Heritage means what we inherit from our ancestors and from our past. The heritage of India is the result of developments in the social, economic, cultural and political life of Indian people over a period of thousands of years. The land and people are the two components of this heritage.
Nature has made India into a distinct geographical entity. India is a vast country. Since the old Stone Age people from neighboring as well as distant regions having coming into India and making it their home. India has been full of various 'races' and ethnic groups. They have all contributed to the making of Indian history and culture. The people from other cultures and civilizations have brought with them their own traditions which got intermixed and integrated with the pre-existing traditions.
Similarly, people of India have gone to other parts of the world and various elements of culture carried by them have intermixed and integrated with the pre-existing traditions. The mountains and the rivers systems have been an important factor in the emergence of a number of distinct cultural zones within the country. The Harappan culture was the first urban culture to emerge in India. Jainism and Buddhism which arose in the sixth century B.C. left a lasting influence on Indian life and culture. This period saw the spread throughout the country of beliefs and practices associated with Hinduism, including Vedic religion. The next phase in Ancient Indian History covers the period from about 200 B.C. to about A.D. 300. There was significant progress of Buddhist art in the Deccan, and the beginning of Tamil literature in the south. Medieval period is important for the growth of modern Indian languages, architecture, sculpture literature, and philosophy. The establishment of the sultanate of Delhi: It saw the introduction of new features in art and architecture of India. Two new languages-Arabic and Persian became a part of India's linguistic heritage. Persian was more important in many areas. It replaced Sanskrit as the court language. The Bhakti movement which had started earlier, spread throughout the country. Kabir and Nanak disapproved of religious narrow mindedness. The Bhakti saints condemned caste inequalities and laid stress on human brotherhood. The Sufis or the Muslim mystics preached the message of love and human brotherhood. Sikhism began to emerge as a new religion based on the teachings of Gurunanak. Akbar, the greatest of the Mughal emperors, followed a policy of 'sulahkul'. Some of the finest specimens of Indian architecture and literature belong to this period. Another significant development was the emergence of a new language (Urdu).
The eighteenth century marks the beginning of the modern period of Indian history. Politically the period saw the decline of the Mughal Empire and the birth of a number of small and big independent states in different parts of the country. The process of colonization of vast areas of the world by a few European countries had been under way since the sixteenth century. From about the middle of the 18th century, the conquest of India by Britain began. For the first time in her history, India came under foreign rule. A new system of exploitation of one country by the dominant classes and groups of another country came into being. The long struggle for independence ended the imperialist exploitation of India. The nationalist movement united the Indian people on a new basis. It recognized and cherished 'the unity in diversity' and composite nature of India's - culture as its unique feature.
ROLL NO. 03