Geographical Location of India

India is one of the largest countries in the world. Geographically, the country can be divided into three types of landscape: The Himalayan mountain range in the north, the North Indian Plain and the Deccan Plateau in the south. The Himalayas are made up of parallel mountain ranges with several valleys in between, including the Kashmir Valley. Many of the country's major rivers, such as the Ganges, Indus and Brahmaputra, flow through the flat, lowland landscape.

The climate of India is very diverse as the country is very large. The climate can be divided into two zones - the temperate zone in the north and the tropical zone in the south. During winter, most of the country experiences drought, with the exception of the eastern coast of the Deccan, which receives little rainfall during this period.

India has serious environmental problems, including a lack of clean water and a functioning sewage system. Other problems include deforestation, soil erosion, desertification and air pollution. The World Air Quality Report 2022 showed that 12 of the 15 most polluted cities in Central and South Asia were Indian cities. The huge population growth in India is also depleting the country's natural resources.

Brief History of India

One of the first high cultures in history arose around the Indus River in 3000 BC. In subsequent centuries, India consisted of several different Buddhist and Hindu kingdoms. The northern parts of the country were conquered by the Arabs in the 8th century and the Turks in the 12th century. Sultanates and dynasties were created, and the Mughal Empire lasted from 1500-1700. The presence of Muslim rulers left its mark on the culture, literature and architecture of the country.

In 1498, the Portuguese Vasco da Gama found a sea route to India. More Europeans followed and established trading posts. After the collapse of the Mughal Empire in the 18th century, the British East India Company took control of the country and began ruthlessly exploiting the Indian population. In 1858, the British government took over control of the company.

Towards the end of the 19th century, dissatisfaction with British rule increased. The National Congress Party was founded in 1885 and led the freedom struggle against the British led by Mahatma Gandhi. He was committed to nonviolent resistance and millions of Indians protested through peaceful civil disobedience. When the country became independent in 1947, it was created into two separate states: Hindu India and Islamic Pakistan.

The partition of the Kashmir region proved highly problematic. Since 1947, both India and Pakistan have claimed all of Kashmir, but the territory remains divided. Conflict with Pakistan over control of the mountainous regions has shaped Indian history and politics.

Society and Politics of India

After India gained independence from Great Britain, the country became a democratic parliamentary republican federation. A federal state means that the country is divided into several states with partial self-government. India is divided into 28 states. The central government and prime minister are the real political leaders of the country, while the president plays a more titular role.

There are many political parties in India, but the social democratic Congress party has characterized Indian politics since independence. The party has long been ruled by members of the same family, and since the 1990s the party has undergone several splits, characterizing its political stability. The Constitution states that India is a secular state, but in recent years’ religious tensions have led to increased support for religious parties. The Hindu nationalist party Bharatiya Jana Sangh has gained significant power in the country and has been in government since 2014 with Narendra Modi as prime minister.

India is the most populous country in the world and is home to many different ethnic groups and languages. India has a large middle class, but the disparities are huge and much of the population lives in poverty. The Hindu caste system, which divides people into hierarchies, still characterizes society, although it is on its way to being erased among the middle classes in big cities.

India is a member of the UN and most UN specialized organizations, including the World Bank.

Indian Economy and Trade

Today, India is one of the world's largest economies and the third largest economy in Asia after China and Japan. Strong growth in manufacturing technology, the IT sector and increased foreign investment have led to the country's economy becoming one of the fastest growing in the world since the late 1990s. However, India is among the poorest countries in the world in terms of gross domestic product per capita due to its dense population. Economic growth is not shared among all residents, and therefore there is great economic inequality in the country.

India has an open market economy and economic liberalization has contributed to strong economic growth. The country's economy consists of agriculture, crafts, industry and services. The country also has a strong IT industry and large exports of software services. Other important export products include refined petroleum, diamonds and pharmaceuticals. The most important trading partners are the EU, USA, United Arab States, China and Japan.

Indian Cuisine and Culinary Traditions of India

Indian cuisine is very diverse and includes a wide variety of dishes - meat and vegetarian, vegetable and fish. Religious traditions had a great influence on the formation of Indian cuisine - in India there are Muslims who do not eat pork, Hindus who do not eat beef, and in addition, many Indians are vegetarians. Another distinctive feature of Indian cuisine recipes is the widespread use of a wide variety of spices and seasonings. This is not surprising - India today supplies about three-quarters of all spices available on the world market. To add spiciness, hot chili peppers are often used in Indian cuisine, and in such quantities that untrained gourmets are unlikely to be able to consume some Indian dishes. But with all its features, Indian cuisine has become one of the most popular cuisines in many countries of the world, the only thing is that some Indian dishes have to be adapted in terms of spiciness and amount of spices so that they can be eaten by Europeans, Americans and residents of other countries of the world.

Flag of India
Coat of Arms of India

Basic Information About India

  • Full name - Republic of India
  • Capital - New Delhi
  • Language - hindi
  • Population - 1,428,627,663
  • Form of government - federal republic
  • Area - 3,287,263 km2
  • Currency - rupee
  • National Day - January 26