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India - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/India

Coordinates: 21N 78E

India
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

India, ocially the Republic of India (IAST:


Bhrat Gaarjya),[21][22][c] is a country in
South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country
by area, the second-most populous country
(with over 1.2 billion people), and the most
populous democracy in the world. Bounded
by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian
Sea on the south-west, and the Bay of Bengal
on the south-east, it shares land borders with
Pakistan to the west;[d] China, Nepal, and
Bhutan to the north-east; and Myanmar
(Burma) and Bangladesh to the east. In the
Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri
Lanka and the Maldives; in addition, India's
Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a
maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia.
Home to the ancient Indus Valley Civilisation
and a region of historic trade routes and vast
empires, the Indian subcontinent was
identified with its commercial and cultural
wealth for much of its long history.[23] Four
religionsHinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and
Sikhismoriginated here, whereas
Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, and
Islam arrived in the 1st millennium CE and
also shaped the region's diverse culture.
Gradually annexed by and brought under the
administration of the British East India
Company from the early 18th century and
administered directly by the United Kingdom
after the Indian Rebellion of 1857, India
became an independent nation in 1947 after a
struggle for independence that was marked
by non-violent resistance led by Mahatma
Gandhi.
Currently, the Indian economy is the world's
seventh-largest by nominal GDP and thirdlargest by purchasing power parity (PPP).[18]
Following market-based economic reforms in
1991, India became one of the fastestgrowing major economies; it is considered a
newly industrialised country. However, it

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Republic of India
Bhrat Gaarjya

Flag

State Emblem

Motto:"Satyameva Jayate"(Sanskrit)
"Truth Alone Triumphs"[1]

Anthem:Jana Gana Mana


"Thou art the rulers of the minds of all people"[2][3]
0:00

National song
Vande Mataram
"I Bow to Thee, Mother"[a][1][3]

Area controlled by India shown in dark green;


claimed but uncontrolled regions shown in light green.

Capital

New Delhi
2836.8N 7712.5E

Largest city

Mumbai
185830N 724933E

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continues to face the challenges of poverty,


corruption, malnutrition and inadequate public
healthcare. A nuclear weapons state and a
regional power, it has the third-largest
standing army in the world and ranks sixth in
military expenditure among nations. India is a
federal republic governed under a
parliamentary system and consists of 29
states and 7 union territories. India is a
pluralistic, multilingual, and a multi-ethnic
society. It is also home to a diversity of wildlife
in a variety of protected habitats.

Contents
1 Etymology
2 History
2.1 Ancient India
2.2 Medieval India
2.3 Early modern India
2.4 Modern India
3 Geography
4 Biodiversity
5 Politics
5.1 Government
5.2 Subdivisions
6 Foreign relations and military
7 Economy
7.1 Sectors
7.2 Poverty
8 Demographics
9 Culture
9.1 Art and architecture
9.2 Literature
9.3 Performing arts
9.4 Motion pictures, television
9.5 Society
9.6 Clothing
9.7 Sports
10 See also
11 Notes
12 References
13 Bibliography
14 External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/India

Ocial languages

Hindi
English[4][5][nb 1]

Recognised
regionallanguages

8th Schedule

National language

None[9][10]

Religion

79.8% Hinduism
14.2% Islam
2.3% Christianity
1.7% Sikhism
0.7% Buddhism
0.4% Jainism
0.9% others[11][12]

Demonym

Indian

Government

Federal parliamentary
republic[1]

President
Vice-President
Prime Minister
Chief Justice

Pranab Mukherjee
Mohammad Hamid Ansari
Narendra Modi

Speaker of the
Lower House

T. S. Thakur[13]
Sumitra Mahajan

Legislature

Parliament of India

Upper house
Lower house

Rajya Sabha
Lok Sabha

Independencefrom the United Kingdom


Dominion
15 August 1947
Republic
26 January 1950
Area
Total
Water(%)

3,287,263[14]km2[b] (7th)
1,269,346sqmi
9.6

Population
2016estimate

1,293,057,000[15] (2nd)

2011census

1,210,854,977[16][17] (2nd)

Density

388.0/km2 (31st)
1,005.0/sqmi

GDP(PPP)
Total

2016estimate

Per capita

$6,664[18] (122nd)

GDP(nominal)
Total

2016estimate

Per capita

$1,820[18] (141st)

$8.727 trillion[18] (3rd)

$2.384 trillion[18] (7th)

Etymology
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The name India is derived from Indus, which


originates from the Old Persian word
Sindhi.[24] The latter term stems from the
Sanskrit word Sindhu, which was the
historical local appellation for the Indus
River.[25] The ancient Greeks referred to the
Indians as Indoi (), which translates as
"The people of the Indus".[26]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/India

Gini(2009)

33.9[19]
medium 79th

HDI (2014)

0.609[20]
medium 130th

Currency

Indian rupee () (INR)

Time zone

IST (UTC+05:30)
DST is not observed

The geographical term Bharat (Bhrat,


Date format
dd-mm-yyyy
pronounced[bart]),
which is recognised by
Drives on the
left
the Constitution of India as an ocial name
Calling code
+91
for the country,[27] is used by many Indian
languages in its variations. It is a
ISO 3166 code
IN
modernisation of the historical name
Internet TLD
.in
Bharatavarsha, which gained increasing
other TLDs
currency from the mid-19th century onwards
as a native name of India.[21] Scholars believe
it to be named after the Vedic tribe of Bharatas in the second millennium B.C.E.[28] It is also
traditionally associated with the rule of the legendary emperor Bharata.[29] Gaarjya (literally,
people's State) is the Sanskrit/Hindi term for "republic" dating back to the ancient times.
[30][31][32]

Hindustan ([nd stan])


is an ancient Persian name for India dating to 3 century B.C.E. It

was introduced into India by the Mughals and widely used since then, often being thought of
as the "Land of the Hindus." Its meaning varied, referring to a region that encompassed
northern India and Pakistan or India in its entirety.[21][33][34]

History
Ancient India
The earliest authenticated human remains in South Asia date to about 30,000 years ago.[35]
Nearly contemporaneous Mesolithic rock art sites have been found in many parts of the
Indian subcontinent, including at the Bhimbetka rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh.[36] Around
7000 BCE, the first known Neolithic settlements appeared on the subcontinent in Mehrgarh
and other sites in western Pakistan.[37] These gradually developed into the Indus Valley
Civilisation,[38] the first urban culture in South Asia;[39] it flourished during 25001900BCE in
Pakistan and western India.[40] Centred around cities such as Mohenjo-daro, Harappa,
Dholavira, and Kalibangan, and relying on varied forms of subsistence, the civilisation
engaged robustly in crafts production and wide-ranging trade.[39]
During the period 2000500 BCE, in terms of culture, many regions of the subcontinent
transitioned from the Chalcolithic to the Iron Age.[41] The Vedas, the oldest scriptures of
Hinduism,[42] were composed during this period,[43] and historians have analysed these to
posit a Vedic culture in the Punjab region and the upper Gangetic Plain.[41] Most historians
also consider this period to have encompassed several waves of Indo-Aryan migration into
the subcontinent.[44][42] The caste system arose during this period, creating a hierarchy of
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priests, warriors, free peasants and traders, and lastly the


indigenous peoples who were regarded as impure; and
small tribal units gradually coalesced into monarchical,
state-level polities.[45][46] On the Deccan Plateau,
archaeological evidence from this period suggests the
existence of a chiefdom stage of political organisation.[41] In
southern India, a progression to sedentary life is indicated
by the large number of megalithic monuments dating from
this period,[47] as well as by nearby traces of agriculture,
irrigation tanks, and craft traditions.[47]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/India

Map of the Indian


subcontinent during the Vedic
period

In the late Vedic period, around


the 6th century BCE, the small states and chiefdoms of the
Ganges Plain and the north-western regions had consolidated
into 16 major oligarchies and monarchies that were known as
the mahajanapadas.[48][49] The emerging urbanisation gave rise
to non-Vedic religious movements, two of which became
independent religions. Jainism came into prominence during the
life of its exemplar, Mahavira.[50] Buddhism, based on the
teachings of Gautama Buddha attracted followers from all social
classes excepting the middle class; chronicling the life of the
Paintings at the Ajanta
Buddha was central to the beginnings of recorded history in
Caves in Aurangabad,
India.[51][52][53] In an age of increasing urban wealth, both
Maharashtra, 6th century
religions held up renunciation as an ideal,[54] and both
established long-lasting monastic traditions. Politically, by the
3rd century BCE, the kingdom of Magadha had annexed or reduced other states to emerge
as the Mauryan Empire.[55] The empire was once thought to have controlled most of the
subcontinent excepting the far south, but its core regions are now thought to have been
separated by large autonomous areas.[56][57] The Mauryan kings are known as much for their
empire-building and determined management of public life as for Ashoka's renunciation of
militarism and far-flung advocacy of the Buddhist dhamma.[58][59]
The Sangam literature of the Tamil language reveals that, between 200 BCE and 200 CE, the
southern peninsula was being ruled by the Cheras, the Cholas, and the Pandyas, dynasties
that traded extensively with the Roman Empire and with West and South-East Asia.[60][61] In
North India, Hinduism asserted patriarchal control within the family, leading to increased
subordination of women.[62][55] By the 4th and 5th centuries, the Gupta Empire had created
in the greater Ganges Plain a complex system of administration and taxation that became a
model for later Indian kingdoms.[63][64] Under the Guptas, a renewed Hinduism based on
devotion rather than the management of ritual began to assert itself.[65] The renewal was
reflected in a flowering of sculpture and architecture, which found patrons among an urban
elite.[64] Classical Sanskrit literature flowered as well, and Indian science, astronomy,
medicine, and mathematics made significant advances.[64]

Medieval India
The Indian early medieval age, 600 CE to 1200 CE, is defined by regional kingdoms and
cultural diversity.[66] When Harsha of Kannauj, who ruled much of the Indo-Gangetic Plain

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from 606 to 647 CE, attempted to expand southwards, he was


defeated by the Chalukya ruler of the Deccan.[67] When his
successor attempted to expand eastwards, he was defeated by
the Pala king of Bengal.[67] When the Chalukyas attempted to
expand southwards, they were defeated by the Pallavas from
farther south, who in turn were opposed by the Pandyas and the
Cholas from still farther south.[67] No ruler of this period was
able to create an empire and consistently control lands much
beyond his core region.[66] During this time, pastoral peoples
whose land had been cleared to make way for the growing
agricultural economy were accommodated within caste society,
as were new non-traditional ruling classes.[68] The caste system
consequently began to show regional dierences.[68]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/India

The granite tower of


Brihadeeswarar Temple in
Thanjavur was completed
in 1010 CE by Raja Raja
Chola I.

In the 6th and 7th centuries, the first devotional hymns were
created in the Tamil language.[69] They were imitated all over
India and led to both the resurgence of Hinduism and the
development of all modern languages of the subcontinent.[69]
Indian royalty, big and small, and the temples they patronised, drew citizens in great numbers
to the capital cities, which became economic hubs as well.[70] Temple towns of various sizes
began to appear everywhere as India underwent another urbanisation.[70] By the 8th and 9th
centuries, the eects were felt in South-East Asia, as South Indian culture and political
systems were exported to lands that became part of modern-day Myanmar, Thailand, Laos,
Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, and Java.[71] Indian merchants, scholars, and
sometimes armies were involved in this transmission; South-East Asians took the initiative as
well, with many sojourning in Indian seminaries and translating Buddhist and Hindu texts into
their languages.[71]
After the 10th century, Muslim Central Asian nomadic clans, using swift-horse cavalry and
raising vast armies united by ethnicity and religion, repeatedly overran South Asia's northwestern plains, leading eventually to the establishment of the Islamic Delhi Sultanate in
1206.[72] The sultanate was to control much of North India, and to make many forays into
South India. Although at first disruptive for the Indian elites, the sultanate largely left its vast
non-Muslim subject population to its own laws and customs.[73][74] By repeatedly repulsing
Mongol raiders in the 13th century, the sultanate saved India from the devastation visited on
West and Central Asia, setting the scene for centuries of migration of fleeing soldiers, learned
men, mystics, traders, artists, and artisans from that region into the subcontinent, thereby
creating a syncretic Indo-Islamic culture in the north.[75][76] The sultanate's raiding and
weakening of the regional kingdoms of South India paved the way for the indigenous
Vijayanagara Empire.[77] Embracing a strong Shaivite tradition and building upon the military
technology of the sultanate, the empire came to control much of peninsular India,[78] and was
to influence South Indian society for long afterwards.[77]

Early modern India


In the early 16th century, northern India, being then under mainly Muslim rulers,[79] fell again
to the superior mobility and firepower of a new generation of Central Asian warriors.[80] The
resulting Mughal Empire did not stamp out the local societies it came to rule, but rather
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balanced and pacified them through new administrative


practices[81][82] and diverse and inclusive ruling elites,[83] leading
to more systematic, centralised, and uniform rule.[84] Eschewing
tribal bonds and Islamic identity, especially under Akbar, the
Mughals united their far-flung realms through loyalty, expressed
through a Persianised culture, to an emperor who had
near-divine status.[83] The Mughal state's economic policies,
deriving most revenues from agriculture[85] and mandating that
taxes be paid in the well-regulated silver currency,[86] caused
peasants and artisans to enter larger markets.[84] The relative
peace maintained by the empire during much of the 17th
century was a factor in India's economic expansion,[84] resulting
in greater patronage of painting, literary forms, textiles, and
architecture.[87] Newly coherent social groups in northern and
western India, such as the Marathas, the Rajputs, and the Sikhs,
gained military and governing ambitions during Mughal rule,
Writing the will and
which, through collaboration or adversity, gave them both
testament of the Mughal
recognition and military experience.[88] Expanding commerce
king court in Persian,
during Mughal rule gave rise to new Indian commercial and
15901595
political elites along the coasts of southern and eastern India.[88]
As the empire disintegrated, many among these elites were able
to seek and control their own aairs.[89]
By the early 18th century, with the lines between commercial and political dominance being
increasingly blurred, a number of European trading companies, including the English East
India Company, had established coastal outposts.[90][91] The East India Company's control of
the seas, greater resources, and more advanced military training and technology led it to
increasingly flex its military muscle and caused it to become attractive to a portion of the
Indian elite; both these factors were crucial in allowing the Company to gain control over the
Bengal region by 1765 and sideline the other European companies.[92][90][93][94] Its further
access to the riches of Bengal and the subsequent increased strength and size of its army
enabled it to annex or subdue most of India by the 1820s.[95] India was then no longer
exporting manufactured goods as it long had, but was instead supplying the British Empire
with raw materials, and many historians consider this to be the onset of India's colonial
period.[90] By this time, with its economic power severely curtailed by the British parliament
and itself eectively made an arm of British administration, the Company began to more
consciously enter non-economic arenas such as education, social reform, and culture.[96]

Modern India
Historians consider India's modern age to have begun sometime between 1848 and 1885.
The appointment in 1848 of Lord Dalhousie as Governor General of the East India Company
set the stage for changes essential to a modern state. These included the consolidation and
demarcation of sovereignty, the surveillance of the population, and the education of citizens
(English Education Act 1835). Technological changesamong them, railways, canals, and
the telegraphwere introduced not long after their introduction in Europe.[97][98][99][100]
However, disaection with the Company also grew during this time, and set o the Indian
Rebellion of 1857. Fed by diverse resentments and perceptions, including invasive

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British-style social reforms, harsh land taxes, and


summary treatment of some rich landowners and princes,
the rebellion rocked many regions of northern and central
India and shook the foundations of Company
rule.[101][102] Although the rebellion was suppressed by
1858, it led to the dissolution of the East India Company
and to the direct administration of India by the British
government. Proclaiming a unitary state and a gradual
but limited British-style parliamentary system, the new
rulers also protected princes and landed gentry as a
feudal safeguard against future unrest.[103][104] In the
decades following, public life gradually emerged all over
India, leading eventually to the founding of the Indian
National Congress in 1885.[105][106][107][108]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/India

The British Indian Empire, from


the 1909 edition of The Imperial
Gazetteer of India. Areas directly
governed by the British are
shaded pink; the princely states
under British suzerainty are in
yellow.

The rush of
technology and the
commercialisation of
agriculture in the
second half of the 19th century was marked by economic
setbacksmany small farmers became dependent on
the whims of far-away markets.[109] There was an
increase in the number of large-scale famines,[110] and,
despite the risks of infrastructure development borne by
Indian taxpayers, little industrial employment was
Jawaharlal Nehru (left) became
generated for Indians.[111] There were also salutary
India's first prime minister in
eects: commercial cropping, especially in the newly
1947. Mahatma Gandhi (right) led
canalled Punjab, led to increased food production for
the independence movement.
internal consumption.[112] The railway network provided
critical famine relief,[113] notably reduced the cost of
moving goods,[113] and helped nascent Indian-owned industry.[112] After World War I, in
which approximately one million Indians served,[114] a new period began. It was marked by
British reforms but also repressive legislations, by more strident Indian calls for self-rule, and
by the beginnings of a nonviolent movement of non-co-operation, of which Mohandas
Karamchand Gandhi would become the leader and enduring symbol.[115] During the 1930s,
slow legislative reform was enacted by the British; the Indian National Congress won
victories in the resulting elections.[116] The next decade was beset with crises: Indian
participation in World War II, the Congress's final push for non-co-operation, and an upsurge
of Muslim nationalism. All were capped by the advent of independence in 1947, but
tempered by the partition of India into two states: India and Pakistan.[117]
Vital to India's self-image as an independent nation was its constitution, completed in 1950,
which put in place a secular and democratic republic.[118] In the 60 years since, India has
had a mixed record of successes and failures.[119] It has remained a democracy with civil
liberties, an active Supreme Court, and a largely independent press.[119] Economic
liberalisation, which was begun in the 1990s, has created a large urban middle class,
transformed India into one of the world's fastest-growing economies,[120] and increased its
geopolitical clout. Indian movies, music, and spiritual teachings play an increasing role in

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global culture.[119] Yet, India is also shaped by seemingly unyielding poverty, both rural and
urban;[119] by religious and caste-related violence;[121] by Maoist-inspired Naxalite
insurgencies;[122] and by separatism in Jammu and Kashmir and in Northeast India.[123] It has
unresolved territorial disputes with China[124] and with Pakistan.[124] The IndiaPakistan
nuclear rivalry came to a head in 1998.[125] India's sustained democratic freedoms are unique
among the world's newer nations; however, in spite of its recent economic successes,
freedom from want for its disadvantaged population remains a goal yet to be achieved.[126]

Geography
India comprises the bulk of the Indian subcontinent, lying
atop the Indian tectonic plate, and part of the
Indo-Australian Plate.[127] India's defining geological
processes began 75 million years ago when the Indian
plate, then part of the southern supercontinent
Gondwana, began a north-eastward drift caused by
seafloor spreading to its south-west, and later, south and
south-east.[127] Simultaneously, the vast Tethyn oceanic
crust, to its northeast, began to subduct under the
Eurasian plate.[127] These dual processes, driven by
convection in the Earth's mantle, both created the Indian
Ocean and caused the Indian continental crust eventually
A topographic map of India
to under-thrust Eurasia and to uplift the Himalayas.[127]
Immediately south of the emerging Himalayas, plate
movement created a vast trough that rapidly filled with river-borne sediment[128] and now
constitutes the Indo-Gangetic Plain.[129] Cut o from the plain by the ancient Aravalli Range
lies the Thar Desert.[130]
The original Indian plate survives as peninsular India, the oldest and geologically most stable
part of India. It extends as far north as the Satpura and Vindhya ranges in central India.
These parallel chains run from the Arabian Sea coast in Gujarat in the west to the coal-rich
Chota Nagpur Plateau in Jharkhand in the east.[131] To the south, the remaining peninsular
landmass, the Deccan Plateau, is flanked on the west and east by coastal ranges known as
the Western and Eastern Ghats;[132] the plateau contains the country's oldest rock
formations, some over one billion years old. Constituted in such fashion, India lies to the
north of the equator between 6 44' and 35 30' north latitude[e] and 68 7' and 97 25' east
longitude.[133]
India's coastline measures 7,517 kilometres (4,700mi) in length; of this distance, 5,423
kilometres (3,400mi) belong to peninsular India and 2,094 kilometres (1,300mi) to the
Andaman, Nicobar, and Lakshadweep island chains.[134] According to the Indian naval
hydrographic charts, the mainland coastline consists of the following: 43% sandy beaches;
11% rocky shores, including clis; and 46% mudflats or marshy shores.[134]
Major Himalayan-origin rivers that substantially flow through India include the Ganges and
the Brahmaputra, both of which drain into the Bay of Bengal.[135] 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.[136] Major peninsular rivers, whose steeper gradients
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The Kedar Range of the Greater


Himalayas rises behind Kedarnath
Temple (Indian state of
Uttarakhand), which is one of the
twelve jyotirlinga shrines.

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prevent their waters from flooding, include the Godavari,


the Mahanadi, the Kaveri, and the Krishna, which also
drain into the Bay of Bengal;[137] and the Narmada and
the Tapti, which drain into the Arabian Sea.[138] 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.[139] India has two
archipelagos: the Lakshadweep, coral atolls o India's
south-western coast; and the Andaman and Nicobar
Islands, a volcanic chain in the Andaman Sea.[140]

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.[141] 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.[142][143] 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.[141] Four major climatic groupings predominate in
India: tropical wet, tropical dry, subtropical humid, and montane.[144]

Biodiversity
India lies within the Indomalaya ecozone and contains
three biodiversity hotspots.[145] One of 17 megadiverse
countries, it hosts 8.6% of all mammalian, 13.7% of all
avian, 7.9% of all reptilian, 6% of all amphibian, 12.2% of
all piscine, and 6.0% of all flowering plant species.
[146][147] About 21.2% of the country's landmass is
covered by forests (tree canopy density >10%), of which
12.2% comprises moderately or very dense forests (tree
canopy density >40%).[148] Endemism is high among
plants, 33%, and among ecoregions such as the shola
The brahminy kite (Haliastur
indus) is identified with Garuda,
forests.[149] Habitat ranges from the tropical rainforest of
the mythical mount of Vishnu. It
the Andaman Islands, Western Ghats, and North-East
India to the coniferous forest of the Himalaya. Between
hunts for fish and other prey near
these extremes lie the moist deciduous sal forest of
the coasts and around inland
eastern India; the dry deciduous teak forest of central
wetlands.
and southern India; and the babul-dominated thorn forest
of the central Deccan and western Gangetic plain.[150]
The medicinal neem, widely used in rural Indian herbal remedies, is a key Indian tree. The
luxuriant pipal fig tree, shown on the seals of Mohenjo-daro, shaded Gautama Buddha as he
sought enlightenment.
Many Indian species descend from taxa originating in Gondwana, from which the Indian
plate separated more than 105 million years before present.[151] Peninsular India's
subsequent movement towards and collision with the Laurasian landmass set o a mass
exchange of species. Epochal volcanism and climatic changes 20 million years ago forced a

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mass extinction.[152] Mammals then entered India from Asia through two zoogeographical
passes flanking the rising Himalaya.[150] Thus, while 45.8% of reptiles and 55.8% of
amphibians are endemic, only 12.6% of mammals and 4.5% of birds are.[147] Among them
are the Nilgiri leaf monkey and Beddome's toad of the Western Ghats. India contains 172
IUCN-designated threatened animal species, or 2.9% of endangered forms.[153] These
include the Asiatic lion, the Bengal tiger, the snow leopard and the Indian white-rumped
vulture, which, by ingesting the carrion of diclofenac-laced cattle, nearly became extinct.
The pervasive and ecologically devastating human encroachment of recent decades has
critically endangered Indian wildlife. In response the system of national parks and protected
areas, first established in 1935, was substantially expanded. In 1972, India enacted the
Wildlife Protection Act[154] and Project Tiger to safeguard crucial wilderness; the Forest
Conservation Act was enacted in 1980 and amendments added in 1988.[155] India hosts
more than five hundred wildlife sanctuaries and thirteen biosphere reserves,[156] four of which
are part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves; twenty-five wetlands are registered
under the Ramsar Convention.[157]

Politics
India is the world's most populous democracy.[158] A
parliamentary republic with a multi-party system,[159] it
has six recognised national parties, including the Indian
National Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP),
and more than 40 regional parties.[160] The Congress is
considered centre-left in Indian political culture,[161] and
the BJP right-wing.[162][163][164] For most of the period
between 1950when India first became a republicand
A parliamentary joint session
the late 1980s, the Congress held a majority in the
being held in the Sansad Bhavan.
parliament. Since then, however, it has increasingly
shared the political stage with the BJP,[165] as well as with
powerful regional parties which have often forced the creation of multi-party coalitions at the
centre.[166]
In the Republic of India's first three general elections, in 1951, 1957, and 1962, the
Jawaharlal Nehru-led Congress won easy victories. On Nehru's death in 1964, Lal Bahadur
Shastri briefly became prime minister; he was succeeded, after his own unexpected death in
1966, by Indira Gandhi, who went on to lead the Congress to election victories in 1967 and
1971. Following public discontent with the state of emergency she declared in 1975, the
Congress was voted out of power in 1977; the then-new Janata Party, which had opposed
the emergency, was voted in. Its government lasted just over three years. Voted back into
power in 1980, the Congress saw a change in leadership in 1984, when Indira Gandhi was
assassinated; she was succeeded by her son Rajiv Gandhi, who won an easy victory in the
general elections later that year. The Congress was voted out again in 1989 when a National
Front coalition, led by the newly formed Janata Dal in alliance with the Left Front, won the
elections; that government too proved relatively short-lived, lasting just under two years.[167]
Elections were held again in 1991; no party won an absolute majority. But the Congress, as
the largest single party, was able to form a minority government led by P. V. Narasimha
Rao.[168]

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A two-year period of political turmoil followed the general


election of 1996. Several short-lived alliances shared
power at the centre. The BJP formed a government
briefly in 1996; it was followed by two comparatively
long-lasting United Front coalitions, which depended on
external support. In 1998, the BJP was able to form a
successful coalition, the National Democratic Alliance
(NDA). Led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the NDA became the
first non-Congress, coalition government to complete a
The Rashtrapati Bhavan is the
five-year term.[169] In the 2004 Indian general elections,
ocial residence of the president
again no party won an absolute majority, but the
of India.
Congress emerged as the largest single party, forming
another successful coalition: the United Progressive
Alliance (UPA). It had the support of left-leaning parties and MPs who opposed the BJP. The
UPA returned to power in the 2009 general election with increased numbers, and it no longer
required external support from India's communist parties.[170] That year, Manmohan Singh
became the first prime minister since Jawaharlal Nehru in 1957 and 1962 to be re-elected to
a consecutive five-year term.[171] In the 2014 general election, the BJP became the first
political party since 1984 to win a majority and govern without the support of other
parties.[172] The Prime Minister of India is Narendra Modi, who was formerly Chief Minister of
Gujarat.

Government
India is a federation with a parliamentary system governed under the Constitution of India,
which serves as the country's supreme legal document. It is a republic and representative
democracy, in which "majority rule is tempered by minority rights protected by law".
Federalism in India defines the power distribution between the federal government and the
states. The government abides by constitutional checks and balances. The Constitution of
India, which came into eect on 26 January 1950,[173] states in its preamble that India is a
sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic.[174] India's form of government,
traditionally described as "quasi-federal" with a strong centre and weak states,[175] has
grown increasingly federal since the late 1990s as a result of political, economic, and social
changes.[176][177]
The federal government comprises three
branches:
Executive: The President of India is the
head of state[179] and is elected indirectly
by a national electoral college[180] for a
five-year term.[181] The Prime Minister of
India is the head of government and
exercises most executive power.[182]
Appointed by the president,[183] the prime
minister is by convention supported by
the party or political alliance holding the
majority of seats in the lower house of

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National symbols[1]
Flag

Tiranga (Tricolour)

Emblem

Sarnath Lion Capital

Anthem

Jana Gana Mana

Song

Vande Mataram

Currency

(Indian rupee)

Calendar

Saka

Animal

Tiger (land)
River dolphin (aquatic)

Bird

Indian peafowl

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parliament.[182] The executive branch of


Flower
Lotus
the Indian government consists of the
Fruit
Mango
president, the vice-president, and the
Tree
Banyan
Council of Ministersthe cabinet being
its executive committeeheaded by the
River
Ganga
prime minister. Any minister holding a
Game
Not declared[178]
portfolio must be a member of one of the
houses of parliament.[179] In the Indian
parliamentary system, the executive is subordinate to the legislature; the prime minister
and his council are directly responsible to the lower house of the parliament.[184]
Legislative: The legislature of India is the bicameral parliament. It operates under a
Westminster-style parliamentary system and comprises the upper house called the
Rajya Sabha ("Council of States") and the lower called the Lok Sabha ("House of the
People").[185] The Rajya Sabha is a permanent body that has 245 members who serve
in staggered six-year terms.[186] Most are elected indirectly by the state and territorial
legislatures in numbers proportional to their state's share of the national population.[183]
All but two of the Lok Sabha's 545 members are directly elected by popular vote; they
represent individual constituencies via five-year terms.[187] The remaining two members
are nominated by the president from among the Anglo-Indian community, in case the
president decides that they are not adequately represented.[188]
Judicial: India has a unitary three-tier independent judiciary[189] that comprises the
Supreme Court, headed by the Chief Justice of India, 24 High Courts, and a large
number of trial courts.[189] The Supreme Court has original jurisdiction over cases
involving fundamental rights and over disputes between states and the centre; it has
appellate jurisdiction over the High Courts.[190] It has the power both to declare the law
and to strike down union or state laws which contravene the constitution,[191] as well as
to invalidate any government action it deems unconstitutional.[192]

Subdivisions
States (1-29) & Union territories (A-G)
1. Andhra Pradesh

10. Jammu and Kashmir 19. Nagaland

2. Arunachal Pradesh 11. Jharkhand

20. Odisha

29. West Bengal

3. Assam

12. Karnataka

21. Punjab

A. Andaman and Nicobar Islands

4. Bihar

13. Kerala

22. Rajasthan

B. Chandigarh

5. Chhattisgarh

14. Madhya Pradesh

23. Sikkim

C. Dadra and Nagar Haveli

6. Goa

15. Maharashtra

24. Tamil Nadu

D. Daman and Diu

7. Gujarat

16. Manipur

25. Telangana

E. Lakshadweep

8. Haryana

17. Meghalaya

26. Tripura

F. National Capital Territory of Delhi

9. Himachal Pradesh 18. Mizoram

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28. Uttarakhand

27. Uttar Pradesh G. Puducherry

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A clickable map of the 29 states and 7 union territories of India

India is a federation composed of 29 states and 7 union territories.[193] All states, as well as
the union territories of Puducherry and the National Capital Territory of Delhi, have elected
legislatures and governments, both patterned on the Westminster model. The remaining five
union territories are directly ruled by the centre through appointed administrators. In 1956,
under the States Reorganisation Act, states were reorganised on a linguistic basis.[194] Since
then, their structure has remained largely unchanged. Each state or union territory is further
divided into administrative districts. The districts in turn are further divided into tehsils and
ultimately into villages.

Foreign relations and military


Since its independence in 1947, India has maintained cordial relations with most nations. In
the 1950s, it strongly supported decolonisation in Africa and Asia and played a lead role in
the Non-Aligned Movement.[195] In the late 1980s, the Indian military twice intervened abroad
at the invitation of neighbouring countries: a peace-keeping operation in Sri Lanka between
1987 and 1990; and an armed intervention to prevent a 1988 coup d'tat attempt in
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Maldives. India has tense relations with neighbouring


Pakistan; the two nations have gone to war four times: in
1947, 1965, 1971, and 1999. Three of these wars were
fought over the disputed territory of Kashmir, while the
fourth, the 1971 war, followed from India's support for the
independence of Bangladesh.[196] After waging the 1962
Sino-Indian War and the 1965 war with Pakistan, India
pursued close military and economic ties with the Soviet
Union; by the late 1960s, the Soviet Union was its largest
arms supplier.[197]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/India

Narendra Modi meets Vladimir


Putin at the 6th BRICS summit.
India and Russia share extensive
economic, defence, and
technological ties.

Aside from ongoing strategic relations with Russia, India


has wide-ranging defence relations with Israel and
France. In recent years, it has played key roles in the
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and
the World Trade Organisation. The nation has provided 100,000 military and police personnel
to serve in 35 UN peacekeeping operations across four continents. It participates in the East
Asia Summit, the G8+5, and other multilateral forums.[198] India has close economic ties with
South America,[199] Asia, and Africa; it pursues a "Look East" policy that seeks to strengthen
partnerships with the ASEAN nations, Japan, and South Korea that revolve around many
issues, but especially those involving economic investment and regional security.[200][201]
China's nuclear test of 1964, as well as its repeated
threats to intervene in support of Pakistan in the 1965
war, convinced India to develop nuclear weapons.[202]
India conducted its first nuclear weapons test in 1974
and carried out further underground testing in 1998.
Despite criticism and military sanctions, India has signed
neither the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty nor
the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, considering both to
be flawed and discriminatory.[203] India maintains a "no
INS Vikramaditya, the Indian
first use" nuclear policy and is developing a nuclear triad
Navy's biggest warship.
capability as a part of its "minimum credible deterrence"
doctrine.[204][205] It is developing a ballistic missile
defence shield and, in collaboration with Russia, a fifth-generation fighter jet.[206] Other
indigenous military projects involve the design and implementation of Vikrant-class aircraft
carriers and Arihant-class nuclear submarines.[206]
Since the end of the Cold War, India has increased its economic, strategic, and military
co-operation with the United States and the European Union.[207] In 2008, a civilian nuclear
agreement was signed between India and the United States. Although India possessed
nuclear weapons at the time and was not party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, it
received waivers from the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Nuclear Suppliers
Group, ending earlier restrictions on India's nuclear technology and commerce. As a
consequence, India became the sixth de facto nuclear weapons state.[208] India
subsequently signed co-operation agreements involving civilian nuclear energy with
Russia,[209] France,[210] the United Kingdom,[211] and Canada.[212]
The President of India is the supreme commander of the nation's armed forces; with 1.325
million active troops, they compose the world's third-largest military.[213] It comprises the
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Indian Army, the Indian Navy, and the Indian Air Force; auxiliary organisations include the
Strategic Forces Command and three paramilitary groups: the Assam Rifles, the Special
Frontier Force, and the Indian Coast Guard.[214] The ocial Indian defence budget for 2011
was US$36.03 billion, or 1.83% of GDP.[215] For the fiscal year spanning 20122013,
US$40.44 billion was budgeted.[216] According to a 2008 SIPRI report, India's annual military
expenditure in terms of purchasing power stood at US$72.7 billion.[217] In 2011, the annual
defence budget increased by 11.6%,[218] although this does not include funds that reach the
military through other branches of government.[219] As of 2012, India is the world's largest
arms importer; between 2007 and 2011, it accounted for 10% of funds spent on international
arms purchases.[220] Much of the military expenditure was focused on defence against
Pakistan and countering growing Chinese influence in the Indian Ocean.[218]

Economy
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the
Indian economy in 2015 was nominally worth US$2.183
trillion; it is the 7th-largest economy by market exchange
rates, and is, at US$8.027 trillion, the third-largest by
purchasing power parity, or PPP.[18] With its average
annual GDP growth rate of 5.8% over the past two
decades, and reaching 6.1% during 201112,[221] India is
one of the world's fastest-growing economies.[222]
However, the country ranks 140th in the world in nominal
India's GDP has increased more
[223]
GDP per capita and 129th in GDP per capita at PPP.
than ten-fold after the economic
Until 1991, all Indian governments followed protectionist
reforms in 1991.
policies that were influenced by socialist economics.
Widespread state intervention and regulation largely
walled the economy o from the outside world. An acute balance of payments crisis in 1991
forced the nation to liberalise its economy;[224] since then it has slowly moved towards a
free-market system[225][226] by emphasising both foreign trade and direct investment
inflows.[227] India's recent economic model is largely capitalist.[226] India has been a member
of WTO since 1 January 1995.[228]
The 486.6-million worker Indian labour force is the world's second-largest, as of 2011.[214]
The service sector makes up 55.6% of GDP, the industrial sector 26.3% and the agricultural
sector 18.1%. India's foreign exchange remittances were US$70 billion in year 2014, the
largest in the world, contributed to its economy by 25 million Indians working in foreign
countries.[229] Major agricultural products include rice, wheat, oilseed, cotton, jute, tea,
sugarcane, and potatoes.[193] Major industries include textiles, telecommunications,
chemicals, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, food processing, steel, transport equipment,
cement, mining, petroleum, machinery, and software.[193] In 2006, the share of external trade
in India's GDP stood at 24%, up from 6% in 1985.[225] In 2008, India's share of world trade
was 1.68%;[230] In 2011, India was the world's tenth-largest importer and the nineteenthlargest exporter.[231] Major exports include petroleum products, textile goods, jewellery,
software, engineering goods, chemicals, and leather manufactures.[193] Major imports
include crude oil, machinery, gems, fertiliser, and chemicals.[193] Between 2001 and 2011,

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the contribution of petrochemical and engineering goods to total exports grew from 14% to
42%.[232] India was the second largest textile exporter after China in the world in calendar
year 2013.[233]
Averaging an economic growth rate of 7.5% for several years prior to 2007,[225] India has
more than doubled its hourly wage rates during the first decade of the 21st century.[234]
Some 431 million Indians have left poverty since 1985; India's middle classes are projected
to number around 580 million by 2030.[235] Though ranking 51st in global competitiveness,
India ranks 17th in financial market sophistication, 24th in the banking sector, 44th in
business sophistication, and 39th in innovation, ahead of several advanced economies, as of
2010.[236] With 7 of the world's top 15 information technology outsourcing companies based
in India, the country is viewed as the second-most favourable outsourcing destination after
the United States, as of 2009.[237] India's consumer market, the world's eleventh-largest, is
expected to become fifth-largest by 2030.[235]
Driven by growth, India's nominal GDP per capita has steadily increased from US$329 in
1991, when economic liberalisation began, to US$1,265 in 2010, and is estimated to
increase to US$2,110 by 2016; however, it has remained lower than those of other Asian
developing countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, and
is expected to remain so in the near future. However, it is higher than Pakistan, Nepal,
Afghanistan, Bangladesh and others.[238]
According to a 2011 PricewaterhouseCoopers report, India's GDP at purchasing power
parity could overtake that of the United States by 2045.[239] During the next four decades,
Indian GDP is expected to grow at an annualised average of 8%, making it potentially the
world's fastest-growing major economy until 2050.[239] The report highlights key growth
factors: a young and rapidly growing working-age population; growth in the manufacturing
sector because of rising education and engineering skill levels; and sustained growth of the
consumer market driven by a rapidly growing middle class.[239] The World Bank cautions
that, for India to achieve its economic potential, it must continue to focus on public sector
reform, transport infrastructure, agricultural and rural development, removal of labour
regulations, education, energy security, and public health and nutrition.[240]
In 2016, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) released Top 10 cheapest cities in the world
which 4 of it were from India: Bangalore (2nd), Mumbai (3rd), Chennai (6th) and New Delhi
(8th) based on the cost of 160 products and services.[241]

Sectors
India's telecommunication industry, the world's fastest-growing, added 227 million
subscribers during the period 201011,[242] and after the first quarter of 2013, India
surpassed Japan to become the third largest smartphone market in the world after China and
the US[243]
Its automotive industry, the world's second fastest growing, increased domestic sales by
26% during 200910,[244] and exports by 36% during 200809.[245] India's capacity to
generate electrical power is 250 gigawatts, of which 8% is renewable. At the end of 2011,
the Indian IT industry employed 2.8 million professionals, generated revenues close to
US$100 billion equalling 7.5% of Indian GDP and contributed 26% of India's merchandise

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exports.[246]

A feeder ship in Diamond


Harbour, West Bengal.
International trade accounted for
14% of India's GDP in 1988, 24%
in 1998, and 53% in 2008.

The pharmaceutical industry in India is among the


significant emerging markets for global pharma industry.
The Indian pharmaceutical market is expected to reach
$48.5 billion by 2020. India's R & D spending constitutes
60% of the biopharmaceutical industry.[247][248] India is
among the top 12 biotech destinations of the world.
[249][250] The Indian biotech industry grew by 15.1% in
201213, increasing its revenues from 204.4 Billion INR
(Indian Rupees) to 235.24 Billion INR (3.94 B US$ exchange rate June 2013: 1 US$ approx. 60 INR).[251]
Although hardly 2% of Indians pay income taxes.[252]

Poverty
Despite impressive economic growth during recent decades, India continues to face socioeconomic challenges. India contains the largest concentration of people living below the
World Bank's international poverty line of US$1.25 per day,[253] the proportion having
decreased from 60% in 1981 to 42% in 2005, and 25% in 2011.[254] 30.7% of India's
children under the age of five are underweight.[255] According to a Food and Agriculture
Organization report in 2015, 15% of Indian population is undernourished.[256][257] The
Mid-Day Meal Scheme attempts to lower these rates.[258] Since 1991, economic inequality
between India's states has consistently grown: the per-capita net state domestic product of
the richest states in 2007 was 3.2 times that of the poorest.[259] Corruption in India is
perceived to have increased significantly,[260] with one report estimating the illegal capital
flows since independence to be US$462 billion.[261]
India has the highest number of people living in conditions of slavery, 18 million, most of
whom are in bonded labour.[262] India has the largest number of child labourers under the
age of 14 in the world with an estimated 12.6 million children engaged in hazardous
occupations.[263][264][265]

Demographics
With 1,210,193,422 residents reported in the 2011 provisional census report,[266] India is the
world's second-most populous country. Its population grew by 17.64% during
20012011,[267] compared to 21.54% growth in the previous decade (19912001).[267] The
human sex ratio, according to the 2011 census, is 940 females per 1,000 males.[266] The
median age was 24.9 in the 2001 census.[214] The first post-colonial census, conducted in
1951, counted 361.1 million people.[268] Medical advances made in the last 50 years as well
as increased agricultural productivity brought about by the "Green Revolution" have caused
India's population to grow rapidly.[269] India continues to face several public health-related
challenges.[270][271]
Life expectancy in India is at 68 years with life expectancy for women being 69.6 years and
for men being 67.3.[272] There are around 50 physicians per 100,000 Indians.[273] The number
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of Indians living in urban


areas has grown by 31.2%
between 1991 and 2001.[274]
Yet, in 2001, over 70% lived
in rural areas.[275][276] The
level of urbanisation
increased from 27.81% in
Women in Kargil, Jammu
2001 Census to 31.16% in
and Kashmir
2011 Census. The slowing
down of the overall growth
rate of population was due to the sharp decline in the
growth rate in rural areas since 1991.[277] According to
the 2011 census, there are 53 million-plus cities in India;
A population density and Indian
among them Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad,
Railways connectivity map. The
Chennai, Ahmedabad, and Kolkata, in decreasing order
already densely settled
by population.[278] The literacy rate in 2011 was 74.04%:
Indo-Gangetic Plain is the main
65.46% among females and 82.14% among males.[279]
driver of Indian population
The rural urban literacy gap which was 21.2 percentage
growth.
points in 2001, dropped to 16.1 percentage points in
2011. The improvement in literacy rate in rural area is two
times that in urban areas.[277] Kerala is the most literate state with 93.91% literacy; while
Bihar the least with 63.82%.[279]
India is home to two major language families: Indo-Aryan (spoken by about 74% of the
population) and Dravidian (24%). Other languages spoken in India come from the
Austroasiatic and Sino-Tibetan language families. India has no national language.[280] Hindi,
with the largest number of speakers, is the ocial language of the government.[281][282]
English is used extensively in business and administration and has the status of a "subsidiary
ocial language";[6] it is important in education, especially as a medium of higher education.
Each state and union territory has one or more ocial languages, and the constitution
recognises in particular 22 "scheduled languages". The Constitution of India recognises 212
scheduled tribal groups which together constitute about 7.5% of the country's
population.[283] The 2011 census reported[284] that Hinduism (79.8% of the population) is the
largest religion in India, followed by Islam (14.23%). Other religions or none (5.97% of the
population) include Christianity (2.30%), Sikhism (1.72%), Buddhism (0.70%), Jainism,
Judaism, Zoroastrianism, and the Bah' Faith.[285] India has the world's largest Hindu, Sikh,
Jain, Zoroastrian, and Bah' populations, and has the third-largest Muslim population and
the largest Muslim population for a non-Muslim majority country.[286][287]

Culture
Indian cultural history spans more than 4,500 years.[288] During the Vedic period (c. 1700
500 BCE), the foundations of Hindu philosophy, mythology, theology and literature were laid,
and many beliefs and practices which still exist today, such as dhrma, krma, yga, and
moka, were established.[26] India is notable for its religious diversity, with Hinduism,
Buddhism, Sikhism, Islam, Christianity, and Jainism among the nation's major religions.[289]
The predominant religion, Hinduism, has been shaped by various historical schools of
thought, including those of the Upanishads,[290] the Yoga Sutras, the Bhakti movement,[289]
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and by Buddhist philosophy.[291]

Art and architecture


Much of Indian architecture, including the Taj Mahal,
other works of Mughal architecture, and South Indian
architecture, blends ancient local traditions with imported
styles.[292] Vernacular architecture is also highly regional
in it flavours. Vastu shastra, literally "science of
A Warli tribal painting by Jivya
construction" or "architecture" and ascribed to Mamuni
[293]
Soma Mashe from Thane,
Mayan,
explores how the laws of nature aect human
Maharashtra
dwellings;[294] it employs precise geometry and
directional alignments to reflect perceived cosmic
constructs.[295] As applied in Hindu temple architecture, it is influenced by the Shilpa
Shastras, a series of foundational texts whose basic mythological form is the Vastu-Purusha
mandala, a square that embodied the "absolute".[296] The Taj Mahal, built in Agra between
1631 and 1648 by orders of Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife, has been described
in the UNESCO World Heritage List as "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the
universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage".[297] Indo-Saracenic Revival
architecture, developed by the British in the late 19th century, drew on Indo-Islamic
architecture.[298]

Literature
The earliest literary writings in India, composed between 1700 BCE and 1200 CE, were in the
Sanskrit language.[299][300] Prominent works of this Sanskrit literature include epics such as
the Mahbhrata and the Ramayana, the dramas of Klidsa such as the
Abhijnakuntalam (The Recognition of akuntal), and poetry such as the Mahkvya.
[301][302][303] Kamasutra, the famous book about sexual intercourse also originated in India.
Developed between 600 BCE and 300 CE in South India, the Sangam literature, consisting of
2,381 poems, is regarded as a predecessor of Tamil literature.[304][305][306][307] From the 14th
to the 18th centuries, India's literary traditions went through a period of drastic change
because of the emergence of devotional poets such as Kabr, Tulsds, and Guru Nnak. This
period was characterised by a varied and wide spectrum of thought and expression; as a
consequence, medieval Indian literary works diered significantly from classical
traditions.[308] In the 19th century, Indian writers took a new interest in social questions and
psychological descriptions. In the 20th century, Indian literature was influenced by the works
of Bengali poet and novelist Rabindranath Tagore.[309]

Performing arts
Indian music ranges over various traditions and regional styles. Classical music
encompasses two genres and their various folk oshoots: the northern Hindustani and
southern Carnatic schools.[310] Regionalised popular forms include filmi and folk music; the
syncretic tradition of the bauls is a well-known form of the latter. Indian dance also features
diverse folk and classical forms. Among the better-known folk dances are the bhangra of
Punjab, the bihu of Assam, the chhau of Odisha, West Bengal and Jharkhand, garba and
dandiya of Gujarat, ghoomar of Rajasthan, and the lavani of Maharashtra. Eight dance forms,

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Friday evening qawwali at Dargah


Salim Chishti in Fatehpur Sikri,
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many with narrative forms and mythological elements,


have been accorded classical dance status by India's
National Academy of Music, Dance, and Drama. These
are: bharatanatyam of the state of Tamil Nadu, kathak of
Uttar Pradesh, kathakali and mohiniyattam of Kerala,
kuchipudi of Andhra Pradesh, manipuri of Manipur, odissi
of Odisha, and the sattriya of Assam.[311] Theatre in India
melds music, dance, and improvised or written
dialogue.[312] Often based on Hindu mythology, but also
borrowing from medieval romances or social and political
events, Indian theatre includes the bhavai of Gujarat, the
jatra of West Bengal, the nautanki and ramlila of North
India, tamasha of Maharashtra, burrakatha of Andhra
Pradesh, terukkuttu of Tamil Nadu, and the yakshagana of

Karnataka.[313]

Motion pictures, television


The Indian film industry produces the world's most-watched cinema.[314] Established
regional cinematic traditions exist in the Assamese, Bengali, Bhojpuri, Hindi, Kannada,
Malayalam, Punjabi, Gujarati, Marathi, Odia, Tamil, and Telugu languages.[315] South Indian
cinema attracts more than 75% of national film revenue.[316]
Television broadcasting began in India in 1959 as a state-run medium of communication, and
had slow expansion for more than two decades.[317][318] The state monopoly on television
broadcast ended in the 1990s and, since then, satellite channels have increasingly shaped
popular culture of Indian society.[319] Today, television is the most penetrative media in India;
industry estimates indicate that as of 2012 there are over 554 million TV consumers, 462
million with satellite and/or cable connections, compared to other forms of mass media such
as press (350 million), radio (156 million) or internet (37 million).[320]

Society
Traditional Indian society is sometimes defined by social hierarchy. The Indian caste system
embodies much of the social stratification and many of the social restrictions found in the
Indian subcontinent. Social classes are defined by thousands of endogamous hereditary
groups, often termed as jtis, or "castes".[321] India declared untouchability to be illegal[322]
in 1947 and has since enacted other anti-discriminatory laws and social welfare initiatives. At
the workplace in urban India and in international or leading Indian companies, the caste
related identification has pretty much lost its importance.[323][324]
Family values are important in the Indian tradition, and multi-generational patriarchal joint
families have been the norm in India, though nuclear families are becoming common in urban
areas.[325] An overwhelming majority of Indians, with their consent, have their marriages
arranged by their parents or other family members.[326] Marriage is thought to be for life,[326]
and the divorce rate is extremely low.[327] As of 2001, just 1.6 percent of Indian women were
divorced but this figure was rising due to their education and economic independence.[327]
Child marriages are common, especially in rural areas; many women wed before reaching 18,

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which is their legal marriageable age.[328] Female


infanticide and female foeticide in the country have
caused a discrepancy in the sex ratio, as of 2005 it was
estimated that there were 50 million more males than
females in the nation.[329][330] However the recent report
from 2011 shown improvement among the gender
ratio.[331] The payment of dowry, although illegal, remains
widespread across class lines.[332] Deaths resulting from
dowry, mostly from bride burning, are on the rise.[333]
Many Indian festivals are religious in origin. The best
known include Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi, Thai Pongal,
Holi, Durga Puja, Eid ul-Fitr, Bakr-Id, Christmas, and
Vaisakhi.[334][335] India has three national holidays which
are observed in all states and union territories Republic
Day, Independence Day and Gandhi Jayanti. Other sets
of holidays, varying between nine and twelve, are
ocially observed in individual states.

Clothing

Four activities of a Hindu priest,


clockwise from top left: (1)
preparing the deity for public
worship; (2) making sandlewood
paste for ritual blessing; (3)
successively dripping the altar
with milk, honey, dry fruit,
yoghurt, and bananas to make
ambrosia; (4) distributing the
prasad, food viewed as blessed
by the deity, to the worshipers.

Cotton was domesticated in India by 4000 BCE.


Traditional Indian dress varies in colour and style across
regions and depends on various factors, including
climate and faith. Popular styles of dress include draped
garments such as the sari for women and the dhoti or
lungi for men. Stitched clothes, such as the shalwar
kameez for women and kurtapyjama combinations or
European-style trousers and shirts for men, are also
popular.[336] Use of delicate jewellery, modelled on real
flowers worn in ancient India, is part of a tradition dating back some 5,000 years; gemstones
are also worn in India as talismans.[337]

Sports
In India, several traditional indigenous sports remain fairly popular, such as kabaddi, kho kho,
pehlwani and gilli-danda. Some of the earliest forms of Asian martial arts, such as
kalarippayattu, musti yuddha, silambam, and marma adi, originated in India. Chess,
commonly held to have originated in India as chaturaga, is regaining widespread popularity
with the rise in the number of Indian grandmasters.[338][339] Pachisi, from which parcheesi
derives, was played on a giant marble court by Akbar.[340]
The improved results garnered by the Indian Davis Cup team and other Indian tennis players
in the early 2010s have made tennis increasingly popular in the country.[341] India has a
comparatively strong presence in shooting sports, and has won several medals at the
Olympics, the World Shooting Championships, and the Commonwealth Games.[342][343]
Other sports in which Indians have succeeded internationally include badminton[344] (Saina
Nehwal is the top ranked female badminton player in the world), boxing,[345] and
wrestling.[346] Football is popular in West Bengal, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and the north21 of 40

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eastern states.[347] India is scheduled to host the 2017 FIFA


U-17 World Cup.[348]
Field hockey in India is administered by Hockey India. The
Indian national hockey team won the 1975 Hockey World
Cup and have, as of 2012, taken eight gold, one silver, and
two bronze Olympic medals, making it the sport's most
successful team in the Olympics.
India has also played a major role in popularising cricket.
Thus, cricket is, by far, the most popular sport in India. The
Indian chess grandmaster and
Indian national cricket team won the 1983 and 2011 Cricket
former world champion
World Cup events, the 2007 ICC World Twenty20, shared
Vishwanathan Anand
the 2002 ICC Champions Trophy with Sri Lanka, and won
competes at a chess
2013 ICC Champions Trophy. Cricket in India is
tournament in 2005. Chess is
administered by the Board of Control for Cricket in India
commonly believed to have
(BCCI); the Ranji Trophy, the Duleep Trophy, the Deodhar
originated in India in the 5th
Trophy, the Irani Trophy, and the NKP Salve Challenger
century CE.
Trophy are domestic competitions. The BCCI is also
responsible for conducting an annual Twenty20 competition
known as the Indian Premier League.
India has hosted or co-hosted several international sporting events: the 1951 and 1982 Asian
Games; the 1987, 1996, and 2011 Cricket World Cup tournaments; the 2003 Afro-Asian
Games; the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy; the 2010 Hockey World Cup; and the 2010
Commonwealth Games. Major international sporting events held annually in India include the
Chennai Open, the Mumbai Marathon, the Delhi Half Marathon, and the Indian Masters. The
first Indian Grand Prix featured in late 2011 but has been discontinued from the F1 season
calendar since 2014.[349]
India has traditionally been the dominant country at the South Asian Games. An example of
this dominance is the basketball competition where Team India won three out of four
tournaments to date.[350] The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and the Arjuna Award are the highest
forms of government recognition for athletic achievement; the Dronacharya Award is
awarded for excellence in coaching.

See also
Notes
a. "[...] Jana Gana Mana is the National Anthem of India, subject to such alterations in the words as
the Government may authorise as occasion arises; and the song Vande Mataram, which has
played a historic part in the struggle for Indian freedom, shall be honoured equally with Jana
Gana Mana and shall have equal status with it." (Constituent Assembly of India 1950).
b. "The country's exact size is subject to debate because some borders are disputed. The Indian
government lists the total area as 3,287,260km2 (1,269,220sqmi) and the total land area as
3,060,500km2 (1,181,700sqmi); the United Nations lists the total area as 3,287,263km2
(1,269,219sqmi) and total land area as 2,973,190km2 (1,147,960sqmi)." (Library of Congress
2004).
c. See also: Ocial names of India

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d. The Government of India regards Afghanistan as a bordering country, as it considers all of


Kashmir to be part of India. However, this is disputed, and the region bordering Afghanistan is
administered by Pakistan. Source: "Ministry of Home Aairs (Department of Border
Management)" (PDF). Retrieved 1 September 2008.
e. The northernmost point under Indian control is the disputed Siachen Glacier in Jammu and
Kashmir; however, the Government of India regards the entire region of the former princely state
of Jammu and Kashmir, including the Gilgit-Baltistan administered by Pakistan, to be its territory.
It therefore assigns the longitude 37 6' to its northernmost point.
1. Hindi in the Devanagari script is the ocial language of the Union. English is an additional
language for government work.[6][1][7]

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External links
National Portal (http://india.gov.in/) of the Government of India
India (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/in.html) entry
at The World Factbook

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India - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/India

India (https://www.dmoz.org/Regional/Asia/India) at DMOZ


India profile (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-12557384) from the BBC
News
India (http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/285248/India) Encyclopdia
Britannica entry
India (http://ucblibraries.colorado.edu/govpubs/for/india.htm) at the UCB Government
Information Library
Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=India&oldid=728023458"
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