Arts and Culture of India

India is a living legacy of historical and ancient civilization with its traditional and contemporary arts community. India is often called “unity in diversity” for the diversity of customs, religions, languages, faiths and cultures it presents. This colourful and vibrant land is as diverse as its people. No doubt, it is one of the world’s oldest living civilizations. Its art, architecture, music, theater, and dance forms are completely relishing to both the body and the soul.

The heritage and the diversity of the Indian culture is respected and admired in the whole world. The variations in physical and climatic conditions with the intermingling of different cultures have greatly influenced the traditions, arts and culture of the different regions.

Indian arts and culture are a strong reflection of the life of the Indian people, its history and traditional values. The arts and culture of India is as fascinating as the Taj Mahal of Agra,it is one of the most remarkable and memorable monuments India has and its truly a world class masterpiece. The Indian culture has survived through the ages irrespective of the conquering and invasions of different rulers and empires that have come across and its precisely for the reasons of antiquity and unity. Although, the traditions of the invaders merged with the traditions of the Indian culture yet newer varieties of traditions also emerged.

The living standard and lifestyle of the Indian people has changed, but the values and traditions that have been given by our forefathers is a legacy to Indian people and are still intact and remain unchanged.

In today’s world, Indian art as well as culture is reaching different parts of the world as it has been much appreciated and accepted by the world. The “sari” wore by the Indian women is highly popular and is recognized as the new fashion mantra the world over. The jewelry which Indian women keep on wearing with great passion is also getting much acceptance everywhere. Likewise if you see of the food of India, “the Indian curry”, “the deep fried samosas” are highly popular. There is neither any country where more than 2 million gods live and worshipped and there is nor a culture which teaches to touch the feet of your parents and elders. So, there is a lot of respect and devotion for the elders. The famous idiom “Atithi Devo Bhav” was coined in India which means the Indian people treat the guests as god and that is why they have a lot of respect for their visitors. This happens only in India and this is Indian culture.

All about Indian culture and tradition is well depicted in theatre and stage performances, arts, paintings, movie songs, drama, television, monuments, philosophy, fairs and festivals and thoroughly celebrating the same.

Unmoved by the constant hardships India has faced, the beauty of India lies in the unity and integrity of the various religions and sects of people living in the different states of India.

The music, dance forms, crafts, paintings, stone carvings, sculptures, handicrafts, literature, cuisine, theatre and festivals are the things representing India’s arts and culture. There is a great variety of richness the country offers as each region and state has its own distinct cultural tradition whether it’s the Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi and Kathakali dance forms from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala respectively or it’s the sarson ka saag with make ki roti and sambhar vada, idli and dosa food forms of the North India and South India respectively.

In his wise saying by the American author, Mark Twain, “India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, grandmother of legend, and great grand mother of tradition. Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only."

Indian Dances –The Indian dance is the oldest and has the longest history and due to the varying diversity and cultures, the dance forms in India are also numerous. The dance forms depict expression of love and joy with god and the people. Different states in India have great and different dance forms like Bihu in Bihar, Bharatnatyam in Tamil Nadu, the garba and dandiya in Gujarat and the various tribal dance forms.

Indian Paintings - Paintings are one of the ways to express oneself. The Indian paintings depict cultural heritage of its ancient and historical civilization, various dance forms, of reality and dream world thoughts, of gods and goddesses etc. Early during the civilization, cave paintings was a popular medium of expressing one’s thoughts and expressions and now all thoughts are expressed on a canvas. Ajanta and Ellora cave paintings and Mysore as well as Tanjore paintings are a classical example of our rich and cultural heritage.

Indian Theatre - The Indian theatres are becoming modern with regard to the classical and folk theatres. With the advance in technology, there are big urban theatre centers for the professionals. The National School of Drama trains for the theatrical performances and the plays are performed not only in native Indian languages but also in English as well. The puppet show is also the perfect example of the performances in Indian theatres.

Indian Films – The growth of nationalism can be attributed much to the films of India. The films have a great impact for the whole society and the audience. Patriotic films have made the thoughts and consciousness of the people and have ultimately brought nationalism in the minds of the countrymen. This has been a strong medium of communication with all the people whether any thing our society is facing as a whole or if its faced by an individual youth, films have depicted much. The Indian cinema has cleverly depicted the changing Indian society and the mindset. The films have made a deeper respect for the country as a whole and the Indian film industry known as “Bollywood” is now the largest producing film industry in the world.

Indian Music – The Indian music is timeless and is enjoyed the world over. It is based on the system of rhythmic beats or taal and melody or raag. Raag or sur comprises of 7 notes arranged in a systematic format and the taal is repeated in a certain format. There are different genres of Indian music like the classical music, folk or desi music, light music, rock and metal music.

India Crafts – Craft is a combination of ideas, skill, devotion and dedication to produce an object. Crafts are applied on wood, stone, clay, glass, textiles, metal and paper. Patchwork, embroidery, knitting, lace making, tapestry, weaving, pottery, sculpture, wood working, jwelery, phulkari, stone craft are some crafts practiced in India.

Indian Fairs and Festivals – Celebrated throughout the year with a lot of vigor and versatility, the Indian fairs and festivals are truly amazing and are dedicated from worshipping of gods, changing of seasons to a custom rooted in the culture. Deepawali, Bhai Duj, Rakshabandhan, Pongal, Id, Guru Nanak Jayanti, Camel festival, Pushkar Festival, Goa Carnival, Ganesh Chaturthi, Holi, Kite Festival, Onam, Kumbh Mela, Taj Mahotsav and Christmas are some of the brightest festivals.

Indian Monuments – The most enchanting of the global heritage monuments are in India. The Taj Mahal is the most beautiful monument in India which is attracting lakhs of tourists throughout the year. The old fort or the Lal Quila, the Jantar Mantar, the Kutub minar and the India gate are some of the treasured Indian monuments. The Archaeological survey of India, a govt. body is taking care of the maintenance of these historical monuments of time endless.

Indian Photography – The photography existed in the country since the start of 16th century. The large scale use of photographs in India was started in the 1850’s. From small passport photos to large portraits was started. The development of photography with the use of advanced technology in the recent times has now brought digital cameras.

Indian Sculpture – With sculptures, a true representation of natural or imagined forms is created. Sculptures had a strong and long history starting from the ancient civilization of the mankind, the Indus Valley civilization. The remarkable Indian sculptures range from the big sculptures of Ellora caves to the graceful postures of Khajuraho and Konark.