Pre-Historic period upto Palaeolithic Period

India was inhabited by humans thousands of years ahead of the development of civilization. There are evidences that the homo erectus, one of the earliest of human species, had reached India before the Middle Pleistocene Period (730,000 – 130,000 years). Hand axes, the stone tool they used, have been found from Pahlgam in Kashmir, from sites in South India like Hungsi Valley (Karnataka), Attirampakkam near Chennai in Tamil Nadu, from Didwana in Rajasthan and Nevasa in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. The skull of homo eructus obtained from the Narmada Valley is more than 130,000 years old. The modern human migrating from Africa onto far away lands reached Australian shores moving across Indian land mass. That was some 50,000 years ago, during what is known as the Upper Palaeolithic period. The stone weapons used by those humans have been excavated from places like Renigunta in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, Shorapur Doab of Karnataka, Buddha Pushkar of Rajasthan, Belan Valley of Central India.

It is an accomplished fact that the Indian land mass was the abode of humans far ahead of the origin and development of recorded civilizations like the Indus Valley one. Anthropologists and other experts have collected evidences of the presence in Kashmir, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, of the species homo erectus, one of the most ancient of human types (of the geologic Middle Pleistocene Period, 730,000 to 130,000 years). The next major finds are of the migration from Africa along the coastal lines of the Indian Ocean, some 65,000 years ago, leaving genetic imprint all along their route. Modern human migrations have left skeletal fossils, weapons and other tools along a wide area covering the Narmada Valley and the Uttar Pradesh, representing the Mesolithic culture. Figures of humans holding weapons like clubs are seen in the drawings of Bheembetka in Madhya Pradesh. They are also significant, and they represent the period of 25,000 to 10,000 years. Whether the original inhabitants of India were replaced by more modern immigrants is a question being debated even today, according to certain experts.

The Neolithic period in India is represented by remains dating to 7000-4000 BC, indicating the development of village communities and of agriculture. In another discovery, cultivation of barley and wheat was established, dating between 5000 and 4000 BC., and by about 3000 BC, a vast area from Kashmir to Karnataka flourished under the Neolithic cultures.