India is one of the oldest civilizations in the world with a kaleidoscopic variety and rich cultural heritage. It has achieved all-round socio-economic progress during the last 65 years of its Independence. India has become self-sufficient in agricultural production and is now one of the top industrialized countries in the world and one of the few nations to have gone into outer space to conquer nature for the benefit of the people. It covers an area of 32, 87,263 sq. km, extending from the snow-covered Himalayan heights to the tropical rain forests of the south.
As the 7th 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. Bounded by the Great Himalayas in the north, it stretches southwards and at the Tropic of Cancer, tapers off into the Indian Ocean between the Bay of Bengal on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west. As you travel, India offers a range of vast tourism choices, diverse in land and nature, people, tribes, cuisine, faiths, dance forms, music, arts, crafts, adventure, sport, spirituality, history; even these vary as you journey from one state to another. As a country, India has achieved all-round socio-economic progress in the last 70 years of independence. The change is clearly visible in the Tier I and Tier II cities.
However, the fascinating aspect lies in the stark difference as you travel through the new and old parts of its cities. From world-class airports and hotels, luxurious shopping malls, restaurants, pubs and cafes to overcrowded streets and alleyways, in the same cities, filled with thousands of little shops offering every possible modern and ethnic product and native street food is a fascinating experience.
Facts about India
- When many cultures were only nomadic forest dwellers over 5000 years ago, Indians established Harappan culture in Sindhu Valley (Indus Valley Civilization)
- The name 'India' is derived from the River Indus, the valleys around which were the home of the early settlers. The Aryan worshippers referred to the river Indus as the Sindhu.
- Chess was invented in India.
- Algebra, Trigonometry and Calculus are studies, which originated in India.
- The 'Place Value System' and the 'Decimal System' were developed in India in 100 B.C.
- India is the largest democracy in the world, the 7th largest Country in the world, and one of the most ancient civilizations.
- Ayurveda is the earliest school of medicine known to mankind. The Father of Medicine, Charaka, consolidated Ayurveda 2500 years ago.
- The oldest European church and synagogue in India are in the city of Cochin. They were built in 1503 and 1568 respectively.
- Varanasi, also known as Benaras, was called "the Ancient City" when Lord Buddha visited it in 500 B.C., and is the oldest, continuously inhabited city in the world today.
- Yoga has its origins in India and has existed for over 5,000 years.