I have, in many articles, mentioned that the history of Bharatavarsha can be understood properly only if one sheds the regional approach, that is of trying to prove that one region or a linguistic group is older than the others.
Bharatavarsha was so vast that it encompassed nearly the whole world as can be seen in Rama’s Empire, that it did not matter as to which region spoke which language.
As I have written they had Prakrit as a common language, with Sanskrit forming the literary base and the regional language determined locally.
They used Pali language as well.
The influence of Prakrit, Pali and Sanskrit can be seen in all the languages of India.
Over some languages these three exerted more influence and in some very negligible.
One you would find the influence of these languages to be the least to the extent as to be almost nil as in Tamil where structure of the Language is totally at variance with all Indian Languages.
Yet they formed a part of Sanatana Dharma.
The Tamils and the Sanatana Dharma coexisted through out history, contrary to what the say in the Aryan Invasion Theory.
Please read my articles on this.
The Tamils had a flourishing civilization during the period of Ramayana and in fact preceded the Ramayana as one finds reference to Sibi, aancestor of Rama in Tamil and a temple built by him is near Srirangam, Tamil Nadu.
The temple at Tiruvellarai is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and it was built when he subjugated the tribes in the south.
And Rama’s ancestor Vaivaswataha Manu migrated fro the south to Ayodhya when the south was struck bu a Tsunami, recorded in Tamil Sangam Literature and in the Bhagavatha and Vishnu Puranas.
While one group led by Manu left for Ayodhya , another left, under Shiva, Ganesha and Vasihsta to wards the west through middle east.
The third one left towards the east of India , led by Subrahmanya, called Murugan.
A part of this group seems to have moved towards the area of Gangetic plains of Bengal, Bangla.
I had written a detailed article on the Dravidian origin of Bengalis.
Bengal region was founded by Vanga
‘The founders of five eastern kingdoms, which included: Angas, Vangas, Kalingas, Pundras and Suhmas shared a common ancestry. They were all adopted sons of a king named Vali (Bali), born by a sage named Gautama Dirghatamas, who lived in Magadha close to the city of Girivraja.
References in Mahabharata.
At (6:9) the Angas, the Vangas and the Kalingas were mentioned as close kingdoms in Bharata Varsha (Ancient India). All regions of sacred waters and all other holy palaces there were in Vanga and Kalinga, Arjuna visited all of them, during his pilgrimage lasting for 12 years throughout the ancient India.
The founders of five eastern kingdoms, which included: Angas, Vangas, Kalingas, Pundras and Suhmas shared a common ancestry. They were all adopted sons of a king named Vali (Bali), born by a sage named Gautama Dirghatamas, who lived in Magadha close to the city of Girivraja….
The kings of Anga, Vanga and Pundra were mentioned as attending the court of Yudhishthira at (2:4). The Vangas, Angas, Paundras, Odras, Cholas, Dravidas and Andhrakas were mentioned to be giving tribute to Yudhishthira (3:51). The Angas, the Vangas, the Punras, the Sanavatyas, and the Gayas—these good and well-born Kshatriyas distributed into regular clans and trained to the use of arms, brought tribute unto king Yudhishthira by hundreds and thousands. The Vangas, the Kalingas, the Magadhas, the Tamraliptas, the Supundrakas, the Dauvalikas, the Sagarakas, the Patrornas, the Saisavas, and innumerable Karnapravaranas, were found waiting at the gate (2:51)’
AlDng with dravidas, the Vangas. were called as Dasyus, because they differed with the Sanatna Dharma on some practices.
As the Vangas fought against Krishna, they were treated by the central India Sanatana Dharma as enemies.
And the Vangas took the side of Kaurvas in the Mahabharata War.
Vanga army was skilled in handling war elephants. They sided with the Kauravas.
Vangas sided with Duryodhana in the Kurukshetra War (8:17) along with the Kalingas. They are mentioned as part of the Kauravaarmy at (7:158). Many foremost of combatants skilled in elephant-fight, belonging to the Easterners, the Southerners, the Angas, the Vangas, the Pundras, the Magadhas, the Tamraliptakas, the Mekalas, the Koshalas, the Madras, the Dasharnas, the Nishadas united with the Kalingas (8:22). Satyaki, pierced the vitals of the elephant belonging to the king of the Vangas (8:22)
It may be noted that the Nishadas were with the Kalingas.
Nishadas are Hunter tribe.
Guha who offered hospitality to Lord Rama on Rama’s exile was a Nishada.
Nishadas were from the Dravidian tribe from the present Kerala region.
Shiva is called Nishada and there is a temple of Shiv as Kiradha in Kerala.
Origin of the word Bangla.
The exact origin of the word Bangla is unknown, though it is believed to be derived from the Dravidian-speaking tribe Bang/Banga that settled in the area around the year 1000 BCE. Other accounts speculate that the name is derived from Venga (Bôngo), which came from the Austric word “Bonga” meaning the Sun-god. According to the Mahabharata, a number of Puranas and the Harivamsha Vanga was one of the adopted sons of King Vali who founded the Vanga Kingdom. It was either under Magadh or under Kalinga Rules except few years under Pals.The Muslim accounts refer that “Bong”, a son of Hind (son of Hām who was a son of Prophet Noah/Nooh) colonised the area for the first time.[ The earliest reference to “Vangala” (Bôngal) has been traced in the Nesari plates (805 AD) of Rashtrakuta Govinda III which speak of Dharmapala as the king of Vangala. The records of Rajendra Chola I of the Chola dynasty, who invaded Bengal in the 11th century, speak of Govindachandra as the ruler of Vangaladesa. Shams-ud-din Ilyas Shah took the title “Shah-e-Bangla” and united the whole region under one government.
An interesting theory of the origin of the name is provided by Abu’l-Fazl in his Ain-i-Akbari. According to him, “[T]he original name of Bengal was Bung, and the suffix “al” came to be added to it from the fact that the ancient rajahs of this land raised mounds of earth 10 feet high and 20 in breadth in lowlands at the foot of the hills which were called “al”. From this suffix added to the Bung, the name Bengal arose and gained currency
‘Stone Age tools dating back 20,000 years have been excavated in the state. Remnants of Copper Age settlements in the Bengal region date back 4,000 years. The original settlers spoke non-Aryan languages— they may have spoken Austric or Austro-Asiatic languages like the languages of the present-day Kola, Bhil, Santhal, Shabara, and Pulinda people. At a subsequent age, peoples speaking languages from two other language families— Dravidian and Tibeto-Burman—seem to have settled in Bengal. Archaeological discoveries during the 1960s furnished evidence of a degree of civilisation in certain parts of Bengal as far back as the first millennium BC..
.Some references indicate that the primitive people in Bengal were different in ethnicity and culture from the Vedic people beyond the boundary of Aryandom and who were classed as “Dasyus”. The Bhagavata Purana classes them as sinful people while Dharmasutra of Baudhayana prescribes expiatory rites after a journey among the Pundras and Vangas. Mahabharata speaks of Paundraka Vasudeva who was lord of the Pundras and who allied himself with Jarasandha against Krishna. The Mahabharata also speaks of Bengali kings called Chitrasena and Sanudrasena who were defeated by Bhima and Kalidasa mentions Raghu defeating a coalition of Vanga kings.
‘ A thalassocracy and an entrepôt of the historic Silk Road, Ancient Bengal established colonies on Indian Ocean islands and in Southeast( Naval Power) Asia
As Raghu is the ancestor of Rama and ancient Tamil site Poompuhar which talks about Mahabharta , Krishna and Vangas and Kalingas, it stands to reason that Bengal, which includes the present Bangladesh is at least 25,000 years old, predate Rama and the people were a part of Dravidas.
References and citations.
By Image: http://collections.lacma.org/sites/default/files/remote_images/piction/ma-31967667-O3.jpgGallery: http://collections.lacma.org/node/243991, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27292375