History Of India 2 Eastern India Nation Of The Ganges Bengal Odisha Assam


When we read the History of a vast country like India,with its roots stretching back to over thousands of years,we should remember the landmass and the present poltical maps have no relevance.

The Ancient Indian kingdoms were 56 and I have listed them in another article.

We have to have a rough division of the Bharatvarsha into four regions for better understanding and remember that the borders of the Kingdoms were subject to periodical changes depending on which King won and annexed the vanquished territory.

I shall soon begin a Timeline of the Kings of India,though I had written on the List of Indian Kings.

And we may bear in mind that Bharathavarsha of ancient times was not limited to the present Geographical area of India.

I have written on the Rama Empire that encompassed the world and also that of Emperor Vikramaditya.

Now in the last article I had dealt with the History of India in general ,the Dynasties from Ikshvaku to Chandragupta.

It covered,though it speaks of Bharatvarsha in totality,it concentrated more on Central and North India as we know at present.

In this article,we shall check the Eastern Part of India.

Unlike the History of Central and North India,the Eastern,Southern and Western part of India are interwoven move intricately aming themselves.

For instance,the Eastern India was closely connected to Dravida Desa,the present South India.

The Eastern and Southern people,Dravidas were classified as Dasyus,that is who did not follow the Vedas in its entirety.

And while the Central and North Indian Kings expanded more towards North and North East of India,the Western and Southern  kings expanded their Kindoms towards the east of India to Micronesia and the present Australia.

The Southern ,Dravida kings ,in addition to East ,expanded their Kingdoms towards Middle East,Africa,Greece and the Americas.

The Eastern kingdoms comprised of the present West Bengal,Bangladesh,Assam,Odisha and Northeastern State.

The Eastern Indian polity comprised of five major tribes and were predominantly Kshatriyas and I itiallythey did not accept the Brahmins and the Vedas fully and hence were called Dasyus.

AngasVangasKalingas, Pundras and Suhmas shared a common ancestry.

Some interpretations suggest Dasyu means Slave (Monier Williams)

I take the well researched interpretation of Sri.P.T.Srinivasa Iyengar,in his ‘History of Tamils’that Dasyu means who do not follow Vedas in its entirety.

Hindu scriptures such as the Mahabharata suggest that ancient Bengal was divided among various tribes or kingdoms, including the Nishadas and kingdoms known as the Janapadas: Vanga (southern Bengal), Pundra (northern Bengal), and Suhma (western Bengal) according to their respective totems. ‘

The Vanga Kingdom was the first powerful seafaring nation of South Asia, especially Bengal. They had overseas trade relations with JavaSumatra and Siam (modern-day Thailand). According to Mahavamsa, the Vanga prince Vijaya Simhaconquered Lanka (modern-day Sri Lanka) in 544 BCE and gave the name “Sinhala” to the country. Bengali people migrated to the Malay Archipelago and Siam (in modern Thailand), establishing their own colonies there.

*I do not agree with these dates;they can be pushed earlier.

The Southern ,Dravida kings ,in addition to East ,expanded their Kingdoms towards Middle East,Africa,Greece and the Americas
These kingdoms find reference in thebAtharva Veda and Greek writers refer extensively these areas.

Gangaridai (GreekΓανγαρίδαι; Latin: Gangaridae) was an ancient region corresponding to the Ganges delta region of the Indian subcontinent, which was mentioned in the records of numerous Greco-Roman writers. The term means “nation of the Ganges” in Greek and Latin. It is one of the earliest references to the Bengal region in the Indian subcontinent (now divided between Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal). According to ancient Indian records, the Vanga Kingdom and Samatata Kingdom occupied the region during the same period. The capital of the Gangaridai is thought by some archaeologists to be situated at Kotalipara in present-day Gopalganj District, Bangladesh…..

Diodorus Siculus further describes “Gandaridae”:

Among the southern countries the first under the Kaukasos is India, a kingdom remarkable for its vast extent and the largeness of its population, for it is inhabited by very many nations, among which the greatest of all is that of the Gandaridae, against whom Alexander did not undertake an expedition, being deterred by the multitude of their elephants. This region is separated from farther India by the greatest river in those parts (for it has a breadth of thirty stadia), but it adjoins the rest of India which Alexander had conquered, and which was well watered by rivers and highly renowned for its prosperous and happy condition. –Diodorus Siculus (1st century AD). Quoted from Ancient India as Described in Classical Literature, John W. McCrindle, p. 201.’

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 Vanga Kingdom was an ancient seafaring thalassocracy during the Late Vedic period on the Indian Subcontinent, which originated in the region of Bengal. The boundary of the kingdom was naturally formed by the Padma and Bhagirathi rivers in the West, North and East; while the South was bounded by the Bay of Bengal. Its contemporary neighbouring states include SuhmaAngaPundravardhanaSamatata and Harikela..’

Harikela seems to have been the earliest people.

However ,Bhagadatta seems to have been the earliest king of Naraka dynasty ( sub sect ofcChandravamsa,Lunar Dynasty)

He took part in the Mahabharatha war and he is called Asura,powerful and he is referred to from Dravida Desa,South India..

The Angas were a part of these Kingdoms.

Karna was crowned as the King of Anga by Duryodhana.

The power of Angas did not last long and it ended with Bimbisara.

From Bimbisara, the History Of India seems alright except some misinformation about the middle ages.

It may be of interest to note that the Nishadas were also present in the area of Kerala and they were hunters.

Hunters,according to Tamil Classics were the first people who lived in areas in around mountains,Kurinji and Murugan is the God of Kurinji.

Interesting thread.

Shall write on this and more on the tribes/kings who ruled BengalOdisha and Assam.

Reference and citations.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anga

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhagadatta

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Bengal

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gangaridai