Traders, Kings and Pilgrims
Coins of Roman Empire were found at Arikamedu. During the ancient period, trade flourished between India and other regions of the world. Indian goods were valued by other civilizations and were in great demand. Traders sailed across the seas, in sailing ships, with the help of monsoon winds and reached India quickly.
The Satavahanas became powerful around 2100 years ago. Trade was possible due to the materialization of the Silk Route, which ran from China to Europe. Buddhism and Jainism spread due to the silk route. Pilgrims travelled with the caravans of traders for safety, protection from highway robbers and company. The traders halted in the caves or monasteries for rest.
Kushanas, ruled over northwest India. Mahaprajapati Gotami became the first Buddhist nun. Caves are located at Kanheri, Karle, Bhaja, Junnar, Barabar, Ajanta and Ellora. In China, Yungang caves are located in Shanxi province of China. Theravada relates to Buddhism. Buddha was born in Lumbini. He attained enlightenment in Gaya. Buddhism had its roots in India. Nalanda and Taxila University were centres of Buddhist learning. Many places like Vaishali, Gaya, Kushinagar are associated with Buddha.
Bhakti movement was selfless devotion to a particular God or Goddess. Bhakti finds mention in Bhagavad Gita and is a part of Mahabharata: Krishnopadesha to Arjuna.