Flag of India

Language: Hindi, English

Currency: Indian rupee (Rp)

Calling Code: 91


India - officially Republic of India - is a sovereign country located in South Asia. With its more than 1240 million inhabitants, it is the second country in the world by population - after the People's Republic of China (with 1370 million) and the most populous democracy in the world. Its surface is of 3 287 263 km ², which places it in the seventh place among the most extensive countries of the planet. It borders the Indian Ocean to the south, with the Arabian Sea to the west and the Gulf of Bengal to the east, along a coastline of more than 7517 kilometers. India also borders Pakistan to the west, 10 to the north with China, Nepal and Bhutan and to the east with Bangladesh and Burma. In addition, India is located near the islands of Sri Lanka, Maldives and Indonesia. Its capital is New Delhi and its most populous city is Bombay.

Home to the Indus Valley culture and a historic region for its trade routes and great empires, the Indian subcontinent was identified for its cultural and commercial wealth over most of its long history. Four of the world's most important religions , Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism originated there, while other religions such as Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam came during the First Millennium, shaping diverse cultures of the region.

Gradually annexed by the British East India Company since the early eighteenth century and colonized by the United Kingdom since the mid-nineteenth century, India became an independent nation in 1947, following a struggle for independence that was marked by a movement of nonviolence.

India is a federal republic composed of 29 states and 7 territories of the Union, with a system of parliamentary democracy. In 2017, the Indian economy is the third largest in the world and the sixth in terms of nominal GDP. The economic reforms of 1991 have transformed it into one of the fastest growing economies; however, it still suffers from problems such as high levels of poverty, illiteracy, pandemics, malnutrition and constant violations of women's rights. . In addition to a pluralistic religious, multilingual and multi-ethnic society, India also hosts a diverse flora and fauna in different protected habitats. In addition, the Republic of India is one of the ten countries that has a nuclear arsenal and is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, given that, in its current terms, it would not allow it to maintain its atomic armament.


Travel Destination in India


Arunachal Pradesh

Namdapha National Park is natural biosphere reserve in a Arunachal Pradesh state in India. It covers an area of 1985 sq km.



Kaziranga National Park is a nature reserve situated in Golaghat District in India. It covers an area of 430 sq km.



Mahabodhi Temple is a large Bugghist religious complex in the state of Bihar.

Ancient ruins of Indian city Nalanda are located in Nalanda District in India.


Jammu and Kashmir

Alchi Monastery is a medieval religios complex surrounded by picturesque mountains.



Anshi National Park is a nature reserve situated in Karnataka state in India. It covers an area of 250 km2.


Madhya Pradesh

Bandhavgarh Fort is actually a huge fortified palace in the jungles of Umaria District.

Bandhavgarh National Park is famous for its wild life including tigers in the Shahdol District.

Gwalior Fort is an early medieval citadel situated in Madhya Pradesh State in India. It was constructed in the 8th century.

Religious complex of Khajuraho Archaeological Site is located in Chatarpur District in India.



Ajanta Caves are impressive temples carved in the side of a mountain in India.

Kanheri Caves is a large Buddhist religious complex cut into a basalt. It is situated on the western outskirts of Mumbai city.

Sanjay Gandhi National Park is a protected nature reserve situated on the outskirts of Mumbai in India.


National Capital Region

Humayun's Tomb is an impressive complex of Mughal emperor Humayun constructed in 1562 AD by his wife Hamida Banu Begum.



Amber Fort is a medieval walled city in a Jaipur District in India. It was constructed in 1592 by Man Singh I of Amber.

Bhangarh is an old settlement that was mysteriosly abandoned in the 18th century.

Jaisalmer Fort is a medieval fortress situated in a town of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan state. It was constructed in 1156 AD by Rao Jaisal.


Tamil Nadu

Brihadeeswarar Temple

Brihadeeswarar Temple is a massive religious complex adored with sculptures and colorful frescoes.


Uttar Pradesh


Travel guide and information for traveling to medieval city of Agra in India.

Dudhwa National Park

Dudhwa National Park is located in Lahhimpur- Kheri District of India.

Fatehpur Sikri

Fatehpur Sikri is a beautiful palace situated 37 km (23 mi) West of Agra, Agra district in India.

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal is constructed by Mughal emperor to commemorate memory of his wife.



Gangotri Glacier

Gangotri Glacier is a massive formation in a state of Uttarakhand in India. This marvelous formation covers an area of 1553 km2.

Jim Corbett National Park

Jim Corbett National Park is located in Rauri Garhwal and Nainital districts of India.

Rajaji National Park

Rajaji National Park is a nature reserve situated in a Uttarakhand state in India. It covers an area of 820 km2.



The official name of the country is the Republic of India, which comes from the ancient Persian word Hindu, akin to the Sanskrit Sindhu - the historical name of the Indus River. The ancient Greeks called the Indians the Indoi (ancient Greek Ἰνδοί) - "the people of the Indus".

The Constitution of India establishes the name in Hindi, the official language of the country - Bharat, derived from the Sanskrit name of the ancient Indian king, whose history was described in the Mahabharata. Since the time of the Mughal Empire, the name Hindustan has also been used, but it has no official status.



Stone Age
Homo erectus remains found at Hatnor in the Narmada Valley indicate that India has been inhabited since at least the Middle Pleistocene, approximately 200,000 to 500,000 years ago. The Mesolithic era began in the Indian subcontinent about 30,000 years ago and lasted for about 25,000 years. The first known permanent settlements appeared 9,000 years ago in Bhimbetka, Madhya Pradesh. The earliest traces of the Neolithic culture, according to radiocarbon analysis, date back to the middle of the 8th millennium BC. e., were found at the bottom of the Gulf of Cambay in the state of Gujarat. Evidence of Neolithic culture, which dates back to the 7th millennium BC, were also found at a site in Mergarh in the present-day Pakistani province of Balochistan. Late Neolithic archaeological cultures flourished in the Indus Valley between 6000 and 2000 BC. and in South India between 2800 and 1200 BC. Historically, the region has hosted some of South Asia's oldest settlements and major civilizations.

The oldest archaeological site dating back to the ancient Paleolithic period is the Soan River Valley in Pakistan. The first village settlements appeared in the Neolithic era in Mergarh, and the first cities of the region were in the Indus River Valley, the main ones being Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa.

Bronze Age
The Bronze Age began in the Indian subcontinent around 3300 BC. with the advent of the Indus Valley Civilization. A characteristic feature of this period is the extensive development of metallurgy, with the smelting of copper, bronze, lead and tin. The heyday of the Indus civilization fell on the period from 2600 to 1900 BC. At this time, cities appeared on the Indian subcontinent and monumental construction began. This ancient civilization was formed in the valley of the Indus River, spreading to the valley of the Ghaggar-Hakra River (identified by most scientists with the Vedic Saraswati River), the interfluve of the Ganges and the Yamuna, Gujarat and northern Afghanistan.

The distinctive features of the Indus civilization are cities built of brick, a highly developed sewer system and multi-storey buildings. The largest urban centers were Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro, as well as Dholavira, Ganverivala, Lothal, Kalibanga and Rakhigari. As a result of the drying up of the Saraswati River and the change in the course of the Indus River, major geological and climatic changes occurred, which led to the disappearance of forests and desertification of the region. These factors caused the decline and disappearance of the Indus civilization.

iron age
Vedic civilization
Vedic culture is an Indo-Aryan culture associated with the Vedas, Hindu scriptures written in Vedic Sanskrit. According to the accepted opinion in science, the Vedic civilization existed in the period from the middle of the 2nd to the middle of the 1st millennium BC. e., which is disputed by some Indian historians and Western scholars, who attribute the beginning of the Vedic period to the 4th millennium BC and associate the Indus civilization with the Vedic. It was during the Vedic period that the foundations of Indian culture and religion were formed. The first 500 years of the Vedic period (1500-1000 BC) correspond to the Bronze Age of India, and the next 500 years (1000-500 BC) to the Iron Age.

In the XIX century, the European colonizers of India put forward the theory of "Aryan conquest", according to which at the beginning of the II millennium BC.  the Indian subcontinent was subjected to a massive one-time invasion by the nomadic tribes of the Aryans, who brought with them the Vedic culture. However, subsequent archaeological finds and linguistic studies disproved this hypothesis. Instead, scientists put forward various hypotheses of "Indo-Aryan migrations". According to the defenders of these theories, the Indo-Aryan tribes moved to the northwestern regions of the Indian subcontinent at the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC. and assimilated with the indigenous population, passing them their language and Vedic culture. A different view is held by supporters of the Exodus from India theory, who argue that the Aryans were originally the indigenous population of the Indian subcontinent and later settled beyond its borders as a result of a series of migrations.

After in the II millennium BC the Harappan urban civilization declined and was replaced by a society largely composed of large shepherd clans. Gradually, agriculture began to play an increasingly important role, and caste division began to play an increasingly important role in the organizational structure of society. By the X century BC the Iron Age began in Northwest India. To this period, scientists attribute the compilation of the Atharva Veda, the first ancient Indian text that mentions iron. It is believed that during this late Vedic period there was a transition from the previously prevailing system of shepherd tribes to the establishment of many small principalities called Mahajanapadas. It is this period that scientists date the monuments of ancient Indian epic poetry - "Mahabharata" and "Ramayana".


Towards the end of the Vedic period, a number of small kingdoms and city-states appeared on the Indian subcontinent, many of which are mentioned in Vedic and early Buddhist literature dating from the period after the 10th century BC.

At this time, many city-states were called janapadas. Republics and tribes with a diffuse political structure and little social stratification made up the majority of the Janapada; they were called gana-sanghas. According to the Brahmin theory, the society of the time of the Buddha, apparently, did not have a caste system, being loosely structured. There did not exist a full-fledged monarchy, most likely it was similar to an oligarchy or some form of republic.

By the 5th century BC 16 kingdoms or "republics" were formed, known as the Mahajanapadas - Kashi, Koshala, Anga, Magadha, Vriji, Malla, Chedi, Vatsa, Kuru, Panchala, Matsya, Shurasena, Assaka, Avanti, Gandhara and Kamboji. They spread across the Indo-Gangetic plain from modern Afghanistan to Maharashtra and Bengal. At this time, the second major period of urbanization began after the Indus civilization. In the rest of the subcontinent, there seem to have been many other small state formations that are known from references in the literature. In some of them, royal power was inherited, while in others, subjects themselves chose their rulers. The main language of the educated people at that time was Sanskrit, and the common people of North India communicated in various local dialects, the so-called Prakrit. By the 5th century BC, that is, by the time of the birth of the Buddha, many of the 16 kingdoms united and formed four larger states. They were Vatsa, Avanti, Koshala and Magadha.

The main religious practices of that time were the complex Vedic rituals performed by the Brahmins. It is generally accepted that it was during this period from the 7th to the 5th century BC. Upanishads were written down - late Vedic religious and philosophical texts. The Upanishads had an enormous influence on the formation of Indian philosophy, and, appearing at about the same time as Buddhism and Jainism, marked the golden age of thought of this period. In 537 B.C. Siddhartha Gautama achieved "enlightenment", and became known as the Buddha - "awakened". At about the same time, Mahavira (the 24th Tirthankara of the Jains) preached a teaching close to Buddhism, which later became Jainism. Asceticism was emphasized in the doctrines of Buddhism and Jainism and they were distributed in the Prakrit language, which allowed these creeds to acquire a large number of adherents among the masses. They have had a huge impact on the practices of Indian religious traditions associated with vegetarianism, the prohibition against killing animals, and ahimsa.

While the geographical influence of Jainism was limited to India, Buddhist monks spread the teachings of the Buddha to Tibet, Sri Lanka, Central, East and Southeast Asia.

Persian and Greek invasions
Around 520 BC, during the reign of the Persian king Darius I, the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent (modern eastern Afghanistan and Pakistan) was conquered by the Persian Achaemenid Empire, remaining subject to it for the next two centuries. In 334 BC Alexander the Great, having conquered Asia Minor and the Achaemenid Empire, reached the northwestern borders of the Indian subcontinent. There he defeated King Por at the Battle of the Hydaspes and conquered most of the Punjab. Nevertheless, Alexander's troops refused to proceed across the Beas River to the place where the city of Jalandhar is currently located. Leaving many Macedonian veteran soldiers in the conquered regions, Alexander withdrew with his army to the southwest.

Empire of Magadha
Among the sixteen Mahajanapadas, the most significant was the empire of Magadha, which, throughout its history, was ruled by various dynasties. It was founded by the Haryanka dynasty in 684 BC Its capital was the city of Rajagriha, later called Pataliputra. Then the Shishunaga dynasty came to power, which in 424 BC replaced by the Nanda dynasty.

Mauryan dynasty
In 321 BC. Chandragupta Maurya, in cooperation with Chanakya, founded the Mauryan dynasty by defeating the king of the Nanda dynasty, Dhanu Nanda. During Mauryan rule, most of the Indian subcontinent united into one state. The Mauryan Empire under the rule of Chandragupta not only conquered almost the entire Hindustan peninsula, but also expanded its borders to Persia and Central Asia. Chandragupta also made a significant contribution to the spread of Jainism in South India.

Chandragupta was succeeded on the throne by his son Bindusara, under whom there was a further expansion of the empire's borders due to the conquest of the kingdom of Kalinga in the east and other kingdoms in the extreme south of the Hindustan peninsula.


violence, converted to Buddhism and became an adherent of the principle of ahimsa. The edicts of Ashoka are the oldest surviving Indian documents, thanks to which a more or less exact dating of subsequent dynasties and rulers became possible. Under the reign of Ashoka, Buddhism spread throughout East and Southeast Asia. Ashoka's grandson Samprati converted to Jainism and played a significant role in spreading this creed.

Subsequent dynasties
In 185 BC. The Shunga dynasty (empire) was founded. This happened after the last of the Mauryan rulers, King Brihadratha, was killed by Pushyamitra Shunga, the commander-in-chief of the Mauryan army. The Shunga dynasty was succeeded by the Kanwa dynasty, which ruled East India from 71 to 26 BC. It was replaced by the Satavahana dynasty and the kingdom of Andhra arose on the site of the Magadha empire.

Northwestern mixed cultures
The northwestern mixed cultures of the Indian subcontinent include Indo-Greek, Indo-Scythian, Indo-Parthian, and Indo-Sasanian.

The Indo-Greek kingdom was founded by the Greco-Bactrian king Demetrius in 180 BC and was located on the territory of modern Afghanistan and Pakistan. It existed for almost two centuries, during which it was ruled by more than 30 Greek kings, who often came into conflict with each other. The Indo-Scythians were one of the branches of the Indo-European Saks (Scythians) who migrated from southern Siberia, first to Bactria, and then to Sogdiana, Kashmir, Arachosia, Gandhara, and finally to India; their kingdom lasted from the middle of the 2nd to the 1st century BC. Later, the Indo-Parthian kingdom took over most of present-day Afghanistan and northern Pakistan, defeating many Kushan rulers such as Kujula Kadphis. The Persian Sasanian Empire, which existed at the same time as the Gupta Empire, expanded to the territory of modern Pakistan, where the Indo-Sasanian culture was born as a result of the mixing of Indian and Persian cultures.

Early Middle Kingdoms - golden age
The middle period was marked by a noticeable development of culture. Starting from 230 BC South India was ruled by the Satavahan dynasty, also known as the Andhras. The sixth king of the dynasty, named Shatakarni, defeated the North Indian Shunga dynasty. Another famous king of the dynasty was Gautamiputra Shatakarni.

In the Himalayas, in the period from the II century BC to the 3rd century AD there was a kingdom of Kuninda. In the middle of the 1st century A.D. from Central Asia, the Kushan dynasty invaded northwestern India, laying the foundation for an empire that later stretched from Peshawar to the Bay of Bengal. It also included ancient Bactria (in the north of modern Afghanistan) and southern Tajikistan. The kingdom of the Western Kshatrapas (35-405 AD), located in the western and central part of India, was ruled by the rulers of the Sakas, who replaced the Indo-Scythians. They were contemporaries of the Kushan dynasty, which ruled the northern part of the Indian subcontinent, and the Satavahan (Andhra) dynasty, which ruled over central India.

At various times, the southern part of the Hindustan Peninsula was under the rule of such kingdoms and empires as the Pandya, Early Cholas, Chera, Kadamba, Western Ganga, Pallava and Chalukya. Some of the southern kingdoms were transformed into overseas empires that spread throughout Southeast Asia. In the struggle for dominance in the south of the Indian subcontinent, these kingdoms periodically fought both with each other and with the Deccan states. The Buddhist kingdom of Kalabhara interrupted for some time the dominance of the Chola, Chera and Pandya empires in the southern part of the Hindustan peninsula.

Roman trade with India
Rome's trade with India supposedly began in the 1st century AD during the reign of Emperor Octavian Augustus after his conquest of Ptolemaic Egypt. From that time on, the Roman Empire was India's most important trading partner in the West.

Trade, begun by Eudoxus of Cyzicus in 130 BC, developed rapidly, and according to Strabo (II.5.12), during the reign of Octavian Augustus, up to 120 ships annually made trading voyages from the Egyptian port city of Myos Hormos to India. In this trade, the Romans spent a huge amount of gold, which was used in the Kushan Empire for minting coins. The outflow of gold coins to India is evidenced by Pliny the Elder in his work "Natural History":
According to the most conservative estimates, about one hundred million sesterces are shipped annually from our empire to India, China and the Arabian Peninsula: it is this amount that our luxury and our women cost us. For what percentage of all this import is intended for sacrifices to the gods and spirits of the dead?

Trade routes and ports of Indo-Roman trade are described in detail in a Greek sailing charter of the 1st century AD. "Periplus of the Erythrean Sea".


Gupta dynasty
In the 4th-5th centuries, the Gupta dynasty united most of northern India into one empire. During this period, known as the Golden Age of India, Hindu culture, science and political system reached new heights in their development. Chandragupta I, Samudragupta, and Chandragupta II were the most prominent rulers of the dynasty. According to Western scholars, it was during this period that the sacred texts of Hinduism Purana, which are the Vedic scriptures smriti, were written down. The empire ceased to exist after the invasion of the Huns from Central Asia. After the collapse of the Gupta empire in the 6th century, the territory of India was again fragmented into a number of small regional kingdoms. A small branch of the Gupta dynasty continued to rule Magadha until the first half of the 7th century, when King Harshavardhana finally ended the Gupta dynasty and founded his empire.

The White Huns, who may have been part of the Hephthalites, had settled in Afghanistan with Bamiyan as their capital by the beginning of the 5th century. It was they who caused the fall of the Gupta dynasty, after which the Golden Age in North India came to an end. However, these historical changes did not affect most of the Deccan and South India.

Late Middle Kingdoms - Classical period
The classical period in Indian history began in the 7th century with the rebirth of North India under King Harsha, and ended with the fall of the Vijayanagar Empire in the south after the Muslim invasion in the 14th century. During this period, Indian art flourished and the main religious and philosophical systems developed, which served as the basis for various trends of modern Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.

In the 7th century, King Harsha successfully united northern India into one state, which, however, fell apart shortly after his death. Between the 7th and 9th centuries, three dynasties competed for control of North India: the Pratiharas, the Pala dynasty of Bengal, and the decanal Rashtrakutas. Later, the Sena dynasty took over the Pala kingdom, and the Pratihara empire broke up into small kingdoms. These were the first of the so-called Rajputs, principalities that existed in one form or another for almost a millennium until India's independence from Great Britain in 1947. The first known Rajput principalities appeared in the 6th century in Rajasthan, after which small Rajput dynasties ruled much of northern India. Prithviraj Chauhan, one of the Rajputs of the Chauhan dynasty, became famous because of the bloody conflicts with the advancing Islamic sultanates. In the period from the middle of the 7th to the beginning of the 11th century, the Shahi dynasty ruled on the territory of part of modern Afghanistan, northern Pakistan and Kashmir. After the death of King Harsha, a single all-Indian state ceased to exist in the north, and attempts to create it took place already in the south.

The Chalukya Empire ruled part of southern and central India from 550 to 750 with its capital at Badami, and later from 970 to 1190 from Kalyani in present-day Karnataka. Around the same time, the Pallava dynasty of Kanchi ruled in the south. With the decline of the Chalukya Empire in the 12th century, its vassals, the Hoysalas of Halebidu, the Kakatiyas of Warangal, the Yadavas of Devagiri, and the southern branch of the Kalachuri, divided the vast Chalukya empire among themselves. Later, the Chola kingdom appeared in northern Tamil Nadu, and the Chera kingdom in Kerala. By 1343, all these kingdoms ceased to exist and the Vijayanagar empire was formed on their territory.

South Indian kingdoms extended their influence as far as Indonesia, taking control of vast overseas territories in Southeast Asia. South Indian port cities were actively involved in trade with Europe in the west and Southeast Asia in the east. In the classical period, literature in local languages ​​and architecture reached their peak. This continued until the beginning of the 14th century, when the South Indian kingdoms were attacked by the Delhi Sultanate, which by that time had firmly established itself in the north of the Indian subcontinent with its capital in the city of Delhi. The Vijayanagara empire eventually ceased to exist under his onslaught.

Arrival of Islam in India
After the Muslims conquered India's ancient western neighbor, Persia, their main focus in the region became India, at that time the richest classical civilization, with a thriving international trade and the only diamond mines known at that time in the world. After several centuries of resistance from various North Indian kingdoms, a number of Islamic empires (sultanates) arose in the north of the Indian subcontinent and lasted for several centuries.


Even before the beginning of the Islamic invasion, many Muslim trading communities appeared on the south Indian coast, mainly in Kerala, where small groups of Muslims arrived mainly from the Arabian Peninsula along the trade routes in the Indian Ocean. They brought with them Islam, an Abrahamic religion that came into contact with the Dharmic Hindu culture of the region. Later, the Deccan Sultanates and the Bahmani Sultanate flourished in the west.

Delhi Sultanate
In the 12th-13th centuries, the Arabs, Turks and Afghans invaded North India and at the beginning of the 13th century founded the Delhi Sultanate. The Delhi Ghulam dynasty conquered a significant part of northern India, it was replaced by the Khalji dynasty. During the time of the sultanates, there was a cultural renaissance in India. The resulting Indo-Muslim culture left behind syncretic monuments in architecture, music, literature, religion and clothing. As a result of communication between local speakers of Prakrit and Persian, Turkic and Arab newcomers, the Hindu language, the predecessor of Urdu, appeared.

The Delhi Sultanate is the only Indo-Islamic empire to have enthroned one of the few female rulers in Indian history, Razia Sultan (1236-1240).

Having learned about the civil war in India, the Turkic-Mongolian commander Timur in 1398 launched a military campaign against the ruling Sultan Nasiruddin Mahmud, who belonged to the Delhi Tughlakid dynasty. On December 17, 1398, the Sultan's army was defeated. Timur entered Delhi, completely plundering and destroying the city.

Vijayanagar Empire
The Vijayanagara Empire or Vijayanagara is a Hindu empire that occupied the entire south of India across the Krishna River from 1336 until the middle of the 17th century. It arose during the struggle of the Indians of South India with the Muslims of the Delhi Sultanate. The state reached its peak of power under Devaraya II (1422-1446), who made aggressive campaigns in Burma and Ceylon.

Mughal Empire
In 1526, Timur's descendant Babur, who belonged to the Timurid dynasty, crossed the Khyber Pass and founded the Mughal Empire, which lasted over 200 years[44]. By the beginning of the 17th century, most of the Indian subcontinent was under the control of the Mughal dynasty.

In 1739, Nadir Shah defeated the Mughal army in the huge Battle of Karnal. After that, Nadir captured and plundered Delhi, taking with him countless treasures, including the famous Peacock Throne.

During the era of the Mughal Empire, the dominant political power was the Mughal emperor and his allies, and later successor states, including the Maratha confederation, which fought against the weakened Mughal dynasty.

Although the Mughals often resorted to harsh measures to maintain control of their empire, they also pursued a policy of integration with Hindu culture, which made their rule more successful than that of the short-lived Delhi Sultanate. Akbar the Great was the most prominent representative of the Mughal rulers, who were distinguished by their tolerance for other religions and cultures. In particular, he introduced a ban on the killing of animals during the religious holidays of Jainism and abolished discriminatory taxes for non-Muslims. The Mughal emperors intermarried with the local nobility, became allies of the local maharajas, and attempted to syncretize their Turko-Persian culture with the ancient Indian culture, which, in particular, led to the emergence of Indo-Sarasen architecture. Aurangzeb, who ascended the throne after Akbar, unlike previous emperors, pursued an unpopular, discriminatory policy against the non-Muslim population, which caused great discontent among the Hindus.

From the beginning of the 18th century, the empire began to gradually decline and after the Sepoy Rebellion of 1857 (also known as the Indian Popular Rebellion of 1857) ceased to exist. During the Mughal period, the subcontinent experienced tremendous social change - the Hindus, who were the majority population, were ruled by Muslim Mughal emperors, some of whom were liberal and patronized Hindu culture, while others were extremely intolerant, destroying temples and taxing non-Muslims with huge taxes. At its height, the Mughal Empire occupied an area larger than the ancient Mauryan Empire. After the Mughal Empire fell into decay, several small kingdoms formed in its place. It is believed that the Mughal dynasty was the richest dynasty that ever existed.


Regional kingdoms after the collapse of the Mughal Empire
After the collapse of the Mughal Empire, the dominant position in central and northern Hindustani India was occupied by the state of the Marathas. This period of Indian history was characterized by the emergence of a number of small, regional states and the ever-increasing activity of European powers. The Maratha state was founded by Shivaji. In the XVIII century, it turned into a huge empire under the control of the Peshwas. By 1760, the empire covered most of the Indian subcontinent. Geographic expansion came to an end with the defeat of the Marathas in 1761 by the Afghan army under Ahmad Shah Abdali at the Third Battle of Panipat. The last Peshwa, Baji Rao II, was defeated by British troops in the Third Anglo-Maratha War.

In South India, even before the fall of the Hindu Vijayanagara empire in 1400, the Mysore kingdom was founded by the Wodeyar dynasty, which then replaced Vijayanagara. The reign of the Wodeyars was interrupted by Hyder Ali and his son Tippu Sultan. Under their rule, the kingdom of Mysore fought several times with the British and with the combined forces of Great Britain and the Marathas. Also in South India, Hyderabad was founded in 1591 by the Qutb Shahi dynasty of Golconda. After a short period of Mughal rule, the Mughal governor Asaf Jah seized power in Hyderabad in 1724. A hereditary line of Nizams ruled Hyderabad until 1948. Both Mysore and Hyderabad became vassal kingdoms of British India.

The state of the Sikhs arose on the site of modern Punjab. It was one of the last regions of the Indian subcontinent to submit to British colonial rule. The Sikh Empire fell after a series of Anglo-Sikh wars.

In the XVIII century, the rulers of Gorkha formed the state of Nepal, which throughout its history has managed to maintain its national identity and territorial integrity.

colonial era
The discovery by the Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama of a new sea route from Europe to India marked the beginning of direct Indo-European trade[46]. The Portuguese established trading colonies in Goa, Daman, Diu and Bombay. They were followed by the Dutch, Danes and English, establishing a trading post in the port city of Surat on the west coast in 1619. Then came the French. Internal conflicts between the Indian kingdoms allowed European traders to gradually establish political influence and acquire land. Although the European powers managed to keep various Indian regions under their control throughout the 18th century, they were later forced to cede almost all of these territories to the British, with the exception of the French outposts of Pondicherry and Chandernagore, the Dutch port city of Coromandel (until 1825), and the Portuguese colonies of Goa. , Daman and Diu.

British India
In 1617, the British East India Company received the right to trade with India from the Mughal Emperor Jahangir. The gradually increasing influence of the Company prompted the de jure Mughal ruler Farrukh Siyar in 1717 to grant it permission for free tax-free trade in Bengal. The Nawab of Bengal, Siraj-ud-Daula, who was the de facto ruler of Bengal, opposed the attempts of the British to take advantage of these privileges. This led to the Battle of Plassey in 1757, in which the "army" of the East India Company, led by Robert Clive, defeated the military units of the Nawab. In the same year, Clive was appointed by the Company as the "governor" of Bengal. After the Battle of Buxar in 1764, the Company acquired the civil rights to govern Bengal from the Mughal Padishah Shah Alam II, formalizing British rule, which over the next century extended to all of India and ended Mughal rule. The British East India Company monopolized trade in Bengal. The British introduced a special land tax system called "permanent settlement", which established a neo-feudal social order. By the early 1850s, the East India Company controlled most of the Indian subcontinent, including present-day Pakistan and Bangladesh. The British in their colonial policy followed the principle of "divide and rule", taking advantage of the state fragmentation of India and conflicts both between different principalities and between different social and religious groups.


In 1857, dissatisfaction with the rule of the British East India Company sparked the First War of Independence, also known as the Sepoy Rebellion. After a year of hostilities, the uprising was crushed. The actual leader of the uprising, the last Mughal padishah Bahadur Shah II, was sent into exile in Burma, his children were beheaded, and the Mughal dynasty ceased to exist. As a result, the British East India Company was liquidated, and India came under the direct control of the British Crown as a colony of the British Empire. Various territories were ruled either directly or were subordinated as vassal principalities. The exploitation of the Indian colonies was the most important source of the accumulation of British capital and the industrial revolution in England.

India made a significant contribution to the cause of the Entente in the First World War.

Indian National Liberation Movement
The first step towards Indian independence and the establishment of Western-style democracy was the appointment of Indian advisers in the administration of the British Viceroy. Since 1920, leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi launched a massive campaign against the British colonial government. In November 1929, in order to split the national liberation movement, the British Parliament granted India the rights of a dominion of the British Empire. A revolutionary movement against British rule began throughout the Indian subcontinent, which in 1947 led to the independence of the subcontinent from the British Empire.

Independence and partition of India
Along with the desire for independence, tensions also developed over the years between the Hindu and Muslim populations. The Muslims, always a minority, were afraid of being dominated by the Hindu government and were wary of the idea of ​​independence. They tended to equally distrust Hindu rule and oppose the British colonial government. In 1915, Mahatma Gandhi led the Indian national liberation movement and called for unity on both sides. His leadership eventually led India to independence.

The tremendous influence that Gandhi had on India in its struggle for independence through a non-violent mass popular movement made him one of the most remarkable leaders in world history. The Indians called him mahatma, which means "great soul" in Sanskrit.

The territories of British India gained independence in 1947, after which India was divided into the Indian Union and the Dominion of Pakistan. Due to the division of Punjab and Bengal, bloody clashes broke out between Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims, as a result of which more than 500,000 people died. The partition of India also led to one of the largest population migrations in modern history of the world - about 12 million Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims settled across the territory of the newly created states of India and Pakistan.

History of India after independence
Being a multinational and multireligious state, after gaining independence, India is experiencing strife and confrontation on religious and social grounds in different parts of the country. Nevertheless, India was able to maintain its status as a secular state with a liberal democracy, except for a brief period from 1975 to 1977, when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi declared a state of emergency with limited civil rights.

In the second half of the 20th century, India regularly had problems with neighboring states due to disputes over borders. The dispute with China has not been resolved so far, in 1962 it resulted in a short border war (the Sino-Indian Border War). India fought Pakistan several times: in 1947, 1965, 1971 and 1999. The last local conflict between India and Pakistan took place in 2019.

In 1974, India conducted underground nuclear tests, thus becoming a new member of the "nuclear club". In 1998, India continued testing with a series of five new explosions. The reforms that began in India in 1991 turned the country's economy into one of the fastest growing in the world by the beginning of the 21st century, which still occupies a leading position in this area. In 1996, the government of Atala Bihari Vajpayee came to power, continuing the reforms. After parliamentary elections in the spring of 2004, the Indian National Congress party, led by Sonia Gandhi, won. On May 22, 2004, Manmohan Singh took over as prime minister.

In the 2014 elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party, led by its leader Narendra Modi, achieved an absolute majority in parliament: 283 out of 543 seats. Over the past 30 years, no party has been able to achieve such success. For a whole month, 814 million Indians could vote using 2,000,000 electronic voting machines. Turnout was 66%, the highest in Indian history. The population chose from 8251 candidates, among whom were 668 women and 5 transsexuals. The ruling party, the Indian National Congress, won just 44 seats. She ruled India for almost the entire period of independence, but this time she suffered a historic defeat.



India is located in South Asia and ranks seventh in the world in terms of area (3,287,590 km², including land: 90.44%, water surface: 9.56%). It has land borders with Pakistan in the west, with China, Nepal and Bhutan in the northeast, with Bangladesh and Myanmar in the east. In addition, India has maritime borders with the Maldives in the southwest, with Sri Lanka in the south and with Indonesia in the southeast. The disputed territory of Ladakh shares a border with Afghanistan.

The river network of India is dense, but there are few large lakes in the country.


Administrative division

India is a federal republic of 28 states and 8 union territories (including the National Capital Territory of Delhi). All states and the three union territories (National Capital Territory of Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Pondicherry) have their own elected government. The remaining five union territories are administered by an administrator appointed by the central authority and are therefore under the direct control of the President of India. In 1956, the Indian states were reorganized along linguistic lines. Since then, the administrative structure has remained virtually unchanged.

All states and union territories are divided into administrative and governmental units called districts. There are over 700 districts in India. The districts are in turn divided into smaller administrative units of taluki.



Most of India is located within the Precambrian Hindustan Plate, which forms the peninsula of the same name and the Indo-Gangetic Plain adjacent to it from the north and is part of the Australian Plate.

India's defining geological processes began 75 million years ago, when the Indian subcontinent, then part of the southern supercontinent of Gondwana, began drifting northwest across the then-defunct Indian Ocean, a process that lasted about 50 million years. The ensuing collision of the subcontinent with the Eurasian plate and its subduction under it led to the emergence of the Himalayas, the highest mountains of the planet, which currently surround India from the north and northeast. On the former seabed, immediately south of the emerging Himalayas, a huge trough formed as a result of plate movement, which gradually filled with alluvium and turned into the modern Indo-Gangetic plain. To the west of this plain, separated from it by the Aravali mountain range, lies the Thar Desert. The original Hindustan Plate has survived to this day as the Hindustan Peninsula, the oldest and geologically most stable part of India, extending north to the Satpura and Vindhya mountain ranges in central India. These parallel mountain ranges run from the coast of the Arabian Sea in Gujarat in the west to the coal-rich plateau of Chhota Nagpur in Jharkhand in the east. The inner part of the Hindustan Peninsula is occupied by the Deccan Plateau, broken by faults into low and medium-altitude mountains with smoothed peaks and vast flat or undulating plateaus, over which rise hills and mesas with steep slopes. To the west and east, the Deccan plateau rises to form the Western and Eastern Ghats, respectively. The slopes of the Ghats facing the sea are steep, while those facing the Deccan are gentle, cut by river valleys. The Deccan Plateau contains India's oldest mountain formations, some more than 1 billion years old. The Dean is rich in deposits of iron, copper, manganese, tungsten ores, bauxites, chromites, mica, gold, diamonds, rare and precious stones, as well as coal, oil and gas.

India is located north of the equator between 6°44' and 35°30' north latitude and 68°7' and 97°25' east longitude.

The length of the coastline is 7517 km, of which 5423 km belong to continental India, and 2094 km to the Andaman, Nicobar and Laccadive Islands. The coast of continental India has the following character: 43% - sandy beaches, 11% - rocky and rocky coast, 46% - watts or swampy coast. Weakly dissected, low, sandy shores have almost no convenient natural harbors, so large ports are located either at the mouths of rivers (Kolkata) or artificially arranged (Chennai). The south of the western coast of Hindustan is called the Malabar coast, the south of the east coast is called the Coromandel coast.

On the territory of India, the Himalayas stretch in an arc from the north to the northeast of the country, being a natural border with China in three sections, interrupted by Nepal and Bhutan, between which, in the state of Sikkim, is the highest peak of India, Mount Kanchenjunga. Karakorum is located in the far north of India in Ladakh, mostly in the part of Kashmir held by Pakistan. In the northeastern appendix of India are the mid-altitude Assamo-Burman Mountains and the Shillong Plateau.



The internal waters of India are represented by numerous rivers, which, depending on the nature of their food, are divided into "Himalayan", full-flowing throughout the year, with mixed snow-glacier and rain food, and "Dean", mainly with rain, monsoon food, large fluctuations in flow, flood from June to October. On all large rivers, a sharp rise in the level is observed in summer, often accompanied by floods. The Indus River, which gave the name to the country, after the partition of British India, turned out to be the largest part in Pakistan.

The largest rivers, originating in the Himalayas and for the most part flowing through the territory of India, are the Ganges and the Brahmaputra; both flow into the Bay of Bengal. The main tributaries of the Ganges are the Yamuna and the Koshi. Their low banks cause catastrophic floods every year. Other important rivers of Hindustan are Godavari, Mahanadi, Kaveri and Krishna, also flowing into the Bay of Bengal, and Narmada and Tapti, flowing into the Arabian Sea - the steep bank of these rivers does not allow their waters to overflow. Many of them are important as sources of irrigation. There are no significant lakes in India.

The most remarkable coastal regions of India are the Great Rann of Kutch in Western India and the Sundarbans, the swampy lower reaches of the Ganges and Brahmaputra deltas in India and Bangladesh. Two archipelagos are part of India: the coral atolls of Lakshadweep to the west of the Malabar coast; and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a chain of volcanic islands in the Andaman Sea.



The climate of India is strongly influenced by the Himalayas and the Thar desert, causing monsoons. The Himalayas serve as a barrier to the cold Central Asian winds, thus making much of India warmer than neighboring South China and Myanmar. The Thar Desert plays a key role in attracting the humid southwesterly winds of the summer monsoon, which provide most of India with rain between June and October. India is dominated by four main climates: humid tropical, dry tropical, subtropical monsoon and highland.

In most of India, there are three seasons: hot and humid with the dominance of the southwest monsoon (June - October); relatively cool and dry with a predominance of the northeast trade wind (November - February); very hot and dry transitional (March-May). During the wet season, more than 80% of the annual precipitation falls. The windward slopes of the Western Ghats and the Himalayas are the most humid (up to 6000 mm per year), and on the slopes of the Shillong Plateau there is the rainiest place on Earth - Cherrapunji (about 12,000 mm). The driest areas are the western part of the Indo-Gangetic Plain (less than 100 mm in the Thar Desert, dry period is 9-10 months) and the central part of Hindustan (300-500 mm, dry period is 8-9 months). The amount of precipitation varies greatly from year to year. On the plains, the average temperature in January increases from north to south from +15 to +27 °C, in May - everywhere +28…+35 °C, sometimes reaching +45…+48 °C. During the humid period in most of the country, temperatures are +28 ° C. In the mountains at an altitude of 1500 m in January -1 °C, in July - +23 °C, at an altitude of 3500 m, respectively -8 °C and +18 °C.

The main centers of glaciation are concentrated in the Karakoram and on the southern slopes of the Zaskar range in the Himalayas. The glaciers are fed by snowfalls during the summer monsoons and snow drifts from the slopes. The average height of the snow line decreases from 5300 m in the west to 4500 m in the east. Due to global warming, glaciers are retreating.


Flora and fauna

India is located in the Indo-Malayan zoogeographical region and is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. India is home to 7.6% of all mammal species, 12.6% of all birds, 6.2% of all reptiles, 4.4% of all amphibians, 11.7% of all fish, and 6.0% of all flowering plants. Many ecoregions, such as the Shola forests, the rainforests of the southwestern Ghats, are characterized by unusually high levels of endemism; in total, 33% of India's plant species are endemic. Over the millennia of the economic development of India, the natural vegetation cover in most of its territory has remained little, however, it is very diverse: from the tropical rainforests of the Andaman Islands, the Western Ghats, and Northeast India, to the coniferous forests of the Himalayas. On the plains of the interior regions of Hindustan, secondary savannahs of acacias, spurges, palms, banyan trees, sparse forests and thorny shrubs of anthropogenic origin predominate. Monsoon forests of teak, sandalwood, bamboos, terminalia, and dipterocarps have been preserved in the mountains. In the northeast of the peninsula, deciduous mixed forests with a predominance of lard grow, on the windward slopes of the Western Ghats there are evergreen mixed forests.

The seaside strip of the east coast is swampy in places. The natural vegetation cover of the Indo-Gangetic plain has not been preserved, and its landscapes change from deserts in the west to evergreen mixed forests in the east. Altitudinal zonality is clearly manifested in the Himalayas and the Karakorum. Terai rise up from the foot of the Western Himalayas (up to 1200 m), higher are monsoon forests, mountain pine forests with evergreen undergrowth, dark coniferous forests with evergreen and deciduous species, and at an altitude of 3000 m mountain meadows and steppes begin. In the east of the Himalayas, humid tropical evergreen forests rise up to 1500 m, giving way higher to mountain subtropical forests, dark coniferous forests and mountain meadows.

Among the main trees of India is neem, widely used in Ayurvedic medicines. According to legend, under the sacred banyan tree (see Bodhi Tree), the image of which was found on seals in Mohenjo-Daro, Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment after many years of meditation in Bodh-Gaya.

Many Indian species are descendants of a taxon that originated on the Gondwana supercontinent, of which the Indian subcontinent was once a part. The subsequent movement of the Hindustan peninsula and its collision with Laurasia led to a massive mixing of species. However, volcanic activity and climatic changes that occurred 20 million years ago caused the extinction of many endemic Indian species. Shortly thereafter, mammals arrived in India from Asia through two zoogeographic passages on both sides of the nascent Himalayas. As a consequence, among Indian species, only 12.6% of mammals and 4.5% of birds are endemic, compared to 45.8% of reptiles and 55.8% of amphibians. The most notable endemics are the Nilgiri langur and the brown Kerala toad in the Western Ghats. There are 172 species in India that are on the World Conservation Union's endangered species list, representing 2.9% of the total number of species on the list. These include the Asiatic lion, the Bengal tiger, and the Bengal vulture, which nearly died out by eating decaying cattle flesh, which was treated with diclofenac.

The high population density of India and the transformation of natural landscapes have led to the impoverishment of the country's wildlife. Over the past decades, the expansion of human economic activity has posed a threat to the wild world of the country. In response, a number of national parks and reserves were created, the first of which appeared in 1935. In 1972, the "Wildlife Protection Act" and the "Tiger Project" were passed in India to conserve and protect its habitat; in addition to this, in 1980 the “Forest Conservation Act” was passed. There are currently over 500 national parks and reserves in India, including 13 biosphere reserves, four of which are part of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves; 25 wetlands have been officially registered as sites of protection under the provisions of the Ramsar Convention.



In terms of population (more than 1.4 billion people), India ranks first in the world ahead of China in terms of population[96]. Almost 70% of Indians live in rural areas, although in recent decades migration to big cities has led to a sharp increase in the urban population. The largest cities in India are Mumbai (formerly Bombay), Delhi, Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), Chennai (formerly Madras), Bangalore, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad[63]. In terms of cultural, linguistic and genetic diversity, India ranks second in the world after the African continent. The average literacy rate of the population of India is 64.8% (53.7% for women and 75.3% for men). The highest literacy rate is found in Kerala (91%) and the lowest in Bihar (47%). The gender composition of the population is characterized by the excess of the number of men over the number of women. The male population is 51.5%, and the female population is 48.5%. The national average ratio of male and female population: 944 women to 1000 men. The median age of the population of India is 24.9 years, and the annual population growth is 1.38%; 22.01 children are born per 1000 people per year. According to the 2001 census, children under 14 years of age accounted for 40.2% of the population, persons aged 15-59 years - 54.4%, 60 years and older - 5.4%. The natural population growth was 2.3%.

There are about 38 million Indians outside of India, the largest communities in the US, UK, Australia, Germany, Japan and Canada. There are also small communities of Indians in Russia, France, South Korea, Argentina and China.



India is home to the Indo-Aryan language group of the Indo-European language family (these languages ​​are spoken by 74% of the population) and the Dravidian language family (24% of the population). Other languages ​​spoken in India belong to the Austroasiatic and Tibeto-Burmese language families. Hindi, the most spoken language in India, is the official language of the Government of India. English, widely used in business and administration, has the status of an "auxiliary official language"; it also plays a large role in education, especially in secondary and higher education.

The Constitution of India defines 21 official languages ​​that are spoken by a significant part of the population or that have classical status. There are 1652 dialects in India.



More than 900 million Indians (80.5% of the population) practice Hinduism. Other religions with a significant following are Islam (13.4%), Christianity (2.3%), Sikhism (1.9%), Buddhism (0.8%) and Jainism (0.4%). Religions such as Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Baha'is and others are also represented in India. Among the aboriginal population, which is 8.1%, animism is common.


State structure

The Constitution of India was adopted by the Constituent Assembly at the end of 1949, two years after India's independence, and came into force on January 26, 1950. It is the largest constitution in the world. In the preamble to the constitution, India is defined as a sovereign, socialist, secular liberal democratic republic with a bicameral parliament functioning on the Westminster parliamentary model. State power is divided into three branches: legislative, executive and judicial.

The head of state is the President of India, who is elected by the electoral college for a term of 5 years by indirect voting. The head of government is the prime minister, who holds the main executive power. The prime minister is appointed by the president and is usually the candidate supported by the political party or political coalition that has the most seats in the lower house of parliament.

The legislature of India is a bicameral parliament, which consists of an upper house called the Rajya Sabha (Council of States) and a lower house called the Lok Sabha (House of the People). The Rajya Sabha, which has a permanent membership, consists of 250 members, whose mandate lasts for 6 years. Every two years, a third of the composition of the Council of States is changed (re-elected). The majority of MPs are elected by indirect suffrage by the legislatures of the Indian states and territories in proportion to their population. The 12 members of the upper house are appointed by the president for special merit in the arts, sciences, and social activities. 543 of the 545 deputies of the Lok Sabha lower house are elected by direct popular vote for a term of 5 years. The remaining two members are appointed by the President from the Anglo-Indian community in the event that the President considers that the community is not properly represented in Parliament.

The executive branch of government consists of the president, vice president and the Council of Ministers (the cabinet is its executive committee), headed by the prime minister. Each Minister must be a member of one of the Houses of Parliament. In the Indian parliamentary system, the executive branch is subordinate to the legislative branch: the prime minister and the Council of Ministers are directly responsible to the lower house of parliament.

India has a unitary three-tier judiciary which consists of the Supreme Court headed by the Chief Justice of India, the 21st High Court and a large number of petty courts. The Supreme Court is the court of first instance in cases relating to fundamental human rights, in disputes between the states and the central government, and has appellate jurisdiction over the higher courts. The Supreme Court is legally independent and has the power to promulgate laws or strike down state and territory laws if they are contrary to the Constitution. One of the most important functions of the Supreme Court is the ultimate interpretation of the Constitution.


Domestic politics

India, at the federal level, is the country with the largest population. For most of its history as a sovereign democratic state, the federal government was led by the Indian National Congress. Various national parties dominated at the state level, such as the Indian National Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party (Indian People's Party, BJP), the Communist Party of India (Marxist), as well as various regional parties. From 1950 to 1990, except for two short periods, the Indian National Congress had a parliamentary majority. The Indian National Congress was not in power between 1977 and 1980, when the Janata Party won the elections due to popular discontent over the imposition of a state of emergency by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. In 1989, the National Front coalition, in alliance with the Left Front coalition, won the elections, but was able to stay in power for only two years.

Between 1996 and 1998, a series of short-lived coalitions led the federal government. The conservative Bharatiya Janata Party formed a government for a short time in 1996, followed by a United Front coalition.

In 1998, the Bharatiya Janata Party formed the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) with a number of regional parties and became the second party in history, after the Indian National Congress, to remain in power for an entire five-year period.

In the 2004 elections, the Indian National Congress won a majority in the Lok Sabha and created a government together with the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coalition, supported by a number of left-wing parties and MPs who were in opposition to the Bharatiya Janata Party.

In the 2014 parliamentary elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party led the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), which won. The leader of the party, Narendra Modi, was elected Prime Minister of India.


Foreign policy

Since its independence in 1947, India has maintained friendly relations with most countries. In the 1950s, India played an important role on the international stage, advocating the independence of European colonies in Africa and Asia. The Indian Army conducted two brief peacekeeping missions in neighboring countries - in Sri Lanka (1987-1990) and Operation Cactus in the Maldives. India is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations and a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement. After the Sino-Indian Frontier War and the Second Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, India noticeably moved closer to the Soviet Union at the cost of severing ties with the US and continued this policy until the end of the Cold War. India has been involved in three military conflicts with Pakistan, mainly over the disputed territory of Kashmir. Other clashes between the two countries took place in 1984 over the Siachen Glacier and the 1999 Kargil War.

In recent years, India has continued to play a prominent role in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and the World Trade Organization. India is a founding member of the United Nations and an active participant in its peacekeeping missions, with more than 55,000 Indian soldiers taking part in thirty-five peacekeeping operations on four continents. Despite criticism and military sanctions, India has consistently refused to sign the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, preferring instead to maintain full control over its nuclear programs. Recently, in the foreign policy arena, the Indian government has directed efforts to improve relations with the United States, China and Pakistan. In the economic sphere, India has close relationships with other developing countries in South America, Asia, and Africa.

Relations with Russia
In the 15th century, the Tver merchant Afanasy Nikitin visited India, describing his journey in the famous book Journey Beyond the Three Seas.

At the state level, interest in India arose in Russia at the very beginning of the 19th century and was far from peaceful: Emperor Paul I, leaving the Second Anti-French Coalition, ordered the military ataman of the Don Cossack army Vasily Orlov to go at the head of the Cossacks on a military campaign through Central Asia to India . In this way, Paul hoped to strike at the positions of the British in India and help these opponents of the French, with whom he took a course of political rapprochement. It is unlikely that the Cossacks would have been able to achieve their goals, given that they were sent without proper preparation to extremely little-known lands, they had to pass through independent Khiva and Bukhara. But in March 1801, Pavel was killed, and the new emperor Alexander I returned the Cossacks halfway.

Before the independence of India, Russia could not have direct diplomatic relations with India. When India finally gained independence, the Soviet Union soon began to actively cooperate with it: many Soviet specialists were sent to India, primarily to help create a powerful industrial base. In the 1990s, Russia noticeably moved away from what was happening in South Asia, but in recent years cooperation has been rapidly resuming.

To date, strong ties are maintained between India and Russia in the field of economy and foreign trade, in science and technology, culture, defense, space and nuclear energy. Between the two countries there is a certain unity of approaches to both political and economic problems. Specific examples of successful bilateral cooperation in the energy sector are Indian investment in the Sakhalin-1 oil project and Russian assistance in building a nuclear power plant at Kudankulam in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu (as of the end of April 2013, final preparations were underway to launch the first power unit, the second the power unit was 90% ready for operation, negotiations were underway on the construction of the third and fourth power units). Another example is cooperation in the implementation of the space program. The two countries jointly developed and now produce BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles. Russia, together with India, is developing a promising front-line aviation complex - a fifth-generation fighter, the share of the Indian company Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) in the development will be at least 25%. There are other examples of successful Indian-Russian interaction.

As a political science hypothesis, the possibility of a close strategic partnership between Russia, India and China - the triangle "Moscow - Delhi - Beijing" is often discussed. Many agree that such cooperation would contribute to the creation of a multipolar world. However, plans to create such a “triangle” (led by the United States) also exist in the United States Department of State, where India is seen as a potential counterbalance to the ever-increasing role of China in the modern world.


Armed forces and special services

India's military is the third largest in the world and consists of the army, navy and air force. The auxiliaries include the Indian Paramilitary Units, the Indian Coastal Defense and the Strategic Military Command. The President of India is the supreme commander of the armed forces. In 2007, the country's military budget amounted to 19.8 billion US dollars, which is 2.4% of GDP. India is the world's main importer of weapons, while 3/4 of all imported weapons India receives from Russia.

In 1974, India became a member of the Nuclear Club, carrying out the first nuclear test, codenamed Operation Smiling Buddha. Subsequent underground nuclear weapons testing in 1998 led to international military sanctions against India, which were gradually suspended after September 2001. India adheres to the no-first-use rule in its nuclear policy. On October 10, 2008, the Indo-American Nuclear Cooperation Treaty was signed between India and the United States, which finally ended the country's isolation in the field of nuclear energy.

The Indian intelligence services include the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), the Intelligence Bureau (IB), and the intelligence units of the Ministry of Defense, Central Bureau of Investigation of the Ministry of State and Home Affairs and a division of the Department of Homeland Security. Since India's main geopolitical adversary is Pakistan, working against Pakistan and its intelligence agencies is the top priority of India's intelligence agencies.



For much of its post-independence history, India has pursued a socialist economic policy with government involvement in the private sector, strict controls on foreign trade and investment. Since 1991, the country has begun liberal economic reforms, opening up its market and reducing government control over the economy. International reserves increased from $5.8 billion in March 1991 to $304.2 billion at the end of the 2013/14 financial year. However, at the same time, the share of gold in them dropped sharply - to 7%.

The budget deficit, both federal and individual states, has also been noticeably reduced. The government and parliament are discussing measures to privatize state-owned companies and open certain sectors of the economy to private and foreign participation. An indicator of the strengthening of the private sector in the 1990-2000s is the decrease in the share of public debt in total external debt: this figure was 59.9% in the 1990/91 financial year, 44.1% in 2000/01, and only 25.6% in 2010/11. The nominal GDP was $2.382 trillion in 2015, making India the seventh largest economy in the world. Measured at purchasing power parity, India had the world's third-largest GDP in 2018 at $10.5 trillion. According to the IMF, the nominal income per capita in 2018 was about 2 thousand US dollars (145th place in the world in this indicator), and according to purchasing power parity - from 7 to 8 thousand dollars according to various estimates (121st place in the world according to the IMF).

From 1992 to 2015, the average annual GDP growth was 6.8%, making the Indian economy one of the fastest growing in the world. The labor force in India in 2017 was 521.9 million people (second place in the world after China): 47% of employees work in agriculture; 31% - in the field of services; and 22% in industry. The main crops are rice, wheat, cotton, jute, tea, sugar cane and potatoes. The agricultural sector accounted for 15.4% of GDP in 2017; the service sector and industry account for 61.5% and 23% respectively. Main Industries: Automotive, Chemical, Cement, Consumer Electronics, Mechanical Engineering, Mining, Petroleum, Pharmaceutical, Metalworking, Food and Textile. Along with the rapid economic growth, the need for energy resources has increased dramatically. According to statistics, in 2008 India ranked sixth in the world in oil consumption and third in hard coal consumption.

Over the past two decades, the Indian economy has experienced steady growth, but when comparing different social groups, geographical regions, rural and urban areas, economic growth has not been uniform. Income inequality in India is relatively small (Gini coefficient: 33.6 in 2011), although it has been growing in recent years. In India, there is a rather large stratification of the population, according to 2009 data, 10% of the population had 28.8% of the national income. Despite notable economic progress, a quarter of the country's population lives below the government-mandated living wage of $0.40 a day. According to statistics, in 2011, 19% of the population was below the $2 a day poverty line.

Recently, India, thanks to the presence of a large number of English-speaking professionals, has become an outsourcing destination for many multinational corporations and a popular destination for "medical tourism". India has also become a significant exporter of software, as well as financial and technology services. India's main natural resources are arable land, bauxite, chromite, coal, diamonds, iron ore, limestone, manganese, micas, natural gas, oil and titanium ores.

In the 2010/11 financial year, exports amounted to 250.5 billion US dollars, and imports - about 380.9 billion. The main exports (2009/10 financial year) are machinery and equipment (21.4%), handicrafts (16 8%), chemical products (12.8%), food and agricultural raw materials (10.0%), ready-made clothing and textiles (8.1%). Main buyers (2009/10 financial year): EU (20.2%), USA (10.9%). India also ranks first in the world in mica exports (the main buyers are China, Japan, and the USA). The main imports are oil, machinery, fertilizers and chemicals. India's main trading partners are the United States, the European Union and China.


Dynamics of external debt

India's external debt problem escalated in the late 1980s, when it reached $83.8 billion (29% of GDP in fiscal year 1990/91), while in fiscal year 1980/81 it was $23.5 billion (less than $12 billion). % of GDP). At the same time, the share of public debt in total external debt amounted to 59.9% (1990/91 financial year). By fiscal year 2001/02, the situation had improved, with public debt reduced to $43.6 billion and almost unchanged over the next five years ($46.3 billion in fiscal year 2005/06). However, then the national debt began to rise sharply and in the 2010/11 financial year amounted to 78.2 billion dollars. Total external debt increased even faster, from $92.9 billion in fiscal year 2005/06 to $227.7 billion in fiscal year 2010/11.



In India, all types of transport are represented: water (sea and river), road, air, rail, pipeline.

Rail transport in India provides mass transportation of goods and people. The length of the railway network (2009) is more than 63 thousand km, including 18 thousand km electrified. Up to 6 billion passengers and 350 million tons of cargo are transported annually. The main railway operator in the country, which controls 99% of traffic, is Indian Railways. In 1951, the country's railways were nationalized.

In 1950, India had 382,000 km of dirt roads and 136,000 km of highways. Of these roads, only 22 thousand km were suitable for heavy traffic of freight and passenger vehicles.

In India, the lower reaches of the rivers Ganges, Krishna, Godavari, Kaveri are navigable. These rivers are used for the transportation of goods, back in the 1950s, 3/4 of the goods were transported along the rivers on sailing ships.

In 1951, India's fleet of ocean-going vessels consisted of only 86 steamships with a tonnage of 338,000 tons.

In 1950, there were 64 civilian airports operating in India. There are currently 454 airports in India.

Dynamics of gold and foreign exchange reserves
In the early years of independence, India's foreign exchange reserves fell sharply from $2.161 billion in the 1950/51 financial year to $0.637 billion in the financial year 1960/61 and then remained at a low level for a long time ($0.975 billion in the financial year 1970/71). The 1970s were relatively favorable for the country, which led to a sharp increase in foreign exchange reserves, which in the 1980/81 financial year amounted to 6.823 billion dollars. In the 1980s, the growth of reserves stopped: they totaled $5.834 billion in the 1990/91 financial year. After liberalization in the 1990s, gold and foreign exchange reserves increased by more than 7 times - to $42.281 billion in the 2000/2001 financial year. The 2000s were marked by a new leap in growth and again more than 7 times - up to 304.818 billion dollars in the 2010/2011 financial year. The share of gold in reserves in the 1990s decreased from 51% (FY 1990/91) to 6% (FY 2000/2001). In the 2000s, the share of gold increased to 8% (fiscal year 2010/2011).

Mica mining
India leads the world in the production of sheet muscovite, with the main production occurring in the state of Andhra Pradesh, where the mica belt is located 25 km wide and 100 km long. Illegal mining in closed mines is very developed, sometimes with the use of child labor. In 2012-2013, 1,255 tons of natural mica were officially mined at 32 deposits. Official Indian mica mining flourished in the 1960s (7,000 tons in 1961), but then declined (1,550 tons in 1988), then production levels stabilized and fluctuated wildly from about 1,100 tons to 4,500 tons in the 2000s. in year.


International trade

Foreign trade of independent India is characterized by a constant predominance of imports over exports. In the first decades of independence, foreign trade increased, but very slowly: $2.5 billion in the 1950/51 financial year, $4.2 billion in the 1970/71 financial year. This was followed by a jump and in the 1980/81 financial year, the volume of foreign trade amounted to 24.4 billion dollars, and in 1990/91 financial year 42.2 billion dollars. In the 1990s-2000s, the volume of external trade increased sharply, amounting to $95.2 billion in the 2001/02 financial year and $631.4 billion in the 2010/11 financial year. The structure of Indian imports has also changed: the share of cereals has fallen to almost zero, from 16.1% of the value of imports in the 1960/61 financial year to 0.03% in the 2009/10 financial year. Indian exports have also changed in recent decades, with the share of tea falling to 0.4% in FY 2009/10 (in FY 1970/71 it accounted for 9.6% of Indian exports) and jute and jute products falling from 21. 0% to 0.4% in the 2009/10 financial year.

According to the CIA fact book, as of 2017, exports amounted to $ 299.3 billion, the main export items were chemicals (including drugs) and petroleum products, precious and ornamental stones, machinery and equipment, iron ore, steel, tea , coffee and other agricultural products, textiles. Main buyers: USA - 15.6%, UAE - 10.2%, Hong Kong - 4.9%, China - 4.3%. The volume of imports in 2017 amounted to 426.8 billion dollars, the main items are crude oil, engineering products, fertilizers, plastics, and metals. Main suppliers: China - 16.3%, USA - 5.5%, UAE - 5.2%, Saudi Arabia - 4.8%, Switzerland - 4.7%

Indian investments abroad
In 2013, India sent abroad $1.7 billion in direct investment (0.1% of global exports of foreign direct investment). The total volume of accumulated foreign direct investment of the country in 2013 amounted to 119.8 billion dollars (0.5% of the global volume of accumulated foreign direct investment). For a long time, the role of India in the world export of investments remained negligible - in 2004, the volume of accumulated foreign direct investment of this country amounted to $ 6.5 billion, or 0.07% of the world's total. Nevertheless, in 2004-2009 there was a jump - the volume of accumulated direct investments of the country abroad grew to 77.2 billion dollars, or 0.4% of the global volume, and the annual export of direct investment jumped from 2.2 billion dollars to 16.0 billion dollars. Geographically, in FY 2011/12, Indian direct investment was distributed as follows: Mauritius - 23%, Singapore - 19%, Netherlands - 12%, USA - 9%, UK - 4%, UAE - 4%.

Poverty issues
Out of 5161 Indian cities, 4861 do not have sewer networks. Even in Bangalore and Hyderabad, India's high-tech metropolises, more than half of the population does not have access to sewerage. Only 50% of cities have access to piped water. This means that water is only available from one to six hours a day. Power outages are also quite common, and 300 million people have no access to electricity at all. The situation is similar with public transport: only 20 out of 85 Indian cities with a population of more than 0.5 million have municipal city buses.



The culture of India is very diverse and has a high level of syncretism. Throughout its history, India has managed to preserve ancient cultural traditions, at the same time adopt new customs and ideas from conquerors and immigrants, and spread its cultural influence to other regions of Asia.

In Indian society, traditional family values ​​are highly respected, although contemporary urban families often favor a nuclear family structure, largely due to the socio-economic constraints imposed by the traditional extended family system.

On September 3, 1948, the government of the Republic of India approved the Roerich Pact.

Indian architecture is one of the areas where the diversity of Indian culture is most vividly represented. Much of India's architecture, including such remarkable monuments as the Taj Mahal and other examples of Mughal and South Indian architecture, is a mixture of ancient and heterogeneous local traditions from different regions of India and abroad.

music and dancing
Indian music has a wide range of traditions and regional styles. Indian classical music includes two main genres - North Indian Hindustani, South Indian Carnatic traditions and their various variations in the form of regional folk music. Local styles of popular music include filmi and Indian folk music, one of the most influential varieties of which is the syncretic Baul tradition.

Indian dances also have a variety of folk and classical forms. The most famous Indian folk dances are bhangra in Punjab, bihu in Assam, chhau in West Bengal, Jharkhand and Orissa, and ghumar in Rajasthan. Eight dance forms, with their narrative forms and mythological elements, have been given the status of Indian classical dances by the Indian National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama. These are: bharatanatyam of Tamil Nadu, kathak in Uttar Pradesh, kathakali and mohini attam in Kerala, kuchipudi in Andhra Pradesh, manipuri in Manipur, odissi in Orissa and sattriya in Assam.

Theater and cinema
Indian theater often includes music, dance and impromptu dialogue. The plots are often based on motifs borrowed from Hindu texts, as well as medieval literary works, social and political news. Some regional forms of Indian theater are: bhavai in Gujarat, jatra in West Bengal, nautanki and ramlila in northern India, tamasha in Maharashtra, terukuttu in Tamil Nadu, and yakshagana in Karnataka.

The Indian film industry ranks first in the world in terms of the number of films released per year. In 2009, about 2,500 films were made in India, of which 1,280 are feature films. Bollywood, with its main production center in Mumbai, produces Hindi commercial films and is the most prolific film industry in the world. Established cinematic traditions also exist in other Indian languages ​​such as Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu.



The earliest works of Indian literature were transmitted orally for many centuries and only later were written down. These include Sanskrit literature - the Vedas, the epics "Mahabharata" and "Ramayana", the drama "Abhigyana-shakuntalam", the classical Sanskrit poetry of the Mahakavya and the Tamil literature of the Sangam. One of the modern writers who wrote both in Indian languages ​​and in English is Rabindranath Tagore, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913.



Education in most universities in India is conducted in English. Higher education in the country is provided at the level of programs of European universities. The cost of the academic year is about 15,000 US dollars. It does, however, vary depending on the source of funding, public or private.

As of 2009, there were 504 universities in India (in 1950 there were only 27). Over the past few decades, the technical field of education has developed significantly. Currently, 185 universities offer postgraduate studies in engineering and technical disciplines.



Indian cuisine is characterized by a wide variety of regional styles and exquisite use of kitchen roots, herbs and spices. The staple food in the regions is rice (especially in the south and east) and wheat products (mainly in the north). The best-known condiment, which originated in the Indian subcontinent and is now consumed throughout the world, is black pepper; on the contrary, red capsicum, widely used throughout India, was introduced to the Hindustan peninsula by the Portuguese.

traditional clothing
Different regions of India use different types of traditional Indian clothing. Its color and style depends on various factors such as climate. Clothing made from unsewn pieces of fabric is popular, such as saris for women and dhoti or lungi for men; tailor-made garments such as punjabi (harem pants and kurta pajamas) for women, and European-style trousers and shirts for men are also popular.


Public holidays

Most Indian holidays are of religious origin, although some are celebrated by all Indians regardless of caste or religion. Some of the most popular holidays are Diwali, Ganesha Chaturthi, Ugadi, Pongal, Holi, Onam, Vijaya Dashami, Durga Puja, Eid al-Fitr, Eid ul-Fitr, Christmas, Vesak and Vaisakhi. There are three public holidays in India. Various states also observe between nine and twelve official local holidays. Religious holidays are an integral part of the daily life of Indians and are held openly and publicly with the participation of a huge number of people.



The national sport of India is field hockey and the most popular sport is cricket. In some states, such as West Bengal, Goa and Kerala, football is also widely played. Recently, tennis has gained considerable popularity. Chess, historically originating from India, is also very popular and the number of Indian grandmasters is constantly increasing. Traditional sports throughout the country include kabaddi, kho kho, and gilli danda. India is also the birthplace of yoga and ancient Indian martial arts - Kalaripayattu and Varma-Kalai.

The Indian men's team has won the most medals (11) in field hockey ever in the Olympic Games, including 8 golds in 1928-1980.


Terrorism and separatism

One of the threats to India's national security is terrorism, especially in Jammu and Kashmir, northeastern India, and by the beginning of the 21st century, in such large cities as Delhi and Mumbai. The most striking example is the terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament in Delhi in 2001. In the fall of 2008, the country's largest city, Mumbai, was attacked by terrorists, over 100 people were killed. Despite the large number of terrorist attacks committed in India, most of them do without civilian casualties: in 2001-2010, 13,001 terrorist attacks were committed in the country, during which 3,986 civilians and 855 members of the security forces were killed.

The fight against the Naxalites
A serious problem is the large-scale guerrilla war waged for decades by the Naxalite communists (mostly of the Maoist persuasion). They account for the lion's share of terrorist attacks in India: in 2010, the Naxalites committed 2,212 terrorist attacks, in which 1,003 people died. The Naxalite movement began in 1967 and today, to varying degrees, they control large areas in the states of Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh (the so-called "Red Corridor") with a population of approximately 200 million people. The main Naxalite organizations are: Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) (since 1969), Maoist Communist Center of India since the early 1970s, and People's War Group since 1980. The Maoist communist center of India has essentially created its own state with people's courts (they even pass death sentences), a parallel government, taxes, its people also build hospitals, schools, drill wells. Naxalites rely on the broad support of the poorest sections of the population. A noteworthy fact: despite the fact that the Naxalites are officially declared terrorists, only the police forces are fighting them (not very successfully). The Indian Armed Forces do everything possible to evade operations against the Naxalites, stating that they did not take an oath to fight against their own people.

Nagaland, with its predominantly Christian population, is a hotbed of ethnic terrorism. During 1992-2012, 3,432 people died in the state during the fighting (mostly militants, the victims among law enforcement officers and civilians are much less - 10 members of the security forces were killed in 2003-2012).


In the late 1980s, a wave of terrorism began in the territories inhabited by the Bodo tribes in the state of Assam. Since 2003, when it was decided to grant them autonomy, it has declined, but the conflict continues to smolder.

In 1980, armed protests by the Meiteis (Manipurs) began in Manipur, who opposed the rule of India and for the expulsion of the Mayangs (foreigners). In 2013, there were 225 terrorist attacks in Manipur. Basically, the militants themselves die in the terrorist attacks, the victims among the security services and the civilian population are isolated.

The emergence of separatism in the former principality of Tripura is associated with the influx of refugees from Bangladesh, as a result of which the local hill tribes (Tripuri and others) found themselves in a minority, which led to their consolidation and the beginning of an ethnic conflict in 1979.

Although an agreement was signed with the government and separatists in 1988, armed attacks continued: in 2003-2012, 1,038 terrorist attacks were committed in the state, and there are raids from neighboring Bangladesh. The main victims of the attacks are the separatists themselves, the number of dead civilians and members of the security forces is much smaller.

Jammu and Kashmir
In 2012, there were 1,025 terrorist attacks in northwest India, although the casualties from them were relatively small - 97 civilians and 14 members of the security forces were killed.