A creative burst of cultures and religions, races and tongues, India is an ethnological museum fierce in its beliefs. The geographical term ‘Bharat’ is recognised by the Constitution of India as the official name for the country.
The country’s physical features and geological structure had a great influence on its culture, as did the country’s diverse flora and fauna. The sheer vastness of the country means the history of every part is uniquely rich. Each of the 28 states and 9 Union Territories in modern day India have carved out its own identity and cultural beliefs. With roughly one-sixth of the world’s total population, India is also the second-most populous country, after China PR.
Contemporary India’s increasing material prosperity and cultural dynamism can be well showcased in the fast-growing infrastructure and the wide pool of scientific and engineering personnel (one of the largest in the world), in the sheer pace of its agricultural growth, and in its rich cultural dissemination of music, literature, and cinema. India has three of the most populous and cosmopolitan cities in the world—Mumbai (Bombay), Kolkata (Calcutta), and Delhi.
Modern India joins a billion people with different religions, languages, beliefs, cuisines and cultures.
- The Indian subcontinent has been home to complex civilisations for more than 5,000 years.
- It is known from archaeological evidence that India stored one of the oldest and highly-sophisticated urbanised civilizations between 3300 BCE and 1300 BCE.
- The early modern period of Indian history (from 1526 to 1858 ), corresponds to the rise and fall of the Mughal Empire, during which India's economy expanded, relative peace was maintained and arts were patronised.
- In 1498, a Portuguese fleet under Vasco da Gama successfully discovered a new sea route from Europe to India, which paved the way for direct Indo-European commerce. Those were the waning days of the Mughal empire, and it formally came to an end when the British Raj was founded.
- In the later 18th century Great Britain and France struggled for dominance, partly through proxy Indian rulers but also by direct military intervention. By the mid-18th century the British had already gained direct or indirect control over almost all of India.
- After a long and significant freedom struggle, India gained its independence from the British Raj on 15 August 1947.
- It covers an area of 3,287,263 sq. km (1,269,346 sq mi), extending from the snow-covered Himalayan heights to the tropical rainforests of the south.
- As the seventh-largest country in the world, India stands apart from the rest of Asia, marked off as it is by mountains and the sea, which give the country a distinct geographical entity.
- Lying entirely in the northern hemisphere, the Indian peninsula is separated from mainland Asia by the Himalayas. The country is surrounded by the Bay of Bengal in the east, the Arabian Sea in the west, and the Indian Ocean to the south.
- With its average annual GDP growth rate of 5.8 per cent over the past two decades, and reaching 6.1 per cent during 2011–2012, India is one of the world's fastest-growing economies.
- The Indian rupee (sign: ₹; code: INR) is the official currency of the Republic of India. The current circulating banknotes are ₹5, ₹10, ₹20, ₹50, ₹100, ₹500 and ₹2,000.
- Mountains, jungles, deserts, beaches - India has it all. India is a land of extreme diversities and due to its sheer size and the presence of different natural bodies, it has a varied climate that exists in different parts of the country at different junctures of time.
- The Indian climate can broadly be classified as a tropical monsoon one. But, in spite of much of the northern part of India lying beyond the tropical zone, the entire country has a tropical climate marked by relatively high temperatures and dry winters.
- The FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2020 will be held in the post-monsoon season of November.
- There are thousands of languages, including dialects, that are spoken in the country. However, 22 languages have been recognised by the Constitution of India.