Just like the country in its totality, its languages are also numerous and diverse. There are 24 official languages and more than 1,600 languages in total. They fall into two main categories, based on a North/South divide:
The Tibeto-Burman languages are spoken in the Himalayan regions. In North India you will hear Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Punjabi. In the South, the important languages are Malayalam and Tamil. Although Hindi and English are the official languages, they are not understood by 20% of the Indian population. The classical language of India, just like our Latin, is called Sanskrit. This is one of the oldest languages in the world spoken by very few people now.