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Vedic Period and Aryans

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Vedic Period and Aryans

shape introduction

The Vedic period, or Vedic age, is the period in the history of the northern Indian subcontinent between the end of the urban Indus Valley Civilisation and a second urbanisation which began in the central Indo-Gangetic Plain c. 600 BCE.

Aryans are said to be the propounders of vedic age civilization. They spoke a language called arya which was similar to later days sanskrit. Hence, they are called aryans.

shape Aryans

Vedic Period and Aryans- Aryans:

  • The Aryans were semi-nomadic pastoral people and originated from the area around the Caspian Sea in Central Asia(Many historians have given various theories regarding their original place)

  • The Central Asian theory is given by Max Muller.

  • Entered India probably through the Khyber Pass(Hindukush mountain) around 1500 BC.

Early Vedic or Rig Vedic Period(1500- 1000 BC) Political Organization:

  • Monarchial form. The tribe was known as Jan and its king as Rajan.

  • The family was the basic unit of society. The family was patriarchal in nature.

Vedic Period and Aryans- Economy:

  • Aryans followed a mixed economy i.e pastoral and agricultural in which cattle played a predominant part.

  • The standard unit of exchange was Cow. At the same time coins were also there.

Early Vedic or Rig Vedic Period – Religion:

  • The Aryans personified the natural forces and looked upon them as living beings.

  • The most important divinity was Indra who played the role of the warlord(breaker of forts- Purandar)

Later Vedic Period(1000- 600 BC) (Painted Gray Ware Phase) Political Organization:

  • Tiny tribal settlements were placed by strong kingdoms.

Later Vedic Period(1000- 600 BC) – Religion:

  • Indra and Agni lost their importance. Prajapati(the creator) became supreme.

  • Vishnu came to be conceived as the preserver and protector of the people.

Vedic Period and Aryans – The Vedic Literature:

Rig Veda:

  • Oldest religious text in the world.

  • Contains 1,028 hymns and is divided into 10 mandalas.

Sama Veda:

  • Derived from the root Saman i.e “melody”. It is a collection of melodies.

Yajur Veda:

  • Deals with the procedure for the performance of sacrifices.

Atharva Veda:

  • Mostly dealing with magic( along with personal problems of people).

The Upanishads:

  • Called Vedanta

  • They are the main source of Indian Philosophy, 108 in numbers.

The Brahmins:

  • They explain the meaning of sacrifices and also the methods of performing them. Shatpath Brahmin on Yajur Veda is the largest among Brahmins.

The Aranyakas:

  • These Granths were studied in the forest. These are the books of instructions.

Epics Mahabharata:

  • It was written in Sanskrit by Ved Vyas

  • It describes a war between Kauravas and Pandavas of 950 BC in Kurukshetra.

  • Translation of “Mahabharat” in Persian is called Rajm nama done by Badauni.


  • It was written by Valmiki in sanskrit.

  • It has 24000 Shlokas, also known as Aadi-kavya.

  • Its persian translation is done by Badauni and Tamil translation by Kamban.

  • Ramcharitmanas is written by Tulsidas.


  • Puranas are 18 in number.

  • It was written during the Gupta Age in AD 4th Century. Matsya Purana is the oldest Purana.

shape Quiz

1. The Aryans successded in their conflicts with the pre-Aryans because?

    A. they used elephants on a large scale
    B. they were taller and stronger
    C . they were from an advanced urban culture
    D . they used chariots driven by horses

Answer: Option D

2. Aryans called Indus people as/strong>?

    A. Halis

    B. Dasyus
    C . Bhaktas
    D . Nalias

Answer: Option B

3. The religion of early Vedic Aryans was primarily of?

    A. Bhakti
    B. image worship and Yajnas
    C . worship of nature and Yajnas
    D . worship of nature and Bhakti

Answer: Option C

4. The Earliest Settlements of Aryan tribes were at?

    A. Uttar Pradesh
    B. Bengal
    C . Sapta Sindhu
    D . Delhi

Answer: Option C

5. Which among the following language is an Indo-Aryan language?

    A. French
    B. Spanish
    C . Pail
    D . None of these

Answer: Option C

6. That the Rig-Vedic Aryans were a pastoral people is borne out by the fat that?

    A. There are many references to the cow in the Rig Veda
    B. Most of the wars were fought for the sake of cows
    C . Gifts made to priests were usually cows and not land
    D . All of the above

Answer: Option D

7. Like Vedic Aryan, the custom of sacrificial fire was also followed by?

    A. Romans
    B. Greeks
    C . Iranians
    D . All fof the above

Answer: Option D

8. The central place of Aryan Culture during Later Vedic Age was?

    A. Sapt-Saindhav Pradesh
    B. Doab of Ganga-Yamuna
    C . Magadh
    D . Deccan

Answer: Option B

9. Which one among the following is not a characteristic of Rig-Vedic Aryans?

    A. They were acquainted with norses, chariots and the use of bronze
    B. They were acquainted with the use of iron
    C . They were acquainted with the cow. Which formed the most important form of wealth
    D . They were acquainted with the use of copper and the modern ploughshare

Answer: Option B

10. Consider the following statements about the Chalukya rule and Identify the incorrect statement:?

    A. The last Chalukya ruler was defeated by the Rashtrakutas founder
    B. The last Chalukya ruler was defeated by the Pallavas founder
    C . Kirtivarman II was the last of the rulers of the Chalukyas.
    D . The successor of Pulakesin II was Vikramaditya

Answer: Option C