India-a Diverse Nation India is a picture of diversity seen in her people, cultures, colorful festivals, dresses and costumes, religions, flora and fauna and varying landscapes.
India-a Diverse Nation India is roughly one third the size of USA with a population of 1.2 Billion. It has 29 states and 6 union territories. There are 18 official languages, 114 languages, 216 mother tongues and 900 dialects in India.
India – Major Languages Kannada Hindi Malyalam
Religions of India Hindu Temple Jain Temple Four major religions of the world have originated from India: Hinduism,Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism. Sikh Gurudwara Buddhist Pagoda
Religions of India Bahai Lotus Temple Parsi Fire Temple Jewish Synagogue Nakhoda Mosque St. Paul's Cathedral
India-the Largest Democracy India is the largest democracy in the world, seventh largest country and the second most populous.
India-an Ancient Civilization India is one of the oldest continuous civilizations. The story of civilization begins in India with the Harrapan civilization which was nurtured by the Sarasvati and Sindhu rivers in Northwestern India in 3000 B.C.
Dances of India The cultural richness of India is reflected in her numerous classical and folk dances.
Bharatnatyam Bharatnatyam is one of the seven major classical dance forms, which originated in India. It originated in the state of Tamil Nadu.
Kathakali Kathakali is one of the oldest theatre forms in the world. It originated in the area of southwestern India now known as the state of Kerala.
Mohiniyattam This classical style was born out of a clever fusion of Kathakali with Bharatnatyam. It shows deep affinities with both these styles.
Kuchipudi Kuchipudi was born in a remote village of Andhra Pradesh from which it derives its name.The style portrays various religious themes in the form of a dance drama.
Odissi Odissi may be the earliest classical dance style of India. Natyashastra, the most ancient and authentic text on Indian Dance and Dramatics,also acknowledges its existence. It is nurtured in the famous shrines of Orissa situated at Puri, Konark and Bhubaneswar. .
Manipuri Manipuri dance originated in Manipur. The love of Lord Krishna and Radha is the dominant theme in this dance form.
Kathak The Kathak dance form originated in the north and at first was very similar to the Bharatanatyam. Persian and Muslim influences later altered the dance from a temple ritual to a courtly entertainment. The influence of the Mughal tradition is evident in this dance form.
Dandiya - A folk dance of Gujarat. Its popularity has spread all over India. Folk Dances Bhangra – This folk dance from Punjab is characterized by vigorous movements. Bhangra is a rage in India.
Bihu is the folk dance of Assam. Folk Dances Yakshagana is a folk dance of Karnataka. It has been revived recently.
Classical Music Indian classical music has a rich tradition. The earliest musical compositions are attributed in the Samveda more than 4000 years ago. Indian musical instruments like sitar, tabla and sarangi are popular throughout the world today.
Yoga originated in India more than 5000 years ago. It means union. The part of Yoga dealing with physical exercise, Hathayoga, is widely practiced throughout the world today. Yoga
Royal Bengal Tiger. Its habitat is the mangrove forest of the Sunderbans. Wildlife Peacock is the national bird of India.
Wildlife Kaziranga is the home of the one-horned Rhino. The Red Panda is found in the hills of Darjeeling.
Wildlife The Indian elephant is smaller than its African counterpart. Elephants were extensively used in warfare in ancient times. They are still used for various temple rituals.
Monuments The Meenakshi temple of Madurai was built by the Pandiyan king Kulashekhara in the 14th century.
Monuments Jagannath temple at Puri
Monuments The Taj Mahal was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful constructions in the world.
Monuments The Iron pillar in New Delhi constructed 1600 years ago by Chandragupta Maurya has been a metallurgical wonder by defying rust and the vagaries of nature. The Red Fort in Delhi was built by Shah Jahan in the 17th century.
Monuments The Hawa Mahal of Jaipur was built by Sawai Pratap Singh in the 18th century.
Monuments Mysore Palace. Karnataka State Assembly building, Bangalore. Gateway of India, Mumbai
Festivals Ganesha Chaturthi is the most important festival of Mumbai. It is celebrated every year around September.
Festivals The Durga Puja is celebrated in Kolkata every year around October.
Festivals Diwali-the festival of lights-is the most popular festival in India. It is celebrated throughout the country in the month of November.
Festivals Holi–the festival of colors-is celebrated all over India.
Scenic Beauty Kanchenjungha, the third highest peak in the world(8598m), in the Himalayas, is the highest peak of India. The Thar desert is located in Rajasthan.
Scenic Beauty The backwaters of Kerala. Ladakh is one of the coldest inhabited regions of the world.
Costumes A lady in a saree.
Costumes A lady in a Ghagra Choli.
Costumes A lady in a Churidar.
Costumes A Sikh in a turban.
Marriage An Indian marriage ceremony.
Possibly the largest religious celebration in the world..Maha Kumbh Mela. • Feb. this year..Over 30 million people attended…mostly Hindu. Every 12 years. Most auspicious time and day for a dip. Hindu belief of this auspicious time determined by astrologers & holy men, will cleanse sins and a chance at spiritual salvation. Bathing in the Ganges
Caste System in India • As old as 2000 BC… evolved from the Hindu Vedic belief • Class based society to maintain social order • 4 class hierarchical system associated with the work you did • Brahmin (Teacher, Priest) - Vaishyas (Merchants, Traders) • Kshatriya (Protector, Army) - Shudras (Laborers, Skilled & Unskilled) • Birth determined your caste • A fifth class or untouchable …largely believed to have been made up by society itself…associated with unclean tasks such as cleaning toilets or handling garbage. Mahatma Gandhi and others fought to remove/erase. • India is world’s largest democracy where caste subjugation is legally discriminatory.
Major Crops of India Tea Picking Cashew Rubber Jute Coconut Cotton Fields
Traditional Foods of India Chapati Dosa and Chutney Butter Chicken Meal Masoor Dal
India-the Largest Film Industry India is the largest film producing nation in the world. Each year India produces approximately 1000 movies in 14 different languages.
Sports Cricket is the most popular sport in India. Hockey is the national sport of India.
The game of Polo originated in Manipur. Sports Kabaddi is very popular in the villages.
Namaskar Namaskar or Namaste is the most popular form of greeting in India. It is a general salutation that is used to welcome somebody and also for bidding farewell. While doing namaskar, both the palms are placed together and raised below the face to greet a person. It is believed that both the hands symbolize one mind, or the self meeting the self. While the right hand represents higher nature, the left hand denotes worldly or lower nature. Other common forms of greetings by various communities and regions in India are - Sat-sri-akal by the Sikhs, Adaab by the Muslims, Vannakkam by the Tamilians, Juley by the Laddhakis and Tashi Delag by the Sikkimese, amongst others. Indian Customs & Traditions