General facts and information about the Vedic Period

Vedic Period came after the destruction of Indus valley civilization. This period is called vedic because the four Vedas were composed during this time. In this time the Aryans entered in India. There are many conflicts about the origin of Aryans. Though it is believed that Aryans were semi namadic pastoral people and originated from the area of Caspian sea in central Asia. They entered in India through Khyber pass of the hindukush mountain. Vedic period (BC 1500-600) is divided into two periods-early vedic period (BC 1500-1000) and Late vedic period (BC 1000-600).
Early Vedic Period
map of india during vedic period
Map of India during Vedic Period

  • Aryans first settled in the west-north side of India ( Afghanistan, Punjab,Uttar Pradesh). Mainly in the land of of seven rivers.
  • During this time there were no big kingdoms. People lived in the tribes or small kingdoms. There were families or kulas headed by kulapati, villages or grama headed by grammi.
  • Women had a respectable place in the society. They had the right for education and to participate in religious ceremonies.
  • Four Vedas -rig, sama, yajur, atharva were written during this time. Rig Veda is the oldest religious text. It contains the prayers of God and gayatri mantra. Sama Veda deals with the music. Yajur Veda has the procedures for the performance of sacrifices.  Atharva Veda deals with medicines.
  • At that time cattle were used as currency. Gold and silver were used to make jewellery. Agriculture and cattle rearing were the main profession at that time.
  • During this time four fold caste system ( brahmin, kshatriyas, vaishyas, shudras ) was existed. Brahmins were prist, teachers. Kshatriyas were rulers,solders. Vaishyas were traders. Shudras were workers.
Later or post vedic period
  • Aryans expanded their area and they entered in the gangatic plains also.
  • During this time small kingdoms became large. Large kingdoms like kosala, jury, magadha, kasi etc came into existence. Several wars were occurred during this time.
  • Women lost their social status and dignity in the society. They were not allowed to participate in the public affairs.
  • Kings became very powerful. The gap between Kshatriyas and vaishyas increased.
  • Besides agriculture, trading was increased. External trading was also seen in this time.
  • Several royal ceremonies - rajasuya, vajapeya, ashvamedha yagna were performed at that time by the kings.