The art forms in Southern India are largely of Dravidian origin, whereas the North Indian art forms have largely been imbibed initially from the Aryans and later the Afghan and Muslim invaders, mostly the Mughals. However, both in all parts of India, artistry flourished under the patronage of either the Lord Almighty or the monarch. It is either Religion or the royalty that have acted as inspiration, leading artists to create one wonder after another.
The rich tradition of the classical dance forms of South India- Bharat Natyam, Kathakali, Kuchupudi and Odissi, and Carnatic musis, all have their origins in the temple art practiced in Dravidian India. Music and dance was performed before the gods and goddess in the temples, as an offering. Carnatic music that originated in Karnataka is the origin of much of the vocal and instrumental music that we see now in South India. Manipuri, another classical dance form, has its origin in the state of Manipur and is also essentially devotional in nature, depicting the life of Lord Krishna.
The Northern India is the breeding ground of the celebrated Kathak dance form and the rich Hindustani classical music. Though both these art forms have their origins in Hindu tradition and scriptures, it is at the hands of the Mughal and Rajput rulers that they reached their peak. Essentially forms of court entertainment, the Kathak and Hindustani classical music were highly patronized by the Mughal emperors, all of whom were great connoisseurs of art.
The visual arts in India, just like their musical counterpart, found their most profound expression in the celebration of religion. Exquisite temple carvings and sculpture have always drawn art lovers to India. The temples of Khajuraho, Konark, Ajanta and Ellora, the Elephanta Caves, the temples of Belur, Halebid and Hampi are landmarks in Indian art history.
The painting tradition ranges from cave paintings to miniatures to folk art to frescos to batik and cloth painting and so on; resulting now in a distinct form practiced by contemporary artists; one that is gaining international ground rapidly, making an esteemed place for itself in the international arena.
The Indians invites you to have a glimpse of the depth and spread of art and music in India, on cultural tours to India.