General Introduction The tradition of Indian historiography looks at the history written outside the boundaries of India, then it is known that the first attempts in this direction were made by Greek writers, including – Herodotus, Nearchus, Megasthenes, Plutarch, Arrian, Strabo, Pliny, and Ptolemy are prominent. The second phase of writing history begins with Alberuni. He was a contemporary of Mahmud Ghaznavi. Alberuni studied Sanskrit and tried to get proper knowledge of Indian sources. After this, European historians (mainly Christian preachers) wrote many books about India. Imperialist historiography has in fact been influenced by the activities of evangelists in India. Christians and colonials are mentioned in this type of Indian historiography. In addition, the establishment of the Asiatic Society of Bengal in 1784 has also influenced the Indian history. In imperialist historiography, interest in expanding the European colonies for economic self-interest is reflected in the then debates concerning religious beliefs and nationalities. Prominent historians of this category include – William Jons, MaxMuller, Monier Williams, Karl Marx, F, W. Hangal, Vicente Arthur Smith, etc. have been important. Nationalist ideologies have also influenced the Indian history.
Nationalist ideologies have also influenced Indian history. This approach presented a real challenge to the imperialist version of history. The most notable historian of this period – D.D. R. Bhandarkar, H.D. C. Raychaudhary, R. C. Majumdar, P.V. V. Kane a . Neelkanth Shastri, K.K. P. Jaiswal, A. s . Alter etc. have been important. The influence of Marxist ideology in historiography has been prevalent in the 20th century. In this type of historiography, universal rules and various stages of development are studied. D. D. Kosambi is considered the father of this ideology. Apart from this R. Channa, R. s. Sharma, Romila Thapar, Irfan Habib, Bipin Chandra, and Satish Chandra are some of the Marxist historians.
Geography of India:-
The study of the history of any country is incomplete without its geographical study. It is noteworthy that the word ‘Hindu’ originated from the Great Indus River. India has a geographical division into 5 parts in ancient literature. These are – North (Udichya), Middle (Majjhim country), East (Oriental – Alexander era historians called East as Passi ‘), West (Aparantha or Pratyakta) and South (Dakshinapath). India can be clearly divided into 4 main parts-
- The northern mountain region,
- The northern plains of central India,
- Southern plateau,
- The narrow and the long and marine plain.
The mountainous regions of the north, starting from the Terai forests, extend to the summit of the Himalayas. In this part, the present Kashmir, Shivalik, Tehri, Kangra – Kumaun,, Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan are located. This part has been mentioned in the Puranas as ‘Parvatashranis’. This mountainous region is about 2400 kms long and 256 to 320 kms is width.
1. The plain of the north, which is famous for its fertile land and high yield. This plain is irrigated by the Indus, Ganga and their tributaries. The Rajputana desert is also included in this part.
2. The rivers Narmada and Tapti flowing from central India and south of the plateau flow from east to west, the remaining rivers flow from west to east. The Vindhyanchal ranges located in this part which extends from east to west, divide India into two parts, North and South. In this section Flowing rivers often dry up in the dry season.
3. In the long and narrow sea plains of the south, there are several ports on the Konkan and Malabar coasts. This part also includes the highly fertile deltas of Krishna, Kaveri, and Godavari. This southern sea plain is about 1,600 km long. The Impact of Geography on the History of India:- The influence of the geography of India on its history is noted in every place and on every event. The Himalayan Mountains in the north, as the great sentinel, have been protecting India from foreign invasions. The impenetrable border, similar to the Himalayas, has not provided nature to any other country. Kalidas has said about the Himalayas that “The king of the mountains stands between the two seas holding with the Himalayan spiritualism, which is the earth-measuring pole”. Low heighten north-western part of the Himalayas like Suleiman and Hindukush, there are many passes in the low mountains, through which the Greeks, Shakas, Kushans, Hunas, Arabs, Turks, Mongols, Afghans, and Mughals invaded India. The main passes of this part are Khyber, Kurram, Belan, Tochi, Gomal, etc. But it is very difficult to cross the hill passes in the north-eastern part of the Himalayas. No Indian rulers ever attempted to control Burma by crossing these inaccessible hill passes. In the Second World War, Indian forces tried to cross these passes, resulting in a large number of people en route. Since the Indus and Gangetic plains were very fertile and prosperous, a large empire was established in this part. Important battles of the region of Mahabharata and Panipat were fought to capture the area between the Sutlej and Yamuna rivers which extend from the foothills of the Shivalik hills to Kurukshetra and Rajputana. The political upheaval of North India had little effect on South India. At the time when the Aryans were residing in North India, the Dravidian culture of South India was brought by Agastya Rishi. Whenever the foreign invaders tried to bring Indian culture into their sphere of influence, in such difficult moments the South protected it by hiding this culture in its fold. At the time when Buddhism was at its peak in North India, at that time the South protected Hinduism by giving it shelter. In due course of time Jain religion also found refuge in the south. India’s foreign trade flourished from the ports on the seashores of South India.
Unity in Diversity:-
India is a continent like without Russia. About the population of India, In the fifth century, Herodotus, the father of history, said that – ‘India has the largest population among our known nations’. In this country, with a large population, people of different castes and religions live together. About 220 languages are spoken by them. The fundamental unity of Bharatvarsha is visible in ‘Bharatvarsha’ and ‘Bharat Sannati’. These words are also mentioned in the epics and the Puranas. Varshamad Bharatam Naam Bharati Yatra Santa: . ‘The country which is situated to the north of the sea and south of the Himalayan Mountains is called the BHARATVARSHA, where the children are called Bharti’. Such a feeling of unity towards India was in the minds of theologians, politicians, philosophers and poets. The Kautilya’s ‘Arthashastra’ mentioned the Sharon -Yojan land extending from the Himalayas to the sea, worthy of the kingdom of the same Chakravarti emperor.
It is said that a Chakravarti emperor was expected to expand his kingdom from the Himalayas in the north to the Sethubandha Rameswaram in the south and the valley of the Brahmaputra in the east to the land of the sept-saindhava, Indus River in the west. Till the third century BC, Prakrit was the only language used in the entire Indian subcontinent, but later this honor was conferred on the Sanskrit language. Epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata have received respect in every corner of the country. The caste system, Brahmins, cows, and Vedas were respected throughout the country. Almost the same festivals were celebrated all over India. The same God was worshiped in different corners of the country under different names. All pilgrims used to visit the pilgrimage place in the north or south. Thus despite all the discrepancies, the unity of India remained intact.
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