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This question seems a bit off-topic to me even though I am daring to ask because it is a must to know. There are many believes that the present days Ayodhya, Kurukshetra, Ram Sethu and many other places are the same ones depicted in Hindu scriptures. But is there any strong evidence to prove that the Hindu culture is an ancient one?

Please share whatever you know.

The intent of this post is to know the oldest evidence related to Hinduism.

EDIT: I am not against Hinduism here. This question is just to show the world how ancient is Hinduism. So, please make everyone believe with a relevant source as evidence in your answer and stop debating with me in comments.

  • 4
    oldest 'archaeological' evidence is Indus valley civilization (contains Mother goddess figurine and Pashupati sketches who is supposedly Shiva). The dates of which vary and is highly debated from claims as long as 10,000 BCE to conservative estimates of 4000 BCE. – Vineet Menon Aug 7 '14 at 12:06
  • Yes there are lots and lots of evidences but even those evidences don't paint the full picture because origin of Hinduism is really very very old and nobody knows for sure that when did Hinduism actually begun. – Wisdom Aug 7 '14 at 16:02
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    Rama setu bridge between India and Srilanka dating back to 17,50,000 years!! krishna.org/… – user12458 Nov 8 '14 at 10:20
  • Rama empire existed 12000 years ago. By that time only Hinduism is very well developed so it must be far more years older than that no body knows when where and how it started as we know the origins of other religions – user2417 Feb 1 '15 at 4:28
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+200

Through out the world, every where, whenever researchers,archaeologists find shiva lingam from earth, they reach to the decision that hindu people may lived here before some time.

Shiva lingam is found from Omsk city Russia, Africa, Afghanistan, Ireland, Greece, Mongolia, Siberia, Vatican Rome, Vietnam,Itly, Petra Jordan, Sri lanka, India,Nepal,Mexico,Cambodia etc. <- Search on internet about their photos taken from archeologists.

The statues of Shiva Lingams were found in the archeological findings in Babylon, a city of ancient Mesopotamia

There is a Ancient Shiva temple in Tashkant, Uzbekistan. Ancient Vishnu Statue was found in Russia. Shiv Lings are excavated in Italy. There is a Hindu Temple in Baku, Azerbaijan. Is God Shiva not the Principle Deity all over SE Asia till Phillipines.

Most of the shiva lingas found are minimum 1000-5000 and some >5000 years old according to archaeologists.

Shiva in Islam

Islam also considers shiva as god, in mecca there is a shiva lingam whom they call Noor-e-ilahi, noor means light, we call the same jyoti, and ilahi means god, Jyotirlingam or noor -e ilahi.

Shiva in christianity

In church you will find candles, christ said God is light, the shape of candle's fire is the same shape of shivalingam, we call it jyotirlingam, jyoti means shape of fire.

Shiva in Sikhism

In sikh, guru said, Shiva is maha guru. Guru nanak said

Sat Shri Akal Ek Omakar

Ancient Shiva Temples

Do you know that Tang Dynastry in South Eastern China worshipped God Shiva. Japan too worships Ganesha,Shiva, Yama and Saraswati.

Search on internet, you will find many evidence from archeologiests.

America and Australia were not discovered, so they both left.

Also Note: Vedic Deities are present in many other religions, just names changed.

For Example:

  • YamaDev or Yamraj in hinduism and budhhist
  • Yima in Zoroastrianism
  • Yan in chinese
  • Yanluowang in japanese
  • Shinje in Tibetian
  • Ymir in Proto-Germanic
  • Hades in greek mythology
  • Yima Xšaēta in Iranian mythology
  • Orisis in Egyptian

Similarly Lord Ganesha has different names

Language - Name

  • Tamil -Pillaiyar
  • Barmi - MahaPiyennai
  • Bhot - Sogdadag
  • Mongolia- TvotKharun
  • Khagan - TvotKharun
  • Cambodia - Prahkenij
  • Chinese - Kuanshi Tien
  • Japanese - Kangi Nen

Country - Name and Avatar of Lord Ganesha

  1. Nepal - Sun Ganapati
  2. Myanmar - Maharshini
  3. Mongoliya - Gajamukh Dhyotkar
  4. Tibet - Sokprak
  5. Cambodia - Prashganesh, Prahkans
  6. Japan - Veenayakasha
  7. Javadheep - Kalantak
  8. Vietnam - Ganesha on Tortoise
  9. Bosnia - Ganesha with 4 arms and long hairs
  10. Iran(In Iorisban Area) - Ganesha with sword(This statue is in museum in Paris)
  11. Afghanistan - One statue with allidharoon- avatar
  12. Mexico - Gajamukha Human avatar
  13. Mexico - (In Kodhan) Lord Varuna
  14. Greece - Lord Janus with two faces - one look to future and another look to past

Also In one research of ISR, they did using Planetorium software, they found that Lord Rama's date of birth is 10th January 5114BC.

Also See Scientific Dating of Ramayana era

Ancient Idol of Lord Vishnu found during excavation in an old village in Russia’s Volga Region,

Please give your feedback.

  • 6
    that was a lot of research... – Mr. K Dec 26 '14 at 7:57
  • 1
    I don't think mentioning or comparing with other religions is appropriate here. please modify as necessary. – Mr_Green Apr 26 '16 at 8:01
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The worship of mother goddess is one of the three current forms of worship in Hinduism. There is well established archaeological evidence of continuous worship at Baghor from late upper paleolithic period (c. 9000–8000 BCE). This is the oldest archaeological evidence that is based on physical structures and not based on other forms of enquiry like linguistic evidence.

Reference:

Misra, V. N. "Prehistoric human colonization of India." Journal of Biosciences26.4 (2001): 491-531. [Online] available from here

Actual work:

Kenoyer, Jonathan M. Shell Working industries of the Indus civilization: an archaeological and ethnographic perspective. Diss. University of California, Berkeley, 1983.

Update:

6000 year old Lord Rama and Hanuman carvings found in Iraq

6000 year old Lord Rama and Hanuman carvings in Silemania, Iraq.

Temple of Ganesha Found all over the world

God Ganesha In world

Hinduism Decoding hindu-history-of-ancient-russia-and-europ(Greece/Italy)

from here

More than 8,000 Year Old Indian City Irradiated by Atomic Blast

Update:

Bhimbetka rock shelters

The Bhimbetka rock shelters are an archaeological site of the Paleolithic, exhibiting the earliest traces of human life on the Indian subcontinent, and thus the beginning of the South Asian Stone Age. It is located in the Raisen District in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, near Abdullaganj town and inside the Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary.

At least some of the shelters were inhabited by Homo erectus more than 100,000 years ago. Some of the Stone Age rock paintings found among the Bhimbetka rock shelters are approximately 30,000 years old. The caves also deliver early evidence of dance. They were declared a World Heritage Site in 2003.

The name Bhimbetka (भीमबैठका) is associated with Bhima, a hero-deity of the epic Mahabharata. The word Bhimbetka is said to derive from Bhimbaithka, meaning "sitting place of Bhima"

The rock shelters and caves of Bhimbetka have a large number of paintings. The oldest paintings are considered to be 30,000 years old

wiki of Bhimbetka rock shelters

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You can also refer to another question here for the places referenced in oldest scriptures and the oldest populated places according to archeological view also. Accordingly, Kashi (also called Banaras or Varanasi) is said to be the oldest populated place. Here is the reference extract from wikipedia article on Banaras:

The earliest known archaeological evidence suggests that settlement around Varanasi in the Ganga valley (the seat of Vedic religion and philosophy) began in the 11th or 12th century BC, placing it among the world's oldest continually inhabited cities. These archaeological remains suggest that the Varanasi area was populated by Vedic people. However, the Atharvaveda (the oldest known text referencing the city), which dates to approximately the same period, suggests that the area was populated by indigenous tribes. It is possible that archaeological evidence of these previous inhabitants has yet to be discovered. Recent excavations at Aktha and Ramnagar, two sites very near to Varanasi, show them to be from 1800 BC, suggesting Varanasi started to be inhabited by that time too.

  • Please add more information to make it a proper answer or convert it into comment as you have enough reputation to write a comment. At present this answer looks like a comment. – Kedarnath Dec 29 '14 at 13:18
  • @Kedarnath, I have now added more information in my answer. – Aby Dec 29 '14 at 16:03
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As per my knowledge, the oldest reference to the word Hinduism comes from the Prithviraj Raso, a historical romance attributed to Chanda Bardai where the word Hindus and Turks can be seen for the first time in certain versions of it. In "Geeta" as well, there is no reference to the word Hinduism. Instead, "Sanatana Dharma" has been used there. So, there is no clear reference to it being a religion but there are references of it being ethno-geographical. It has been used by Persians to differentiate themselves from the people living beyond Indus river. So, it has been a source of great debate for a long time as to who invented Hinduism. Britishers claim its invention and construction after 18th century AD but the topic is still highly debatable.

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If we take evidence from scriptures themselves, it will be a more strong evidence - rather than archeological etc.

I want to offer the following evidence.

  1. Narasimha Avatara came in Krita yuga. since that time, people were worshipping Lord Narasimha. the place where Lord Narasimha appeared is still existent, called Ahobilam in andhra pradesh. there are 9 temples for Lord Narasimha there and you can find the school of Prahalada too there.

    this krita yuga started around 9 x 432000 + 5000 = 3893000 years ago.

  2. Ramayana happened in treta yuga which is 5x432000+5000 = 2165000 yrs ago. the place from where Lord Rama ruled for 11000 yrs is Ayodhya which is still present

  3. Maharaja Kuru did a great yajna and tilled the land for producing good qualities. this place is called kurukshetra which is still present and worshipped.

  4. before Bhagavad gita was taught to Arjuna, Lord Krishna taught the same Bhagavad Gita to SUN god (vivasvan - refer sloka 4.1 of Gita). by vedic calculation this happened around 12 crore years back. Sun god taught Gita to his son Manu and Manu taught the same to his son Iksvaku. king Iksvaku is one of the forefathers of Lord Rama.

  5. All these events happen again and again as the cycle of creating/destroying universes keep happening....from the divine body of Lord Maha-Vishnu.

  • Narasimha Avatar happened in 4th Krita Yuga of this Manvantara. So, why did you multiply 4,32,000 with 9? Also, Rama Avatar happened in 24th Treta Yuga. So, why did you multiply 4,32,000 with 5? See discussion under this answer. You will know correct chronological order of events in Hinduism. – The Destroyer Dec 17 '15 at 11:38
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Baalbek is an incredible monument, standing on a hill in the Bekaa valley in Lebanon.The construction of the expansive temple was begun by the Phoenicians between 3000-4000 years ago.Some curious fact about the Baalbek temple are that one can see stone lotuses carved on the temple’s ceilings.It is well know that lotus is the most common symbolism of spirituality in India.

This clear indicates that Ancient Bharatiyas were much older than the any of then existing civilization. It is also important to notice that Bharatiyas were advance in technology.

Source: Bharata-The Rhythm of a nation

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I agree with Shantanu Sharma , that the term Hinduism was coined by the Arabs, to refer to the beliefs of people living in the valley of river Sindhu (Indus--as called by the Greeks).

The Greeks called these people ,living south of the Himalayas, as Indians, and the Arabs called these people as Hindus Indians, however, refer to their beliefs as Sanatana Dharma.

Sanatana Dharma means "the book of Eternal Laws of all types" i.e Science, Mathematics, Psychology, Biology, Morality, Philosophy, Spiritualism..etc.

Aham Brahmasmi - Atma Paramatma are one i.e. the Individual Soul and God are One or I and my Father are one is an example of an Eternal Spiritual Law.

The modern equivalent is a Hand Book of any specific subject or an Encyclopedia. Sanatana Dharma has been misinterpreted, as Hinduism is the oldest Religion.

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Once an English(?) Christian priest told Swamy Vivekananda that "they have historical proofs that Christian religion is the oldest among religions" then Swamy Vivekananda replied "We don't have any proofs how old is Hindu religion because its the ancient one".

If you see the Hindu units of time you will understand that there is no origin for Hindu religion thats why its called Sanatana Dharma (Eternal religion).

Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.

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protected by Community Dec 17 '15 at 9:43

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