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Introduction:

India 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 and lifestyles.

India, 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. 

Much 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. 

One 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.

India's 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. 

Like 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.