Indian clothing is famous because it is colorful and also graceful.
Outfits for women are designed to be graceful. While men's clothes are
for the warm climate and comfort. Certain trends in clothing prevail
even to date throughout the country.
The traditional Indian clothing for women is the Sari, which can be
worn in many different ways. A choli is worn over a sari, which is a
blouse that ends just below the bust. The Salwar Kameej is one of the
most popular costumes. The Salwar Kameez too has had many designs. One
of the other traditional dresses is the Lehangas.
The Sari is still so popular even after centuries because it has a
sense of luxury and sexuality to it. Even though it is a single length
of material, the sari is a very versatile garment. It is a rectangular
piece of cloth, which is sometimes five and usually six yards in length.
The style, color and texture of this cloth vary. But the most
traditional ones are the handloom or hand woven saris. Now a -days it is
made from cotton, silk or one of the several man-made materials.
It is a tightly fitted blouse that ends just below the bust and is
worn under a sari. It can be long sleeved or even short sleeved. The
choli came developed as a form of clothing in 10th century AD. The
cholis first used were only front covering; the back was usually bare.
Blouses of this kind are still common. Today, there are a number of
styles of cholis which are inspired by other cultures as well.
The salwar kameej:
Another commonly used attire of women in India is the salwar-kameez.
This dress was used in the northern part of India as a comfortable and
especially in Kashmir and Punjab. Now it is very popular in all regions
of India. Salwars are loose trousers like pants drawn tightly to the
waist and the ankles. Over the salwar, they wear long and loose clothing
known as a kameez. Occasionally women wear churidar instead of a salwar.
A churidar is like the salwar but is tight fitting at the hips, thighs
Apart from the sari's, women in some regions wear a kind of pleated
skirt known as the ghagra or lehanga. This skirt is tied around the
waist and thus leaves the back and midriff bare. This dress also has a
choli. The choli is covered by a length of cloth known as "odhni" or "dupatta".
Men's traditional clothing:
The traditional attire of men includes: Sherwani, Lungi, Dhoti and
It is a coat like garment, worn by men, which is tight and close to
the body. It is usually knee-length or longer and opens in front with
the help of buttons. Below this men wear a garment, which is baggy and
wide at the top but tight around the legs and ankles. It is considered
as a very elegant dress for men and mostly worn only during ceremonies.
The lungi had originated in the south and is still common there.
Today men and women wear it in the same fashion. It is simply a long
length of material worn around the thighs like a sarong.
A dhoti is a longer version of a lungi. It has an additional length
of material to be pulled up between the legs.
The Kurta is a knee length shirt, which is worn, mostly in white or
pastel colors. Elderly people usually wore it, because they looked
decent in it. Today you find Kurtas made out of the most varied colors
and fabrics. Pyjama-are nothing but loose trousers which you tie around
the waist with a string. It is traditionally white in color.
In Hinduism food is considered as God (Brahman) and said
to be a part of Brahman as it nourishes the entire physical, mental and
emotional aspects of a human being. It is considered as a gift from God
and should be treated respectfully. Here is a brief description about
the nuances of Hindu Food.
In Vedas food is acknowledged with the rudiments of the earth. The
Prasna Upanishad identifies food with the Lord of Creation. According to
Manu, “Food that is always worshipped gives strength and manly vigor but
eaten irreverently, it destroys them both.”
Food should be eaten in religious attitude for the purpose survival
and giving strength to the body to practice self control and
austerities, but not for the sake of pleasure. This is the concept
behind Hindu Food.
Hindu Food and Vegetarianism
According to Hinduism “You are what you eat” is a concept behind a
man and his food habits as it decides our mental growth as well as
physical growth and well being. Eating food by killing animals is said
to block mental and spiritual growth. This is the reason why Hinduism
emphasizes on vegetarianism. Another reason it believes that killing
innocent and helpless animals for the purpose of food is a bad karma
that brings harmful consequences not only to the man who is eating but
to the entire planet.
Restriction and Hindu Foods
Beef is strictly forbidden as a food in Hinduism. Cow is
considered as mother in Hinduism. But dairy products like milk, butter
and yogurt are said to increase spiritual purity.
Pork is strictly forbidden food in Hinduism.
Food obtained from any animal is restricted.
Certain foods are prohibited according to the geographical
Some pious Hindus even avoid over stimulating foods such as
onions, garlic, and red coloured (blood-coloured) foods such as red
lentils and tomatoes.
To avoid violence or pain, vegetarianism is advocated.
Meat is not always prohibited in the Laws of Manu but they declare
that ‘no sin is attached to eating flesh… but abstinence… bears
Fasting and Hindu Food:
Hindus fast on special occasions (festivals or holy days) as a mark
of respect to their god or as a part of their penance. At certain times
in a year like the Dusshera they do not eat food for days together.
There is a special ceremony to mark a baby’s eating solid food, which in
south is called as annaprasanna.
Charity and Hindu Food:
Serving food to the poor and the needy, or a beggar according to
Hindus is good karma. Food is associated with religious activity. Food
is still offered to God during some of the religious ceremonies. On
specific days in a year food is offered to departed souls. Food is also
distributed to people at the end of many religious ceremonies. Many
Hindu temples distribute food freely every day to the visiting devotees.
Hindu music is also called as sangeet. Music is believed to have
mythological roots and is associated with the heavenly singers, called
the Gandharvas. The first person to practice this art form was Narada.
The oldest texts associated with music are the Sama Veda, which consists
of melodies, which are recited, in the form of hymns during ritual
sacrifice. Music is considered as a means of moral or spiritual
connection rather than mere entertainment. There are three key elements
in the music discipline
The guru - coming in parampara where the disciple becomes the
Vinaya - humility, this is one of the key ingredients expected
from a disciple
Sadhana -practice of what is being taught regularly
Hindu music is based on two main things called
Raga, the melodic scale
Tala, the rhythm
Both Raga and Tala chosen carefully invokes the right mood (rasa). In
discussing the aesthetics of dance and music, Bharata Muni coined the
concept of nava-rasa, (nine principle "moods" or "tastes.)" During the
Bhakhi movement, emphasis was on spiritual emotion, so worship was
integrated into music. It was considered not only adoration but a means
towards a higher consciousness. Tansen is also another important person
remembered because he was believed to perform miracles through his
Common instruments used for Hindu music includes drums, such as the
tables mridangas, the manjira and the harmonium. Classical instruments
include, tabla, include the flute, vina, sitar, sarangi, santoor, and
The music of India is considered monodic. Its tone is divided into 22
segments called srutis. The basic scales in Hindu music are sa-grama.
Other scales are derived from the basic srutis by the sharping or
flatting of some of the tones. Melody is based on the system of ragas,
and is used as the basis for improvisation.There are many ragas, and
there are sets of rules for improvisation in that raga.
Each raga is attributed with certain ethical and emotional
properties, and is also associated with a certain season and a certain
time of day. Ragas are also associated with magical powers. For example
if a raga associated with darkness is sung in the middle of the day then
it can even bring darkness upon the earth. In the performance of the
ragas, lots of importance is attached to the gamakas, (ornaments) of
music. Music is based on very complex rhythmic patterns, called talas,
which are combined in the most innovative ways.
The oldest instrument is the Drum and there are several types in it.
The most important instrument is the Veena. A similar instrument is the
sitar, the most commonly used instrument in India. In addition, various
types of bagpipe, lute, fiddle, oboe, trumpet, flute, cymbal, and gong
have been known in India. Many of the instruments are of Islamic origin.
Hinduism is a conglomeration of a wide variety of beliefs and Infact,
it is unique in its tolerance of diversity. Roots of this religion have
been since 4000 years in India, and as it developed it absorbed many
beliefs and practices of various kinds of people. Assimilation happened
differently for different parts of India.
The Hindu religion is a great repository of heterogeneity of beliefs.
Worship of different kinds of deities is a very personal choice, and
that aspect of Hindu practice is reflected in the number of different
Hindu temples and their sculptural beliefs.
A man who has no knowledge of music, literature, or art is believed
to be no better than a beast. Hindu's always believed art to be a key to
salvation or ultimate release that is sought by all good Hindus. There
is a kind of a holistic feel about Indian art; it is a unity of many
forms and artistic experiences.
Different forms of hindu art:
Art rules every part of Indian life, and is found in every reference
of ancient Indian Civilization. Indian art is considered a disciplined
style of worship and self-restraint. Hindu art can also be thought of as
India's oldest indigenous science.
Sometimes lord Shiva, is visually represented as "King of Dance" or
Nataraja. This form of Shiva is considered as the most remarkable symbol
of divine powers, which was ever created by Indian artistic genius.
Indian artists have frozen the beauty of human bodies in various
shapes with the help of stone and bronze for around 5,000 years. It is
difficult to name only a single person or persons among the geniuses who
brought gods to life in places like the Ellora, Ajanta, Elephanta and
The transition from cave excavation and carvings on the Hindu temples
are depicted dramatically and powerfully at Ellora. Ellora is an entire
mountain which has been literally shaped out over many centuries by
devoted artists. These artists created and "extracted" Lord Shiva's
Mount Kailas temple within that enormous rock dome.
Ellora's Kailas cave temple is still one of the few beautiful
monuments of art and Hindu devotion. The carvings on some of the walls
and pillars is magnificent. No other work on stone or in any other
material are as fine. But still what remains a mystery is what tools
have been used to make the very hard and tough stone as it is to be seen
on the present day.
Indian art is related to Hindu religion and philosophy. It is hard to
appreciate the Indian art unless one has insight into the ideals that
govern the Indian minds. In the Indian art there is mostly a religious
element, a looking beyond.
The beautiful carvings of the Hindu temples, the beautiful wall
paintings of Ajanta, or the intriguing art of cave sites and the
sophisticated temple building tradition, the Indian Hindu culture offers
a good visual feast.