India facts: how much do you know about this incredible country?


OFFICIAL NAME: Republic of India, Bharat
FORM OF GOVERNMENT: Federal republic
CAPITAL: New Delhi
POPULATION: 1,236,344,631
OFFICIAL LANGUAGES: Hindi, English, 21 others
MONEY: Rupee
AREA: 3,287,590 square kilometres
MAJOR MOUNTAIN RANGE: Himalaya
MAJOR RIVERS: Ganges, Yamuna, Indus, Brahmaputra
FLAG:


Indian Flag


GEOGRAPHY


India is part of the continent of Asia. Most of India forms a peninsula, jutting out into the ocean. The southeast is bordered by the Bay of Bengal, and the southwest is bordered by the Arabian Sea. The Himalayas - the world's highest mountain range - rise in the north of the country.


Map of India

India's terrain varies widely, from the Thar Desert in the west to jungles in the northeast. A fertile area called the Ganges Plain covers much of northern India. This formation was created from soil that was deposited by rivers running from the Himalayas. In some places, this layer of silt is over 7,620m deep.



PEOPLE & CULTURE


Society throughout India is divided into social ranks, called castes. Caste is determined by birth and there is almost no way to change it. High castes include priests, landowners and soldiers. So-called Untouchables have no caste and do the most menial jobs.

India is a very spiritual country. It has no official religion, but more than 80 percent of Indians are Hindu. About 13 percent are Muslim. Other religions include Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, which all began in India.



NATURE


For thousands of years, since the Hindu religion first evolved, respect for animal life has been an important part of Indians' beliefs. Cows in particular are sacred and cannot be harmed. They are even allowed to wander through city streets, which often causes traffic jams!



India's varied climate zones support about 65,000 animal species, including elephants, pythons, river dolphins and rhinos, and 12,000 types of flowering plants. It is the only country in the world with both lions and tigers. It's also a bird watcher's paradise.

On the coast of the Bay of Bengal is the Sundarbans, the world's largest mangrove forest. Here, tigers swim in the same rivers as dolphins, sea turtles, sharks and saltwater crocodiles. This unique landscape is constantly under threat as sea levels rise and humans hunt illegally, and clear trees for firewood.

The Himalayas provide a home for some of India's rarest animals and plants. The most elusive animal is the snow leopard. Bears and black buck live lower down, and in the northeast, the tiger and one-horned rhinoceros can be found.


Himalayas


GOVERNMENT & ECONOMY


India's parliamentary government was inherited from the British. After independence in 1947, one party, the Congress Party, and one family, the Nehru family, dominated politics in India for decades. Now, however, many parties compete for elected positions.

India's economy is growing so fast that experts predict it will soon become one of the world's leading markets.



HISTORY


India's earliest known civilization arose about 5,000 years ago on the Indus River in what is now Pakistan. Archaeologists uncovered the remains of two huge cities with brick houses, piped water and sewer systems. Nobody knows why, but these cities, called Harappa and Mohenjo Daro, were abandoned in 1700 B.C.


Ruins of Harappa

The Aryan people were farmers from Central Asia who arrived in India around 1500 B.C. They spoke Sanskrit, one of the world's oldest known languages. The Vedic Scriptures, writings that form the basis of the Hindu religion, were written during the Aryan reign.

In the 200-year reign of the Gupta Empire, starting in the fourth century A.D., arts, crafts, and sciences flourished. During this time, the Indian astronomer Aryabhatta determined that the Earth revolved around the sun. This was long before the Western world accepted the theory.

Beginning in the 16th century, following a series of invasions by Muslim forces, a Mongol leader named Babur founded the Mughal Empire. The Mongols oversaw a golden age of art, literature and architecture in India between 1527 and 1707. They built roads, mosques, gardens and enormous tombs, including the grand Taj Mahal.


Taj Mahal, Agra, India

In the late 1400s, Europeans arrived in India and began setting up trading companies. In 1757, Britain gained control over most of the country. Uprisings against British rule began in 1856. In 1920, the famous Mahatma Gandhi began nonviolent protests to push the British out. In 1947, India had independence.



Photos an illustrations: Getty Images UK
Words from kids.nationalgeographic.com
Figures accurate at time of publication, March 2015

 


Your Comments

Lioness
This was quite helpful but not everything i wanted and a bit hard to understand
jewels
not good sorry I just wanted to know if its ground was dessert jungle or rainforest
ACooper
It helped so much with my homework thanks.
MISBAH
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Bored_Kid
It made geography a bit better
Reubs
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ryaxmom
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Faye
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Athena565
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krishan_jamal
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Bob-Sameway
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Bob-Sameway
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Bob-Sameway
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ACooper
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sophi678
ausom
marsh
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moma
horrible page
Starks
Brill file about India
Barbara
My granddaughter - an avid Nat Geo fan and family have just spent a fabulous month in India starting in Delhi. They have visited the Taj Mahal several forts and seen much wild life. A camel safari in the desert was a particular highlight. Nat Geo has proved to be a great inspiration to Becky - aged 10 Noah 7 and their parents. They moved on to Beijing yesterday - the Great Wall of China being their priority on this stage of their world adventure.
Barbara
My family is on the second stage of their travels after a month in India. Taj Mahal, forts, camel safari, zip wire amongst their exploits so far. Becky 10 and Noah 7 love their Nat Geo Kids magazine and it certainly influenced their choices of where to go on their amazing adventure around the world. China now with the Great Wall being first priority.Thailand next followed by Australia New Zealand South America North America South America again and then home at the end of May.
Lehar
I like the way they give different captions about the text.
Arun Foxall➖7
This is good because my topic is about India and I've got this website on my Kindle so I can do my homework
rghfjg
This is so interesting about India I specially for homework
Alla
Good
Aayu
extremely informative
Poke
t
lakshmica
I've been to India 3 or 4 times now and I know a lot about it, Well Done NG Kids!!
sienna IS BRILLIANT
AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Surajit
I am from India and am very proud of how far we have come since gaining independence 68 yrs ago. Thank you NG kids for the fantastic fact file.
Bubble1204
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chease
chears
bennyboyacons
hello
Niranjan
Cool
Nina123
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poppy-panda
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LM
AMAZING
Pinky5523
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A-28765
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Bubley
I like it it`s interesting
gomez
music
gomez
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dash
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bia
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bia
info great
Mishel27
This fact file of India has a lot of information about India. It's so amazing. Incredible of the structure of Taj Mahal. It is cool.
Lucy-Ann
SUPER
Alina.m
I am from india and i been there this summer.
Alina.m
I lived in India when i was a baby. I am Indian. i know how to speak.
fender
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Shyla
I'm from India!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
edwin VINOD 1223
INDIA SOUNDS AMAZING
sanya
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naveed
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Adam Berkali
I like India's history.
Aanya
I am from India and and it is so much noisey
Mieke
I think it is a inspirational article. I can't wait till I read another one!
Bubby
I am from India but even I have learnt more about my country:)
Becky123
Very interesting to read!!!!
Neve0901
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Kartikeya
Man this website is cool
Super cute
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edric
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liya
I am from india
SB2
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Shiv
Cool
A6--3
Really like how it's set out. great for schoolwork
Rudey2
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I
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Hamish
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drawingclub22
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Sabreen
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Devanshu
I am from india
yolo
I lived in India for six months

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