Advent of Aryans in India
The period of 1500 B.C and 600 B.C was divided into Early Vedic Age (Rig Vedic Period) and Later Vedic Age.
• Rig Vedic Period: 1500 B.C- 1000 B.C; It was in this period, Aryans were supposed to have invaded India.
• Later Vedic Period: 1000 B.C- 600 B.C
Original Home and Identity
• Aryans were pastoralists, i.e., they did not practice settled agriculture.
• They tamed many animals, but horses were the most important of them all.
• The Aryans started their journey to west Asia towards India from about 200 bc onwards.
• The first stop of the Aryans in their journey towards India was Iran.
The Rig Veda
• It is the oldest book in the Indo-European language.
• A compendium of prayers, it is divided into ten books or mandalas.
• It has a compilation of prayers offered to various gods such as Agni, Varun, Indra, Mitra, etc.
• Rig Veda shares its contents with Avesta, the oldest Iranian text, including the names of various gods and some social classes.
Rivers in the Vedic Age
• Earlier, Aryans lived in eastern Afghanistan, Punjab, and some areas of Uttar Pradesh.
• Some rivers such as the Kubha, Saraswati, Indus (or the Sindhu), and its tributaries are mentioned in the Rig Veda.
• The term ‘sapta sindhu’ or the group of seven chief rivers is mentioned in the Rig Veda for India.
• The seven rivers were probably:
1. Saraswati in the east,
2. Sindhu(Indus) in the west,
3. Satudru(Sutlej), Vipasa(Beas), Asikni(Chenab), Parushni(Ravi) and Vitasta(Jhelum) in between.
• The first batch of Aryans invaded India in circa 1500 B.C.
• They got into conflicts with the autochthonous inhabitants of India, i.e. the Dasas or Dasyus.
• While the Dasas did not provoke much violence from the Aryans, Dasyuhatya or the slaughter of Dasyus is frequently mentioned in the Rig Veda.
• Indra is also mentioned as Purandara in the Rig Veda, which literally translates into ‘breaker of forts’.
• The mention of the Pre-Aryan forts could have been of Harappan settlements.
• The Aryans were easily able to conquer the natives as they possessed better arms, coats of mail (Varman) and chariots driven by horses.
• The Aryans engaged in two types of conflicts: one with the indigenous populations and then among themselves.
• The Aryans were divided into five tribes called Panchajanas and sometimes procured the help of non-Aryans as well.
• The rulers of Aryan clan were Bharata and Tritsu assisted by priest Vasishtha.
• The country Bharatvarsha was named after the king Bharata.
The Dasarajan War
• India was ruled by the bharata clan and faced opposition from ten kings; five Aryans and five non-Aryans.
• The battle fought amongst them is called the battle of ten kings or the dasarajan war.
• Fought on the river parushni or Ravi, the battle was won by the Sudas.
• Later, the Bharatas joined hands with the Purus to form a new clan called the Kurus.
• In the later Vedic times, the Kurus and the Panchalas played an important role in the politics of the upper Gangetic plains where they established their rule together.