MAHATMA GANDHISteered India to independence through non-violence
1885 - Indian National Congress founded as forum for emerging nationalist feeling.
1920-22 - Nationalist figurehead Mahatma Gandhi launches anti-British civil disobedience campaign.
1942-43 - Congress launches "Quit India" movement.
1947 - End of British rule and partition of sub-continent into mainly Hindu India and Muslim-majority state of Pakistan.
1947-48 - Hundreds of thousands die in widespread communal bloodshed after partition.
1948 - Mahatma Gandhi assassinated by Hindu extremist.
1948 - War with Pakistan over disputed territory of Kashmir.
1951-52 - Congress Party wins first general elections under leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru.
1962 - India loses brief border war with China.
1964 - Death of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
|India won 1971 conflict over East Pakistan independence |
1965 - Second war with Pakistan over Kashmir.
1966 - Nehru's daughter Indira Gandhi becomes prime minister.
1971 - Third war with Pakistan over creation of Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan.
1971 - Twenty-year treaty of friendship signed with Soviet Union.
1974 - India explodes first nuclear device in underground test.
1975 - Indira Gandhi declares state of emergency after being found guilty of electoral malpractice.
1975-1977 - Nearly 1,000 political opponents imprisoned and programme of compulsory birth control introduced.
1977 - Indira Gandhi's Congress Party loses general elections.
1980 - Indira Gandhi returns to power heading Congress party splinter group, Congress (Indira).
INDIRA GANDHIDaughter of Nehru, assassinated by her bodyguards in 1984
1984 - Troops storm Golden Temple - Sikh's most holy shrine - to flush out Sikh militants pressing for self-rule.
1984 - Indira Gandhi assassinated by Sikh bodyguards, following which her son, Rajiv, takes over.
1984 December - Gas leak at Union Carbide pesticides plant in Bhopal. Thousands are killed immediately, many more subsequently die or are left disabled.
1987 - India deploys troops for peacekeeping operation in Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict.
1989 - Falling public support leads to Congress defeat in general election.
1990 - Indian troops withdrawn from Sri Lanka.
1990 - Muslim separatist groups begin campaign of violence in Kashmir.
1991 - Rajiv Gandhi assassinated by suicide bomber sympathetic to Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers.
1991 - Economic reform programme begun by Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao.
1992 - Hindu extremists demolish mosque in Ayodhya, triggering widespread Hindu-Muslim violence.
BJP to the fore
|Rajiv Gandhi was killed on the campaign trail |
1996 - Congress suffers worst ever electoral defeat as Hindu nationalist BJP emerges as largest single party.
1998 - BJP forms coalition government under Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.
1998 - India carries out nuclear tests, leading to widespread international condemnation.
1999 February - Vajpayee makes historic bus trip to Pakistan to meet Premier Nawaz Sharif and to sign bilateral Lahore peace declaration.
1999 May - Tension in Kashmir leads to brief war with Pakistan-backed forces in the icy heights around Kargil in Indian-held Kashmir.
1999 October - Cyclone devastates eastern state of Orissa, leaving at least 10,000 dead.
Population: 1 billion
2000 May - India marks birth of its billionth citizen.
2000 - US President Bill Clinton makes groundbreaking visit to India to improve ties.
|India's Agni missiles have a 2,000 km range |
2001 January - Massive earthquakes hit western state of Gujarat, leaving at least 30,000 dead.
2001 April - Sixteen Indian and three Bangladeshi soldiers killed in their worst border clashes. High-powered rocket launched, propelling India into ranks of select club of countries able to fire big satellites deep into space.
2001 July - Vajpayee meets Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in the first summit between the two neighbours in more than two years. The meeting ends without a breakthrough or even a joint statement because of differences over Kashmir.
2001 July - Vajpayee's BJP party declines his offer to resign over a number of political scandals and the apparent failure of his talks with Pakistani President Musharraf.
2001 September - US lifts sanctions which it imposed against India and Pakistan after they staged nuclear tests in 1998. The move is seen as a reward for their support for the US anti-terror campaign.
Kashmir tensions rise
2001 October - India fires on Pakistani military posts in the heaviest firing along the dividing line of control in Kashmir for almost a year.
2001 December - Suicide squad attacks parliament in New Dehli, killing several police. The five gunmen die in the assault.
|Kashmir differences scuppered Vajpayee-Musharraf meeting in 2001 |
2001 December - India, Pakistan mass troops on common border amid mounting fears of a looming war.
2002 January - India successfully test-fires a nuclear-capable ballistic missile - the Agni - off its eastern coast.
2002 February - Worst inter-religious bloodshed in a decade breaks out after Muslims set fire to a train carrying Hindus returning from pilgrimage to Ayodhya. More than 800, mainly Muslims, die in subsequent revenge killings by Hindu mobs.
2002 May - More than 30 people killed in raid on Indian army camp in Kashmir, which India blames on Pakistani-based rebels. Moderate Kashmiri separatist leader Abdul Gani Lone shot dead in Srinagar by suspected Islamist militants.
2001 PARLIAMENT ATTACKPM said unprecedented attack was "warning to the nation"
War of words between Indian and Pakistani leaders intensifies. Actual war seems imminent.
2002 June - UK, US urge their citizens to leave India and Pakistan, while maintaining diplomatic offensive to avert war.
2002 July - Retired scientist and architect of India's missile programme APJ Abdul Kalam elected president.
2003 August - At least 50 people are killed in two simultaneous bomb blasts in Bombay.
2003 November - India matches Pakistan's declaration of a Kashmir ceasefire.
2003 December - India, Pakistan agree to resume direct air links and to allow overflights.
ATAL BEHARI VAJPAYEEEx-PM pointed to peace process, economic growth as successes
2004 January - Groundbreaking meeting held between government and moderate Kashmir separatists.
2004 May - Surprise victory for Congress Party in general elections. Manmohan Singh is sworn in as prime minister.
2004 September - India, along with Brazil, Germany and Japan, launches an application for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.
2004 November - India begins to withdraw some of its troops from Kashmir.
2004 December - Former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao dies, aged 83.
Thousands are killed when tidal waves, caused by a powerful undersea earthquake off the Indonesian coast, devastate coastal communities in the south and in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
2005 7 April - Bus services, the first in 60 years, operate between Srinagar in Indian-controlled Kashmir and Muzaffarabad in Pakistani-administered Kashmir.
2005 July - India signs a nuclear co-operation deal with the US, heralding a possible lifting of sanctions on Indian access to civilian nuclear technology.
More than 1,000 people are killed in floods and landslides caused by monsoon rains in Mumbai (Bombay) and Maharashtra region.
2005 8 October - An earthquake, with its epicentre in Pakistani-administered Kashmir, kills more than 1,000 people in Indian-administered Kashmir.
29 October - Bombs kill 62 people in Delhi. A little-known Kashmiri group says it is behind the attacks.