The Aryans came to India in several waves. The earliest wave is represented by the Rig Vedic people who appeared in the subcontinent in about 1500 BC. They came into conflict with the indigenous inhabitants called the Dravidians mentioned as Dasa or Dasyus in Rig Veda. The Rig Veda mentions the defeat of Sambara by Divodasa, who belonged to the Bharata clan. Possibly the Dasyus in the Rig Veda represent the original inhabitants of the country, and an Aryan chief who overpowered them was called Trasadvasyu. The Aryan chief was soft towards the Dasas, but strongly hostile to the Dasyus. The term Dasyuhatya, slaughter of the Dasyus, is repeatedly mentioned in the Rig Veda.
Some of the chief tribes of the period were Yadu, Turvasu, Druhyu, Anu Puru, Kuru, Panchala, Bharata and Tritsu. Among the inter-tribal conflicts the most important was the ‘Battle of the Ten Kings.’
Important points to remember:
- The group of Indo-Europeans who moved to Persia and India are known to Aryans
- The Aryans are the original inhabitants of Central Asia.
- They arrived in India around 1500 BC, though there is an ongoing debate.
- The region where the Aryans settled in India was called Sapta Sindhu (also referred to as the Brahmavarta)
- The Aryans established themselves in India by defeating the natives whom they called Dasas or Dasyus
- The period when the Aryans first settled in India, is known as Early Vedic Period (1500 BC to 1000 BC)
- The Aryans spread to Indo-Gangetic plains in the later Vedic Period and this region came to be known as Aryavarta (1000 BC to 600 BC)
- The Aryans were the first people in India to know the use of iron and brought horses along with them.