Indian subcontinent is the cradle of some of the world’s major religions. Religious diversity and religious tolerance are both established by the law and custom in the country. The constitution of India has declared the right to freedom of religion to be a fundamental right.

India being a territory of religion and spirituality, is painted with diverse colors of religion and cultures, yet the unseen thread of love and unity binds the entire India. Hinduism is the most dominant and prevalent religion of India. About 80 % of Indians are Hindus. The majority of religions practiced in India are Hinduism, Islam, Christanity, Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism.


Hinduism is the most ancient religion of India. About 80 % of Indians practice Hinduism. Mahatma Gandhi also coined a term called Sanatan Dharm for Hinduism. Hinduism is firmly placed on robust pillars of principles of Vedas and Upnishads. Holy books of Hindus are Bhagwat Geeta and Ramayana.Their place of worship is called Temple which is often a building along with courtyard and Idol of God is established there for worshipping. Hindus believe in Murti pujan( Idol worshipping) but people belonging to Arya Samaj does not practice Murti pujan. Some of Indian Gods who are considered very mighty and are worshipped religiously and consistently are as follows:

  • Lord Ganesha
  • Goddess Mahalakshmi
  • Goddess Mahasaraswati
  • Goddess Durga
  • Lord Shiva
  • Lord Hanuman
  • Lord Krishna
  • Lord Rama

Some of the prominent Hindu festivals are Holi, Diwali, Navratri and Ganesh Chaturthi.


Approximately 13 % of Indians are Muslims i.e they practice Islam religion. Despite of the Minority in number, they are quite free and safe to practice their religion because India is a secular country. The Holy book of Muslims is Quaran. They abide by its principles and laws.  Muslims are followers of the Prophet Muhammad.Their place of worship is called Mosque wherein they go and read namaj for their God(Allah) One of the significant pilgrimages of islam is Hajj which is celebrated and planned once in a year. It is very evident for every Islam follower to go there once in their life time as per their financial and physical capability. Some of the eminent festivals of Islam are Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Zuha and Muharram.


About 2.5% of Indians are followers of Christianity. It was about 2000 years back when Christianity came to India as well as it arrived in Europe. Christian population mainly lives in south India, north -east and konkon coast.Their place of worship is called Church. They follow and believe Jesus Christ. They call him as son of God and have enormous and undoubted faith and devotion towards him.Their Holy book is Bible.Some of their prominent festivals are Christmas , Good Friday, Easter and All souls day.


Sikhs constitute about 2 % of Indian population as per census 2001. Sikhism is relatively a new religion in India. The Sikh religion is founded by Guru Nanak in the late 15th century C.E in the Punjab region which is now parts of both India and Pakistan. Sikhs are followers of Guru Nanak and they firmly believe that the same revelatory spirit inhabited Guru Nanak and his nine successors. They don’t believe in incarnation or karma. Their holy book is Guru Granth Sahib. Their place of worship is called Gurudwaras(House of Guru).Some of their festivals are Guruparab, Baisakhi, Nagar Kirtan and  Hola Mohalla.


Gautam Buddha was the founder of Buddhism. If we agree historians, Buddhism was founded in and around the ancient Kingdom of Magadha (now Bihar), around 5th century B.C.E. Only 1% of India’s population constitute  Buddhists. This religion follows the teachings and messages of Gautam Buddha. “Buddha” means awakened or enlightened.  Buddha was actually prince Siddhartha Gautam. Primarily, he was kept isolated from all worldly pains and tears, he didn’t even know the meaning of illness, old age or death, but when he realized, he was so extremely affected by that that he decided to look for some antidote for these worldly pains and grief. Ultimately, Buddha found a moderate path away from the extremes of world, neither self indulgence nor self mortification.It is believed that he found his wisdom and self enlightenment under Mahabodhi tree in Bodhgaya. He always showed the path of love, kindness, wisdom and non violence.  Pilgrimage , bowing chanting and offering are some of the devotional practices of Buddhism. Their place of worship is called math or vihars.


A minor share of 0.5 % of Indian population are followers of Jainism. Lord Mahavira is the founder of   Jainism. It is believed that Jainism originated in 7th-5th century B.C.E. Follwers of Jainism are mainly traders and merchants from states of Gujrat and  Rajasthan. Mahavira is the 24th and last of jain Tirthankar. Major Jain Pilgrimage spots in India are Palitana, Ranakpur, Shravanbelagola, Dilwara Temples, Khandagiri Caves and Udaygiri Caves. The Jains believe in the celebration of five major events of life of Mahavira, namely conception, birth, renunciation, enlightenment and final release after death. Jainism is embedded on theology of self rather than god.Jain followers undertake five vows of ahimsa, satya, asatya, brahmcharya and aparigrah. Jain festivals include Mahavir Jayanti, Paryushana parv, Diwali and Maun Agiyara.

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