The arrival of Indo-Aryans in the northeastern Indian subcontinent caused many debates among scholars and historians. Some believed the Indo-Aryans to be the natives of that region, while others thought that they migrated from Central Asia.
Indo-Aryan tribes migrated after 2000 BCE, and their expansion in the Indian subcontinent took place between 1800 BCE and 1000 BCE.
The arrival of Indo-Aryans caused many changes in those times. It is believed that the Harappan Period came to an unfortunate end soon after the arrival of Indo-Aryans. The Vedic Period began to spread from the northeastern Indian subcontinent around that time.
This makes it important to understand their reasons for migration and their causes for settlement in that region, which paved the way for the Vedic Period.
The Arrival of the Indo-Aryans
The Indo-Aryans are believed to be semi-nomadic, and their migration is still a topic of debate. It is tough to name their place of origin. Some thought it to be Central Asia; others said regions around Russia, and some said it’s further north, near the Arctic region.
But one thing they found to be common was that the Indo-Aryans migrated from the north of the continent to the south, near the northeastern part of India, which was home to the Indus Valley and Ganges plains.
The Indo-Aryans arrived around the late Harappan Period and soon marked the end of the Indus Valley Civilization. This led to the spread of the Vedic Period from Indo-Gangetic plains. Indo-Aryans have influenced scriptures, religion, and various conducts of the early Vedic period.
Reason for Migration
As per the scriptures of Rig Veda, the oldest Hindu scripture in Vedic Sanskrit, and other excavations, the Indo-Aryans migrated due to religious persecution, climatic and environmental changes. Due to a lack of actual evidence, these sources are not considered reliable.
Some say that the Indo-Aryans came with force and military spirit and occupied the places around the Indus Valley of northeastern India like skilled warriors. Some others thought they believed in harmony and settled alongside the people of Indus Valley Civilization in a well-administered way, trading their beliefs, knowledge, and goods.
It is believed that they had a good relationship with the traders of India, through which they adapted themselves to the crowd of non-Aryans.
Causes of Settlement
There are several reasons behind the Indo-Aryans’ decision to settle in India. Some of them are listed below.
- Easy cooperation with Indians
- Well-maintained administration
- A less-oppressive attitude towards the Indo-Aryans.
However, it was evident that there would be clashes because of the difference in opinions regarding religion, beliefs and origins. All this led to many changes in society, some positive, such as improvements in agriculture, politics and economics.
Influence over the Early Vedic Period
- The Vedic period started gaining importance after the decline of the Harappan Civilization. The Indo-Aryans and their traditions left a mark on the early and late Vedic periods.
- Indo-Aryans brought their religion and literature with them. It is believed that the language spoken by the Indo-Aryans when they first arrived in the Indian subcontinent had a significant influence on the local language.
- The earliest and oldest Hindu scripture, Rig Veda, covers changes in ancient India during the Vedic period in Sanskrit.
- Rig Veda also highlights the religious belief of that time, the origin of nature, the belief in various gods, and the prosperity in nature.
- Ancient Vedic Sanskrit language shows conflicts and early hostilities between people and their struggles. These verses show the progress of faith and reformation.
- Over time, the Indo-Aryans adopted an agricultural lifestyle. You can see their growth from their initial use of cattle, sheep and goat rearing and use of pottery and carpentry in the later Vedic Period.
- Rivers were used for transportation, and chariots were constructed to ease travel.
- Agricultural practices heavily influenced the way people lived, and it became important to trade for the benefits gained from interacting with people from different tribes and regions.
The Indo-Aryans migrated and settled in the northeastern part of the Indian subcontinent, believed to be close to the Ganges plain and the Indus Valley. They migrated during the late Harappan Civilization and are believed to have contributed to its end. After that, the Vedic period spread from the Indo-Gangetic plains.
The oldest Hindu scripture, Rig Veda, was composed in the early Vedic period. This was the time when the Indo-Aryans migrated to India. This period saw the rise of languages and religious interactions among people.