(Last Updated on : 06/08/2009)
India has a rich and colourful history, and it is a treasure trove of earliest chronicle. Different parts of the subcontinent have different histories and legends. Historians discover the historical aspects of various regions of the country through diverse sources. Indian history has a past of over thousands of years. The history of India is evident in several forms. Sources of History of India are the evidences that relate the origin of earliest civilisations, their culture and their beliefs. Sources are important to trace the ancient records. These are vital for the historians as they get their information about what happened in the past. The sources belong to two types, both written and non-written and throw light to the relevance of the historical facts. These sources comprise of coins and coinages, manuscripts, texts and the archeological survey.
Indian Coins and Coinage
is the one of the best Sources of History of India. Coins provide information on the condition of country. Several coins are available that confirm the origin of earliest civilisation, kings and kingdoms. The coins existed are made of gold, silver and copper speak of the economic situation of that place in the period. Coins are essential that provide chronological information. These coins and coinage are the only source to provide idea of the Bactarian, Indo-Greeks and Indo-Parthian dynasty and the relation of the Roman Empire with the Indians. In addition to that coins also provide information on the coin artistry of India, various Portraits and figures and about the Hellenistic art.
Among the copious Sources of History of India, Indian Manuscripts
play a vital role and help in locating the earliest history of a place. The manuscripts are rich sources of written evidences. A manuscript is a document that is written by hand and offers information that is hand-recorded in other ways than writing. Ancient Texts
also provide abundant information about the existing rulers, their supremacy and their reign. They also provide idea on the how to carry on a disciplined lifestyle. The four Vedas, the Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda belong to the ancient Indian texts. Other ancient texts comprise of the Brahmanas, the Aryankas, the Upanishads, the Epics Ramayana and Mahabharatha, the Brahmashastras and the Puranas.
Archaeology of India
is the scientific study of the remains of the past. This study is considered to be essential among the Sources of History of India. This study is the study of buildings monuments and other material relics. Excavations are conducted at various sites in the country to collect facts about the past details of the country. For instance the archaeological survey at Taxila gives an idea about the Kushanas. The rock cut temples of Ajanta and Ellora and its sculptures and paintings are archeological sources.
The Archaeological Survey of India
is the premier organization for the archaeological researches and protection of the cultural heritage of the nation. The archeological survey form Sources of History of India. The survey looks after the maintenance of ancient monuments and archaeological sites and remains of the country. The organization has a large work force of trained archaeologists, conservators, epigraphist, architects and scientists for conducting archaeological research projects throughout the country.