Drawing any conclusions about India as a country can be a challenge as it is a large country with a massive population. In addition it is one of the most diverse countries in the world with a wide variety of religions and cultures being represented. As a result there tends to be a lot of regional variation making the different places that you visit very different from each other in the character.
India is the seventh largest country in the world by area and the second largest by population. It makes up the Indian subcontinent which gives it four very distinct geographic areas. Most of the people live on the Ganges plain as this is where the major rivers are located. The highlands boasts a much more temperate climate than the tropical plains which gives it a completely different feel. There is also a mountain region and even a desert. The result is that there are also large variations in climate although most of the country is tropical in nature.
As one of the oldest civilizations in the world India has a very distinct culture. In large part this is reflected in the different religions of the country however much of the mythology applies to the country as a whole. This mythology is told in the epics which are verses that tell of the ancient inhabitants. Much of India's art is drawn from characters and stories in the epics.
Although it is one of the oldest civilizations in the world much of India's recent history has been dominated by British rule. This has had a major impact on the culture and the architecture that you will see in India. Since gaining its independence in 1947 India has struggled to see its economy grow and as a result many people lived in poverty. This has started to change as the country currently has one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
One of the major attractions for people when they visit India is the food, although it also scares off a lot of people. There is a huge amount of regional variation but the one thing that almost all Indian food has in common is the heavy use of spices. That being said you should be able to find something that you like even if you don't like to eat spicy foods.
As one of the largest countries in the world India has some issues that it has to deal with. The biggest problem is the urban sprawl. As more and more people move to the cities it is getting harder to fit them all in. several of the largest cities in the world are located in India and they are growing quite rapidly as people move from the rural areas in search of better jobs. The other issue is pollution which is largely the result of the massive number of cars on the road that are necessary to allow people to get around.
India as Travel Destination
- India as a country
- India: Geography & climate
- India: Culture & religion
- Where to stay in India
- What to eat in India
- General advice on traveling