India is blessed with a vast and rich heritage. One has only to see the various architectural marvels and cultural institutions that dot the geographical expanse of India to glimpse the richness of our heritage.
The science and technology of ancient India was quite advanced. Many historians believe that most of the scientific advances believed to have been made in Europe had been achieved centuries ago in India. Such advances covered major fields of human knowledge and activities like mathematics, astronomy, physics, medicine, metallurgy, surgery, fine arts, civil engineering and architecture, shipbuilding, navigation, etc.
Indian mathematicians have made important contributions to the study of the decimal number system, zero, negative numbers, arithmetic and algebra. The study of linguistics was initiated by Indian grammarians who began the trend by first attempting to catalogue and codify the rules of Sanskrit. Even today, the main terms for compound analysis are taken from Sanskrit.
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India is the birthplace of Ayurveda and Yoga; these systems are now finding many followers in the West. India’s rich spiritual tradition has attracted many troubled Westerners, fleeing the materialistic and spiritually empty worlds they inhabit, to her shores, seeking solace and salvation. India’s urban civilization traces its roots to Mahenjodaro and Harappa, now in Pakistan.
Their planned urban townships were very advanced for their time. Metallurgy is central to most civilizations. The science of smelting was highly refined and precise in ancient India. As early as the 5th century BC, Herodotus, the eminent Greek historian, noted that iron was used in the arrows used by Indian and Persian soldiers.
The idea of the atom is derived from the classification of the material world into five basic elements by Indian philosophers. This classification has been in existence since the Vedic age (c.1500 BC). Indian monuments testify to the different influences in her history – Buddhist, Indo-Saracenic, Victorian, Mughal, etc.
Classical Indian music and dance have a wide fan following all over the world. Each state has its own art forms which are well documented. Imposing and architecturally splendid temples, mosques and churches embody the diverse religious and cultural influences that have made India unique. Cuisine too is an important part of our heritage.
As Indians, we ought to be proud of our rich heritage and strive to preserve it for our descendants by respecting it and ensuring its survival.