India is a vast country with the second largest population in the world. The country includes mountain ranges, dense jungles, arid deserts and fertile farmland. Home to elephants, tropical birds, pythons and rhinos, India is also the only country in the world where both tigers and lions roam.
India is an old civilization and has seen many wars. The country became part of the British Empire from 1858 to 1947. People in India have long been divided into castes, or social ranks, determined at birth. Those lucky enough to be born into an upper caste enjoy a reasonable standard of life. Those born into a lower caste endure poverty and hardship. The caste system is slowly changing as the country’s economic, political and educational conditions improve.
India currently has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Indians work hard and value education. Many Indians have gained advanced degrees and now have high-paying jobs in software development, research and science. A strong middle class is emerging. Still, most people in rural areas live in extreme poverty.
- India is home to over 1.3 billion people.
- Ram Nath Kovind is the current president of India (Data taken June 2018).
- The country has 1,269,345 square miles of land.
- Hinduism is the most common religion, followed by Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism.
- Hindi and English are the official languages, although 20 other languages are also spoken.
- The life expectancy in India is 69 years.
- The Taj Mahal “crown of the palace” built in Agra city took approx. 20 years to build. It is a major tourist attraction and over 70,000 people per day visit. However due to preservation concerns, the Indian government is looking to restrict visitation by almost 50%.
- Kangchenjunga is the tallest mountain in India at 8,586 m.
- Indus River is the longest river in India flowing for 3,180 km.
- India is home to some of the most venomous snakes in the world including, Indian Cobra – Indian Krait – Russell’s Viper – Saw Scaled Viper – King Cobra – Indian Pit Viper.
- The Asiatic Lion lives in India. The lion population in India was in serious decline but as from 2010 thankfully the population has been on the increase
- The Bengal Tiger lives in India.
- Asian (Indian) Elephants live here but their numbers are in decline due to human urban sprawl. Asian Elephants are smaller than African Elephants. Asian Elephants have smaller ears and only the male Asian elephant can grow tusks while the African male and female can grow tusks.
- Vast: large, seemingly endless
- Population: amount of people living in one place
- Dense: thick
- Caste: social rank based on birth
- Rural: small, country areas known for farming
Visit National Geographic to learn more about India.
Question: What is India’s government system?
Answer: Unlike many countries in Asia, India does not have a religious state. India’s government is a democracy, based on Great Britain’s system of a House and Parliament. The country has elected officials and a separate judiciary system.