The Dravidians are thought to be the first group of people to inhabit the Indus River Valley as early as 2,500 BC. These people had a culture based mainly on agriculture which they were able to trade successfully. However, this culture began to deteriorate, and while historians are not entirely sure why, many suggest ecological changes which made it harder to farm as the reason. Following the Dravidians came the Aryans from Central Asia around 1500 BC.
Medieval India was characterized by frequent invasions and the establishment of many kingdoms, however, no ruler was able to create an empire and their control was contained to core regions. The Gupta Empire, formed in the fourth century, collapsed by the sixth century. The Huns came from Central Asia but their rule only lasted for around thirty years. By the eighth century India was split into several kingdoms who were frequently at war with each other.
The Mughal Empire was an important time in India’s history. It was founded by Babur, a descendant of Genghis Kahn, when he first invaded in 1525. The empire reached its peak during the seventeenth century when it oversaw the building of the Taj Mahal. It took 20,000 craftsmen and laborers 22 years (1631-1653) to build the great Taj Mahal, which is still to this day one of India’s most iconic images. The seventeenth century also saw a wave of European arrivals. The English East India Company was established in 1600 followed by a trading base in 1639. A Persian attack on the Mughal Empire in 1739 left it incredibly weak, allowing the British to assert their influence.
The geography of India is extremely diverse, with landscape ranging from snow-capped mountain ranges to deserts, plains, hills and plateaus. India comprises most of the Indian subcontinent situated on the Indian Plate, the northerly portion of the Indo-Australian Plate.
India – Country Quick-facts
Area: 3,287,263 square kilometers (1,269,219 sq mi)
Capital: New Delhi
Population: 1.37 billion based on the most recent UN data
Population Density: 460 per Km2 (1,190 people per mi2)
Country Phone Code:+91
Government: Constitutional Republic
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Currency: Indian Rupees
Drives on: Left
Location: India lies on the Indian Plate, the northern portion of the Indo-Australian Plate, whose continental crust forms the Indian subcontinent. The country is situated north of the equator between 8°04′ to 37°06′ north latitude and 68°07′ to 97°25′ east longitude
Official Language: Hindi, English
Traveling to India
With snowy mountains, expansive deserts, glittering cities, and pristine beaches, India is one of the world’s most beautiful countries. India is a soulful, soul-stirring country, overflowing with cultural treasures, spiritual wonder, and natural beauty. A wondrous land of crowded megacities, Himalayan monasteries, and ancient fishing villages, India sweeps you up in a confounding and beautiful tide of humanity. Float along Kerala’s famous backwaters, take a camel ride through Rajasthan, or find peace at the holy Ganges. And whether you drink chai (tea) from the source in Munnar, or savor Marwari cuisine in Jaipur, the land of spices and its remarkable people will linger long in your memory.
Getting a Visa for India
The e-Visa was launched in October 2014 by the Indian Government. Citizens from eligible countries may apply online to receive a multiple-entry Electronic Visa before traveling to India. The duration of stay may vary between 60 to 180 days depending on the Visa type and nationality.
The Best Time to Visit India
India’s weather is extremely varied depending on which part of the country you are heading for. The most influential feature of India’s climate is the wet season or monsoon. This starts in the
South west at the end of May and d works its way across the country over the next month and a half. While it lasts, regular and prolonged downpours are interspersed with bursts of hot sunshine, and the humidity can be intense. By September, the monsoon has largely receded from the north, but it takes another couple of months before the clouds disappear altogether fin the far south. By December, however, most India enjoys clear skies and relatively cool temperatures. Temperatures peak in May and early June. This is when some locals retreat to the hill stations on higher ground.
The best time, therefore, is during the cool, dry season between October and March in the north and between January and March in the south. In the Himalayas, visits are possible year-round although cold at night in the winter.
Currency of India
The Indian Rupee (International Currency Code: INR) is the official currency in India. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) controls the issue of the currency. Rs. is the common symbol for INR. One Rupee is equal to 100 paise.