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India's Literature

Sanskrit is the language India's classical literature is written in, with many literary works (religious poems, prose, and epics) going back to 1500-200 BC, the Vedic period.  After this time from around 200 BC to around 11 AD, Sanskrit literature went through a secular phase.  A major development during the secular period was the introduction of drama, with the early dramas set in historical epic tales.  

During the first through fifth centuries, South India's literature was primarily secular and written in Tamil, not Sanskrit, with the main topics being war and love.  Following this period was a time of change for southern literature, with the tradition changing to bhakti (devotional) literature that in subsequent centuries eventually spread northward.

Influences from outside sources, Britain for one, brought about changes in Indian literature, particularly in the 19th century.  A Nobel Prize was won by Rabindrinath Tagore in 1913, which made him the first Indian to receive this distinction.  Today, English is the language of choice for some of India's authors.  An Indian writer, now living in England, Salman Rushdie, is considered to be one of the more famous authors that has come out of India.

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