Hinduism is believed to originate from near the Indus Valley on the Asian subcontinent. Not all Hindus call their religion Hinduism. Many prefer the term Sanatan Dharma. Sanatan means eternal. Dharma means law or religion or duty. The Indus Valley was home to a great civilisation 4000 years ago and the cities of Mohenjo and Harappa (which are in modern Pakistan) have provided archaeologists with clues as to the people and their lives. It seems that the rulers were priests. Fragments of pottery suggest that they worshipped a mother goddess who ensured the fertility of the land.

Another view which exists is that which claims from about 1800bce a wandering group called the Aryans settled in the area bringing with them their religion, customs and traditions. According to this view Hinduism grew out of the meeting of the two cultures. Therefore from its earliest beginnings Hinduism included a wide variety of beliefs and practices.

Hinduism arrived in the United Kingdom after the Second World War, Britain was short of workers and people from the British Commonwealth countries were encouraged to move and take up work there. Many Hindus made their home in the UK bringing with them their religion and way of life.

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