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Art & Culture of India
Much of India’s classical music is devotional and a
lot of that, devoted to the flute playing god,
Krishna. The North Indian Hindustani and South
Indian Carnatic streams are distinct and both have a
complex ‘raga’ framework. Ghazals in Urdu reflect on
life and are light on the ear. Every region has a
distinctive folk tradition too. Instruments that
would typically accompany Indian music are the
stringed veena, sitar, and the Indian drum: tabla or
mridangam in the south.
The legacy of dance in India is tremendous. On
temple walls, on an urban stage, in impromptu bursts
by a mellow evening fire, men and women twinkle
their toes in expression of joy.
The classical dances of India are numerous.
Characterised by stylised movements and elaborate
costumes, these dances communicate age-old tales of
love, longing and rage. Kathakali of Kerala,
Bharatnatyam of Tamil Nadu, Kuchipudi of Andhra
Pradesh, Manipuri and Odissi from Orissa are the
prominent dance forms in this country that sways to
an altogether novel beat. The robust bhangra of
Punjabi men, the graceful whirling of Rajasthani
women, the gentle sway of northeastern dancers,
vigorous tribal dances, every corner has developed
it’s own unique form.
The earliest specimens of Indian painting are
the ones on the walls of the Ajanta Caves dating
back to 2nd century BC. The typical ‘figures in
profile’ art of India came to be when the Jain
manuscripts were being illustrated. The Mughals had
a huge impact on Indian art. The miniature, which
had been only on palm leaves in the northeast, came
into prominence. The influence of Persian art
brought placid garden scenes, illustrations from
myths, legends and history into Indian art. Later
schools include the Bengal School of Tagore and the
Company School of European influence. More recently
the opulent paintings of Raja Ravi Varma, the
paintings of M.F. Hussain, Jamini Roy and Ganesh
Pyne among others rule the art scene.
Word craft, handicrafts, architecture and sculpture
all contribute to this rich and varied domain.
Indian literature, both in English and in the
vernacular, is ever more popular around the world.
Handicrafts are as varied as the country itself. The
Mughal and colonial structures and the temple
architecture across the length and breadth of the
country are testaments to the lands exciting past.
Sculptures adorn temple walls, stupas, street
junctions and ancient caves. The oldest schools are
the Gandhara and the Mathura.
Culture is a term that defines the growth and
development of a human being by the influence of the
social and political situation. Indian culture is a
blend of various cultures across the world, at
different points in history and also its own rich
traditions. Though development and modernity has set
in. the people of India remain rooted in their
strong and rich heritage.
The culture of India is made rich and diverse by
several migrations and invasions from the 5000 year
old history. It has an immense physical, religious,
racial and linguistic variety. Indian culture is
defined by the ideas, thoughts and philosophies
prevalent in the country and its people.
The uniqueness of Indian culture lies in its strong
social system and family values. The elders are
considered the driving force and so are respected
and loved. The guests are considered as gods and are
treated with respect and love, even if by foregoing
some of the personal pleasures. Indians are always
ready to help one another in times of need. The
philosophy of distributing joy and sharing sorrows
is also an important part of Indian culture. Such
unity in diversity can be seen here which teaches
tolerance and respect for others.
The mildness and humaneness of Indian culture can be
seen in all aspect of life. India has people from
all religions and walks of life living together in
harmony. India being the birth place of many
religions like Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, there is
freedom to worship and practice any religion
throughout the country. In times of calamity as well
as celebrations, all religions come together and
share the feelings of one another.
Indian religions, festivals, rituals, artifacts,
monuments, costumes, music and dance, language and
literature form an inseparable part of its culture.
The diversity can also be seen in the variety of
languages spoken here – around 1000, including the
regional dialects). The constitution of India
recognizes Hindi and English as the two official
language used for the Union Government.
India is the most diverse and secular country with
people from all religious backgrounds following
their beliefs and teachings. Having such a diverse
and varied population, India is a country of
festivals and occasions. The festivals of all
religions are celebrated throughout the nation
bringing everyone closer. The three national
holidays – Independence Day, Republic Day and Gandhi
Jayanthi are celebrated nation wide. Apart from that
there are different other religious festivals
observed across India. Then there are some local or
region specific festivals celebrated by the people
of that particular region.
Culture is not only about the art, architecture and
literature but it is a part of the people right from
the childhood. The culture of a country is shaped by
the people and their upbringing- what ideas and
thoughts have been put into their development.
Indian culture is formed by blending the various
influences from the neighbors and invaders as well
as by preserving its ancient heritage.
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