|Official Name||Republic of India|
|Area||1,269,219 square miles|
|Religion||Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Christianity|
|Major Cities||New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai|
|Climate||Mainly tropical and subtropical climate|
Crowned by the world's highest mountain range "The Himalayas"and surrounded by Pakistan, Nepal, China, Bhutan and Bangladesh, stands India. It is the largest sovereign, democratic, republic in South Asia. India's coastline stretches over a distance of seven thousand kilometers. It is surrounded by the Arabian Sea in the west, the Bay of Bengal in the east and the Indian Ocean in the South. Comprising twenty-eight states, seven Union Territories and one National Capital Territory, Delhi, India is the seventh-largest country of the world. With a population of 1,210,193,422, India is the second-most populated country in the world.
The diverse religion, cultures, customs, languages and religions portray a colorful picture of India. As a result of this many tourists are attracted to visit India and experience its natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. Today, India is the one of the most famous tourist destinations of the world. It possesses immense natural beauty and the beautiful cities with historical monuments are representative of India 's rich architecture and craftsmanship.
India is listed amongst the developing countries of the world. In the past few years it has shown rapid growth in almost all its service sectors and industries earning the title "India Shining".
Where is India
India is bound on the north by Afghanistan, China, Nepal, and Bhutan; on the east by Bangladesh, Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), and the Bay of Bengal; on the south by the Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar (which separates it from Sri Lanka) and the Indian Ocean; and on the west by the Arabian Sea and Pakistan.
Physical Map of India
India can be divided into seven regions- Northern mountain ranges which includes the Himalayas and the North-eastern mountain ranges; Indo-Gangetic plain; deserts; Central highlands and Peninsular plateau; east coast; west coast; bordering seas and islands. The rivers can be divided into three groups: the great Himalayan rivers of the north, the westward-flowing rivers of central India, and the eastward-flowing rivers of the Deccan Plateau and the rest of peninsular India.
Flag of India
The flag of India has three equal horizontal bands of saffron (subdued orange) at the top, white in the middle and green at the bottom. The white band has a blue chakra that consists of twenty-four spokes.
Climate of India
Most of the parts in India have a tropical or subtropical climate, with little variation in temperature between seasons. The northern plains, however, have a greater temperature range, with cooler winters and hotter summers. The mountain areas have cold winters and cool summers. As elevations increase sharply in the mountains, climate type can change from subtropical to polar within a few miles.
The flora of India is made up of around 45,000 species of plants, 33 percent of which are native. There are 15,000 flowering plant species, accounting to 6 percent of the world's total flora. Out of these, about 3,000 to 4,000 are believed to be in danger of extinction.
The fauna of India is made up of almost 5,000 species of larger animals. Tiger, panther, Asiatic lion, Asiatic cheetah, snow leopard, jungle cat, and clouded leopard can be found is some parts of the country. Besides this, India is home to elephants, rhinoceros (presently under threat of extinction), black bear, wolf, jackal, dhole (wild Asian dog), wild buffalo, wild hog, antelope, and deer. Several species of monkeys live throughout the country. The pygmy hog, bandicoot rat, and tree mouse are typical types of smaller native quadrupeds; bats are also abundant. Venomous reptiles, including the cobra, krait, and saltwater snake, are especially numerous in India, and pythons and crocodiles are also found. Tropical birds of India include the parrot, peacock, kingfisher, and heron. The rivers and coastal waters of India are filled with fish.
People of India
Owing to its ability to adopt people from all types of background, India is home to diverse population. The country had inherited a civilization that began more than 4,500 years ago. They are culturally diverse and religion plays an important role in each one's life. About 83 percent of the people practice Hinduism. Another 12 percent are Muslims, and millions of others are Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Jains. India does not have any national language. Hindi has the largest number of speakers and is the official language of the government. English is also used as a used "subsidiary official language"; it is used for educational, business and administrative purposes. The eighth schedule of the Indian Constitution recognizes twenty-two regional languages as official Indian languages.
Arts, Culture and Music of India
India boasts of a rich cultural heritage. The music and dance of the country is based on the Natya Shastra, a form of Sanskrit music and dance that was practiced during the 2nd century AD. The music can be divided into the North Indian Hindustani style and the South Indian Carnatic (Karnatak) style. Dance is also a major art form in India. The major classical dance forms include Bharata Natyam, Kathak, Manipuri, and Kathakali. As far as Indian art goes, its architecture, sculpture, and painting have developed many distinct styles over the centuries and is widely accepted all over the world. Most of the designs have religious touches to it.
Economy of India
Since its independence from the British rule in 1947, India has been making considerable progress in the economic sector. Under the British, the cottage industries and the then thriving trades of India were virtually destroyed due to import of European manufactured goods, which the government paid for with the exports of agricultural products such as cotton, opium, and tea.
Finally, when India was free, it began concentrating on the agricultural sector. Later on, the country began investing in the industrial sector and infrastructure, laying emphasis on railways and irrigation works. Policies of economic liberalization introduced in the late 1970s stimulated the industrial sector, leading to an acceleration of economic growth in the 1980s.
In the mid-1990s, the service sector began to govern the economy. Although the economic structure of the country began to change, with services providing a larger portion of the GDP than any other sector, agriculture provided maximum employment to the people.
In 2011 India's annual gross domestic product (GDP) by purchasing power parity was $4.469 trillion. Services made up 55.2% of the GDP, followed by industry (including manufacturing, mining, and construction) at 26.3%; while agriculture accounted for 18.5% of the gross domestic product.
In 2001 India's annual gross domestic product (GDP) was $477 billion. Agriculture, forestry, and fishing made up 25 percent of the GDP, compared with 26 percent for industry (including manufacturing, mining, and construction) and 48 percent for services.