No matter how willing you are to step outside cultural bias and give up the joys of using toilet paper, India will still manage to sideswipe you with its size, clamor and diversity. Nothing in the country is ever quite the way you expect it to be, and the only thing to expect is that the unexpected comes in many forms and it will always want to sit next to you. India is a litmus test for many travelers and some visitors are only too happy to get on an aircraft and fly away, but if you enjoy delving into convoluted cosmologies, thrive on sensual overload, and have a firm grasp of the absurd, then India is one of the most intricate and rewarding dramas unfolding on earth.
India as it is often said, is not a country but a continent. From north to south, east to west, the people, their languages and their customs are different. It can be said, that there are few countries on Earth with the enormous variety that India offers. Love it or hate it, you can never ignore India. There are visitors who have left the country with a sigh of relief, but are waiting to get back after a year.
It all comes back to the vast diversity of the country – starting from the highest peaked mountains to the the plains , from food that is totally bland to cuisine that can set your mouth on fire, from transport that can be as exhilarating as it can be boring and uncomfortable, nothing in India is ever quite the way you expect it. But in the end, its all worth it.
View Map of India
Full country name: Republic of India
Area: 3,287,000 sq km (1,281,900 sq m) (several disputed international borders)
Population: 1 billion + (growth rate 2.1%)
Capital city: New Delhi (pop 10.1 million)
People: 72% Indo-Aryan, 25% Dravidian, 3% Mongoloid
Languages: Hindi and English, plus 15 main languages and over 700 dialects
Religion: 82% Hindu, 11% Muslim, 2% Christian, 2% Sikh, 0.7% Buddhist and 0.7% Jain
Prime Minister: Shri Manmohan Singh
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