How Did the Aryans Influence India?

The Aryans, who invaded northern India around 1500 B.C.E., changed the local culture in myriad ways, chielfy by introducing Indians to horses and cattle, as well as Aryan gods and language. Originally part of the large Indo-European group, Aryans were nomadic. They raised livestock as they moved from place to place.

Prior to the arrival of the Aryans, the people who lived in the Indus Valley lived an agricultural existence. Their cities were sophisticated, and their wares, including jewelry and pottery, were advanced. In addition to creating artworks in the form of sculpture, they boasted their own form of written language. Their religion was similar to Hinduism, albeit a more primitive version.

When the Aryans arrived, most likely traveling from modern Russia, they brought a culture of ferocity and war as well as their warrior deities. They called themselves the “superior ones” or “noble ones.” According to many historians, the Aryans enslaved a number of the native people in the valley and killed many more to send the message that they were not to be crossed. To other historians, their arrival was less an invasion than a mingling of cultures.

While the Aryans left a lasting impact on India, the region changed them as well. After spending centuries as nomads, the Aryans began settling down and farming the land.