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Indian History Timeline – Quick Read

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Indian History Timeline – Quick Read

shape Introduction

India has been a land of several ancient civilizations and empires and some dating back to 2,000 BC. Cultures and religions have flourished and evolved over the millennia. The article Indian History Timeline presents the list of different events that have happened in the history of ancient India, which includes Bangladesh and Pakistan, to the free and divided India.


shape Timeline

Events Periods
Indus Valley Civilisation 300-5000
Birth of Gautama Buddha (or 576 BC in some sources) 563
Birth of Mahavir; Nirvana 527-540
Alexander’s invasion of India. It opened a land route between India and Europe 327-326
Accession of Chandragupta Maurya, according to Jain traditions 313
Defeat of Seleucus at tde hands of Chandragupta Maurya 305
Ashoka’s reign 273-232
Conquest of Kalinga 261
Reign of Elara, tde Chola king of Sri Lanka 145-101
Beginning of Vikrami Era 58

Events Periods
Accession of Kanishka 120
Accession of Vikramaditya 380
Accession of Kumara Gupta I 415
Harshavardhan’s reign 606-647
Accession of King Bhoja of Kannauj 836
Accession of Sultan Mahmud 998
Destruction of Somnatd Temple by Mahmud Ghazni 1025
Second Battle of Train 1192
Death of Qutub-ud-Din Aibak 1210
Accession of Razia Sultan to tde tdrone of Delhi 1236
Accession of Ala-ud-Din Khilji 1296
Accession of Muhammad-bin Tughlaq 1325
Foundation of Vijayanagar empire in Soutd 1336
Invasion of India by Timur 1398
Accession of Babur in Farghana 1494
First Battle of Panipat; Babur defeated Ibrahim Lodhi; foundation of Mughal dynasty by Babur 1526
Death of Babur and Accession of Humayun 1530
Humayun recaptured the throne of Delhi 1555
Battle of Talikota 1565
Din-e-IIahi founded by Akbar 1582
Death of Akbar and accession of Jehangir 1605
Jehangir marries Nur Jahan 1611
Birth of Shivaji and death of Jehangir 1627
Death of Mumtaz Mahal 1631
Accession of Aurangzeb, Shahjahan imprisoned 1659
Death of Shah Jahan 1666
Death of Shivaji 1680
Death of Guru Gobind Singh 1708
Battle of Plassey, establishment of British political rule in India at the hands of Lord Clive 1757
Battle of Buxer 1764
First Mysore War 1767-69
Second Mysore War 1780-84
Third Mysore War 1790-92
Fouth Mysore War – Death of Tipu Sultan 1799
Treaty of Amritsar 1809
Raja Ram Mohan Roy visits England 1830
Death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh 1839
First Anglo-Sikh Wa 1845-46
First Railway line opened between Bombay and Thane and a Telegraph line in Calcutta 1853
Birth of Rabindranath Tagore 1861
Foundation of Indian National Congress 1885
Birth of Subhash Chandra Bose 1897
First Battle of Bengal under Lord Curzon 1905
Delhi Darbar; King and Queen visit India; Delhi becomes the Capital of India 1911
Lucknow Pact Signed by Muslim League and Congress 1916
Montague-Chemsford Reforms introduced; Jallianwala Bagh Massacre at Amritsar 1919
Boycott of Simon Commission; broadcasting started in India 1927
Lord Irwain’s Pact; resolution of complete independence passed at Lahore Congress 1929
Gandhi Irwin Pact 1931
Provincial Autonomy; Congress forms ministries 1937
Escape of Subhash Chandra Bose from India and death of Rabindranath Tagore 1941
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose forms provisional Azad Hind Fauj and Indian National Army; Bengal Famine 1943-1944
British Cabinet Mission visits India; Interim government formed at centre 1946
Mahatma Gandhi assassinated (Jannuary 30); integration of princely states 1948

Events Periods
War with Pakistan over disputed territory of Kashmir 1948
Congress Party wins first general elections under leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru 1951-52
India loses brief border war with China 1962
Death of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru 1964
Second war with Pakistan over Kashmir 1965
Nehru’s daughter Indira Gandhi becomes prime minister 1966
Third war with Pakistan over creation of Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan 1971
Twenty-year treaty of friendship signed with Soviet Union 1971
India explodes first nuclear device in underground test 1974
Indira Gandhi declares state of emergency after being found guilty of electoral malpractice 1975
Nearly 1,000 political opponents imprisoned and programme of compulsory birth control introduced 1975-1977
Indira Gandhi’s Congress Party loses general elections 1977
Indira Gandhi returns to power heading Congress party splinter group, Congress (Indira) 1980
Troops storm Golden Temple – Sikhs’ most holy shrine – to flush out Sikh militants pressing for self-rule 1984
Indira Gandhi assassinated by Sikh bodyguards, following which her son, Rajiv, takes over 1984
December – Gas leak at Union Carbide pesticides plant in Bhopal. Thousands are killed immediately, many more subsequently die or are left disabled 1984
India deploys troops for peacekeeping operation in Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict 1987
Falling public support leads to Congress defeat in general election 1989
Indian troops withdrawn from Sri Lanka 1990
Muslim separatist groups begin campaign of violence in Kashmir 1990
Rajiv Gandhi assassinated by suicide bomber sympathetic to Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers 1991
Economic reform programme begun by Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao 1991
Hindu extremists demolish mosque in Ayodhya, triggering widespread Hindu-Muslim violence 1992
Congress suffers worst ever electoral defeat as Hindu nationalist BJP emerges as largest single party 1996
BJP forms coalition government under Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee 1998
India carries out nuclear tests, leading to widespread international condemnation 1998
February – Vajpayee makes historic bus trip to Pakistan to meet Premier Nawaz Sharif and to sign bilateral Lahore peace declaration 1999
Tension in Kashmir leads to brief war with Pakistan-backed forces in the icy heights around Kargil in Indian-held Kashmir 1999
October – Cyclone devastates eastern state of Orissa, leaving at least 10,000 dead 1999
May – India marks the birth of its billionth citizen 2000
US President Bill Clinton makes a groundbreaking visit to improve ties 2000
January – Massive earthquakes hit the western state of Gujarat, leaving at least 30,000 dead 2001
April – 16 Indian and three Bangladeshi soldiers are killed in border clashes 2001
A high-powered rocket is launched, propelling India into the club of countries able to fire big satellites deep into space 2001
July – Vajpayee meets Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in the first summit between the two neighbours in more than two years. It ends without a breakthrough because of differences over Kashmir 2001
September – US lifts sanctions which it imposed against India and Pakistan after they staged nuclear tests in 1998. The move is seen as a reward for their support for the US-led anti-terror campaign 2001
October – India fires on Pakistani military posts in the heaviest firing along the dividing line of control in Kashmir for almost a yea 2001
December – Suicide squad attacks parliament in New Delhi, killing several police. The five gunmen die in the assault 2001
December – India imposes sanctions against Pakistan, to force it to take action against two Kashmir militant groups blamed for the suicide attack on parliament. Pakistan retaliates with similar sanctions, and bans the groups in January 2001
December – India, Pakistan mass troops on common border amid mounting fears of a looming war 2001
January – India successfully test-fires a nuclear-capable ballistic missile – the Agni – off its eastern coast 2002
February – Inter-religious bloodshed breaks out after 59 Hindu pilgrims returning from Ayodhya are killed in a train fire in Godhra, Gujarat. More than 1,000 people, mainly Muslims, die in subsequent violence. 2002
May – Pakistan test-fires three medium-range surface-to-surface Ghauri missiles, which are capable of carrying nuclear warheads. War of words between Indian and Pakistani leaders intensifies. Actual war seems imminent 2002
June – UK, US urge their citizens to leave India and Pakistan, while maintaining diplomatic offensive to avert war 2002
July – Retired scientist and architect of India’s missile programme APJ Abdul Kalam is elected president 2002
August – At least 50 people are killed in two simultaneous bomb blasts in Bombay 2003
November – India matches Pakistan’s declaration of a Kashmir ceasefire 2003
December – India, Pakistan agree to resume direct air links and to allow overflights 2003
January – Groundbreaking meeting held between government and moderate Kashmir separatists 2004
May – Surprise victory for Congress Party in general elections. Manmohan Singh is sworn in as prime minister 2004
September – India, along with Brazil, Germany and Japan, launches an application for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council 2004
November – India begins to withdraw some of its troops from Kashmir 2004
December – Thousands are killed when waves of the Asian Tsunami devastates coastal communities in the south and in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands 2004
7 April – Bus services, the first in 60 years, operate between Srinagar in Indian-administered Kashmir and Muzaffarabad in Pakistani-administered Kashmir 2005
More than 1,000 people are killed in floods and landslides caused by monsoon rains in Mumbai (Bombay) and Maharashtra region 2005
October – Bombs kill 62 people in Delhi. A little-known Kashmiri group says it is behind the attacks 2005
February – India’s largest-ever rural jobs scheme is launched, aimed at lifting around 60 million families out of poverty 2006
March – US and India sign a nuclear agreement during a visit by US President George W Bush. The US gives India access to civilian nuclear technology while India agrees to greater scrutiny for its nuclear programme 2006
11 July – More than 180 people are killed in bomb attacks on rush-hour trains in Mumbai. Investigators blame Islamic militants based in Pakistan 2006
8 September – Explosions outside a mosque in the western town of Malegaon kill at least 31 people 2006
November – Hu Jintao makes the first visit to India by a Chinese president in a decade 2006
December – US President George W Bush approves a controversial law allowing India to buy US nuclear reactors and fuel for the first time in 30 years 2006
18 February – 68 passengers, most of them Pakistanis, are killed by bomb blasts and a blaze on a train travelling from New Delhi to the Pakistani city of Lahore 2007
February – India and Pakistan sign an agreement aimed at reducing the risk of accidental nuclear war 2007
March – Maoist rebels in Chhattisgarh state kill more than 50 policemen in a dawn attack 2007
April – India’s first commercial space rocket is launched, carrying an Italian satellite 2007
May – At least nine people are killed in a bomb explosion at the main mosque in Hyderabad. Several others are killed in subsequent rioting 2007
May – Government announces its strongest economic growth figures for 20 years – 9.4% in the year to March 2007
July – Pratibha Patil becomes first woman to be elected president of India 2007
July – Congress-led coalition survives vote of confidence brought after left-wing parties withdraw their support over controversial nuclear cooperation deal with US 2008
July – Series of explosions kills 49 in Ahmedabad, in Gujarat state. The little-known militant Islamist group Indian Mujahideen claims responsibility 2008
October – Following approval by the US Congress, President George W Bush signs into law a nuclear deal with India, which ends a three-decade ban on US nuclear trade with Delhi 2008
India successfully launches its first mission to the moon, the unmanned lunar probe Chandrayaan-1 2008
November – Nearly 200 people are killed and hundreds injured in a series of co-ordinated attacks by gunmen on the main tourist and business area of India’s financial capital Mumbai 2008
December – India announces “pause” in peace process with Pakistan. Indian cricket team cancels planned tour of Pakistan 2008
February – India and Russia sign deals worth $700m, according to which Moscow will supply uranium to Delhi 2009
May – Resounding general election victory gives governing Congress-led alliance of PM Manmohan Singh an enhanced position in parliament, only 11 seats short of an absolute majority 2009
July – Pakistani, Indian premiers pledge to work together to fight terror irrespective of progress on improving broader ties 2009
A Dehli court rules that homosexual intercourse between consenting adults is not criminal, overturning a 148-year-old colonial law 2009
December – The government says it will allow a new state, Telangana, to be carved out of part of the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. Violent protests for and against break out 2009
February – Bomb explosion in a restaurant popular with tourists in Pune, in the western state of Maharashtra, kills 16 people 2010
May – The solve surviving gunman of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, Ajmal Amir Qasab, is convicted of murder, waging war on India and possessing explosives 2010
June – A court in Bhopal sentences eight Indians to two years each in jail for “death by negligence” over the 1984 Union Carbide gas plant leak. Thousands died in this, the world’s worst industrial accident 2010
September – Allahabad High Court rules that the disputed holy site of Ayodhya should be divided between Hindus and Muslims; the destruction of a mosque on the site by Hindu extremists in 1992 led to rioting in which about 2,000 people died 2010
March – Results of 2011 census put India’s population at 1.21 billion, an increase of 181 million over ten years 2011
August – Prominent social activist Anna Hazare stages 12-day hunger strike in Delhi in protest at state corruption 2011
November – Fourteen people, including a government minister, go on trial on charges for under-selling mobile phone licenses in return for bribes, in one of India’s biggest ever corruption scandals 2011
January – British author Sir Salman Rushdie cancels an appearance at a literary festival in India in response to threats from Islamic extremists who object to his book The Satanic Verses 2012
June – Police in Delhi arrest Abu Hamza, also known as Syed Zabiuddin – allegedly a key figure in planning the 2008 Mumbai attacks 2012
July – Pranab Mukherjee from the ruling Congress party is elected president, comfortably beating his rival P.A. Sangma 2012
August – Court convicts 32 people over the 2002 religious riots in Gujarat, including former state minister Maya Kodnani 2012
November – Mohammad Ajmal Amir Qasab, the sole surviving gunman of the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, is executed in Pune prison. The Supreme Court upheld his death sentence in August 2012
February – Two explosions in crowded Dilsukhnagar area of central Hyderabad kill 16 people. Police suspect the Indian Mujahideen Islamist armed group 2013
September – A court sentences four men to death for the gang rape and murder of a student in Delhi the previous December – a case that led to violent protests across India and new laws against rape 2013
December – The Supreme Court reverses a 2009 Delhi High Court order decriminalising homosexual acts, saying parliament, not the courts, must resolve the issue 2013
May – The Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party and its candidate for prime minister, Narendra Modi, win parliamentary elections by a landslide 2014
September – Visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Modi unveil landmark economic deals. China says it plans to build two industrial parks in India, as part of overall investment of twenty billion dollars in the next five years 2014
December – India’s governing BJP emerges for the first time as a major political player in the disputed Kashmir region after local elections, doubling its seats in the state assembly 2014
February – The anti-corruption Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), headed by Arvind Kejriwal, wins a stunning victory in Delhi state elections, marking the BJP’s first big setback since it triumphed in the 2014 general election 2015
June – India arrests Naga separatist leader Khumlo Abi Anal over killing of 20 soldiers in ambush on Burmese border 2015
June – India arrests Naga separatist leader Khumlo Abi Anal over killing of 20 soldiers in ambush on Burmese border 2015
September – India launches its first space laboratory Astrosat in its biggest project since its Mars orbiter mission in 2014 2015
September – Tens of millions of workers take part in a 24-hour strike to demand higher wages and to protest against the government’s economic reforms 2016
September – India signs a billion-dollar defence deal with France to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets 2016
November – In a surprise announcement, the government withdraws high denomination notes from circulation causing chaotic scenes at banks across the country as customers try to exchange old notes 2016
January – The government reaches a wide-ranging cooperation agreement with the United Arab Emirates, with a series of deals on energy, defence, trade and maritime affairs 2017
May – Launches its so-called “South Asia satellite” from the country’s space centre in Andhra Pradesh state. The satellite is designed to improve disaster relief and telecommunication links in the region 2017
June – Along with Pakistan, India becomes a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, an inter-governmental security grouping. India’s membership sees the grouping’s membership expand into South Asia 2017
July-August – Row with China over disputed area of Himalayas, where China says Indian troops have been trespassing 2017