The origin of Hinduism dates back to the pre-historic era with an amalgamation of ideas from two ancient cultures, the Indus Valley civilisation and the Aryans. Excavations carried out by archeologists in the year 1920 uncovered the remains of many ancient cities in the northwest of India, the most important of them being Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa which are referred to as the Indus Valley civilisation and are believed to date back to 2500 BC to 1500 BC. The inhabitants of these cities possibly were the original indigenous Indian population and the earliest Dravidians.What has been uncovered in the form of seals, figurines and inscriptions points to prsence of goddess worship, worship of the lingam and ritual bathing.
The Aryans are widely believed to have migrated from Central India around 2000 BC, although certain schools of thought insist that India was their original homeland and their culture has evolved from the Indus valley Civilisation.They spread over the northern plains around 1000 BC and their culture spread, rather slowly to South India, around 600 AD. Knowledge about them is largely derived from their sacred text, the Veda and the dominant feature of their religion seems to have been ritual sacrifice through fire.It is very intersting to note that though the Aryans were very different in terms of culture and religious beliefs they did not attempt to replace the earlier practices of the people of the Indus Valley and South India but merged them into their own and in addition provided the master narrative in the form of various scriptures thus absorbing and controlloing other discourses.
* Vedic religion
* Current geographic distribution