Explore India in Asia

India
Country Guide

Map of the area of  in

India with its capital New Delhi is located in Asia (Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal). It covers some 3,287,591 square kilometres (slightly more than one-third the size of the US) with 1,147,995,000 citizens. English, Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Panjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi, Sanskrit and Urdu are the official languages spoken in India (consider regional differences). China, Nepal, Myanmar, Bhutan, Pakistan and Bangladesh are bordering countries.

India is the largest country in the Indian subcontinent. Befitting its size and population, India's culture and heritage are a rich amalgam of the past and the present. India has a very rich and diverse mix of culture and tradition, dominated by religious and spiritual themes. India has 22 official languages and drinking alcohol can either be frowned upon or openly accepted, depending on the region and religion of the area within which you are drinking. There is no single unified Indian culture, and it's probably the only country where people of so many different origins, religious beliefs, languages and ethnic backgrounds coexist. India is big and has many outstanding landmarks and areas of outstanding beauty. If you really want to see all the worth visiting places in India, one tourist visa of six months can be argued to be considered enough. Allow considerable buffer time for any journey with a fixed deadline (eg. your flight back). Cannabis in its many forms is widely available throughout India, but they are all illegal in the vast majority of the country, and may mean years in jail! As a rule India is quite safe for foreigners, apart from instances of petty crime and theft common to any developing country.

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Pictures from the Indian capital

Have a look at our dedicated photo collection to get a view of what New Delhi is like. We have selected more pictures from New Delhi on our dedicated gallery page.

Awesome photos provided by Panoramio are under the copyright of their owners.

Landscape, climate and basic hints for travelling

National Tourism Office

Website: India Tourism

KFC Building
48 Church Street
Bangalore-560 001
Karnataka
India

Phone: +91 80 5585417

The topography features upland plain (Deccan Plateau) in south, flat to rolling plain along the Ganges, deserts in west, Himalayas in north. The average density of population is about 349 per km². The climate in India can be described as varying from tropical monsoon in south to temperate in north. Potential natural disasters are droughts or flash floods, as well as widespread and destructive flooding from monsoonal rains, severe thunderstorms or earthquakes.

To reach someone in India dial +91 prior to a number. There are 35,770,000 installed telephones. And there are 670,000,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks operate on frequencies of 900, 1800 Mhz. Websites typically end with the top level domain ".in". If you want to bring electric appliances (e.g. battery charger), keep in mind the local 230V - 50Hz.

Learn more on our Indian Facts page.

Description of the flag of India

Three equal horizontal bands of saffron (subdued orange) (top), white, and green, with a blue chakra (24-spoked wheel) centered in the white band; saffron represents courage, sacrifice, and the spirit of renunciation; white signifies purity and truth; green stands for faith and fertility; the blue chakra symbolizes the wheel of life in movement and death in stagnation
note: similar to the flag of Niger, which has a small orange disk centered in the white band.

National administrative regions of India

Historical background information

The Indus Valley civilization, one of the world's oldest, flourished during the 3rd and 2nd millennia B.C. and extended into northwestern India. Aryan tribes from the northwest infiltrated the Indian subcontinent about 1500 B.C.; their merger with the earlier Dravidian inhabitants created the classical Indian culture. The Maurya Empire of the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C. - which reached its zenith under ASHOKA - united much of South Asia. The Golden Age ushered in by the Gupta dynasty (4th to 6th centuries A.D.) saw a flowering of Indian science, art, and culture. Islam spread across the subcontinent over a period of 700 years. In the 10th and 11th centuries, Turks and Afghans invaded India and established the Delhi Sultanate. In the early 16th century, the Emperor BABUR established the Mughal Dynasty which ruled India for more than three centuries. European explorers began establishing footholds in India during the 16th century. By the 19th century, Great Britain had become the dominant political power on the subcontinent. The British Indian Army played a vital role in both World Wars. Years of nonviolent resistance to British rule, led by Mohandas GANDHI and Jawaharlal NEHRU, eventually resulted in Indian independence, which was granted in 1947. Large-scale communal violence took place before and after the subcontinent partition into two separate states - India and Pakistan. The neighboring nations have fought three wars since independence, the last of which was in 1971 and resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh. India's nuclear weapons tests in 1998 emboldened Pakistan to conduct its own tests that same year. In November 2008, terrorists originating from Pakistan conducted a series of coordinated attacks in Mumbai, India's financial capital. Despite pressing problems such as significant overpopulation, environmental degradation, extensive poverty, and widespread corruption, economic growth following the launch of economic reforms in 1991 and a massive youthful population are driving India's emergence as a regional and global power.

Learn more on our Indian Facts page.

Based on the content from wikitravel.org. The original article can be found here based on the work of these users. Geography information is based on the data provided by geonames.org, CIA world facts book Edition 2010 and 2013, Unesco, DBpedia, wikipedia and others.