c.1000 BC: Bengal, which comprised modern-day Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, was settled by Dravidian-speaking peoples who later became known as the Bang.
321 BC-184 BC: The Maurya dynasty ruled over much of northern India (modern-day India, Pakistan and Bangladesh), reaching its apogee under the Emperor Asoka (273-232 BC). Asoka converted to Buddhism in 262 BC; the religion arrived in Bengal during this period.
c.AD 319-540: During the rule of the Gupta dynasty, eastern Bengal became the kingdom of Samatata, a tributary state of the Gupta Empire.
606-647: Samatata became incorporated into the northern Indian empire of King Harsha.
750-1150: During the rule of the Pala dynasty, founded by Gopala, a Buddhist chief, Buddhism spread throughout Bengal and into neighbouring lands.
1199: Muhammad Bakhtiar of Turkistan (now Turkmenistan) captured Bengal.
1202: The last of the Sena rulers (orthodox Hindus who had replaced the Pala dynasty) in western Bengal was driven from his capital at Nadia by the Turks, whose gradual conquest of the Indian subcontinent had begun in the 10th century. Many Bengalis, opposed to the rigid caste system of Brahminic Hinduism, later converted to Islam.
1206-1526: During the period of the Delhi sultanate, Bengal paid a tribute of war elephants in order to retain its autonomy.
1341: Bengal gained independence from Delhi; its governors were based in Dhaka (formerly Dacca).
1576: Dhaka was conquered by the Mogul Emperor Akbar (1556-1605). The Moguls expanded the agriculture of Bengal and encouraged the development of Dhaka as an important centre for trade in textiles; Bengal remained a Mogul province until the Mogul Empire began to decline in the 18th century.
1633: The Portuguese, who had arrived in the region in the 15th century, were removed from power by local opposition.
1690: The British East India Company, founded in 1600, negotiated terms to establish a fortified trading post in Calcutta (now Kolkata), western Bengal. The decline of the Mogul Empire later encouraged the Company to become more involved in the politics and military activities of the Indian subcontinent.