The subcontinent of India lies in south Asia, between Pakistan, China, and Nepal. To the north, it is bordered by the world’s highest mountain chain, where foothill valleys cover the northernmost of the country’s 26 states. Further south, plateaus, tropical rain forests and sandy deserts are bordered by palm fringed beaches.
Side by side with the country’s staggering topographical variations is its cultural diversity, the result of the coexistence of a number of religions as well as local tradition. Thus, the towering temples of south India, easily identifiable by their ornately sculptured surface, are associated with a great many crafts and performing arts of the region.
In the desert of Kutch, Gujarat, on the other hand, a scattering of villages pit themselves against the awesome forces of nature, resulting in Spartan lifestyles made vibrant by a profusion of jewelry and ornamental embroidery used to adorn apparel and household linen. In the extreme north is the high altitude desert of Ladakh. Local culture is visibly shaped by the faith – Buddhism -as well as by the harsh terrain. Yet another facet of Indian culture is observed in the colorful tribal lifestyles of the northeastern states of Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura, and Manipur with their folk culture.
In the central Indian states of Orissa and Madhya Pradesh, tribal village life has resulted in a variety of artistically executed handicrafts.
India’s mountains provide heli-skiing, river running, mountaineering and trekking. Its beaches provide lazy sun-bathing as well as windsurfing and snorkeling, and its jungles provide shooting wildlife -with a camera.
India’s history goes back to 3,200 BC when Hinduism was first founded. Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism. Judaism. Zoroastrianism, Christianity, and Islam all exist within the country today. As a consequence of India’s size, the history of the country has seldom been the same for two adjoining territories, and its great natural wealth has lured a succession of traders and foreign influences to it, each having left their imprint in the country, however faint or localized. Thus, Chinese fishing nets in Kerala are a throwback to that country’s ancient maritime trade, while in the north, terra-cotta figurines of the centuries BC bear distinctly Greek traces.
Modern India is home alike to the tribal with his anachronistic lifestyle and to the sophisticated urban jet-setter. It is a land where temple elephants exist amicably with the microchip. Its ancient monuments are the backdrop for the world’s largest democracy where atomic energy is generated and industrial development has brought the country within the world’s top ten nations. Today, fishermen along the country’s coastline fashion simple fishing boats in a centuries-old tradition while, a few miles away. motor vehicles glide off conveyor belts in state-of-the-art factories.
India is a Parliamentary Democracy modeled on the British Westminster system. The President, indirectly elected, is the Head of State, but his or her position, while not entirely ceremonial, has limited powers. In practice, the Prime Minister is seen to wield the most authority and runs the government with her/his cabinet. The Parliament is bicameral. The Lok Sabha, the lower house, is directly elected by adult franchise, while the Rajya Sabha, or the upper house, is indirectly elected. The Lok Sabha is the more powerful of the two, primarily because a majority in the Lok Sabha is required to form a government and pass budgets. India has a vast number of political parties, and in recent times, no party has secured a majority in the Lok Sabha, leading to unstable governments and raucous politics. However, unlike neighboring Pakistan, the transition of power has always been peaceful and always constitutional. India has a strong and independent judiciary and a free press.
India is also the Federal Republic, divided into states and union territories. Each of these has their own legislatures, with government run by a chief minister and a cabinet.
Street demonstrations and political agitations occur, as they do in any democracy, though there is also occasional low-level violence. A visitor has a vanishingly small chance of getting caught in those.
India is equivalent to one-third of U.S.in the area. India shares its borders with its neighboring countries, viz., China in the northeastern part, Pakistan on the western, Nepal and Bhutan on the northern, and Burma and Bangladesh on the eastern part.
India’s diverse geography can be classified on the basis of three different geographic sections: the mountainous Himalayas in the northern region, that include some of the topmost mountain ranges in the world, the Gangetic Plain, where most of India’s extensive agriculture is being done and the plateau zone in the southern and central part. India’s three major rivers, ‘the trio’ i.e. the Ganges, the Indus, and the Brahmaputra-have widespread deltas and arises in the Himalayan mountains. The Himalayas split India from remaining Asia and China. The Himalayan Mountains have numerous lofty peaks around the world. The tallest mountain range in India is the Kanchenjunga with a height of 28, 208 feet. Commencing from north to south India pulls out to 2000 miles i.e., 3200 kilometers. Owing to its size, this land assures a bit for everybody. The ranges of mountains and wildlife sanctuaries offer abundant opportunities for eco-friendly tourism and trekking.
Northern India is the largest region which commences from Jammu and Kashmir, with the landscape changing from dry mountains in the distant north to the lake state and jungle close to Srinagar and Jammu. Heading to the southern region besides the river Indus, the North turns out to be smooth and more welcoming, extending into the productive plains of Punjab towards West and the Himalayan peaks of Uttar Pradesh and the Ganges river basin towards Eastern part. Confined among these two states is Delhi, the capital city.
West India constitutes states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, and part of the gigantic central state of Madhya Pradesh. Widening from Gujarat’s cape downward to Goa, the west seashore is crumpled with a number of India’s prominent beaches. The terrain beside the seashores is typically abundant with rainforests. The Western Ghats splits the grassy coast from the Vindhya Mountains and the arid Deccan plateau. Politically, India is distributed into 28 states; six union territories and a national capital region.
India has many fascinating architectural monuments. For example, The Taj Mahal was constructed during the Mughal kingdom. It was the royal leader Shah Jahan’s tribute to his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. The Tajmahal is referred to as a symbol of love. Other conventional Indian art comprises a range of sculptures, paintings, images on temples and other buildings.
India’s climate is also diverse in nature but is extreme in the southern part and primarily moderate in the northern region. In general, the country also has a monsoon spells from June to September in its southern region.
Climate and Weather in India
Seasons of India
Weather in India is divided into three distinct seasons – winter, summer, and the monsoon. Generally, the best time to visit India is during the winter, when the weather in most places is relatively cool and pleasant.
Summer Season (From March to May)
While the summer can be very uncomfortable in most parts of India, it’s the perfect time for visiting the mountains and hill stations. If you want to see wildlife and spotting tigers in their natural environment, the summer is also the best time to visit India’s national parks as all the animals come out of the thickets in search for water in the extremely hot environment.Monsoon Season (From June to October)
In India, there are two types of monsoons – the southwest monsoon and the northeast monsoon. The southwest monsoon, which is the main monsoon, comes in from the sea and starts making its way up India’s west coast in early June. By mid-July, most of the country is covered in rain. This gradually starts clearing from most places in northwest India by October.
The northeast monsoon affects India’s east coast during November and December. It’s a short but intense monsoon. The states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala receive most of their rainfall from the northeast monsoon, while the rest of the country receives most of its rainfall from the southwest monsoon.
During the monsoon, India doesn’t receive rain all the time, although it usually rains for a heavy period every day, followed by pleasant sunshine. The rain brings some relief from the scorching heat. Conditions become very humid while the temperature still remains quite hot.
It is difficult to travel throughout most of India during monsoon time as the rain often disrupts transport services. However, it is the best time to visit Ladakh in the far north. This is one of the tourist destinations for monsoon travel in India.
Winter Season (From November to February)
Once the monsoons subside, average temperatures gradually fall across India. As the Sun’s vertical rays move south of the equator, most of the country experiences moderately cool weather. December and January are the coldest months, with mean temperatures of 10–15 °C (50–59 °F) in Indian Himalayas. Mean temperatures are higher in the east and south, where they reach 20–25 °C (68–77 °F). In the south, it never gets cold.
The three Himalayan states Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand receives heavy snowfall in winter. In Jammu and Kashmir, blizzards occur regularly, disrupting travel and other activities. However, in the plains, temperatures occasionally fall below freezing, though never for more than one or two days. Frost sometimes occurs, but the hallmark of the season is the notorious fog, which frequently disrupts daily life. Fog grows thick enough to hinder visibility and disrupt air travel 15–20 days annually. The two Himalayan states in the east, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, receive substantial snowfall.
In winter season it is the time to visit the beaches of India. India’s far south is also best enjoyed in winter, with December to February being the only really good months to travel there. The rest of the time it is either uncomfortably hot and humid, or wet. It is also a good idea to travel to the desert state of Rajasthan during the winter, to avoid the high temperature in summer.