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Related subjects Asia; Portals


Flag of India
Emblem of India
Location on the world map

The Republic of India is a country that occupies a greater part of South Asia. It borders Pakistan and Afghanistan in the northwest, the People's Republic of China, Nepal, and Bhutan in the north, and Bangladesh and Myanmar in the east. India's coastline stretches for over seven thousand kilometres. Its neighbours in the Indian Ocean are the island nations of the Maldives in the southwest, Sri Lanka in the south, and Indonesia in the southeast. India is the second most populous country in the world, with a population of over one billion and is the seventh largest country by geographical area. It is a constitutional republic consisting of twenty eight states and six union territories. The word India derives from the Old Persian cognate for the Sanskrit word Sindhu, the Indus river. The Constitution of India also recognises Bhārat listen  as an official name with equal status.

A centre of important historic trade routes, India is the home to some of the most ancient civilisations. India is the birthplace to four major world religions Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism and has the third largest Muslim population in the world after Indonesia and Pakistan. India was a former colony of the British Empire under the British Raj before gaining independence on 15 August 1947. The country has witnessed significant economic and military growth after the liberalisation of the Indian economy.

Selected article

Lothal was one of the most prominent cities of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization. Located in the state of Gujarat in India, it was discovered in 1954, and its existence dates from 2400 BCE. Lothal's dock—the world's earliest—made the city a vital centre of trade between Harappan cities, West Asia and Africa. The dock, its wharf, lock-gate system, and sophisticated drainage system are unusual marvels of engineering. Lothal yielded the most important Indus-era antiquities in modern India. Its scientists divided the horizon and sky into 8–12 whole parts, pioneering the study of stars and advanced navigation. (more...)

Selected picture

IAF Mirage 2000

IAF Mirage 2000 is a French-built multi-role fighter manufactured by Dassault Aviation. Its first role is to be an interceptor, yet it retains a ground-attack capability. Using only the basic concept of the delta interceptor previously seen on the classic Mirage III, Dassault built a totally new design. The Mirage 2000 has a maximum speed of Mach 2.2. In 2005, the IAF expressed its desire to purchase about 200 Mirage 2000-5 aircraft.

Photo credit: Deepak gupta

Did you know...

Prithu chasing Prithvi, who is in the form of a cow

  • ... that according to Hindu mythology, the sovereign Prithu chased the Earth (pictured) in the form of a cow, who finally relented and yielded her milk as all grain and vegetation?
  • ... that Mysore mallige a variety of Jasmine flower endemic to Karnataka state of India, is patented for its unique quality, attribution and reputation?
  • ... that when Indian cricketer Sourav Ganguly scored a century on test debut at Lord's in 1996, he became the third overall and first since John Hampshire in 1969 to do so?
  • ... that in 1870, the Indian Reform Association aimed at putting into practice some of the ideas that the Brahmo leader Keshub Chunder Sen was exposed to during his visit to Britain?
  • ... that the Durga Vahini, the women's wing of the Vishva Hindu Parishad, have been accused of instigating violence against religious minorities in India?
  • ... that the term Sindhology as a subject of knowledge about Sindh was first coined in 1964?
  • ... that the Halegannada, literally Old Kannada, is an ancient form of the Kannada language?
  • ... that Nagpur Improvement Trust, a local civic government body of Nagpur, India established in 1936, is not an elected body and continues to work along side Nagpur Municipal Corporation?
  • ... that Indian scholar Śāntarakṣita is believed to have been instrumental in the introduction of Buddhism to Tibet?
  • ... that during the Agra famine of 1837–38 in the North-Western Provinces of India, approximately 800,000 people died of starvation and an even larger number of livestock perished?
  • ... that V.D. Savarkar wrote The Indian War of Independence, a nationalist history of the 1857 uprising, in response to British celebrations of the 50th anniversary of its suppression?
  • ... that India established its diplomatic representation in Nigeria in 1958, two years before Nigeria's independence from British rule?
  • ... that improving Indo-South African relations have led to phenomenal growth in bilateral trade, rising from US$3 million in 1992-93 to US$4 billion in 2005-06 and targeting US$12 billion by 2010?
  • ... that M. P. T. Acharya is associated with Indian Nationalism and communism, as well as the anarchist movement?
  • ... that India and Pakistan have expanded cross-border road and rail transport links, including across the disputed region of Kashmir?
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