ART AND CULTURE OF INDIA
Religion is a collection of belief systems,
cultural systems and world views that relate
humanity to spirituality and sometimes to
moral values. Religion is different from private
belief in its social character.
● It consists of a collection of intellectual and
philosophical points of views, rather than a
rigid system of beliefs.
● There is no specific founder of the religion.
● Its roots can be traced to the historical Vedic
religion of the Iron age India.
● Hinduism is the third largest religion in the
world after Christianity and Islam.
● Prominent texts are Vedas, the Ramayana
● This religion was founded by Jesus Christ.
He was born to Mother Mary and Joseph in
Bethlehem near Jerusalem. His birth day
(25th December) is celebrated as the holy
● His first two disciple, Andrews and Peter,
were hanged in AD 33 by the Roman
● Bible is the holy book of Christians and the
sign of ‘Cross’ is their holy symbol.
● Hazrat Muhammad Saheb founded the
Islamic religion. He was born to Amina
(mother) and Abdullah (father) at Mecca in
● He was married to Khajida (a widow) at the
age of 25 yrs. His daugher, Fatima, was
married to Ali Hussain.
● Hazrat Muhammad attained supreme
knowledge or enlightment in AD 610 in the
Hira Cave near Mecca. His teachings are
compiled in the Holy Kuran.
● 24th September (AD 622), the day Hazrat
Muhammad started his journey from Mecca
to Medina marks the beginning of the Hijri
● He died on 8th June, AD 623 and was
buried at Medina.
● After his death, Islam divided into the
Shia and the Sunni cults. His
successors were known as Khalifa.
● The Turkish ruler, Mushtafa Kamal
Pasha, ended the designation of
● The birthday of Muhammad Saheb is
celebrated as Eid-mild-un-Nabi.
Parsi religion was founded by Prophet
His teachings are compiled in the
holybook-Zend Avesta. His followers
believed in one God-Ahur.
● Guru Nanak is the founder of Sikhism.
● Guru Granth Sahib is the Holy book
of Sikhism. Sikhism is the third
largest religion of India.
● Sikhism developed in India during
16th and 17th centuries.
● Mahatma Buddha is the founder of
Buddhism.Buddhism is the
indigenous religion of India.
● Holy book of Buddhism are the
● The three Jewels of Buddhism are
Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha.
● Buddhists generally classify
themselves as either Theravada or
● Mahavira Swami is the founder of
● Jainism is a religion indigenous to the
● Holy book of Jainism is the Kalpa
● The main doctrines of Jainism are
Anekantavada, Syadvada and
Nayavada. The two sects of Jainism
are Svetambara and Digambara.
Jaina holy texts consist of Purvas,
Agamas, Angas and Upangas.
● Sanskrit is the mother of many Indian
● The Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas and
Dharmasutras are all written in Sanskrit.
● It is one of the twenty-two languages listed
in the Indian Constitution.
● The Dharmasutras, the Manusmriti,
Arthashastra and Gita Govinda are the
famous books in Sanskrit.
● Panini, Kautilya, Kalhana and Jayadeva
are the famous writers of Sanskrit.
Pali is an Indo-Aryan language, which was
used for the earliest Buddhist scriptures.
Pali literature is mainly concerned with
● The Vijyanagara period was the golden age
of Telugu literature.
● Eight Telugu literary luminaries are
popularly known as Ashtadiggajas.
● Ramakrishna was the author
of Panduranga Mahatmayam, which was
considered as one of the greatest poetical
works of Telugu literature.
● Kannada language developed fully after
the AD 10th century. The earliest known
literary work in Kannada is Kavirajamarg,
written by the Rashtrakuta King
Nripatunga Amoghavargha I.
● Pampa, known as the father of Kannada,
wrote his great poetic works Adi Purana and
Vikramarjiva Vijaya in the AD 10th century.
● The language of Malayalam emerged
around the AD 11th century. By 15th
century, Malayalam was recognised as an
● Bhasa Kautilya, a commentary on
Arthashastra and Kokashndisam are two
● Rama Panikkar and Ramanujan
Ezhuthachan are well known authors of
● Tamil is the mother language of the
Dravidian language family.
● The Sangam literature is a collection of
long and short poems composed by
various poets in praise of numerous
heroes and heroines.
● There are about 30000 lines of poetry,
which are arranged in eight anthologies
Persian and Urdu
● Urdu emerged as an independent
language towards the end of the AD 4th
● Urdu as a language was born out of the
interaction between Hindi and Persian.
● Urdu became more popular in the early
● The earliest Urdu poet is supposed to
● Urdu has given us a new form of poem,
that is called a nazm.
● Hindi is a direct descendant of the
Sanskrit language, through Prakrit and
● It is spoken largely in North India.
● Evolution of Hindi literature can be
better understood through four stages
of Adi Kal, Bhakti Kal, Riti-kavya Kal
and Adhunik kal.
● Raja Ram Mohan Roy wrote in Bengali
besides English, which gave an impetus
to Bengali literature.
● Ishwar Chandra Vidhyasagar
(1820-91) and Akshay Kumar Dutta
(1820-86) were the two other writers of
this early period.
● Sharat Chandra Chatterji (1876-1938)
and RC Dutta, a noted historian and a
prose writer, too contributed to the
making of Bengali literature.
● But the most important name that
influenced the whole of India was that
of Rabindra Nath Tagore (1861-1941).
Novels, dramas, short stories, criticism,music and essays, all flowed from his
pen. He won the Nobel Prize for
literature in 1913 for his Geetanjali.
● Like Bengali, Assamese also developed in
response to the Bhakti movement.
● Shankaradeva, who introduced
Vaishnavism in Assam helped in the
growth of Assamese poetry. Even the
Puranas were translated in Assamese.
● The earliest Assamese literature
consisted of buranjis (court chronicles).
Shankaradeva has left several devotional
poems, which people sang with
rapturous pleasure, but it was only after
1827 that more interest was shown in
producing Assamese literature.
● Oriya language shows the maximum
influence of Sanskrit. It originated in
the AD 9th century and its literary
development took place in the 13th
● Worth mentioning in Oriya literature are
Fakirmohan Senapati and Radha Nath
Ray, whose writings deserve considerable
attention in the history of Oriya
● The works of Upendra Bhanja
(1670-1720) were important as they
ushered a new period of Oriya literature.
In Odisha, the works of Saraladasa are
regarded as the first works of Oriya
● Punjabi is a language with several
shades. It is being written in two scripts,
Gurumukhi and Persian.
● Guru Nanak was the first poet in
Punjabi. Some other contemporary
poets, mostly Sufi saints, used to sing in
● Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th guru, was
educated in Patna (Bihar), where he
learnt Persian and Sanskrit.
● He has composed two savaiyyas in
Punjabi, but these are not a part of the
Adi Granth. Similar is the popularity of
Bulley Shah, who was a Sufi saint. He
has composed a large number of songs.
Indian Literature in English
● English came into India with the British
and soon became a language of formal
education. Some of the early Indian
works in English were written by Raja
Rammohan Roy, Henry Vivian Derozio
and Madhusudan Dutt. Aurobindo
Ghosh wrote his epic poem ‘Savitri: A
Legend and a Symbol’ in English.
● India’s only Nobel laureate in literature
Rabindranath Tagore wrote some of his
work originally in English and did some
of his own English translation from
Bengali. Sarojini Naidu and Jawaharlal
Nehru also wrote in English. Nehru’s
‘The Discovery of India’ and ‘Glimpses of
World History’ are quite popular.
● Some notable Indian poets, who write in
English are Nissim Ezekiel, Dom
Moraes, Arun Kolakar and Dilip Chitre.
Other notable Indian writers are
Khushwant Singh, Salman Rushdie,
Vikram Seth, Arundhati Roy, Kamala
Markandaya, Kiran Desai, Jhumpa
The music of India is said to be one of the
oldest unbroken musical traditions in the
Many different legends have grown up
concerning the origin and development of
Indian classical music.
● Hindustani classical music originated in
North India around the 13th and 14th
centuries. In contrast to Carnatic music,
the Hindustani classical music was not
only influenced by ancient Hindu
musical traditions and Vedic philosophy,
but also by the Persian elements.
● Hindustani music is based on the Raga
system. The Raga is a melodic scale,
comprising of notes from the basic seven
– Sa, Re, Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha and Ni.
● On the basis of notes included in it, each
raga attains a different character. The
form of the raga is also determined by the particular pattern of ascent and
descent of the notes, which may not be
● Hindustani classical music is primarily
vocal-centric. The major vocal forms
associated with Hindustani classical
music are the khayal, ghazal, dhrupad,
Tappa, tarana and thumri.
It is a form of vocal music adopted from
medieval Persian music. It is based on
imagination and improvisations of the
It is the oldest form of Hindustani music,
traditionally performed by male singers. It is
mostly a poetic form. Tansen Sang in
It is developed in 18th century from the folk
songs of camel riders of Punjab. They are
essentially folklore of love and passion and
written in Punjabi. Developed as a form of
classical music by Mian Ghulam Nabi Shori.
It is a medium to fast paced song usually
performed towards the end of the concert. It
consists of a few lines of poetry with
It is an informal vocal form of Hindustani
classical music and is said to have begun
with the court of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, the
Nawab of Oudh.
It is a poetic form consisting of rhyming
couplets on love and devotion.
It is an ancient form originating in 6th
century Arabic poetry. It spread into South
Asia in the 12th century, due to the influence
of Sufi mystics.
There is a rich tradition of Gharanas in
classical Hindustani music. These schools
or Gharanas have their basis in the
traditional mode of musical training and
education. Every Gharana has its own
This is the oldest among all the Khayal
Gayaki (vocal) styles. Its distinctive
feature is its lucidity and simplicity. It is
founded by Hassu Khan and Nathu Khan.
The Agra Gharana places great
importance on developing forcefulness
and deepness in the voice, so that the
notes are powerful and resonant founded
by Haji Sujan Khan.
It derives its name from the birth-place of
Abdul Kharim Khan of Kirana near
Kurukshetra. In the Kirana style of
singing, the swara is used to create an
emotional mood by means of elongation
and use of Kana-s.
Rampur Sahaswan Gharana
In Rampur Sahaswan Gharana, there is a
stress on the clarity of swara and the
development and elaboration of the raga
is done through a stepwise progression.
Founded by Inayat Khan.
Founded by Inayat Khan. Regarded as an
off-shoot of the Delhi Gharana, the
Patiala Gharana is characterised by the
use of greater rhythm play and by
Layakari with the abundant use of Bols,
particularly Bol tans founded by ustad
Fateh Ali Khan.
The Delhi Gharana was represented by
Tanras Khan and Shabbu Khan. The
highlights of Delhi Gharana are pleasing
vistaar and exquisite compositions.
Founded by Ustad Mamman Khan.
The Banaras Gharana evolved as a result
of great tilting style of khayal singing
known by Thumri singers of Banaras and
Gaya. Founded by Pt. Gopal Mishra.
The Mewati Gharana gives importance to
developing the mood of the raga through
the notes forming it and its style is Bhava
Pradhan. It also gives equal importance
to the meaning of the text.
1. Rudra Veena Asad Ali Khan, Zia Moin-ud-din Dagar
2. Santoor Shiv Kumar Sharma,
3. Sarod Buddhadev Dasgupta, Ali Akbar Khan, Amjad Ali khan, Bahadur Khan,
Sharan Rani, Zarin S Sharma
4. Sarangi Ustad Binda Khan
5. Sitar Ravi Shankar, Hara Shankar Bhattacharya, Nikhil, Banerjee, Vilayat Khan,
Mustaq Ali Khan
6. Surb Ahar Sajjad Hussain, Annapurna
7. Veena Doraiswamy Iyengar, Chittibabu, Emani Sankara Shastri, Dhanammal, S
Bala Chandran, KR Kumaraswamy
8. Violin Gajanan Rao Joshi, MS Gopal Krishnan, TN Krishnan, Baluswamy,
Dikshitar, Dwaran Venkataswamy Naidu Lalyuli G Jayaraman, Mysore T
Chowdiah, VG Jog
9. Flute TR Mahalingam, N Ramani, Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Pannalal Ghosh
10. Nadaswaran Sheikh Chinna Moula, Neeruswamy Pillai, Rajaratanam Pillai
11. Shehnai Bismillah Khan
Percussion (Striking Thumping) Instruments
12. Mridangam Palghat Mani Iyer, Karaikudi R Mani, Palghat Raghu
13. Pakhawag Pt Ayodhya Prasad, Gopal Das, Babu Ram Shanker Pagaldas
14. Tabla Zakir Hussain, Nikhil Ghosh, Kishan Maharaj, Alla Rakha Khan, Pandit
Samta Prasad, Kumar Bose, Latif Khan
15. Kanjira Pudukkotai Dakshinamurthi Pillai
Carnatic MS Subbulakshmi, Balamuralikrishna, Bombay Jaishree, HK Raghavendra,
Aryakudi Ramanujan Iyenegar Venkataram, Sitarajam, Mani Krishnaswamy,
Akhil Krishnan, ML Vasanthakumari, MD Ramanathan, GN Balasubramaniam
Dhrupad Ustad Rahim Fahim-ud-din Dagar, Zahir-ud-din Dagar, Wasif-ud-din Dagar,
Bundecha Bandhu, Pt Abhay Narayan Mallick, Pt Ritwik Sanyal, Uday Bhawalkar
Hindustani Shubha Mudgal, Madhup Mudgal, Mukul Shivputra, Pandit Jasraj, Parveen Sultana,
Naina Devi, Girija Devi, Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan, Gangubai Hangal, Krishna
Hangal, V Rajput, Kumar Gandharva, Faiyyaz Khan, Mallikariun Mansur.
Thumri Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Ustad Mazhar Ali Khan, Ustad Zawad Ali Khan,
Poornima Chaudhary, Shanti Heerananda, Naina Devi, Rita Ganguly
Qawwali Ghulam Hasan Niyazi, Sultan Niyazi, Ghulam Farid Nizami, Hussain Khan
Bandanawaji, Aslam Sabaari, Chand Nizami
Indian Classical Dances
India has an old tradition of thousands of years in regard to classical and folk music and
dances. Indian classical dances traces their origin from Bharat Muni’s Natyasastra and Nandi Kesvar’s Abhinava Darpan. Classical dance forms that originated and evolved in India are Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Kathakali, Kuchipudi, Manipuri, Mohiniattam, Odissi and Sattriya.
● Bharatnatyam is classical dance of
● The music accompanying this dance
is Carnatic music. It evolved out of
the Devadasi system of South Indian
temples. Two famous styles are
Pandanallur and Tanjore.
● Famous dancers associated with
Bharatnatyam are E Krishna Iyer,
Rukmini Devi Arundale and Anna
● Kathak is said to be derived from the
word katha, meaning the art of
● Famous centres are Lucknow and
Jaipur. Lucknow school depicts
Mughal Court etiquette, while the
Jaipur school depicts stories of
Rajput kings and Gods. Famous
exponents are Sitara Devi, Sambhu
Maharaj, Uma Sharma Shovana
● Kathakali is the classical dance form
of Kerala. The word Kathakali
literally means story play.
● Kathakali is considered as one of the
most magnificent theatres of
imagination and creativity.
● Famous exponents of Kathakali are
Vallathol Narayan Menon, Kunju
Kurup, Guru Gopinath etc.
● Kuchipudi is the classical dance
forms of Andhra Pradesh. Kuchipudi
exhibits scenes from the Hindu
epics, legends and mythological
● Famous exponents of Kuchipudi are
Lakshmi Narayan Shastri, Raja and
Radha Reddy, Swapana Sundari and
● Manipuri is classical dance form of Manipur.
The most striking part of Manipuri dance is
its colourful decoration, lightness of dancing
foot, delicacy of abhinaya (drama), lilting
music and poetic charm. Manipuri dance is
not only a medium of worship and delight
but also essential for all socio-cultural
ceremonies of Manipuri people. Popular
exponents are Javeri sisters, Rita Devi,
Nirmala Mehta, Guru Bipin Singh etc.
● Mohiniattam from Kerala is a solo female
dance and is known for its rhythmic and
unbroken flow of the body movements.
Mohiniattam has the grace and elegance of
Bharatanatyam and vigour of Kathakali.
● Famous exponents of this dance form are
Kalyani Amma, Vaijayanthimala, Bharati
Shivaji and Hema Malini.
● Odissi is one of the famous classical Indian
dances from Odisha state.
● It is a graceful and sensous dance style and
involves the tribhanga (three bends)
● The (three bends) symbolise the means to
escape the limitations of the body.
● Famous dancers of Odissi are Indrani
Rehman, Sonal Mansingh, Kiran Sengal,
Rani Karna, Sharon Lowen and Myrta
● Sattriya is the classical dance form from
Assam. It was created by Vaishnav Saint
Sremanta Sankaradeva in 15th century.
● It is traditionally performed by bhokos (male
monks) in monasteries, but now by female
also. The dance is based on mythological
● It is performed on Assamese music called
Borgeet and instruments used are Khol
(drum), Talas (cymbals) and Flute.
Indian architecture, which has evolved
through centuries, is the result of
socio-economic and geographical
conditions of the region. Indian
architecture evolved in various stages in
different parts and regions of the country.
Apart from the natural evolution Indian
architecture was generally affected by
many great and important historic
● The Rajputs were great patrons of art and
architecture, the finest examples being
their forts and palaces. The Rajput
palaces are complex compositions built
as inner citadels surrounded by the city
and enclosed by a fortified wall as at
Chittorgarh and Jaisalmer. Some forts,
such as those at Bharatpur and Deeg,
were protected by wide moats.
● The palaces of Jaisalmer, Bikaner,
Jodhpur, Udaipur and Kota represent the
maturity of the Rajput style.
● The architecture of the Deccan is
marked by its distinct originality and
independence of style, unlike the
architectural styles of the other
provinces, which combined both the
temple architecture and the Islamic
building ideals. It derived its elements
from the architectural styles of the
Sultan of Delhi and that of the distant
● Some key features of this style are the
presence of bulbous domes with lotus
neck, military style of architecture,
presence of thick walls and combination
of gateway and mosque-like Charminar.
● The medieval period saw great
developments in the field of architecture.
With the coming of Muslims to India,
many new features came to be
introduced in buildings. The
development of Muslim style of
architecture of this period can be called
the Indo-Islamic architecture or the
Indian architecture influenced by
● The Indo-Islamic style was neither
strictly Islamic nor strictly Hindu.
● The earliest building of this period is
Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque and the
Qutub Minar at Delhi.
● The early puppet shows in India dealt
mostly with histories of great kings.
Princes and heroes and also political
satire in rural areas.
● There are four types of puppetry in
India—String puppets, Shadow puppets,
Rod puppets and Glove puppets.
The history of Indian paintings is just about
as old as the history of the people of India.
The most primitive instances of paintings
in India can be traced back to cave
paintings of Bhimbetka.
● This school has a specific style of South
Asian painting. Usually, it was confined
to miniatures either as book depictions
or as individual works to be kept in
● This practice materialised from Persian
miniature painting, with Indian
influences of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain.
● It wonderfully blossomed during the
Mughal Empire. Later, this school of
painting reached other Indian courts of
Muslims and Hindus and afterwards
● Akbar and Jahangir were exceptionally
great patrons of this painting. Mughal
School of painting revolved around court
scenes, portraits, hunting scenes, lovers,
battle fronts etc.
● This school progressed and thrived
during the 18th century in the majestic
● This school of painting flooded from the
approach of Mughal painting.
● A typical style of painting with particular
common characteristics came up in
every Rajput realm.
● This school illustrated an assortment of themes like landscapes, events from the
Mahabharata, Ramayana, Krishna’s life and about human beings.
● This school was a fashion of art, which progressed during the British Raj of India in
early 20th century.
● Indian Nationalism was greatly linked to this painting. British art administrators also
supported and promoted it.
● Raja Ravi Verma and Abanindranath Tagore were amongst the pioneer artists of this
school. Today’s renowned artists, who belong to this School include Nilima Dutta,
Sudip Roy, Paresh Maiti and Bikash Bhattacharjee.
Mahabodhi Temple Bihar
Red Fort Delhi
Qutub Minar Delhi
Humayun’s Tomb Delhi
Champaner Achaelogical Park Gujarat
Churches of Old Goa Goa
Jantar Mantar Jaipur
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Mumbai, Maharashtra
Ajanta Caves Maharashtra
Ellora Caves Maharashtra
Sanchi Stupa Madhya Pradesh
Khajuraho Madhya Pradesh
Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka Madhya Pradesh
Elephanta Caves Maharashtra
Konark Sun Temple Odisha
Mahabalipuram Tamil Nadu
Great Living Chola Temples Tamil Nadu
Agra Fort Uttar Pradesh
Taj Mahal Uttar Pradesh
Fatehpur Sikri Uttar Pradesh
Mountain Railway of India Paschim Banga
Nalanda Maha Vihara Bihar
Hill Forts of Rajasthan Rajasthan
Ahmedabad City Gujarat
Jaipur City Rajasthan
Rani ki Vav Gujarat
Capital Complex Chandigarh
Victorial and Art Deco Ensemble of