India a Unique Cultural Heritage: Probably, India is one of the most diverse country in the world, culturally, linguistically, and geographically. India has also been variously described as the MINI WORLD and AN ETHNOLOGICAL MUSEUM. India can not be described by a single word or expression. Incredible somewhat comes close enough – that’s why we have come up with Incredible India tagline for tourism India and now it has become a brand.

In India, there is an amazing cultural diversity throughout the country. The South, North, East, West and Northeast have their own distinct cultures and almost every state has carved out its own cultural niche.There is hardly any culture in the world that is as varied and unique as India. India is a vast country, having variety of geographical features and climatic conditions. It is home to some of the most ancient civilizations, including four major world religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. Beneath we discuss shopping, music & dance and going out.

World Heritage Sites

India has a rich architectural legacy dating to an ancient past. Timeless monuments, magnificient temples,and breathtaking sites. Of its prestigious monuments and natural wonders, 25 cultural and 5 natural sites of India have already been declared as(World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. These sites are known to have an exceptional interest and universal value, the protection of which is the concern of all mankind. Some of the WHS are: Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Agra Fort, Taj Mahal, Khajuraho Temples, Brideshwara temple Bodhgaya Temple and so on. Our ancient culture and heritage are the biggest strengths of our tourism products, (World Heritage Sites) but in addition to our cultural sites and historical monuments, we have diverse and variety of tourism products which are attracting tourists from overseas in large numbers

SHOPPING
Attempt to resist shopping in India and you will soon realise that it is a vain attempt.Half the fun when buying goods in the bazaars is the bargaining, and you can always check for reasonable prices at state-run emporiums. Below are some of the best buys, either for the souvenir hunter or the connoisseur.

The Indian craftsman has been perfecting his art for centuries, passing down traditions and techniques from generation to generation. Each region has its own specialities, each town its own local craftsmen, its own particular skills. The results is a consummate blend of ancient skills and modern aesthetics. Silks, spices, jewellery and many other Indian products have long been famous and widely desired, and merchants have travelled thousands of miles, willingly enduring the hardships and privations of long journey in order to make their purchases.

FABRICS: Indian silks, cottons, and wools rank amongst the best in the world. Of the silks the brocades from Varanasi are among the most famous variety; other major centres include Patna, Murshidabad,Surat and Kanchipuram. Rajasthan cotton with its famous "tie and die" design is usually brillantly colourful, while Madras cotton is known for its attractive "bleeding" effect after a few washes. Throughout the country may be found the "himroo" cloth, a mixture of silk and cotton, often decorated with patterns. Kashmir sells beautiful woollens particularly shawls.

CARPETS: India has one of the world’s largest carpet industries, and many examples of her ancient and beautiful craft can be seen in museums throughout the world. Kashmir has a long history of carpet making, influenced by the Persians. Still Each region has its own specialty; such as the distinctive, bright coloured Tibetan rugs, available mainly in Darjeeling.

JEWELLERY: Meenakari, or studded Kundan is traditionally heavy and stunningly elaborate based on the Mughal or Rajput designs. Heavy silver jewellery from Gujarat is world-famous. Gems can be bought and mounted. Apart from diamonds, other stones include lapis lazuli, Indian star rubies, star sapphires, moonstones and aquamarine. Hyderabad is one of the world’s leading centres for pearls.Many gems famous for their healing powers can be purchased in India.

HANDICRAFTS AND LEATHERWORK: Once again, each area will have its own specialty; the vast range includes fine bronzes, brasswork (often inlaid with silver), canework and pottery. Papier Mache is a characteristic Kashmir product, some decorated with gold leaf. Marble and alabaster inlay work, such as chess sets and ornamental plates, are a specialty of Agra. Good leatherwork buys includes open India sandals and slippers.Sandalwood carvings from Karnataka, rosewood from Kerala and Madras, Indian walnut from Kashmir. These are often exquisite and make excellent presents.

FURNITURE: Indian Furniture is made by woodcarvers who follow the Rajastahni and Gujarati woodcraft with its intricate work and antique look. Painted Kishangarh furniture is an art itself and woodwork from Sharanpur , Ramgarh and Shekavati adorn living rooms of India lovers worldwide.

NOTE: It is forbidden to export antiques and art objects over 100 years old, animal skins or objects made from skins.

Music & Dance
Music and dance in India are amongst the oldest forms of classical arts with traditions that date back several centuries. The uniqueness of Indian classical dance and music is that they are mostly devotional in content .They are also performed to express a person's moods and emotions. Today, Indian classical music can be classified into two broad traditions, north Indian and south Indian. The north Indian tradition is known as Hindustani sangeet. The different forms of Hindustani music are Dhrupad, Dhamar, Khayal, Tappa and Thumri.
The south Indian tradition of music is called Carnatic sangeet. Indian music is based upon two pillars. They are the 'raag', which is the melodic form, and the 'taal', the rhythmic form.The instruments used in Indian classical music are of four types. They are Tantru (stringed), Susir (wind), Avanada (percussion) and Ghana (gongs, bells and cymbals).India is extremely rich in folk music as well. It resonates with the vibrant diversity of the land. Some important forms of music include Ghazals, Qawwali, Abhung and Bhajans.

There is sculptural evidence from all parts of India that underlines the rich tradition of dance that flourished over a thousand years ago. All dance forms were structured around the nine 'rasas' or emotions. They are hasya (happiness), shoka (sorrow), krodha (anger), karuna (compassion), bhibasta (disgust), adhbhuta (wonder), bhaya (fear), viram (courage) and shanta (serenity).
Kathak: This dance form traces its origins to the nomadic bards of ancient northern India, known as Kathaks, or story tellers.With the advent of Mughals, Kathak was introduced in the King's durbar, thus moving this art from devotion to entertainment.
Odissi: The traditional dance was performed in temples as a religious offering by the temple dancers. Chhau: The Chhau is a popular dance performed in Orissa, Bihar and West Bengal. It is basically a martial dance where the mask holds the dominant Rasa while the body creates, projects, and develops the moods. Manipuri: The themes of Manipuriare usually based on the Raas Leela, which depicts the cosmic dance of Lord Krishna and the cowherd maidens.
Bharatnatyam: This is one of the oldest and most popular forms of dance in southern India. Movement, mime and music are given equal importance in this dance.
Kuchipudi: The themes of this dance are mostly derived from the scriptures and mythology.
Kathakali: It is a combination of dance and drama where the actors depict characters from Indian mythology, mainly from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
Mohiniattam: Essentially a solo dance, it is performed only by women. This dance depicts love and devotion to the gods.
Folk Dances of India Almost every village has its own folk dances performed on every possible occasion.The Kud, Bhangra, Lahoor and Hazagiri are some of the dances performed to celebrate the harvest season.There are elaborate dances to mark important events like weddings the birth of a child.

Going out
There are many facilities and possibilities to go out to. When you would like to enjoy the nightlife, there are shows (sometimes even with Western standards), discotheques and clubs. You can experience India's rich tradition every night. The cultural events are dressed up with colourfull, gracious and fascinating Indian music and dance. Your hotel personnel is surely able to advice you about this.
The Indian film industry is the biggest in the entire world; it produces three times as much nightfilling movies compared to the US. Mumbai and Calcutta are the two 'Hollywoords' of the country. In almost every city are cinemas located, in which they show both Indian movies, as well as foreign productions. Enough choice for anyone!