A Brief Introduction to India

An introduction to India in as few words as possible.

A really really brief article about India’s people and geography. Please have a look at other parts of this website to know India better.

1. India is probably bigger than you think

Most of the world maps you have been seeing since the school days, are wrong. Wrong when it comes to the relative sizes of countries. For example, Africa is 12 times the size of Greenland; but on the map, they appear to be quite equal sized. India is also a lot bigger than it appears on the world maps.
It surprises many people that the distance between the city of Srinagar in the north India and Kanyakumari in south India is more than the distance between Moscow and London. The picture below would explain it:

India laid over Europe (www.truesizeof.com)

2. Comparing India and Europe

(Alright, we are going to talk about culture, not money.)
As you already know Europe is a continent made of numerous countries having somewhat similar yet different ethnicity, cultures, and languages. In the same fashion, India is a nation with numerous states that possess similar but different cultures and languages (even ethnicity).

3. Geography and Climate of India

India has the great Himalayan mountains in the north. The Indian ocean shores the southern half of the nation. Several high and low mountains and rivers are spread here and there.

The country is among the top ten forest rich countries. According to an estimation, forests cover 24% of total area of India. These forests boast of being one of the richest wild-life in the world, too.
India has a part its west covered by the Thar desert.

India is generally a warm country (while it can be very cold in the mountain areas of far north). Southern half of the country is warmer compared to the northern half. Temperature can fall below 0 degree during the winter time in the northern plains. Snow is observed only in the far north Himalayan region.

Valley of flowers, Uttarakhand, India - a UNESCO Heritage site (Photo by Alosh Bennett/Flickr)
Valley of flowers, Uttarakhand, India – a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (Photo by Alosh Bennett/Flickr)

4. People and Culture

India is the 2nd most populated country in the world. Being blessed with highly fertile lands and life-pro conditions, life flourished plentifully in India. However, today India would be happy to see some reduction in its population.

Indians tend to be religious (that certainly doesn’t mean there are no atheists in India). Roughly 80% of Indians follow Hinduism, 14% Islam, 2.3% Christianity, and 1.7% Sikhism. Although Buddhism was born in India, only 0.7% Indians follow Buddhism.

India lives in many time periods at the same time.
A part of India boasts of bearing high class achievements in the fields of rocket science and computer science, while a part of India also comes in news often for medieval age like incidents. There are Indians with the most modern lifestyle, and there are Indian with quite ancient lifestyle. There are Indians who are among the richest people in the world; and there are also people who would the poorest in the world.

Indian children celebrating the Holi - the festival of colours
Indian children celebrating the Holi – the festival of colours

Language

India has 122 major languages while there are about 1600 total languages. Among them, 30 languages are spoken by more than a million people. Hindi is the official language along with English; and there are 22 officially recognized languages. Indian states have their own official languages, often other than Hindi and English.

5. Too long; didn’t read

In short, India is generally a warm country (northern mountains are very cold though), where lifestyle is very diverse. However, if we calculate an average, then this average Indian would be rather religious, conservative, and poorer compared to the western world. You can find people of every type in this country.

Although blessed with natural beauty and wild-life diversity, India is densely inhabited by humans.

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