Sacred and spiritual

Practically every religious tradition in the world has believers in South Asia. The predominant religions of South Asia are Hinduism and Islam, but Christianity, Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism and Zoroastrianism are also important. There are also many ethnic minorities who practise traditional religions. Ancient belief systems such as nature worship, spirit and ancestor worship and animism remain deep-rooted, and are often absorbed into the fabric of the major religions.

  Painting of Saraswati, Hindu river goddess Painting of a Mosque by Sita Ram, c.1815 Painting of the sacred banyan tree
Hinduism >
Hinduism is one of the most ancient religions of south Asia, dating back at least 4000 years with more than one origin.
Islam >
Islam spread to South Asia through the spice trade and invasions from the north. It has left a major artistic legacy.
Sacred groves >
Some woodlands are protected by the beliefs of local communities. They are rich in plant and animal life.