India 1200 B.C.E.–100 C.E.

The Indian subcontinent, as depicted in this map, developed as a distinct cultural zone, with different language and social traditions than its Asian neighbors China and the Middle East. The earliest settlements in this region centered around Harappa and the Indus Valley. Alexander the Great, leading a powerful army, invaded the subcontinent in 326 B.C.E. Despite winning early victories, Alexander's armies eventually revolted, refusing to move further east into India. At this point, the army traveled south along the Indus before beginning to move away from India, back through the deserts of the Middle East. Also depicted on the map is the journey of Rama (see the Ramayana of Valmiki, NAWOL, Volume A, Section II). This important figure in the Hindu tradition spent many years in exile before returning to be crowned king in Ayodhya, his home city.