The area now known colloquially and officially as UP has undergone several different definitions, nomenclatures and territorial demarcations since the early 19th century, i.e. after the British East India Company had established its supremacy in the Gangetic plains. In 1833 the then Bengal Presidency of the Company was divided into two parts, one of which became Presidency of Agra; in 1836 the Agra area was named North-Western Provinces and placed under a Lieutenant Governor by the Company. In 1877, the two provinces of Agra and Oudh (Oudh was occupied by the Company, in 1858), were placed under one Colonial administrator of the British Crown; he was called Lieutenant Governor of the North-Western Provinces and Chief Commissioner of Oudh. In 1902 the name was changed to United Provinces of Agra and Oudh with Lieutenant Governor of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh as administrator; in 1921 Lieutenant Governorship was elevated to Governorship and the name of the province was changed to United Provinces of British India. In 1935, the name was shortened toUnited Provinces. On independence from the British colonial rule in 1947, the princely states of RampurBanares and Tehri-Garwal were merged into the United Provinces. In 1950, the name of United Provinces was changed to Uttar Pradesh. In 1999 a separate Himalayan state, Uttaranchal, (now named Uttarakhand), was carved out of Uttar Pradesh.

[edit]Prehistoric Period

[edit]Paleolithic period

[edit]Homo erectus period

Homo erectus lived in South Asia during the Pleistocene Epoch. Biface handaxe and cleaver traditions may have origninated in the middle Pleistocene. The beginning of the use of Acheulian and chopper-chopping tools of lower paleolithic may be dated to approx. the middle Pleistocene.

[edit]Homo sapiens period

Finds from the factory sites of Chhatarpalia, Mahugarh and Parisdhia in the Belan valley (of Belan River, a tributary of the Ganges system on the southern margin of the Ganges plains), the famous Singrauli basin in southernmost part of the Mirzapur district, the extremely rich factory site of Lalitpur and two sites at Nihi and Gopipur on the banks of small rivulets in Banda district in southern Uttar Pradesh, have been found. Some 20 m of strata are exposed in fluvial terraces, commencing with pedogenic and channel calcretes linked to groundwater ponding on the underlying bedrock. Overlying alluvium deposited from mixed-load meandering rivers yields dates between 85±11 and 72±8 thosand years ago before present (BP), implying sustained fluvial activity during Marine Isotope Stage 5 and later; these strata contain Middle Paleolithic artifacts. Thin reworked gravels with Upper Paleolithic artifacts are dated at 21–31 kyr BP, and may represent declining alluviation and floodplain gully erosion during reduced monsoonal activity around the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM).

[edit]Mesolithic period

Mesolithic/Microlithic sites spanning the last 15,000 + years are distributed throughout South Asia. Evidence indicates microlithic groups en- gaged in three adaptive strategies:
1.    hunting, gathering, and fishing;
2.    trade and barter combined with hunting-gathering; and
3.    limited food production (pastoralism and/or agriculture) combined with hunting-gathering.
The first and oldest strategy reflects con- tinuity with Paleolithic developments, whereas the others devel- oped later, c. 7000–4000 BC, and persist into the present.
Mesolithic/Microlithic hunter-gatherers were responsible for the initial settlement of Sarai Nahar Rai (near Pratapgarh), Uttar Pradesh, in 10,550–9550 BC. Two structures, 12 burials, and 12 hearths yielded fauna from broad-spectrum economy.Excavations at Mahagara (near Meja) (24°ree;54'30"N82°ree;2'E), in Uttar Pradesh, in the Belan and Son Valleys, uncovered villages with circular, mud-coated bamboo structures where hunting-gathering was combined with the use of domesticated cattle and a few sheep or goats and plants, including rice. This initial stage of food production on the Gangetic Plain, the "Vindhyan Neolithic," may have begun as early as 6000 BC; however, most dates range between c. 4000 and 1500 BC with comparable groups persisting into historic times. Likewise, in the Indus River Valley similar groups had established settlements by 7000 BC, initiating a sequence which extends into the Iron Age.

[edit]Neolithic period

One of the earliest Neolithic sites in India is Lahuradewa, in the Middle Ganges region, C14 dated around 7th millennium BC. Recently another site near the confluence of Ganges and Yamuna rivers called Jhusi yielded a C14 dating of 7100 BC for its Neolithic levels.
Neolithic site and tradition in South Asia of Lahuradewa from ca. 6200 BC in the Ganges valley of the Indian subcontinent. Earlier-dated finds (ca. 8000 BC) of charcoal in some Lahuradewa sites provide indications of slash and burn cultivation techniques present in the area (National Seminar on the Archaeology ofGanga Plain, December 2004, Lucknow, India).
"The results of excavations during 2005–6 at Lahuradewa have attested some of the conclusions drawn in the light of earlier excavations. Taken together the available evidence, it becomes certain that the first settlers at Lahuradewa were growing rice during circa 7th millennium BC. They were using mostly coarse variety of handmade red and black-and- red ware from the very beginning and residing in wattle- and-daub dwellings, having clay plastered reed or bamboo screens. Aquatic fauna formed a considerable proportion in their diet. The presence of beads made of steatite and semiprecious stones from the lowest levels shows long- distance interaction. The appearance of copper arrowhead and fishing hook, dish-on-stand, barley, wheat and pulses, abundant number of steate and other beads, spouted and pedestal vessels, a few painted potsherds, improvement in ceramic industries, etc., provide a new evidence to apprehend what was happening in the cultural advancement in this part of the country, 3rd millennium BC onwards. The granary extended over a considerable area shows surplus agricultural production around 2000 BC. The ancient site of Lahuradewa continued to be inhabited during the NBPW and subsequent periods up to the early centuries AD. It has emerged as a site of its own kind for the study of early agriculture in the Middle Ganga Basin." Tewari et al. acknowledge their interactions with Peter Bellwood, ANU and Dorian Fuller, Institute of Archaeology, Univ. College, London, Drs. Jarrige, Museue De Game, Paris, Weber, Vancouver and many others including VD Misra. The article adds a note: For more details please see Second Preliminary Report of the excavations at Lahuradewa District Sant Kabir Nagar, UP 2002-3–4 and 2005–6 in Pragdhara 16. Also presented are colour plates showing 9 charred rice grains (sub-period 1A).
Investigation of botanical remains from an ancient site, Tokwa at the confluence of Belan and Adwa rivers, Mirzapur District, Uttar Pradesh (UP), has brought to light the agriculture-based subsistence economy during the Neolithic culture (3rd–2nd millennium BC). They subsisted on cereals, viz. Oryza sativa, Triticum aestivum and Hordeum vulgare, supplemented by leguminous seeds of Lens culinaris, Pisum arvense and Vigna radiata. Evidence of oil-yielding crops has been documented by recovery of seeds of Linum usitatissimum and Brassica juncea. Fortuitously, an important find among the botanical remains is the seeds of South American custard apple, regarded to have been introduced by the Portuguese in the 16th century. The remains of custard apple as fruit coat and seeds have also been recorded from other sites in the Indian archaeological context, during the Kushana Period (100–300 AD) in Punjab and Early Iron Age (1300–700 BC) in UP. The factual remains of custard apple, favour a group of specialists, supporting with diverse arguments, the reasoning of Asian–American contacts, before the discovery of America by Columbus in 1492. Further, a few weeds have turned up as an admixture in the crop remains.

[edit]Ochre Coloured Pottery culture

H. C. Bharadwaj in his work Aspects of Ancient Indian Technology, Motilal Banarsidass, New Delhi 1979 had established that copper hoards, being found in the same layers as Ochre Coloured Pottery by B. B. Lal, belonged to 1100–800 BC, but K.N. Dikshit in: Essays in Indian Protohistory, 1979 suggested a date from 2650 to 1180 BC based on thermoluminescent method.
The Ochre Coloured Pottery culture (OCP), is a 3rd millennium BC Bronze Age culture of the Ganges-Yamunaplain. It is a contemporary to, and a successor of the Indus Valley Civilization. The OCP marks the last stage of the North Indian Bronze Age and is succeeded by the Iron Age black-and-red ware and painted-gray warecultures. Early specimens of the characteristic ceramics found near Jodhpura, Jaipur, Rajasthan date to the 3rd millennium, (Jodhpura is not to be confused with the Jodhpur), and the culture reaches the Gangetic plain in the early 2nd millennium.
There are even a claim of earlier dates by M. D. N. Sahi: "...settlements of the OCP-Copper Hoards culture, datable between 3700–3000 BC, as discussed by the present author elsewhere, are found existing in the districts of Allahabad (Sringaverapura and Mirapatti) and Varanasi (Kamauli)." (Sahi's paper "Neolithic Syndrome of the Ganga Valley" at National Seminar on the Archaeology of the Ganga Valley, December 2004).

[edit]Copper Hoard Culture

The Copper Hoard Culture flourished around 2000 BC around Western and Central Uttar Pradesh. Recent discovery of copper hoard in district Auraiya of Uttar Pradesh. The site of the discovery is located to the south of village Udaipurwa near the Rind river which is a small tributary of river Yamuna. Area of site is 1.5 to 2-acre (8,100 m2) and is under cultivation.
Since 1822, when a copper hoard was discovered in Bithoor around a 100 more copper hoards have been found in different places mainly in western UP, Haryanaand Rajasthan. Red ware potsherds have also been found on the surface of most of these find-spots. Some of them such as Bahadarabad in district Saharanpur, Busauli in Badaun, Rajpur Parsu in Bijnore, Baharia in Shajahanpur and Saipai in Etawah have been subjected to archaeological soundings.

[edit]Painted Grey Ware culture

The Painted Grey Ware culture (PGW) is an Iron Age culture of Gangetic plain, lasting from roughly 1100 BC to 350 BC. It is contemporary to, and a successor of the Black and red ware culture. It probably corresponds to the late Vedic civilization. It is succeeded by Northern Black Polished Ware from ca. 500 BC.
B. B. Lal associated HastinapuraMathuraAhichatraKampilya, Barnawa, Kurukshetra and other sites with the PGW culture, the (post-) Mahabharata period and the Aryans in the 1950s. Furthermore, he pointed out that the Mahabharata mentions a flood and a layer of flooding debris was found in Hastinapura. However, B. B. Lal considered his theories to be provisional and based upon a limited body of evidence, and he later reconsidered his statements on the nature of this culture.

[edit]Cemetery H culture

The Cemetery H culture is one of three cultural phases that developed in the Localization Era of the 
Indus Valley Tradition.
The Cemetery H culture developed out of the northern part of the Indus Valley Civilization around 1900 BC. It was named after a cemetery found in "area H" at Harappa.
The distinguishing features of this culture include:
§  cremation of human remains with the bones stored in painted pottery burial urns. As opposed to the Indus civilization where bodies were buried in wooden coffins. The urn burials and the "grave skeletons" were nearly contemporaneous.
§  Reddish pottery, painted in black with antelopespeacocks etc., sun or star motifs, with different surface treatments to the earlier period.
§  Expansion of settlements into the east.
§  Rice became a main crop.
§  Apparent breakdown of the widespread trade of the Indus civilization, with materials such as marine shells no longer used.
§  Continued use of mud brick for building.
The Cemetery H culture also "shows clear biological affinities" with the earlier population of Harappa.
The archaeologist Kenoyer noted that this culture "may only reflect a change in the focus of settlement organization from that which was the pattern of the earlier Harappan phase and not cultural discontinuity, urban decay, invading aliens, or site abandonment, all of which have been suggested in the past."
Remains of the culture date from 1900 BC to 1300 BC. Together with the Gandhara grave culture and the Ochre Coloured Pottery culture, it is considered by some scholars a nucleus of Vedic civilization.

[edit]Vedic Period (1500–500 BC)

The Vedic period (or Vedic Age) is the period in the 
history of India when the Vedic Sanskrit texts such as the four Vedas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas and Upanishads were composed. The associated culture, sometimes referred to as Vedic civilization, was centered on the Indo-Gangetic Plain. Based on literary evidence, scholars place the Vedic period in the 2nd and 1st millennia BC, continuing up to the 6th century BC. This civilization is the foundation of Hinduism and the associated Indian culture that is known today.

[edit]Early Vedic Period

In its late phase (from ca. 700 BC), it saw the rise of the Mahajanapadas, and was succeeded by the golden age of Hinduism and classical Sanskrit literature, the Maurya Empire (from ca. 320 BC) and the Middle kingdoms of India.

[edit]The later Vedic period

The transition from the early to the later Vedic period was marked by the emergence of agriculture as the dominant economic activity and a corresponding decline in the significance of cattle rearing. Several changes went hand in hand with this. For instance, several large kingdoms arose because of the increasing importance of land and its protection. The late Vedic period from ca. 500 BC more or less seamlessly blends into the period of the Middle kingdoms of India known from historical sources.


The late Vedic period was marked by the rise of the sixteen Mahajanapadas referred to in some of the literature. The power of the king greatly increased. Rulers gave themselves titles like ekarat (the one ruler), sarvabhumi (ruler of all the earth) and chakravartin (protector of land). The kings performed sacrifices likerajasuya (royal consecration), vajapeya (chariot race) and ashvamedha (horse sacrifice). The coronation ceremony was a major social occasion. Several functionaries came into being in addition to the purohita and the senani of earlier times. The participation of the people in the activities of the government decreased.

[edit]Buddhist-Hindu period

[edit]Mahajanapadas (700–300 BC)

The political structure of the ancient Indo-Aryans appears to have started with semi-nomadic tribal units calledJana (meaning subjects). Early Vedic texts attest several Janas or tribes of the Aryans, living in semi-nomadic tribal state, fighting among themselves and with other Non-Aryan tribes for cows, sheep and green pastures. These early Vedic Janas later coalesced into Janapadas of the Epic Age. By circa 600 BC, many of these Janapadas had further evolved into larger political entities by the process of land-grabbing which eventually led to the formation of kingdoms known in Buddhist traditions as the Mahajanapadas or the great nations (Sanskrit:Maha = great, Janapada = country).
Mahajanapadas literally means "Great kingdoms" (from Sanskrit Maha = great, Janapada = foothold of tribe = country). Ancient Buddhist texts like Anguttara Nikaya (I. p 213; IV. pp 252, 256, 261) make frequent reference to sixteen great kingdoms and republics (Solas Mahajanapadas) which had evolved and flourished in the northern/north-western parts of the Indian sub-continent prior to the rise of Buddhism in India.
The Buddhist and other texts only incidentally refer to sixteen great nations (Solasa Mahajanapadas) which were in existence before the time of Buddha. They do not give any connected history except in the case of Magadha. The Buddhist Anguttara Nikaya, at several places, gives a list of sixteen nations:
1.  Kasi
2.  Kosala
3.  Anga
4.  Magadha
5.  Vajji (or Vriji)
6.  Malla
7.  Chedi
8.  Vatsa (or Vamsa)
9.  Kuru
10.               Panchala
11.               Machcha (or Matsya)
12.               Surasena
13.               Assaka
14.               Avanti
15.               Gandhara
16.               Kamboja
Another Buddhist text Digha Nikaya mentions only first twelve Mahajanapadas and omits the last four in the above list.
The Jaina Bhagvati Sutra gives slightly different list of sixteen Mahajanapadas viz: Anga, Banga (Vanga), Magadha, Malaya, Malavaka, Accha, Vaccha, Kochcha (Kachcha?), Padha, Ladha (Lata), Bajji (Vajji), Moli (Malla), Kasi, Kosala, Avaha and Sambhuttara. Obviously, the author of Bhagvati has a focus on the countries of Madhydesa and of far east and south only. He omits the nations from Uttarapatha like the Kamboja and Gandhara. The more extended horizon of the Bhagvatiand the omission of all countries from Uttarapatha clearly shows that the Bhagvati list is of later origin and therefore less reliable.

[edit]Magadha (684–424 BC)

Nanda (424–321 BC)
Magadha formed one of the sixteen so-called Mahājanapadas (Sanskrit, 'great country') or regions in ancient India. The core of the kingdom was the portion of Bihar lying south of the Ganges, with its capital at Rajagriha(modern Rajgir). Magadha expanded to include Eastern Uttar Pradesh most of Bihar and Bengal with the conquest of Licchavi and Anga respectively. The ancient kingdom of Magadha is mentioned in Ramayana,MahabharataPuranas, and heavily mentioned in Buddhist and Jaina texts. The first reference to the Magadha occurs in the Atharva-Veda where they are found listed along with the AngasGandharis and the Mujavats as a despised people. Two of India's major religions started from Magadha; Two of India's greatest empires, theMaurya Empire and Gupta Empire, along with others, originated from Magadha. They advanced ancient Indianscience, technologyengineeringartdialecticliteraturelogicmathematicsastronomyreligion andphilosophy. This was considered the "Golden Age of India". The Magadha kingdom included republican communities such as Rajakumara. Villages had their own assemblies under their local chiefs called Gramakas. Their administrations were divided into executive, judicial and military functions.


The first 
Nanda, the Mahapadma Nanda has been described as the destroyer of all the Kshatriyas. He defeated the Ikshvaku dynasty, Panchalas, Kasis, Haihayas, Kalingas, Asmakas, Kurus, Maithilas, Surasenas, Vitihotras, etc. He expanded his territory till south of Deccan. The last of the Nandas was Dhana Nanda (called Xandrames or Aggrammes in ancient Greek and Latin sources). Plutarch tells that Chandragupta Maurya had stated that he was able to overthrow Dhana Nanda as he was hated and despised by his subjects on account of the wickedness of his disposition:
The Nanda dynasty ruled Magadha during the 5th and 4th centuries BC. It is said to have been established by an illegitimate son of the king Mahanandin of the previous Shishunaga dynastyMahapadma Nanda died at the age of 88 and, therefore, he ruled the bulk of the period of this dynasty, which lasted 100 years. At its greatest extent, the Nanda Empire extended from Bihar to Bengal in the west. The Nanda Empire was later conquered by Chandragupta Maurya, who founded the Maurya Empire.
"Sandrocottus, when he was a stripling, saw Alexander himself, and we are told that he often said in later times that Alexander narrowly missed making himself master of the country, since its king was hated and despised on account of his baseness and low birth."

[edit]Maurya (322–185 BC)

The Maurya Empire (322–185 BC), ruled by the Mauryan dynasty, was a geographically extensive and powerful political and military empire in ancient India.
Originating from the kingdom of Magadha in the Indo-Gangetic plains (modern Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Bengal) in the eastern side of the sub-continent, the empire had its capital city at Pataliputra (near modern Patna). The Empire was founded in 322 BC by Chandragupta Maurya, who had overthrown the Nanda Empire and began rapidly expanding his power westwards across central and western India taking opportunistic advantage of the disruptions of local powers in the wake of the withdrawal westward by Alexander the Great's Macedonian and Persian armies. By 316 BC the empire had fully occupied Northwestern India, defeating and conquering the satraps left by Alexander.
At its greatest extent, the Empire stretched to the north along the natural boundaries of the Himalayas, and to the east stretching into what is now Assam. To the west, it reached beyond modern Pakistan and most of what is now Afghanistan. The Empire was expanded into India's central and southern regions by EmperorBindusara, but it excluded a small portion of unexplored tribal and forested regions near Kalinga.
The Mauryan Empire was perhaps the largest empire to rule the Indian subcontinent until the arrival of the British. Its decline began fifty years after Ashoka's rule ended, and it dissolved in 185 BC with the foundation of the Sunga Dynasty in Magadha.

[edit]Sunga (185–73 BC)

Sunga dynasty was established in 185 BC, about 50 years after Ashoka's death, when the king Brhadrata, the last of the Mauryan rulers, was assassinated by the then commander-in-chief of the Mauryan armed forces,Pusyamitra Sunga,[31] while he was taking the Guard of Honour of his forces. Pusyamitra Sunga then ascended the throne.
The Sunga Empire (or Shunga Empire) is a Magadha dynasty that controlled North-central and Eastern India as well as parts of the northwest (now Pakistan) from around 185 to 73 BC. It was established after the fall of the Indian Mauryan empire. The capital of the Sungas was Pataliputra. Later kings such as Bhagabhadra also held court at Vidisa, modern Besnagar in Eastern Malwa.[30] The Sunga Empire is noted for its numerous wars with both foreign and indigenous powers. Although very much isn't known, the Mathura school of art and the works ofPatanjali colored North India during this empire.
Pushyamitra Sunga became the ruler of the Magadha and neighbouring territories. The kingdom of Pushyamitra was extended up to Narmada in the south, and controlled Jalandhar and Sialkot in the Punjab in the north-western regions, and the city of Ujjain[32] in central India. The Kabul Valley and much of the Punjab passed into the hands of the Indo-Greeks and the Deccan to the Satavahanas.
Pushyamitra died after ruling for 36 years (187–151 BC). He was succeeded by son Agnimitra. This prince is the hero of a famous drama by one of India's greatest playwrights, Kalidasa. Agnimitra was viceroy of Vidisha when the story takes place. The power of the Sungas gradually weakened. It is said that there were ten Sunga kings. The Sungas were succeeded by the Kanva dynasty around 73 BC in East and Kushan Empire in West.

[edit]Indo-Scythians (80 BC–20 AD)

The invasion of India by Scythian tribes from Central Asia, often referred to as the 
Indo-Scythian invasion, played a significant part in the history of India as well as nearby countries. In fact, the Indo-Scythian war is just one chapter in the events triggered by the nomadic flight of Central Asians from conflict with Chinese tribes which had lasting effects on BactriaKabolParthia and India as well as far off as Rome in the west.
The Indo-Scythians are a branch of the Indo-Iranian Sakas (Scythians), who migrated from southern Siberia intoBactriaSogdianaArachosiaGandharaKashmirPunjab, and into parts of Western and Central India, Gujarat and Rajasthan, from the middle of the 1st century AD to the 4th century AD. Indo-Scythian rule in India ended with the last Western Satrap Rudrasimha III in 395 AD who was defeated by the Gupta Emperor Chandragupta II.
The Scythian groups that invaded India and set up various kingdoms, may have included besides the Sakas other allied tribes, such as the Parama KambojasBahlikasRishikas and Paradas.

[edit]Mathura area ("Northern Satraps")

In central India, the Indo-Scythians conquered the area of Mathura over Indian kings around 60 BC. Some of theirsatraps were Hagamasha and Hagana, who were in turn followed by the Saca Great Satrap Rajuvula.
The Mathura lion capital, an Indo-Scythian sandstone capital in crude style, from Mathura in Central India, and dated to the 1st century AD, describes in kharoshthi the gift of a stupa with a relic of the Buddha, by princessAiyasi Kamuia, the chief queen of the Indo-Scythian ruler of Mathura, Rajuvula.The capital also mentions the genealogy of several Indo-Scythian satraps of Mathura.
Rajuvula apparently eliminated the last of the Indo-Greek kings Strato II around 10 AD, and took his capital city,Sagala. The coinage of the period, such as that of Rajuvula, tends to become very crude and barbarized in style. It is also very much debased, the silver content becoming lower and lower, in exchange for a higher proportion of bronze, an alloying technique (billon) suggesting less than wealthy finances.

The Indo-Scythian satraps of Mathura are sometimes called the "Northern Satraps", in opposition to the "
Western Satraps" ruling in Gujarat and Malwa. After Rajuvula, several successors are known to have ruled as vassals to the Kushans, such as the "Great Satrap" Kharapallana and the "Satrap" Vanaspara, who are known from an inscription discovered in Sarnath, and dated to the 3rd year of Kanishka (circa 130 AD), in which they were paying allegiance to the Kushans.
The Mathura Lion Capital inscriptions attest that Mathura fell under the control of the Sakas. The inscriptions contain references to Kharaosta Kamuio and Aiyasi Kamuia. Yuvaraja Kharostes (Kshatrapa) was the son of Arta as is attested by his own coins. Arta, who therefore, was also a Kamuio i.e. Kamboja, is stated to be brother of king Moga or Maues.[35] Princess Aiyasi Kamuia, also known as Kambojika (i.e. coming from Kamboja lineage), was the chief queen of Shaka Mahakshatrapa Rajuvula. Interestingly, the Kamboja presence in Mathura is also recognised from some verses of epic Mahabharata which are believed to have been composed around this period. This suggests that Sakas and Kambojas may have jointly ruled over Mathura/Uttar Pradesh. It is revealing thatMahabharata verses only attest the Kambojas and Yavanas as the invaders in Mathura, but do not make any reference to the Sakas. Probably, the epic has reckoned the Sakas of Mathura among the Kambojas (J. L. Kamboj) or else has addressed them as Yavanas, unless the Mahabharata verses refer to the previous period of invasion occupation by the Yavanas around 150 BC. "It seems from some inscriptions that the Kambojas were a royal clan of the Sakas better known under the Greek name of Scyths".

[edit]Mathura lion capital

The Mathura lion capital, which associates many of the Indo-Scythian rulers from Maues to Rajuvula, mentions a dedication of a relic of the Buddha in a stupa. It also bears centrally the Buddhist symbol of the triratana, and is also filled with mentions of the bhagavat Buddha Sakyamuni, and characteristically Buddhist phrases such as:
"sarvabudhana puya dhamasa puya saghasa puya"
"Revere all the Buddhas, revere the dharma, revere the sangha"
(Mathura lion capital, inscription O1/O2)

[edit]Kushan Empire (2nd century CE)

Around 225 
Vasudeva I died and the Kushan empire was divided into western and eastern halves. Around 224–240, the Sassanids invaded Bactria and Northern India, where they are known as the Indo-Sassanids.
The Kushan Empire (c. 1st–3rd centuries) was a state that at its cultural zenith, circa 105–250 AD, extended from what is now Tajikistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan and down into the Ganges river valley in northern India. The empire was created by the Kushan tribe of the Yuezhi confederation, an Indo-European people from the eastern Tarim Basin, China, possibly related to the Tocharians. They had diplomatic contacts with RomePersiaand China, and for several centuries were at the center of exchange between the East and the West.
Around 270, the Kushans lost their territories on the Gangetic plain, where the Gupta Empire was established around 320 and to the Sassanids during Shapur II's reign, notably the area that comprises Afghanistan.
During the middle of the 4th century a Kushan vassal, named Kidara, rose to power and overthrew the old Kushan dynasty. He created a kingdom known as the Kidarite Kingdom, although he probably considered himself a Kushan, as indicated by the Kushan style of his coins. The Kidarite seem to have been rather prosperous, although on a smaller scale than their Kushan predecessors.
These remnants of the Kushan empire were ultimately wiped out in the 5th century by the invasions of the White Huns, and later the expansion of Islam.

[edit]Gupta Empire (320–550)

The Gupta Empire was ruled by members of the Gupta dynasty from around 320 to 550 AD and covered most ofNorthern India, the region presently in the nation of Pakistan and what is now western India and Bangladesh. The time of the Gupta Empire is referred to as Golden Age of India in sciencemathematicsastronomyreligion and Indian philosophy. The peace and prosperity created under leadership of Guptas enabled the pursuit of scientific and artistic endeavors. The decimal numeral system, including the concept of zero, was invented in India during the reign of the Guptas. Historians place the Gupta dynasty alongside with the Han DynastyTang Dynasty and Roman Empire as a model of a classical civilization.
The origins of the Guptas are shrouded in obscurity. The Chinese traveller I-tsing provides the first evidence of the Gupta kingdom in Magadha. He came to India in 672 AD and heard of 'Maharaja Sri-Gupta' who built a temple for Chinese pilgrims near Mrigasikhavana. I-tsing gives the date for this event merely as '500 years before'. This does not match with other sources and hence we can assume that I-tsing's computation was a mere guess. Very recently few scholars have linked Guptas with rulers mentioned in Bhagwatam, however, these things are largely disputed and idea seems politically motivated and to promote sell of books written and promoted by some entities.
The most likely date for the reign of Sri-Gupta is c. 240–280 AD. His successor Ghatotkacha ruled probably from c. 280–319 AD. In contrast to his successor, he is also referred to in inscriptions as 'Maharaja'. The most accepted theory about the origins of the Guptas is that the Guptas originated from Bengal. The mention of "Varendra Mrigashihavan Stupa" on a mound in Nepal is a strong evidence that the Guptas originated from Bengal. Maharaja Sri-Gupta probably ruled a portion of Northern/Southern Bengal. Later Chandragupta I established his dominion over Magadha through marital policy with the Licchavis. However the origins of the Guptas is still hotly debated. At the beginning of the 4th century the Guptas established and ruled a few small Hindu kingdoms in Magadha and around modern-day Uttar Pradesh.

[edit]Vardhan Dynasty (550–647)

Prabhakar Vardhan
, the ruler of Sthanvisvara, who belonged to the Pushabhukti family, extended his control over neighbouring states. Prabhakar Vardhan was the first king of the Vardhan dynasty with his capital at Thanesar.
After the downfall of the Gupta Empire in the middle of the sixth century AD, North India was split into several independent kingdoms. The Huns had established their supremacy over the Punjab and parts of central India. The northern and western regions of India passed into the hands of a dozen or more feudatory states.
After Prabhakar Vardhan's death in 606 AD, his eldest son, Rajya Vardhan, ascended the throne. Harsha Vardhana was Rajya Vardhan's younger brother.

[edit]Harsha-Vardhan (606–647)

Harsha or Harshavardhana (590–647) was an Indian emperor who ruled Northern India for over forty years. He was the son of Prabhakar Vardhan and younger brother of Rajyavardhan, a king of Thanesar. At the height of his power his kingdom spanned the PunjabBengal, Orissa and the entire Indo-Gangetic plain north of the Narmada River.
After the downfall of the Gupta Empire in the middle of the sixth century AD, North India reverted back to small republics and small monarchical states. Harsha united the small republics from Punjab to Central India, and they, at an assembly, crowned Harsha king in April 606 AD when he was merely 16 years old.[45]

[edit]After Harsha

Harsha died in the year 647 AD. He ruled over India for 41 years. After Harsha's death, apparently without any heirs, his empire died with him. The kingdom disintegrated rapidly into small states. The succeeding period is very obscure and badly documented, but it marks the culmination of a process that had begun with the invasion of the Huns in the last years of the Gupta Empire.
Neither Bana's nor Huan Tsang's account gives any details of this period. A few tantalising glimpses are offered in some ancient Chinese and Tibetan Books. The one in the Tibetan book The White Annals[46] tells that Harsh had sent an envoy to the Chinese Emperor, who in turn sent a Chinese one with a convoy of thirty horsemen. When they reached India they found that Harsha was dead and his minister Arjuna had usurped the throne. Arjuna is said to have been persecuting the Buddhists and attacked the envoy who had to flee to Tibet. The Tibetan king decided to avenge the insult to the Chinese emperor and sent the envoy back with an army that finally managed to defeat and take Arjuna and his family as prisoners, and sent them back as prisoners to the Chinese emperor. Historians have not yet managed to unravel what the facts were from these meagre accounts.

[edit]Gurjara Pratihara (650–1036)

Pala Empire (750–1174)
The Gurjara Pratihara Empire (also known as Gurjar Parihars) was an Indian dynasty that ruled a large kingdom in northern India from the 6th to the 11th centuries. They are called Gurjara-Pratiharas in one late inscription. At its peak of prosperity and power (c. 836–910), it rivaled the Gupta Empire in the extent of its territory.
Pala Empire was a Buddhist dynasty that ruled from the north-eastern region of the Indian subcontinent. The name Pala (Modern Bengaliপালpal) means protector and was used as an ending to the names of all Pala monarchs. The Palas were followers of the Mahayana and Tantric schools of Buddhism. Gopala was the first ruler from the dynasty. He came to power in 750 in Gaur by a democratic election. This event is recognized as one of the first democratic elections in South Asia since the time of the Mahā Janapadas. He reigned from 750–770 and consolidated his position by extending his control over all of Bengal. The Buddhistdynasty lasted for four centuries (750–1120 AD) and ushered in a period of stability and prosperity inBengal. They created many temples and works of art as well as supported the Universities ofNalanda and VikramashilaSomapura Mahavihara built by Dharmapala in Paharpur, Bangladesh is the greatest Buddhist Vihara in the Indian Subcontinent.

The death of Devapala ended the period of ascendancy of the Pala Empire and several independent dynasties and kingdoms emerged during this time. However, 
Mahipala I rejuvenated the reign of the Palas. He recovered control over all of Bengal and expanded the empire. He survived the invasions of Rajendra Chola and the Chalukyas. After Mahipala I the Pala dynasty again saw its decline until Ramapala, the last great ruler of the dynasty, managed to retrieve the position of the dynasty to some extent. He crushed the Varendra rebellion and extended his empire farther toKamarupa, Orissa and Northern India.
The empire reached its peak under Dharmapala and Devapala. Dharmapala extended the empire into the northern parts of the Indian Subcontinent. This triggered once more for the control of the subcontinent. Devapala, successor of Dharmapala, expanded the empire to cover much of South Asia and beyond. His empire stretched from Assam andUtkala in the east, Kamboja (modern day Afghanistan) in the north-west and Deccan in the south. According to Pala copperplate inscription Devapala exterminated the Utkalas, conquered the Pragjyotisha (Assam), shattered the pride of the Huna, and humbled the lords of GurjaraPratiharas and the Dravidas.
The Pala Empire can be considered as the golden era of Bengal. Never had the Bengali people reached such height of power and glory to that extent. Palas were responsible for the introduction of Mahayana Buddhism in Tibet, Bhutan and Myanmar. The Pala had extensive trade as well as influence in south-east Asia. This can be seen in the sculptures and architectural style of the Sailendra Empire (present-day MalayaJavaSumatra). The Pala Empire eventually disintegrated in the 12th century under the attack of the Sena dynasty.

[edit]Sena dynasty

The Palas were followed by the Sena dynasty who brought Bengal under one ruler during the twelfth century. Vijay Sen the second ruler of this dynasty defeated the last Pala emperor Madanapala and established his reign. Ballal Sena introduced caste system in Bengal and made Nabadwip the capital. The fourth king of this dynasty Lakshman Sen expanded the empire beyond Bengal to Bihar, Assam, Orissa and probably to Varanasi. Lakshman was later defeated by the Muslims and fled to eastern Bengal were he ruled few more years. The Sena dynasty brought a revival of Hinduism and cultivated Sanskrit literature in India. It is believed by some Bengali authors that Jayadeva, the famous Sanskrit poet and author of Gita Govinda, was one of the Pancharatnas (meaning 5 gems) in the court of Lakshman Sen.

[edit]Muslim period

The initial entry of Islam into South Asia came during the lifetime of Muhammad. In Later years, the Umayyad caliph in Damascus sent an expedition toBalochistan and Sindh in 711 led by Muhammad bin Qasim (for whom Karachi's second port is named). The expedition went as far north as Multan but was not able to retain that region and was not successful in expanding Islamic rule to other parts of India. Coastal trade and the presence of a Muslim colony in Sindh, however, permitted significant cultural exchanges and the introduction into the subcontinent of religious teachers. Muslim influence grew with conversions.
Almost three centuries later, the TurkicsPersians and the Afghans spearheaded the Islamic conquest in India through the traditional invasion routes of the northwest. Mahmud of Ghazni (979–1030) led a series of raids against Rajput kingdoms and established a base in Punjab for future incursions.

[edit]Delhi Sultanate (1200–1526)

During the last quarter of the twelfth century, 
Muhammad Ghori invaded the Indo-Gangetic plain, conquering in succession GhazniMultanSindhLahore, and DelhiQutb-ud-din Aibak, one of his generals, proclaimed himselfSultan of Delhi and established the first dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate, the Mamluk dynasty (mamluk means "slave born to free parents") after Muhammad Ghori's death in 1206. By the early 13th century, northern India from the Khyber Pass to Bengal was under control of the Sultanate, although the northwest was contested with the MongolsIltutmish (1210–35), and Balban (1266–87) were among the dynasty's most well-known rulers. Faced with revolts by conquered territories and rival families, the Mamluk dynasty came to an end in 1290.
The Delhi Sultanate (or Sultanat-e-Hind or Sultanat-e-Dilli) refers to the many Muslim dynasties that ruled inIndia from 1206 to 1526. Several Turkic and Pashtun dynasties ruled from Delhi: the Mamluk dynasty (1206–90), the Khilji dynasty (1290–1320), the Tughlaq dynasty (1320–1413), the Sayyid dynasty (1414–51), and the Lodi dynasty (1451–1526). In 1526 the Delhi Sultanate was absorbed by the emerging Mughal Empire.
The Khilji or Khalji dynasty, who had established themselves as rulers of Bengal in the time of Muhammad Ghori, took control of the empire in a coup which eliminated the last of the Mamluks. The Khiljis conquered Gujarat andMalwa, and sent the first expeditions south of the Narmada River, as far south as Tamil Nadu. The Delhi Sultanate rule continued to extend into southern India, first by the Delhi Sultans, then by the breakaway Bahmani Sultanate of Gulbarga, and, after the breakup of the Bahmani state in 1518, by the five independentDeccan Sultanates. The Vijayanagara Empire united southern India and arrested the Delhi Sultanate's expansion for a time, until its eventual fall to the Deccan Sultanates in 1565.
In the first half of the 14th century, the Sultanate introduced a monetary economy in the provinces (sarkars) and districts (parganas) that had been established and founded a network of market centers through which the traditional village economies were both exploited and stimulated and drawn into the wider culture. State revenues remained based on successful agriculture, which induced Sultan Muhammad bin Tughluq (1325–51) to have village wells dug, offer seed to the peasants and to encourage cash crops like sugar cane.[49]
The Delhi Sultanate is the only Sultanate to stake a claim to possessing one of the few female rulers in India, Princess Razia Sultana (1236–1240). While her reign was unfortunately short she is regarded well in the eyes of historians. Princess Razia Sultana was very popular and more intelligent than her brothers. She was the very first queen of the Muslim world in the early Muslim history of sub-continent. She ruled from the east Delhi to the west Peshawar and from the NorthKashmir to the South Multan. The rebels of her government killed her and her husband Malik Altuniya, and buried them outside Delhi.
The Sultans of Delhi enjoyed cordial, if superficial, relations with other Muslim rulers in the Near East but owed them no allegiance. The Sultans based their laws on the Qur'an and the sharia and permitted non-Muslim subjects to practice their religion if they paid jizya or head tax. The Sultans ruled from urban centers—while military camps and trading posts provided the nuclei for towns that sprang up in the countryside. Perhaps the greatest contribution of the Sultanate was its temporary success in insulating the subcontinent from the potential devastation of the Mongol invasion from Central Asia in the thirteenth century.
The Sultanate ushered in a period of Indian cultural renaissance. The resulting "Indo-Muslim" fusion left lasting monuments in architecture, music, literature, and religion. The Sultanate suffered from the sacking of Delhi in 1398 by Timur (Tamerlane), and soon other independent Sultanates were established in Awadh,BengalJaunpur, Gujarat and Malwa. The Delhi Sultanate revived briefly under the Lodis before it was conquered by the Mughal emperor Babur in 1526.
Dynasties of Delhi Sultnate:

[edit]Mamluk dynasty (1206–1290)

The Mamluk dynasty (or Slave dynasty) served as the first Sultans of Delhi in India from 1206 to 1290. The founder of the dynasty, Qutb-ud-din Aybak, was aTurkic ex-slave of the Aybak tribe who rose to command the armies and administer the territory of Muhammad Ghori in India.
After Muhammad Ghori's death in 1206 without an heir, Qut-bud-din fought off rivals to take possession of Muhammad Ghori's Indian empire. He established his capital first at Lahore, and later at Delhi, where he started building the Qutb complex.

[edit]Khilji dynasty (1290–1320)

Khilji or Khalji was a ruling dynasty that was made-up of Ghilzai Pashtuns. This dynasty, like the previous Slave dynasty, was of Turkic origin, who conquered and ruled northern India (1290–1320). They were the second Muslim dynasty to rule the Delhi Sultanate. The term khilji was their self-designation (see also Ibn Batuta's and Ibn Chaldun's excessive quantity). The term mean sons of thieve, also in Pashto.
Ikhtiar Uddin Muhammad bin Bakhtiar Khilji, one of the generals of Qutb-ud-din Aybak, conquered Bihar and Bengal in the late 12th century, and the Khiljis were feudatories of the Mamluk dynasty of DelhiJalal ud din Firuz Khilji took control of the Delhi Sultanate in 1290, and three Khilji sultans ruled the empire from 1290 to 1320. His son Ala ud din Khilji is considered to be the greatest among the Khiljis, due to successfully repelling several invasions from the Mongol Empire.

[edit]Tughlaq Dynasty (1321–1398)

The empire grew under his son and successor 
Muhammad bin Tughlaq, but the latter became notorious for ill-advised policy experiments such as shifting the capital from Delhi to Daulatabad and introducing copper coins without effective regulation against forgery.
The Tughlaq Dynasty of north India started in 1321 in Delhi when Ghazi Tughlaq assumed the throne under the title of Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq. The Tughluqs were a Muslim family of Turkic origin. Their rule relied on their alliances with Turkic, Pashtun, and other Muslim warriors from outside South Asia.
After Muhammad bin Tughlaq his cousin Feroz Shah Tughlaq assumed the throne. He was a very benevolent ruler but was somewhat weak militarily. After Feroz died in 1388, the Tughlaq dynasty started to fade out and there were no able leaders; the dynasty was almost over within 10 years.

[edit]Sayyid dynasty (1414–1451)

The Sayyid dynasty were rulers (c. 1414–51) of India's Delhi sultanate. They succeeded the Tughluq dynasty and ruled that sultanate until they were displaced by the Pashtun Lodi dynasty.
This family claimed to be sayyids, or descendants of Prophet Muhammad. The central authority of the Delhi sultanate had been fatally weakened by the invasion of Timur (Tamerlane) and his sack of Delhi in 1398. After a period of chaos, when no central authority prevailed, the Sayyids gained power at Delhi. Their 37-year period of dominance witnessed the rule of four different members of the dynasty.

[edit]Lodi Dynasty (1451–1526)

Lodi Dynasty was made up of Ghilzai Pashtuns, who ruled over the Delhi Sultanate during its last phase. Their rule was from 1451 to 1526 AD.

[edit]Suri dynasty (1540–1555)

The dynasty was founded by the conqueror 
Sher Shah Suri, after he defeated Mughal Emperor Humayun in the 1539Battle of Chausa. Their rule came to and end by a defeat that led to restoration of the Mughal Empire.
The Suri dynasty was made-up of Pashtuns, who ruled northern India between 1540 and 1555/1556.

[edit]Mughal Empire (1526–1857)

The classic period of the Empire starts with the accession of 
Akbar the Great in 1556 and ends with the death ofAurangzeb in 1707, although the Empire continued for another 150 years. During this period, the Empire was marked by a highly centralized administration connecting the different regions of India. All the significant monuments of the Mughals, their most visible legacy, date to this period.
The Mughal Empire was an important imperial power in the Indian subcontinent from the early 16th to the mid-19th centuries. At the height of its power, around 1700, it controlled most of the subcontinent and parts of what is now Afghanistan. Its population at that time has been estimated as between 100 and 150 million, over a territory of over 3 million square km.[51] Following 1720 it declined rapidly. Its decline has been variously explained as caused by wars of succession, agrarian crises fuelling local revolts, the growth of religious intolerance and British colonialism. The last Emperor, Bahadur Shah II, whose rule was restricted to the city of Delhi, was imprisoned and exiled by the British after the Indian Rebellion of 1857.

[edit]Babur (1526–1530)

In the early 16th century, Muslim armies consisting of Mongol, Turkic, Persian, and 
Afghan warriors invaded India under the leadership of the Timurid prince Zahir-ud-Din-Muhammad Babur. Babur was the great-grandson of Central Asian conqueror Timur-e Lang (Timur the Lame, from which the Western name Tamerlane is derived), who had invaded India in 1398 before retiring to Samarkand. Timur himself claimed descent from the Mongol ruler, Genghis Khan. Babur was driven from Samarkand by the Uzbeks and initially established his rule in Kabul in 1504. Later, taking advantage of internal discontent in the Delhi sultanate under Ibrahim Lodi, and following an invitation from Daulat Khan Lodi (governor of Punjab) and Alam Khan (uncle of the Sultan), Babur invaded India in 1526.
Zāhir ud-Dīn Mohammad, commonly known as Bābur (14 February 1483 – 26 December 1530) (also spelled Zahiruddin, Zahiriddin, Muhammad, Bobur, Baber, Babar, etc.), was a Turkic-speaking Muslim Emperor from Central Asia who founded the Mughal dynasty ofIndia. He was a direct descendant of Timur, and a descendant also of Genghis Khan through his mother. Babur identified his lineage as Timurid and Turk. Following a series of set-backs, he succeeded in laying the basis for the Mughal Empire which strengthened thePersianate[53] culture of Muslim India. He became the first leader of the Mughal Empire, one of India's most important empires of all time.
Babur, a seasoned military commander, entered India in 1526 with his well-trained veteran army of 82,000 to meet the sultan's huge but unwieldy and disunited force of more than 100,000 men. Babur defeated the Lodi sultan decisively at the First Battle of Panipat. Employing firearms, gun carts, movable artillery, superiorcavalry tactics, and the highly regarded Mughal composite bow, a weapon even more powerful than the English longbow of the same period, Babur achieved a resounding victory and the Sultan was killed. A year later (1527) he decisively defeated, at the Battle of Khanwa, a Rajput confederacy led by Rana Sanga of Chittor. A third major battle was fought in 1529 at Gogra, where Babur routed the joint forces of Afghans and the sultan of Bengal. Babur died in 1530 in Agra before he could consolidate his military gains. During his short five-year reign, Babur took considerable interest in erecting buildings, though few have survived. He left behind as his chief legacy a set of descendants who would fulfil his dream of establishing an empire in the Indian subcontinent.

[edit]Humayun (1530–1540) & (1555–1556)

When Babur died, his son Humayun (1530–1556) inherited a difficult task. He was pressed from all sides by a reassertion of Afghan claims to the Delhi throne and by disputes over his own succession. Driven into 
Sindh by the armies of Sher Shah Suri, in 1540 he fled to the Rajput Kingdom of Umarkot then to Persia, where he spent nearly ten years as an embarrassed guest of the Safavid court ofShah Tahmasp. During Sher Shah's reign, an imperial unification and administrative framework were established; this would be further developed by Akbar later in the century. In addition, the tomb of Sher Shah Suri is an architectural masterpiece that was to have a profound impact on the evolution of Indo-Islamic funerary architecture. In 1545, Humayun gained a foothold in Kabul with Safavidassistance and reasserted his Indian claims, a task facilitated by the weakening of Afghan power in the area after the death of Sher Shah Suri in May 1545. He took control of Delhi in 1555, but died within six months of his return, from a fall down the steps of his library. His tomb at Delhi represents an outstanding landmark in the development and refinement of the Mughal style. It was designed in 1564, eight years after his death, as a mark of devotion by his widow, Hamida Banu Begum.
Nasiruddin Humayun (6 March 1508 – 22 February 1556), was the second Mughal Emperor who ruled modern Afghanistan, Pakistan,and parts of northern India from 1530 to 1540 and again from 1555 to 1556. Like his father, Babur, he lost his kingdom early, but with Persian aid, he eventually regained an even larger one.

[edit]Akbar (1556–1605)

Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar also known as Akbar the Great (Akbar-e-Azam) (23 November 1542 – 12 October 1605) was the son of Nasiruddin Humayun whom he succeeded as ruler of the Mughal Empire from 1556 to 1605. He is the founder of theDin-i-Ilahi faith. His lineage was Turkic, and more distantly Mongolian.
Akbar's most lasting contributions were to the arts. He initiated a large collection of literature, including the
Akbar-nama and the Ain-i-Akbari, and incorporated art from around the world into the Mughal collections. He also commissioned the building of widely admired buildings. Having a greatly tolerant attitude toward religion, Akbar preserved Hindu temples. He also began a series of religious debates where Muslim scholarswould debate religious matters with SikhsHindusCārvāka atheists and even Jesuits from Portugal. He founded his own religion, the Din-i-Ilahi or the "Divine Faith"; the religion, however, amounted only to a form of personality cult for Akbar, and quickly dissolved after his death.
Akbar, widely considered the greatest of the Mughal emperors, was only 13 when he became emperor, due to the death of his father Humayun. During his reign, he eliminated external military threats from the Afghan descendants of Sher Shah (an Afghan who was able to temporarily oust Humayun from 1540 to 1555), and at theSecond Battle of Panipat defeated the Hindu leader Hemu. In addition to his military gains, the emperor solidified his rule by repealing the jizya tax on non-Muslims and courting the favour of the powerful Rajput caste, to the extent of marrying Rajput princesses.
Starting in 1571, Akbar built a walled capital called Fatehpur Sikri (Fatehpur means "town of victory") near Agra. Palaces for each of Akbar's senior queens, a huge artificial lake, and sumptuous water-filled courtyards were built there. However, the city was soon abandoned and the capital was moved to Lahore in 1585. The reason may have been that the water supply in Fatehpur Sikri was insufficient or of poor quality. Or, as some historians believe, Akbar had to attend to the northwest areas of his empire and therefore moved his capital northwest. In 1599, Akbar shifted his capital back to Agra from where he reigned until his death.
Akbar adopted two distinct but effective approaches in administering a large territory and incorporating various ethnic groups into the service of his realm. In 1580 he obtained local revenue statistics for the previous decade in order to understand details of productivity and price fluctuation of different crops. Aided by Todar Mal, a Hindu scholar, Akbar issued a revenue schedule that optimized the revenue needs of the state with the ability of the peasantry to pay. Revenue demands, fixed according to local conventions of cultivation and quality of soil, ranged from one-third to one-half of the crop and were paid in cash. Akbar relied heavily on land-holding zamindars to act as revenue-collectors. They used their considerable local knowledge and influence to collect revenue and to transfer it to the treasury, keeping a portion in return for services rendered. Within his administrative system, the warrior aristocracy (mansabdars) held ranks (mansabs) expressed in numbers of troops, and indicating pay, armed contingents, and obligations. The warrior aristocracy was generally paid from revenues of non-hereditary and transferable jagirs (revenue villages).
By the end of Akbar's reign, the Mughal Empire extended throughout north India and south of the Narmada river. Notable exceptions were Gondwana in central India, which paid tribute to the Mughals, Assam in the northeast, and large parts of the Deccan. The area south of the Godavari river remained entirely out of the ambit of the Mughals. In 1600, Akbar's Empire had a revenue of £17.5 million. By comparison, in 1800, the entire treasury of Great Britain totalled £16 million.

[edit]Jahangir (1605–1627)

After the death of Akbar in 1605, his son, Prince Salim, ascended the throne and assumed the title of Jahangir, "Seizer of the World". He was assisted in his artistic attempts by his wife, Nur Jahan. The 
Mausoleum of Akbar at Sikandra, outside Agra, represents a major turning point in Mughal history, as the sandstone compositions of Akbar were adapted by his successors into opulent marble masterpieces. Jahangir is the central figure in the development of the Mughal garden. The most famous of his gardens is the Shalimar Bagh on the banks of Dal Lake in Kashmir.
Nuruddin Salim Jahangir (31 August 1569 – 28 October 1627) was the ruler of the Mughal Empire from 1605 until his death. The name Jahangir is from Persian  meaning "Conqueror of the World," "World-Conqueror," or "Dominant over the World." Alternative spellings of the name include Jehangir, and Cihangir (in Turkic). Nuruddin or Nur al-Din is an Arabic name which means "the Light of the Faith."
Jahangir started his reign with several popular acts. During his reign, there was a significant increase in the size of the Mughal Empire, half a dozen rebellions were crushed, prisoners of war were released, and the work of his father, Akbar, continued to flourish. Jahangir promised to protect Islam and granted general amnesty to his opponents. He was also well noted for his subsidizes on the work of hundreds of painters and writers, of which he added works of his own.
Although it started out as Jahangir's flirtations with Christianity and with European traders and missionaries merely for the goods and protection they could bring, it was during Jahangir's reign that the British East India Company got formal permission to trade freely in the Mughal Empire. This is often said to be his greatest blunder, for these traders went on to become the rulers of South Asia.
Jahangir died in 1627 and was buried in Shahdara Bagh, a suburb of LahorePunjab, Pakistan. He was succeeded by his third son, Prince Khurram who took the title of Shah Jahan. Jahangir's elegant mausoleum is located in the Shahdara locale of Lahore and is a popular tourist attraction in Lahore.

[edit]Shah Jahan (1627–1658)

After revolting against his father Jahangir, as the latter had revolted against Akbar, he succeeded to the throne upon his father's death in 1627. It was during his reign that the Mughal power attained its greatest prosperity. Like Akbar, he was eager to expand his empire. The chief events of his reign were the destruction of the 
kingdom of Ahmadnagar(1636), the loss of Kandahar to the Persians (1653), and a second war against the Deccan princes (1655). In 1658 he fell ill, and was confined by his son Aurangzeb in the citadel of Agra until his death in 1666.
Shahabuddin Mohammed Shah Jahan (also spelled Shah JehanShahjehan), 5 January 1592 – 22 January 1666) was the ruler of the Mughal Empire in the Indian subcontinent from 1628 until 1658. The name Shah Jahan comes from Persian meaning "King of the World." He was the fifth Mughal ruler after BaburHumayunAkbar, and Jahangir.
The period of his reign was the golden age of Mughal architecture. Shah Jahan erected many splendid monuments, the most famous of which is the Taj Mahal at Agra, built as a tomb for his wife Mumtaz Mahal (birth name Arjumand Bano Begum). The Pearl Mosque at Agra and the palace and great mosque at Delhi also commemorate him. The celebratedPeacock Throne, said to be worth millions of dollars by modern estimates, also dates from his reign. He was the founder of Shahjahanabad, now known as 'Old Delhi'.
His son Aurangzeb led a rebellion when Shah Jahan became ill in 1657 AD (1067 AH) and publicly executed his brother and the heir apparent Dara Shikoh. Although Shah Jahan fully recovered from his illness, Aurangzeb declared him incompetent to rule and put him under house arrest in Agra Fort.[61]
Jahanara Begum Sahib voluntarily shared his 8-year confinement and nursed him in his dotage. In January 1666 AD (1076 AH), Shah Jahan fell ill with strangury and dysentery. Confined to bed, he became progressively weaker until, on 31 January, he commanded the ladies of the imperial court, particularly his consort of later year Akrabadi Mahal, to the care of Jahanara. After reciting the Kalima and verses from the Qu'ran, he died. Jahana planned a state funeral which was to include a procession with Shah Jahan's body carried by eminent nobles followed by the notable citizens of Agra and officials scattering coins for the poor and needy. Auranqzeb refused to accommodate such ostentation and the body was washed in accordance with Islamic rites, taken by river in a sandalwood coffin to the Taj Mahal and was interred there next to the body of Mumtaz Mahal.

[edit]Aurangzeb (1658–1707)

Aurangzeb ruled northern 
India for 48 years. He brought a larger area under Mughal rule than ever before. He is generally regarded as the last 'great' Mughal ruler. His constant wars, however, left the empire dangerously overextended, isolated from its strong Rajputallies, and with a population that (except for the orthodox Sunni Muslim minority) was resentful, if not outright rebellious, against his reign. His last twenty five years were spent fighting in the Deccan and losing territory to rival states. At his death, the Mughal Empire was shrunken, having lost most of its northwest and being replaced by the Hindu Maratha Empire in large areas of India. Aurangzeb's successors, the 'Later Mughals', lacked his strong hand and the great fortunes amassed by his predecessors. The Marathas continued to gain at the Mughals' expense during the rest of the 18th century.
Aurangzeb (full title Al-Sultan al-Azam wal Khaqan al-Mukarram Abdul Muzaffar Muhiuddin Muhammad Aurangzeb Bahadur Alamgir I, Padshah Ghazi) (3 November 1618 – 3 March 1707), also known by his chosen Imperial title Alamgir I(Conqueror of the Universe), was the ruler of the Mughal Empire from 1658 until his death. He was the sixth Mughal ruler after Babur,HumayunAkbarJahangir, and Shah Jahan.
Aurangzeb is remembered for his Sunni fundamentalist interpretation of Islam. Strict adherence to Islam and Sharia (Islamic law)—as he interpreted them—were the foundations of his reign. He attempted to institute Sharia law throughout the empire, abandoning the religious openness of his predecessors. It is said of his reign that many Hindu temples were defiled, destroyed, and replaced by mosques, a practice which had been largely discontinued since Babur's time. Many non-Muslims were supposedly converted to Islam. Jizya, a tax levied from able-bodied male non-Muslim adults only, was reinstated during his rule. In recent years, some historians have disputed these allegations. Yet it is important to keep in mind that Muslims were made to pay both Zakah and Ushr, and Aurangzeb is said to have abolished nearly sixty-five types of taxes, which resulted in a yearly revenue loss of fifty million rupees from the state treasury.[64]

[edit]Bahadur Shah I / Shah Alam I (1707–1712)

After Aurangzeb's death, Muazzam Bahadur Shah took the throne. A war of succession began immediately after Aurangzeb died. One younger brother, Prince 
Azam Shah, proclaimed himself emperor and marched towards Delhi, where he unsuccessfully fought Bahadur Shah and died after a nominal reign of three months. Another brother, Muhammad Kam Baksh, was killed in 1709.
Muazzam Bahadur Shah (Bahādur Shāh; his name Bahādur means "brave"; 14 October 1643 – February 1712), also known asShah Alam I was a Mughal emperor who briefly ruled India from 1707 to 1712.
Aurangzeb had imposed Sharia law within his kingdom with harsh enforcement of strict edicts. This led to increased militancy by many constituencies including the Marathas, the Sikhs and the Rajputs. Thus, rebellion was rife at the time of Aurangzeb's death and Bahadur Shah inherited a very unstable polity. A more moderate man than his father, Bahadur Shah sought to improve relations with the militant constituencies of the rapidly crumbling kingdom. However, he could do little to mitigate the damage already done by his father. Indeed, Bahadur Shah's shortcomings – his lack of military skills and leadership qualities – added to the problems of the empire. After his short reign of less than five years, the Mughal Empire entered a long decline, attributable both to his ineptness and to his father's geographical overextension and religious bigotry. Historians of his time had recorded him to be a learned man and that he possessed a mild temper and was dignified.
Bahadur Shah died on 27 February 1712 in Lahore while making alterations to the Shalimar Gardens. He was succeeded by his son Jahandar Shah.

[edit]The lesser Mughals (1712–1837)

§  Jahandar Shah, b. 1664, ruler 1712–13, d. 11 February 1713 in Delhi.
§  Furrukhsiyar, b. 1683, r. 1713–19, d. 1719 at Delhi.
§  Rafi Ul-Darjat, ruler 1719, d. 1719 in Delhi.
§  Rafi Ud-Daulat (Shah Jahan II), ruler 1719, d. 1719 in Delhi.
§  Nikusiyar, ruler 1719, d. 1719 in Delhi.
§  Mohammed Ibrahim, ruler 1720, d. 1720 in Delhi.
§  Mohammed Shah, b. 1702, ruler 1719–48, d. 26 April 1748 in Delhi.
§  Ahmad Shah Bahadur, b. 1725, ruler 1748–54, d. January 1775 in Delhi.
§  Alamgir II, b. 1699, ruler 1754–59, d. 1759.
§  Shah Jahan III, ruler 1760
§  Shah Alam II, b. 1728, ruler 1759–1806, d. 1806.
§  Akbar Shah II, b. 1760, ruler 1806–37, d. 1837.

[edit]Bahadur Shah II (1837–1857)

Emperor Bahadur Shah II presided over a Mughal empire that stretched barely beyond the modern city of Delhi. The 
British Empire was the dominant political and military powers in 19th-century India. Hundreds of minor kings fragmented the land. The emperor was paid some respect and allowed a pension and authority to collect some taxes, and maintain a token force in Delhi by the British, but he posed no threat to any power in India. Bahadur Shah II himself did not excel in statecraft or possess any imperial ambitions.
Abu Zafar Sirajuddin Muhammad Bahadur Shah Zafar also known as Bahadur Shah or Bahadur Shah II (24 October 1775 – 7 November 1862) was the last of the Mughal emperor of India. He was the son of Akbar Shah II from his Hindu wife Lalbai. He became the Mughal Emperor upon his father's death on 28 September 1838. Zafar was his nom de plume (takhallus) as an Urdu poet.
As the Indian rebellion of 1857 spread, Indian regiments seized Delhi. Seeking a figure that could unite all Indians, Hindu and Muslim alike, most rebelling Indian kings and the Indian regiments accepted Zafar as the Emperor of India, under whom the smaller Indian kingdoms would unite until the British were defeated. Zafar was the least threatening and least ambitious of monarchs, and the legacy of the Mughal Empire was more acceptable a uniting force to most allied kings than the domination of any other Indian kingdom.
When the rebellion was crushed, he fled to Humayun's Tomb and hid there. However, he was captured and his sons Mirza Mughal and Khizar Sultan and his grandson Abu Bakr were executed in his presence by Major Hodson and, infamously, their severed heads presented to him in plates instead of his food.[65] He told the British that this was the way that the sons of Mughals came to their fathers – with their heads in red (i.e., dead).
He was exiled to Rangoon, Burma (now YangonMyanmar) in 1858 along with his wife Zeenat Mahal and the remaining members of the family. A formal end was declared to the Mughal Dynasty that began with Babur in 1526. In 1877, the title Emperor of India was assumed by the reigning British monarch, who at that time was Queen Victoria; it was held in that manner until 1948, when it was retroactively terminated effective 14 August 1947. His departure as Emperor marked the end of more than 300 years old Mughal rule in India.
Bahadur Shah died in exile on 7 November 1862; he was buried near Shwedagon PagodaYangon, at the site that later became known as Bahadur Shah Zafar Dargah. His wife Zinat Mahal died in 1886.

[edit]Nawabs of Awadh (1719–1858)

The ruling family of Oudh established themselves as independent hereditary rulers during the collapse of Mughal power during the early eighteenth century. They had risen to considerable power and wealth during the century before and secure appointment to the Governorship of the Mughal province as well as the Imperial office of Regent plenipotentiary.
The former Mughal province was encouraged to establish its independence from Delhi by formally assuming the title of King in 1819. However, this independence was largely symbolic, since the British authorities exercised influence in most important matters of state. Ministers were usually appointed with the approval of the resident, and the army was very largely officered by Europeans. The Kings devoted much of their time trying to project the outward signs of their sovereignty and regality, rather than establishing their power. As a consequence, a great flowering of art, literature, music, and architecture, occurred under their rule.Lucknow became the virtual centre of artistic excellence in Northern India.

[edit]Saadat Khan (1719–1737)

Wakil-i-Mutlaq, Burhan ul-Mulk, Itimad ud-Daula, Nawab Sa'adat Khan Bahadur, Shaukat Jang (died 1739), better known as Saadat Khan or Burhan-ul-mulk, was the founder of the Awadh dynasty.
Saadat Khan hailed from a noble Saiyid family from Nishapur in Khurasan. Born Mir Muhammad Amin, he entered the Mughal court as a camp superintendent but went on to obtain a mansab under Furrukhsiyar. He played an important role in the ascension of Muhammad Shah to the throne and overthrow of the Saiyid Brothers. He earned the title of Saadat Khan Bahadur in 1720 and was awarded the Governorship of Awadh as reward in 1722.
At the time, Lucknow was under the influence of a Muslim community, the Shaikhzadas. Saadat Khan settled the disturbed fortunes of his territory by military force, and established his court at Faizabad. He was summoned to Delhi by Nadir Shah, and died there in 1739.

[edit]Safdarjung (1737–1753)

Safdarjung was born Muhammad Muqim in 
KhurasanPersia and migrated to India in 1722. He succeeded his father-in-law and maternal uncle Saadat Khan to the throne of Awadh, apparently by paying Nadir Shah two crores of rupees. The Mughal EmperorMuhammad Shah gave him the title of "Safdarjung".
Wazir ul-Mamalik-i-Hindustan, Asaf Jah, Jamat ul-Mulk, Shuja ud-Daula, Nawab Abu'l Mansur Khan Bahadur, Safdar Jang, popularly known as Safdarjung was the second Nawab of the Awadh dynasty.
Safdarjung was an able administrator. He was not only effective in keeping control of Awadh, but also managed to render valuable assistance to the weakened Muhammad Shah. He was soon given governorship of Kashmir as well, and became a central figure at the Delhi court. During the later years of Muhammad Shah, he gained complete control of administration in the Mughal Empire. WhenAhmad Shah Bahadur ascended the throne at Delhi, Safdarjung became his Wazir ul-Mamalik-i-Hindustan or Chief Minister of India. However, court politics eventually overtook him and he was dismissed in 1753. He then propped up a eunuch, Akbar Shah, as the claimant to the Delhi throne. Later that year, he reconciled with Ahmad Shah Bahadur and was given back Awadh. He returned to Awadh in November, 1753, but died while travelling from Lucknow to Sultanpur in 1754.

[edit]Shuja-ud-Daula (1753–1775)

Shuja, as the ruler around 1761 of the granery-region that lies between the rivers 
Ganges and Yamuna (also called Jamuna) – blessed with very fertile land producing good crops – had the capacity to supply food materials to a large army.
Shuja-ud-Daula (19 January 1732, birth at the Mansion of Dara ShikohDelhi – 1775) was Nawab of Awadh (Oudh). He is also known under the titles H.H. Wazir ul-Mamalik-i-Hindustan, Shuja ud-Daula, Nawab Mirza Jalal ud-din Haidar Khan Bahadur, Nawab Wazir of Oudh. He is best known for his roles in the third battle of Panipat and the battle of Buxar.
Shuja's decision about whom to join as an ally in the Third Battle of Panipat was one of the decisive factors that determined the outcome of the war, as lack of food due to the Afghans cutting the supply lines of Marathas was one of the reasons that Marathas could not sustain the day long battle. Their forces were weak due to starvation and also fighting facing the sun.
Shuja was earlier not very sure about whose side should he take before the Third Battle of Panipat. But was eventually forced to join the Afghans (Ahmad Shah Abdali) when he and his troops crossed the flooded Ganges river into his province. Marathas were still further south then and it would have taken them considerable time to reach Shuja's province. Considering the risk he had with upsetting Abdali with his huge army on his soil, he took (albeit hesitatingly) the decision to join the Afghans and Najib (Najib-ud-Daula). His mother was of the opinion that he should join the Marathas as they had helped his father previously on numerous occasions.

[edit]Asaf-Ud-Dowlah (1775–1797)

When Shuja-ud-Dowlah died he left two million 
pounds sterling buried in the vaults of the zenana. The widow and mother of the deceased prince claimed the whole of this treasure under the terms of a will which was never produced. When Warren Hastings pressed the nawab for the payment of debt due to the British East India Company, he obtained from his mother a loan of 26 lakh (2.6 million) rupees, for which he gave her a jagir (land) of four times the value; of subsequently obtained 30 lakh (3 million) more in return for a full acquittal, and the recognition of her jagirs without interference for life by the Company. These jagirs were afterwards confiscated on the ground of the begum's complicity in the rising of Chai Singh, which was attested by documentary evidence, as he evidence now available seems to show that Warren Hastings bid his best throughout to rescue the nawab from his own incapacity, and was inclined to be lenient to the begums.
Asaf-Ud-Dowlah was the nawab wazir of Oudh from 1775 to 1797, and the son of Shuja-ud-Dowlah, his mother and grandmother being the begums of Oudh, whose spoliation formed one of the chief counts in the charges against Warren Hastings.
In 1755 he moved the capital of Awadh from Faizabad to Lucknow and built various monuments in and around Lucknow.

[edit]Wazir Ali Khan (1797–1798)

After the death of Asaf-ud-daula Wazir Ali Khan came to power for four months only. He was the adopted son of Asaf-ud-Daula, whose Mother was a servant of his "Harem" (Ladies Palace). Nobles of Royal coart and Bahu Begum signed a letter and sent to Governor general to remove Wazir Ali. But the people were in favor of Wazir Ali Khan as he was against the British.

[edit]Saadat Ali Khan (1798–1814)

Yamin-ud-daula-Nawab Saadat Ali Khan was allegedly the son of Asaf-Ud-Dowlah. Saadat-Ali-Khan was crowned on 21 January 1798 at Bibiyapur Palace inLucknow, by Sir John Shore. He gave half of Awadh to the British in 1801.
He had a palace called Dilkusha Kothi designed and built by Sir Gore Ouseley in 1805.
Nawab Saadat Ali Khan died in 1814 and he was buried with his wife 'Khursheed Zadi' in the twin Tombs of Qaiserbagh.

[edit]Ghaziuddin Haider (1814–1827)

After the death of Sadat Ali Khan his son Ghazi-ud-din Haider became Nawab Wazir on 11 July 1814 with the promise that he will continue to obey the previous treaty and will act as an independent prince and must be subservient to the British Govt. He accepted all these conditions. After the death of Bahu Begum all her property was seized by British Govt. Instead of giving it to its legal heir Ghazi-ud-din Haider. He also did not claimed for it. Relation between him and the British became pleasant. The British Governor General asked him to declare as an independent king in 1819. During his reign poets were encouraged very much. He died 10 October 1827.

[edit]Nasiruddin Haider (1827–1837)

Muhammad Ali Shah (1837–1842)
Nasir ud din Haidar was the nawab wazir of Oudh from 1827 to 1837, and the son of Ghaziuddin Haider.He was interested in Astronomy and his wives. He made additions of Darshan Vilas to Claude Martin's house – Farhat Buksh in 1832.
After the death of Nasir-ud-din Haider her mother Badshah Begum declared Munna Jan (Faridoon Bakht) S/o of Nasiruddin as King. Company was not ready for this. There was first battle between Awadh and British forces. Badshah Begum and Munna Jan were arrested and Muhammad Ali Shah brother of Ghaziuddin Haider and uncle of Nasiruddin was declared King after getting a written assurance that he will accept any new treaty put up by Governor General. Administrative, financial and defence powers were reduced very much. In his reign new canals were constructed, wells and ponds were dug, Musafir Khana (Inn) were constructed. Imambara Hussainabad, pond Hussainabad, Jama Masjid and other buildings were constructed. He died on 7 May 1842 AD.

[edit]Amjad Ali Shah (1842–1847)

After the death of Muhammad Ali Shah, his son Amjad Ali Shah was put on the throne. By this time British Govt. Have become so power full in Awadh that it was searching a way to grab it. He was of helping nature, very polite and well mannered. He constructed Iron Bridge on Gomti river, metal road from Lucknow to Kanpur for the benefit of his people. He died on 13 February 1847 at the age of 48 years.

[edit]Wajid Ali Shah (1847–1856)

Wajid Ali Shah succeeded to the throne of Awadh when its glory days were already past it. The British had annexed much of the kingdom under the treaty of 1801, and had impoverished Awadh by imposing a hugely expensive, British-run army and repeated demands for loans. The independence of Awadh in name was tolerated by the British only because they still needed a buffer state between their presence in the East and South, and the remnants of the Mughal Empire to the North.
Wajid Ali Shah (official name: M. Hazrat Khalid, 'Abul Mansur Nasir ud-din, Padshah-i-'Adil, Kaiser-i-Zaman, Arangha Sultan-i-'Alam, Muhammad Wajid 'Ali Shah Bahadur) (1822–1887) was the tenth and last nawab of the princely kingdom of Awadh (Oudh) in present day Uttar Pradesh in India. He ascended the throne of Awadh in 1847 and ruled for nine years. His kingdom, long protected by the British under treaty, was eventually annexed peacefully on 7 February 1856 – days before the ninth anniversary of his coronation. The Nawab was exiled to Garden Reach in Metiabruz, then a suburb of Kolkata, where he lived out the rest of his life off a generous pension. He was a poet, playwright, dancer and great patron of the arts. He is widely credited with the revival of Kathak as a major form of classical Indian dance.
Wajid Ali Shah was most unfortunate to have ascended the throne of Awadh at a time when the British East India Company was determined to grab the coveted throne of prosperous Awadh (Oudh), which was "the garden, granary, and queen-province of India." In different circumstances perhaps, be might have succeeded as a ruler because he had many qualities that make a good administrator. He was generous, kind and compassionate towards his subjects, besides being one of the most magnanimous and passionate patrons of the Fine Arts.
Birjis Qadra (1856–1858)

Begum Hazrat Mahal wife of Wjid Ali Shah led the Indian Independence movement against British Government in 1857. She put her son Mirza Birjis Qadra on the throne of Awadh on 12 Ziqada 1273 AH at the age of 12 years. They had to leave Lucknow due to British conspiracy. They went to Kathmandu (Nepal) where he got married with Nawab Mahtab Ara, the grand daughter of the last Mughal King Bahadur Shah Zafar. Begum Hazrat Mahal died on April' 1879. Brijis Qadra came to Calcutta in 1893 where he was murdered with poison in food on 14 August 1893. After 1857 war, when British Govt. Came in power in whole India, Awadh has also lost its geographical status. It was given the name of United States of Agra and Awadh. It was renamed as United Provinces in 1902 (Now Uttar Pradesh).
Revolt of 1857
The Indian Rebellion of 1857 was a period of armed uprising against expansion of the British East India Company control in India between early 1857 and mid 1858. The period and events are also often referred to as (in alphabetical order) the First War of Indian Independence, Indian Mutiny, or Sepoy Mutiny. These uprisings were mainly concentrated in north central India, with some outbreaks elsewhere. The first signs of brewing discontent, involving incidents of arson in cantonment areas, began to appear in January 1857.
The Indian Rebellion of 1857 began as a mutiny of sepoys of British East India Company's army on 10 May 1857, in the town of Meerut, and soon erupted into other mutinies and civilian rebellions largely in the upper Gangetic plain and central India, with the major hostilities confined to the region of present-day Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, northern Madhya Pradesh or Saugor and Nerbudda Territories, Delhi, and Gurgaon. Although, the rebellion spread beyond the armed forces, it did not result in a complete popular uprising as its leaders had hoped. The Indian side was not completely unified. While Bahadur Shah Zafar was restored to the imperial throne there was a faction that wanted the Maratha rulers to be enthroned as well, and the Awadhis wanted to retain the powers that their Nawab used to have.
Start of the Rebellion from Meerut
Several months of increasing tension and inflammatory incidents preceded the actual rebellion. Fires, possibly the result of arson, broke out near Calcutta on 24 January 1857. On 26 February 1857 the 19th Bengal Native Infantry (BNI) regiment came to know about new cartridges and refused to use them. Their Colonel confronted them angrily with artillery and cavalry on the parade ground, but then accepted their demand to withdraw the artillery, and cancel the next morning's parade.
3rd Light Cavalry at Meerut
On 9 May, 85 troopers of the 3rd Bengal Light Cavalry at Meerut refused to use their cartridges. They were imprisoned, sentenced to ten years of hard labour, and stripped of their uniforms in public. Malleson records that the troops were constantly berated by their imprisoned comrades while processing on a long and humiliating march to the jail. It was this insult by their own comrades which provoked the rebellion. The sepoys knew it was very likely that they would also be asked to use the new cartridges and they too would have to refuse in order to save their caste, religion and social status. Since their comrades had acted only in deference to their religious beliefs the punishment meted out by the British colonial rulers was perceived as unjust by many.
Support and opposition
The war was mainly centred in northern and central areas of India. DelhiLucknowCawnporeJhansiBareillyArrah and Jagdishpur were the main centres of conflict. The Bhojpurias of Arrah and Jagdishpur supported the Marathas. The Marathas, Rohillas and the Awadhis supported Bahadur Shah Zafar and were against the British.
There were calls for jihadby Muslim leaders like Maulana Fazl-e-Haq Khairabadi including the millenarian Ahmedullah Shah, taken up by the Muslims, particularly Muslim artisans, which caused the British to think that the Muslims were the main force behind this event. In AwadhSunni Muslims did not want to see a return to Shiite rule, so they often refused to join what they perceived to be a Shia rebellion. However, some Muslims like the Aga Khan supported the British. The British rewarded him by formally recognizing his title.

The Revolt
Cawnpore (Kanpur)

The British endured three weeks of the Siege of Cawnpore with little water or food, suffering continuous casualties to men, women and children. On 25 June Nana Sahib offered fairly generous surrender terms, and Wheeler had little choice but to accept. The Nana Sahib agreed to let them have safe passage to Allahabad but on 27 June when the British left their fortified barrack buildings to board the promised riverboats, firing broke out. Who fired first has remained a matter of debate.
In June, sepoys under General Wheeler in Cawnpore, (now known as Kanpur) rebelled and besieged the European entrenchment. Wheeler was not only a veteran and respected soldier, but also married to a high-caste Indian lady. He had relied on his own prestige, and his cordial relations with the Nana Sahib to thwart rebellion, and took comparatively few measures to prepare fortifications and lay in supplies and ammunition.
The Indians claim that the British had already boarded the boats and Tatya Tope raised his right hand to signal their departure. That very moment someone from the crowd blew a loud bugle which created disorder and in the ongoing bewilderment, the boatmen jumped off the boats. British soldiers and officers still had their arms and ammunition and they fired shots at these boatmen. The rebels lost all patience and started shooting indiscriminately. Nana Sahib, who was momentarily staying in Savada Kothi (Bungalow) nearby, got the message and immediately came to stop it. The remaining men were, however, killed to ensure no further unrest.
The British claim that during the march to the boats, loyal sepoys were removed by the mutineers and lynched along with any British officer or soldier that attempted to help them, although these attacks were ignored in an attempt to reach the boats safely. After firing began the boats' pilots fled, setting fire to the boats, and the rebellious sepoys opened fire on the British soldiers and civilians. One boat with over a dozen wounded men initially escaped, but later grounded, was caught by mutineers and pushed back down the river towards the carnage at Cawnpore. The female occupants were removed and taken away as hostages and the men, including the wounded and elderly, were hastily put against a wall and shot. Only four men eventually escaped alive from Cawnpore on one of the boats: two privates (both of whom died later during the Rebellion), a Lieutenant, and Captain Mowbray Thomson, who wrote a firsthand account of his experiences entitled The Story of Cawnpore (London) 1859.
The surviving women and children from the massacre by the river were led to the Bibi-Ghar (the House of the Ladies) in Cawnpore. On 15 July, with British forces approaching Cawnpore and some believing that they would not advance if there were no hostages to save, their murders were ordered. Another motive for these killings was to ensure that no information was leaked to the British after the fall of Cawnpore. After the sepoys refused to carry out this order, four butchers from the local market went into the Bibi-Ghar where they proceeded to kill the hostages with cleavers and hatchets. The dead and the dying were then thrown down nearby a well.
The killing of the women and children proved to be a mistake. The British public was aghast and the pro-Indian proponents lost all their support. Cawnpore became a war cry for the British and their allies for the rest of the conflict. The Nana Sahib disappeared near the end of the Rebellion.
The misinterpretation that British retaliation was ghastly only after the events of Cawnpore and the Bibi Ghar is deliberate in some accounts. Other British accounts state that indiscriminate punitive measures were taken in early June, two weeks before the murders at the Bibi-Ghar, specifically by Lieutenant Colonel James George Smith Neill of the Madras Fusiliers (a European unit), commanding at Allahabad while moving towards Cawnpore. At the nearby town of Fatehpur, it was alleged that a mob had murdered the local British population. On this pretext, Neill explicitly ordered all villages beside the Grand Trunk Road to be burned, and their inhabitants to be hanged. Neill's methods were "ruthless and horrible" and may well have induced previously undecided sepoys and communities to revolt.
Neill was killed in action at Lucknow on 26 September and was never called to account for his punitive measures, though contemporary British sources lionised Neill and his "gallant blue caps". By contrast with the actions of soldiers under Neill, the behaviour of most rebel soldiers was creditable. "Our creed does not permit us to kill a bound prisoner", one of the matchlockmen explained, "though we can slay our enemy in battle."
When the British retook Cawnpore later, the soldiers took their sepoy prisoners to the Bibi-Ghar and forced them to lick the bloodstains from the walls and floor. They then hanged or "blew from the cannon" the majority of the sepoy prisoners. Although some claimed the sepoys took no actual part in the killings themselves, they did not act to stop it and this was acknowledged by Captain Thompson after the British departed Cawnpore for a second time.
On 25 September a relief column under the command of Sir Henry Havelock and accompanied by Sir James Outram (who in theory was his superior) fought its way from Cawnpore to Lucknow in a brief campaign in which the numerically small column defeated rebel forces in a series of increasingly large battles. This became known as 'The First Relief of Lucknow', as this force was not strong enough to break the siege or extricate themselves, and so was forced to join the garrison. In October another, larger, army under the new Commander-in-Chief, Sir Colin Campbell, was finally able to relieve the garrison and on 18 November, they evacuated the defended enclave within the city, the women and children leaving first. They then conducted an orderly withdrawal to Cawnpore, where they defeated an attempt by Tatya Tope to recapture the city in the Second Battle of Cawnpore.
Rebellion erupted in the state of Awadh (also known as Oudh, in modern-day Uttar Pradesh), which had been annexed barely a year before, very soon after the events in Meerut. The British Commissioner resident atLucknow, Sir Henry Lawrence, had enough time to fortify his position inside the Residency compound. The British forces numbered some 1700 men, including loyal sepoys. The rebels' initial assaults were unsuccessful, and so they began a barrage of artillery and musket fire into the compound. Lawrence was one of the first casualties. The rebels tried to breach the walls with explosives and bypass them via underground tunnels that led to underground close combat. After 90 days of siege, numbers of British were reduced to 300 loyal sepoys, 350 British soldiers and 550 non-combatants.
Early in 1858, Campbell once again advanced on Lucknow with a large army, this time seeking to suppress the rebellion in Awadh. He was aided by a largeNepalese contingent advancing from the north under Jang Bahadur, who had remained allied to Britain throughout the rebellion in India. Campbell's advance was slow and methodical, and drove the large but disorganised rebel army from Lucknow with few casualties to his own troops. This nevertheless allowed large numbers of the rebels to disperse into Awadh, and Campbell was forced to spend the summer and autumn dealing with scattered pockets of resistance while losing men to heat, disease and guerilla actions.

Jhansi was a Maratha-ruled princely state in Bundelkhand. When Raja Gangadhar of Jhansi died without a male heir in 1853, it was annexed to the British Raj by the Governor-General of India (Lord Dalhousie) under the Doctrine of Lapse. His widow, Rani Lakshmibai, protested that she had not been allowed to adopt a successor, as was customary in India.
When war broke out, Jhansi quickly became a centre of the rebellion. A small group of British officials and their families took refuge in Jhansi's fort, and the Rani negotiated their evacuation. However, when they left the fort, they were massacred by rebels of the Bengal Native Infantry. Although the treachery might have occurred without the Rani's consent, the British suspected her of complicity, despite her protestations of innocence, and her efforts to ensure public safety in the city of Jhansi.
By the end of June 1857, the British had entirely lost control of much of Bundelkhand and eastern Rajasthan. The Bengal Army units in the area, having rebelled, marched to take part in the battles for Delhi and Cawnpore. The many princely states which made up this area began warring amongst themselves. In September and October 1857, the Rani led the successful defence of Jhansi against the invading armies of the neighbouring rajas of Datia and Orchha.
In March 1858, the Central India Field Force, led by Sir Hugh Rose, advanced on and laid siege to Jhansi. The British captured the city, but the Rani fled in disguise. There was then a massacre of large numbers of the inhabitants and widespread looting.
After being driven from Jhansi and Kalpi, on 1 June 1858 Rani Lakshmi Bai having joined three other rebel leaders entered the fortress city of Gwalior (it had already been occupied by a rebel force after the battle at Morar from which Maharaja Scindia had barely escaped); the Scindia rulers, were British allies, but had lost the state army to the rebels. This might have reinvigorated the rebellion if Gwalior had been properly defended and held but the Central India Field Force very quickly advanced against the city. The Rani died on 17 June,[78] the second day of the Battle of Gwalior probably killed by a carbine shot from the 8th Hussars, according to the account of three independent Indian representatives. The British recaptured Gwalior within the next three days. In descriptions of the scene of her last battle, she was compared to Joan Of Arc by some commentators  
Other areas
The Rohillas centred in Bareilly were also very active in the war and this area was amongst the last to be recaptured by the British, after Campbell had finally quelled resistance in Awadh.
Tulsipur State – One of the largest Talugdar of Oudh, Raja Chauhan Drig Narayan Singh resisted paying tax to the British in 1855 AD. British force from Delhi was sent to capture the King. He was imprisoned, "nazarband" and kept in Lukhnow Fort called "The Residence". This palace was built by Nawab Asif-ud-Daula in the year 1775 AD. At the time of Mutiny in August 1857, the political prisoners in the fort were King Wajid Ali Shah's brother Mustafa Ali Khan, Mughal Princes Mirza Mohammad Shikoh and Mohammad Humayun Khan, Nawab Rukn-ud-Daula and the "Raja of Tulsipur" Chauhan Drig Narayan Singh. His consort, Rani of Tulsipur Ishwar Kumari Devi was Joint Leader of the War of Independence during 1857–1858 AD. The Rani was considered a heroine during the freedom fight. While Rajah Drig Narayan Singh was a prisoner in Lucknow fort, Rani of Tulsipur was siding actively with the freedom forces in Bahraich to free her husband and her country from the British. Her contributions to the cause of freedom were remarkable. She had collected a large force to assist the freedom forces and strengthen her own position. Raja Riasat Ali Khan of Utraula had also joined the freedom forces at Gorakhpur under Mohammad Hasan who once was the nazim of Gonda-Bahraich.

The Rani of Tulsipur, Ishwar Kumari Devi, the Raja of Gonda, Devi Baksh and Bala Rao never surrendered. Bala-Rao later died in the malaria-infested jungles of Nepal. British crushed the 1857 Mutiny uprising with the help of Maharaja Jung Bahadur Rana of Nepal. The freedom fighters' principalities were confiscated in 10 April 1859 AD when they refused amnesty. State of Tulsipur was bestowed to the Raja of Balrampur who sided with the British throughout the revolt. Raja of Gonda Devi Baksh Singh, Raja of Peshwa Nana Saheb and Rani of Awadh Begam Hazrat Mahal escaped to Nepal territories. The last Rajah of Tulsipur, Chauhan Drig Narayan Singh, a political prisoner of the British East India Company, died as a Martyr during the First War of Independence in 1859. The bloodstained, enraged Rani of Tulsipur, who refused to give up without a fight, escaped capture by the British only to die in 1865 AD of exposure or disease in the wilds of southern Nepal, a fate she may have preferred to slavery.
From the end of 1857, the British had begun to gain ground again. Lucknow was retaken in March 1858. On 8 July 1858, a peace treaty was signed and the war ended. The last rebels were defeated in Gwalior on 20 June 1858. By 1859, rebel leaders Bakht Khan and Nana Sahib had either been slain or had fled. As well as hanging mutineers, the British had some "blown from cannon"; an old Mughal (also "Mogul" in English) punishment adopted many years before in India. A method of execution midway between firing squad and hanging but more demonstrative; sentenced rebels were set before the mouth of cannons and blown to pieces. It was a crude and brutal war, with both sides resorting to what would now be described as war crimes. In the end, however, in terms of sheer numbers, the casualties were significantly higher on the Indian side.
The war of 1857 was a major turning point in the history of modern India. The British abolished the British East India Company and replaced it with direct rule under the British crown. A Viceroy was appointed to represent the Crown. In proclaiming the new direct-rule policy to "the Princes, Chiefs, and Peoples of India,"Queen Victoria promised equal treatment under British law, but Indian mistrust of British rule had become a legacy of the 1857 rebellion.
The British embarked on a program in India of reform and political restructuring, trying to integrate Indian higher castes and rulers into the government. They stopped land grabs, decreed religious tolerance and admitted Indians into the civil service, albeit mainly as subordinates. They also increased the number of British soldiers in relation to native ones and allowed only British soldiers to handle artillery. Bahadur Shah was exiled to Rangoon, Burma where he died in 1862, finally bringing the Mughal dynasty to an end. In 1877, Queen Victoria took the title of Empress of India.


Starting from Bengal in the later half of the 18th century, a series of battles for North Indian lands finally gave the British East India Company accession over this state's territories. Following the British victory in Second Anglo-Maratha WarDaulat Rao Sindhia of the Maratha Empire, signed the Treaty of Surji-Anjangaonwith the British and ceded to the British, the Ganges-Jumna Doab, Delhi, parts of Bundelkhand, Broach, etc. Ajmer and Jaipur kingdoms were also included in this northern territory, which was christened the "North-Western Provinces" (of Agra). Although, later UP grew into the fifth largest state of India, NWPA was one of the smallest states of the British Indian empire. Its capital shifted twice between Agra and Allahabad.
Due to dissatisfaction with British rule, a serious rebellion erupted in various parts of North India; Meerut cantonment's sepoy, Mangal Pandey, is widely credited as its starting point. It came to be known as the Indian Rebellion of 1857. After the revolt failed the British attempted to divide the most rebellious regions by reorganising the administrative boundaries of the region, splitting the Delhi region from ‘NWFP of Agra’ and merging it with Punjab, while the AjmerMarwar region was merged with Rajputana and Oudh was incorporated into the state. The new state was called the 'North Western Provinces of Agra and Oudh', which in 1902 was renamed as the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh. It was commonly referred to as the United Provinces or its acronym UP.

Uttar Pradesh continued to be central to Indian politics and was especially important in modern Indian history as a hotbed of both the 
Indian Independence Movement and the Pakistan Movement. Nationally known figures such asJawaharlal Nehru were among the leaders of the movement in UP. The All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) was formed at the Lucknow session of the Indian National Congress on 11 April 1936 with the legendary nationalist Swami Sahajanand Saraswati elected as its first President, in order to address the long standing grievances of the peasantry and mobilise them against the zamindari landlords' attacks on their occupancy rights, thus sparking the Farmers' movements in India.
In 1920, the capital of the province was shifted from Allahabad to Lucknow. The high court continued to be at Allahabad, but a bench was established at Lucknow. Allahabad continues to be an important administrative base of today's Uttar Pradesh and has several administrative headquarters.
During the Quit India Movement of 1942, Ballia district overthrew the colonial authority and installed an independent administration under Chittu Pandey. Ballia became known then as Baghi Ballia (Rebel Ballia) for this significant contribution in India's freedom movement.

After independence, the state was renamed Uttar Pradesh ("northern province") by its first chief minister, Govind Ballabh Pant. Pant was well acquainted with and close to Jawaharlal Nehru (the first Prime Minister of free India) and was also popular in the Congress Party. He established such a good reputation in Lucknowthat Nehru called him to Delhi, the capital and seat of Central Government of the country, to make him Home Minister of India in 27 December 1954. He was succeeded by Dr. Sampoornanand, a classicist Sanskrit scholar. Following a political crisis in Uttar Pradesh, initiated by Kamlapati Tripathi and C.B.Gupta, Sampurnanand was asked to resign as CM in 1960 and sent to Rajasthan as the Governor of Rajasthan, paving the way for Gupta and Tripathi to become Chief Ministers.
Sucheta Kripalani served as India's first woman chief minister from October 1963 until March 1967, when a two-month long strike by state employees caused her to step down. After her, Chandra Bhanu Gupta assumed the office of Chief Minister with Laxmi Raman Acharya as Finance Minister, but the government lasted for only two years due to the confusion and chaos which ended only with the defection of Charan Singh from the Congress with a small set of legislators. He set up a party called the Jana Congress, which formed the first non-Congress government in U.P. and ruled for over a year.
Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna was chief minister for Congress Party government for part of the 1970s. He was dismissed by the Central Government headed byIndira Gandhi, along with several other non-Congress chief ministers, shortly after the imposition of the widely unpopular Emergency, when Narain Dutt Tewari – later chief minister of Uttarakhand – became chief minister. The Congress Party lost heavily in 1977 elections, following the lifting of the Emergency, but romped back to power in 1980, when Mrs. Gandhi handpicked the man who would later become her son's principal opposition, V.P. Singh, to become Chief Minister.