India is a wonderful country with a rich history of great civilisations. The country had been the birth place for many great religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sikhism etc. It is a land of great people. This country had been the most sought after land for the conquerors of the world like Alexander the Great, Arab rulers like Mohammad Ghajini, and later by the colonial powers like the Dutch, the Portuguese, the French , and the British. India has given the world the most precious diamond Kohinoor.

India bound by the snow-capped Himalayas in the north, the Indian Ocean in the south, and Bay of Bengal in the East and the Arabian Sea in the west. Lying entirely in the northern hemisphere between the latitudes 8Ëš 4' and 37Ëš6' north and longitudes 68Ëš7' and 97Ëš25' east, it measure about 3214 km north-south and about 2933 km east-west. The country has a land frontier of about 15200 km and a coastline of about 7516 km. Countries having common border with India are China, Bhutan, and Nepal to the north, Afghanistan and Pakistan to the northwest, Myanmar and Bangladesh to the east

India is the second largest populous country in the world with a population of about 1billion (1.028 billion as on 1 March 2001) and the 7th largest country in the world in terms of area. India accounts for a meagre 2.4% of the world surface area but supports and sustains a whopping 16.7% of the world population. India also has the distinction of the world's largest democracy. The literacy rate in the country is about 64.84%.

Capital: New Delhi (also called as National Capital Territory of Delhi).

States and Territories: India comprises 28 States and 7 Union Territories.

Currency: Indian Rupee (INR) is the currency of India. One INR i.e. equal to 100 paise.

Physical Features:

The mainland comprises four regions-The great mountain zone, plains of the Ganga and the Indus, the desert region, and the southern peninsula. India has four river systems- (i) Himalayan Rivers like the Ganga and the Indus which are formed by melting snow and glaciers and hence are perennial, (ii) Deccan Rivers like the Godavari and the Krishna which are primarily rain fed and are not perennial, (iii) Coastal rivers, and (iv) Rivers of inland drainage basin.


The climate of India is described as tropical monsoon. There are four seasons: (i) winter (January-February), (ii) hot weather summer (March-May), (iii) rainy south-western monsoon (June- Sept), and post monsoon or north-east monsoon (Oct-Dec).

Flora and Fauna:

India is rich in flora. India is in tenth place in the world and fourth position in Asia in plant diversity. India has also great variety of fauna numbering over 89,000 species.

National Symbols:

National Flag: The National flag is a horizontal tricolour of deep saffron, white in the middle, and dark green at the bottom in equal proportion. The ratio of width of the flag to its length is two to three. In the centre of the white band is a navy-blue wheel with 24 spikes which represents the chakra. Its design is that of the design of the wheel which appears on the abacus of the Sarnath Lion Capital of Asoka.

State Emblem: The state emblem is an adoption from the Sarnath Lion Capital of Asoka. In the original, there are four lions, standing back to back, mounted on an abacus with a frieze carrying sculptures in high relief of an elephant, a galloping horse, a bull, and a lion separated by intervening wheels over a bell shaped lotus. Carved out of a single block of polished sandstone, the Capital is crowned by the Wheel of law.

In the state emblem adopted by the Government of India, only three lions are available, the fourth being hidden from view. The wheel appears in relief in the centre of the abacus with a bull on right and a horse on left and the outlines of the other wheels on extreme right and left. The bell shaped lotus has been omitted. The words Satyameva Jayate, meaning 'Truth Alone Triumphs', are inscribed below the abacus in Devanagari script.

National Anthem: The song Jana-Gana-Mana, composed originally in Bengali by Ravindranath Tagore, was adopted in its Hindi version as the National Anthem of India.

National Song: The song Vande Mataram, originally composed in Sanskrit by Bankimchandra Chatopadhyaya, is the National Song of India.

Other National Symbols include National Animal- the Magnificent Tiger, National Bird- the Indian Peacock, National Flower- Lotus, National Tree- the Banyan Tree, and the National Fruit- Mango.

The Polity:

India, a Union of States, is a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, and Democratic Republic with a Parliamentary System of Government. The Constitution of India provides a Parliamentary system of government. Though India is a federation of states, the constitution makes it more unitary than federal in structure. The President of India is constitutional head of executive of the Union. He is also the Head of the State. There shall be a Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister as head to aid and advise the President who shall act in accordance with such advice. The Prime Minister is the Head of the Government with real executive power. The Parliament consists of Lok Sabha (the House of Representatives) and Rajya Sabha (the Council of States). The Constitution also provides for an Independent Judiciary, Comptroller and Auditor General, Public Service Commission, and Election Commission of India. Similarly, in sates, Governor is the head of executive with the Council of Ministers headed by Chief Minister advising him. The council of ministers is collectively responsible to the Legislative Assembly.