Around 10,000 years ago, people living along the banks of the river Narmada were skilled gatherers and hunters, who hunted animals and collected fruits and plants from their surrounding area. They used to move from place to place in search of food and were known as nomads.
About 8000 years ago, people started settling down and formed villages around the Kirthar and Sulaiman hills. Agriculture was also practised by people who settled in the Garo hills and the Vindhyas. Studies about the ancient past reveal that about four thousand seven hundred years ago, cities like Mohenjodaro and Harappa developed along the banks of the river Indus and its tributaries, the Chenab, Ravi, Jhelum, Beas and Sutlej. The cities built during this period were so advanced that they had drainage system and wells.
2, 500 years ago, cities started flourishing along the banks of the Ganga and its tributaries, such as the Son. In the ancient past, people travelled for reasons such as livelihood, trade and commerce, or to avoid natural disasters such as droughts and floods.
They walked or used animals, individually or in caravans, which are nothing but processions of animals like mules, camels or donkeys travelling in a straight file. Or they travelled by ships.
The Indian subcontinent is surrounded by natural frontiers like the Himalayas, the Thar Desert, the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. The area south of the Ganga was the site of a kingdom called Magadh. The Iranians and the Greeks who entered India from the north-west were familiar with the river Indus.
The region to the east of the river Indus is called India. The word India has been derived from the name of the river Indus. The other name of India is Bharat, which has been derived from the word ‘Bharata’. It was used to refer to the people living in the north-western part of India, and was later adopted for the entire country.