2. Indian Culture
"Unity in diversity" - these are not just words, but something
that are highly applicable to a country like India that is incredibly
rich in culture and heritage. A few quotations or statements
cannot describe the pedestal that India holds on to the world
map because of its colourful and unique culture. From the times
of Mauryas, Cholas and Mughals to the period of British Empire,
India has always been famous for its traditions and hospitality.
The warmth in the relations and euphoria in celebrations make
the country stand out distinctively in the global fraternity. The
country's liveliness and generosity attract a number of tourists
to its vibrant culture which is an amalgamation of religions,
festivals, food, art, crafts, dance, music and many other subtle
things. Everything, from the culture and values to customs,
rituals and traditions, is 'special' in this Land.
3. Indian Culture - Traditional yet Contemporary
Culture plays a pivotal role in the development of any country.
A culture of a nation represents its values, goals, practices and
shared beliefs. The Indian culture has never been rigid and
that's why it is surviving with pride in the modern era. It timely
imbibes the qualities of various other cultures and comes out
as a contemporary and acceptable tradition. That is what is
unique about the Indian culture, it moves on with the time.
There are certain things about India that are famous
4. INDIAN WAY OF
GREETINGNamste is the way of the Hindus to show their respect and humbleness to
the others. When we join our palms in the form of Namaste or Namaskaar,
the pressure points located on the tips of our fingers are pressed together
which activate them. These are the points that are connected to our eyes,
ears and mind; hence increasing their health condition and help us to
remember the person we are greeting for a long time.
5. Everything is Artistic here!
The great variety in performing and visual arts could not be found anywhere
else in the world except for India. From a roadside show to a highly
sophisticated drama in the theatre, you can find anything and everything
Indian art can be categorised into two main forms- performing arts and
6. Performing Arts
Dance, drama, theatre or music, every art is unique in itself. In India, religions,
mythology and classical literature form the basis of most of the performing
Indian classical dances like Bharatnatyam, Kathakali, Kathak, Manipuri, Odissi
and Kuchipudi mainly follow the codes of natya shastra, mythology and
classical literature and epics like Ramayana and Mahabharta.
Another kind of performing art is theatre. Though the folk theatre prevails in
each and every language and region, the professional theatre is popular only in
big urban areas or metropolitan cities. Puppet shows were a unique form of
Indian theatre. For centuries, puppet shows have been popular in creating
awareness about social issues in masses and inculcating the moral values of
truth and honesty in the kids.
Indian Drama is one of the oldest in the world. By the mid-A.D. 300's,
flourishing darma in the Sanskrit language had developed. In technique,
Sanskrit plays resembled epic poems. Each play was organized around one of
nine RASAS (mood - sentiments). The goal was to produce harmony, so authors
avoided clashing moods and all these plays ended happily.
There are mainly six dramatists, viz. Bhasa, Kalidasa, Bhavabhuti, Shudrak,
Bhatta Narayana, Vishakhadutta and Harsha.
8. ABHIGNAN SHAKUNTALAM-KALIDASA The love of
Dushyanta and Shakuntala is shown by the best
dramatic art. Dushyanta is the king. He marries with
Shakuntala. Due to curse of saint Durvasa to
Shakuntala the King does not recognise Shakuntala at
all. Then she goes to Ashrama. There she gives a birth
of a son namely Bharat. Then by Bharat, King
recollects and thus happy reunion of Duhyanta and
Shakuntala, shown by the great Kalidasa.
Kalidasa was considered as Ratna (Gem) in the
adorned court of Vikramaditya. There were nine
gems in his kingdom. So he was a gem there. There is
a verse about his drama which is the best.
Among the poems, the drama is the most charming.
Among dramas Shakuntala is the best. Even there the
fourth act is the best. In fourth act four stanzas are
the best and most charming.
Kalidasa shows the greatest love of nature and art in
Shakuntala. Characterrisation is considered as the
soul of the drama. So kalidasa is considered as the
Shakespere of India.
9. Visual Arts
Beauty lies in the eyes of beholder. But, if you look
at the sculptures and paintings in India, you
cannot live without saying that the beauty lies in
the hands of Indian artists.
India's history in the paintings is prominently
visible in the caves of Ajanta and Ellora, Buddhists
palm leaf manuscripts and Jain texts. Either it is
free form of Ajanta paintings, leaf paintings or
glass paintings; India has always been famous for
this kind of visual art. The creativity and use of
colours has always been graceful and unique in
the Indian paintings. Keeping their culture and
tradition in mind, Indian artists also imbibe the
qualities of other European artists and this gives a
contemporary look to the Indian paintings with a
traditional touch. Well-known Indian painting
schools are Rajput, Deccan, Kangra and Moghul.
10. Madhubani painting or Mithila painting is a style of Hindu Painting,
practiced in the Mithila region of Nepal and in Indian States of
Bihar. Painting is done with fingers, twigs, brushes, nib-pens, and
matchsticks, using natural dyes and pigments, and is characterized by
eye-catching geometrical patterns.
Rajput painting originated in the royal
states of Rajasthan, somewhere around
the late 16th and early 17th century.
The main themes around which
Rajasthani Paintings of India revolved
include the Great epics of Ramayana
and the Mahabharata, the life of Lord
Krishna, landscapes and humans.
Rajput paintings of India were also
done on the walls of palaces, inner
chambers of the forts, havelis, etc.
Colors used for the painting were
derived from minerals, plant sources,
conch shells, precious stones, gold and
11. • Thanjavur painting is a classical South
Indian painting style, which
was inaugurated from the town
of Thanjavur and spread across the
adjoining and geographically contiguous
Tamil country. The art form draws its
immediate resources and inspiration from
way back about 1600 AD, a period when
the Nayakas of Thanjavur under the
suzerainty of the Vijayanagara Rayas
• Tanjore paintings are characterised by
rich, flat and vivid colors, simple iconic
composition, glittering gold foils overlaid
on delicate but extensive gesso work and
inlay of glass beads and pieces or very
rarely precious and semi-precious gems. In
Thanjavur paintings one can see the
influence of Deccani, Vijayanagar, Maratha
and even European or Company styles of
12. • Mughal painting is a particular style of
South Asian painting, generally
confined to miniatures either as book
illustrations or as single works to be
kept in albums, which emerged
from Persian miniature painting, with
Indian Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist
influences, and developed largely in the
court of the Mughal Empire (16th - 19th
centuries), and later spread to other
Indian courts, both Muslim and Hindu,
and later Sikh.
• Golden colours considered to be the
symbols of prosperity of the Mughals
began to be used increasingly.
From the Cholas dynasty to the present era, India
has been ranked on top in the sculpture, another
form of visual art. The Deccan temple in
Kanchipuram, Madurai & Rameswaram, the Sun
temple of Odisha and the Khajurao temple in the
Madhya Pradesh, all of these sacred places are the
resultants of sophisticated craftsmanship of Indian
artisans. The sculptures at Sanchi Stupa throw a light
on the life of Buddha and various folk deities.
Sculptures of Amaravati and Nagarjunakonda with
architectural touch show the social life of Buddha
and counterparts. Temples of Ellora and Elephanta
caves are the important evident of mastery of Indian
sculptures. Flora and Fauna, Deities and various
mythological characters; all these form the basis of
designs in this beautiful form of visual art.
A very ancient and aesthetic kind of visual art in India is pottery. In this form of
art, lumps of clay are hand-molded to form toys and deities of worship.
Terracotta and blue gaze are the two main varieties of pottery that are famous in
India. Pottery also has a great religious significance. On Durga Puja and Ganesh
Chathurthi the beautiful idols of Maa Durga and Lord Ganesha show the
confluence of pottery, sculpture and painting.
15. History of Indian Food – Introduction
Once considered the shining jewel in the British Empire’s crown, India can
today be easily deemed as the huge, 60-carat diamond in the World’s flavored
cuisine ring. The large variety of dishes, appetizers, snacks, side dishes and
desserts have found numerous fans on an international scale, as Indian
restaurants spread at an incredible rate, with an enormous success in every
possible culture and in every possible corner of the World. Combining all
tastes possible, the Indian cuisine is bound to satisfy spice-lovers, “salty”
people and persons with a sweet tooth alike .
16. Indian cuisine is almost as diverse as the entire European cuisine, because of
the four different main regional styles: the North Indian cuisine (the regions
Benaras, Kashmir, Mughlai, Punjab and Rajasthan), the South Indian cuisine
(regions Andhra, Kannada, Kerala and Tamil), East Indian cuisine (regions
Assamese and Bengali) and Western Indian cuisine (regions Gujarat,
Maharashtrian and Malwani). The northern part of India is mostly rural,
although it contains large cities such as Delphi or Calcutta, thus its cuisine is
more agricultural than anything, wheat being a primary constituent of this
region’s dishes. Southern regions however tend to be more exotic, more spicy in
their dishes and rice is a constant ingredient in their food. To give the taste of
their main dishes, North Indians use onions and coriander whilst southerners
use a more exotic coconut base for their dishes.
17. Indian Sweets
Indian cuisine is known throughout the entire World
as a sweet cuisine and this tag doesn’t come along
without some extremely solid arguments. How else
would you call a country’s cuisine if almost half its
dishes are either sweets or desserts?
The Rasgulla for example, one of the most popular
relished sweetmeats in India, originating from the
Eastern part of the country, has an interesting
modern history. This dish produced by the boiling of
small pops of casein in sugar syrup has become
emblematic of the quintessentially effeminate stuff of
ridicule of the Bengali people. This sweet dessert can
be found in almost all Eastern Indian households,
while global malls sell it like there’s no tomorrow.
Another Indian dessert that blends with the Hindu
culture is the Payasam. This dessert has been an
essential dish throughout the history of India, being
usually found at ceremonies, feasts and celebrations.
In Southern India, ancient traditions tell that a
wedding is not fully blessed if Payasam is not served
at the wedding feast, this tradition being kept alive
with each generation.
20. Eating with hands:
Eating with fingers lets us enjoy the seductive
warmth, the pliancy and the textures of our food.
It helps us engage all five of our senses: sight,
smell, taste, hearing and touch while eating-
something you miss when you eat with cutlery.
We are a country where we don’t drink much of
alcohol (not in public, at least). So we’ve created a
wide range of non-alcoholic beverages. Go to any
Indian restaurant, and the range is endless.
Chai,chhas, lassi, jaljeera, sherbets, masala doodh,
nimbu paani, flavoured sodas: you name it, we
According to Indian Food Theory, our food has 6
different flavours: sweet, salty, bitter, sour,
astringent and spicy.
A proper Indian meal is a perfect balance of all
6 flavours, with one or two flavours standing out.
So the next time you eat your meal, you know how
to judge it.
21. Coffee boosts your physical
Caffeine increases adrenaline
levels in your blood. Adrenaline
is your body’s “fight or flight”
hormone which helps you to
prepare for physical exertion.
Buttermilk prevents dehydration
The combination of water, yoghurt, salt and
spices will replenish your fluid and electrolyte
levels instantly, helping you ward off
Yoga is a way to learn and understand the spiritual India. Also, yoga is associated
with the culture and heritage of India. In Sanskrit, yoga means ‘to unite’ and
describes a way to live a healthy life. In yoga, the mind is disciplined through
meditation and the body is aligned and strengthened. As per yoga, it is actually
the nervous system of the body that affects our health. The nervous system gets
purified with daily yoga and thus keeps our body healthy and strong.
The origin of yoga is considered to be as old as human civilization. But there is no
strong evidence to prove this statement. In spite of extensive research in this field,
there are no concrete findings regarding the origin of yoga. It is believed that yoga
originated in India about 5,000 years ago. Many Western scholars earlier used to
believe that it was not 5,000 years ago but in the period of the Buddha (around
500 B.C.) when yoga came into existence. During the excavation of the earliest
known civilization of Indus Valley, very astonishing facts came forward. The
soapstone seals that existed during that period have been found engraved with
figures resembling that of a yogi sitting in a yoga-like posture. Originally, yoga
started for the betterment of a community rather than the self.
23. Yoga and Meditation
Many wonder why it is necessary to meditate
after practising Yoga asanas/ postures. One of
the many benefits of practising yoga asanas/
postures is the fact that it allows us to slip into
meditation effortlessly. Meditation being one of
the main aspects of Yoga, it's essential that we
sit for meditation after practising Yoga asanas
and pranayama; else it is like preparing our
dinner but not eating it! In meditation one
delves deep into the self. There are many kinds
of meditations though they might seem
different most of them are, in essence, the
same. The Panchakosha and Hari Om
meditations can be experienced in the Art of