The History of India begins with the birth of the Indus Valley Civilization in such sites as Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa, and Lothal, and the coming of the Aryans. These two phases are usually described as the pre-Vedic and Vedic periods. It is in the Vedic period that Hinduism first arose: this is the time to which the Vedas are dated. In the fifth century, large parts of India were united under Ashoka. He also converted to Buddhism, and it is in his reign that Buddhism spread to o their parts of Asia. It is in the reign of the Mauryas that Hinduism took the shape that fundamentally informs the religion down to the present day. Successor states were more fragmented.
Islam first came to India in the eighth century, and by the 11th century had firmly established itself in India as a political force; the North Indian dynasties of the Lodhis, Tughlaqs, and numerous others, whose remains are visible in Delhi and scattered elsewhere around North India, were finally succeeded by the Mughal empire, under which India once again achieved a large measure of political unity. The European presence in India dates to the seventeenth century, and it is in the latter part of this century that the Mughal Empire began to disintegrate, paving the way for regional states. In the contest for supremacy, the English emerged 'victors', their rule marked by the conquests at the battlefields of Plassey and Buxar. The Rebellion of 1857-58, which sought to restore Indian supremacy, was crushed; and with the subsequent crowning of Victoria as Empress of India, the incorporation of India into the empire was complete. Successive campaigns had the effect of driving the British out of India in 1947.