Long voyages, great lies.
— Italian proverb




The Indus Valley civilization, one of the world's oldest, flourished during the 3rd and 2nd millennia B.C. and extended into northwestern India. Aryan tribes from the northwest infiltrated onto the Indian subcontinent about 1500 B.C.; their merger with the earlier Dravidian inhabitants created the classical Indian culture. The Maurya Empire of the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C. - which reached its zenith under ASHOKA - united much of South Asia. The Golden Age ushered in by the Gupta dynasty (4th to 6th centuries A.D.) saw a flowering of Indian science, art, and culture. Islam spread across the subcontinent over a period of 700 years. In the 10th and 11th centuries, Turks and Afghans invaded India and established the Delhi Sultanate. In the early 16th century, the Emperor BABUR established the Mughal Dynasty which ruled India for more than three centuries. European explorers began establishing footholds in India during the 16th century. By the 19th century, Great Britain had become the dominant political power on the subcontinent. The British Indian Army played a vital role in both World Wars. Nonviolent resistance to British rule, led by Mohandas GANDHI and Jawaharlal NEHRU, eventually brought about independence in 1947. Communal violence led to the subcontinent's bloody partition, which resulted in the creation of two separate states, India and Pakistan. The two countries have fought three wars since independence, the last of which in 1971 resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh. India's nuclear weapons tests in 1998 caused Pakistan to conduct its own tests that same year. In November 2008, terrorists allegedly originating from Pakistan conducted a series of coordinated attacks in Mumbai, India's financial capital. Despite pressing problems such as significant overpopulation, environmental degradation, extensive poverty, and widespread corruption, rapid economic development is fueling India's rise on the world stage. In January 2011, India assumed a nonpermanent seat in the UN Security Council for the 2011-12 term.


India (Hindi: भारत) is the largest country in the Indian Subcontinent and shares borders with Pakistan to the west, China and Nepal to the north, Bhutan to the north-east, and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Indonesia lie to the south-east in the Indian Ocean. It is the seventh largest country in the world by area and, with over a billion people, is second only to China in population. It's an extremely diverse country, with vast differences in geography, climate, culture, language and ethnicity across its expanse, and prides itself on being the largest democracy on Earth.

Read more about India in our India travel guide »

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Featured hotels in


IndiaTrident, Gurgaon 

443 Udyog Vihar Phase V
Gurgaon 122001

Price (US$): $316 - $521 / night

Check rates »

Location. Near the airport, Trident, Gurgaon is located in Gurgaon's Udyog Vihar neighborhood and close to DLF Cyber City, Ambience Mall, and Sahara Mall. Additional points of interest include Kingdom of Dreams and Leisure Valley. Hotel Features. Dining options at Trident, Gurgaon include 3 restaurants. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves full breakfasts each morning (surcharges apply). Recreational amenities include… more »

IndiaHyatt Regency Mumbai 

Sahar Airport Road
Andheri East
Mumbai 400099

Price (US$): $141 - $363 / night

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Location. Near the airport, Hyatt Regency Mumbai is located in Mumbai's North Mumbai Business District neighborhood and close to MIDC Industrial Estate, U. S. Consulate, and Hiranandani Business Park Powai. Additional points of interest include Powai Lake and Juhu Beach. Hotel Features. Dining options at Hyatt Regency Mumbai include 2 restaurants. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves hot and cold buffet breakfasts each morning in the… more »

IndiaVivanta by Taj - Dal View, Srinagar 

Kralsangri Brein Srinagar
Srinagar 191121

Price (US$): $232 - $251 / night

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Location. Vivanta by Taj Dal View, Srinagar is located in Srinagar, close to Botanical Garden, Chashma Shahi Garden, and Royal Springs Golf Course. Nearby points of interest also include Palace of the Fairies and Mughal Gardens. Hotel Features. Dining options at Vivanta by Taj Dal View, Srinagar include 2 restaurants. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool and a fitness facility. This 5 star property has a 24… more »

IndiaJaypee Residency Manor 

Mussoorie 248122

Price (US$): $153 - $172 / night

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Location. Jaypee Residency Manor is a family friendly hotel located in central Mussoorie, close to Bhata Falls, Gun Hill, and Jharipani Falls. Additional points of interest include Municipal Garden. Hotel Features. Dining options at Jaypee Residency Manor include 3 restaurants. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves a complimentary buffet breakfast. Recreational amenities include an indoor pool, a health club, a spa tub, a sauna, and a… more »

IndiaRadisson Blu Marina Hotel Connaught Place 

G-59 Connaught Place
New Delhi 110001

Price (US$): $149 - $150 / night

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Location. Located in central New Delhi, Radisson Blu Marina Hotel Connaught Place is connected to the airport and close to Connaught Place, Parliament of India, and Secretariat Building. Additional points of interest include Presidential Palace and Red Fort. Hotel Features. Dining options at Radisson Blu Marina Hotel Connaught Place include 2 restaurants. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves a complimentary hot and cold buffet breakfast.… more »

Browse more hotels in India »


Full name
Republic of India
New Delhi

Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and Pakistan

Geographic coordinates

20 00 N, 77 00 E

Area comparative

slightly more than one-third the size of the US

Border countries

Bangladesh 4,053 km, Bhutan 605 km, Burma 1,463 km, China 3,380 km, Nepal 1,690 km, Pakistan 2,912 km


7,000 km


varies from tropical monsoon in south to temperate in north


upland plain (Deccan Plateau) in south, flat to rolling plain along the Ganges, deserts in west, Himalayas in north

Lowest point

Indian Ocean 0 m

Highest point

Kanchenjunga 8,598 m

Natural resources

coal (fourth-largest reserves in the world), iron ore, manganese, mica, bauxite, rare earth elements, titanium ore, chromite, natural gas, diamonds, petroleum, limestone, arable land


1,173,108,018 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

Indo-Aryan 72%, Dravidian 25%, Mongoloid and other 3% (2000)


Hindu 80.5%, Muslim 13.4%, Christian 2.3%, Sikh 1.9%, other 1.8%, unspecified 0.1% (2001 census)


Hindi 41%, Bengali 8.1%, Telugu 7.2%, Marathi 7%, Tamil 5.9%, Urdu 5%, Gujarati 4.5%, Kannada 3.7%, Malayalam 3.2%, Oriya 3.2%, Punjabi 2.8%, Assamese 1.3%, Maithili 1.2%, other 5.9%

Government type

federal republic


15 August 1947 (from the UK)

National holiday

Republic Day, 26 January (1950)

Chief of state

President Pratibha Devisingh PATIL (since 25 July 2007); Vice President Mohammad Hamid ANSARI (since 11 August 2007)

Head of government

Prime Minister Manmohan SINGH (since 22 May 2004)

Internet country code


Internet users

61.338 million (2009)


352 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Chennai, Jawaharal Nehru, Kandla, Kolkata (Calcutta), Mumbai (Bombay), Sikka, Vishakhapatnam

Other countries in the region