India has a unique and rich cultural heritage, and it seeks to preserve its traditions throughout history while absorbing customs, traditions and ideas from the side, both invaders and immigrants. Many cultural activities, languages, customs and structures are examples of cultural intercourse over the centuries.
Famous buildings such as the Taj Mahal and architectural structures with Islamic influence are the heritage of the Mughal dynasty. They are the result of a tradition of uniting all elements from every part of the nation.
India is the birthplace of four important religions in the world including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. Before independence, India was part of the British Indian subcontinent. The establishment of this country was greatly attributed to Mohandas Gandhi, who was hailed as the “father of India”.
Indian music is expressed in many forms. The two main forms of classical music are Carnatic from South India, and Hindustani from North India. Popular forms of music are also popular, the most famous being Filmi music. There are also many different traditions of folk music from every part of the country.
There are many classical dance forms present, including Bharatanatyam, Kathakali, Kathak and Manipuri. They are usually in the form of narrative and mixed with devotional and spiritual elements.
The earliest literary tradition in India was the oral form, and later in the written form. Most of them are sacred works such as the Vedas and the epic Mahabharata and Ramayana. Sangam literature from Tamil Nadu embodies one of India’s oldest traditions.
There have been many famous modern Indian writers, both with works in Indian and English. The only Indian writer to win the Nobel Prize for literature is the Bengali-language writer Rabindranath Tagore.
India also produces the highest annual number of films in the world. The main production area is in Mumbai, producing almost all Indian commercial films, often called “Bollywood”. There are also a number of cinematographic works using Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Bengali.