is a country in South Asia.
It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area.
the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion
the most populous democracy in the world.
Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south,
the Arabian Sea on the south-west, and the Bay of
Bengal on the south-east, it shares land borders
with Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to
the north-east; and Burma and Bangladesh to the east.
In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri
Lanka and the Maldives; in addition, India's Andaman
and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border
with Thailand andIndonesia.
The name India is derived from Indus, which is
derived from the Old Persian word Hindu,
from Sanskrit Sindhu (सिन्धु), the historic local
appellation for the Indus River.
The ancient Greeks referred to the Indians
as Indoi (Ινδοί), the people of the Indus.
The Constitution of India and usage in many Indian
languages recognises Bharat (pronounced ˈbʱaːrət̪ ) as
an official name of equal status.
The name Bharat is derived from the name of the
legendary king Bharata in Hindu scriptures.
Hindustan (ɦɪnd̪ʊˈst̪aːn), originally a Persian word for
"Land of the Hindus" and referring to North India and
Pakistan before 1947, is also occasionally used as a
synonym for all of India.
GENERAL PROFILE OF INDIA
Official Name: REPUBLIC OF INDIA (Hindi: भारत
गणराज्य, Bhārat Gaṇarājya)
o Area: 3.29 million sq. km. (1.27 million sq. mi.); about one-
third the size of the U.S.
o Capital: New Delhi (Pop. 12.8 million, 2001 census).
Other Major Cities:
1. Mumbai (formerly Bombay with Pop.16.4 million)
2. Kolkata (formerly Calcutta with Pop.13.2 million)
3. Chennai (formerly Madras with Pop. 6.4 million)
4. Bangalore (Pop. 5.7 million)
5. Hyderabad (Pop. 5.5 million)
6. Ahmedabad (Pop 5 million)
7. Pune (Pop 4 million).
GENERAL PROFILE OF INDIA
Terrain: Varies from Himalayas to flat river valleys and
deserts in the west.
Climate: Alpine to temperate to subtropical monsoon.
o Nationality: Indians
o Population: 1.17 Billion (2010 est.)
o Religions: (2001 census)
5. Other Groups Including Buddhist, Jain, Parsis—1.8%
AN ASCETIC IN VARANASI, UTTAR PRADESH.
GENERAL PROFILE OF INDIA
Ethnic Groups: (2001 census)
4. While the national census does not recognize racial or
ethnic groups, it is estimated that there are more than
2,000 ethnic groups in India.
3. 16 Other Official Languages: Assamese, Bengali,
Gujarati, Kannada, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Marathi,
Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, & Urdu
GENERAL PROFILE OF INDIA
Each state structures its school system into three
1. Primary School—lasts 4 or 5 years depending on the
2. Middle School—2 or 3 years
3. High School—2 to 5 years.
Grade school instruction is in a regional language;
in Secondary School, students must learn either Hindi
or English. Higher Education is provided by numerous
institutions, English is the principal language in the
universities but native tongues are often used.
GENERAL PROFILE OF INDIA
Type/Form: Federal Republic (Democratic
1. Executive-- President (Chief of State), Prime
Minister (Head of Government), Council of
Ministers (Cabinet Secretaries)
2. Legislative-- Bicameral Parliament: a) Rajya Sabha
or Council of States, and b) Lok Sabha or House of
3. Judicial-- Supreme Court
GENERAL PROFILE OF INDIA
1. Indian National Congress (INC)
2. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
3. Communist Party of India-Marxist
4. Other Numerous Regional and Small National Parties.
1. 28 states
2. 7 Union Territories (including National Capital
Territory of Delhi)
A.Andaman and Nicobar Islands
C.Dadra and Nagar Haveli
D.Daman and Diu
F.National Capital Territory of Delhi
GENERAL PROFILE OF INDIA
Independence: August 15, 1947.
Constitution: January 26, 1950.
Suffrage: Universal over 18.
Under its 1950 Constitution, India is a democratic
republic. It is a federal union of 28 states and 7 union
territories. The President, who is head of state, is
elected for a 5 year term by an electoral college.
Executive power is exercised by the cabinet, headed
by the Prime Minister. The Cabinet is responsible to
Parliament, which consists of the Council of States and
the House of the People. Members of the Council are
chosen by the members of the states’ legislative bodies.
GENERAL PROFILE OF INDIA
More than 200 Council Members serve 6-year
terms; about one-third are replaced every 2 years. The
House of the People has more than 500 members
elected directly for 5-year terms.
The Supreme Court of India consists of the Chief
Justice and not more than 17 judges appointed by the
President. Each state has a Governor appointed by the
President, a Council of Ministers(Cabinet), and a
GENERAL PROFILE OF INDIA
o Natural Resources: Coal, iron ore, manganese, mica,
bauxite, chromite, thorium, limestone, barite, titanium
ore, diamonds, crude oil.
o Agriculture: 17% of GDP. Products--wheat, rice,
coarse grains, oilseeds, sugar, cotton, jute, tea.
o Industry: 28.2% of GDP. Products--textiles, jute,
processed food, steel, machinery, transport equipment,
cement, aluminum, fertilizers, mining, petroleum,
chemicals, and computer software.
o GDP (FY 2009 est.): $1.095 trillion.
o Real Growth Rate (2009 est.): 6.5%.
Per Capita GDP (PPP, FY 2008): $3,100.
GENERAL PROFILE OF INDIA
1. Exports (FY 2009 est.)--$164.3 billion; engineering
goods, petroleum products, precious stones, cotton
apparel and fabrics, gems and jewellery, handicrafts,
tea. Services exports ($101.2 billion in 2008-2009)
represent more than one-third of India's total exports.
2. Software exports--$35.76 billion.
3. Imports (FY 2009 est.)--$268.4 billion; petroleum,
machinery and transport equipment, electronic goods,
edible oils, fertilizers, chemicals, gold, textiles, iron and
Major Trade Partners--U.S., China, U.A.E., EU,
The Bombay Stock Exchange is Asia's oldest and India's largest stock exchange
by market capitalisation.
GENERAL PROFILE OF INDIA
The Hindu Caste System.
Ancient Sanskrit sources divide society into Four
1. Priests (Brahmin)
2. Warriors (Kshatriya)
3. Traders/Artisans (Vaishya)
4. Farmers/Laborers (Shudra).
Although these categories are understood
throughout India, they describe reality only in the most
general terms. They omit, for example, the tribal people
and those outside the caste system formerly known as
"untouchables”, or dalits.
Traditional Indian society is defined
by relatively strict social hierarchy. The Indian
caste system embodies much of the social
stratification and many of the social restrictions
found in the Indian subcontinent. Social classes
are defined by thousands of endogamous
hereditary groups, often termed as jātis, or
"castes". Most Dalits ("Untouchables") and
members of other lower-caste
communities continue to live in segregation and
often face persecution and discrimination.
GENERAL PROFILE OF INDIA
Traditional Indian family values are
highly valued, and multi-generational
patriarchal joint families have been the norm in
India, though nuclear families are becoming
common in urban areas. An overwhelming
majority of Indians, with their consent,
have their marriages arranged by their parents
or other family members. Marriage is thought to
be for life, and the divorce rate is extremely
low. Child marriage is still a common practice,
more so in rural India, with more than half
of women in India marrying before the legal age
GENERAL PROFILE OF INDIA
In reality, Indian society is divided into thousands
of Jatis--local, endogamous groups based on occupation--and
organized hierarchically according to complex ideas of purity
and pollution. Discrimination based on caste is officially
illegal, but remains prevalent, especially in rural areas.
Nevertheless, the government has made strong efforts to
minimize the importance of caste through active affirmative
action and social policies.
Moreover, caste is often diluted if not subsumed in the
economically prosperous and heterogeneous cities, where an
increasing percentage of India's population lives. In the
countryside, expanding education, land reform and economic
opportunity through access to information, communication,
transport, and credit are helping to lessen the harshest
elements of the caste system.
The Ancient India
The earliest anatomically modern human remains
found in South Asia are from approximately 30,000 years
ago. Nearly contemporaneous Mesolithic rock art sites
have been found in many parts of the Indian
subcontinent, including at the Bhimbetka rock
shelters in Madhya Pradesh. Around 7000 BCE, the first
known neolithic settlements appeared on the
subcontinent in Mehrgarh and other sites in western
Pakistan.These gradually developed into the Indus
Valley Civilisation, the first urban culture in South Asia,
which flourished during 2500–1900 BCE in Pakistan and
western India. Centred around cities such as Mohenjo-
daro, Harappa, Dholavira, and Kalibangan, and relying
on varied forms of subsistence, the civilisation engaged
robustly in crafts production and wide-ranging trade.
Paintings at the Ajanta Caves in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, 6th
During the period 2000–500 BCE, many regions of the
subcontinent evolved from copper age to iron age cultures.
The Vedas, the oldest scriptures of Hinduism, were composed
during this period, and historians have analyzed these to posit
a Vedic culture in the Punjab region and the upper Ganges
Plain. Most historians also consider this period to have
encompassed several waves of Indo-Aryan migration into the
subcontinent from the north-west. Thecaste system, which
created a hierarchy of priests, warriors, and free peasants, but
which excluded indigenous peoples by labelling their
occupations impure, arose during this period. In the Deccan,
archaeological evidence from this period suggests the
existence of a chiefdom stage of political organisation.
In South India, the large number of megalithic monuments
found from this period, and nearby evidence of
agriculture, irrigation tanks, and craft traditions suggest
progression to sedentary life.
By the 5th century BCE, the small chiefdoms of the Ganges
Plain and the north-west regions had consolidated into 16
major oligarchies and monarchies called Mahajanapadas. The
emerging urbanisation as well as the orthodoxies of the late Vedic
age created the religious reform movements
of Buddhism and Jainism. Buddhism, based on the teachings of
India's first historical figure, Gautam Buddha, attracted followers
from all social classes excepting the middle; Jainism came into
prominence around the same time during the life of its
exemplar, Mahavira. In an age of increasing urban wealth, both
religions held up renunciation as an ideal, and both established long-
lasting monasteries. Politically, by the 3rd century BCE, the
kingdom of Magadha had annexed or reduced other states to emerge
as the Mauryan Empire. The empire was once thought to have
controlled most of the subcontinent excepting the far south, but its
core regions are now thought to have been separated by large
autonomous areas. The Maurya kings are known as much for their
empire building and determined management of public life as
for Ashoka the Great's renunciation of militarism and far-flung
advocacy of the Buddhist dhamma.
The Sangam literature of the Tamil language reveals
that, between 200 BCE and 200 CE, the southern peninsula
was being ruled by the Cheras, the Cholas, and
the Pandyas, dynasties that traded extensively with
the Roman Empire and with West and South-East Asia. In
North India, Hinduism asserted patriarchal control within
the family leading to increased subordination of women. By
the 4th and 5th centuries, the Gupta Empire had created a
complex administrative and taxation system in the greater
Ganges Plain that became a model for later Indian
kingdoms. Under the Guptas, a renewed Hinduism based on
devotion rather than the management of ritual began to
assert itself. The renewal was reflected in a flowering of
sculpture and architecture, which found patrons among an
urban elite. Classical Sanskrit literature flowered as well,
and Indian science, astronomy, medicine,
and mathematics made significant advances.
The Indian early medieval age, 600 CE to 1200 CE,
is defined by regional kingdoms and cultural
diversity. When Harsha of Kannauj, who ruled much of the
Ganges plain from 606 to 647 CE, attempted to expand
southwards, he was defeated by the Chalukya ruler of
the Deccan. When his successor attempted to expand
eastwards, he was defeated by the Pala king of Bengal. When
the Chalukyas attempted to expand southwards, they were
defeated by the Pallavas from farther south, who in turn were
opposed by the Pandyas and the Cholas from still farther
south. No ruler of this period was able to create an empire and
consistently control lands much beyond his core region. During
this time, pastoral peoples whose land had been cleared to
make way for the growing agriculture economy were
accommodated within caste society, as were new non-
traditional ruling classes. The caste system consequently began
to show regional differences.
The granite tower of Brihadeeswarar Temple in Thanjavur was completed
in 1010 CE by Raja Raja Chola I.
In the 6th and 7th centuries, the first devotional
hymns were created in the Tamil language. They were
imitated all over India and led to both the resurgence of
Hinduism and the development of all modern languages of
the subcontinent. Indian royalty, big and small, and the
temples they patronised, drew citizens in great numbers to
the capital cities, which became economic hubs as
well. Temple towns of various sizes began to appear
everywhere as India underwent another urbanisation. By
the 8th and 9th centuries, the effects were felt in South-East
Asia, as South Indian culture and political systems were
exported to what today are
Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia,
and Java. Indian merchants, scholars, and sometimes armies
were involved in this transmission; South-East Asians took
the initiative as well with many sojourning in Indian
seminaries and translating Buddhist and Hindu texts into
Early Modern India
In the early 16th century, northern India, being then under mainly
Muslim rulers, fell again to the superior mobility and firepower of a new
generation of Central Asian warriors. The resulting Mughal Empire did not
stamp out the local societies it came to rule, but rather balanced and pacified
them through new administrative practices and diverse and inclusive ruling
elites, leading to more systematic, centralised, and uniform rule. Eschewing
tribal bonds and Islamic identity, especially under Akbar, the Mughals
united their far-flung realms through loyalty, expressed through a
Persianised culture, to an emperor who had near divine status. The Mughal
state's economic policies, deriving most revenues from agriculture and
mandating that taxes be paid in the well-regulated silver currency, caused
peasants and artisans to enter larger markets. The relative peace maintained
by the empire during much of the 17th century was a factor in India's
economic expansion, resulting in greater patronage of painting, literary
forms, textiles, and architecture. Newly coherent social groups in northern
and western India, such as the Marathas, the Rajputs, and the Sikhs, gained
military and governing ambitions during Mughal rule, which, through
collaboration or adversity, gave them both recognition and military
experience. Expanding commerce during Mughal rule gave rise to new Indian
commercial and political elites along the coasts of southern and eastern
India. As the empire disintegrated, many among these elites were able to
seek and control their own affairs
By the early 18th century, with the lines between
commercial and political dominance being increasingly blurred, a
number of European trading companies, including the English East
India Company, had established outposts on the coast of India. The
East India Company's control of the seas, greater resources, and more
advanced military training and technology led it to increasingly flex its
military muscle and caused it to become attractive to a portion of the
Indian elite; both these factors were crucial in allowing the Company to
gain control over the Bengal region by 1765 and sideline the other
European companies. Its further access to the riches of Bengal and the
subsequent increased strength and size of its army enabled it to annex
or subdue most of India by the 1820s. India was now no longer
exporting manufactured goods as it long had, but was instead supplying
the British empire with raw materials, and many historians consider
this to be the onset of India's colonial period By this time, with its
economic power severely curtailed by the British parliament and itself
effectively made an arm of British administration, the Company began
to more consciously enter non-economic arenas such as education, social
reform, and culture
Scribes and artists in the Mughal Court, 1590–1595.
Historians consider India's modern age to have begun
sometime between 1848 and 1885. The appointment in 1848
of Lord Dalhousie as Governor General of the East India
Company rule in India set the stage for changes essential to a
modern state. These included the consolidation and
demarcation of sovereignty, the surveillance of the population,
and the education of citizens. Technological changes—among
them, railways, canals, and the telegraph—were introduced not
long after their introduction in Europe. However, disaffection
with the Company also grew during this time, and set off
the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Fed by diverse resentments and
perceptions, including invasive British-style social reforms,
harsh land taxes, and summary treatment of some rich
landowners and princes, the rebellion rocked many regions of
northern and central India and shook the foundations of
Although the rebellion was
suppressed by 1858, it led to the dissolution of
the East India Company and to the direct
administration of India by the British
government. Proclaiming a unitary state and a
gradual but limited British-style parliamentary
system, the new rulers also protected princes
and landed gentry as a feudal safeguard
against future unrest. In the decades following,
public life gradually emerged all over India,
leading eventually to the founding of the Indian
National Congress in 1885
The British Indian Empire, from the 1909 edition of The Imperial Gazetteer of India. Areas
directly governed by the British are shaded pink; nominally sovereign princely states are in
The rush of technology and the
commercialisation of agriculture in the second half of
the 19th century was marked by economic setbacks—
many small farmers became dependent on the whims of
far-away markets. There was an increase in the number
of large-scale famines, and, despite the risks of
infrastructure development borne by Indian taxpayers,
little industrial employment was generated for
Indians. There were also salutary effects: commercial
cropping, especially in the newly canalled Punjab, led to
increased food production for internal consumption. The
railway network provided critical famine relief, notably
reduced the cost of moving goods, and helped nascent
After World War I, in which some one million
Indians served, a new period began. It was marked by
British reforms but also repressive legislation, by more
strident Indian calls for self-rule, and by the beginnings
of a non-violent movement of non-cooperation, of
which Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi would become
the leader and enduring symbol. During the 1930s, slow
legislative reform was enacted by the British; the Indian
National Congress won victories in the resulting
elections. The next decade was beset with crises: Indian
participation in World War II, the Congress's final push
for non-cooperation, and an upsurge of Muslim
nationalism. All were capped by the independence of
India in 1947, but tempered by the bloody partition of
the subcontinent into two states.
Jawaharlal Nehru (left) became India's first Prime Minister in 1947. Mahatma Gandhi(right)
led the independence movement.
Rashtrapati Bhavan, home of the President of India.
Name: Republic of India
Motto: "Satyameva Jayate" (Sanskrit)
ित्यमेव जयते (Devanāgarī)
"Truth Alone Triumphs“
National Anthem: Jana Gana Mana
"Thou Art the Ruler of the Minds of All People“
National Song: Vande Mataram
"I Bow to Thee, Mother“
Capital: New Delhi
Largest City: Mumbai
Official Languages: Hindi and English
National Language: None defined by the
Government: Federal Parliamentary
President: Pratibha Patil
Prime Minister: Manmohan Singh (INC)
Speaker of the House: Meira Kumar (INC)
Chief Justice: S. H. Kapadia
Legislature: Parliament of India
Upper House: Raiya Sabha
Lower House: Lok Sabha
Independence: from the United Kingdom
Declared: 15 August 1947
Republic: 26 January 1950
Total: 3,287,263 km2 (7th)
1,269,219 sq mi
2011 Census: 1,210,193,422(2nd)
Density: 366.8/km2 (31st)
o Currency: Indian rupee ( ) (INR)
o Time Zone: IST (UTC+05:30)
o Calling Code: 91
Emblem Sarnath Lion Capital
Anthem Jana Gana Mana
Song Vande Mataram
Bird Indian Peafowl
Land Animal Royal Bengal Tiger
Aquatic Animal River Dolphin
The National Flag is a horizontal tricolor of deep
saffron (kesaria) at the top, 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 which
represents the chakra.
The top saffron color, indicates the strength and
courage of the country. The white middle band indicates
peace and truth with Dharma Chakra. The green shows
the fertility, growth and auspiciousness of the land.
The Indian Peacock, Pavo Cristatus, the national
bird of India, is a colorful, swan-sized bird, with a fan-
shaped crest of feathers, a white patch under the eye
and a long, slender neck. The male of the species is more
colorful than the female, with a glistening blue breast
and neck and a spectacular bronze-green tail of around
200 elongated feathers. The female is brownish, slightly
smaller than the male and lacks the tail. The elaborate
courtship dance of the male, fanning out the tail and
preening its feathers is a gorgeous sight.
Lotus (Nelumbo Nucipera Gaertn) is the National
Flower of India. It is a sacred flower and occupies a
unique position in the art and mythology of ancient India
and has been an auspicious symbol of Indian culture
since time immemorial.
India is rich in flora. Currently available data place
India in the tenth position in the world and fourth in Asia
in plant diversity. From about 70 per cent geographical
area surveyed so far, 47,000 species of plants have been
described by the Botanical Survey of India (BSI).
Indian Fig Tree, Ficus Bengalensis, whose branches
root themselves like new trees over a large area. The
roots then give rise to more trunks and branches.
Because of this characteristic and its longevity, this tree
is considered immortal and is an integral part of the
myths and legends of India. Even today, the banyan tree
is the focal point of village life and the village council
meets under the shade of this tree.
The Ganga or Ganges is the longest river of India
flowing over 2,510 kms of mountains, valleys and plains.
It originates in the snowfields of the Gangotri Glacier in
the Himalayas as the Bhagirathi River. It is later joined
by other rivers such as the Alaknanda, Yamuna, Son,
Gumti, Kosi and Ghagra. The Ganga river basin is one
of the most fertile and densely populated areas of the
world and covers an area of 1,000,000 sq. kms. There are
two dams on the river - one at Haridwar and the other
at Farakka. The Ganges River Dolphin is an endangered
animal that specifically habitats this river.
The Ganga is revered by Hindus as
the most sacred river on earth. Key
religious ceremonies are held on the
banks of the river at cities such as
Varanasi, Haridwar and Allahabad. The
Ganga widens out into the Ganges Delta
in the Sunderbans swamp of
Bangladesh, before it ends its journey by
emptying into the Bay of Bengal.
NATIONAL AQUATIC ANIMAL
River Dolphin is the National Aquatic Animal of
India. This mammal is also said to represent the purity
of the holy Ganga as it can only survive in pure and
fresh water. Platanista gangetica has a long pointed
snout and also have visible teeth in both the upper and
lower jaws. Their eyes lack a lens and therefore function
solely as a means of detecting the direction of light.
Dolphins tend to swim with one fin trailing along the
substrate while rooting around with their beak to catch
shrimp and fish. Dolphins have a fairly thick body with
light grey-brown skin often with a hue of pink. The fins
are large and the dorsal fin is triangular and
This mammal has a forehead that rises steeply and
has very small eyes. River Dolphins are solitary
creatures and females tend to be larger than males.
They are locally known as susu, because of the noise it
makes while breathing. This species inhabits parts of
the Ganges, Meghna and Brahmaputra rivers in India,
Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh, and the Karnaphuli
River in Bangladesh.
The state emblem is an adaptation from the
Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka. 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 the
Law (Dharma Chakra).
The national calendar based on the Saka Era,
with Chaitra as its first month and a normal year of 365
days was adopted from 22 March 1957 along with the
Gregorian calendar for the following official purposes:
1. Gazette of India.
2. News broadcast by All India Radio.
3. Calendars issued by the Government of India.
4. Government communications addressed to the members of
Dates of the national calendar have a permanent
correspondence with dates of the Gregorian calendar,
1 Chaitra falling on 22 March normally and on 21 March in
The magnificent Tiger, Panthera Tigris is a
striped animal. It has a thick yellow coat of fur with
dark stripes. The combination of grace, strength, agility
and enormous power has earned the tiger its pride of
place as the national animal of India. Out of eight races
of the species known, the Indian race, the Royal Bengal
Tiger, is found throughout the country except in the
north-western region and also in the neighboring
countries, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh.
The song Vande Mataram, composed in Sanskrit by
Bankimchandra Chatterji, was a source of inspiration to the
people in their struggle for freedom. It has an equal status
with Jana-gana-mana. The first political occasion when it
was sung was the 1896 session of the Indian National
Congress. The following is the text of its first stanza:
Sujalam, suphalam, malayaja shitalam,
Phullakusumita drumadala shobhinim,
Suhasinim sumadhura bhashinim,
Sukhadam varadam, Mataram!
Vande Mataram, Vande Mataram!
The English translation of the stanza rendered by Sri
Aurobindo in prose 1 is:
I bow to thee, Mother,
cool with the winds of the south,
dark with the crops of the harvests,
Her nights rejoicing in the glory of the moonlight,
her lands clothed beautifully with her trees in
sweet of laughter, sweet of speech,
The Mother, giver of boons, giver of bliss.
A fleshy fruit, eaten ripe or used green for pickles
etc., of the tree Mangifera Indica, the Mango is one of the
most important and widely cultivated fruits of the
tropical world. Its juicy fruit is a rich source of Vitamins
A, C and D. In India there are over 100 varieties of
mangoes, in different sizes, shapes and colours. Mangoes
have been cultivated in India from time immemorial.
The poet Kalidasa sang its praises. Alexander savoured
its taste, as did the Chinese pilgrim Hieun Tsang.
Mughal emperor Akbar planted 100,000 mango trees in
Darbhanga, Bihar at a place now known as Lakhi Bagh.
The symbol of Indian Rupee typifies India's
international identity for money transactions and
economic strength. The Indian Rupee sign is an allegory
of Indian ethos. The symbol is an amalgam of
Devanagari "Ra" and the Roman Capital "R" with two
parallel horizontal stripes running at the top
representing the national flag and also the "equal to"
sign. The Indian Rupee sign was adopted by the
Government of India on 15thJuly, 2010.
The symbol, conceptualised and designed by Udaya
Kumar, a post graduate in Design from Indian Institute
of Technology Bombay, has been chosen from thousands
of concept entries received by the Ministry of Finance
through an open competition among resident Indian
nationals. The process of establishing and implementing
this new identity is underway through various digital
technology and computer applications.
Indian cultural history spans more than
4,500 years. During the Vedic age (c. 1700–500
BCE), the foundations of Hindu
philosophy, mythology, and literature were laid,
and many beliefs and practices which still exist
today, such as dhárma, kárma, yóga, and mokṣa,
were established. India is notable for
its religious diversity, with Hinduism, Sikhism,
Islam, Christianity, and Jainism among the
nation's major religions. The predominant
religion, Hinduism, has been shaped by various
historical schools of thought, including those of
the Upanishads, the Yoga Sutras,
theBhakti movement, and by Buddhist
ART, ARCHITECTURE, AND
The Taj Mahal, built in Agra between 1631 and 1648 by orders of Emperor Shah
Jahan in memory of his wife, has been described in the UNESCO World Heritage
List as “The Jewel of Muslim Art in India and one of the universally admired
masterpieces of the world's heritage."
Much of Indian architecture,
including the Taj Mahal, other works
of Mughal architecture, and South
Indian architecture, blends ancient
local traditions with imported styles.
Vernacular architecture is also
highly regional in it flavours.
The earliest literary writings in India,
composed between 1400 BCE and 1200
CE, were in the Sanskrit
language. Prominent works of
this Sanskrit literature include epics such
as the Mahābhārata and the Ramayana,
the dramas of Kālidāsa such as
the Abhijñānaśākuntalam (The
Recognition of Śakuntalā), and poetry
such as the Mahākāvya
Developed between 600 BCE and 300 CE
in South India, the Sangam literature,
consisting of 2,381 poems, is regarded as a
predecessor of Tamil literature. From the 14th
to the 18th centuries, India's literary
traditions went through a period of drastic
change because of the emergence of devotional
poets such as Kabīr, Tulsīdās, and Guru
Nānak. This period was characterised by a
varied and wide spectrum of thought and
expression; as a consequence, medieval Indian
literary works differed significantly from
The 19th century, Indian
writers took a new interest in social
questions and psychological
20th-century Indian literature
was influenced by the works of Bengali
poet and novelist Rabindranath