Category: ancient india


BIMBISARA (c. 545/544 BCE – c. 493/492 BCE) was a king of the Magadha Kingdom who is credited with establishing imperial dominance in the Indian subcontinent. Son of a minor king called Bhattiya, he belonged to the Haryanka Dynasty, which is said to be the second imperial dynasty of Magadha. However, it is only from Bimbisara’s reign that the historicity of different Indian kings can be verified with any certainty. Before the Haryanka Dynasty, the accounts of various Indian kings are mythical and cannot be verified with any archaeological evidence.

Bimbisara ruled at a time when Gautama Buddha (c. 563 BCE – c. 483 BCE) and Mahavira Vardhamana (c. 599 BCE – c. 527 BCE as per the Jaina tradition), the respective founders of Buddhism and Jainism, both started their teachings. Bimbisara has been given much importance in the early Buddhist and Jaina sources because he probably endorsed both these religions equally. He ruled from a place called Girivraja which was also known as Rajagriha and is identified with modern Rajgir in the state of Bihar today. It is said that the city of Rajagriha was built by Bimbisara himself. The city was covered on all sides by five hills creating a natural fortification, and later on Bimbisara’s son, Ajatashatru covered the gaps with stone walls.

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BOOK REVIEW: Uncovering the Culture of Ancient India by Alix Wood 

THIS book is a great way to introduce the ancient cultures and peoples of India for children because it includes simple but complete explanations and definitions, as well as some of the most important monuments of the country.

Uncovering the Culture of Ancient India is a book published by Alix Wood Books that belongs to a series about ancient Britain, Egypt, Greece, India, Mesopotamia and Peru. This series of books has been made to create an interest in children for the ancient cultures that lived before us and influenced the modern world.

The book includes two pages with a map that marks the location of each monument, so readers can easily know where it is, a description of the place, photos of the site and some artifacts found there, even some schemes of the inner structure of the monument. Since the book is aimed at children, there are some words in bold or definitions for words such as “civilization” for a better understanding of the text and a deeper learning. A glossary is also added at the end so readers can learn new words too.

Read More OF THE ANCIENT WORLD: Sushruta (Physician in ancient India)

SUSHRUTA (c. 7th or 6th century BCE) was a physician in ancient India known today as the “Father of Indian Medicine” and “Father of Plastic Surgery” for inventing and developing surgical procedures. His work on the subject, the Sushruta Samhita (Sushruta’s Compendium) is considered the oldest text in the world on plastic surgery and is highly regarded as one of the Great Trilogy of Ayurvedic Medicine; the other two being the Charaka Samhita, which preceded it, and the Astanga Hridaya, which followed it.

Ayurvedic Medicine is among the oldest medical systems in the world, dating back to the Vedic Period of India (c. 5000 BCE). The term Ayurveda translates as “life knowledge” or “life science” and is the practice of holistic healing which incorporates “standard” medical knowledge with spiritual concepts and herbal remedies in treatment as well as prevention of diseases. It was practiced in India for centuries before the Greek physician Hippocrates (c. 460 – c. 379 BCE), known as the Father of Medicine, was even born.

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ANCIENT India in the Vedic Period (c. 1500-1000 BCE) did not have social stratification based on socio-economic indicators; rather, citizens were classified according to their Varna or castes. ‘Varna’ defines the hereditary roots of a newborn, it indicates the colour, type, order or class of people. Four principal categories are defined: Brahmins (priests, gurus, etc.), Kshatriyas (warriors, kings, administrators, etc.), Vaishyas (agriculturalists, traders, etc., also called Vysyas), and Shudras (labourers). Each Varna propounds specific life principles to follow; newborns are required to follow the customs, rules, conduct, and beliefs fundamental to their respective Varnas.

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Four major texts in the Vedic Sanskrit literature suggest an early form of kissing. Dating from 1500 BCE, they describe the custom of rubbing and pressing noses together.