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Taj Mahal, Agra, India. Author David Castor. No Copyright
Taj Mahal, Agra, India. Author David Castor

India: a country of stark contrasts

India (Bharat Juktarashtra) is a federal republic of South Asia, formed by 28 States (Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka , Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Panjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, West Bengal) and 7 Territories (Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep, Pondicherry), which includes the entire peninsula of the Deccan, between the Arabian Sea to the west, the Indian Ocean to the south and the Bay of Bengal to the east, and most of Hindustan.

India borders to the west with Pakistan, to the North with China, Nepal and Bhutan, to the north-east with Burma and Bangladesh. Three archipelagoes are also part of India: Lakshadweep islands, coral atolls near the southwest coast and Andaman and Nicobar islands, of volcanic origin located in the Andaman Sea. India is the seventh largest country in the world for surface, and the second most populous after China. The capital is New Delhi, among the most important cities are Bombay (Mumbai), Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Calcutta (Kolkata), Madras (Chennai), Ahmedabad, Pune.

India Map

India Map

India geographically occupies most of the Indian subcontinent, it comprises three major regions: the Deccan Plateau, which is restricted to the edges from the chains of Ghati; the Indo-Gangetic Plain, wet and tropical to the east, sub-desertic to the west (Thar desert); to the north and north-east are the foothills and mountainous of southern Himalaya (Jammu-Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh in the north, Assam in the north-east).

The Himalayan belt of the country culminates in the large mountain ranges including the Nanda Devi (7,817 meters), Kamet (7,756 meters) and Shilla (7,026 meters) in the west, while in the east is the Kangchenjunga (8,586 meters) the highest mountain in India on the border between Sikkim and Nepal.

To the south of Himalaya mountains, extend, the immense Indo-Gangetic Plain, which has an area of approximately 500,000 sq. km is one of the largest alluvial plains of the Earth, there flows the Ganges, the Indus and the Brahmaputra with their numerous tributaries. To the west of this plain, separate from the Aravalli hills, lies the Thar desert.

Laccadive (Lakshadweep), India. Author Lenish Namath. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike

Laccadive (Lakshadweep), India. Author Lenish Namath

The large Indo-Gangetic Plain area is bounded on the south by the slope of the Central Highlands, a region that represents the northern part of the Deccan. The Central Highlands, have an average altitude of 500-600 meters, and are delineated in the north-west by the Aravalli mountains (Sikh Guru 1722 meters), while to the south-west are the Vindhya and Satpura mountains, divided between them by Narmada Valley. The Central Highlands area includes Gondwana Plateau and to the east Chota Nagpur Plateau.

To the south of the Central Highlands starts Peninsular India, characterized by the presence of a large territory which is called the Deccan plateau, which has an altitude between 200 and 1000 meters, the plateau is flanked to the west from coastal chains of Western Ghats and to the east from that of Eastern Ghats. Western Ghats are much higher, on average about 1,000 meters, to the south Western Ghats reach the highest heights of Doda Betta (2,637 meters), and Anai Mudi (2,695 meters). The southern tip of Indian peninsula is the Cape Comorin (Kanyakumari).

Brihadeeswarar Temple, Tamil Nadu, India. Author வணக்கம். Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike

Brihadeeswarar Temple, Tamil Nadu, India. Author வணக்கம்

The Himalayan chain origins to large rivers that crossed northern India, including the Ganges and the Brahmaputra, that flow in the Bay of Bengal. The great rivers of the peninsula include the Godavari, the Mahanadi, the Kaveri and Krishna, that flow in the Bay of Bengal, and the Narmada and Tapto, that flow in the Arabian Sea.

The Indian economy is among the highest growth, economic reforms have transformed the country into the second fastest economic growth in the world, but despite this the country still suffers high levels of poverty, illiteracy and malnutrition, indeed a quarter of the nation’s population is under the poverty line.

The Indian agriculture, due to the extent of productive land, has great possibilities, the most widely cultivated grain is rice, followed by wheat, millet and sorghum. There are numerous industrial crops, India is in second place worldwide for the production of peanuts and sesame; in third place for linseed and cotton seeds; important are the production of rapeseed and soybeans. Among textile plants, in addition to cotton, have importance jute and hemp. India is the first producer in the world for tea, other major crops are coffee, sugarcane, tobacco, rubber. Remarkable forests in the country (22% of the area). The farm is very limited contributions to India because of religious beliefs as the prohibition for Hindus to eat beef. Even fishing is a marginal activity. The country’s natural resources include bauxite, chrome, coal, diamonds, iron ore, limestone, manganese, mica, natural gas, oil, titanium. With regard to industrial activities, have developed the steel, chemical and petrochemical, automobile, the electronic products, food processing, pharmaceuticals and textiles. India has also become a major exporter of software and technology services.

  • Area: 3,287,590 sqkm. (Arable 52%, Pastures 4%, Forests and Woodlands 21%, Uncultivated and Unproductive 23%)
  • Population: 1,129,000,000 (2007 data)
  • State Capital: New Delhi.
  • Languages: The official language is Hindi. There are 21 other national languages: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanscrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. Speaking and much used the English.
  • Religion: Hinduist 80%, Muslim 14%, Christian 2%, Sikh 2%.
  • Currency: Rupee (INR)
  • Time: UTC +5,30 hours.

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