India is a land rich in epics, legends, myths and folklore centred on revered deities, valiant heroes, fierce demons, animals and trees --- all inseparable from its religious and ritual celebration, its art and literature. They exist and come to life in her villages, travel through small towns and reach the vast urban centres. The arts thus became innate to life --- as spontaneous expressions of joy, for propitiating the gods in difficult times, in accompaniment to rites and rituals punctuating the passage of life. Be they tribal, folk or classical, even as they entertain, the arts hint of a deeper quest. Each of India’s myriad art forms was born and nurtured in its local context. Each, however, has its own story to tell of how it travelled down the ages, always seeking to dialogue with cultures beyond its own. This journey speaks of an awe-inspiring legacy of tradition, vivacity and synthesis.
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