Religion in India – Notes for Competitive Exams

“Art and Culture” is one of the most important topics asked in the General Studies and General Knowledge” Section of many competitive exams like UPSC CSE, State PCS, CDS, NDA, FSSAI, SSC, and Others. we are providing students important topics that are the favourite to most of the examiners while framing questions. “Religion in India” is a part of this series and in this post, we are providing students with comprehensive notes on this topic. Sources of our notes are different government portals like “cultural India“, “Incredible India“, “Ministry of Culture” for the latest updates and many competitive books like NIOS, IGNOU, NCERT, the National Museum site for pictures and Wikipedia for static parts.

Religion in India

India is a land of diversity and different religions on this land is not just a matter of diversity but also a major identity of India. The Religion is a collection of belief systems, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to spirituality and sometimes to moral values. Religion is different from private belief in its social character.

Also, Read Folk dances in India

  • It consists of a collection of intellectual and philosophical points of view, rather than a rigid system of beliefs.
  • There is no specific founder of the religion.
  • Its roots can be traced to the historical Vedic religion of the Iron age India.
  • Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world after Christianity and Islam.
  • Prominent texts are Vedas, the Ramayana, and Mahabharata.

  • Jesus Christ was the founder of this religion. He was born to Mother Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem near Jerusalem. His birthday (25th December) celebrates as the holy festival, Christmas.
  • The Roman Governor Portius hanged his first two disciples – Andrews and Peter.
  • Bible is the holy book of Christians and the sign of ‘Cross’ is their holy symbol.

  • Hazrat Muhammad Saheb founded the Islamic religion. He was born to Amina (mother) and Abdullah (father) at Mecca in AD 570.
  • He was married to Khajida (a widow) at the age of 25 years. His daughter, Fatima married to Ali Hussain.
  • Hazrat Muhammad attained supreme knowledge or enlightenment in AD 610 in the Hira Cave near Mecca. The Holy Kuran is the compilation of his teachings.
  • 24th September (AD 622), the day Hazrat Muhammad started his journey from Mecca to Medina marks the beginning of the Hijri Era.
  • He died on 8th June, AD 623 at Medina.
  • After his death, Islam divided into the Shia and the Sunni cults. His successors called as Khalifa.
  • The Turkish ruler, Mustafa Kamal Pasha, ended the designation of Khalifa.
  • The birthday of Muhammad Saheb celebrates as Eid-mild-un-Nabi.

Zoroastrianism (Parsi)

Zoroastrianism (Parsi)

Parsi religion was founded by Prophet Zoroaster (Zarathustra).

His teaching is compiled in the holy book-Zend Avesta. His followers believed in one God-Ahur.

  • Guru Nanak is the founder of Sikhism.
  • Guru Granth Sahib is the Holy book of Sikhism. Sikhism is the third largest religion in India.
  • Sikhism developed in India during 16th and 17th centuries.

  • Mahatma Buddha is the founder of Buddhism. Buddhism is the indigenous religion of India.
  • The holy book of Buddhism is the Tripitaka.
  • The three Jewels of Buddhism are Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha.
  • Buddhists generally classify themselves as either Theravada or Mahayana.

  • Mahavira Swami is the founder of Jainism.
  • Jainism is a religion indigenous to the Indian subcontinent.
  • The holy book of Jainism is the Kalpa Sutras.
  • The main doctrines of Jainism are Anekantavada, Syadvada and Nayavada. The two sects of Jainism are Svetambara and Digambara. Jaina holy texts consist of Purvas, Agamas, Angas and Upangas.


who is the founder of Jainism?

Mahavira Swami

how many types of religions present in India?

there are a number of religions present in India but the major religions are Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Zoroastrianism (Parsi), Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism.

As per Census 2011, which language is spoken by 46% of Indian Population?


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