An introduction to India
India is the land of diverse cultures, customs and climates. India’s rich history dates back to many centuries. Home to the Indus Valley Civilization, the country is also the birthplace of four major religions – Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. India witnessed the rise and fall of many empires and dynasties such as Mauryan Empire, Guptas, Chalukyas, Delhi Sultanate, Mughals and Marathas.
The country in the early 18th century was gradually annexed by the East India Company and following the 1857 revolt, passed under the control of the British Crown.
Following independence in 1947, India embarked on a policy of reforms under its democratic leadership. Over the years, its economy witnessed rapid growth and today it is the world's seventh-largest by nominal GDP and third-largest by purchasing power parity (PPP).
Location and features
India is located in South Asia.
The Indian subcontinent is bordered by the Indian Ocean in the South, the Arabian Sea in the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal in the southeast. India shares its land border with Pakistan in the West; China, Nepal and Bhutan in the northeast; and Burma and Bangladesh in the East. Sri Lanka and the Maldives are located just off the southern tip of India.
One of India's major geographic features is the Himalayas, the world's highest mountain range. Other terrains in India include plains, plateaus and hills. The Thar Desert is among the largest deserts in Asia. Major rivers in India include the Ganges, Yamuna, Indus and Brahmaputra Rivers.
India is a federation with a parliamentary system of government. The President is the head of state, while the Prime Minister is the head of government.
The bicameral Parliament (Sansad) is divided into two houses. The upper house is called the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) and the lower house is House of the People (Lok Sabha).
India is divided into twenty-nine states and seven union territories. Each Indian state comprises a state capital and can be further divided into districts and sub-districts, and in some areas blocks, villages, municipalities or other smaller divisions.
The union territories of India are the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep, National Capital Territory (Delhi), and Pondicherry. Two of the union territories, Delhi and Pondicherry, are partial states.
India is a paradise for travelers. India's mouth-watering cuisine, more than 5,000-year-old history, colorful cities, amazing landscape, religious monuments and rich culture leave travelers in awe.
The Taj Mahal in Agra is one of the most famous icons of the country and thousands of tourists from around the globe visit the city just to have a glimpse of this wondrous monument. Rajasthan is famous for majestic forts which provide a peep into the royal heritage of the erstwhile dynasties.
India is home to several national parks and tiger reserves which draw tourists in the hope of spotting a Royal Bengal tiger and other animals.
Delhi, the capital of the country, is as widely renowned for its architectural excellence as its history. Lutyens Delhi, known for its stunning bungalows, Rashtrapathi Bhawan and other structures stand in contrast to other parts of Delhi which have mostly been built post independence. Other major cities in India worth visiting are: Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, and Bengaluru.
The beaches in Goa, hill stations in the Himalayas, backwaters of Kerala and the paradisaical Kashmir make India an alluring tourist destination. Traveling in India is a multifaceted experience with plenty of options and adventures in store.
India is one of the most popular destinations for foreign travelers. An advanced network of airports connect India to the rest of the world. The top ten airports which offer flights to the other parts of the world are - Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai, Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru, Chennai International Airport in Chennai, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata, Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad, Cochin International Airport in Kochi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad, Pune International Airport in Pune, and Goa International Airport in Goa.
Popular flights that connect India to other countries are – Qatar Airways, Emirates, Thai Airways, Singapore Airlines, Air Asia, Cathay Pacific, British Airways, Air France, American Airlines, Air New Zealand, and others.
Last Updated on: June 21, 2017
- The Indian Ocean is the warmest ocean in the world.
- Snakes and Ladders, a popular board game, originated in India.
- Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore, who wrote the Indian national anthem, is credited for writing the national anthem for Bangladesh as well.
- India is the second largest English speaking country in the world.
- Indian lunar mission Chandrayaan-1 was the first to discover water on the moon.
- The highest cricket ground in the world is located in India. Chail Cricket Ground in Chail, Himachal Pradesh, is located at an altitude of 7,380 feet above sea level.
- Mawsynram in Meghalaya, India, is the wettest place on earth. It receives an average annual rainfall of 11,871 mm. More India Facts & Trivia.