Folklore of India
The folklore of India compasses the folklore of the nation of India and the Indian subcontinent. India is an religiously diverse country. Given this diversity, it is difficult to generalize about the folklore of India as a unit. Although India is a Hindu-majority country, with more than three-fourths of the population identifying themselves as Hindus, there is no single and all-pervading concept of identity present in it, it is because of the flexible nature of Hinduism which allows various heterogeneous traditions, numerous regional cultures and different religions to grow and flourish. Folk religion in Hinduism may explain the rationale behind local religious practices, contain local myths that explain the existence of local religious customs or the rituals; these sorts of local variation have a higher status in Hinduism than comparable customs would have in religions such as Christianity or Islam. However, folklore as understood goes beyond religious or supernatural beliefs and practices, compasses the entire body of social tradition whose chief vehicle of transmission is oral or outside institutional channels.
The folk and tribal arts of India speak volumes about the country's rich heritage. Art forms in India have been explicit. Folk art forms include various schools of art like the Mughal School, Rajasthani School, Nakashi art School etc; each school has its distinct style of its features. Other popular folk art forms include Madhubani paintings from Bihar, Kangra painting from Himachal Pradesh and Warli paintings from Maharashtra. Tanjore paintings from South India incorporate real gold into their paintings. Local fairs, festivals and heroes play a vital role in this art form; some famous folk and tribal arts of India include: Tanjore Art Madhubani Painting Nirmal paintings Warli Folk Painting Pattachitra Painting Rajasthani Miniature Painting Kalamezhuthu India possesses a large body of heroic ballads and epic poetry preserved in oral tradition, both in Sanskrit and the various vernacular languages of India. One such oral epic, telling the story of Pabuji, has been collected by Dr. John Smith from Rajasthan.
The title character was a historical figure, a Rajput prince, deified in Rajasthan. Various performing arts such as Garba and Dandiya Raas of Gujarat, Sambalpuri dance of Odisha, Chhau and Gambhira of West Bengal, Bihu of Assam, Ghoomar of Rajasthan and Haryana and Gidda of Punjab, Dhangar of Goa, Panthi of Chhattisgarh, Kolattam of Andhra Pradesh, Yakshagana of Karnataka, Thirayattam of Kerala and Chang Lo of Nagaland derive their elements from myriads of myths and seasonal changes; the Ramayana and the Mahabharata are the two greatest and most read epics of India. Other noteworthy collections of Indian traditional stories include the Panchatantra, a collection of traditional narratives made by Vishnu Sarma in the second century BC; the Hitopadesha of Narayana is a collection of anthropomorphic fabliaux, animal fables, in Sanskrit, compiled in the ninth century. Indian folklorists during the last thirty years have contributed to the study of folklore. Devendra Satyarthi, Krishna Dev Upadyhayaya, Prafulla Dutta Goswami, Kunja Bihari Dash, Ashutosh Bhatacharya and many more senior folklorists have contributed for the study of folklore.
But it is during the 1970s that some folklorists studied in US universities and trained up themselves with the modern theories and methods of folklore research and set a new trend of folklore study in India. South Indian universities advocated for folklore as a discipline in the universities and hundreds of scholars trained up on folklore. A. K. Ramanjuan was the noted folklorist to analyse folklore from Indian context. Study of folklore was strengthened by two stremas; these two folklorists conducted their field work on Epic of Siri and led the Indian folklorists to the new folklore study. The Central Institute of Indian Languages has played a major role in promoting folklore studies in India to explore another reality of Indian culture. Scholars such as Chitrasen Pasayat, M. D. Muthukumaraswamy, Vivek Rai, Jawaharlal Handoo, Birendranath Dutta, P. C. Pattanaik, B. Reddy, Sadhana Naithani, P. Subachary, Molly Kaushal, Shyam Sundar Mahapatra, Bhabagrahi Mishra and many new folklorists have contributed in their respective field for shaping folklore study as a strong discipline in representing the people's memory and people's voice.
The National Folklore Support Center in Chennai has taken the initiative to promote folklore in public domain and bridging the gap of academic domain and community domain. Indian folk heroes like Rama, Krishna in Sanskrit epics and history and in freedom movement are well known to every one, they have found a place in written literature. But in Indian cultural sub-system, Indian folk heroes are most popular; the castes and tribes of India have maintained their diversities of culture through their language and religion and customs. So in addition to national heroes, regional heroes and local folk and tribal heroes are alive in the collective memory of the people. Let's take examples of the Santhals or the Gonds; the Santhals have their culture heroes Bidu Chandan. Gonds have their folk hero Chital Singh Chhatti. Banjara folk hero is Raja Isalu, but not only heroes, the heroines of Indian folklore have s
Theatre of India
Indian theatre is one of the most ancient forms of Indo-European and Asian theatre and it features a detailed textual and dramatic effects. Like in the areas of music and dance, the Indian theatre is defined by the dramatic performance defined by the concept of Natya, a Sanskrit word for drama but encompasses dramatic narrative, virtuostic dance, music. Indian theatre exerted influence beyond its borders, reaching ancient China and other countries in the Far East; the earliest form of classical theatre of India was the Sanskrit theatre which came into existence after the development of Greek and Roman theatres in the west. One theory describes this development as an offshoot of Alexander the Great's Indian conquest; the invading army staged Indians picked up the performance art. While some scholars argue that traditional Indian theatre predated it, there is a recognition that classical Greek theatre has helped transformed it. With the Islamic conquests that began in the 10th and 11th centuries, theatre was discouraged or forbidden entirely.
In an attempt to re-assert indigenous values and ideas, village theatre was encouraged across the subcontinent, developing in a large number of regional languages from the 15th to the 19th centuries. Modern Indian theatre developed during the period of colonial rule under the British Empire, from the mid-19th century until the mid-20th. From the last half of the 19th century, theatres in India experienced a boost in numbers and practice. After Indian independence in 1947, theatres spread throughout India as one of the means of entertainment; as a diverse, multi-cultural nation, the theatre of India cannot be reduced to a single, homogenous trend. In contemporary India, the major competition with its theatre is that represented by growing television industry and the spread of films produced in the Indian film industry based in Mumbai, known as "Bollywood". Lack of finance is another major obstacle. Sanskrit theatre emerged in the 2nd century BCE and flourished between the 1st century CE and the 10th, a period of relative peace in the history of India during which hundreds of plays were written.
Despite its name, Sanskrit theatre was not in Sanskrit language. Other Indic languages collectively called as Prakrit were used in addition to Sanskrit; the earliest-surviving fragments of Sanskrit drama date from the 1st century CE. The wealth of archeological evidence from earlier periods offers no indication of the existence of a tradition of theatre; the Vedas contain no hint of it. The Mahābhāṣya by Patañjali contains the earliest reference to what may have been the seeds of Sanskrit drama; this treatise on grammar from 140 BCE provides a feasible date for the beginnings of theatre in India. However, although there are no surviving fragments of any drama prior to this date, it is possible that early Buddhist literature provides the earliest evidence for the existence of Indian theater; the Pali suttas refer to the existence of troupes of actors. It is indicated that these dramas incorporated dance, but were listed as a distinct form of performance, alongside dancing and story recitations; the major source of evidence for Sanskrit theatre is A Treatise on Theatre, a compendium whose date of composition is uncertain and whose authorship is attributed to Bharata Muni.
The Treatise is the most complete work of dramaturgy in the ancient world. It addresses acting, music, dramatic construction, costuming, make-up, the organisation of companies, the audience and offers a mythological account of the origin of theatre. In doing so, it provides indications about the nature of actual theatrical practices. Sanskrit theatre was performed on sacred ground by priests, trained in the necessary skills in a, its aim was both to entertain. An appreciation for the stagecraft and classic Sanskrit drama was seen as an essential part of a sophisticated world view, by the end of the seventh century. Under the patronage of royal courts, performers belonged to professional companies that were directed by a stage manager, who may have acted; this task was thought of as being analogous to that of a puppeteer—the literal meaning of "sutradhara" is "holder of the strings or threads". The performers were trained rigorously in physical technique. There were no prohibitions against female performers.
Certain sentiments were considered inappropriate for men to enact and were thought better suited to women. Some performers played characters their own age. Of all the elements of theatre, the Treatise gives most attention to acting, which consists of two styles: realistic and conventional, though the major focus is on the latter, its drama is regarded as the highest achievement of Sanskrit literature. It utilised stock characters, such as heroine, or clown. Actors may have specialised in a particular type. Kālidāsa is arguably considered to be India's greatest Sanskrit dramatist, writing in the ca. 4th century CE-ca. 5th century CE. Three famous romantic plays written by Kālidāsa are the Mālavikāgnimitram, Vikramuurvashiiya (P
Hindus are persons who regard themselves as culturally, ethnically, or religiously adhering to aspects of Hinduism. The term has been used as a geographical and religious identifier for people indigenous to the Indian subcontinent; the historical meaning of the term Hindu has evolved with time. Starting with the Persian and Greek references to the land of the Indus in the 1st millennium BCE through the texts of the medieval era, the term Hindu implied a geographic, ethnic or cultural identifier for people living in the Indian subcontinent around or beyond the Sindhu river. By the 16th century, the term began to refer to residents of the subcontinent who were not Turkic or Muslims; the historical development of Hindu self-identity within the local South Asian population, in a religious or cultural sense, is unclear. Competing theories state that Hindu identity developed in the British colonial era, or that it developed post-8th century CE after the Islamic invasion and medieval Hindu-Muslim wars.
A sense of Hindu identity and the term Hindu appears in some texts dated between the 13th and 18th century in Sanskrit and regional languages. The 14th- and 18th-century Indian poets such as Vidyapati and Eknath used the phrase Hindu dharma and contrasted it with Turaka dharma; the Christian friar Sebastiao Manrique used the term'Hindu' in religious context in 1649. In the 18th century, the European merchants and colonists began to refer to the followers of Indian religions collectively as Hindus, in contrast to Mohamedans for Mughals and Arabs following Islam. By the mid-19th century, colonial orientalist texts further distinguished Hindus from Buddhists and Jains, but the colonial laws continued to consider all of them to be within the scope of the term Hindu until about mid-20th century. Scholars state that the custom of distinguishing between Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs is a modern phenomenon. Hindoo is an archaic spelling variant. At more than 1.03 billion, Hindus are the world's third largest group after Muslims.
The vast majority of Hindus 966 million, live in India, according to India's 2011 census. After India, the next 9 countries with the largest Hindu populations are, in decreasing order: Nepal, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, United States, United Kingdom and Myanmar; these together accounted for 99% of the world's Hindu population, the remaining nations of the world together had about 6 million Hindus in 2010. The word Hindu is derived from the Indo-Aryan and Sanskrit word Sindhu, which means "a large body of water", covering "river, ocean", it was used as the name of the Indus river and referred to its tributaries. The actual term'hindu' first occurs, states Gavin Flood, as "a Persian geographical term for the people who lived beyond the river Indus", more in the 6th-century BCE inscription of Darius I; the Punjab region, called Sapta Sindhu in the Vedas, is called Hapta Hindu in Zend Avesta. The 6th-century BCE inscription of Darius I mentions the province of Hidush, referring to northwestern India; the people of India were referred to as Hinduvān and hindavī was used as the adjective for Indian in the 8th century text Chachnama.
The term'Hindu' in these ancient records is an ethno-geographical term and did not refer to a religion. The Arabic equivalent Al-Hind referred to the country of India. Among the earliest known records of'Hindu' with connotations of religion may be in the 7th-century CE Chinese text Record of the Western Regions by the Buddhist scholar Xuanzang. Xuanzang uses the transliterated term In-tu whose "connotation overflows in the religious" according to Arvind Sharma. While Xuanzang suggested that the term refers to the country named after the moon, another Buddhist scholar I-tsing contradicted the conclusion saying that In-tu was not a common name for the country. Al-Biruni's 11th-century text Tarikh Al-Hind, the texts of the Delhi Sultanate period use the term'Hindu', where it includes all non-Islamic people such as Buddhists, retains the ambiguity of being "a region or a religion". The'Hindu' community occurs as the amorphous'Other' of the Muslim community in the court chronicles, according to Romila Thapar.
Wilfred Cantwell Smith notes that'Hindu' retained its geographical reference initially:'Indian','indigenous, local', virtually'native'. The Indian groups themselves started using the term, differentiating themselves and their "traditional ways" from those of the invaders; the text Prithviraj Raso, by Chanda Baradai, about the 1192 CE defeat of Prithviraj Chauhan at the hands of Muhammad Ghori, is full of references to "Hindus" and "Turks", at one stage, says "both the religions have drawn their curved swords. In Islamic literature,'Abd al-Malik Isami's Persian work, Futuhu's-salatin, composed in the Deccan in 1350, uses the word'hindi' to mean Indian in the ethno-geographical sense and the word'hindu' to mean'Hindu' in the sense of a follower of the Hindu religion"; the poet Vidyapati's poem Kirtilata contrasts the cultures of Hindus and Turks in a city and concludes "The Hindus and the Turks live close together. One of the earliest uses of word'Hindu' in religious context in a European language, was the publication in 1649 by Sebastiao Manrique.
Other prominent mentions of'Hindu' include the epigraphical inscriptions from Andhra Pradesh kingdoms who battled military expansion of Muslim dynasties in the 14th century, where the word'Hindu' implies a religious identity in contrast to'Turks' or Islam
Religion in India
Religion in India is characterised by a diversity of religious beliefs and practices. India is a secular state with no state religion; the Indian subcontinent is the birthplace of four of the world's major religions. According to the 2011 census, 79.8% of the population of India practices Hinduism, 14.2% adheres to Islam, 2.3% adheres to Christianity, 1.7% adheres to Sikhism. Zoroastrianism and Judaism have an ancient history in India, each has several thousands of Indian adherents. India has the largest population of people adhering to Zoroastrianism and Bahá'í Faith in the world though these religions are not native to India. Many other world religions have a relationship with Indian spirituality, such as the Baha'i faith which recognises the Buddha and Krishna as manifestations of the God Almighty. Throughout India's history, religion has been an important part of the country's culture. Religious diversity and religious tolerance are both established in the country by the law and custom. Northwest India was home to one of the world's oldest civilizations, the Indus valley civilisation.
Today, India is home to around 90% of the global population of Hindus. Most Hindu shrines and temples are located in India. Allahabad hosts the world's largest religious pilgrimage, Kumbha Mela, where Hindus from across the world come together to bathe in the confluence of three sacred rivers of India: the Ganga, the Yamuna, the Saraswati; the Indian diaspora in the West has popularised many aspects of Hindu philosophy such as yoga, Ayurvedic medicine, divination and reincarnation. The influence of Indian religions has been significant all over the world. Several Hindu-based organisations, such as the Hare Krishna movement, the Brahma Kumaris, the Ananda Marga, others have spread Indian spiritual beliefs and practices; the Indian subcontinent contains the largest population of Muslims in the world, with about one-third of all Muslims being from South Asia. By 2050, the Muslim population of India is projected to grow to 311 million and surpass Indonesia to become the world's largest Muslim population, although India will retain a Hindu majority.
Being the cradle of Ahmadiyya Islam, India is one of the countries in the world with at least 2 million Ahmadi Muslims. The shrines of some of the most famous saints of Sufism, like Moinuddin Chishti and Nizamuddin Auliya, are found in India, attract visitors from all over the world. India is home to some of the most famous monuments of Islamic architecture, such as the Taj Mahal and the Qutb Minar. Civil matters related to the community are dealt with by the Muslim Personal Law, constitutional amendments in 1985 established its primacy in family matters. Evidence attesting to prehistoric religion in the Indian "subcontinent" derives from scattered Mesolithic rock paintings depicting dances and rituals. Neolithic pastoralists inhabiting the Indus Valley buried their dead in a manner suggestive of spiritual practices that incorporated notions of an afterlife. Other South Asian Stone Age sites, such as the Bhimbetka rock shelters in central Madhya Pradesh and the Kupgal petroglyphs of eastern Karnataka, contain rock art portraying religious rites and evidence of possible ritualised music.
The Harappan people of the Indus Valley Civilisation, which lasted from 3300 to 1400 BCE and was centered on the Indus and Ghaggar-Hakra river valleys, may have worshiped an important mother goddess symbolising fertility. Excavations of Indus Valley Civilisation sites show seals with animals and "fire‑altars", indicating rituals associated with fire. A linga-yoni of a type similar to that, now worshiped by Hindus has been found. Hinduism is regarded as the oldest religion in the world, with roots tracing back to prehistoric times, over 5,000 years ago. Hinduism spread through parts of Southeastern Asia, China and Japan. Hindus worship a single god with different forms. Hinduism's origins include the cultural elements of the Indus Valley Civilisation along with other Indian civilisations; the oldest surviving text of Hinduism is the Rigveda, produced during the Vedic period and dating to 1700–1100 BCE. During the Epic and Puranic periods, the earliest versions of the epic poems, in their current form including Ramayana and Mahabharata were written from 500–100 BCE, although these were orally transmitted through families for centuries prior to this period.
After 200 BCE, several schools of thought were formally codified in the Indian philosophy, including Samkhya, Nyaya, Purva-Mimamsa and Vedanta. Hinduism, otherwise a theistic religion, hosted atheistic schools and atheistic philosophies. Other Indian philosophies regarded as orthodox include Samkhya and Mimamsa. Historical roots of Jainism in India is traced back to 9th-century BC with the rise of Parshvanatha and his non-violent philosophy. Mahavira the 24th Jain Tirthankara before that 23 Tirthankaras for this chaubishi, stressed five vows, including ahimsa and asteya. Gautama Buddha, who founded Buddhism, was born to the Shakya clan, his family was native to the plains of Lumbini, in. Indian Buddhism peaked during the reign of Ashoka the Great of the Mauryan Empire, who patronised Buddhism following his conversion and unified the Indian subcontinent in the 3rd century BCE, he sent missionaries abroad. Indian Buddhism decl
Culture of India
The culture of India refers collectively to the thousands of distinct and unique cultures of all religions and communities present in India. India's languages, dance, architecture and customs differ from place to place within the country. Indian culture labeled as an amalgamation of several cultures, spans across the Indian subcontinent and has been influenced by a history, several millennia old. Many elements of India's diverse cultures, such as Indian religions, cuisine, martial arts, dance and movies have a profound impact across the Indosphere, Greater India and the world. Indian-origin religions Hinduism, Jainism and Sikhism, all of which are based on the concept of dharma and karma. Ahimsa, a philosophy of nonviolence, is an important aspect of native Indian faiths whose most well known proponent was Mahatma Gandhi who through civil disobedience brought India together against the British Raj and this philosophy further inspired Martin Luther King, Jr. during the American civil rights movement.
During the Muslim conquests in the Indian subcontinent, Indian-origin religions have been persecuted by Muslim rulers. Muslim rulers massacred Hindus and Buddhists while attacking temples and monasteries, while forcing them to convert including on the battlefield. Most of the great temples in Northern Indian subcontinent were destroyed during the Muslim rule. Will Durant calls the Muslim conquest of India "probably the bloodiest story in history" between the years 1000 CE and 1500 CE, the population of the Indian subcontinent decreased from 200 to 125 million. Foreign-origin religion, including Abrahamic religions, such as Judasim and Islam, are present in India, as well as Zoroastrianism and Bahá'í Faith both escaping persecution by Islam have found shelter in India over the centuries. India has 29 states with different culture and civilizations and one of the most populated countries in the world; the Indian culture labeled as an amalgamation of several various cultures, spans across the Indian subcontinent and has been influenced and shaped by a history, several thousand years old.
Throughout the history of India, Indian culture has been influenced by Dharmic religions. They have been credited with shaping much of Indian philosophy, architecture and music. Greater India was the historical extent of Indian culture beyond the Indian subcontinent; this concerns the spread of Hinduism, architecture and writing system from India to other parts of Asia through the Silk Road by the travellers and maritime traders during the early centuries of the Common Era. To the west, Greater India overlaps with Greater Persia in the Hindu Pamir Mountains. Over the centuries, there has been significant fusion of cultures between Buddhists, Muslims, Jains and various tribal populations in India. India is the birthplace of Hinduism, Jainism and other religions, they are collectively known as Indian religions. Indian religions are a major form of world religions along with Abrahamic ones. Today and Buddhism are the world's third and fourth-largest religions with over 2 billion followers altogether, as many as 2.5 or 2.6 billion followers.
Followers of Indian religions – Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists make up around 80–82% population of India. India is one of the most religiously and ethnically diverse nations in the world, with some of the most religious societies and cultures. Religion plays a definitive role in the life of many of its people. Although India is a secular Hindu-majority country, it has a large Muslim population. Except for Jammu and Kashmir, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Lakshadweep, Hindus form the predominant population in all 29 states and 7 union territories. Muslims are present throughout India, with large populations in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana, West Bengal and Assam. Sikhs and Christians are other significant minorities of India. According to the 2011 census, 79.8% of the population of India practice Hinduism. Islam, Sikhism and Jainism are the other major religions followed by the people of India. Many tribal religions, such as Sarnaism, are found in India, though these have been affected by major religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity.
Jainism, Zoroastrianism and the Bahá'í Faith are influential but their numbers are smaller. Atheism and agnostics have visible influence in India, along with a self-ascribed tolerance to other faiths. According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Centre, India will have world's largest populations of Hindus and Muslims by 2050. India is expected to have about 311 million Muslims making up around 19–20% of the population and yet about 1.3 billion Hindus are projected to live in India comprising around 76% of the population. Atheism and agnosticism flourished within Śramaṇa movement; the Cārvāka school originated in India around the 6th century BCE. It is one of the earliest form of atheistic movement in ancient India. Sramana, Jainism, Ājīvika and some schools of Hinduism consider atheism to be valid and reject the concept of creator deity and superstitions. India has produced social reformers. According to the 2012 WIN-Gallup Global Index of Religion and Atheism report, 81% of Indians were religious, 13% were not religious, 3% were convinced atheists, 3% were unsure or did not respond.
Indian philosophy comprises the ph
Sculpture in the Indian subcontinent
The first known sculpture in the Indian subcontinent is from the Indus Valley civilization. After the collapse of the Indus Valley civilization there is little record of sculpture until the Buddhist era, apart from a hoard of copper figures of c. 1500 BCE from Daimabad. Thus the great tradition of Indian monumental sculpture in stone appears to begin late, with the reign of Asoka from 270 to 232 BCE, the Pillars of Ashoka he erected around India, carrying his edicts and topped by famous sculptures of animals lions, of which six survive. Large amounts of figurative sculpture in relief, survive from Early Buddhist pilgrimage stupas, above all Sanchi. During the 2nd to 1st century BCE in far northern India, in the Greco-Buddhist art of Gandhara from what is now southern Afghanistan and northern Pakistan, sculptures became more explicit, representing episodes of the Buddha’s life and teachings; the pink sandstone Hindu and Buddhist sculptures of Mathura from the 1st to 3rd centuries CE reflected both native Indian traditions and the Western influences received through the Greco-Buddhist art of Gandhara, established the basis for subsequent Indian religious sculpture.
The style was developed and diffused through most of India under the Gupta Empire which remains a "classical" period for Indian sculpture, covering the earlier Ellora Caves, though the Elephanta Caves are slightly later. Large scale sculpture remains exclusively religious, rather conservative reverting to simple frontal standing poses for deities, though the attendant spirits such as apsaras and yakshi have sensuously curving poses. Carving is highly detailed, with an intricate backing behind the main figure in high relief; the celebrated bronzes of the Chola dynasty from south India, many designed to be carried in processions, include the iconic form of Shiva as Nataraja, with the massive granite carvings of Mahabalipuram dating from the previous Pallava dynasty. The first known sculpture in the Indian subcontinent is from the Indus Valley civilization; these include the famous small bronze dancing girl. However such figures in bronze and stone are rare and outnumbered by pottery figurines and stone seals of animals or deities finely depicted.
Greco-Buddhist art is the artistic manifestation of Greco-Buddhism, a cultural syncretism between the Classical Greek culture and Buddhism, which developed over a period of close to 1000 years in Central Asia, between the conquests of Alexander the Great in the 4th century BCE, the Islamic conquests of the 7th century CE. Greco-Buddhist art is characterized by the strong idealistic realism of Hellenistic art and the first representations of the Buddha in human form, which have helped define the artistic canon for Buddhist art throughout the Asian continent up to the present. Though dating is uncertain, it appears that Hellenistic styles lingered in the East for several centuries after they had declined around the Mediterranean, as late as the 5th century CE; some aspects of Greek art were adopted. Greek foliage decration was influential, with Indian versions of the Corinthian capital appearing. Although India had a long sculptural tradition and a mastery of rich iconography, the Buddha was never represented in human form before this time, but only through some of his symbols.
This may be because Gandharan Buddhist sculpture in modern Afghanistan displays Greek and Persian artistic influence. Artistically, the Gandharan school of sculpture is said to have contributed wavy hair, drapery covering both shoulders and sandals, acanthus leaf decorations, etc; the origins of Greco-Buddhist art are to be found in the Hellenistic Greco-Bactrian kingdom, located in today’s Afghanistan, from which Hellenistic culture radiated into the Indian subcontinent with the establishment of the small Indo-Greek kingdom. Under the Indo-Greeks and the Kushans, the interaction of Greek and Buddhist culture flourished in the area of Gandhara, in today’s northern Pakistan, before spreading further into India, influencing the art of Mathura, the Hindu art of the Gupta empire, to extend to the rest of South-East Asia; the influence of Greco-Buddhist art spread northward towards Central Asia affecting the art of the Tarim Basin and the Dunhuang Caves, the sculpted figure in China and Japan. The temples of Khajuraho, a complex of Hindu and Jain temples, were constructed in the 9th and 11th centuries CE by the Chandela clan.
They are considered one of the best examples of Indian architecture. The temples have a rich display of intricately carved sculptures. While they are famous for their erotic sculptures, sexual themes cover less than a tenth of the temple sculpture; the sculptures depict various aspects the everyday life, mythical stories as well as symbolic display of various secular and spiritual values important in Hindu tradition. The Chola bronzes are some of the most famous sculptures of India, they were created using the lost wax technique. The sculptures were of Shiva in various avatars with his consort Parvati, Vishnu with his consort Lakshmi, among other deities; the most iconic among these is the bronze figure of Shiva as the lord of dance. In his upper right hand he holds the drum of creation. In his upper left h
Sport in India
India is home to a diverse population playing many different riding on it sports across the country. Cricket is the most popular sport in India. Field hockey is the most successful sport for India at Olympics in which India has won eight Olympic gold medals. Kabaddi is the most popular indigenous sport in the country. Other popular sports in India are badminton, basketball, shooting, boxing, squash, gymnastics and table tennis; some indigenous sports are popular in India such as Kho-kho, Leg Cricket, Fighter kite and Gillidanda among others. There are some popular sports which have originated in India such as Chess, Leg Cricket and Kabbadi. India has won Olympic medals in Badminton, Shooting, Weightlifting and Tennis. India has won World Cups in Cricket, Field Hockey and Kabbadi. India has hosted and co-hosted several international sporting events including the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the 1951 and 1982 Asian Games, the 1987, 1995 and 2016 South Asian Games, the 1987, 1996, 2011 Cricket World Cup and 2016 ICC World Twenty20, the 2003 Afro-Asian Games, the 1989, 2013 and 2017 Asian Athletics Championships, the 1982 and 2010 Men's Field hockey World Cup, 2016–17 Men's FIH Hockey World League, the 1979, 1987, 1991, 2003, 2010, 2013 and 2017 Asian Wrestling Championships, the 2009 BWF World Championships, the 2004, 2007 and 2016 Kabaddi World Cup, the 1980,1992 and 2009 Asian Table Tennis Championships, the 1981 ABC Championship, the 2009 FIBA Asia Championship for Women, the 1989, 2005, 2013 and 2017 Asian Cycling Championships.
India has hosted the 2017 FIBA Women's Asia Cup, the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, the 2017 ISSF World Cup and will host the 2018 Men's Hockey World Cup. India has some premier domestic leagues in different sports which are popular in the country. Indian Premier League is a premier Twenty20 & the most popular cricket league in the world held every year since 2008; the I-League and Indian Super League are premier football league tournaments held since 2007 and 2014 the Pro Kabaddi league is the most popular indigenous league in the country held since 2014, the Hockey India League is the premier hockey league held since 2013, the Premier Badminton League is the badminton premier league held since 2013, the Pro Wrestling League premier Wrestling league held since 2015 and Ultimate Table Tennis league held since 2017. Major international sporting events annually held in India include the Chennai Open in tennis, the Indian Masters in golf, the India Open since 2008 and Royal Indian Open since 2001 in badminton.
From 2011 to 2013, India hosted the Indian Grand Prix Formula 1 race at the Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida. The National Games of India is a national domestic sports event, held in the country since 1924 and for developing multi-sports culture in India Khelo India School Games, an event for under-17 school kids, had been started from 2018 as its first edition; the geography of sports in India dates back to the Vedic era. Physical culture in ancient India was fuelled by religious rights; the mantra in the Atharvaveda, says, "Duty is in my right hand and the fruits of victory in my left." In terms of an ideal, these words hold the same sentiments as the traditional Olympic Oath: "For the Honour of my Country and the Glory of Sport." Badminton originated in India as a grownup's version of a old children's game known in England as battledore and shuttlecock, the battledore being a paddle and the shuttlecock a small feathered cork, now called a "bird." Games like chess, Snooker snakes and ladders, playing cards, originated in India, it was from here that these games were transmitted to foreign countries, where they were further modernized.
During the rule of the Mughal Empire, a form of wrestling known as pehlwani developed, by combining native malla-yuddha with influences from Persian varzesh-e bastani. During the Colonial period, British India competed at six Olympic Games, notably winning medals in field hockey. Modern polo originated in British India in the 19th century, from Manipur, where the game was known as'Sagol Kangjei','Kanjai-bazee', or'Pulu'; the name "polo" is the anglicized version of the latter. The first polo club was established in Silchar in 1833; the oldest polo club in existence is the Calcutta Polo Club, established in 1862. The rulers of princely states played sports such as horse-racing and cricket. India hosted the Asian Games in New Delhi in 1951 and 1982; the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports was set up as the Department of Sports in 1982 at the time of organisation of the IX Asian Games in New Delhi. Its name was changed to the Department of Youth Affairs & Sports during celebration of the International Youth Year in 1985.
India has hosted or co-hosted several international sporting events, including the 1987 and 1996 Cricket World Cup, the 2003 Afro-Asian Games, the 2010 Hockey World Cup, the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Major international sporting events annually held in India include the Chennai Open, Mumbai Marathon, Delhi Half Marathon, the Indian Masters; the country co-hosted the 1987, 1996, 2011 Cricket World Cup and the first Indian Grand Prix in 2011. Political responsibility for sport in India is with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, headed by a cabinet minister and managed by National Sport Federations; the only major exception is the BCCI, the administrative body of Cricket, is not a NSF. Presently there are more than 70 recognised national sports federations, of which 38 have politicians at the helm. Sports Authority of India, the field arm of the Ministry and nurtures talent in youth, provides them with