The first contact the Europeans made with the India was during the reign of legendary world conqueror Alexander the great who crossed Hindu Kush Mountain Range and fought to establish Greek supremacy in Northwestern India. He defeated Raja Porus after a hard fought battle but due to a mutiny his journey to further expand his empire into Indian continent fell short.
The discovery of America was actually due to the efforts of the European explorers to seek a new trade route towards India. Portuguese sailor Vasco da Gama became the first European to reach India. Initially European colonial empires of Portugal, Dutch empire and later the French entered into the saga of capitulating India but British east India Company outmatched them all.
Condition of India at the advent of European Powers
At this time the Mughal empire has started to crumble after the death of the Aurangzeb Alammgir.War of succession between his son lead to slow decline of the central power in India.
The Sultan of Iran Nadir Shah attacked India in 1738 which resulted in disastrous Mughal defeat and capitulation of proved that Delhi has lost and mughals are no longer the masters of India.
Shivaji was a charismatic leader of Maratha who was able gain huge territorial gains on the expense of Mughal empire in both North and South India.
Maratha were now the virtual rulers of India around the mid 1800s,but at the Third Battle of Paniput the Maratha force was decimated by the Afghan horde of Ahmed Shah Durrani.
The “split India” was divided into many belligerent states which fought each of them for supremacy but none of them was strong enough to take the control of whole subcontinent
Timeline of East India Company’s Exploits
1751 Robert Clive seizes Arcot
1757 Battle of Plassey Gain of Bengal
1764: British defeat the weak Mughal Emperor at Battle of Buxar to become rulers of Bengal
1792 Cornwell defeats Tipu Sahab
1799 the the last stronghold of the Mysore’s Srirangapattinam is lost to Company Bahadur
1803 Second Anglo-Maratha and the Christian capture of Delhi
1809 treaty of Amritsar , marking the boundaries between Sikhs in Punjab and Britishers
1843 Conquest of Sind
1846 British dominion over Kashmir is established at the expense of Sikh kingdom
1849-1856 Second Anglo Sikh war
Annexation of punjab and NWFP(North West Frontier Provine) now KP Kyhber Pakhtunkhwa
The so called Mutiny of 1857
In Indian history war of independence is celebrated as an important milestone in the struggle against western imperialism. The war was fought by both Hindus and Muslims side by side which is itself a rare occurrence. The war started due to the mistreatment of Indian princely elite by the British east India Company. The situation was further aggravated when British officers commanded their soldiers to use tallow and lad-greased cartridges. A great number of aboriginal Sepoys deserted the service of foreign military commanders. The company outmaneuvered the native Indian resistance by superior military technology and modern military warfare mechanism.
1858 End of East India Rule
1858 The Raj