North India is a loosely defined region consisting of the northern part of India. The dominant geographical features of North India are the Indus-Gangetic Plain and the Himalayas, which demarcate the region from the Tibetan Plateau and Central Asia; the term North India has varying definitions—the Ministry of Home Affairs in its Northern Zonal Council Administrative division included the states of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir, Punjab and Rajasthan and Union Territories of Delhi, Chandigarh. While the Ministry of Culture in its North Culture Zone includes the state of Uttarakhand but excludes Delhi whereas the Geological Survey of India includes Uttar Pradesh and Delhi but excludes Rajasthan and Chandigarh. Other states sometimes included are Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal. North India has been the historical centre of the Mughal, Delhi Sultanate and British Indian Empires, it has a diverse culture, includes the Hindu pilgrimage centres of Char Dham, Varanasi, Mathura, Vaishno Devi and Pushkar, the Buddhist pilgrimage centres of Sarnath and Kushinagar, the Sikh Golden Temple as well as world heritage sites such as the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, Khajuraho temples, Hill Forts of Rajasthan, Jantar Mantar, Bhimbetka Caves, Sanchi monuments, Qutb Minar, Red Fort, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri and the Taj Mahal.
The languages that have official status in one or more of the states and union territories located in North India are Hindi, Urdu and English. Different authorities and sources define North India differently; the Northern Zonal Council is one of the advisory councils, created in 1956 by the States Reorganisation Act to foster interstate cooperation under the Ministry of Home Affairs, which included the states of Chandigarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir, Punjab and Rajasthan. The Ministry of Culture established the North Culture Zone in Patiala, Punjab on 23 March 1985, it differs from the North Zonal Council in the omission of Delhi. In contrast, the Geological Survey of India included Uttar Pradesh and Delhi in its Northern Region, but excluded Rajasthan and Chandigarh, with a regional headquarters in Lucknow; the Hindu newspaper puts Bihar and Uttar Pradesh related articles on its North pages. Articles in the Indian press have included the states of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal in North India as well.
The Tropic of Cancer, which divides the temperate zone from the tropical zone in the Northern Hemisphere, runs through India, could theoretically be regarded as a geographical dividing line in the country. Indian states that are above the Tropic of Cancer are Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and most of North East Indian states; however that definition would include major parts of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal and minor regions of Chhattisgarh and Gujarat. In Mumbai, the term "North Indian" is sometimes used to describe migrants from eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar using the term bhaiya along with it in a derogatory sense, however these people are not considered North Indian by the inhabitants of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan. In Punjab, people from the same region are referred to as Purabias, or Easterners; the Government of Bihar official site places the state in the eastern part of India. Within Uttar Pradesh itself, "the cultural divide between the east and the west is considerable, with the purabiyas being clubbed with Biharis in the perception of the westerners."
The empires and dynasties that have ruled parts or all of North India include: Maurya Empire, 326 – 187 BCE Indo-Greek Kingdom, c.150 BCE – 10 CE Northern Satraps, 1st century BCE to 1st century CE Gupta Empire, during the reign of Samudragupta, c.335 – c.550 CE Empire of Harsha, 606 to 647 CE Pala Empire, 770 to 810 CE Pratihara Empire, mid-7th to the 11th century Delhi Sultanate, 1206–1526 Mughal Empire, 1526–1540 1555–1857, interrupted by the Sur Empire, Sur Empire 1540–1556 Sikh Empire 1799–1849 Maratha Empire 1761–1818 British Indian Empire 1858–1947The Delhi Sultanate and British Indian Empires had Delhi as their capital for some or all of their rule. One demarcation between northern and southern nations has been the Vindhya mountain range. In centuries past this sometimes formed a border during periods of imperial expansion, such as the one ruled by the Gupta emperor Samudragupta; the Vindhyas find mention in the narrative of Rishi Agastya as a dividing feature between North and South India.
The Manusmṛti describes the southern limit of Aryavarta as being defined by the Vindhya range. Several sources consider sizable Muslim populations and deep-seated Islamic, Central Asian and Afghan influences to be defining characteristics of North Indian culture, both linguistically and culturally; some of these influences are pre-Islamic, such as the Bactrian-originated Kushan Empire that maintained twin capitals in Mathura and Peshawar, as well as the Hun confederacies that periodically asserted their rule over large parts of North India. North India lies on continental India, north of peninsular India. Towards its north are the Himalayas which define the boundary between the Indian subcontinent and the Tibetan plateau. To its west is the Thar desert, shared between North India and Pakistan and the Aravalli Range, beyond which lies the state of Gujarat; the Vindhya mountains are, in some interpreta
Buddhism is the world's fourth-largest religion with over 520 million followers, or over 7% of the global population, known as Buddhists. Buddhism encompasses a variety of traditions and spiritual practices based on original teachings attributed to the Buddha and resulting interpreted philosophies. Buddhism originated in ancient India as a Sramana tradition sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, spreading through much of Asia. Two major extant branches of Buddhism are recognized by scholars: Theravada and Mahayana. Most Buddhist traditions share the goal of overcoming suffering and the cycle of death and rebirth, either by the attainment of Nirvana or through the path of Buddhahood. Buddhist schools vary in their interpretation of the path to liberation, the relative importance and canonicity assigned to the various Buddhist texts, their specific teachings and practices. Observed practices include taking refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha, observance of moral precepts, monasticism and the cultivation of the Paramitas.
Theravada Buddhism has a widespread following in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia such as Myanmar and Thailand. Mahayana, which includes the traditions of Pure Land, Nichiren Buddhism and Tiantai, is found throughout East Asia. Vajrayana, a body of teachings attributed to Indian adepts, may be viewed as a separate branch or as an aspect of Mahayana Buddhism. Tibetan Buddhism, which preserves the Vajrayana teachings of eighth-century India, is practiced in the countries of the Himalayan region and Kalmykia. Buddhism is an Indian religion attributed to the teachings of the Buddha born Siddhārtha Gautama, known as the Tathāgata and Sakyamuni. Early texts have his personal name as "Gautama" or "Gotama" without any mention of "Siddhārtha," which appears to have been a kind of honorific title when it does appear; the details of Buddha's life are mentioned in many Early Buddhist Texts but are inconsistent, his social background and life details are difficult to prove, the precise dates uncertain. The evidence of the early texts suggests that he was born as Siddhārtha Gautama in Lumbini and grew up in Kapilavasthu, a town in the plains region of the modern Nepal-India border, that he spent his life in what is now modern Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
Some hagiographic legends state that his father was a king named Suddhodana, his mother was Queen Maya, he was born in Lumbini gardens. However, scholars such as Richard Gombrich consider this a dubious claim because a combination of evidence suggests he was born in the Shakyas community – one that gave him the title Shakyamuni, the Shakya community was governed by a small oligarchy or republic-like council where there were no ranks but where seniority mattered instead; some of the stories about Buddha, his life, his teachings, claims about the society he grew up in may have been invented and interpolated at a time into the Buddhist texts. According to the Buddhist sutras, Gautama was moved by the innate suffering of humanity and its endless repetition due to rebirth, he set out on a quest to end this repeated suffering. Early Buddhist canonical texts and early biographies of Gautama state that Gautama first studied under Vedic teachers, namely Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta, learning meditation and ancient philosophies the concept of "nothingness, emptiness" from the former, "what is neither seen nor unseen" from the latter.
Finding these teachings to be insufficient to attain his goal, he turned to the practice of asceticism. This too fell short of attaining his goal, he turned to the practice of dhyana, which he had discovered in his youth, he famously sat in meditation under a Ficus religiosa tree now called the Bodhi Tree in the town of Bodh Gaya in the Gangetic plains region of South Asia. He gained insight into the workings of karma and his former lives, attained enlightenment, certainty about the Middle Way as the right path of spiritual practice to end suffering from rebirths in Saṃsāra; as a enlightened Buddha, he attracted followers and founded a Sangha. Now, as the Buddha, he spent the rest of his life teaching the Dharma he had discovered, died at the age of 80 in Kushinagar, India. Buddha's teachings were propagated by his followers, which in the last centuries of the 1st millennium BCE became over 18 Buddhist sub-schools of thought, each with its own basket of texts containing different interpretations and authentic teachings of the Buddha.
The Four Truths express the basic orientation of Buddhism: we crave and cling to impermanent states and things, dukkha, "incapable of satisfying" and painful. This keeps us caught in saṃsāra, the endless cycle of repeated rebirth and dying again, but there is a way to liberation from this endless cycle to the state of nirvana, namely following the Noble Eightfold Path. The truth of dukkha is the basic insight that life in this mundane world, with its clinging and craving to impermanent states and things is dukkha, unsatisfactory. Dukkha can be translated as "incapable of satisfying," "the unsatisfactory nature and the general insecurity of all conditioned phenomena". Dukkha is most translated as "suffering," but this is inaccurate, since it refers not to episodic suffering, but to the intrinsically unsat
Arabic is a Central Semitic language that first emerged in Iron Age northwestern Arabia and is now the lingua franca of the Arab world. It is named after the Arabs, a term used to describe peoples living in the area bounded by Mesopotamia in the east and the Anti-Lebanon mountains in the west, in northwestern Arabia, in the Sinai Peninsula. Arabic is classified as a macrolanguage comprising 30 modern varieties, including its standard form, Modern Standard Arabic, derived from Classical Arabic; as the modern written language, Modern Standard Arabic is taught in schools and universities, is used to varying degrees in workplaces and the media. The two formal varieties are grouped together as Literary Arabic, the official language of 26 states, the liturgical language of the religion of Islam, since the Quran and Hadith were written in Arabic. Modern Standard Arabic follows the grammatical standards of Classical Arabic, uses much of the same vocabulary. However, it has discarded some grammatical constructions and vocabulary that no longer have any counterpart in the spoken varieties, has adopted certain new constructions and vocabulary from the spoken varieties.
Much of the new vocabulary is used to denote concepts that have arisen in the post-classical era in modern times. Due to its grounding in Classical Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic is removed over a millennium from everyday speech, construed as a multitude of dialects of this language; these dialects and Modern Standard Arabic are described by some scholars as not mutually comprehensible. The former are acquired in families, while the latter is taught in formal education settings. However, there have been studies reporting some degree of comprehension of stories told in the standard variety among preschool-aged children; the relation between Modern Standard Arabic and these dialects is sometimes compared to that of Latin and vernaculars in medieval and early modern Europe. This view though does not take into account the widespread use of Modern Standard Arabic as a medium of audiovisual communication in today's mass media—a function Latin has never performed. During the Middle Ages, Literary Arabic was a major vehicle of culture in Europe in science and philosophy.
As a result, many European languages have borrowed many words from it. Arabic influence in vocabulary, is seen in European languages Spanish and to a lesser extent Portuguese, Catalan, owing to both the proximity of Christian European and Muslim Arab civilizations and 800 years of Arabic culture and language in the Iberian Peninsula, referred to in Arabic as al-Andalus. Sicilian has about 500 Arabic words as result of Sicily being progressively conquered by Arabs from North Africa, from the mid-9th to mid-10th centuries. Many of these words relate to related activities; the Balkan languages, including Greek and Bulgarian, have acquired a significant number of Arabic words through contact with Ottoman Turkish. Arabic has influenced many languages around the globe throughout its history; some of the most influenced languages are Persian, Spanish, Kashmiri, Bosnian, Bengali, Malay, Indonesian, Punjabi, Assamese, Sindhi and Hausa, some languages in parts of Africa. Conversely, Arabic has borrowed words from other languages, including Greek and Persian in medieval times, contemporary European languages such as English and French in modern times.
Classical Arabic is the liturgical language of 1.8 billion Muslims, Modern Standard Arabic is one of six official languages of the United Nations. All varieties of Arabic combined are spoken by as many as 422 million speakers in the Arab world, making it the fifth most spoken language in the world. Arabic is written with the Arabic alphabet, an abjad script and is written from right to left, although the spoken varieties are sometimes written in ASCII Latin from left to right with no standardized orthography. Arabic is a Central Semitic language related to the Northwest Semitic languages, the Ancient South Arabian languages, various other Semitic languages of Arabia such as Dadanitic; the Semitic languages changed a great deal between Proto-Semitic and the establishment of the Central Semitic languages in grammar. Innovations of the Central Semitic languages—all maintained in Arabic—include: The conversion of the suffix-conjugated stative formation into a past tense; the conversion of the prefix-conjugated preterite-tense formation into a present tense.
The elimination of other prefix-conjugated mood/aspect forms in favor of new moods formed by endings attached to the prefix-conjugation forms. The development of an internal passive. There are several features which Classical Arabic, the modern Arabic varieties, as well as the Safaitic and Hismaic inscriptions share which are unattested in any other Central Semitic language variety, including the Dadanitic and Taymanitic languages of the northern Hejaz; these features are evidence of common descent from Proto-Arabic. The following features can be reconstructed with confidence for Proto-Arabic: negative particles m *mā.
Sultan is a position with several historical meanings. It was an Arabic abstract noun meaning "strength", "authority", "rulership", derived from the verbal noun سلطة sulṭah, meaning "authority" or "power", it came to be used as the title of certain rulers who claimed full sovereignty in practical terms, albeit without claiming the overall caliphate, or to refer to a powerful governor of a province within the caliphate. The adjective form of the word is "sultanic", the dynasty and lands ruled by a sultan are referred to as a sultanate; the term is distinct from king, despite both referring to a sovereign ruler. The use of "sultan" is restricted to Muslim countries, where the title carries religious significance, contrasting the more secular king, used in both Muslim and non-Muslim countries. A feminine form of sultan, used by Westerners, is Sultana or Sultanah and this title has been used for some Muslim women monarchs and sultan's mothers and chief consorts; however and Ottoman Turkish uses sultan for imperial lady, as Turkish grammar—which is influenced by Persian grammar—uses the same words for both women and men.
However, this styling misconstrues the roles of wives of sultans. In a similar usage, the wife of a German field marshal might be styled Frau Feldmarschall; the female leaders in Muslim history are known as "sultanas". However, the wife of the sultan in the Sultanate of Sulu is styled as the "panguian" while the sultan's chief wife in many sultanates of Indonesia and Malaysia are known as "permaisuri", "Tunku Ampuan", "Raja Perempuan", or "Tengku Ampuan"; the queen consort in Brunei is known as Raja Isteri with the title of Pengiran Anak suffixed, should the queen consort be a royal princess. In recent years, "sultan" has been replaced by "king" by contemporary hereditary rulers who wish to emphasize their secular authority under the rule of law. A notable example is Morocco, whose monarch changed his title from sultan to king in 1957; these are secondary titles, either lofty'poetry' or with a message, e.g.: Mani Sultan = Manney Sultan - a subsidiary title, part of the full style of the Maharaja of Travancore Sultan of Sultans - the sultanic equivalent of the style King of Kings Certain secondary titles have a devout Islamic connotation.
Sultanic Highness - a rare, hybrid western-Islamic honorific style used by the son, daughter-in-law and daughters of Sultan Hussein Kamel of Egypt, who bore it with their primary titles of Prince or Princess, after 11 October 1917. They enjoyed these titles for life after the Royal Rescript regulating the styles and titles of the Royal House following Egypt's independence in 1922, when the sons and daughters of the newly styled king were granted the title Sahib us-Sumuw al-Malaki, or Royal Highness. Ghaznavid Sultanate. Sultans of Great Seljuk Seljuk Sultanate of Rum Sultans of the Ottoman Empire, the Osmanli Elisu Sultanate and a few others. A Sultan ranked below a Khan. in Syria: Ayyubid Sultans Mamluk Sultans in present-day Yemen, various small sultanates of the former British Aden Protectorate and South Arabia: Audhali, Haushabi, Lahej, Lower Aulaqi, Lower Yafa, Mahra, Qu'aiti, Upper Aulaqi, Upper Yafa and the Wahidi sultanates in present-day Saudi Arabia: Sultans of Nejd Sultans of the Hejaz Oman – Sultan of Oman, on the southern coast of the Arabian peninsula, still an independent sultanate, since 1744 in Algeria: sultanate of Tuggurt in Egypt: Ayyubid Sultans Mamluk Sultans in Morocco, until Mohammed V changed the style to Malik on 14 August 1957, maintaining the subsidiary style Amir al-Mu´minin in Sudan: Darfur Dar al-Masalit Dar Qimr Funj Sultanate of Sinnar Kordofan in Chad: Bagirmi Wada'i, successor state to Birgu Dar Sila Ajuran Sultanate, in southern Somalia and eastern Ethiopia Adal Sultanate, in northwestern Somalia, southern Djibouti, the Somali, Oromia and Afar regions of Ethiopia Majeerteen Sultanate, in northern Somalia Isaaq Sultanate, in northern Somalia Sultanate of the Geledi, in southern Somalia Sultanate of Aussa, in northeastern Ethiopia Sultanate of Harar, in eastern Ethiopia Sultanate of Hobyo, in central Somalia Sultanate of Ifat, in northern Somalia and eastern Ethiopia Sultanate of Mogadishu, in south-central Somalia Sultanate of Showa, in central Ethiopia Warsangali Sultanate, in northern Somalia Bimaal Sultanate, in south eastern Somalia centred in Merka Angoche Sultanate, on the Mozambiquan coast various sultans on the Comoros.
Sultanate of Zanzibar: two incumbents since the de
Lakshmi or Laxmi, is the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity. She is the wife and shakti of Vishnu, one of the principal deities of Hinduism and the Supreme Being in the Vaishnavism Tradition. With Parvati and Saraswati, she forms the holy trinity. Lakshmi is an important deity in Jainism and found in Jain temples. Lakshmi has been a goddess of abundance and fortune for Buddhists, was represented on the oldest surviving stupas and cave temples of Buddhism. In Buddhist sects of Tibet and southeast Asia, goddess Vasudhara mirrors the characteristics and attributes of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi with minor iconographic differences. Lakshmi is called Sri or Thirumagal because she is endowed with six auspicious and divine qualities, or gunas, is the divine strength of Vishnu. In Hindu religion, she was born from the churning of the primordial ocean and she chose Vishnu as her eternal consort; when Vishnu descended on the Earth as the avatars Rama and Krishna, Lakshmi descended as his respective consort as Sita and Rukmini.
In the ancient scriptures of India, all women are declared to be embodiments of Lakshmi. The marriage and relationship between Lakshmi and Vishnu as wife and husband is the paradigm for rituals and ceremonies for the bride and groom in Hindu weddings. Lakshmi is considered another aspect of the same supreme goddess principle in the Shaktism tradition of Hinduism. Lakshmi is depicted in Indian art as an elegantly dressed, prosperity-showering golden-coloured woman with an owl as her vehicle, signifying the importance of economic activity in maintenance of life, her ability to move and prevail in confusing darkness, she stands or sits like a yogin on a lotus pedestal and holds lotus in her hand, a symbolism for fortune, self-knowledge and spiritual liberation. Her iconography shows her with four hands, which represent the four goals of human life considered important to the Hindu way of life: dharma, kāma, artha and moksha, she is depicted as part of the trinity consisting of Saraswati and Parvati.
Archaeological discoveries and ancient coins suggest the recognition and reverence for Lakshmi by the 1st millennium BCE. Lakshmi's iconography and statues have been found in Hindu temples throughout southeast Asia, estimated to be from the second half of the 1st millennium CE; the festivals of Diwali and Sharad Purnima are celebrated in her honor. Lakshmi is one of many Hindu deities whose meaning and significance evolved in ancient Sanskrit texts. Lakshmi is mentioned once in Rigveda, where it means kindred sign of auspicious fortune. भद्रैषां लक्ष्मीर्निहिताधि वाचिbhadraiṣāṁ lakṣmīrnihitādhi vāci"an auspicious fortune is attached to their words" In Atharvaveda, transcribed about 1000 BCE, Lakshmi evolves into a complex concept with plural manifestations. Book 7, Chapter 115 of Atharva Veda describes the plurality, asserting that a hundred Lakshmis are born with the body of a mortal at birth, some good and auspicious, while others bad and unfortunate; the good are welcomed. The concept and spirit of Lakshmi and her association with fortune and the good is significant enough that Atharva Veda mentions it in multiple books: for example, in Book 12, Chapter 5 as punya Lakshmi.
In some chapters of Atharva Veda, Lakshmi connotes the good, an auspicious sign, good luck, good fortune, prosperity and happiness. Lakshmi is referred to as the goddess of fortune, identified with Sri and regarded as wife of Viṣṇu. For example, in Shatapatha Brahmana, variously estimated to be composed between 800 BCE and 300 BCE, Sri is part of one of many theories, in ancient India, about the creation of universe. In Book 9 of Shatapatha Brahmana, Sri emerges from Prajapati, after his intense meditation on creation of life and nature of universe. Sri is described as a trembling woman at her birth with immense energy and powers; the gods were bewitched, desire her and become covetous of her. The gods approach Prajapati and request permission to kill her and take her powers and gifts. Prajapati refuses, tells the gods that males should not kill females and that they can seek her gifts without violence; the gods approach Lakshmi, deity Agni gets food, Soma gets kingly authority, Varuna gets imperial authority, Mitra acquires martial energy, Indra gets force, Brihaspati gets priestly authority, Savitri acquires dominion, Pushan gets splendour, Saraswati takes nourishment and Tvashtri gets forms.
The hymns of Shatapatha Brahmana thus describe Sri as a goddess born with and personifying a diverse range of talents and powers. According to another legend, she emerges during the creation of universe, floating over the water on the expanded petals of a lotus flower. In the Epics of Hinduism, such as in Mahabharata, Lakshmi personifies wealth, happiness, grace and splendour. In another Hindu legend, about the creation of universe as described in Ramayana, Lakshmi springs with other precious things from the foam of the ocean of milk when it is churned by the gods and demons for the recovery of Amṛta, she appeared with a lotus in her hand and so she is called Padmā. Root of the wordLakshmi in Sanskrit is derived from the root word lakṣ and lakṣa, meaning to perceive, know and goal, objective respectively; these roots give Lakshmi the symbolism: know and understand
Kathak is the Hindi name for one of the eight major forms of Indian classical dance. The origin of Kathak is traditionally attributed to the traveling bards of ancient northern India known as Kathakars or storytellers; the term Kathak is derived from the Vedic Sanskrit word Katha which means "story", Kathakar which means "the one who tells a story", or "to do with stories". Wandering Kathakars communicated stories from the great epics and ancient mythology through dance and music in a manner similar to early Greek theatre. Kathak dancers tell various stories through their hand movements and footwork, but most through their facial expressions. Kathak evolved during the Bhakti movement by incorporating the childhood and stories of the Hindu god Krishna, as well as independently in the courts of north Indian kingdoms. Kathak is found in three distinct forms, called "gharanas", named after the cities where the Kathak dance tradition evolved – Jaipur and Lucknow. While the Jaipur gharana focuses more on the foot movements, the Banaras and Lucknow gharanas focus more on facial expressions and graceful hand movements.
Stylistically, the Kathak dance form emphasizes rhythmic foot movements, adorned with small bells, the movement harmonized to the music. The legs and torso are straight, the story is told through a developed vocabulary based on the gestures of arms and upper body movement, facial expressions, stage movements and turns; the main focus of the dance becomes the foot movements. The eyes work as a medium of communication of the story the dancer is trying to communicate. With the eyebrows the dancer gives various facial expressions; the difference between the sub-traditions is the relative emphasis between acting versus footwork, with Lucknow style emphasizing acting and Jaipur style famed for its spectacular footwork. Kathak as a performance art survived and thrived as an oral tradition and innovated from one generation to another verbally and through practice, it transitioned and integrated the tastes of the Mughal courts in the 16th and 17th century Akbar, was ridiculed and declined in the colonial British era was reborn as India gained independence and sought to rediscover its ancient roots and a sense of national identity through the arts.
The term Kathak is rooted in the Vedic term Katha which means "story, traditional tale". Kathak refers to one of the major classical dance form found in northern India, with a historical influence similar to Bharatanatyam in south India, Odissi in east India and other major classical dances found in South Asia, it differs from the numerous folk dance forms found in north and other parts of the Indian subcontinent. The Kathak dancers, in the ancient India, were known as. Kathakas, or Kathakar. Kathak has inspired simplified regional variants, such as the Bhavai – a form of rural theatre focussing on the tales of Hindu goddesses, one which emerged in the medieval era, is presently found in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. Another variant that emerged from ancient Kathak is Thumri. According to Mary Snodgrass, the Kathak tradition of India is traceable to 400 BCE; the earliest surviving text with Kathak roots is the Natya Shastra, attributed to sage Bharata, its first complete compilation is dated to between 200 BCE and 200 CE, but estimates vary between 500 BCE and 500 CE.
The most studied version of the Natya Shastra text consists of about 6000 verses structured into 36 chapters. The text, states Natalia Lidova, describes the theory of Tāṇḍava dance, the theory of rasa, of bhāva, gestures, acting techniques, basic steps, standing postures – all of which are part of Indian classical dances including Kathak. Dance and performance arts, states this ancient Hindu text, are a form of expression of spiritual ideas and the essence of scriptures; the 2nd century BC panels found in Bharhut show the dancers in a vertical stance with their arms' positions suggesting today's Kathak movements. Most of the dancers have one arm near the ear in a"pataka hasta". In subsequent years, the hasta was lowered to the bust level; the term Kathakas in the sense of "storytellers" appears in ancient Hindu texts, such as the Mahabharata: Bards, dancers and musical reciters of legends and stories are mentioned hundreds of times in the Hindu Epics. Textual studies suggest that "Kathak" as a classical dance form started in Banares and from there migrated northwest to Lucknow and other parts of north and northwest India.
The Lucknow tradition of Kathak dance attributes the style to a Bhakti movement devotee named Ishwari from the Handia village in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, who credited Hindu god Krishna appearing in his dream and asking him to develop "dance as a form of worship". Ishwari taught his descendants, who in turn preserved the learning and developments through an oral tradition over six generations yielding the Lucknow version of the Kathak dance – a family tree, acknowledged in both Hindu and Muslim music-related Indian literature; the evolution in Kathak dance theme during the Bhakti movement centered around divine Krishna, his lover Radha and milkmaids – around legends and texts such as the Bhagavata Purana found in the Vaishnavism tradition of Hinduism. The love between Radha and Krishna became symbolism for the love between Atman and the supreme source, a theme that dance ballet and mimetic plays of Kathak artists expressed; the Mughal era courts and nobles accepted Kathak as a form of aristocratic entertainment, which low income families were willing to provide.
However, the d
Morocco the Kingdom of Morocco, is a country located in the Maghreb region of North West Africa with an area of 710,850 km2. Its capital is the largest city Casablanca, it overlooks the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Morocco claims the areas of Ceuta, Melilla and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera, all of them under Spanish jurisdiction. Since the foundation of the first Moroccan state by Idris I in 788 AD, the country has been ruled by a series of independent dynasties, reaching its zenith under the Almoravid and Almohad dynasties, spanning parts of Iberia and northwestern Africa; the Marinid and Saadi dynasties continued the struggle against foreign domination, allowing Morocco to remain the only northwest African country to avoid Ottoman occupation. The Alaouite dynasty, which rules to this day, seized power in 1631. In 1912, Morocco was divided into French and Spanish protectorates, with an international zone in Tangier, it regained its independence in 1956, has since remained comparatively stable and prosperous by regional standards.
Morocco claims the non-self-governing territory of Western Sahara Spanish Sahara, as its Southern Provinces. After Spain agreed to decolonise the territory to Morocco and Mauritania in 1975, a guerrilla war arose with local forces. Mauritania relinquished its claim in 1979, the war lasted until a cease-fire in 1991. Morocco occupies two thirds of the territory, peace processes have thus far failed to break the political deadlock; the unitary sovereign state of Morocco is a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament. The King of Morocco holds vast executive and legislative powers over the military, foreign policy and religious affairs. Executive power is exercised by the government, while legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of parliament, the Assembly of Representatives and the Assembly of Councillors; the king can issue decrees called dahirs. He can dissolve the parliament after consulting the Prime Minister and the president of the constitutional court.
Morocco's predominant religion is Islam, its official languages are Arabic and Berber. E; the Moroccan dialect of Arabic, referred to as Darija, French are widely spoken. Moroccan culture is a blend of Berber, Sephardi Jews, West African and European influences. Morocco is a member of the Union for the Mediterranean and the African Union, it has the fifth largest economy of Africa. The full Arabic name al-Mamlakah al-Maghribiyyah translates to "Kingdom of the West". For historical references, medieval Arab historians and geographers sometimes referred to Morocco as al-Maghrib al-Aqṣá to distinguish it from neighbouring historical regions called al-Maghrib al-Awsaṭ and al-Maghrib al-Adná; the basis of Morocco's English name is Marrakesh, its capital under the Almoravid dynasty and Almohad Caliphate. The origin of the name Marrakesh is disputed, but is most from the Berber words amur akush or "Land of God"; the modern Berber name for Marrakesh is Mṛṛakc. In Turkish, Morocco is known as a name derived from its ancient capital of Fes.
However, this was not the case in other parts of the Islamic world: until the middle of the 20th century, the common name of Morocco in Egyptian and Middle Eastern Arabic literature was Marrakesh. The English name Morocco is an anglicisation of the Spanish "Marruecos", from which derives the Tuscan "Morrocco", the origin of the Italian "Marocco"; the area of present-day Morocco has been inhabited since Paleolithic times, sometime between 190,000 and 90,000 BC. A recent publication may demonstrate an earlier habitation period, as Homo sapiens fossils discovered in the late 2000s near the Atlantic coast in Jebel Irhoud were dated to 315,000 years before present. During the Upper Paleolithic, the Maghreb was more fertile than it is today, resembling a savanna more than today's arid landscape. Twenty-two thousand years ago, the Aterian was succeeded by the Iberomaurusian culture, which shared similarities with Iberian cultures. Skeletal similarities have been suggested between the Iberomaurusian "Mechta-Afalou" burials and European Cro-Magnon remains.
The Iberomaurusian was succeeded by the Beaker culture in Morocco. Mitochondrial DNA studies have discovered the Saami of Scandinavia; this supports theories that the Franco-Cantabrian refuge area of southwestern Europe was the source of late-glacial expansions of hunter-gatherers who repopulated northern Europe after the last ice age. Northwest Africa and Morocco were drawn into the wider emerging Mediterranean world by the Phoenicians, who established trading colonies and settlements in the early Classical period. Substantial Phoenician settlements were at Chellah and Mogador. Mogador was a Phoenician colony as early as the early 6th century BC. Morocco became a realm of the Northwest African civilisation of ancie