Background Interesting Facts Places of Interest Food
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 north eastern states of Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura and Manipur with their folk culture.
When one hears the word India, What may usually come to mind is a poor country with the 2nd largest population in the world, The Land of Spices, Snake Charmers, Sari Clad Women, Corrupt Politicians etc., etc.. But to me it is much, much more...I, for one, find it quite hard to describe India in a brief, simple way. Because it is much more bigger than that. I mean, how can you possibly define a country of amazing topographical variations whose rich (and one of the oldest) cultural heritage has been shaped by more than 5000 years of history. A nation where the ancient and the contemporary exist side by side. A land where more than 1 billion people have been living together inspite the fact that they wear different clothes, speak different tongues, eat different foods and have different religion and traditions.
|Population :||952 million; urban 27%.|
|Annual growth :||1.8%.|
|Ethnic groups :||Indo-Aryan 72%, Dravidian 25%, Mongoloid 2%, others.|
|Religions :||Hindu 82%, Muslim 12%, Christian 2.5%, Sikh 2%, other groups including Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, etc. 1.5%.|
|Languages :||Hindi, English, and 14 other official languages|
|Education :||Years compulsory--9 (to age 14). Literacy--48%|
|Health :||Infant mortality rate--81/1,000. Life expectancy--61 years.|
India is country with whole lot new feat and adventure to offer. Spend your vacations in India and explore the fascinating dimension encompassed by the exotic state. Retreat your eyes and senses with the enchanting splendor of the state on your vacations in India. Bet on the fact that you will not be dissapointed on your Indian vacations. Entice yourself on your Indian Vacations and make your travel to India a worthwhile experience.
There are very few cities in the world that can match the history and heritage of Agra - the city of Taj Mahal
Goa is endowed with a coastline that stretches to almost 100km. Pristine, palm fronted beaches entice tourists with their inviting azure waters.
A twinkling fairy tale Pink City in Stone, chiselled out of the desert, reflecting a spur of colour, pulsating bustle and charm of the Old World
Sprawling on the banks of the river Yamuna, Delhi, the capital of India, typifies the soul of the country
Varanasi, also known as Benaras or Kashi, the "City of Light," is the oldest living city in the world
Food customarily forms the crowning part of most festivities and celebrations. Whatever the occasion Indians eat with great gusto and are adept at finding reasons to feast and make merry. At traditional and festive meals, the thali (plate) or banana leaf is decorated with rangoli (a design drawn with white and colored powders around the edges).Below are the kind of food generally found in North, East, South and West India.
Punjabi people are robust people with robust appetites and their food is like the Punjabis themselves, simple, sizeable and hearty with no unnecessary frills or exotic accompaniments. The Punjabi tandoori cooking is celebrated as one of the most popular cuisines throughout the world. Huge earthen ovens are half buried in the ground and heated with a coal fire lit below it. Marinated meat, chicken, fish, paneer, rotis and naans of many types are cooked in this novel oven and the results are absolutely scrumptious!
Maharashtrians are by and large, meat eaters. The cuisine includes subtly flavoured vegetarian delicacies and hot, aromatic meat and fish curries. Their crunchy, crisp sweets are made mostly from rice and jaggery. The exotic 'Konkani' and 'Malwani' cuisines also have their origins in the coastal parts of this region and are sea-food based.
The cuisine of Andhra Pradesh is reputedly the spiciest and hottest of all Indian cuisine. The cuisine includes both the original Andhra cooking and the Hyderabadi cuisine with its Mughlai influence. It is the former which is red hot. The vegetables and greens are prepared with various different masalas giving the same vegetable different flavours. Traditional Andhra cuisine also has many non-vegetarian dishes which are also spicy and unique in taste.
Bengal's greatest contribution to the food heritage of India is a magnificent spectrum of sweets made from burnt milk and curd. 'Rasogullas', 'gulab jamuns', 'cham cham', 'malai sandwich', 'chena murki', 'anarkali', 'rajbhog' - the list of mouth-watering delicacies is endless. 'Mishti dhoi' or yoghurt sweetened with jaggery is a must in every Bengali home. Guests are always welcomed with 'sandesh' or sweets made from burnt milk and 'singadas' or crisp samosas.