India's artistic traditions are ancient, esoteric and
deeply rooted in religion. While in various times in her
long history, foreign races and cultures exercised some
influence on Indian art forms, the main aesthetic current
has remained predominantly Indian and has preserved
classical traditions of music, dance, literature,
architecture, sculpture and theatre.
Hundreds of temples with intricate carvings, unique murals
of Ajanta and the bronze of South India were all largely
inspired by the instinct of worship. Handicrafts of India
today still retain much of the spirit of age-old
With coming of Muslims in 12th century AD, traditional
Hindu are felt the overpowering impact of a new religion
and culture. As new rulers settled and built palaces and
mosques, tombs and gardens, employing local artisans and
craftsmen, Saracenic style blended with Hindu.
Mongol, among the world's great builders, carried this
synthesis to a level of perfection, of which Taj Mahal is
the most famous example. In the realm of painting, some of
the miniature masterpieces of Mongol and the later, Rajput
and Pahari schools could be seen in India's museums.
Modern art in India bears the impact of the classical and
folk idioms indigenous to India, as well as of recent
trends in world art. Since independence, Indian artists
have shown great vigor and an urge for experimentation.