Art and Culture of India
The art and culture of India has been shaped by its history, geographical location and diverse demographics as well as by preserving its ancient heritages, which were formed during the Indus Valley Civilization and evolved further during the Vedic age, rise and decline of Buddhism, Muslim conquests and European colonization.
From ancient times, India not only absorbed the foreign influences in her, but also spread her rich cultural elements across the globe. Even today, parts of south East Asia have evidence of the Indian culture, apparent through the influence of Sanskrit in their language or the influence of Ramayana and Mahabharata in their dance forms and sculptures and even the effect of Hinduism on their religion.
The development of Indian music and dance can trace its roots to the Vedic period through the book of Natyashastra by Bharata around the 4th century BC. This book was a comprehensive guide to the techniques used in drama, dance and Music. The epic plays in Sanskrit by Kalidasa, Bana and others prove that theater was flourishing and more advanced than the contemporary civilizations where it was in its infancy. The complexity of Indian art can be seen from the sculptures that adorn the various temples of India. The interest in Indian art and culture has been there since the ancient days, the oldest university in the world, Takshila, was established around 700 BC.
The cultural heritage of India is so rich that it may take a long time to understand it through all the dimensions involved. The richness of its culture has drawn travelers from all around the world to come and study the wonder that is India. Today, India has advances in many fields and has maintained a system of government which makes it the largest democracy in the world. One of the fascinations of India is that the old and new co-exists here; centuries of history rubbing shoulders with the current age.