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It has been said that India is a living Tower of Babel! There are 22 different languages that have been recognised by the Constitution of India, of which Hindi, in the Devnagri script is an Official Language. However, English continues to be the official working language.

The country has a wide variety of local languages and in many cases the State boundaries have been drawn on linguistic lines. Besides Hindi and English, the other popular languages are Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Malayalam, Marathi, Punjabi, Oriya, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.

The languages of India belong to several linguistic families, the major ones being the Indo-European languages—Indo-Aryan and the Dravidian languages. Other languages spoken in India belong to the Austro-Asiatic, Tibeto-Burman and a few minor language families.

Individual mother tongues in India number several hundred; the 1961 census recognized 1,652. According to Census of India of 2001, 29 languages are spoken by more than a million native speakers, 122 by more than 10,000.
Language Family State(s)
Assamese Indo-Aryan Assam, Arunachal Pradesh
Bengali Indo-Aryan West Bengal, Tripura, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Assam
Bodo Tibeto-Burman Assam
Dogri Indo-Aryan Jammu and Kashmir
Gujarati Indo-Aryan Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Gujarat
Hindi Indo-Aryan Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, the national capital territory of Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand
Kannada Dravidian Karnataka
Kashmiri Indo-Aryan Jammu and Kashmir
Konkani Indo-Aryan Goa, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Kerala
Maithili Indo-Aryan Bihar
Malayalam Dravidian Kerala, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Puducherry
Manipuri Tibeto-Burman Manipur
Marathi Indo-Aryan Maharashtra, Goa, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka
Nepali Indo-Aryan Sikkim, West Bengal, Assam
Oriya Indo-Aryan Orissa
Punjabi Indo-Aryan Chandigarh, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab
Sanskrit Indo-Aryan non-regional
Santhali Austro-Asiatic Chota Nagpur Plateau (comprising the states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa)
Sindhi Indo-Aryan non-regional
Tamil Dravidian Tamil Nadu, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Puducherry
Telugu Dravidian Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Andhra Pradesh, Puducherry
Urdu Indo-Aryan Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh

The Indian calendar is one long procession of festivals. These are as varied in origin as they are large in number. There are innumerable national, regional, local, religious, seasonal and social festivities. This is not surprising considering the fact that India is the land of gods, goddesses, saints, gurus and prophets.

Festivals here are characterised by colour, gaiety, enthusiasm, feasts and a variety of prayers and rituals. Travellers are struck by the scale and multiplicity of the festivities that populate the cultural scene of this land.
Read more about Indian Festivals