India is a remarkable tourist destination that offers a plethora of experiences to travelers. From the grandiose Taj Mahal, one of the wonders of the world, to opulent palaces and forts, India displays a variety of heritage riches that were crafted hundreds of years ago. As its bustling bazaars promise to give you the shopping experience of a lifetime, its serene natural retreats assure a scenic respite from the din. The various wildlife sanctuaries and national parks, along with adventure sports opportunities add to the thrill of a holiday.
India is one of the oldest civilizations in the world with a kaleidoscopic variety and rich cultural heritage. It has achieved all-round socio-economic progress since Independence. As the 7th largest country in the world, India stands apart from the rest of Asia, marked off as it is by mountains and the sea, which gives the country a distinct geographical entity. Bounded by the Great Himalayas in the north, it stretches southwards and at the Tropic of Cancer, tapers off into the Indian Ocean between the Bay of Bengal on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west.
Modern humans arrived on the Indian subcontinent from Africa no later than 55,000 years ago.
Their long occupation, initially in varying forms of isolation as hunter-gatherers, has made the region highly diverse, second only to Africa in human genetic diversity.Settled life emerged on the subcontinent in the western margins of the Indus river basin 9,000 years ago, evolving gradually into the Indus Valley Civilisation of the third millennium BCE.
By 1200 BCE, an archaic form of Sanskrit, an Indo-European language, had diffused into India from the northwest, unfolding as the language of the Rigveda, and recording the dawning of Hinduism in India.
The Dravidian languages of India were supplanted in the northern regions.
By 400 BCE, stratification and exclusion by caste had emerged within Hinduism, and Buddhism and Jainism had arisen, proclaiming social orders unlinked to heredity.
Early political consolidations gave rise to the loose-knit Maurya and Gupta Empires based in the Ganges Basin.
Their collective era was suffused with wide-ranging creativity but also marked by the declining status of women, and the incorporation of untouchability into an organised system of belief.
In south India, the Middle kingdoms exported Dravidian-languages scripts and religious cultures to the kingdoms of southeast Asia.
Good to Know
Read the basic info and also some fun facts about India! Here you will find everything you should know about the ‘’Land of Plenty’’!
On the south, India projects into and is bounded by the Indian Ocean—in particular, by the Arabian Sea on the west, the Lakshadweep Sea to the southwest, the Bay of Bengal on the east, and the Indian Ocean proper to the south.
The Palk Strait and Gulf of Mannar separate India from Sri Lanka to its immediate southeast, and the Maldives are some 125 kilometres (78 mi) to the south of India’s Lakshadweep Islands across the Eight Degree Channel. India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands, some 1,200 kilometres (750 mi) southeast of the mainland, share maritime borders with Myanmar, Thailand and Indonesia. Kanyakumari at 8°4′41″N and 77°55′230″E is the southernmost tip of the Indian mainland, while the southernmost point in India is Indira Point on Great Nicobar Island.
The northernmost point which is under Indian administration is Indira Col, Siachen Glacier. India’s territorial waters extend into the sea to a distance of 12 nautical miles (13.8 mi; 22.2 km) from the coast baseline. India has the 18th largest Exclusive Economic Zone of 2,305,143 km2 (890,021 sq mi).
The northern frontiers of India are defined largely by the Himalayan mountain range, where the country borders China, Bhutan, and Nepal.
Its western border with Pakistan lies in the Karakoram range, Punjab Plains, the Thar Desert and the Rann of Kutch salt marshes. In the far northeast, the Chin Hills and Kachin Hills, deeply forested mountainous regions, separate India from Burma.
On the east, its border with Bangladesh is largely defined by the Khasi Hills and Mizo Hills, and the watershed region of the Indo-Gangetic Plain.[clarification needed]
The Ganga is the longest river originating in India. The Ganga–Brahmaputra system occupies most of northern, central, and eastern India, while the Deccan Plateau occupies most of southern India. Kangchenjunga, in the Indian state of Sikkim, is the highest point in India at 8,586 m (28,169 ft) and the world’s third highest peak.
Climate across India ranges from equatorial in the far south, to alpine and tundra in the upper regions of the Himalayas