Banner Image

Literature of India and More: Timeline

Earliest history to 1996

2500 BC   Dravidian civilization

1500 BC    Aryans invade India and conquered the Dravidians

1400 BC   The Vedas, the Hindu scripture, was written

800   BC    800-600, the Sacred scripture, the Upanishads written

518   BC    Persians conquered Pakistan

500   BC    Buddhism was founded in India by Siddhartha Guatama

500   BC    Jainism was founded in India by Mahavira Jains

326   BC    Alexander the Great moved into India

324   BC    Mauyan Empire was established Chandragupta Maurya including Afghanistan and parts of central Asia

272    BC     Ashoka, the grandson of Chandragupta Maurya, becomes the emperor of India

185    BC     The Maurya Empire ended

 50      AD   The Kushans established an empire in northern India

320            The Gupta Indian dynasty reunited northern India initiating the "golden Age" of India

700s           Muslim armies from Arabia invade Arabia   

1206           Qutb ub-din Aybak establishes the Delhi Sultanate

1398           Timur conquered India resulting in the decline of the Delhi Sultanate

1498           Vasco Da Gama becomes the first European explorer to reach India

1500s         Christianity was introduced to India by the Europeans and in the early 1500s Sikhism was founded   by Nana

1526           Babur established the Mughal Empire

1600           Queen Elizabeth I granted a charter to the East India Company established trading posts in Bombay, Calcutta, Madras

1628           Shah Jahan, the ruler of the Mughal Empire, builds the Taj Mahal

1658           The Strict Muslim, Aurangzeb, ruled India and tried to force Hindus to convert to Islam

1757           The Battle of Plassey: Robert Clive, an agent of the East India Company, leads forces which defeated the Mughal governor of Bengal         

1774            Warren Hastings appointed the first governor of India by the East India Company

1857            The Sepoy Rebellion

1858            The British government ruled India via an Indian Viceroy called the British Raj 

1885             Indian National Congress founded as forum for emerging nationalist feeling

1920-22       Nationalist figurehead Mahatma Gandhi launches anti-British civil disobedience campaign

1942-43        Congress launches "Quit India" movement

1947             End of British rule and partition of sub-continent into mainly Hindu India and Muslim-majority state of Pakistan.

1947- 48       Hundreds of thousands die in widespread communal bloodshed after partition

1948             Mahatma Gandhi assassinated by Hindu extremist.

1948       War with Pakistan over disputed territory of Kashmir.

1951-52   Congress Party wins first general elections under leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru.

1962        India loses brief border war with China.

1964        Death of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

1965        Second war with Pakistan over Kashmir.

1966        Nehru's daughter Indira Gandhi becomes prime minister.

1971        Third war with Pakistan over creation of Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan.

1971        Twenty-year treaty of friendship signed with Soviet Union.

1974         India explodes first nuclear device in underground test.

1975         Indira Gandhi declares state of emergency after being found guilty of electoral malpractice.

1975-77    Nearly 1,000 political opponents imprisoned and programme of compulsory birth control introduced.

1977         Indira Gandhi's Congress Party loses general elections.

1980         Indira Gandhi returns to power heading Congress party splinter group, Congress (Indira).

1984        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.

1987         India deploys troops for peacekeeping operation in Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict.

1989         Falling public support leads to Congress defeat in general election.

1990         Indian troops withdrawn from Sri Lanka.

1990         Muslim separatist groups begin campaign of violence in Kashmir.

1991        Rajiv Gandhi assassinated by suicide bomber sympathetic to Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers.

1991        Economic reform programme begun by Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao.

1992        Hindu extremists demolish mosque in Ayodhya, triggering widespread Hindu-Muslim violence.

1996        Congress suffers worst ever electoral defeat as Hindu nationalist BJP emerges as largest single party.

BBC - History - Historic Figures: Mohandas Gandhi (1869 - 1948)

M. Ghandi

Read a brief biography about Mohandas 'Mahatma' Gandhi - the father of the Indian nation. Discover facts about his life history, beliefs and assassination.


 1998        BJP forms coalition government under Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.

1998        India carries out nuclear tests, leading to widespread international condemnation.

1999       February - Vajpayee makes historic bus trip to Pakistan to meet Premier Nawaz Sharif and to sign bilateral Lahore peace declaration.

1999       May - 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.

Population: 1 billion

2000        May - India marks the birth of its billionth citizen.

2000        US President Bill Clinton makes a groundbreaking visit to improve ties.

2001        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.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 year.

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.

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. Police and officials blamed the fire on a Muslim mob, but a 2005 government investigation said it was an accident. In 2012 a court convicts 32 people over the Naroda Patiya riots in Ahmedabad.

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.

2003       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.

2004       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 tidal waves, caused by a powerful undersea earthquake off the Indonesian coast, devastate coastal communities in the south and in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

2005       7 April - Bus services, the first in 60 years, operate between Srinagar in Indian-administered Kashmir and Muzaffarabad in Pakistani-administered Kashmir.

2005       July - More than 1,000 people are killed in floods and landslides caused by monsoon rains in Mumbai (Bombay) and Maharashtra region.

2005        October - An earthquake, with its epicentre in Pakistani-administered Kashmir, kills more than 1,000 people in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Bombs kill 62 people in Delhi. A little-known Kashmiri group says it is behind the attacks.

2006        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        May - Suspected Islamic militants kill 35 Hindus in the worst attacks in Indian-administered Kashmir for several months.

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.


2007       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.

2008        July - Congress-led coalition survives vote of confidence brought after left-wing parties withdraw their support over controversial nuclear cooperation deal with US. After the vote, several left-wing and regional parties form new alliance to oppose government, saying it has been tainted by corruption.

2008        July - Series of explosions kills 49 in Ahmedabad, in Gujarat state. The little-known 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.

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. India blames militants from Pakistan for the attacks and demands that Islamabad act against those responsible.

2008         December - India announces "pause" in peace process with Pakistan. Indian cricket team cancels planned tour of Pakistan.

2009         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.

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.

2010         February - Bomb explosion in a restaurant popular with tourists in Pune, in the western state of Maharashtra, kills 16 people.

2010         May - The sole 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 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.

2011         March - Results of 2011 census put India's population at 1.21bn, an increase of 181 million over ten years.

India overtakes China to become the world's largest importer of arms, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

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 in one of India's biggest ever corruption scandals - a telecoms deal alleged to have involved the selling of mobile phone licenses at knock-down prices in exchange for bribes.

2012         January - Threats by Islamic extremists force British author Sir Salman Rushdie first to cancel his visit to the prestigious Jaipur Literary Festival, then to drop a video appearance. The extremists object to his book The Satanic Verses, which is banned in India.

2012         May - Manmohan Singh pays first official visit to Burma by an Indian prime minister since 1987. He signs agreements aimed at providing border area development and an Indian credit line.

2012         June - Police in Delhi arrest a key figure allegedly involved in planning the 2008 Mumbai attacks. They say Abu Hamza, also known as Syed Zabiuddin, was the "handler" of the 10 gunmen.

2012         July - Pranab Mukherjee from the ruling Congress party is elected as president, comfortably beating his rival P.A. Sangma.

2012         August - Court convicts 32 people over the 2002 religious riots in Gujarat and acquits 29 others. Among those convicted in the Naroda Patiya killings in Ahmedabad are former state minister Maya Kodnani and Babu Bajrangi, a former leader of the militant Hindu group Bajrang Dal.

2012         September - The West Bengal left-wing All India Trinamool Congress withdraws from the coalition government over plans to allow foreign supermarket giants to operate in India and cuts to fuel subsidies. Prime Minister Singh says the supermarket move is needed to increase foreign investment, despite widespread protests by shopkeepers.

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          December - The rape and murder of a young woman in Delhi triggers nationwide protests and a debate about sexual violence.

2013          February - Two explosions in crowded Dilsukhnagar area of central Hyderabad kill 16 people. Police suspect the Indian Mujahideen Islamist armed group.


© 2018 Mount St. Mary's University - Phillips Library
Library Home | Library Admin | Worldshare Admin | Mobile Site