ARTS 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, religions, dance, music, architecture, food, and customs differs from place to place within the country. The Indian culture, often labeled as an amalgamation of several cultures, spans across the Indian subcontinent and has been influenced by a history that is several millennia old. Arts and entertainment in India have had their course shaped by a synthesis of indigenous and foreign influences that have consequently shaped the course of the arts of the rest of Asia, since ancient times. Arts refer to paintings, architecture, literature, music, dance, languages and cinema. In early India, most of the arts were derived Vedic influences. After the birth of contemporary Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism arts flourished under the patronage of kings and emperors. Indian music includes multiple varieties of folk, popular, pop, and classical music. India's classical music tradition, including Carnatic and Hindustani music, has a history spanning millennia and, developed over several eras, remains fundamental to the lives of Indians today as sources of religious inspiration, cultural expression and pure entertainment. Indian classical dance is performed in different styles. Its theory can be traced back to the Natya Shastra of Bharata Muni, a sage from Tamil Nadu 400 BC. The Natya Shastra is the most important ancient treatise on classical Indian dance. It is also called the fifth Veda in reference to the foundation of Hindu religion and philosophy, from which sprang the related South Indian musical tradition of Carnatic music. Its various current forms include Bharatanatyam, Odissi, Manipuri, Kathakali, Kuchipudi, Mohiniaattam, Kathak and Sattriya.