- Gandhara was an ancient kingdom in modern-day states of northern Pakistan and northeastern Afghanistan.
- Evidence of Stone Age human inhabitants of Gandhara, including stone tools and burnt bones, was discovered at Sanghao near Mardan in area caves. The artifacts are 15,000 to 30,000 years old.
1.Mother Goddess (fertility divinity), possibly derived from the Indus Valley Civilization,terracotta, Sar Dheri, Gandhara, 1st century BC. 2.Female spouted figure, terracotta, Charsadda, Gandhara, 3rd to 1st century BC .
- The region shows an influx of southern Central Asian culture in the Bronze Age with the Gandhara grave culture, likely corresponding to immigration of Indo-Aryan speakers and the nucleus of Vedic civilisation. This culture flourished from 1500 to 500 BC. The name of the Gandharis is attested in the Rigveda, Atharvaveda. Gandharas are included in the Uttarapatha division of Puranic and Buddhistic traditions.
- Gandhara and Kamboja was governed by the Achaemenian Dynasty during the reign of Cyrus the Great or in the first year of Darius I. In the book “Histories” by Herodotus, Gandhara is named as a source of tax collections for King Darius. The Gandhara and Kamboja had constituted one of the satrapies of the Achaemenid Empire. Then Maurya, greace-Bacrians, Sakas, Indo-Parthians, Kushanas, Huns, Kabulshahi (Hindushahi) ruled here.
- The Persian term Shahi is used by history writer Al-Biruni to refer to the ruling dynasty that took over from the Kabul Shahi and ruled the region during the period prior to Muslim conquests of the 10th and 11th centuries. After it was conquered by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1021 AD, the name Gandhara disappeared.
- The travel records of many Chinese Buddhists pilgrims record that Gandhara was going through a transformation during these centuries. Buddhism was declining and Hinduism was rising. Fa-Xian travelled around 400 CE, when Prakrit was the language of the people and Buddhism was flourishing. 100 years later, when Song-Yun visited in 520 CE, the area had been destroyed by the White Huns and was ruler did not practice the laws of the Buddha. Xuan-Zang visited India around 644 and found Buddhism on the wane in Gandhara and Hinduism in the ascendant. Gandhara was ruled by a king from Kabul, who respected Buddha’s law, but Taxila was in ruins and Buddhist monasteries were deserted. Instead, Hindu temples were numerous and Hinduism was popular.
- The Chinese Buddhist monk Xuanzang visited a Lokottaravada monastery in the 7th century CE, at Bamiyan, Afghanistan. Birchbark and palm leaf manuscripts of texts in this monastery’s collection, including Mahayana sutras, have been discovered at the site. Some manuscripts are in the Gandhari language and Kharosthi script, while others are in Sanskrit and written in forms of the Gupta script.
- Gandhara is noted for the distinctive Gandhara style of Buddhist art, which developed out of a merger of Greek, Syrian, Persian, and Indian artistic influence. This development began during the Parthian Period (50 BC – AD 75). Gandharan style flourished and achieved its peak during the Kushan period, from the 1st to the 5th centuries. It declined and suffered destruction after invasion of the White Huns in the 5th century.
- Stucco and stone was widely used by sculptors in Gandhara for the decoration of monastic and cult buildings. Stucco provided the artist with a medium of great plasticity, enabling a high degree of expressiveness to be given to the sculpture. Sculpting in stucco was popular wherever Buddhism spread from Gandhara – India, Afghanistan, Central Asia and China.
- Gandhara’s language was a Prakrit usually called Gandhari. Texts are written right-to-left in the Kharosthi script, which had been adapted for Indo-Aryan languages from the Aramaic script. Gandhara was then controlled by the Achaemenid dynasty of the Persian Empire, which used the Aramaic script to write the Iranian languages of the Empire.
- The primary cities of Gandhara were Purushapura (now Peshawar), Takshashila (or Taxila) and Pushkalavati. The latter remained the capital of Gandhara down to the 2nd century AD, when the capital was moved to Peshawar.
- An important Buddhist shrine helped to make the city a centre of pilgrimage until the 7th century. Pushkalavati in the Peshawar Valley is situated at the confluence of the Swat and Kabul rivers, where three different branches of the River Kabul meet. That specific place is still called Prang (from Prayaga) and considered sacred and where local people still bring their dead for burial. Similar geographical characteristics are found at site of Prang in Kashmir and at the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna, at Prayag (Allahabad).
- In the Sikar District of Rajasthan. Excavations in the area revealed the remains of a 4,000 year old civilization.
- Pottery similar to Jodhpura was found here.
- Red pottery was found here with black portraiture. The period was estimated to be 2500–2000 BC. Ganeshwar is located near the copper mines of the Sikar-Jhunjhunu area of the Khetri copper belt in Rajasthan. Excavations revealed copper objects including arrowheads, spearheads, fish hooks, bangles and chisels.
- With its microliths and other stone tools, Ganeshwar culture can be ascribed to the pre-Harappan period.
- Ganeshwar mainly supplied copper objects to Harappan cities.
- Three cultural phases in Ganeshwar:
- Period1 (3800 BCE onward) reflects hunting gathering community using microliths made of chert and quartz. Charred bone of wild animals were found.
- Period2 (2800BCE onward) marked beginning of smelting. A few copper objects were found. Circular huts were found. Microliths, animal bones, handmade and wheelmade pottery were excavated. There was profusion of Jodhpura-Ganeshwar Ware, a few pots made of well fired clay.
- Period III (2000 BCE onward) had a wide range of pots, many copper objects with decline in microliths and animal bones.
- Ganeshwar was having copper working centre and supplying these items to communities elsewhere.There are similarities between wheel made pottery of Ganeshwar (period2) and early Harappan pottery. Harappan potteries were found in two Ganeshwar culture cities. At Ganeshwar itself, a reserved slip ware which is only found in the Harappan city (Banwali and few other places). Double spiral-headed pins from Ganeshwar have been found at some Harappan cities.
(3) Gangaikondacholapuram / Gangaikonda Cholapuram
The city was founded by Rajendra Chola, the son and successor of Rajaraja Chola as the capital of the Cholas to commemorate his victory over the Pala Dynasty. The name means the town of the Chola who led great victorious march to river Ganges on Northern India. The city seems to have had two fortifications, one inner and the other outer.
Rajendra Chola established the Gangaikondaan temple after his great victorious march to river Ganges on Northern India. The great temple of Siva at this place is next only to the Brihadisvara temple at Thanjavur in its monumental nature and surpasses it in sculptural quality. The architecture is in Dravida Style and is a portrayal of complex carvings on the hard granite stones.
The creativity of sculptors is reflected in the figures of dancing Nataraja and Ardhanareshwara (the man-woman manifestation of Lord Shiva).
It is located in Odissa. It got its name from the word “Ganj-i-am” which means the Granary of the World.
The Ganjam area was a part of ancient Kalinga which was occupied by Ashoka in 261 B.C. The Rock Edicts of Ashoka inscribed on a hill are found at Jaugada which is in Ganjam district.
There is an inscription at Ganjam which mentions that Shasanka of Gauda could not be overpowered by Harsha. It had been under both Samudragupta and Harsha.
In 1757, French Commander Bussy captured Ganjam but English ultimately defeated the French in the Deccan and annexed Ganjam in 1759.
The Chilka Lake, known for its scenic beauty and a bird’s sanctuary is situated in the eastern part of Ganjam district. There are many temple of Hindu God and Goddess in Ganjam district.
- Ganeriwala or Ganweriwala is an Indus Valley Civilization site in Punjab, Pakistan.Ganeriwala is situated near the Indian border on the dry river bed of the Ghaggar-Hakra (also called the Sarasvati River), now a part of vast desert. It is comparable in size with the largest sites of the Indus Valley Civilization, such as Mohenjo-daro. But it is not excavated and only identified
Gaya is a holy place for Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Ghats and temples are lined on the banks of the sacred Phalgu River or Niranjana River.
The most popular temple is Vishnupad Temple, a place along the Phalgu River, marked by a footprint of Lord Vishnu incised into a block of basalt that marks the act of Lord Vishnu subduing Gayasur by placing his foot on demon Gayasur’s chest in mythology. The present-day Vishnu temple was rebuilt by Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar, the ruler of Indore, in the 18th century.
Bodh Gaya is situated near Gaya. In Budhist text, Bodh Gaya is called Uruvela situated on the ban of river Niranjana where Lord Buddhia attained (Bodhimandala) under the Bodhi Tree.
Mahabodhi Temple Complex is situated here which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple was described by the Chinese traveler Hiuen Tsang calling it Mahabodhi Vihara.
This place was visited by Magadh Empeor Ashoka.
For Buddhists, Bodh Gaya is the most important of the main four pilgrimage sites related to the life of Gautama Buddha, the other three being Kushinagar, Lumbini, and Sarnath.
Accounts of the Chinese pilgrims Faxian in the 5th century and Hiuen Tsang in the 7th century describe Bodh Gaya.
In the Gupta period, as per the Chinese traditions, the king Meghavarman of Sri Lanka sent, with the permission of Samudra Gupta, a monk to establish at Bodh Gaya a monastery for the use of Sri Lankan monks.
- The remains of an important Buddhist stupa and sculptural slabs were found. Ghantasala was once a flourishing town of Indo-Roman trade as well as an important religious centre.
- The Buddhist relics and the Hindu structures at the place reveal its past glory. Carved limestone columns belonging to pillared halls associated with Buddhist monastic establishments (2-3rd centuries BC ) have been discovered.
- The chaityas had a texture and size unique to the Satavahana times and had separate dwelling places for Buddhist monks in the complex. All walls were found to have beautiful plastering with superfine lime mortar.
- Objects such as a ‘Purna Kalasa’ containing lotus flowers, indicating the birth of Gautama Buddha were also discovered.
(8) Ghargaon (Shrigonda)
- Ghargaon village In Ahmadnagar district.
- Microlithic prehistoric site
- Shivlinga, i.e. Temple of Lord Shiva- also called as Naganath Maharaj.
- Ghazni was a thriving Buddhist centre up until the 7th century. In 683 AD, Arab armies brought Islam to the region.
- Yaqub Saffari from Zaranj conquered the city in the late 9th century. It later became the dazzling capital of the Ghaznavid Empire, which encompassed part of northern India, Persia and Central Asia.
- The Ghaznavids took Islam to India and returned with fabulous riches taken from both Indian princes and temples. Although the city was sacked in 1151 by the Ghurid Alauddin, it soon became their secondary capital in 1173, and subsequently flourished once again. Between 1215–1221, Ghazni was managed by the Khwarezmid Empire, during which time it was destroyed by the Mongol armies
(10) Ghor / Ghur
- Before the 12th century, the area was home to pagans, Zoroastrians, Buddhists, Muslims and a small number of Jews. The conversion of the Ghauris to Islam is attributed to Mahmud Ghazni who converted them to Islam after his conquest of Ghor.
- Ghor was also the centre of the Ghurid dynasty in the 12th and 13th century.The inhabitants of Ghor were completely Islamized during the Ghurids era.
- It is part of Ahar Banas Culture.Discoveries at Gilund were broadly similar to Ahar. The structural remains included a mud-brick complex and part of a wall made of burnt bricks. Storage pits are also found.
- Artefacts: microliths, fragments of copper, and beads of semi-precious stones, terracotta figurines of animals including humped bulls, and terracotta gamesman.
(12) Gingee / Senji
It is situated in Arcot district of Tamil Nadu and faous for Fort. The fort was among the most impregnable fortress in India.
Fort was built during the 15-16th century by the Nayakas, the military leaders of the Vijayanagara Empire and who later became independent kings. In 1565 A.D., Bande Ullah Khan, the Bijapur Genral captured the Fort. The fort passed to the Marathas under the leadership of Shivaji in 1677 AD and then to the Moghuls, Carnatic Nawabs, French under General Bussy. The British captured it in 1761 and surrenderd to Haider Ali in 1780.
The Gingee Fort complex is on the three hills which together constitute a fort complex. It is famous for Kalyan Mahal and the Idgah.
(13) Girnar / Girinagara
Girnar Hill is a collection of mountains situated near Junagadh in Kathiawar of Gujarat.
One of the major rock edicts of Ashoka is found here. The edict is on black granite in Brahmi script. On the same rock there are inscriptions in Sanskrit added around 150 CE by Rudradaman I, the Saka ruler of Malwa, a member of the Western Kshatrapas dynasty. Another inscription dates from about 450 CE and refers to Skandagupta.
Inscription of Rudradaman is the earliest Sanskrit inscription. It mentions renovation of the famous Sudarshana Lake which was originally built by Pusyagupta the provincial governor of Chandragupta.
Many Jain and Hindu temples are located in Girnar.
(14) Goa (Panjim / Panaji)
Between the 2nd century BC and the 6th century AD, Goa was ruled by the Bhojas of Goa. The rule later passed to the Chalukyas of Badami between 6th and 8th century and then under the between 8th and 10th century. From 8th to 10th century, the Southern Silharas of Konkan ruled Goa as the feudatories of the Chalukyas and the Rashtrakutas. Over the next few centuries, Goa was successively ruled by the Kadambas as the feudatories of the Chalukyas of Kalyani. They patronised Jainism in Goa.
In 1312, Goa came under the governance of the Delhi Sultanate. By 1370 it was forced to surrender it to Harihara I of the Vijayanagara Empire. Later it was appropriated by the Bahmani sultans of Gulbarga. After that dynasty crumbled, the area fell into the hands of the Adil Shahis of Bijapur.
In 1510, the Portuguese catured Goa by defeated the ruling Bijapur sultan Yousuf Adil Shah. They set up a permanent settlement in Velha Goa (or Old Goa). Portuguese made many faus churches and buildings here. In 1843 the Portuguese moved the capital to Panjim from Velha Goa.
In 1962, Goa was taken over by India from the Portuguese.
The Golkonda Fort was constructed by the king of Kakatiya dynasty of Warangal. The fort fell into ruin after it fell to Aurangazeb in 1687 AD.
Many famed diamonds are believed to have been excavated from the mines of Golkonda including Koh-i-noor Diamond. Golkonda is also faous for the Mughal paintings.
(16) Guad / Gaur / Gauda / Lakhnauti / Lakshmanavati
It is situated in Malda district of West Bengal. It was capital of Sena dynasty during the 11th and the 12th centuries. Prior to the accession of the Sena dynasty, Gauda region was under the control of the Pala dynasty.
In 1203, Muhammad Bakhtiyar Khilji invaded it. The city was destroyed during Sher Shah’s invasion and later reconstructed by Humayun.
Monuments of Gaur: Kadam Rasul mosque, Golden Mosque, Lotan Mosque, Firoz Minar. Tomb of the Sufi saint Makhdum Shaikh Akhi Siraj.
|Firoz Minar, Ancient Temple and Dakhil Darwaza|
A Neolithic site in the Kashmir valley, Gufkral dates to between 2800-1500 BC, and includes evidence for the domestication of cattle, sheep, and birds.
In Period1A was a-ceramic with polished stonetools, bone and tools, steatite beads,bone of wild animal, a terracotta object. People were dependent on hunting but were beginning domesticating certain animals.Plant remains of barley,wheat,lentil etc.
In Period 1B, pottery appears which is hand made and mostly grey. The pit dwelling disappeared. Wolf bone decreased and dog bone increased. Increase in domestication of sheep, goat and cattle. Addition of pea plant apart from plants of first period. Presence of large quatity of charcoal indicates an extensive fire.
In Period1C, (2000BCE), wheel made pots with new shapes, refuse pits and dumps,largest number of bone tools in this period,hunting continued to decline,
(18) Gulbarga (Kalaburgi)
Gulbarga is situated in Karnataka. It was made capital by the Bahmani Sultan Alauddin Hasan Bahmani in the 14th century. In 1425, Ahmed Shah made Bidar his capital and the glory of Gulbarga was eroded. Later it was ruled by the Nizams of Hyderabad through the 18th to the 20th century.
Gulbarga Fort was built after the decline of the Chalukyas in the 12th century by Raja Gulchand of the Warangal Kakatiyas and was expanded and improved to its grandest state by the Bahmani Sultans. The structure is one of the earliest examples of the cross between the Indian and the Persian architectural styles and was built using lime mortar and granite.
The mausoleum of Khwaja Banda Nawaz, a Sufi saint of the Chishti order is in Gulbarga.
Basaveshwara Temple was built in the 12th century by the Lingayat Saint Basaveshwara. The temple has stone carved pillars, towers and various flowers, elephants and garuda on the temple walls.
The Ambari excavations trace the city to the 4th century AD. During earlier periods of the city’s history it was known as Pragjyotishpura, and was the capital of Assam under the Varman Dynasty of the Kamarupa kingdom. Descriptions by Xuanzang (Hiuen Tsang) talks about the reign of the Varman king Bhaskar Varman (7th century AD) and a principal base for a strong naval force with officers who were experts in sea-routes from the Indian Ocean to China.
The city remained as the capital of Assam until the 10th-11th century AD under the rule of the Pala dynasty. Archaeological evidence by excavations in Ambari, and excavated brick walls and houses discovered suggest the city was of economic and strategic importance until the 9th-11th century AD.
Between the 12th and 15th centuries AD, after the destruction of the Kamata kingdom, the city became mainly a strategic outpost of the Koch Hajoand Ahom kingdom. When the western part of the Koch Kingdom (Koch Bihar) fell to the Mughals, the eastern half (Koch Hajo) eventually became a protectorate of Ahom. Although the border between the powers (Ahoms and Mughals) fluctuated between the Kartoya river (now in North Bengal) to the Manas and Barnadi rivers, Guwahati remained an important outpost.
It is situated in Madhya Pradesh. Gwalior is a historical city. Gwalior occupies a strategic location and the city and its fortress has been ruled under historic northern Indian kingdoms.
During 1195-96 Mohammed Gauri invaded Gwalior but he failed as the fort of Gwalior was unconquerable under the brave efforts of Parihars. In 1231 Iltutmish captured Gwalior and from then till the 13th century it remained under Muslim Rule.
In 1375, Raja Veer Singh was made the ruler of Gwalior and he founded the rule of the Tomars in Gwalior which was golden period of Gwalior.The Jain Sculptures at Gwalior Fort were built during Tomar‘s rule. Raja Man Singh Tomar (1486-1512) made his dream palace the Man Mandir Palace in Gwalior Fort.
By the 15th century, the city had a noted singing school which was attended by Tansen. Tansen Tomb is situated here.
From the Tomars in the 13th century, it passed to the Mughals, then the Marathas under the Scindias (1754). Babur described this Palace as a pearl in the necklace of forts in India. During the Mughal Period, Gwalior fort was used as a state prison.
Gyaraspur is located near Vidisha (35 km) and Sanchi. The place has several ruins of several old Hindu, Jain and Buddhist places of worship mostly of 9th-10th century. These include:
Maladevi Temple: Pratihara period temple. Partly rock-cut and partly structural. Ornamented with Jaina Yaksha, Yakshini and Jina Tirthankar images, the sanctum door jambs have Ganga, Yamuna and other Hindu deities 9th century.
Hindola Torna: Dashavataras (ten incarnations) of Vishnu are carved on the door jambs of this torana, 10th century.
Bajramath Temple: A triple shrine temple. In the 10th century development, this temple’s gate, doors and back parts are engraved with Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. Later on this temple was transformed as Jain temple in which Tirthankarstatues are established. Narasimha, Varaha, Vishnu, Shiva, Tripurantaka are shown in the various niches on the external walls.
Dhaikinath Stupa (Budhism).