History of Maharashtra

Jan 2019
20
Tallahassee, Florida
#1
Hello everyone. I just joined, so you guys do not know me yet. This thread is the first in my series of Indian history threads. I hope you enjoy.


Chalcolithic era- Human settlements in Maharashtra begin during the chalcolithic period around 3800 BC The first Chalcolithic people to settle in Maharashtra was the Savalda culture. several Savaldan settlements have been excavated, the most notable of which in Inamgaon. Although there are very few structures still left standing, archeologists have discovered some significant artifacts.

Archeologists first excavating Inamgaon

Foundation for rectangular house 2200-2300 BC

circular dwelling pit 3000-2300 BC

Pottery excavated from Inamgaon, 1800-1600 BC

Burial ern belonging to the Jorwe Culture dating back to 1000 BC

Here are some very good articles/books on Inamgaon settlement and Jorwe culture
https://books.google.com/books?id=H...&ved=0CDUQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=Daimabad&f=false
https://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/bitstream/handle/10125/19138/AP-v14n1-139-146.pdf?sequence=1



Another major settlement was Daimabad. Like Inamgaon, not much is left in terms of physical structures, but some very important artifacts have been found.



bronze statue of man racing bulls found in Daimabad, circa 2500 bc.

Two bronze statues of water buffaloes on wheeled platforms, 2500 BC

Bronze statue of elephant, also 2500 BC

(top left of image shows the fourth artifact, a =n intricate statue of a rhinoceros dating from the same period.


Of course, it does not take a professional archeologist to notice the similarities between those artifacts and IVC sites throughout Pakistan and India. The Daimabad horde can be used as evidence that during the later Harrapan phase, IVC culture had spread to the deccan. Of course, that is a more controversial theory. Personally, I was very impressed when I first saw these artifacts. Despite being found in a relatively small site, they are comparable to artifacts found at larger sites such as Dholavira and Rakhigari

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Jan 2019
20
Tallahassee, Florida
#2

Late Ancient-Early Medieval period.

By about 200 BC, most of Maharashtra was ruled by the Buddhist Pravarapura-Nandivardhana dynasty. It was at this time that Maharashtra's iconic rock-cut caves were built. These are known as being some of the most amazing feats of architecture not just in India, but the entire medieval world.
Ajanta caves- the earliest of the great rock-cut caves of Maharahstra. The date of the first phase of construction was likely between 100-200 bc.

cave 9, one of the oldest Ajanta caves. Has an ancient Chaitya-style worship hall and stupa

One of the earliest caves at Ajanta completed before 150 BC
Some of the earliest paintings at Ajanta Cave 10



Shrine of Buddha dating between 100-200 BC

Ajanta cave 12. Built around 200 BC as a Vihara, or refuge.

The later phase of the Ajanta Caves were built between the fifth and sixth centuries AD

Cave 19

cave 20
Best Ajanta Caves to Visit
Elephanta caves-located on the Elephanta Island off the coast of Mumbai, the Elepahanta caves are a UNESCO World Heritage Site that have impressed foreign travelers for centuries. The island goueese t its name from the Portuguese after an elephant statue was found. The Portuguese used the island as a military base, and Portuguese soldiers caused heavy damage to many of the caves.

Elephant statue that gave the caves its name. Obviously, it has been heavily damaged.
Although most of the caves were built between the 5th and 6th century BC, five Shaivate Caves and a Buddhist Stupa could date as far back as 200 BC.

Ancient Shrine of Lord Shiva at Elephanta

Ancient Shaivasa cave

Engraving of Shiva bringing the Ganga to Earth
Wedding of SHiva and Parvati

Cave 1,also known as main cave. Largest of the Elephanta caves, completed between 500-600 ce.

Shiva temple in East Wing

Ellora Caves
The latest of the great rock caves were the Ellora Caves, built in three phases between 500 ce to 1000 CE.




Cave 10, also known as Carpenter's cave, one of the later Buddhist caves.
And finally, cave 16, the Kailasa temple. built between 700-800 CE, this humongous Shiva temple is a truly impressive feat of architecture, to say the least





The way this temple was built into the face of solid rock still baffles scientists to this day. In fact, this would be impressive even today with modern technology. The Kailash temple was even used as evidence by the TV show Ancient Aliens and other conspiracy theorists as evidence of extraterrestrial intervention in the ancient world.

Keep in mind that these caves were mostly built between 500-700 CE, during the dark ages of Europe. SOme of them were even built as early as 200 BC. Hence, it is safe to say that these structures were absolutely unprecedented at the time, and remain some of the world's greatest architectural feats even today. The presence of these caves support my view that modern-day India was one of the world's most ancient and advanced civilizations that lasted for thousands of years.​



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Jan 2019
20
Tallahassee, Florida
#3
Kanheri caves: Some more examples of stone-cut architecture in Maharasthra between 200 BC and 1000 ce. The Kanheri caves are located in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park.
Cave 1- the oldest of the caves, built as a Vihara, or Buddhist refuge, around 100 BC. Has two levels, with the second unfinished.

Between 100-1000 ce, the Kanheri caves acted as a major University and an important center of Buddhist learning under the Kushan and Gupta Empires.



Ancient Brahmi inscription dating back as far as 100 bc
cave number 2
Exterior


stupa with carvings in background


sculptures of the Buddha

Cave 3- called the Great Chaitya cave, completed around 170 ce.
Exterior


Great Chaitya Hall

Chaitya hall with stupa

Great Dagoba of cave 4


Dining hall of the Vihara


Sculptures of Cave 90, one of the latest additions


These are just a handful of images of the ancient architectural wonders at Kanheri, and only a few examples of the wonders and contributions to humanity of Ancient India


I hope you guys enjoyed this thread and feel free to add any comments or questions.
 
Feb 2011
13,568
Perambulating in St James' Park
#4
Very interesting thanks for sharing, this is the famous Indus valley culture I've heard about but still need to study. Did they have writing and mythology? It's interesting that the Greeks had horse toys/models which were very similar, some with wheels.
 
Jan 2019
20
Tallahassee, Florida
#5
Very interesting thanks for sharing, this is the famous Indus valley culture I've heard about but still need to study. Did they have writing and mythology? It's interesting that the Greeks had horse toys/models which were very similar, some with wheels.
Thanks for reading. The IVC did extend to the northwestern part of modern Maharashtra, but I would not say Maharashtra was an integral part of the IVC, The first sophisticated settlements in Maharashtra were developed by the Jorwe culture, a Deccan Chalcolithic culture. By the height of the IVC, the Jorwe had already created advanced societies utilizing copper tools and advanced, painted pottery as well as crop rotation and sophisticated housing. The Jorwe did trade with nearby settlements, and Northwest Maharashtra(the locations of many Jorwe archeological sites) is not too far from dseveral major IVC sites in Gujarat such as Lothal, so it makes sense that the Jorwe came into contact with the people of IVC and adopted elements of their culture, which explains those particular figurines which share similarities to those found in Mohenjo Daro and Harrapa.
 

Devdas

Ad Honorem
Apr 2015
4,489
India
#7
Very interesting thanks for sharing, this is the famous Indus valley culture I've heard about but still need to study. Did they have writing and mythology? It's interesting that the Greeks had horse toys/models which were very similar, some with wheels.
Daimabad is considered an Indus valley site but its in Maharashtra far away from the traditional frontiers of Indus valley civilization in North-West India and Eastern Pakistan.
 
May 2013
1,721
The abode of the lord of the north
#8
Very interesting thanks for sharing, this is the famous Indus valley culture I've heard about but still need to study. Did they have writing and mythology? It's interesting that the Greeks had horse toys/models which were very similar, some with wheels.
They had at least some sort of writing, though we're still not able to completely decipher it. As for mythology, since we haven't deciphered the script, and vedic civilization hasn't been proven to have belonged to Indus valley, Textual evidences are scarce. all we can do is to adhere to archaeological evidences.
Religious Developments in Ancient India
This site does a quick summation of whatever has been agreed upon.
 

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