A land of great diversity than any other country, India is one of the world's richest country's based on culture. India is one of the most diverse mixtures of different social classes, religions and traditions that make it an exciting adventure that tourists crave for in an adventure.
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A popular gesture implying that the person is innately divine is shown when Indians join their hands or put their palms collectively then bow slightly while fronting the other person and say “Namaste” which is a Sanskrit word for “I bow unto you”. It is understood that both the hands symbolize one mind, or the self meeting the self. While the right hand signifies a higher nature, the left hand denotes worldly or lower nature.
Indian architecture is that substantial tapestry of production of India that covers a multitude of expressions over space and time, altered by the forces of history considered rare to the Indian subcontinent, sometimes destroying, but most of the time understanding.
The present Indian architecture is as diverse as its culture. The architecture of India tends a unique and rare blend of Hindu, Islamic, Jain, Buddhist and British architectural designs. Until the onset of Islam, Hindu art and architecture was dominant in India.
The growth of the Mughal Empire in the 16th century established Mughal architecture in northern Indian subcontinent. The colonization of India gave way for the advancement of Anglo-Indian architecture while Portuguese and French architectural designs stayed in their former colonies.
India is the abode of one of the world's oldest civilizations. Sanskrit, its literary language, is possibly the most ancient language still in use and the Vedas, which date back to the 12th century BC, are said to be oldest scriptures still in use.
Indian Buddhists, Jains and Hindus consider the land of India itself as sacred. In a country where there are said to be 220 million gods and goddesses, divinity may be also be achieved by human beings. The wealth of gods and beliefs in fact divulges Indian eclecticism and tolerance.
Dances are forms and figures of lucid expression of human beings. Like the Indian culture, Indian classical dances are similarly diverse in nature. There are various classical dance forms in India and countless folk dances. Indian dances and music were not only perceived as ways to celebrate, but also as offerings of worship and thanksgiving to the divine being. Every single dance form is structured around the nine 'Rasa' or emotions.
In the background of India's rich and diverse society and culture, dance in India took in countless forms and styles.
In fact the world-famous dancing figure of Nataraja, which is a tough element of the Indian Culture, is a work in the Chola tradition. This piece of art epitomizes the accomplishment of art in the Indian Culture.
Indian cuisine is renowned by its complex use of spices and herbs and the influence of the ancient and widespread custom of vegetarianism in Indian society. The essentials of Indian cuisine are rice, atta (whole wheat flour), and at least several dozen varieties of pulses, the most essential of which are chana (bengal gram), toor (pigeon pea or red gram), urad (black gram) and mung (green gram). The most vital spices in Indian cuisine are black mustard seed (rai), cumin, ginger, coriander and asafoetida (hing). Typically in South Indian cuisine curry leaves are used all over. In sweet dishes, nutmeg, saffron and rose petal essences are used.
The various Indian religious beliefs and diverse cultural traditions account for the great number of celebrations and festivals in India. India is a land of rich diversities. The people of each faith and religion co-exist in unity and as well as celebrate assorted festivals in the country.
Every cheerful and joyous occasion calls for a celebration accompanied with unique dances and striking music.
But an array of festivals is not celebrated by everybody in the country. Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Sikh pilgrim centers are situated almost in every corner of India attracting millions of devotees traveling from one fraction of the country to another.
Ganesh Chaturthi is an occasion or a day on which Lord Ganesha makes his existence on earth for all his devotees. It is also recognized as Vinayaka Chaturthi in Sanskrit. The festival is observed in the ancient Hindu calendar month of Bhaadrapada,
Vaisakhi in the Nanakshahi calendar on the first day of Vaisakh month and indicates the sun entering Mesha Rasi. Vaisakhi is therefore decided by the solar calendar.
Deepawali or Diwali, the most pan-Indian of all Hindu festivals, is a gala of lights symbolising the triumph of righteousness and the lifting of spiritual darkness. The word `Deepawali' literally means lines of diyas (clay lamps).
Holi Phagwah is an annual and admired Hindu spring festival. It occurs over two days in the latter fraction of March or early April. As per the Hindu calendar, it occurs on the Phalgun Purnima. It is popularly known as the Festival of Colors.
Buddha Purnima is the most hallowed day in the Buddhist calendar. It is the most significant festival of the loyal Buddhists, and is commemorated with great enthusiasm. Every festival has its own unique rituals which present an insight into the lives and beliefs, customs and culture of the people observing them.
Makar Sankranti is one of the most promising day for the Hindus, and is celebrated in almost all parts of the country in myriad cultural forms, with great devotion, zeal & cheerfulness. Lakhs of people take a plunge in places like Ganga Sagar & Prayag and pray to Lord Sun.
Id-ul-Zuha, is a gala of great rejoice. Exceptional prayers and trade of greetings and gifts marked the Id-ul-Zuha (Bakrid), the festival of sacrifice, celebrated with traditional fervor and gaiety in India. On this day, special `Dua' is narrated by thousands of Muslims for peace and prosperity.