern and southern parts.

The penetration of Aryans into south India is described figuratively in the Agastya legends, which are found in the epics and the Puranas in Sanskrit as well as in Tamil literature. The Mahabharata records two stories about Agastya. According to one of them, on a journey to the south, Agastya prevailed upon the Vindhyas to lie low to provide him a way to go to the south and stop growing until he returned, which however he never did. According to another story the sage emptied the ocean by drinking its water to help the Devas. A plausible interpretation of these two stories would be that the Aryan people came to the south by both the land sea routes.

The Aitareya Brahmana states that sage Viswamitra cursed fifty of his sons, who disobeyed him, to live on the borders of Aryan settlements and that they included the Andhras, the Pundras, the Sabaras, the Pulindas and the Mutibas. It may be inferred from this allegorical reference that on account of a schism, some enterprising Aryans ventured to move to the south into the settlements of pre-Aryan inhabitants. By matrimonial relations they raised families of mixed descent, who were looked down upon by the ‘pure’ Aryans of the north. Though it is difficult to fix strictly a date for this event, circumstantial evidences (such as the presence of iron implements at that time in south India) suggest that it may be safely assigned to around 1000 B.C.

Excavations carried on at various places like Nagarjunakonda in Andhra Pradesh revealed iron implements which can be assigned to a period around 1000 B.C. Introduction of iron in Andhra Pradesh and in the rest of Deccan must have been the result of the extension of Aryan influence into the region during that period.

Gradually, in this process of Aryanisation, the Andhra gained a prominent place, assimilating or conquering the other tribes such as the Pulindas, may be due to their superiority in number or enterprising nature. The Puranas mention that the Andhras, under the leadership of Andhra Vishnu, conquered the Nagas and occupied the east coast. The Nagas too maintained their identity for a long time. The rulers of Bastar during the 10th century and a local chieftain of the 16th century zealously stated that they belonged to the celebrated Naga dynaty and traced their descent to Vasuki, the mythical Naga god. The Savaras, living in the north-eastern part of Andhra Pradesh, keep their linguistic identity in tact even today.

The existing of an ashram headed by a saint name Bavari on the banks of the Godavari in Assaka (as mentioned earlier) during Lord Buddha’s lifetime shows clearly that the Aryan culture gained a foothold and respect in Andhra Pradesh long before the establishment of the Nanda Empire. The bulk of the people in Andhra Pradesh retained their own languages and customs. Moreover, many such pre-Aryan customs were adopted by the Aryans who settled in Andhra. The indigenous language of the Telugus also was able to maintain its existence though it was greatly influenced and enriched by the Prakrit of the Aryans, which was patronized as an official language. Thus, as early as in the 6th century B.C. a composite society took shape in the basins of the Godavari and the Krishna in eastern Deccan and the entire region came to be known to the Mauryas as Andhapatha or Andhapaatha, wherein the peoples and cultures – both from the north and the south right from the prehistoric and proto-historic periods.

Punch-marked coins, found all over the Deccan included the Andhra Pradesh, are clear witnesses of some contact – either by trade or political sway – between the Magadha Empire and the Andhras. Some Kannada inscriptions of the 10th and 11th centuries indicate that the rule of the Nandas extended upto Kuntala. However, as there is little confirmation of this fact from another source, it can only be inferred that the Andhras maintained a close relationship with the Nanda Empire through trade and commerce, while being politically quite independent.

MAURYAS AGE

It is only in the Mauryan age that one gets historical evidences of the Andhras as political power in the south-eastern Deccan. Pliny (c.75), deriving his information from Indica of Megasthences, mentioned that the Andhra country had 30 fortified towns and an army of 1,00,000 infantry, 2,000 cavalry and 1,000 elephants. Further, a Tamil work of Mamulnar (2nd century) states that the war-linking “Vadugars” formed the vanguard of the Mauryan army sent to Tamilnadu to help a local ruler. “Vadugars” literally means ‘northerner’ and referred, in Sangam literature, to the Telugu people. From these instances, it can be safely ascertained that the Andhra soldiers occupied an honorable place in the Magadha Empire as a dependable force.

Asoka held Mauryan imperialism intact in the Andhra country. His rock and pillar edicts, found at such places as Yerragudi and Rajulamandagiri in Kurnool district and at the Amaravati in Guntur district attest this fact. His XIII Rock Edict mentions that the people such as Andhras, Petinekas and Bhojakas were well within the imperial domain following the dharma propagated by the great emperor. From the Asokan edicts, especially from the second one, it is quite clear that the Andhra country was the southernmost province of the Mauryan Empire and that the Chola, Pandya, Satiaputta and Keralaputta domains were outside the empire.

Though culturally united, the Andhras never functioned as a political unit either during the Mauryan age or prior to it. They were divided into many principalities, and the 30 fortified towns mentioned by Pliny might have been the capitals of such principalities. It is owing to this fact, that the Mauryan times, it seems that these principalities enjoyed a considerable measure of autonomy, while the viceroy of the imperial Mauryas, with his headquarters at Survarnagiri (Jonnagiri in the present-day Kurnool district) looked after defence, missionary work and interests of the backward peoples, through his officers designated as mahamatras.

The Mauryan imperialism declined following the demise of Asoka and finally the last of the Mauryas, Brihadratha was assassinated by the commander of his army, Pushyamitra against the Sungas over the Andhras. This was without doubt an episode in the struggle that was carried on for a long time by the Andhras to overthrow the imperial yoke of the Sungas and later that of their successors, the Kanvas. According to the Puranas, Simuka of the Andhras assassinated the last Kanva king, Susarma, and became independent. Though Simuka was of Andhra Sathavahana kula (clan) among them according to the inscriptional evidence. A comparative study of the lists of kings provided by the Puranas and by the inscriptions has led historians to conclude that the Sathavahans of the inscriptions were identical with the Andhras of the Purans.

August 31, 2014

The Dawn of Indian History

As already mentioned Andhra Pradesh, along with some other adjacent parts of Deccan, is geologically the oldest region in India and, as such, must have been the earliest tract to facilitate the evolution of the Homo sapiens. The skeletal remains of a dinosaur, found a few years ago in the north-western part of the state.

Literary references also do indicate the existence, in the Godavari basin, of a very ancient civilization that passed away into oblivion. Sutta Nipata of the Buddhist canon mentions the present-day Nizamabad district in Andhra Pradesh. His disciples were said to have gone to Magadha to meet the Buddha.

In the Ramayana also we find a legend which states that in the Dandakaranya, through which the river Godavari flows, there existed in the long-forgotten past a prosperous and populous kingdom which was later destroyed by the curse of a saint, perhaps a fact lingering in the racial memory recorded therein the grab of a legendary episode.

All these point out clearly towards the existence of an ancient and indigenous civilization on the banks of the Godavari, in Andhra Pradesh, prior to the Vedic period. History dawned on Andhra Pradesh prior to the 2nd millennium B.C.

The evidence of man in Mesolithic Period and transition from Mesolithic to Neolithic and Neolithic to Megalithic

MESOLITHIC PERIOD

Mesolithic culture characterized by microliths/pigmy implements succeeded the Paleolithic. The Mesolithic period is bracketed between 6000 to 2500 B.C.

Most significant evidence is the rock art observed at Kethavaram, Muddanur, Dapalle, Patapet and Mudumula, to quote a few. These paintings project the contemporary socio - economic conditions.

NEOLITHIC PHASE

The transition from the Mesolithic to the Neolithic complex in Andhra Pradesh cannot precisely be delineated owing to a deplorable lack of data. However, the Neolithic phase can be considered revolutionary because of several inventions brought in during that period. Owing to the efforts of many researchers, various Neolithic sites are brought to light recently. However, only a few of them are studied in depth. Many of them are trial trenches only. Research was carried on extensively at Nagarjunakonda.

The Neolithic folk inhabited the river and stream banks, caves and rock shelters and flat hill-tops. There is enough evidence to conclude that many of the people lived in circular houses with thatched roofs supported by wooden posts. Pit dwellings of that age are found at Kesarapalli, Nagarjunakonda. Along with stone, bone also found a place in the industry during that period. Household objects like saddle querns, grinders, pounders, rubbers and other objects such as mace-heads, sling-balls, hoes and circular tables are reported from several sites.

The pure Neolithic facies of crude handmade pottery acquires Neolithic-chalcolithic facies later on with the adaptation of painted pottery in the tradition of post-harappan chalcolithic cultures of western India. The appearance of wheel-turned, red and black ware marks the next phase of the development in ceramic art.

The Andhra-Karnataka border abounds in rock paintings and bruising. The bull dominates the scene. Beads made on semi precious stones, and clay, bangles made of shells are the objects of personal adornment.

Another peculiar feature of this culture is the discovery of Ash Mounds of varying dimension. They look small isolated low hillock. Settled cultivation and cattle keeping were the sources of economy while fishing, hunting and gathering supplemented the economy of Neolithic village communities.

The Neolithic revolution gradually led people to make tools out of iron. Anthropologist associate this phase of iron tools and black and red pottery with Megalithic tombs. Hence it is named as the Megalithic phase.

MEGALITHIC PHASE

The Megaliths’ are the memorial stones erected for the dead during the prehistoric period. These are usually termed by the people of Andhra as Pandava Gullu (boulders of Pandavas) or Rakasi (from Raksasa in the sense of ‘huge’) Gullu. A good number of them are symbolic burials. But some do contain skeletal remains. The most significant factor is the association of varied and rich burial goods, ranging from pottery and iron implements to gold. The first of its kind was excavated at Kalyandurg (Anantapur District) by Longhurst.

Of the various types of the megaliths – such as the menhir, the dolmen, the dolmenoidcist, the cist burial, the urn burial, the sarcophagus, the cairn circle and stone circle – the cairn circle, the stone circle and the dolmonoid cist are more wide-spread in Andhra Pradesh. The sarcophagus type is found mostly in Kurnool, Cuddapah and Chittoor districts. The most interesting evidence of a dolmen comes from Pandavulametta. (Srikakulam district) measures 8.4mts in length and is made up of two capstones, the width being around 3mts. Innumerable cairns are found in Telangana, extending from eastern border of the Nizambad district upto the eastern border of the Nalgonda district.

Some structures found recently in excavations conducted at Peddabankur, at Keesaragutta and also a circular wall of 150mts diameter, housing many semi-circular huts at pagidigutta throw some light on the subject. The iron objects of good workmanship and the high quality black and red ceramic ware obtained therein suggest the existence of a society based on cattle-breeding and agriculture activity supported by a rudimentary defence system.

The megaliths provide us with some information regarding the beliefs that dominated the human mind during that period, especially about life after death. The nearest of the deceased took ample care to provide the dead with all the necessities of life and leave them in the grave along with his body so that his soul could lead a happy life in the other world. There is enough evidence to show that the megalithic phase had its beginning around 1100 B.C. The sites in the Andhra-Karnataka border region affirm these facts.

The study of the life journey of the early man in Lower Middle and Upper Paleolithic Periods

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ANDHRA PRADESH PRE-HISTORY

The study of the life journey of the early man in Andhra Pradesh as in the rest of India is now fairly well established through co-ordinate researches by Geologists, archaeologists, anthropologists, paleontologists and palaeobotanists. As a result, a very rich prehistory cultural background of Andhra Pradesh over a period of nearly 3 lakhs of years is projected. The evidence of man leading a hunting–gathering way of life (Paleolithic), and subsequently a well established food-producing economy (Neolithic), is discovered all over Andhra Pradesh. The Paleolithic period, as a whole, witnessed hunting-foraging activity though divided into three periods: Lower, Middle and Upper Paleolithic.

The earliest discoveries of Paleolithic cultural evidence date back to the 2nd part of 19th century in Andhra Pradesh. Robert Bruce Foote is said to be a pioneer in these studies.

LOWER PALEOLITHIC PERIOD

Various river valleys in Cuddapah basin, a geological formation, comprising Cuddapah, Kurnool, Chittoor, and Nellore, parts of Mahaboobnagar, Prakasam, Guntur and Nalgonda districts are rich in distribution of prehistoric cultures. Nallamalas, Palakondas and the Velikondas, the hill ranges of Eastern Ghats have proved to be the ideal habitats of the prehistoric man with abundant wild food resources. Lower Paleolithic evidence (comprising handaxes of various shapes, such as lancolates, oats, almonds, picks etc., and chappers, chopping tools, cleavers tools, cleavers, discoids and scrappers) is located in the above river valleys.

MIDDLE PALEOLITHIC PERIOD

It comprises of evidence of tools of different shapes facilitating hafting, scrapers of different types of skinning, knifing, sharpening, borers (screw drivers) for making holes, miniature handaxes and cleavers. All this is bracketed between 1.5 to 40 lakhs of years.

UPPER PALEOLITHIC PERIOD

Blades and Blade tools characterize the Upper Paleolithic Age in Andhra Pradesh which can be compared with that of Europe. The tool kit included blades, knives, points, blunted back points, pen knives, borers, burins, a variety of scrapers made of stone while those of bone are points, awl points, burins, borers, scrapers, pins, needles and spatula like objects. It is bracketed between 30,000 to 10,000 B.C.

Billasargam group of caves yielded a variety of stone and bone tools in association with animal remains. They include monkeys, wild cat, wild dog, wild pig, tiger, leopard, horse, antelope, wild elephant, rhinoceros like bulbs, tubers, roots, fruits, nuts, leaves, etc. The aboriginal communities like Chenchu and Yanadi still exploit these wild resources.