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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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