India is a land of rich cultural heritage, diverse landscapes and stunning architecture. From the snow-capped Himalayas in the north to the tropical beaches in the south, India has a unique appeal for every tourist.
The word “India” (as well as its forms in Western languages, including India in English) is derived from the ancient Persian language, which was used instead of the Sanskrit word “Sindhu” and was the name of the Indus River. Also, the word “India” which is popular as the full name of this land in most countries, including India itself, is a Persian word meaning “Land of Hindus”.
Due to its ethnic, racial, linguistic, and cultural diversity, India is more like a continent than a country. Of course, India was once a continent unto itself. More than 100 million years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, most of the present land of India was an island. This piece of land was separated from a supercontinent called Gondwanaland (named after the Gondwana forest region in central India) and was slowly moving northward. About 50 million years ago, when the dinosaurs were extinct, the Indian continental plate collided with the Asian plate. As a result of this collision, the coastline of both continents was warped and the Himalayan Mountain range was created. These mountains are the youngest – and of course the tallest – mountain ranges in the world.
India is the seventh-largest and second-most populous country in the world. This country is surrounded from the south by the Indian Ocean, from the southwest by the Oman Sea, and from the southeast by the Bay of Bengal, as well as from the west by Pakistan; from the north by China, Nepal, and Bhutan; And it has a common border with Bangladesh and Myanmar from the east.
The population of this country is more than one billion and 200 million people. The area of India is more than 3 million and 280 thousand square kilometers. According to predictions, India’s population will be equal to China’s in 2028. At that time, this country will have a population of about one billion and 450 million people. Among the 10 megacities of the world, three of them are located in India. According to United Nations statistics, New Delhi is now the second largest urban area in the world, Mumbai is in seventh place, and Kolkata is in tenth place. India’s geography is very diverse and includes forests, deserts, mountains, plains, hills, and plateaus.
The lowest level of India is in the Indian Ocean, with a height of zero, and the highest point of this country, Kanchenjunga Peak, with a height of 8568 meters, is located in the Himalayas, which is the third highest peak in the world. The climate of this country varies from tropical in the south to temperate in the north. India enjoys a very diverse fauna, a protected area of 1,412 square kilometers in Gujarat province is the only remaining sanctuary of about 300 Asiatic lions. India is home to many large mammals such as the Asian elephant, the Indian one-horned rhinoceros, and the tiger. More than 2000 species of birds and three types of crocodiles live in this country.
India has nearly one-sixth of the world’s population. The exact number of languages spoken in India is probably more than 1000, but it is difficult to define a clear boundary between the languages. In the 1961 census of India, a total of 1,652 languages were recorded, but some of them may have been different dialects of the same language, and some of them have become obsolete since then. Currently, 415 living languages are spoken in India.
In the Constitution of India, Hindi and English are declared as the official languages of the country. Sanskrit and Tamil languages are known as the main and traditional languages of India, and during the long history of this land, Persian and English languages have played an important role in the change and evolution of the common languages in this region. The long years of British colonial rule over the Indian subcontinent and conducting most of the administrative affairs in English have made this language the second language of many Indian people.
In India, there are different religions and different religious sects, most of them originating from Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism. Christians, Sikhs, and Zoroastrians are among the other well-known religions in India.
As mentioned, India is more than a country and the attractions of this beautiful and vast country should be compared to a continent. However, some of the most famous attractions in this country are:
The Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is one of the most famous and recognizable landmarks in India. This mausoleum is located in Agra and is a mausoleum built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. The white marble structure of this building is an architectural masterpiece and is considered one of the seven wonders of the world.
The Golden Triangle is a popular tourist circuit that includes Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur. Visitors can explore the bustling streets of Delhi, see the beauty of the Taj Mahal in Agra, and experience the vibrant culture of Jaipur. The Golden Triangle offers a glimpse of India’s rich history and culture and is a must-see for anyone visiting the country.
Kerala is a network of canals, wetlands, and lakes located in the southern part of India. Visitors can take a leisurely boat ride in the calm waters of this area and enjoy the beauty of its lush landscape.
Goa is a coastal state in western India known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and Portuguese heritage. Visitors can soak up the sun on the beaches, explore historic churches and cathedrals, and enjoy the local cuisine. Goa is also famous for its music festivals and is a popular destination for young and music-loving tourists.
Harmandir Sahib: The Golden Temple of Amritsar
This temple was built in 1577, which is an important pillar of Sikh history and culture. This title alone is enough to include this temple in your itinerary. Harmandir Sahib, known as the Golden Temple, is the main attraction of this place and is eye-catching from any distance with its attractive and beautiful golden decorations.
This temple, which holds the title of the holiest Sikh temple, was built in a combination of Islamic and Hindu architectural styles, and the most beautiful marble stones of the time and impressive carvings were used in its construction and decorations.
Rajasthan is a state in northern India known for its beautiful palaces and historic forts. Visitors can explore the stunning architecture of Jaipur’s palaces, marvel at the beauty of Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur, and experience local culture in the desert city of Jaisalmer. Rajasthan is also famous for its colorful festivals and traditional handicrafts.
Golden City: Jaisalmer
The Golden City of Jaisalmer is known by this name because of the yellow materials used in its construction. Jaisalmer, which was once used as a strategic base, today is a city full of old and magnificent palaces, magnificent gates, and a huge fort known as Jaisalmer Fort.
The construction of this palace began in 1500, but until the 19th century, various rulers added parts to it. Right now, for reasons that are not fully known, only parts of it can be visited! But be sure that seeing these parts of this mysterious palace will also provide you with unique pleasure.
Varanasi is a city located on the banks of the Ganges River in northern India. This city is one of the oldest cities in the world and is considered the spiritual center of India. Visitors can take a boat ride on the Ganges River and witness the daily rituals and ceremonies performed by the local people. Varanasi is also famous for its street food, and visitors can sample local cuisine at numerous stalls and restaurants.
Darjeeling is a beautiful region located in the eastern part of India. This city is known for its splendid views of the Himalayas and of course the best and highest quality tea plantations.
Elephanta Caves of Maharashtra State
Elephanta Caves include a series of stone caves carved into the heart of a mountain on Elephanta Island and registered in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Delhi Red Fort
The Red Fort of Delhi, also known as the Lal Fort of Delhi, is a valuable jewel left over from the Mughal era. This beautiful castle has been registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The wonders and tourist attractions of India are countless. Every part of this magical land has a rich history and is full of mystery. If you are thinking of traveling to this subcontinent, stay with us on Benyamin Marco’s website to see an accurate and immediate picture of India.