About India: facts and information

India is the worlds’ largest democracy and one of Asia’s fastest growing economy

India is the land of charming people, beautiful landscapes, breathtaking ancient heritage sites, all with an abundance of various colours, smells and a mix of cultures, religions and languages.  It is considered one of the world’s most life changing destinations.  Some travellers even say that there are only two kind of people: those that have been to India and those that haven’t.  India, is the worlds’ largest democracy, has the second largest population, and is consider one of Asia’s fastest growing economy, especially in the Information Technology sector.  As part of the BRIC economies, it is considered a major player in our globalised world, and has great plans for the future and plenty of opportunities. Its infrastructure and hygienic conditions might not yet be compared to the Western standards, however if you are looking for a unique and memorable experience, then India is the definitely the place to be discovered.

Topics

  1. Introduction
  2. Map of India
  3. Facts about India
  4. Geography of India
  5. Indian subcontinent
  6. India Travel
  7. Images of India
  8. Videos of India

Map of India

India can be administratively divided into 28 states and 7 union territories, mostly based on linguistic lines.  Those regions goes from very large geographical areas such as the central Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andra Pradesh ,which are bigger than most of European countries, to the smaller union territories which can be just one city such as Delhi or Pondicherry.

Map of Indian states
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India regions

India can be divided in to the following key regions including:

  1. North India, including Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh
  2. North East India, including Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur
  3. West India, including Goa, Gujarat and Rajasthan
  4. Central India, including Punjab, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh
  5. Southern India, including Kerala, Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu

Facts about India

India, is one of the world’s most diverse country, home to a variety of different cultures, languages and  ethnicity, with a mixed geography and climate.  Not to forget that India is also a country with vast inequalities between rich and poor.

Some of the most interesting facts about India include:

  1. India is the worlds’ largest democracy
  2. India has a population of 1 Billion people, making it the second most populous country in the world, right after China.
  3. India’s state capital is New Delhi where live over 13 million people
  4. India’s largest cities include Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore
  5. India is the seventh largest country in the world, with a total geographic area of 3,287,590 sq km divide by 2,973,190 sq km of land and 314,400 sq km of water.
  6. India is located within the Indian Subcontinent in South Asia
  7. India is bordered by Pakistan to the West, China and Nepal to the north, Bangladesh and Burma to the East
  8. India is bordered by the Himalayas, the world’s highest mountain chain, to the North East, the Arabian Sea to the West and the Bay of Bengal to the East
  9. India has a  28 states and 7 union territories
  10. India has more than 200 languages
  11. India’s official language is English and Hindi spoken by 45 per cent of the population
  12. India’s Bollywood produce more films than Hollywood
  13. India is mainly an agricultural country producing a large quantity of Rice and wheat
  14. India has a large iron and steel industry
  15. India produces every type of manufactured goods
  16. India’s main religion is Hinduism (80%) followed by the 10% of Muslim and a minority of Buddhists, Christians, Sikhs, Parsees and Jains
  17. India has a diversified climate from temperate in north to tropical monsoon in the south
  18. India is a Federal republic, with the Head of State being President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and the  Head of Government the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh
  19. India’s flag has three equal proportioned horizontal colour including orange on the top representing stands for courage and sacrifice, white in the middle representing peace, unity and truth and dark green at the bottom representing faith and fertility
  20. India’s flag was adopted on July 22, 1947, after India became independent from Great Britain
  21. India’s flag has the Dharma Chakra at its heart,  blue wheel with 24 spokes, known as the Wheel of Law and representing the nation continuing progress and the importance of justice in life
  22. India’s National Emblem of India is a replica of the Sarnath Lion capital of Ashoka, with four lions standing back to back and representing power, courage and confidence
  23. India’s National Animal is the Tiger or more precisely the Royal Bengal Tiger representing incredible power, strength and grace
  24. India’s National Bird is the Peacock representing beauty, grace and pride
  25. India’s National Flower is the Lotus representing good fortune, honour, purity, triumph and long life
  26. India’s National Tree is the Banyan Tree
  27. India’s National Fruit is the Mango with over 100 varieties all over the country
  28. India’s food of India is extremely diverse depending on the region but tends to be spicy all over the country.
  29. India’s customary greeting is “namaste” usually said nodding with the head and with the hands together
  30. India’s history goes back to 3,200 BC when Hinduism was first founded.
  31. India has plenty of festivals and fairs including the Hindu festivals of Diwali, Holi and Dussehra
  32. India’s has a diversified geography including tropical jungles, vast plains, deserts and mountains
  33. India has very colourful clothing with each state has its own special costumes

Geography of India

India is at the heart of the Indian Subcontinent, set between Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east, Pakistan to the west, Nepal  and China including Tibet to the North and bordered by the Indian Ocean, with the Sri Lanka and Maldives islands to the South.  It is by far the largest and most populated country in the southern Asian region as well as in the world.  Indeed India is considered one of the world’s largest country by area, and comes in second place by population with no less than 1,2 Billion people.

India can be divided into three large geographic regions including :

  1. The Himalayan region
  2. The Gangetic Plain region
  3. The plateau region

There are also three primary river systems all starting within the Himalayas including the Indus, the Brahmaputra and the Ganges.

India’s top natural wonders

As its people, the Geography of India is one of the world’s most diverse.  From the snow-capped Himalayas in the North West to the beautiful beaches of Goa or unique backwaters of Kerala, it has plenty to enchant the visitors in term of natural beauty and diversity.  It has a very long coastline, where some of India’s most important touristic and economic centres are located.  Indeed it is where Mumbai, Goa and Cochin are located on the western Arabian Sea coast, as well as the French influenced Chennai and Pondicherry on the eastern Indian Ocean front.

India’s top natural wonders include:

  1. Himalayas: the tallest mountain range in the world
  2. Goa: India’s favorite beach holiday destination
  3. Kerala backwaters: auniquenetwork of rivers and lakes
  4. Ganga: India’s most famous rivers
  5. Yamuna (Jamuna)
  6. Sindhu (Indus) : river which flow through Punjab considered the crib of India’s civilization flourished
  7. Brahmaputra:  Himalayan river which flows through Assam in the northeast of India
  8. Aravalli:  mountain range South of Punjab which cuts Rajasthan into two
  9. Thar desert: western Rajasthan natural wonders
  10. Vindhyas:  Madhya Pradesh start of the southern peninsula Deccan plateau
  11. Sahyadri: home to the Western and the Eastern Ghats
  12. Dandakaranya: forest covering the states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand in the northern tip of Andhra Pradesh

About the Indian subcontinent

India is located at the heart of the Indian and Himalaya subcontinent, often characterise as one of the most life changing region in Asia.  Some of the top destinations in the region outside of India include the mountainous country of Nepal and Laos or the breathtaking piece of paradise in the Maldives within the southern Indian Ocean.  The subcontinent also include some of the lesser known but very fascinating cities of Kathmandu.

Some of the most life changing experiences within the Indian subcontinent include discovering India by train, hiking in the Himalayas or enjoy a piece of paradise within the southern islands.

The Indian subcontinent in the Northeastern region of Asia consists of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

India Travel

So you’ve decided for and adventure or holiday to India. Now it’s time to prepare and get ready.  Below are a few tips that cover some essential topics about visa, how to get in and how to get around.

  1. India Visas
  2. Get to India
  3. Get around India

India Visas

Unless you are a citizens from specific countries including Finland, Japan, New Zealand, Luxembourg, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Indonesia and Philippines, where you may get a tourist visa on arrival or TOVA, you will need to arrange your visa in advance.  The tourist visa is usually valid for 6 months starting the day you receive it as opposed to the day you enter the country.  The process usually take a couple of day, but on some special occasion can take a couple of weeks, so it is better to plan in advance.  Moreover, as the cost is the same, it is preferable to ask for a multiple entry visa, to give you the flexibility to go back and forth to the country.

Get to India

India’s major entry hub include the country’s largest city of Mumbai to the west, the capital Delhi to the north, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai to the South East.  Each one of those destinations have an international airport offering various direct flights from Europe, North America, the Middle East and Australia.  It is served by numerous well-known and top rated airlines including British Airways, Emirates, Etihad, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways, Thai Airways and our personal favorite Oman Airlines.

For those planning a holiday on India’s idyllic South Western coast there are many connections to Goa and the Malabar coast including Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.  Indeed Goa is one of the top tourist destination  with westerners and is well connected with various European charter operators including Thomas Cook Airlines, Thomson Airways and Monarch Airlines.

Check out the best flight deals to Goa, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.

Get around India

India, which is such a beautiful and divers country, offers a variety of exciting ways to explore it and get around it, from its famous railways network covering most of the country to low-budget airlines.  Not to forget, that a rickshaw ride is an experience in its own right or for the more experienced traveller a journey on the legendary Royal Enfield motorbike will guarantee you a unique Indian adventure.  Whatever you transport of choice be advise to add considerable buffer time of any planed journey as the roads are considered some of the world’s most chaotic and punctuality is not the first trait of India’s train system.

Get around India by plane

India as the World’s seventh largest country, has an immense territory to say the least, and sometimes the only option is by air.  Especially since the last few years price drops and emergence of low cost airlines, it has definitely become a much sought after alternative.
Some of India’s main operators include:

  1. Air India: the country’s largest network offering excellent regional connectivity
  2. Go Air: a  low cost airline offering business class at economy fare
  3. IndiGo: a low cost airline offering connection with about 20 major cities throughout the country
  4. Jet Airways: a full service airline with a very good network including direct flights from Delhi or Mumbai to London Heathrow.
  5. Kingfisher Airlines: full service airline offering excellent service and numerous direct flights to less travelled destinations
  6. SpiceJet: a low cost airline with a fairly good network between bigger Indian cities

India images

The following is a selection of some of India’s best photographs or click here to view the full image gallery.

[blue]Note: Please click on the image to open it in its full size in a lightbox.[/blue]
Mumbai
Goa
Kerala
Delhi
Agra
Kochi
Rishikesh
India's best rated hotels

Click here to discover more beautiful images of India.

India videos

The following is a selection of some of India’s best videos or click here to view the full video gallery.  You may click on the video links to open it in a lightbox.

Incredible IndiaIncredible India

  1. Incredible India! Full HD Commercial video : a beautifully made short film about the wonders of India from the mountains to the beaches, passing by various festivals and celebrations

Click here to discover more amazing videos of India.