The cities of the Harappan Culture had declined by 1500 B.C. Consequently, their economic and administrative system had slowly declined. Around this period, the speakers of Indo-Aryan language, Sanskrit, entered the north-west India from the Indo-Iranian region.
Initially they would have come in small numbers through the passes in the north-western mountains. Their initial settlements were in the valleys of the north-west and the plains of the Punjab. Later, they moved into Indo-Gangetic plains.
As they were mainly a cattle keeping people, they were mainly in search of pastures. By 6th century B.C., they occupied the whole of North India, which was referred to as Aryavarta. This period between 1500 B.C and 600 B.C may be divided into the Early Vedic Period or Rig Vedic Period (1500 B.C -1000 B.C) and the Later Vedic Period (1000B.C – 600 B.C).
Original Home of the Aryans
The original home of the Aryans is a debatable question and there are several views. Different scholars have identified different regions as the original home of the Aryans. They include the Arctic region, Germany, Central Asia and southern Russia. Bala Gangadhara Tilak argues that the Aryans came from the Arctic region on astronomical calculations. However, the theory of southern Russia appears to be more probable and widely accepted by historians.
From there, the Aryans moved to different parts of Asia and Europe. They entered India in about 1500 B.C. and came to be known as Indo-Aryans. They spoke the Indo-Aryan language, Sanskrit.