India is a land of diverse cultures. Moving from one state to another, you will find many different people, different languages, different types of clothes, different food and different traditions. In all the 29 states of India, something stands out unique. But the best part is that all the states still exist together as a united country. People in every state of India are bound together in the same way as little birds do. On a cold winter morning a little sparrow starts chirping when it is dark and then slowly other birds join and melodious sound of many birds announce the arrival of dawn. Let us consider ourselves as the same birds and join hands in the progress and then we would be able to march together as a country and be a beautiful nation we all wish to be.
Let me take you to the uniqueness of all 29 states of India-
To start with, lets talk of Jammu and Kashmir which is rightly known as a heaven on earth. While its true that Jammu and Kashmir is a very beautiful state, the bigger truth is that we are able to maintain this beauty despite the consistent terror attacks on the state. Next comes Himachal Pradesh, a summer retreat to the British people in the Raj era. Beautiful Himalayan peaks can be witnessed here and it has an abundance of variety of fabulous food. Another beautiful hill state of India is Uttrakhand also called Devalya- home of God. The beautiful temples here dating back to 1500 BC stand on snow clad mountains and attract many devotee visitors. Punjab is another marvel to see. Stepping in Punjab makes your feet curious to dance and your tongue lures over the yummy food like chole bhature and sarson ka saag. Haryana is proud home to the most famous epic in India Mahabharata. Here you will find people a little tough than the other states but then they are valiant and know how to work their way up to success. When the state was created it was one of the backward regions, but today its among the top in dairy production and development.
Uttar Pradesh has the heart of India. The beautiful Taj tells tale of the Mughals who came from outside and merged with India and today form a very important part of Indian history. The marvelous Rajasthan has all types of mighty fortresses. The mind blowing architecture here depicts the art that belonged to the Indian artists. Folktales of the mighty Rajput kings and queens tell us how valiantly they fought and did not hesitate in sacrificing their lives to uphold what they considered was right. Madhya Pradesh which has its heart in its beautiful cities like Indore and Bhopal shows an all over different culture with Hindu- Muslim bonding in Khujrana temple of Indore and Taj-ul-masjid of Bhopal. The world famous Mauryan and Gupta dynasties started ruling from here, the state of Bihar is the birthplace of Buddhism, a different and very peaceful religion which preaches love to one and all. In Jharkhand reside the tribals who have a different culture of their own. They assume its their duty to be living with Mother Nature and protect her from any kind of destruction. The tastiest sweet that we all savor a lot, the Rashogulla as called in Bengal comes from the state of West Bengal. The trams were made introduced in Calcutta. Also the Royal Bengal Tiger gives this state its special identity in the world.
In the east, the seven sisters through their bonding teach us to deal with the worst problems in life. Though states like Manipur face so many thrests from naxalites still it has given India they world champions like M.C Mary Kom and strong people like Irom Sharmila. The folk tales of Krishna recited by artists with Manipuri dance is a stupendous site to view. Sikkim is another beautiful mountainous state with the world famous Rumtek monastery and Nathula pass which is the only open border to China. Arunachal Pradesh has spectacular landscapes and massive water resources and an alluring Tibetan culture and also has the world’s second largest monastery- Tawang Gompa. Tea provides tranquility to a stressed mind. Assam has the most sensational and breathtaking tea fields. The abode of clouds also known as Meghalaya homes Cherrapunji and Mawsyndrum, which receives the largest amount of rainfall in the world which is in contrast to the desert state Rajasthan which hardly receives any rainfall. Mizoram is a state with almost complete literacy. The state has dramatic landscapes and friendly tribals. The region also has the rare Wild Water Buffalos. Nagaland is another state belonging to the tribals who showcase their talent every year at the Hornbill festival. Tripura is famous for its temple – Tripureshwari. The state has diverse ethnic mix of tribals and Bengalis with very sweet dance forms. The state is also famous for its leaf monkeys.
Orissa witnesses Jaggannath Procession which becomes unstoppable when the devotees come into action to give their thanks to the lords. You will find the India’s Niagara in the Chitrakoot falls of Chhattisgarh. Andhra Pradesh showcases its talent in its beautiful carnatic music written in Telegu. Also all the festivals of Islamic culture are celebrated here in full swing, with their importance not only understood by the Muslims but also by the Hindus living there. If you haven’t eaten the hyderabadi biryani, which tastes even better when it is followed by sheer korma then you have surely missed something very important. Telengana is India’s youngest state has a hybrid of the Nizam’s Islamic heritage along with a long heritage of ancient Indian powerful kings. In Tamil Nadu there the culture of eating on banana plates gives it a unique flavor. When you go to Kerala, you will see the unity of Hindus, Muslims and Christians who live together peacefully and have succeeded in making Kerala, the state with the highest literacy rate. Karnataka contains people living close to the forests. The farming is an astounding site to view here. The vanilla plantations would make you drown yourself in the lovely scent of vanilla. You would also get to listen to stories about Verrappan who still give goose bumps to the people living near the forests.
Goa is a great place for the party people who would love the place for its wonderful cruise parties. But the place also has very beautiful and famous churches. Who says that backwaters can only be found in Kerala, this is not true because even the state of Maharashtra has backwaters lying in the land of Tarkarli where the beaches are so clean that even sea bed could be clearly seen. Daldhokli, thepla, khandvi, bajra roti, doodh pak and many more mouth watering dishes originate from the state of Gujarat which gave birth to the famous entrepreneurs of India such as Tata, Ambani, Premji and Palonji and how can we forget the man himself Mohandas Gandhi whom the world salutes.
Not only the states but all 7 union territories also have their own unique features. Delhi is one union territory where we can find cultures from all the states and food from all over India ranging from Dal batti churma in the west to Momos of the east, Dum Aloo from the north to Rasam in the south. Delhi has Jama masjid, Birla Mandir, Bangala Sahib Gurudwara and Saint Stephen’s church and all the 4 places give solace to mind.
Each religion has its own beauty, its own principles but all teach us to be patient and be god lovers not god fearers. The Bhagvad gita tells us to do our work with diligence and not for the results. If we leave the result to lord, he will definitely reward us according to our work. Even the holy Quran states that all people will be tried and tested in life, and we need to bear these trials with “patient perseverance and prayer.” The word Ek Onkar which is the main focus of Guru Granth Sahib tells us that god is one, may it be Shri ram, Krishna, Christ, Allah, Nanak dev or any other whereas the Bible says that “all Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” Living together in different cultures makes you learn to be modest and you start finding all religions meaningful and trustworthy when you pick up the good practices from them.
Truly said by Helen Keller that “alone we can do so little but together we can do so much.” If we decide to pick all the good habits from the cultures we find around us, we can contribute towards making India a blissful place to live in.