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|India has the second largest population on
earth, just behind China. It represents just over 15% of the world's population.
Population: 930 million people
Geographic size: 1.2 million square miles
Capital: New Delhi
Major cities and population: New Delhi, Delhi (7 million), Bombay (13 million), Calcutta (11 million), Madras (6 million), Bangalore and Kanpur
|India is basically a
peninsula, with the Arabian Sea on the west, the Bay of
Bengal on the east, and the Indian Ocean to the south.
The Himalayan Mountains separate India from much of the rest of Asia and China. The Himalayas have many of the tallest mountains in the world. The tallest mountain in India is the Kanchenjunga at 28, 208 feet.
Just south of the Himalayas is the Indo-Gangetic Plain which lies between the Indus and Ganges rivers. On the north-western end of India is the Thar desert. Most of southern India is the Deccan Plateau, which is mostly rolling hills with many rivers. The plateau is separated from the northern plain by the Vindhya mountains. The Eastern and Western Ghats are coastal mountains on either side of the plateau.
|India has many interesting
architectural designs. The Taj Mahal (shown above to the
right) was built between 1632 and 1653 by the Mughal
Empire. It was the emperor Shah Jahan's monument to his
wife Mumtaz Mahal.
Traditional Indian art includes a variety of sculpted images on temples and other buildings. Art was a major component of the architectural design.
government controls most major industries and sets
production guidelines. Agriculture is still the largest
industry, involving about two thirds of the population.
Major crops include rice, cotton, jute, wheat, barley,
linseed, tea, coffee and rubber. Poultry and sheep are
the main sources of meat.
India also has a large textile industry. Manufacturing such as machinery and transportation equipment have become major industries. Electronics and engineering are emerging new industries.
civilization dates back to about 4,000 BC, although most
early settlements appear to start about 2,000 BC. Early
India was not a single nation, but many independent
kingdoms. The Aryans ruled northern India from 2,000 BC
to 1000 BC. The Aryan philosophy eventually evolved into
the Hindu religion. The Aryan social system created the
caste system in which people became members of a rigid
social structure. The caste system preserved strong
social divisions and slavery. The Hindu religion and
priests helped to enforce the caste system. In 600 B.C.,
Magedha was the major Aryan state with religious reforms
founding Buddism and Jainism.
In the late 7th century A.D., Muslims began to invade India. By the 11th century, the Muslims took control of India, but the Muslim and Hindu religions continued to clash.
In the early 1500s, the Mughal Empire emerged to control India. In the 1600s, the Mughals established trading with the Britain and the France. When the Mughal empire began to decline, in the 1700s, the British and French fought to gain power. In 1858, Britain gained control of India and ruled for about 100 years. During this time, there were constant demands for India's independence. In 1947, after World War II had ended, Britain could no longer afford India. India became an independent country.
|India with its 930 million people has over 15% of the world's population living in only 2% of the world's space. This makes India a very densely populated country. Although India has many large cities, less than 30% of the population live in cities.|
|The caste system still controls India's society. A person's social level is determined by birth, such as rulers, merchants, artisans and servants. There are also many people who fall outside of the caste system. These outcasts have no social or economic role. Despite India's growing economy, its large population keeps most people below poverty levels.|
|Over 80% of the Indian population are Hindu. Muslims represent about 10%, with other religions such as Buddism and Christianity making up the rest.|
especially in the Himalayas, has seasonal temperatures
with cool winters. Most of southern India, particularly
inland, is hot and dry. Temperatures can reach as high as
120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Monsoons during June through September produce severe storms with rain. The western and north-eastern coasts hit by monsoons get considerable rain, some areas getting over 100 inches per year.