Chronology of Ancient History of India to Modern History of India

Preparing history for UPSC civil services prelims exam can be relatively challenging for UPSC exam aspirants from a science academic background. But it is easy to get familiar with history and culture once aspirants understand the knack of making notes and selective study.

Chronology of Indian History
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Here, we are giving the important incidents in the Chronological order of Ancient to Modern History of India, i.e., the Indian history chronological order which can help your history preparation. This will also help in understanding the history topics covered in the UPSC CSE Syllabus. An aspirant can remember the timeline of Indian history and make notes on topics separately. 


In this article, you can also find the names of the rulers of India in chronological order. Indian History can be classified into three periods:

  • Ancient India
  • Medieval India
  • Modern India
Candidates can complement their UPSC history preparation with the help of the following links:

Timeline of Indian History Chart

The detailed phases of Indian history are mentioned below:

Ancient India

Period: Prehistoric to AD 700

  • There were activities of Homo erectus in the Indian subcontinent 20 lakh years ago and of Homo sapiens since 70,000 BC.
  • The first inhabitants of Indian subcontinent might have been tribal-like:
    • Nagas in North-East
    • Santhals in East-India
    • Bhils in Central India
    • Gonds in Central India
    • Todas in South India
  • These people speak Austric, pre-Dravidian languages like Munda and Gondvi.
  • Aryans and Dravidians are supposed to be immigrants who came later to the sub-continent.

To know more about the Indus Valley Civilisation, check the linked article.

 Palaeolithic Period (2 million BC – 10,000 BC)

  • Important Palaeolithic sites are Kaladgi Basin, Bhimbetka, Hunsgi, Kurnool Caves and Narmada Valley,
  • Tools made up of limestone
  • Fire was discovered

Mesolithic Period (10,000 BC – 8,000 BC)

  • Microliths were found at Brahmagiri, Narmada and Gujarat
  • Domestication of animals and Cattle rearing were started in this period
  • Significant climatic change happened

Neolithic Period (8000 BC – 2000 BC)

  • Wheel discovered and agriculture was started in this period
  • Inamgaon is an early  Neolithic village
  • The major megalithic Sites are Brahmagiri and Adichanallur
  • Important Neolithic Sites:
    • Hallur (Andhra Pradesh)
    • Mahagara (Uttar Pradesh)
    • Maski
    • Paiyampalli (Andhra Pradesh)
    • Sangana Kaller
    • Utnur
    • Burzahom (Kashmir)
    • Chirand (Bihar)
    • Daojali Hading (Tripura and Assam)
    • Gufkral (Kashmir)
    • Kodekal
    • Koldihwa (Uttar Pradesh)
    • Mehrgarh (Pakistan)
    • Takkala Kota

Indus Valley Civilisation (BC 2700 – BC 1900)

This was established around 3300 BC. It flourished between 2700 BC and 1900 BC (Mature Indus Valley Civilisation). It started declining around 1900 BC and disappeared around 1400 BC.

Chalcolithic Period (4000 BC – 1,500 BC)

  • It is also known as the Copper Age and considered part of the Bronze Age.

Iron Age (BC 1500 – BC 200)

  • Vedic Period and Arrival of Aryans
  • Basic books of Hinduism, Vedas were composed in this period.
  • Rise of Jainism and Buddhism
  • Mahajanapadas
  • Magadha empire– Bimbisara of Haryanka Kula
  • Sishunaga dynasty – Kalasoka (Kakavarnin)
  • Nanda empire – Mahapadma-Nanda, Dhana-Nanda
  • Persians – Greek arrival: Alexander 327 BC

Mauryan Empire (324-187 BC)

  • 322–298 BCE- Chandragupta
  • 298–272 BCE- Bindusara
  • 268–232 BCE – Ashoka
  • Mauryan Kingdoms was succeeded by
    • Sunga (181-71 BC)
    • Kanva (71-27BC)
    • Satavahanas (235-100BC)
    • Indo-Greeks, Parthians (180BC-45AD)
    • Sakas (90BC-150AD)
    • Kushanas (78AD)

Sangam Age (300 BC – 300 AD)

  • Chola
  • Cheras
  • Pandyas

Gupta Empire (300AD – 800AD)

  • This was an ancient Indian empire
  • Samudra Gupta of the Gupta Empire is known as Indian Napoleon

Post-Gupta or Contemporary Gupta

  • The deterioration of Imperial Guptas, Magadha and its capital, Pataliputra
  • After the fall of the Gupta Empire, important centres of power arose:
    • Vardhana Dynasty
    • Mukharis
    • Hunas
    • Pushyabhutis
    • Gaudas
    • Varman
    • Maitrakas
  • Also, Rajputs, Senas and Chauhans succeeded later.

Important Ancient History articles for IAS Exam preparation are linked in the table below:

Prehistoric period Mauryan empire
Types of Vedas Sangam Age

Download Ancient Indian History Notes for UPSC by visiting the linked page.

Medieval India (AD 700 – AD 1857)

  • The Tripartite struggle was a skirmish for supremacy and control over the central Gangetic valley
  • Tripartite struggle (AD 800-1200 )- Prathiharas, Palas and Rashtrakutas
  • In AD 712, Attack of Muhammed Bin Kassim
  • Growth of Sufism
  • Succeeded by:
    • Muhammad Ghazni (AD 1000-27)
    • Muhammad Ghori (AD 1175-1206)
  • The major South Indian kingdoms during Medieval India are Vijayanagara and Bhamini.

Delhi Sultanate (1206 AD – 1526 AD)

  • Slave Dynasty
  • Khilji Dynasty
  • Tuglaq Dynasty
  • Sayyid Dynasty
  • Lodi Dynasty

Mughals (AD 1526 – AD 1857)

  • Mughals
  • Later Mughals
  • Arrival of Europeans

Read about some important Medieval History articles linked in the table below:

Delhi Sultanate Mughal Empire Khilji Dynasty
Alauddin Khilji Victories Tughlaq Dynasty Sultanate of Delhi – Mamluk Dynasty
Sultanate of Delhi – Sayyid and Lodi Dynasties Ryotwari & Mahalwari System Kingdoms of Deccan

Download UPSC Medieval Indian History Notes by visiting the linked page

Modern India (AD 1857-1991)

  • 1857- First War of Indian Independence
  • 1885- Formation of Indian National Congress
  • 1906-Formation of Muslim League
  • 1920-Non Cooperation Movement
  • 1930-Civil Disobedience Movement
  • 1942- Quit India Movement
  • 1947- Partition of India
  • 1946 – 1950 Constitutional Development of India
  • 1962- India- China war
  • 1965-India-Pakistan war
  • 1971- Formation of Bangladesh
  • 1991-New Economic Policy

Download NCERT Modern Indian History Notes by visiting the linked article

Read about some of the most important Modern Indian History articles linked in the table below:

Simon Commission Indian National Congress Sessions
Rowllat Act & Jallianwala Bagh Massacre Charter Act of 1813
Government of India Act 1919 Morley Minto Reforms
Governors-General of Bengal & India Regulating Act of 1773

For more UPSC related preparation materials and articles, visit the links given in the table below:

Frequently Asked Questions on Chronology of History of India


Q 1. When are the different periods of Indian History?

Ans. The Indian History can be classified into three major periods:

Q 2. In which period of Indian history was the first war of Indian independence fought?

Ans. The first war of Indian independence was held in 1857 which comes under Modern history.

UPSC Preparation

UPSC Books UPSC Monthly Current Affairs Magazine NCERT Notes For UPSC
Important Acts in India Important Articles in Indian Constitution Medieval India
Government Schemes for UPSC Foreign Envoys who visited Ancient India Women Freedom Fighters of India


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