Portal:Arts and Culture
|Indian Arts & Culture Portal|
The culture of India was moulded throughout various eras of history, all the while absorbing customs, traditions, and ideas from both invaders and immigrants. Many cultural practices, languages, customs, and monuments are examples of this co-mingling over centuries.
In modern India there is cultural and religious diversity, and the North-East, each of which have their own distinct identities. Almost every state has even carved out its own cultural niche. In spite of this unique cultural diversity, the whole country is bound as a civilization due to its common history, thereby preserving the national identity.
India was the birth place of religious systems such as Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism, each of which have had a strong influence not only over India but also over the rest of the world. Following the Islamic invasions and the subsequent foreign domination from the tenth century onwards, the culture of India was heavily influenced by Persian, Arabic and Turkic cultures.
Indian architecture encompasses a wide variety of geographically and historically spread structures, and was transformed by the history of the Indian subcontinent. The result is an evolving range of architectural production that, although it is difficult to identify a single representative style, none the less retains a certain amount of continuity across history. The diversity of Indian culture is represented in its architecture. It is a blend of ancient and varied native traditions, with building types, forms and technologies from West and Central Asia, as well as Europe.
Studies of Indian architecture normally begin with the Indus Valley Civilisation, moving through the late Vedic period, the Maurya-Gupta age of Buddhist monuments, monasteries and Indian rock-cut architecture, followed by the great temple-building of the medieval era. Turk and Afghan rulers in the north in medieval times brought with them West Asian traditions of the arch, the dome and the vault. The rise of the Mughal Empire in the 16th century established a sophisticated synthesis of Indian regional elements with ideas from Persia and West Asia, a pan-Indian style that was adopted across the subcontinent even by post-Mughal rulers and recognised today as Mughal architecture. The subsequent European colonization of India paved the way for the entry of styles from that continent, including Mannerist, Baroque, Neo-Classical and Neo-Gothic styles, which were followed in the late 19th century by the hybrid Indo-European style called the Indo-Saracenic.