Role of Geographical Factors in Shaping History

In order to understand History of India, role of geography and its factors must included in curriculum. Let us have a look on different aspects of geograpical factors that has played a crucial role in giving shape to the History of India.

Role of Himalaya

  1. The Himalayas act as barrier to Siberian cold winds. Because of this, climate in North India has been comparatively warm & this warmer climate played important role in growth of Flora & Fauna. It’s suitable for human life so density of population in India has greater than China & others.
  2. Himalayan Mountain acts as barrier to foreign invaders. Though out Indian History no-invasion was witnessed from Chinese side except 1962 because Himalayas are almost impossible to cross Himalaya with large group.
  3. Through Himalaya Range is almost un-crossable found throughout Himalayan range have enabled socio-cultural & economic contact of India with outside world.
  4. The Himalaya is sources of number of perennial rivers & these rivers having the credos of culture & civilization of India throughout ages.

Role of Other Hills & Mountain

  1. Hills & Mountain divided India into number of geographical regions. As result of this regional culture emerged in India.
  2. Vindhyas have ensured that political military development going on in North India didn’t have much impact on life of peninsular India.
  3. Because of this Indian culture continued to flourish in India even if north India conquered by Turks.
  4. Aravalis have divided Western India into number of small pockets because of this Western India has also seen existence of large number of principalities. These Rajput states were almost equal in strength that is why political unification was rare in Rajputana throughout history.
  5. Because of Hilly-terrain, the Marathas could fight successfully against mighty Mughal by using Guerilla.

Role of Fertile Plains

  1. The availability of extensive fertile plains in North India has ensured that large emperors emerged in North.
  2. Throughout Indian History there has been not single extensive when a power could rule over whole India by starting south. Whoever controls North India could control south but opposite could never see because of the resource provided by fertile plains.
  3. French failed because their focus on south when captured Bengal it became almost invisible & it was conquest of Bengal that sealed faith of India.
  4. It is because of availability of extensive fertile plain, capital of India always located between Lahore to Calcutta.

Role of minerals, forest & other natural resource

  1. The resource availability has left lustering impact on direction powerful empire emerged in those areas where national resource available in plenty.
  2. The Magadha Empire war far more successful than the fifteen other Mahajanpada because of the availability of iron mine timber & other natural resource in Magadha region.
  3. Availability of iron allowed Magadha ruler to use iron weapon on large scale. Their army was far more successful.

Role of Climate

  1. The warmer climate of North India when compared with trans-Himalayan regions had ensured that most of vegetation & human population could continue to flourish throughout.
  2. The extreme climate of Himalayan region has ensured that people. Density remained very low. The natural vegetation & other form of wild life could continue to survive in such low people density area.

Role of Rivers

  1. The alluvial soil brought by river has formed the extensive fertile plains in India. These plains have provided resource for continuation of human life throughout ages.
  2. The rivers are narrow in foothills of mountain. These narrow rivers could be easily crossed without boats & other technology so early men settles in foothills of mountain.
  3. Rivers in plains are prone to flooding. These were almost impossible to cross by early men that is why the Gangetic Plains were occupied by lacs of years by stone-age man only during Mesolithic age (8000 BC – 5000 BC) men started setting in Gangetic plains.
  4. Rivers provided water for drinking as well as agriculture that is why the culture & civilization emerged in river vallies during ancient time.
  5. River also acted as political boundary throughout Indian History.

Role of Coast

  1. The coastal area has witnessed maximum interaction with outside world because this socio-cultural life in coastal region has been cosmopolitan in char.
  2. The people living in coastal area have been liberal & progressive throughout.
  3. The rigidity of feudal society is absent in coastal region.
  4. The extensive Indian coastline has allowed India to maintain trade and commerce with outside world throughout ages. Even when overland trade route obstructed due to politico-military development, sea route remained open.
  5. It was because of this reason, Harrappan civilization continued to flourish in Gujarat region for many centuries after its decline in north western part.
  6. The foreigners coming from Arab & Europe reached peninsular India before their arrival in north because of facilities provided by parts located on Indian cost.

Role of Monsoon/Rainfall

  1. The distribution of rainfall also affected the course of Indian History in many wars.
  2. Monsoon rainfall reduces from east to west that is why density of forest follows same pattern.
  3. Areas of moderate rainfall have been mostly density populated because their suitability for agriculture.
  4. The development in ram shadow region of Maharashtra has been quite low since age because in absence of sufficient rainfall agriculture could not progress. Similar has been the picture in Gujarat Rajasthan region where rainfall is extensive limited.

Geographical factors & political fragmentation of India

  1. India has continental char because of extensively geographical spread the rulers in India have faced great difficulty throughout ages in caring out political unification.
  2. Except Mauryan & Gupta (Imperial) age political fragmentation character Indian History throughout Ancient age.
  3. Because of extensive geographical spread Indian rulers could get locate time to look for colonics outside India or to subjugate Trans-Hindus Kush region. On other hand foreign invasions have been for more frequent throughout Indian History.

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