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During this period, aspects of Indian civilisation, administration, culture, and religion (Hinduism and Buddhism) spread to much of Asia, while kingdoms in southern India had maritime business links with the Middle East and the Mediterranean.Indian cultural influence spread over many parts of Southeast Asia which led to the establishment of Indianised kingdoms in Southeast Asia (Greater India).For Pakistan and Bangladesh in focus, see History of Pakistan and History of Bangladesh.The history of India includes the prehistoric settlements and societies in the Indian subcontinent; the advancement of civilisation from the Indus Valley Civilisation to the eventual blending of the Indo-Aryan culture to form the Vedic Civilisation; the onset of a succession of powerful dynasties and empires for more than three millennia throughout various geographic areas of the subcontinent, including the growth of Muslim dominions during the Medieval period intertwined with Hindu powers; the advent of European traders and privateers, resulting in the establishment of British India; and the subsequent independence movement that led to the Partition of India and the creation of the Republic of India.This article is about the history of the Indian subcontinent with India in focus prior to the partition of India in 1947.For the modern Republic of India, see History of the Republic of India.
However, the Indus Valley Civilisation did not disappear suddenly, and some elements of the Indus Civilisation may have survived, especially in the smaller villages and isolated farms.The first confirmed semi-permanent settlements appeared 9,000 years ago in the Bhimbetka rock shelters in modern Madhya Pradesh, India.The Edakkal Caves are pictorial writings believed to date to at least 6,000 BCE, Neolithic agricultural cultures sprang up in the Indus Valley region around 5000 BCE, in the lower Gangetic valley around 3000 BCE, represented by the Bhirrana findings (7570–6200 BCE) in Haryana, India, Lahuradewa findings (7000 BCE) in Uttar Pradesh, India, The Bronze Age in the Indian subcontinent began around 3300 BCE with the early Indus Valley Civilisation.This civilisation collapsed at the start of the second millennium BCE and was later followed by the Iron Age Vedic Civilisation.
The era saw the composition of the Vedas, the seminal texts of Hinduism, coalesce into Janapadas (monarchical, state-level polities), and social stratification based on caste.
From the late 18th century to the mid-19th century, large areas of India were annexed by the British East India Company of the British Empire.