India – An introduction

A brief introduction to India

Located in the south of Asia, India is the 7th largest country in the world by area. It is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. It is currently the 7th largest economy in the world and is projected to become the 3rd largest economy behind the US and China in about a decade. Finally, India is one of the oldest civilizations in the world, says Rubina Ratnakar.

A few main features of this beautiful country are listed below:

  • India is bigger than what appears on the map: India is a really big country and its image on the world map does not depict the reality of its sheer size. It may be noted that the aerial distance between Srinagar, the capital city of Jammu and Kashmir, and Kanyakumari, the southernmost tip of continental India, is about 2900 km. This is more than the distance between London and Moscow.
  • Geography and Seasons in India: India is a peninsula that is guarded by the Himalayas in the north and protected by the Indian Ocean in the south. The Arabian Sea is towards the west and the Bay of Bengal to the east. In between, the country is home to many rivers, hills, and some smaller mountains all across the landmass. The Thar desert is present in the west in the state of Rajasthan.
    • The country has a federal structure and has 29 states and 7 union territories. Each of these states have people with somewhat different or starkly varied cultures, traditions, languages, and even ethnicity.
    • India has a dense forest cover and is listed in the top 10 forest abundant nations in the world. Nearly 25 percent of the Indian landmass is covered by forests. These forests are home to some of the most diverse species of avian and wildlife.
    • The weather in India is generally warm. The southern part of India is warmer than the northern areas. It can get very cold in the hills of Shimla, in the plains of UP or Punjab, or in the mountainous areas of Uttarakhand or Jammu & Kashmir. Only the far northern region near the Himalayas usually receive snowfall.
    • There are 3 seasons in India. The summer season lasts from March to June, the monsoon from June to September/October, and winter from October/November to February. Rainfall is very important as India is still largely an agrarian society.
  • Culture, Religion, People, and Languages: With over a billion people India is the second most populous country in the world. The fertile lands and the tradition of non-violence, peace, and harmony as the basic tenet of its culture has ensured that life thrived and flourished.
    • There are around 1600 languages and dialects in India with 122 main languages and 22 officially recognized ones. Over 1 million citizens speak 30 of these languages. The official language of the country is Hindi and English; the states may have other official languages.
    • Indians are deeply religious and a majority of the population follows Hinduism. Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism, etc., are some of the other religions followed in India. The country is also home to atheists and rationalists. Most festivals in India and there are many, have a religious meaning to them.
  • The Taj Mahal is not the only tourist attraction: Besides the Taj Mahal, India has many ancient structures and monuments that attract tourists from all over the world every year. For example, the Ajanta and Ellora caves.

Rubina Ratnakar

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