India, the land of Spiritual awakening and self discovery has a very ancient history dating back to 5000 years. It is one of the worlds largest democracy, The world's seventh largest country in area and India ranks second only to China among the world's most populous countries.
India is home to several major religions and the quest for her riches had led to the discovery of America by the European explorers. India is a Sovereign, Secular, Socialist Republic consisting of 28 states and 7 union territories. She is surrounded by the Arabian Sea on the west, the Indian Ocean in the South and the Bay of Bengal on her East. India occupies more than 3 million sq km (1 million sq mi), encompassing a varied landscape rich in natural resources.
The Indian Peninsula forms a rough triangle framed on the north by the world's highest mountains, the Himalayas, and on the east, south, and west by oceans. Its topography varies from the barren dunes of the Thar desert to the dense tropical forests of rain-drenched Assam state. Much of India, however, consists of fertile river plains and high plateaus. Several major rivers, including the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Indus, flow through India. Arising in the northern mountains and carrying rich alluvial soil to the plains below, these mighty rivers have supported agriculture-based civilizations for thousands of years.
The length of India from north to south is 3,050 km (1,900 mi); from east to west it is 2,950 km (1,830 mi). India also has two island chains, each forming its own union territory. The Andaman and Nicobar island chain lies east of the mainland between the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. The Lakshadweep island group is located off India's southwest coast.
Excluding the portions of Jammu and Kashmir claimed by India but occupied by Pakistan and China, India has an area of 3,165,596 sq km (1,222,243 sq mi). India's land frontier-the length of its border with other countries-measures more than 15,200 km (9,400 mi). It also has 7,600 km (4,700 mi) of coastline, including the island territories.
Climate varies from temperate in the North to tropical monsoon. in the South. She is rich natural resources, flora and fauna too. Her inhabitants speak 24 languages each spoken by a million or more persons; numerous other languages and dialects exists but the predominant among them is Hindi, spoken by 30% of the population mostly in the North.
The level of education, communications and transportation is well developed when compared to other countries in the South Asia region. India accounts for nearly 10 million internet users and is slated to grow 25 million by the year 2007.
Having a diverse culture , India is known for its unity in diversity. 7000 kms of her shoreline are laden with maritime ports chief among them are Mumbai ( Bombay), Kochi (Cochin), Chennai ( Madras) and Kolkotta (Calcutta).