Author Topic: History Behind Bangladesh!!  (Read 5692 times)

M.M. Hasan Parvez

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History Behind Bangladesh!!
« on: May 03, 2012, 12:57:12 PM »
Etymology of Bengal:

The exact origin of the word Bangla or Bengal is unknown. According to Mahabharata, Purana, Harivamsha Vanga was one of the adopted sons of king Vali who founded the Vanga kingdom. The earliest reference to "Vangala" (B?ngal) has been traced in the Nesari plates (805 AD) of Rashtrakuta Govinda III which speak of Dharmapala as the king of Vangala. Shams-ud-din Ilyas Shah took the title "Shah-e-Bangalah" and united the whole region under one government for the first time.

Vanga Kingdom (also known as Banga) was a kingdom located in the eastern part of the Indian Subcontinent, comprising part of West Bengal, India and present-day modern Bangladesh. Vanga and Pundra were two dominant tribes in Bangladesh in ancient time. The Hindu epic Mahabharata mentions that the Vanga and Pundra kings took part in the battle of Kurukshetra. Kouravas and Pandavas fought this battle near Delhi about three thousand years back.

Pre-historic Bengal

Bengal in mythology


Some references indicate that the early people in Bengal were different in ethnicity and culture from the Vedic beyond the boundary of Aryandom and who were classed as 'Dasyus'. The Bhagavata Purana classes them as sinful people while Dharmasutra of Bodhayana prescribes expiatory rites after a journey among the Pundras and Vangas. Mahabharata speaks of Paundraka Vasudeva who was lord of the Pundrasand who allied himself with Jarasandha against Krishna. Mahabharata also speaks of Bengali kings called Chitrasena and Sanudrasena who were defeated by Bhima. Kalidas mentions that Raghu defeated a coalition of Vanga kings and established a victory column in the Gangetic delta.

Proto-History File:
BD Mahasthangarh1.Mahasthangarh is the oldest archaeological site in Bangladesh. It dates back to 700 BCE and was the ancient capital of the Pundra Kingdom. Hindu scriptures such as the Mahabharata say that Bangladesh was divided among the Janapadas: Vanga Kingdom|Vanga (southern Bengal), Pundra Kingdom|Pundra (northern Bengal), and Suhma Kingdom|Suhma (western Bengal) according to their respective totems. Scriptures identify Vanga and Anga in Bangladesh as Indo-Aryan[citation needed]. While western Bangladesh, as part of Magadha, became part of the Indo-Aryan civilization by the 7th century BCE, the Nanda Dynasty was the first historical state to unify all of Bangladesh under Indo-Aryan rule.   (To be continue..)

source: Wikipedia
« Last Edit: May 03, 2012, 01:02:54 PM by Parvez »
M.M Hasan Parvez
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M.M. Hasan Parvez

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Re: History Behind Bangladesh!!
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2012, 09:56:01 AM »
Overseas Colonization

The Vanga Kingdom was a powerful seafaring nation of Ancient India. They had overseas trade relations with Java, Sumatra and Siam (modern day Thailand). According to Mahavamsa, the Vanga prince Vijaya Singha conquered Lanka (modern day Sri Lanka) in 544 BC and gave the name "Sinhala" to the country. Bengali people migrated to the Maritime Southeast Asia and Siam (in modern Thailand), establishing their own colonies there.


Gangaridai Empire

Asia in 323BC, the Nanda Empire and Gangaridai Empire in relation to Alexander's Empire and neighbors.

Though north and west Bengal were part of the Magadhan empire southern Bengal thrived and became powerful with her overseas trades. In 326 BCE, with the invasion of Alexander the Great the region again came to prominence. The Greek and Latin historians suggested that Alexander the Great withdrew from India anticipating the valiant counter attack of the mighty Gangaridai empire that was located in the Bengal region. Alexander, after the meeting with his officer, Coenus, was convinced that it was better to return. Diodorus Siculus mentions Gangaridai to be the most powerful empire in India whose king possessed an army of 20,000 horses, 200,000 infantry, 2,000 chariots and 4,000 elephants trained and equipped for war. The allied forces of Gangaridai Empire and Nanda Empire (Prasii) were preparing a massive counter attack against the forces of Alexander on the banks of Ganges. Gangaridai, according to the Greek accounts, kept on flourishing at least up to the 1st century AD. (To be continue..)
Source: wikipedia
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History Behind Bangladesh!!
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2012, 12:34:23 PM »
Early Middle Ages

The pre-Gupta period of Bengal is shrouded with obscurity. Before the conquest of Samudragupta Bengal was divided into two kingdoms: Pushkarana and Samatata. Chandragupta II had defeated a confederacy of Vanga kings resulting in Bengal becoming part of the Gupta Empire.
Gauda Kingdom

By the 6th century, the Gupta Empire ruling over the northern Indian subcontinent was largely broken up. Eastern Bengal became the Vanga Kingdom while the Gauda kings rose in the west with their capital at Karnasuvarna (Murshidabad). Shashanka, a vassal of the last Gupta Empire became independent and unified the smaller principalities of Bengal (Gaur, Vanga, Samatata) and vied for regional power with Harshavardhana in northern India. But this burst of Bengali power did not last beyond his death, as Bengal descended afterwards into a period marked by disunity and foreign invasion. The development of the Bengali calendar is also often attributed to Shashanka as the starting date falls squarely within his reign(600 AD?626 AD).  ( To be continue.....)

source: wikipedia
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History Behind Bangladesh!!
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2012, 11:02:46 AM »
The Pala dynasty
Main article: Pala Empire
      
(Pala Empire under Dharmapala,Pala Empire under Devapala)

Pala dynasty were the first independent Buddhist dynasty of Bengal. The name Pala (Modern Bengali: পাল pal) means protector and was used as an ending to the names of all Pala monarchs. The Palas were followers of the Mahayana and Tantric schools of Buddhism. Gopala was the first ruler from the dynasty. He came to power in 750 in Gaur by a democratic election. This event is recognized as one of the first democratic elections in South Asia since the time of the Mahā Janapadas. He reigned from 750-770 and consolidated his position by extending his control over all of Bengal. The Buddhist dynasty lasted for four centuries (750-1120 AD) and ushered in a period of stability and prosperity in Bengal. They created many temples and works of art as well as supported the Universities of Nalanda and Vikramashila. Somapura Mahavihara built by Dharmapala is the greatest Buddhist Vihara in the Indian Subcontinent.
Somapura Mahavihara in Bangladesh is the greatest Buddhist Vihara in the Indian Subcontinent, built by Dharmapala.

The empire reached its peak under Dharmapala and Devapala. Dharmapala extended the empire into the northern parts of the Indian Subcontinent. This triggered once more for the control of the subcontinent. Devapala, successor of Dharmapala, expanded the empire to cover much of South Asia and beyond. His empire stretched from Assam and Utkala in the east, Kamboja (modern day Afghanistan) in the north-west and Deccan in the south. According to Pala copperplate inscription Devapala exterminated the Utkalas, conquered the Pragjyotisha (Assam), shattered the pride of the Huna, and humbled the lords of Gurjara, Pratiharas and the Dravidas.
Buddha and Bodhisattvas, 11th century, Pala Empire

The death of Devapala ended the period of ascendancy of the Pala Empire and several independent dynasties and kingdoms emerged during this time. However, Mahipala I rejuvenated the reign of the Palas. He recovered control over all of Bengal and expanded the empire. He survived the invasions of Rajendra Chola and the Chalukyas. After Mahipala I the Pala dynasty again saw its decline until Ramapala, the last great ruler of the dynasty, managed to retrieve the position of the dynasty to some extent. He crushed the Varendra rebellion and extended his empire farther to Kamarupa, Orissa and Northern India.

The Pala Empire can be considered as the golden era of Bengal. Never had the Bengali people reached such height of power and glory to that extent. Palas were responsible for the introduction of Mahayana Buddhism in Tibet, Bhutan and Myanmar. The Pala had extensive trade as well as influence in south-east Asia. This can be seen in the sculptures and architectural style of the Sailendra Empire (present-day Malaya, Java, Sumatra).    ( To be continue.....)
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History Behind Bangladesh!!
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2012, 11:04:29 AM »
Sena dynasty
Main article: Sena Empire

The Palas were followed by the Sena dynasty who brought Bengal under one ruler during the 12th century. Vijay Sen the second ruler of this dynasty defeated the last Pala emperor Madanapala and established his reign. Ballal Sena introduced caste system in Bengal and made Nabadwip the capital. The fourth king of this dynasty Lakshman Sen expanded the empire beyond Bengal to Bihar. Lakshman fled to eastern Bengal under the onslaught of the Muslims without facing them in battle. The Sena dynasty brought a period of revival in Hinduism in Bengal. A popular myth comprehended by some Bengali authors about Jayadeva, the famous Sanskrit poet of Orissa (then known as the Kalinga) and author of Gita Govinda, was one of the Pancharatnas (meaning 5 gems) in the court of Lakshman Sen (although this may be disputed by some).
( to be continue..)
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Re: History Behind Bangladesh!!
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2012, 11:05:20 AM »
Late Middle Ages - arrival of Islam

Islam made its first appearance in Bengal during the 12th century when Sufi missionaries arrived. Beginning in 1202, a military commander from the Delhi Sultanate, Bakhtiar Khilji, overran Bihar and Bengal as far east as Rangpur, Bogra and the Brahmaputra River. The defeated Laksman Sen and his two sons moved to a place then called Vikramapur (present-day Munshiganj District), where their diminished dominion lasted until the late 13th century.

Hindu states continued to exist in the Southern and the Eastern parts of Bengal till the 1450s such as the Deva dynasty. Also, the Ganesha dynasty began with Raja Ganesha in 1414, but his successors converted to Islam. There were several independent Hindu states established in Bengal during the Mughal period like those of Maharaja Pratapaditya of Jessore and Raja Sitaram Ray of Burdwan. These kingdoms contributed a lot to the economic and cultural landscape of Bengal. Extensive land reclamations in forested and marshy areas were carried out and intrastate trade as well as commerce were highly encouraged. These kingdoms also helped introduce new music, painting, dancing and sculpture into Bengali art-forms as well as many temples were constructed during this period. Militarily, these served as bulwarks against Portuguese and Burmese attacks. Many of these kingdoms are recorded to have fallen during the late 1700s. While Koch Bihar Kingdom in the North, flourished during the period of 16th and the 17th centuries as well as weathered the Mughals also and survived till the advent of the British.  ( To be continue...)
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