India is the seventh largest (2.42%) country in the world with an area of 3,287, 263 Sq. kms and is the second largest, population-wise with over 1 billion (2001 census) inhabitants. It stretches 3,214 kms from North to South and 2,933 kms from East to West. India occupies most of the subcontinent in South Asia.
India is one of the oldest civilizations of the world and is a vast repository of knowledge, philosophy poetry, worship and sacrificial rites. Ethnically, the country is divided between Indo-Aryan (72%) and Dravidian (25%) and 3% by others.
Around 83% of the population is Hindu and others are Muslims (11%), Christians (2.5%), Sikhs (2%) and Budhists, Jains and others comprising 1.5%. Majority speak Hindu which is the national language while English is the associate official language. In all there are 18 languages recognised by the Constitution (8th Schedule) and over 350 local and dialects across the vast country. It is the largest parliamentary democracy in the world and has 545 Lok Sabha and 245 Rajya Sabha seats.
Indian, due to its vastness has a climate that varies from tropical heat in the South to near-arctic cold in the North. However, it has three seasons in an year the Hot (March to June), the Wet (July to September) and the Cool (November to February).
The land, which gave birth to all time world’s greatest and everlasting epics and holy scriptures, is gifted with very rich and ancient historical background with scores of places of religious and historical importance Even nature has provided the country abundantly with high rising mountains, deserts, rich, green and fertile plains, lovely sea beaches, great rivers and dense jungles. It is also endowed richly with minerals like coal (4th largest reserves in the world), iron, manganese, mica, diamonds, crude oil and natural gas and many others The country also made rapid strides in science and is self-reliant in the fields of space, communications and information technology and carved itself a niche among advanced nations.
Administratively, India is divided into 29 States and 6 Union Territories. Major cities are Delhi (country’s Capital), Mumbai, Kolkata Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore. The country’s literacy rate is 64.84% and Kerala tops the states with highest literacy rate at 90.92%. Uttar Pradesh is the largest populated state followed by Maharashtra and Bihar.
It may be noted that some state maps do not exactly reflect all the district segments. This is due to non-availablity of official source for the same.