Sanskrit is the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, a philosophical language in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, and a literary language that was in use as a lingua franca in the Indian cultural zone. It is a standardised dialect of the Old Indo-Aryan language, originating as Vedic Sanskrit and tracing its linguistic ancestry back to Proto-Indo-Iranian and Proto-Indo-European.Today it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand.Sanskrit holds a prominent position in Indo-European studies.

The corpus of Sanskrit literature encompasses a rich tradition of poetry and drama as well as scientific, technical, philosophical and religious texts. Sanskrit continues to be widely used as a ceremonial language in Hindu religious rituals and Buddhist practice in the form of hymns and chants. Spoken Sanskrit has been revived in some villages with traditional institutions, and there are attempts at enhance its popularisation.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanskrit