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India has a rich and vast history, which has given the country a prominent place among the nations of the world. Its vibrant and varied culture, customs and traditions, world renowed monuments , has enriched the lives of the people dwelling in it.For better understanding it has been divided in to three era , namely Ancient history, Medieval history and Modern history.
Ancient History -STONE AGE
Bhimbetka rock painting Isolated remains of Homo erectus in Hathnora in the Narmada Valley in Central India indicate that India might have been inhabited since at least the Middle Pleistocene era, somewhere between 200,000 to 500,000 years ago. The Mesolithic period in the Indian subcontinent covered a timespan of around 25,000 years, starting around 30,000 years ago. The first confirmed permanent settlements appeared 9,000 years ago in the Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka in modern Madhya Pradesh. Late Neolithic cultures sprang up in the Indus Valley region between 6000 and 2000 BCE and in southern India between 2800 and 1200 BCE.
Spear heads from the Bronze age Greek Pottery
The Indus Valley Civilization
The Bronze Age on the Indian subcontinent began around 3300 BCE with the beginning of the Indus Valley Civilization. Inhabitants of the ancient Indus river valley, the Harappans, developed new techniques in metallurgy and produced copper, bronze, lead and tin. The Indus Valley Civilization which flourished from about 2600 BCE to 1900 BCE marked the beginning of the urban civilization on the subcontinent. The ancient civilization included urban centers such as Harappa and Mohenjo-daro (in modern day Pakistan), Dholavira and Lothal (in modern day India).
The Vedic culture is the Indo-Aryan culture associated with the Hindu sacred texts of Vedas, which were orally composed in Vedic Sanskrit. Vedas are some of the oldest extant texts. This period lasted from about 1500 BCE to 500 BCE. The principal texts of Hinduism (the Vedas), the epics (the Ramayana and Mahabharata) are said to have their ultimate origins during this period. IRON AGE WEAPONS
PERSIAN AND GREEK INVASIONS
Alexander the Great In 334 BCE, Alexander the Great conquered Asia Minor and the Achaemenid Empire, reaching the northwest frontiers of the Indian subcontinent. There, he defeated King Puru in the Battle of the Hydaspes (near modern-day Jhelum, Pakistan) and conquered much of the Punjab; however, Alexander's troops refused to go beyond the Hyphases (Beas) River near modern day Jalandhar, Punjab. Alexander left many Macedonian veterans in the conquered regions; he himself turned back and marched his army southwest.
perhaps. the sixth ruler of the Satvahana dynasty. Satakarni. and allied or friendly areas in light blue In 321 BCE. founded the Maurya dynasty after overthrowing the reigning king Dhana Nanda. Western Ganga Dynasty. Chandragupta was succeeded by his son Bindusara. as far as the Bay of Bengal. Kadamba Dynasty. Early Cholas. Pallavas and Chalukya dynasty dominated the southern part of the Indian peninsula. . The Edicts of Ashoka are the oldest preserved historical documents of India. Roman trade with India Roman trade with India started around 1 CE following thereign of Augustus and his conquest of Egypt. defeated the Sunga dynasty of North India. under direct patronage of the genius of Chanakya. from Central Asia. In the aftermath of the carnage caused in the invasion of Kalinga. EARLY MIDDLE KINGDOMS — THE GOLDEN AGE The middle period was a time of notable cultural development. also known as the Andhras.. Coin of the Roman emperor Augustus found at the Pudukottai hoard. therefore India's biggest trade partner in the West. he renounced bloodshed and pursued a policy of non-violence or ahimsa after converting to Buddhism. Different empires such as the Pandyan Kingdom. The Kushanas invaded north-western India about the middle of the 1st century CE. and founded an empire that eventually stretched from Peshawar to the middle Ganges and. The Satavahanas.MAURYA DYNASTY The Indian Emperor Ashoka Map depicting the largest extent of the Mauryan Empire in dark blue. at different periods of time. approximate dating of dynasties becomes possible. Chera dynasty. exiled general Chandragupta Maurya. and from Ashoka's time. were a dynasty which ruled in Southern and Central India starting from around 230 BCE. Bindusara's kingdom was inherited by his son Ashoka the Great who initially sought to expand his kingdom.
LATE MIDDLE KINGDOMS — THE CLASSICAL AGE Hoysala Empire architecture Chola architecture The classical age in India began with the resurgence of the north during Harsha's conquests around the 7th century. Samudragupta. .GUPTA DYNASTY In the 4th and 5th centuries. and Chandragupta II were the most notable rulers of the Gupta dynasty. After the collapse of the Gupta Empire in the 6th century. Buddhism and Jainism. known as India's Golden Age of Hindu renaissance. the Gupta Dynasty unified northern India. Chandragupta I. science and political administration reached new heights. and the development of the main spiritual and philosophical systems which continued to be in Hinduism. This period produced some of India's finest art. considered the epitome of classical development. The Vijaynagar Empire eventually declined due to pressure from the first Delhi Sultanates . made during the Gupta period. During this period. The Hindu Vijayanagar dynasty[Karnata Rajya] came into conflict with Islamic rule (the Bahmani Kingdom) and caused a mingling of the indigenous and foreign culture that left lasting cultural influences on each other. Famous ancient fresco from the Ajanta Caves. Hindu culture. due to pressure from the invaders to the north in the 13th century. India was again ruled by numerous regional kingdoms. and ended with the fall of the Vijayanagar Empire in the South.
destroyed.THE ISLAMIC SULTANATES After the Arab invasion of India's ancient western neighbour Persia. religion. music. Razia Sultan (1236-1240). literature. After resistance for a few centuries by various north Indian kingdoms. The Delhi Sultanate is the only Indo-Islamic empire to stake a claim to enthroning one of the few female rulers in India. Turks and Afghans invaded parts of northern India and established the Delhi Sultanate at the beginning of the 13th century. Timur entered Delhi and the city was sacked. Informed about civil war in India. which was the richest classical civilization. with a flourishing international trade and the only known diamond mines in the world. and clothing. The resulting "IndoMuslim" fusion of cultures left lasting syncretism monuments in architecture. short lived Islamic empires (Sultanates) got established and spread across the northern subcontinent over a period of a few centuries. The Sultanate ushered in a period of Indian cultural renaissance. THE MUGHAL ERA Mughal Empire Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur Akbar the Great Emperor Jahangir Auranzeb Alamgir I Coin Humayun's Tomb . Arabs. The Sultan's army was defeated on December 17. expanding forces in that area were keen to invade India. Qutb Minar DELHI SULTANATE In the 12th and 13th centuries. a Turco-Mongol conqueror Timur began a trek starting in 1398 to invade the reigning Sultan Nasir-u Din Mehmud of the Tughluq Dynasty in the north Indian city of Delhi. 1398. and left in ruins.
Mysore was a kingdom of southern India. some of whom showed religious tolerance. who unlike previous emperors. that often inflamed the majority Hindu population. The Mughal Emperors married local royalty. liberally patronising Hindu culture.Taj Mahal Fatehpur Sikri Akbar's Capital Mausoleum. and some of whom destroyed historical temples and imposed taxes on non-Muslims. creating unique Indo-Saracenic architecture. a Timurid descendant of Timur and Genghis Khan. and attempted to fuse their Turko-Persian culture with ancient Indian styles. By 1760. He rolled back the Jazia Tax for non-Muslims. Babur. swept across the Khyber Pass and established the Mughal Empire in India. By the 18th century. Under their rule Mysore fought a series of wars sometimes against . The rule of the Wodeyars was interrupted by Hyder Ali and his son Tippu Sultan. it had transformed itself into the Maratha Empire under the rule of the Peshwas. Baji Rao II. This period marked vast social change in the subcontinent as the Hindu majority were ruled over by the Mughal emperors. It was the erosion of this tradition coupled with increased brutality and centralisation that played a large part in their downfall after Aurangzeb. This expansion was brought to an end by the defeat of the Marathas by an Afghan army led by Ahmad Shah Abdali at the Third Battle of Panipat (1761). The last Peshwa. Akbar the Great declared "Amari" or non-killing of animals in the holy days of Jainism. which was founded around 1400 AD by the Wodeyar dynasty. was defeated by the British in the Third Anglo-Maratha War. which lasted for over 200 years. imposed relatively non-pluralistic policies on the general population. POST-MUGHAL REGIONAL KINGDOMS Shivaji Forts built by Shivaji Tipu Sultan The post-Mughal era was dominated by the rise of the Maratha which was founded and consolidated by Shivaji. The Mughal Dynasty ruled most of the Indian subcontinent by 1600. the Empire had stretched across practically the entire subcontinent. Agra In 1526. allied themselves with local Maharajas. it went into a slow decline after 1707 and was finally defeated during the 1857 war of independence also called the Indian rebellion of 1857.
also known as the "Indian Mutiny" or "Sepoy Mutiny" or the "First War of Independence". After the Battle of Buxar in 1764. led by Robert Clive. and reinforcement of the East . The Punjabi kingdom. They introduced a land taxation system called the Permanent Settlement which introduced a feudal like structure in Bengal. This was the first political foothold with territorial implications that the British acquired in India. COLONIAL ERA Vasco da Gama's maritime success to discover for Europeans a new sea route to India in 1498 paved the way for direct IndoEuropean commerce.the combined forces of the British and Marathas. in which the 'army' of East India Company. The East India Company monopolized the trade of Bengal. The British Raj The British East India Company had been given permission by the Mughal emperor Jahangir in 1617 to trade in India. the de facto ruler of the Bengal province. which included present-day Pakistan and Bangladesh. the Company acquired the civil rights of administration in Bengal from the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II. The Nawab of Bengal Siraj Ud Daulah. but mostly against the British with some aid or promise of aid from the French. opposed British attempts to use these permits. Gradually their increasing influence led the de-jure Mughal emperor Farrukh Siyar to grant them dastaks or permits for duty free trade in Bengal in 1717. the East India Company controlled most of the Indian sub-continent. was a political entity that governed the region of modern day Punjab. defeated the Nawab's forces. After a year of turmoil. Their policy was sometimes summed up as Divide and Rule. The first major movement against the British Company's high handed rule resulted in the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Diu and Bombay. Daman. This led to the Battle of Plassey in 1757. The next to arrive were the Dutch. the British— who set up a trading-post in the west-coast port of Surat in 1619—and the French. By the 1850s. The internal conflicts among Indian Kingdoms gave opportunities to the European traders to gradually establish political influence and appropriate lands. The Portuguese soon set up trading-posts in Goa. taking advantage of the enmity festering between various princely states and social and religious groups. it marked the beginning of its formal rule. Clive was appointed by the Company as its first 'Governor of Bengal' in 1757. ruled by members of the Sikh religion.
Salt Satyagraha. Bal Gangadhar Tilak Bhagat Singh Vallabh Bhai Patel Dr. India's great diversity of cultural practices. the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar. his children were beheaded and the Moghul line abolished. was exiled to Burma. Revolutionary activities of patriots like Bhagat Singh and many unsung heores against the British rule took place throughout the Indian sub-continent. traditions and ideas from some of its neighbors as well as by preserving its ancient heritages. the British overcame the rebellion. The foundation for the democratic and secular nation was laid down in the Constitution of India under the guidance of Dr.India Company's troops with British soldiers. Muslim conquests and European colonization. Language . and traditions are examples of this unique co-mingling over the past five millennia. India is also the birth place of several religious systems such as Hinduism. Swadeshi Movement. and with the establishment of provincial Councils with Indian members the councillors' participation was subsequently widened in legislative councils. customs. the Company's lands were controlled directly and the rest through the rulers of what it called the Princely states. From 1920 leaders such as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi began mass movements like Non co-operation movement. THE INDIAN INDEPENDENCE MOVEMENT Gandhi And Nehru The first step toward Indian independence and western-style democracy was taken with the appointment of Indian councillors to advise the British viceroy. Bhimrao Ambedkar. its unique geography and the absorption of customs. The nominal leader of the uprising. In the aftermath all power was transferred from the East India Company to the British Crown. rise and decline of Buddhism. which began to administer most of India as a colony. languages. some of which have had a large influence in other parts of the world. which were formed during the Indus Valley Civilization and evolved further during the Vedic age. these movements succeeded in bringing Independence to the Indian sub-continent on 15th August 1947. Golden age. Civil Disobedience Movement through his weapons of Satyagraha and non-violence and campaign against the British Raj. Ambedkar Culture of India The culture of India has been shaped by the long history of India. Jainism. and Sikhism. Buddhism.
pop. folk. The oldest preserved examples of Indian music are the melodies of the Samaveda. there are some similarities with other types of Oriental music. remains instrumental to the religious inspiration. . one of the most prominent composers of Carnatic music. popular. All together. developed over several eras.000 people.The great number of languages in India have added to the diverse cultures and traditions at both regional and national levels. cultural expression and pure entertainment. Languages spoken in India Performing arts Tansen Purandara Dasa. 216 languages are spoken by a group of more than 10. and. there are 415 living languages in India.000 people. India's classical music tradition is heavily influenced by Hindu texts. and classical music. The Constitution of India has stipulated the usage of Hindi and English to be the two official languages of communication for the Union Government. however there are many others which are spoken by fewer than 10. has a history spanning millennia. Alongside distinctly subcontinental forms. Music The music of India includes multiples varieties of religious. It includes Carnatic and Hindustani music and is noted for the use of several Raga.
have been accorded classical dance status by India's National Academy of Music.and Mallayuddha. These are: bharatanatyam of the state of Tamil Nadu. There have been many great practitioners of Indian martial Arts including Bodhidharma who supposedly brought Indian martial arts to China. Kalari and other later formed martial arts have been assumed by some to have traveled to China. odissi of the state of Orissa and the sattriya of Assam. the chhau of Jharkhand and Orissa and the ghoomar of Rajasthan. Eight dance forms. kuchipudi of Andhra Pradesh. Martial arts Kalarippayattu or Kalari for short is one of the world's oldest martial art.Dance Odissi dance Bharatnatyam Kathak Kuchipudi Manipuri Indian dance too has diverse folk and classical forms. the bihu of Assam. and eventually developing into Kung-fu. like Buddhism. It is preserved in texts such as the Mallapurana. many with narrative forms and mythological elements. Eastern Indian Martial Arts . kathak of Uttar Pradesh. Dance.Pehlwani. kathakali and mohiniattam of Kerala. Among the well-known folk dances are the bhangra of the Punjab. Other later martial arts are Gatka. manipuri of Manipur. and Drama.
Bose Krishnamacnahri. Mysore painting. Mysore Palace has on display several good Indian paintings. some of which go back to the Stone Age. Sun Temple. Devajyoti Ray and Shibu Natesan represent a new era of Indian art where global art shows direct amalgamation with Indian classical styles. Atul Dodiya.Painting The earliest Indian paintings were the rock paintings of pre-historic times. Most early and medieval art in India is Hindu. Madhubani painting. A freshly made coloured flour design is still a common sight outside the doorstep of many (mostly South Indian) Indian homes. Bagh. Orissa. Mughal painting are some notable Genres of Indian Art. Golden Temple Amritsar Indian architecture encompasses a multitude of expressions over space and time. MF Hussain. constantly absorbing new ideas. Jehangir Art Gallery. Among the present day artists. while Raja Ravi Varma. Rajput painting.Jamini Roy and B. the petroglyphs as found in places like Bhimbetka. Cave paintings from Ajanta. Tanjore painting. Buddhist or Jain. Geeta Vadhera. Nandalal Bose.Venkatappa are some modern painters. MF Hussain Architecture The Wheel of Konark. Mumbai. The result is an evolving range of architectural . Ellora and Sittanavasal and temple paintings testify to a love of naturalism.
Indian architecture was adapted to allow the traditions of the new religion. Borobudur and other Buddhist and Hindu temples indicate strong Indian influence on South East Asian architecture. The colonial rule of the British Empire saw the development of Indo-Saracenic style. Hoysala temple at Somanathapura. Konark. With the advent of Islamic influence from the west. such as the caves of Ajanta and Ellora and the monumental Sanchi Stupa were built. and are often used as the stereotypical symbols of India. Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple at Srirangam. Some of its earliest production are found in the Indus Valley Civilization (2600-1900 BCE) which is characterised by well planned cities and houses. Karnataka Religion The Jama Masjid in Delhi Lord Buddha . South India produced several Hindu temples like Chennakesava Temple at Belur. several Buddhist architectural complexes. and mixing of several other styles. the Hoysaleswara Temple at Halebidu. Qutub Minar. Gol Gumbaz. Later on. and the Buddha stupa at Bhattiprolu. the Sun Temple. Red Fort of Delhi are creations of this era. such as European Gothic. as they are built in styles almost identical to traditional Indian religious buildings. Angkor Wat. Thanjavur. Taj Mahal. During the period of the Maurya and Gupta empires and their successors.production that nonetheless retains a certain amount of continuity across history. and the Kesava Temple at Somanathapura. Brihadeeswara Temple. Fatehpur Sikri.
and fourth-largest religions respectively. Judaism and the Bahá'í Faith are also influential but their numbers are smaller. Christianity. atheism and agnostics also have visible influence. Religion still plays a central and definitive role in the life of most of its people. with around 1. Hinduism and Buddhism are the world's third. Buddhism.4 billion followers. Jainism and especially Buddhism are influential not only in India but across the world. include Hinduism. Despite the strong role of religion in Indian life. which gives the country a distinct geographical entity It covers an area of 32. Lord Krishna Indian religions. India is one of the most religiously diverse nations in the world.4% of all Indians. Lying entirely in the northern hemisphere the mainland extends measures 3214 km from north south between extreme latitudes and about 2933 km from east to west between extreme longitudes. the Arabian Sea in the west and the Indian Ocean to the south. The total length of the coastline of the mainland.516. The country lies between 8º4' and 37º6' north of the Equator and is surrounded by the Bay of Bengal in the east. .87. Sikhism. a major form of world religions next to the Abrahamic ones. with some of the most deeply religious societies and cultures.A statue in Bangalore. Zoroastrianism.km. Karnataka depicting Siva in yogic meditation. The religion of more than 80. Islam is practiced by around 13. Jainism. It has a land frontier of about 15200 km. Lakswadweep group of islands and Andaman and Nicobar group of islands is 7.4% of the people is Hinduism. is well marked with off from the rest of Asia by mountains and the sea. Sikhism.5 km. INTRODUCTION: India the seventh largest country in the world . Today.2631 sq.
Indian Ocean in the south and Bay of Bengal in the east.There are 19 island in Nicobar group .In the north west Afganisthan and Pakistan border India.The Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Straits separate India from Sri lanka. the highest mountains on earth and the southern part is fringed with the coasts of Arabian sea in the west. The northern part of the country is walled by the Mighty Himalayas.• GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION OF INDIA In the east lies the Bangladesh. extending for 350km. The conglomeration of islands in the Bay of Bengal in the east. the Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands in the Arabian Sea are union territories of IndiaThere are as many as 200 islands in Andaman alone.
They are formed on a coral deposit off the Kerala coast . There are some openings or passes in the northwestern side of the great Himlayan wall . Yamuna and Brahmaputra make up the Gangetic plain. Himachal Pradesh. Patna. known as Aryavarta in ancient times. Bolan. the great Indian epics. Sikkim.Varanasi. Gomal. The Western Ghats . It covers. GEOGRAPHICALLY INDIA CAN BE DIVIDED INTO FOUR NATURAL REGIONS: The Northern Mountain Region : This is the region with undulating valleys and high mountains. Kuram and Tochi passes are all now in Pakistan. The Indus Valley and the desert of Sind are at present in Pakistan The Northern Plain. Ahmedabad etc. Arunachal Pradesh. Mathrua. both running parallel to the coast.The Arabian sea consist of the Lakshadweep group. The Coastal Plains : The Deccan Plateau is flanked on the west by the Western Ghats and on the east by the Eastern Ghat ranges. Kumaon. The Great Northern Plains : The valleys of the Indus River and its tributaries. the seat of Buddhism and Jainism. was the scene of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.The southern most of this lies just to the north of the Maldive island which is an independent territory. Meghalaya. the Tehri region of Uttar Pradesh.the Khyber. Nagalnd and Mizoram. the northern states of Kashmir. the deserts of Rajasthan and Sind and the fertile valleys of the Ganga. seat of great empires like the Mauryas and Guptas and important cities such as Delhi.
The subcontinent has eight climatic zones all of which only have the monsoon rains in common. This is a rich plain with evergreen vegetation.are very steep and the narrow maritime plain between its ranges and the sea is known as the Konkan in the north and Malabar in the south. birds. or else one must speak of several different India's. MONSOONS India has tropical weather. flowing from west to east and draining into the Bay of Bengal. the Deccan Plateau is separated from the Plain by the Vindhya and Saputara mountains. One cannot speak of the climate of India. And you can fly in the space of a couple of hours through a range of weather from the cold crisp air of the mountains to the burning dry heat of the Rajasthan Desert where summer temperature regularly reach 45°C and beyond. . The Deccan Plateau : Lying south of the Gangetic Plain. WINTER. and from the coastal plains by the Western and Eastern Ghats. wild animals and its unique culture has something substantial to offer to the touring connoisseurs. lovely forests. But even the monsoon comes to different parts of the country at different times. CLIMATE OF INDIA: THREE MAJOR INDIAN CLIMATE SEASONS SUMMER. except Tapti and Narmada. This triangular table land slopes towards the east and has all its rivers.
Across the Gangetic plain.It can be very cold from December . very dry and hot from the end of March till June.January. The rest of the year is comfortably pleasant. STATES & UNION TERRITORY OF INDIA • Andhra Pradesh • Arunachal Pradesh • Assam • Bihar • Chattisgarh• Delhi • Goa• Gujarat • Haryana • Himachal Pradesh • Jammu & Kashmir Jharkhand • Karnataka • Kerala • Madhya Pradesh • Maharashtra • Manipur • Meghalaya • Mizoram •Nagaland • Orissa • Punjab • Rajasthan • Sikkim •Tamil Nadu • Tripura Union Territories • Andaman and Nicobar Islands • Chandigarh • Dadra and Nagar Haveli • • Daman and Diu • Lakshadweep • Pondicherry . the summer months are an interminable heat haze. very hot and humid till the monsoons arrive from July through September.
14. 20 00 N.103 km. bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal.249 Sq km 32 Sq km 45.652 Sq km 9 Sq km INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT OUR COUNTRY: INDIA Location of India Southern Asia. . between Burma and Pakistan.702 Sq km 8.446 Sq km 3.287.287. 77 00 E Geographic Co-ordinates Area Total Land Water Comparative Land boundaries (Total) 3.3.190 sq km 314.973.590 sq km 2.263 square kilometers including area under illegal occupation of China and Pakistan Largest State Smallest State Largest Union Territory Smallest Union Territory Largest District Smallest District Madhya Pradesh Goa Andaman & Nicobar Islands Lakshadweep Kachchh (Gujarat) Mahe ( Pondicherry ) 443.Indian Area Data Source : 1991 Census of India Area : (Including J & K) .400 sq km Slightly more than one-third the size of the US.
Limestone.000 sq km (1998 est.) 590. Petroleum.000 km Maritime claims (Contiguous 24 NM zone) Territorial sea 12 NM Continental shelf 200 NM or to the edge of the continental margin Exclusive economic zone 200 NM Climate Terrain Varies from tropical monsoon in south to temperate in north Upland Plain (Deccan Plateau) in South. Manganese.) Droughts.35% 2.Border Shared With Countries Bangladesh Bhutan Burma China Nepal Pakistan 4.380 km 1. Iron Ore.463 km 3. Overgrazing. Mica. Deserts in West. Natural Gas. Himalayas in North. Elevation extremes Lowest point Highest point Natural resources Indian Ocean 0 m Kanchenjunga 8.66% 42. Air Pollution from industrial effluents and vehicle emissions. Titanium Ore.99% (1998 est. Chromite. Soil Erosion. Severe Thunderstorms.598 m Coal. Flash Floods. Desertification.053 km 605 km 1. Earthquakes. Diamonds. Environment Current issues Deforestation. Flat to Rolling Plain along the Ganges. Widespread and Destructive Flooding from Monsoonal Rains. Water pollution from raw . Arable Land Land use Arable land Permanent crops Other's Irrigated land Natural hazards 54.690 km 2.912 km Coastline: Claims and Boundaries Coastline 7. Bauxite.
Antarctic Treaty. Wetlands. along with varied accompaniments such as chutneys and pickles. Ship Pollution. Central Asia and Europe. roti and dal. Biodiversity. and are used to enhance the flavor of a dish and create unique flavors and aromas. reflecting the varied demographics of the ethnically diverse subcontinent. playing a role in everyday life as well as in festivals. and food. AntarcticMarine Living Resources. Signed. Indian cuisine varies from region to region.International agreements sewage and runoff of agricultural pesticides. Tropical Timber 83. Indian cuisine can be split into four categories: North Indian. Law of the Sea. Diversity is a defining feature of India's geography. Whaling. everyday meals are usually sit-down affairs consisting of two to three main course dishes consisting of rice. Hazardous Wastes. Considered by some to be one of the world's most diverse cuisines. . but not ratified: none of the selected agreements MULTI-CUISINE OF INDIA: The cuisine of India is characterized by its sophisticated and subtle use of many spices and herbs. Tropical Timber 94. Cuisine across India has also been influenced by various cultural groups that entered India throughout history. South Indian. Climate Change. Huge and growing population is verstraining natural resources. as well as curds. In many families. Food is an important part of Indian culture. some unifying threads emerge in the art of Indian cuisine. Ozone Layer Protection. Environmental Modification. and West Indian. East Indian. Party To: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol. Varied uses of spices are an integral part of food preparation. Generally. each family of this cuisine is characterized by a wide assortment of dishes and cooking techniques. from regions as diverse as West Asia. Despite this diversity. Desertification. Endangered Species. Tap water is not potable throughout the country. culture.
Pulses are used extensively in the form of dal (split). In sweet dishes. and rose petal essence are used. Hydrogenated vegetable oil. while in Eastern India. The term "curry" is usually understood to mean "gravy" in India. cumin (jeera). dehusked. groundnut oil has traditionally been most popular for frying. commonly comprised of cardamom. and garlic (lassan). is also a popular cooking medium that replaces Desi ghee (clarified butter). nutmeg. rather than "spices. In South India. saffron. In recent decades. fenugreek leaf and mint leaf. Some leaves are commonly used like tejpat (cassia leaf). fenugreek (methi). sunflower oil and soybean oil have gained popularity all over India. or split. and Goda Masala. Most Indian curries are fried in vegetable oil. Some of the pulses like chana and "Mung" are also processed into flour (besan). In North and West India. Pulses may be used whole. The common use of curry leaves is typical of all Indian cuisine. a popular spice mix in Maharashtra. cardamom. for example dhuli moong or dhuli urad. asafoetida (hing)." .The staples of Indian cuisine are rice. black mustard seed (rai). chana (bengal gram). Mustard oil is more commonly used. The most important/frequently used spices in Indian cuisine are chilli pepper. and a variety of pulses. coriander leaf. turmeric (haldi). toor (pigeon pea or yellow gram). Popular spice mixes are garam masala which is usually a powder of five or more dried spices. ginger (adrak). urad (black gram) and mung (green gram). cinnamon and clove. known as Vanaspati ghee. atta (whole wheat flour). coconut oil and Gingelly Oil is common. the most important of which are masoor (most often red lentil).
Then a "tikka" (vermillion) is applied on the forehead and a small "aarti" is performed."India is the cradle of the human race. The guest is given a very warm traditional welcome in which he/she is garlanded and given a welcome drink. This gives rise to an umpteen number of traditions. The Indian phrase for this is "Atithi Devo Bhava". These traditions of India are what give India an individual identity and lend a mystical essence to the atmosphere. These are some of the major customs and traditions in India that have been handed down for thousands of generations. This phrase is also used for a campaign launched by the Tourism Ministry of India to highlight the rich culture of India. the birthplace of human speech. As Mark Twain rightly said . One finds a unique and harmonious co-existence of many different religions in India. unto the grave.CUSTOMS AND TRADITIONS OF INDIA Just take out the customs and traditions from India and it would seem like a colourless sketch of a pretty woman. a guest is considered as equal to God. the mother of history. yet they are known in a collective form of Indian traditions. India is a secular country and everyone has the right to pursue a religion of his/her own choice. TRADITIONAL WELCOME In India. right through adolescence. the grandmother of legend and the great grand mother of tradition India is a modern country yet the customs and traditions are religiously followed in urban as well as rural India. a woman without ornamentation. So welcoming a guest is no less than an event. Indian customs and rituals vary from one region to another. The Indian customs begin with each birth and continue from the cradle. LIGHTING LAMP/DIYA .
All auspicious functions and moments like daily worship. just as light removes darkness. teachers and noble souls by touching their feet. NAMASKAR/NAMASTE People in India greet each other by joining the palms at almost the chest level and saying "Namaste". rituals and festivals and even many social occasions like inaugurations commence with the lightning of lamp. It is used for both "hello" and "goodbye". which is known as "diya" is lit before the picture or idol of god. PROSTRATING BEFORE PARENTS AND ELDERS Indians prostrate before their parents. Along with the diya. . Hence we light the lamp to bow down to knowledge as the greatest of all forms of wealth. ignorance. the left hand denotes worldly or lower nature. or the self meeting the self. elders. It has also a spiritual significance of negating or reducing one's ego in the presence of another. Knowledge removes ignorance. It is considered to bring good luck to the house and is also considered sacred. The light is worshipped as lord himself. Also knowledge is a lasting inner wealth by which all outer achievements can be accomplished.A small lamp. It is believed that both the hands symbolise one mind. While the right hand represents higher nature. Light symbolizes knowledge and darkness. incense sticks are also lit.
BIRTH CEREMONY Indians rejoice the birth of a kid by conducting a small ceremony. Infact. The child is made to lie down on a beautifully decorated cradle and the priest decides the first alphabet of the child's name. most of them continue for 3-4 days. maturity. dance. It symbolizes our recognition of their selfless love for us and the sacrifices that they have done for our welfare. nobility and divinity that our elders personify. Wedding Ceremony Most Indian weddings are held in much grandeur with an amazing display of fireworks. The elder in turn blesses by placing his or her hand on their heads. music and lip smacking cuisines. A priest is called to preside on the holy rituals. Touching the feet in prostration is a sign of respect for the age. . Indian weddings are not a one-day affair. It is a way of humbly acknowledging the greatness of another and creates an environment of mutual love and respect among people ensuring harmony in the family and society.They kneel down and touch the feet of their parents as a sign of respect and to receive their blessing and good wishes.
Each year on Diwali day. one lamp lights another and like a flame burning steadily on a windless night. Not to forget the gorgeous array of sparkling colours emitted by the firecrackers that seems to awaken the night sky.India is a birthplace for innumerable customs and traditions that have found acceptance worldwide. feasting or even fasting. on the English calendar.pujas. Every festival has its own special customs and rituals . Id. It is one of the most important Indian festivals and is celebrated on a mass scale by Indians not only in India. lighting lamps. Festivals of India Diwali One of the most joyful and beautiful festivals to be celebrated on the Indian subcontinent is Diwali. Indians love to celebrate. even today. the festival of lights. The very word Diwali conjures up the image of winking lights and flickering diyas. whether it's Diwali. brings a message of peace and harmony to the world. Due to the presence of a multitude of ethnicities in the country. Id Ul Fitr . the form a rich cultural blend. Diwali is celebrated generally in the months of October or November. throwing colour. There is a specific ritual that is associated with every gesture that an individual makes and when all these rituals come together. but also all over the world. The Indians regard these customs and traditions are high respect and they occupy a very significant position in each one's life. there is a great assortment of customs and traditions in India. Pongal or Christmas.
On this day. which is why the word Fitr. Christmas celebrations begin with a midnight mass. in the month of April or May. and offer their prayers or namaz. Id celebrates the breaking of the Ramzan fast. . Id is one of the most important festivals in the Muslim religion. Muslims also pay tribute to their ancestors during this time CHRISTMAS It was celebrated to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ.Id Ul Fitr is a festival that marks the end of the Ramzan period. and embrace three times. which is considered to be an essential part of the celebrations. which means 'to break'. People greet each other with the words "Id Mubarak". Muslims from around the world dress up in new clothes to celebrate Id with great enthusiasm. it is followed by merrymaking. Muslims gather in large groups at mosques. On this day. Women prepare delicious sweetmeats at home. and vermicelli kheer (sweetened milk) is a popular dish. and usually falls on a new moon night.
who rides the reindeer and forms a significant part of the celebrations especially for children. during which the Guru Granth Sahib. There are some popular churches in India specially in Goa. is a legendary chubby oldie figure. perform group dances using gay-colored sticks. On the day of the main event. They go from door to door preaching the message of love and brotherhood. . which he apparently places in their stockings at night. which is called Langar. and carried on a float in a proper procession throughout a village or city. accompanied by an orchestra of drums and cymbals. is the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev. St.Children in brightly colored dresses. the Granth Sahib is ornamented with flowers. where Christmas is celebrated with great fervour and enthusiasm. He loves kids and gets chocolates. The Christmas tree is popular all over the world for its grandeur. The procession finally leads to a Gurudwara. who ushered in a new wave in religion. GURU NANAK JAYANTI Guru Nanak Jayanti. the foremost of all the Gurupurabs or anniversaries of the 10 Sikh Gurus. the holy book of the Sikhs is read out from the beginning to the end without a break. People sing carols in the glory of the Lord during Christmas. gifts and other desired goodies for them. alias Santa Claus. the founder of the Sikh faith. The festive event of Guru Nanak Jayanti includes the three-day Akhand Path. Benedict. People decorate their homes with trees and hang mistletoe in every corner. clad in red and white dress. where the gathered devotees get together for a community lunch.