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Home »» History and Culture of India
History and Culture of India

India is a land of ancient civilization, with cities and villages, cultivated fields, and great works of art dating back to 4,000 years. India's high population density and variety of social, economic, and cultural configurations are the products of a long process of regional expansion.

India is a country of great diversity. The ethnic diversity of the country can be seen in the variety of languages and dialects used in India. Indians speak almost 17 major languages and 900 dialects. Down South, the Dravidian language family alone consists of 23 languages.

Many of the famous civilizations of the ancient era originated and thrived in India, such as the Mesopotamian, Chinese, Egyptians, Greek and the Mayan. The earliest known civilization is India is the Indus Valley Civilization that thrived in two principal towns namely Mohenjodaro and Harappa. The ruins of this civilization, which originated way back in the 3000 BC, can still be seen.

It was found from the ruins of Indus valley, that the Harappans cultivated wheat, peas, barley etc., and also used domestic animal like goat, camels, humped bull etc. Trade was an important activity of the civilization and the many seals discovered from the site confirm it. The Harappan culture declined by around 1700 BC due to repeated flooding of its towns located on the riverbanks and other ecological changes.

Aryans migrated to India in around 1500 BC from the Central Asian region. The Aryans developed Sanskrit language written in Devanagri script and also shaped the Indian culture. The Hindu culture evolved out of the inter mingling of indigenous Dravidian peoples and Aryan-speaking nomads. From Nature Worship to developing Vedas, this civilization offered much to India. Caste system evolved in India with Aryans and great epics Ramayana and Mahabharata also are likely to have occurred during this period.

Later, India was ruled by many empires, both insiders and attackers from far off places ruled and benefited from the riches of India. Islam spread across the subcontinent starting in the eighth century A.D. From the 17th century to the mid-20th century India was the pride of the British Empire. Finally, Indians won nationhood in 1947 under the guidance of Mahatma Gandhi.

The rich heritage, varied culture, many religions and languages of country is the result of the invasions and coming and settling of the outsiders. These people bought with them new culture, which got mingled with the existing once.

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