is possibly the most diverse nation in the world. In area, it is the seventh
largest country in the world. Within its geographical confines, stretching
from the Great Himalayas in the north to the tropical peninsular south,
there is a dizzying variety of languages, cultures, ethnic groups, beliefs
officially known as Republic of India (In Hindi Known as Bharat or Hindustan),
is a country in southern Asia. It is bounded on the north by Afghanistan,
China, Nepal, and Bhutan; on the east by Bangladesh, Myanmar (formerly
known as Burma), and the Bay of Bengal; on the south by the Palk Strait,
Gulf of Mannar (which separates it from Sri Lanka) and the Indian Ocean;
and on the west by the Arabian Sea and Pakistan.
of India's fascination lies in the fact that it is both a young nation
and an ancient country rolled into one, where the past and the present
constantly collide. The Indo-Aryans evolved a very distinctive culture
that continues to be part of India's living tradition. The hymns of Rig
Veda composed by them, are still recited in temples as well as in houses
in the 21st century.
of India's great paradoxes is that the orthodoxy and rigidities of its
society have been continually tempered by revolts and reforms, as well
as by outside influences. There are 17 major languages and hundreds of
dialects in India. Hindi is spoken by the largest number of people. Tamil
is considered as India's oldest living and powerful language.
culture, like its people is a rich mosaic whose myriad elements have been
born of its ancient roots, its foreign influences and its regional variety.
India's Classical Dance and Music are highly developed forms, based on
texts that are 2,000 years old. India's culture has been enriched by successive
waves of migration which were absorbed into the Indian way of life. Its
physical, religious and racial variety is as immense as its linguistic
diversity. Underneath this diversity lies the continuity of Indian civilization
and social structure from the very earliest times until the present day.
elsewhere in the world, pre modern Indian art is largely inspired by religious
themes and nature. Indian handicrafts, which have grown out of ancient
traditions, continue to thrive despite rapid industrialisation and a fast
growing market economy.