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.

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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.