Set apart in South of Asia by the supreme continental wall of the Himalayas, the Indian subcontinent touches three large bodies of water and is immediately recognizable on any world map. It is the huge, terrestrial beak between Africa and Indonesia. This thick, roughly triangular peninsula defines the Bay of Bengal to the East, Arabian Sea to the West and India Ocean to the South.
India is located in South Asia on Hindustan Peninsula, it shares the borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan on the North-West, with China, Nepal and Bhutan on the North, with Bangladesh and Myanmar on the East. India has sea border with Maldives on the South-West, Sri Lanka on the South and Indonesia on the South-East. The coast of India is washed by the Indian Ocean.
Territory and Demographics:
India is a puzzle board of 28 states and 6 Union Territory and 1 National Capital Territory that holds virtually every kind of landscape imaginable. An abundance of mountain ranges, rivers, national parks and wildlife sanctuaries provides ample opportunity for every kind of traveler. From its Northern most point on the Chinese border, India extends a good 2000 miles (3200 km) to its southern tip, where the island nation of Sri Lanka seems to be squeezed out of India like a great tear, the synapse forming the Gulf of Mannar. India’s Northern Border is dominated mostly by Nepal and the Himalayas, the world’s highest mountain chain. Following the sweeping mountains to the North-East, its borders narrow to a small channel that passes between Nepal, Tibet, Bangladesh and Bhutan, then spreads out again to meet Burma in area called the “Eastern Triangle.”
India is the seventh largest country by area in the world. It occupies territory of about 3,287,590 km². It is also the second most populous country with over 1.2 billion people with about 17,5% of total world population today. About 81% of Indians are Hindu, 13,4% are Muslim, 2,3% are Christian, 1,9% are Sikhs, 0,8% are Buddhist and 0,4% are Jains. India is a birthplace of world’s major religious traditions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. About 70% of Indian people inhabit country side, 31% of modern Indians live in urban areas, the largest of which are Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Chennai and Kolkata. India is a home for more than two thousand ethnic groups, divided between Indo-Aryan, Dravidian and Mongoloi descendants.
Government and Administration:
India is a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic with a Parliamentary form of government which is federal in structure with unitary features. There is a Council of Ministers with the Prime Minster as its head to advice the President who is the constitutional head of the country. Similarly in states there is a Council of Ministers with the Chief Minister as its head, who advices the Governor. This section provides insight of Indian governance and administration at the Central, state as well as local level. Information about the Constitution of India, Parliament and Legislature, Union administration, state, district and local administration is given.
Hindi is the official language of India. But English is widely spoken and used. Even though there are 1600 dialects in India, the main languages beside Hindi and English are Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. It is said that at every few kms language changes in India.
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The immense range of Himalayas Mountains stretches across the northeast of India. They cover approximately 2,400 km and pass through India, China, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Here, where the sky meets the earth, have originated two biggest rivers of the peninsula, Indus and Ganga. The area between their basins is occupied by Thar Desert, or by present-day Rajasthan. The western region of Ganga valley, from Delhi to Patna, is called “Aryavarta” (“the land of Aryans”). Indian civilization of Classical period arose here, and these lands are considered as true heart of India. Vindhya Mountains, located on the south of Ganga valley, separate northern territories from the Deccan Plateau in central India. The plateau is bordered on both sides by ranges of Western and Eastern Ghats. Southeast regions of the peninsula form a vast plain called the land of Tamils. The West coast of India is washed by Arabian Sea; the East coast is washed by the waters of Bengal Bay.
The distance between Kashmir on the north and Cape Comorin on the south of the subcontinent is approximately 3,200 km, along which Indian climate changes significantly. It is strongly influenced by mountains, Thar Desert and Indian Ocean. Cold winters with snow and frost are typical for Himalaya regions. For northern valleys are typical chilly winters with big temperature variation between daytime and nighttime, and very hot summers. The climate of Deccan Plateau is changing according to the season, despite low temperatures during night time in winter on the plateau tops. Coastal plain of Coromandel (the land of Tamils) has favorable hot climate all year long. Large part of India experiences tropical monsoon climate with hot rainy summers and warm dry winters. On the WestIndian coast from Maharashtra to Tamil Nadu monsoon climate is moderating by the chain of Western Ghats.
Tourism in India:
Tourism in India has emerged as the fastest growing industries in the last decade and is still in its growth phase. The diverse flora and fauna, climatic conditions, historical heritages and cultural diversity in India have made it the first choice of the tourists across the world.
The major reason behind the success of tourism industry in India is the availability of all aspects of tourism at a single country, whether its nature, wildlife, cultural diversity, ecological biodiversity, adventure and many more. In addition to that, the hospitality of India is famous worldwide giving it an additional edge to attract the tourists from different countries.
There are various types of tourism branches in India that can be enjoyed at different tourist destinations of India.
- Leisure Tourism:
Tourists may travel to experience a change in climate and place and learn something new, enjoy pleasant scenery, or to know more about the culture of a destination. Tourists, who seek break from the stress of day to day life, devote their holiday to rest and relaxation, refresh themselves. These tourists prefer to stay in some quiet and relaxed destination preferably at a hill resort, beach resort or island resort. Nowadays tourists undertake various adventure sports activities for leisure and to refresh themselves after working hard.
- Medical / Health Tourism:
In last few years India has gained the attention of the people across the world medical tourism destinations. The highly effective medicinal system like Ayurveda and other alternative medicinal practices is attracting people from every part of the globe for the treatment of many various chronic ailments in a cost effective way. The favorite spots for medical tourism in India is Kerala, Haridwar and Rishikesh,
- Adventure Tourism:
Adventure tourism has shown phenomenal growth in the recent years in India. Adventure tourism involves exploration of various exotic areas and doing various adventurous activities over there including trekking, skiing, water rafting, paragliding and much more. The most exotic and adventurous destinations of India include Ladakh, Sikkim, and Himalaya. Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.
- Wildlife Tourism in India:
India is rich in forest reserve and the tourist can really experience the beauty of nature in many parts of the country. The ecological biodiversity of India enables the tourists see a number of species some of which are rare to find and are endangered. Some of the top destinations for wildlife tourism in India are: Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Ranthambhore National Park, Bandhavgarh National Park, Sasan Gir, Pench National Park, Tadoba National, Kaziranga National Park, Sundarbans and Corbett National Park.
- Pilgrimage Tourism:
India has always been for its temples and religious places and attracts a huge number of pilgrims from every part of the world for visiting various religious places and temples. The major pilgrimage of India is Vaishno Devi, Kailash Mansarovar, Sun temple, Jagannath Temple, Golden temple, Char Dham, Balaji Temple, Meenakshi Temple and Mathura Vrindavan.
- Sports Tourism
Sports Tourism refers to travel which involves either viewing or participating in a sporting event staying apart from their usual environment. Sport tourism is a fast growing sector in India. Sports tourism refers to people travelling to participate in a competitive sport event. Normally these kinds of events are the motivators that attract visitors to visit the sports events.
Adventure sports tourism is a package of
§ Thrills of participating in an adventure
- Eco Tourism:
Eco-tourism is one of the most fascinating forms of tourism that has emerged significantly these days. This includes the travel of various naturally endowed area or region such as national parks, forest reserves, and sanctuaries. India is rich in ecology and hance attracts a large number of tourists every year for ecotourism. Kaziranga National Park, Gir National Park, and Kanha National Park are some of the favorite eco-tousism spots of India.
- Cultural Tourism:
India is very rich in its cultural heritage and is culturally very diverse too. The ancient monuments, fair and festivals held in India are the major point of attraction for the tourists. The Durga Puja, Ganpati Puja, Pushkar Fair, Kumbh Mela, Taj Mahotsav, and Suraj Kund Mela are some of the major festivals and fairs attracting the tourists.
- Business Tourism:
The business traveler’s main motive for travel is work. Tourists visit a particular destination for various reasons pertaining to his /her work such as attending a business meeting, conferences, conventions selling products, meeting clients. India is one the largest sector of Business Tourism, growing day by day.
- Beach Tourism:
India is also known for having some of the finest beaches in the world. Goa, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andaman & Nicobar Islands are the most beautiful sectors which are especially known for beach Tourism in India.
When to Visit:
Climate plays a key factor in deciding when to visit India. One should keep in mind that climatic conditions in the far north are distinctly different to those of the extreme south.
India’s climate is defined by three seasons – the hot, the wet (monsoon) and the cool, each of which can vary in duration from North to South. The most pleasant time to visit most of the country is during the cooler period of November to around mid-February, although there are marked regional variations. If you’re in India during the (hot) summer and (wet, humid) monsoon, cool relief can be found in the northern Himalayan region – consider pursuing ‘The Great Himalayan Circuit’. Apart from the weather, the timing of certain festivals or special events may also influence when you wish to visit.