The capital – New Delhi
Territory - 3 287 590 sq.km
Population – 1,3 billion people (December, 2015)
Official languages – Hindi and English. Also each Indian state has its own official language.
Time zone - IST (UTC+05:30)
Currency – Indian Rupee.
The modern rupee is theoretically subdivided into 100 paise.
Religion: 80% -Hinduism, 13% - Islam, 2% - Christianity. Others - Buddhist and Jain
The history of India includes the prehistoric settlements and societies in the Indian subcontinent; the blending of the Indus Valley Civilization and Indo-Aryan culture into the Vedic Civilization; the development of Hinduism as a synthesis of various Indian cultures and traditions; the rise of the Śramaṇa movement; the decline of Śrauta sacrifices and the birth of the initiatory traditions of Jainism, Buddhism, Shaivism, Vaishnavism and Shaktism; the onset of a succession of powerful dynasties and empires for more than two millennia throughout various geographic areas of the subcontinent, including the growth of Muslim dynasties during the Medieval period intertwined with Hindu powers; the advent of European traders resulting in the establishment of the British rule; and the subsequent independence movement that led to the Partition of India and the creation of the Republic of India.
Evidence of Anatomically modern humans in the Indian subcontinent is recorded as long as 75,000 years ago, or with earlier hominids including Homo erectus from about 500,000 years ago. The Indus Valley Civilization which spread and flourished in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent from c. 3200 to 1300 BCE, was the first major civilization in South Asia. A sophisticated and technologically advanced urban culture developed in the Mature Harappan period, from 2600 to 1900 BCE. This civilization collapsed at the start of the second millennium BCE and was later followed by the Iron Age Vedic Civilization, which extended over much of the Indo-Gangetic plain and which witnessed the rise of major polities known as the Mahajanapadas. In one of these kingdoms, Magadha, Mahavira and Gautama Buddha propagated their Shramanic philosophies during the fifth and sixth century BCE.
Most of the subcontinent was conquered by the Maurya Empire during the 4th and 3rd centuries BCE. From the 3rd century BC onwards Prakrit and Pali literature in the north and the Sangam literature in southern India started to flourish. Wootz steel originated in south India in the 3rd century BC and was exported to foreign countries. Various parts of India were ruled by numerous dynasties for the next 1,500 years, among which the Gupta Empire stands out. This period, witnessing a Hindu religious and intellectual resurgence, is known as the classical or "Golden Age of India". During this period, aspects of Indian civilization, administration, culture, and religion (Hinduism and Buddhism) spread to much of Asia, while kingdoms in southern India had maritime business links with the Roman Empire from around 77 CE. Indian cultural influence spread over many parts of Southeast Asia which led to the establishment of Indianized kingdoms in Southeast Asia (Greater India).
The most significant event between the 7th and 11th century was the Tripartite struggle centered on Kannauj that lasted for more than two centuries between the Pala Empire, Rashtrakuta Empire, and Gurjara Pratihara Empire. Southern India was ruled by the Chalukya, Chola, Pallava, Chera, Pandyan, and Western Chalukya Empires. The seventh century also saw the advent of Islam as a political power, though as a fringe, in the western part of the subcontinent, in modern-day Pakistan. The Chola dynasty conquered southern India and successfully invaded parts of Southeast Asia, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Bengal in the 11th century. The early medieval period Indian mathematics influenced the development of mathematics and astronomy in the Arab world and the Hindu numerals were introduced.
Muslim rule started in parts of north India in the 13th century when the Delhi Sultanate was founded in 1206 CE by the Central Asian Turks. The Delhi Sultanate ruled the major part of northern India in the early 14th century, but declined in the late 14th century when several powerful Hindu states such as the Vijayanagara Empire, Gajapati Kingdom, Ahom Kingdom, as well as Rajput dynasties and states, such as Mewar dynasty, emerged. The 15th century saw the emergence of Sikhism. In the 16th century, Mughals came from Central Asia and gradually covered most of India. The Mughal Empire suffered a gradual decline in the early 18th century, which provided opportunities for the Maratha Empire, Sikh Empire and Mysore Kingdom to exercise control over large areas of the subcontinent.
From the late 18th century to the mid-19th century, large areas of India were annexed by the British East India Company of British Empire. Dissatisfaction with Company rule led to the Indian Rebellion of 1857, after which the British provinces of India were directly administered by the British Crown and witnessed a period of both rapid development of infrastructure and economic stagnation. During the first half of the 20th century, a nationwide struggle for independence was launched with the leading party involved being the Indian National Congress which was later joined by other organizations. The subcontinent gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1947, after the British provinces were partitioned into the dominions of India and Pakistan and the princely states all acceded to one of the new states.
The modern state system - federal republic. The Prime Minister - Narendra Modi, President - Pranab Mukherjee. The official name of the country, India, is derived from the Old Persian word Hindu, Sanskrit related sindhu - historical name of the Indus River. he ancient Greeks called the Indians indoi- "people of the Indus." The Indian Constitution also recognizes the second name, Bharat, which is derived from the Sanskrit name of the ancient Indian king, the history of which was described in "Mahabharata". The third name, Hindustan, used since the Mughal Empire, but has no official status. India is a federal republic consisting of twenty-nine states and six union territories Delhi National Capital Region.
All states and two Union Territories (Pondicherry and National Capital Territory of Delhi) have their own elected government. The other five union territories are controlled by an administrator appointed by the central government, and therefore are under the direct control of the President of India. In 1956, the Indian states were reorganized according to linguistic lines. Since then, the administrative structure remained virtually unchanged. All states and Union Territories are divided into administrative and governmental units called districts. In India there are more than 600 districts, which in turn are divided into smaller administrative units Taluka.
India comprises the bulk of the Indian subcontinent, lying atop the Indian tectonic plate, and part of the Indo-Australian Plate. India's defining geological processes began 75 million years ago. The original Indian plate survives as peninsular India, the oldest and geologically most stable part of India. India lies to the north of the equator between 6° 44' and 35° 30' north latitude and 68° 7' and 97° 25' east longitude.
India's coastline measures 7,517 kilometers (4,700 mi) in length; of this distance, 5,423 kilometers (3,400 mi) belong to peninsular India and 2,094 kilometers (1,300 mi) to the Andaman, Nicobar, and Lakshadweep island chains. According to the Indian naval hydrographic charts, the mainland coastline consists of the following: 43% sandy beaches; 11% rocky shores, including cliffs; and 46% mudflats or marshy shores.
The Indian climate is strongly influenced by the Himalayas and the Thar Desert, both of which drive the economically and culturally pivotal summer and winter monsoons. The Himalayas prevent cold Central Asian katabatic winds from blowing in, keeping the bulk of the Indian subcontinent warmer than most locations at similar latitudes. The Thar Desert plays a crucial role in attracting the moisture-laden south-west summer monsoon winds that, between June and October, provide the majority of India's rainfall. Four major climatic groupings predominate in India: tropical wet, tropical dry, subtropical humid, and mountain.
Major Himalayan-origin rivers that substantially flow through India include the Ganges and the Brahmaputra, both of which drain into the Bay of Bengal. Important tributaries of the Ganges include the Yamuna and the Kosi ; the latter's extremely low gradient often leads to severe floods and course changes. Major peninsular rivers, whose steeper gradients prevent their waters from flooding, include the Godavari, the Mahanadi, the Kaveri, and the Krishna, which also drain into the Bay of Bengal; and the Narmada and the Tapti, which drain into the Arabian Sea. Coastal features include the marshy Rann of Kutch of western India and the alluvial Sundarbans delta of eastern India; the latter is shared with Bangladesh. India has two archipelagos: the Lakshadweep, coral atolls off India's south-western coast; and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a volcanic chain in the Andaman Sea.
Delhi is historically and culturally connected to both the Upper Doab of the Yamuna-Ganges river system and the Punjab region. It is the largest city in India in terms of geographical area—about 1,484 square kilometers. Delhi has been continuously inhabited since the 6th century BC. Through most of its history, Delhi has served as a capital of various kingdoms and empires. It has been captured, ransacked and rebuilt several times, particularly during the medieval period, and modern Delhi is a cluster of a number of cities spread across the metropolitan region. Delhi and its urban region have been given the special status of National Capital Region (NCR) under the Constitution of India's 69th Amendment Act of 1991. The NCR includes the neighbouring cities of Faridabad, Gurgaon, Noida, Ghaziabad, Neharpar (Greater Faridabad), Greater Noida, Bahadurgarh, Sonepat, Panipat, Karnal, Rohtak, Bhiwani, Rewari, Baghpat, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar,Alwar, Bharatpur and other nearby towns. A union territory, the political administration of the NCT of Delhi today more closely resembles that of a state of India, with its own legislature, high court and an executive council of ministers headed by a Chief Minister. New Delhi is jointly administered by the federal government of India and the local government of Delhi, and is the capital of the NCT of Delhi.