- Full Name: Republic of India
- Capital City: New Delhi
- Largest City: Mumbai
- Area: 3,287,590 sq km/ 1,269,338 sq miles
- Population (2001 census): 1,027,015,248
- Time Zone: GMT/UTC +5.5
- Currency: Indian Rupee (Rs)
- Electricity: 230-240V 50HzHz
- Electric Plug Details:
||South African/Indian-style plug with two circular metal pins above a large circular grounding pin.
||European plug with two circular metal pins.
India is motherland to many ancient civilizations and recognised initially as a region of historic trade routes and empires. The Indian subcontinent was always known, however, for its commercial and cultural wealth. Four chief world religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism originated here, while Islam, Christianity, and Judaism only arrived in the first millennium CE. Progressively invaded by the British East India Company in the early eighteenth century and occupied by the United Kingdom from the mid-nineteenth century, India became a modern nation-state in 1947.
- Country Dialing Code: +91
- Internet TLD: .in
India has a coast of over 7500 km's, and is bordered by the Indian Ocean in the south, the Arabian Sea in the west, and the Bay of Bengal in the east. It fringes Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the north-east; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. India is also near to Sri Lanka, Maldives, and Indonesia in the Indian Ocean.
India has four seasons: winter (January and February), summer (March to May), a monsoon (or rainy) season (June to September), and a post-monsoon period (October to December). Please take note that following these seasons should be taken seriously in order to make the correct holiday decisions.
Although the country has a relatively hot climate throughout the year, the climatic conditions do vary from region to region. It tends to be fairly cold from November to mid-March, with the mornings and evenings experiencing cool and fresh breezes, while the days are warm and sunny. From April to June, it becomes rather hot with the daytime temperatures sometimes reaching 45 degrees Celsius. The days may become dry with the occasional dust storm. June month marks the onset of monsoon season which, in most regions, will last until September. While the rest of the sub continent braves the dust storms, followed by the rains; the Himalayas become accessible. You can explore India in all the seasons, but you will have to be selective about your destinations.
India's economy has rapidly grown of late, especially in the last decade. It has the third largest purchasing power and the twelfth largest economy in the world by market exchange (GDP growth rate of apporximately 7% in 2011-12). While the country's standard of living is expected to rise in the next half-century, it still has to fight high levels of poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition, and environmental degradation (a quarter of the nation's population earns less than the government-specified poverty threshold of $0.40/day).
India is a country with numerous and diverse cultural practices, languages, and customs. Almost every region in India has a culture unique to its location, although the entire country is bound as a civilization, due to its common history.
India has one of the most deeply religious societies and cultures in the world. Religion plays a hugely significant role in the country and its people. Roughly 82% of the country's religion is Hindu, with 12% Muslim, 2.3% Christian, 1.9% Sikh, and 0.8% Buddhist. Other smaller religions do exist and are practiced.
Hundreds of languages are alive and well in the country, although only 10 are official, with another 22 scheduled for official use. The Constitution of India, however, has stipulated the usage of Hindi and English to be the two official languages of communication for union government.