~Ancient India~ India is a subcontinent




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~Ancient India~


India is a subcontinent

  • A subcontinent is a large part of a continent. A subcontinent is split from the rest of a continent by something like a mountain range or by tectonic plates.



Summer Monsoons

  • Each June, as the baking-hot air rises high into the sky, it slowly sucks in a blanket of cool, moist air from the nearby ocean. This causes sheets of rain to gush across the parched landscape. The heavy, spattering raindrops announce the arrival of the life-giving and life-taking monsoon. Up to 200 inches of rain. Roseville is 28 inches per year!!! Summer monsoons June - Sept.



Summer Monsoons

  • Many Indians fear the monsoon's deadly floods, which regularly sweep away unlucky communities and kill hundreds of people per year. The rainstorms often cause violent landslides. Despite the potential for destruction, the summer monsoons are welcomed in India. Farmers depend on the rains to irrigate their land. Additionally, a great deal of India’s electricity is generated by water power provided by the monsoon rains. Without the monsoon's storms, which can deliver up to 90 percent of a year's rainfall, almost a billion people would go hungry.



Winter Monsoons

  • India’s winters are hot and dry. The monsoon winds blow from the northeast and carry very little moisture. The temperature is high because the Himalayas form a barrier that prevents cold air from passing onto the subcontinent. The temperature can reach as high as 110oF during the Indian winter.



~Harappan Civilization~

  • In 2500 BCE the Harappan settled in the Indus river valley, where they began to live in cities and use irrigation to water their fields. A lot of people think that the reason they began to farm, and then build cities was that a gradual warming trend was making it harder to get water, and harder to find wild plants to eat, every year. So every year more and more people moved into the Indus river valley, where there was still plenty of water. When it got really crowded there, people began to build cities.



Harappan

  • There were two main cities that we know of, Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro, about 250 miles away. Both are in modern Pakistan. The people of these cities lived in stone houses two and three stories high, and had sewage systems. They used bronze tools. They may have learned to make bronze from the Sumerians. The Harappa people used an early form of writing based on hieroglyphs, like the Egyptians. But we can't read it, because there isn't very much left of it.



~Harappan~

  • By around 2000 BCE, though, the Harappan civilization had collapsed. We don't know what caused this collapse. Most people think the most likely reason is that the warming trend continued until there wasn't enough water even in the Indus river valley to support these cities and the farmers who fed them. Some people probably starved to death, while others moved up into the hills, where it was cooler and some rain fell.



Aryan Invasion

  • About 1500 BCE, India was invaded by the Aryan people. After the invasion, the Harappan writing was forgotten and nobody in India could write at all for the next thousand years. In about 500 BCE they began using an alphabetic writing called Sanskrit. One of the first things they wrote down was a poem called the Rig Veda.



~Aryan Invasion~

  • In addition to their language, the Aryans brought their gods with them to India. These gods form the basis of the Rig Veda and other sagas which were first written down in Sanskrit. They also brought the domesticated horse. About 800 BCE, the Aryans learned how to use iron for weapons and tools. Once the Aryans learned how to use iron, they used their new weapons to conquer more of India.



~Rig Veda~

  • The Rig Veda is a group of poems that were first sung and recited for hundreds of years and then written down in Sanskrit about 1000 BCE. It is one of the most sacred texts of Hinduism.The Rig Veda tells the story of Prajapati, the first god who created the world. Prajapati means Lord of Creatures.



Prajapati

  • Prajapati was sacrificed to himself by the younger gods Indra, Agni, and Varuna, and out of his body the whole universe was made. The Rig Veda says that each of Prajapati’s other parts turned into a different group of people, so that Indian people thought of themselves as belonging to one of four castes, or groups. This idea of caste seems to be an Aryan idea.



Ancient Indian Religions

  • India has been an important part of three major world religions -Hinduism Buddhism and Jainism. Buddhism began in India and spread to other places in Asia. The origins of Hinduism are less clear, but are related to the arrival of the Aryans from West Asia. We don't know very much about the earliest Indian religion, of the Harappa people, but certainly it was polytheistic. Based on the art of that time, some people think the later Hindu gods were already being worshipped.



Hinduism

  • With the arrival of the Aryans about 1500 BC, the Indo-European gods entered India as well. This was the beginning of modern Hinduism. Hinduism was (and is)ハ polytheistic - Hindus believe in many gods. Stories about these gods were written down in the Rig Veda and other epic poems. In this kind of Hinduism, people believed in reincarnation - that people could be reborn into other bodies after they died.



Hinduism

  • Hindu religion pre-dated 3000BCE

  • Om, Aum, Ohm is a holy meditation symbol of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.



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