Shrauta is a conservative ritualistic tradition in the Vedic religion, which is based on the sacred scriptures of Shruti. Shrauta is still practiced nowadays in some places in India, though it appears a somewhat scanty tendency in modern Hinduism. In Hinduism practice, shrauta represents a special Vedic immolations. These immolations proved quite enormous and exceeded the domestic immolations of Grihya-sutra in terms of scales.
In substance, this conservative tendency holds the recitations of the Shrauta rituals, which were considered to go back to Shruti and have the character of collective feasts. With that, the Shrauta rituals are quite different from other conventional practices in Hinduism. Thus, the primary attention is focused on the so-called "royal sacrifices", which included unction, horse sacrifice, and other rites. Generally, the Shrauta rituals were carried out during a long time, which could last for days, weeks, or even months. The rituals were sometimes conducted by large groups of Brahmin priests on a special altar with several sacred fires. Furthermore, the Shrauta priests were expected to compose a special collection of scriptures compiled within the various Veda schools (Shrauta-sutra). With that, Shrauta also implied conducting Upasana, worshipping the five gods of the Hindu pantheon: Shiva, Vishnu, Shakti, and Surya. Together with that, the Shrauta practices placed great emphasis on Agnihotra, the immolations carried out at the new and at the full moon, as well as certain more complicated ceremonies.
In modern Hinduism, Shrauta appear far less popular than the conventional Smarta tradition. Today, the Shrauta traditions are most common in South India, where can be found many adherents of this school. Following one tradition, however, does not exclude the possibility to practice another, with many of the Smart adherents conducting the Vedic rituals.
"Shrauta-sutra." Encyclopaedia Britannica. Web. 14 Jan. 2016. <http://www.britannica.com/topic/Shrauta-sutra>.