The most important cities1. Mumbai2. Delhi3. Bangalore4. Hyderabad5. Ahmedabad6. Chennai (Madras)
7. Kolkata (Calcutta)8. Surat9. Pune10. JaipurLanguagesThe languages of India belong to several language families, the major ones being theIndo-European languages—Indo-Aryan (spoken by 72% of Indians) and the Dravidianlanguages (spoken by 25% of Indians). Other languages spoken in India belong to theAustro-Asiatic, Tibeto-Burman, and a few minor language families and isolates.The principal official language of the Republic of India is Standard Hindi, whileEnglish is the secondary official language.Religion and cultureThe culture of India refers to the religions, beliefs, customs, traditions, languages,ceremonies, arts, values and the way of life in India and its people. Indias languages,religions, dance, music, architecture, food, and customs differ from place to placewithin the country. Its culture often labeled as an amalgamation of these diverse sub-
cultures is spread all over the Indian subcontinent and traditions that are severalmillennia old.Regarded by many historians as the "oldest living civilization of Earth", the Indiantradition dates back to 8000 BC, and has a continuous recorded history since the time ofthe Vedas, believed variously to be 3,000 to over 5,500 years ago.Several elements ofIndias diverse culture, such as Indian religions, yoga and Indian cuisine, have had aprofound impact across the world.The religion of India is the birth place of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism,collectively known as Indian religions.Indian religions, also known as Dharmicreligions are a major form of world religions along with Abrahamic ones. Today,Hinduism and Buddhism are the worlds third and fourth-largest religions respectively,with over 2 billion followers altogether, and possibly as many as 2.5 or 2.6 billionfollowers. India is also the birthplace for the Lingayat and Ahmadiyya faiths.India is one of the most religiously diverse nations in the world, with some of the mostdeeply religious societies and cultures. Religion still plays a central and definitive rolein the life of many of its people.According to a 2001 census of India, the religion of 80% of the people is Hinduism.Islam is practiced by around 13% of all Indians. The country had over 23 millionChristians, over 19 million Sikhs, about 8 million Buddhists and about 4 million Jains.Sikhism, Jainism and especially Buddhism are influential not only in India but acrossthe world. Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, and the Baháí Faith are alsoinfluential but their numbers are smaller. Atheism and agnostics also have visibleinfluence in India, along with a self-ascribed tolerance to other people.The Hindu religion has many schools, each with their own unique views.For example,according to Yogavasistha, a spiritual text of the Advaita school of Hindu religion, thevalues of the liberated (Hindi: जीवनमुिि), self-actualized human being, may besummarized as follows: "Pleasures do not delight him; pains do not distress. Althoughengaged in worldly actions, he has no attachment to any object. He is busy outwardly,yet calm inwardly. He feels free from restrictions of scriptures, customs, age, caste orcreed. He is happy, but his happiness does not depend on anything else. He does not feelneedy, proud, agitated, troubled, depressed or elated. He is full of compassion andforgiveness even to those who mean him harm. He does the right thing, regardless of thepressures. He is patient, perseverant, and without any impurity in his heart. He is free ofdelusions, he does not crave for anything. His sense of freedom comes from his spirit ofinquiry. The fruits of his inquiry are his strength, intellect, efficiency and punctuality.He keeps company of wise and enlightened persons.Music of Indiahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_of_India
Sport of IndiaPopular sports in India include cricket, field hockey, football, tennis, basketball, chessvolleyball, badminton and golf. Field hockey is the official national sport in India, andthe country has won eight Olympic gold medals in field hockey, though cricket is themost popular sport. After the 1982 Asian Games hosted in New Delhi, the capital citynow has modern sports facilities, and similar facilities are also being developed in otherparts of the country. Besides sports and games included in the international sportingagenda, there are many which have developed indigenously and continue to be popular.A wide variety of sports is played throughout the country. These include kabbadi, khokho, pehlwani and gilli-danda. British rule brought many popular sports in Indiaincluding football, rugby union, cricket, golf, tennis, squash, hockey, boxing, snooker,and billiards.India has hosted or co-hosted several international sporting events, such as the 1951Asian Games and the 1982 Asian Games, the 1987 Cricket World Cup and 1996 CricketWorld Cup, the 2003 Afro-Asian Games, the 2010 Hockey World Cup, the 2010Commonwealth Games, and the 2011 Cricket World Cup. Major international sportingevents annually held in India include the Chennai Open, Mumbai Marathon, Delhi HalfMarathon and the Indian Masters. India also hosted its first Indian Grand Prix at theBuddh International Circuit, an Indian motor racing circuit in Greater Noida, UttarPradesh, India.India is also home to crickets Indian Premier League, launched in 2008. The Board ofControl for Cricket in India is the second richest sporting organization in the world(second only to FIFA).Historyhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Indian_history
TourismTourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World TourismOrganization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside theirusual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business andother purposes".Tourism has become a popular global leisure activity. In 2010, there were over 940million international tourist arrivals worldwide, representing a growth of 6.6% whencompared to 2009. International tourism receipts grew to US$919 billion (€693 billion)in 2010, corresponding to an increase in real terms of 4.7%.As a result of the late-2000srecession, international travel demand suffered a strong slowdown from the second halfof 2008 through the end of 2009. After a 5% increase in the first half of 2008, growth ininternational tourist arrivals moved into negative territory in the second half of 2008,and ended up only 2% for the year, compared to a 7% increase in 2007. This negativetrend intensified during 2009, exacerbated in some countries due to the outbreak of theH1N1 influenza virus, resulting in a worldwide decline of 4.2% in 2009 to 880 millioninternational tourists arrivals, and a 5.7% decline in international tourism receipts.Tourism is important and in some cases vital for many countries, such as France, Egypt,Greece, Lebanon, Israel, the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, andThailand and many island nations, such as Mauritius, The Bahamas, Fiji, Maldives,Philippines and the Seychelles. It brings in large amounts of income in payment forgoods and services available, contributing an estimated 5% to the worldwide grossdomestic product (GDP), and it creates opportunities for employment in the serviceindustries associated with tourism. These service industries include transportationservices, such as airlines, cruise ships and taxicabs; hospitality services, such asaccommodations, including hotels and resorts; and entertainment venues, such asamusement parks, casinos, shopping malls, music venues and theatres.