The one minute summary on India
This is it: one minute to the best info on India. This info alone will put you ahead of 99% of foreigners visiting India, garner the admiration of the locals who will instantly want to be your friends, and the envy of your fellow travelers. Read on. You’ll make friends faster that way, become a traveler instead of simply being a tourist, and also enjoy your travels a lot more.
The Indus Valley civilization, one of the world’s oldest, flourished during the 3rd and 2nd millennia B.C. and extended into northwestern India. Aryan tribes from the northwest infiltrated the Indian subcontinent about 1500 B.C.; their merger with the earlier Dravidian inhabitants created the classical Indian culture. The Maurya Empire of the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C. – which reached its zenith under ASHOKA – united much of South Asia. The Golden Age ushered in by the Gupta dynasty (4th to 6th centuries A.D.) saw a flowering of Indian science, art, and culture. Islam spread across the subcontinent over a period of 700 years. In the 10th and 11th centuries, Turks and Afghans invaded India and established the Delhi Sultanate. In the early 16th century, the Emperor BABUR established the Mughal Dynasty which ruled India for more than three centuries. European explorers began establishing footholds in India during the 16th century. By the 19th century, Great Britain had become the dominant political power on the subcontinent. The British Indian Army played a vital role in both World Wars. Years of nonviolent resistance to British rule, led by Mohandas GANDHI and Jawaharlal NEHRU, eventually resulted in Indian independence, which was granted in 1947. Large-scale communal violence took place before and after the subcontinent partition into two separate states – India and Pakistan. The neighboring nations have fought three wars since independence, the last of which was in 1971 and resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh. India’s nuclear weapons tests in 1998 emboldened Pakistan to conduct its own tests that same year. In November 2008, terrorists originating from Pakistan conducted a series of coordinated attacks in Mumbai, India’s financial capital. Despite pressing problems such as significant overpopulation, environmental degradation, extensive poverty, and widespread corruption, economic growth following the launch of economic reforms in 1991 and a massive youthful population are driving India’s emergence as a regional and global power.
That was it. I promised one minute.
For other condensed info check also my other posts on local culture (don’t make the mistakes I made), local food or local drinks. And when you call your friends to tell them you were by far the most knowledgeable at the party, do that with confidence that you’ll not get hit with a 6.99 per minute bill. You’ll also pick the local food from the tray, and order a local drink with confidence.
- Cultural Mistakes To Avoid in India
- Does my current phone work in India ? Tips to cell phone usage in India
- Local food you should try in India and No miss drinks in India
Now, cheers to the most India aware person at the cocktail party.
What are the key history moments for India?
Mesolithic sites includes the Bhimbetka rock shelters in Central India, Madhya Pradesh, which are 300,000 years old. Indians dates the Vedic Period as one of the significant role in Indian society, which scholars place in the second and first millennia BC continuing up to the 6th century BC, based on literary evidence. This is the period when the Vedas, one of the oldest and important books of Hinduism, were compiled. The earliest archaeological traces are from 7000 BC in Mehrgarh, which grew to be the “Indus Valley Civilization”. By 3300 BC, this civilization had well-planned towns and well-laid roads, but gave no evidence of weapons or fortifications. This declined and disintegrated around 1900 BC, possibly due to drought and geological disturbances. Most historians say that the Vedic people, or Aryans, were later migrants, who encountered a civilization in decline and perhaps hastened that decline. According to this view, the Vedic people eventually occupied most of North India, while the descendants of the Indus Valley cultures moved south and gave rise to the Dravidian culture. The minority view challenges this Aryan Migration theory, claiming that the Indus Valley people were in fact the ones who compiled the Vedas. The Vedic civilization influences India to this day. Present-day Hinduism traces its roots to the Vedas, but is also heavily influenced by literature that came afterwards, like the Upanishads, the Puranas, the great epics Ramayana and Mahabharata, and the Bhagavad Gita. By tradition, these books claim to only expand and distil the knowledge that is already present in the Vedas. Some rituals of Hinduism took shape during that period. Most North-Indian languages come from Sanskrit, the language of the Vedas, and are classified as part of the Indo-European group of languages. In the 1st millennium BC, various schools of thought in philosophy developed, enriching Hinduism greatly. Most of them claimed to derive from the Vedas. However, three of these schools – Sikhism , Buddhism and Jainism – questioned the authority of the Vedas and they are now recognized as separate religions. Many great empires were formed between 500 BC and AD 500. Notable among them were the Mauryas and the Guptas. This period saw major mathematical and astronomical advancements, many of which were ahead of their time and were rediscovered later in the West. In particular, Aryabhata theorized that the earth was a sphere that rotates about its axis and revolves around the sun. He also developed a calendar that is followed to this day. This period also saw a gradual decline of Buddhism and Jainism. The practice of Buddhism, in particular, disappeared from India’s heartland, though Buddha himself was incorporated into the Hindu pantheon. Jainism continues to be practised by a significant number who are ambivalent about whether they consider themselves Hindus or not. Hinduism itself went through significant changes. The importance of Vedic deities like Indra and Agni reduced and Puranic deities like Vishnu, Shiva, their various Avatars and family members gained prominence. Jamia Masjid, Delhi Islamic incursions started in the 8th century. Gradually the raiders started staying as rulers, and soon much of North India was ruled by Muslims. The most important of the Muslim rulers were the Mughals, who established an empire that at its peak covered almost the entire subcontinent (save the southern and eastern extremities), while the major Hindu force that survived in the North were the Rajputs. The bravery of the Rajputs in resisting invasion of their land is legendary and celebrated in ballads all over the forts of Rajasthan. Prominent among the Rajputs wes Rana Pratap, the ruler of Chittorgarh, who spent years in exile fighting Akbar, the third of the Mughals. Eventually, however, the Rajputs were subdued, and the Rajput-Mughal alliance remained strong till the end of the empire. This period of North India was the golden age for Indian art, architecture, and literature, producing the monumental gems of Rajasthan and the Taj Mahal. Hindi and Urdu also took root in medieval North India. During the Islamic period, some Hindus also converted to Islam, some due to force, some due to inducements, and some to escape the caste system. Today, some 13% of the Indian population is Muslim. Sikhism, another major religion, was established in Punjab during the Mughal period. Relations between Sikhism and the Mughals varied over time. The Golden Temple at Amritsar was built with the help of Akbar. By the time of its tenth Guru – Guru Gobind Singh, however, relations were hostile. Conflict between the Sikhs and the Mughals was one of the causes for the eventual decline of the Mughal empire. The other cause was the challenge of the ‘Marathas in Maharashtra, which was started by Shivaji and carried on by the Peshwas. The Marathas established a short-lived confederacy that was almost as large as the Mughal empire. Marathas lost their command over India after the third battle of Panipat, which in turn paved a way for British Colonialism. Shore Temple (c. 700 AD), Mamallapuram South India followed a different trajectory, being less affected by Islamic rule. The period from 500 AD to 1600 AD is called the classical period dominated by great South Indian kingdoms. Prominent among them were the Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas and Vijayanagara empires who ruled from present day Karnataka and the Pallavas, Cheras, Pandyas and Cholas who ruled from present day Tamil Nadu & Kerala. Among them, the Cholas are widely recognised to be the most powerful of the South Indian kingdoms, with their territory stretching as far north as Pataliputra and their influence spreading as far east as Sumatra, Western Borneo and Southern Vietnam at the height of their power. Some of the grandest Hindu and Jain monuments that exist in India were built during this time in South and East India. European traders started visiting India beginning in the late 16th century. Prominent among these were the British, French and the Portuguese. The British East India Company made Calcutta their headquarters in 1772. They also established subsidiary cities like Bombay and Madras. Calcutta later went onto to become ‘the second city of the empire after London’. By the 19th century, the British had, one way or the other assumed political control of virtually all of India, though the Portuguese and the French too had their enclaves along the coast. There was an uprising by Indian rulers in 1857 which was suppressed, but which prompted the British government to take over from the Company and make India a part of the empire. Many Indians converted to Christianity during the period, for pretty much the same reasons as they converted to Islam, though forcible conversions ended in British India after 1859, and Queen Victoria’s proclamation promised to respect the religious faiths of Indians. Non-violent resistance to British colonialism under Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi led to independence on 15 August 1947. However, independence was simultaneously granted to the secular state of India and the smaller Islamic state of Pakistan, and the orgy of Hindu-Muslim bloodletting that followed Partition led to the deaths of at least half a million and the migration of 12-14 million people. Free India under Nehru adopted a democratically-governed, centrally-planned economy. These policies were aimed at attaining “self-sufficiency”, and to a large extent made India what it is today. India achieved self-sufficiency in food grains by the 1970s, ensuring that the large-scale famines that had been common are now history. However these policies also led to shortages, slow growth and large-scale corruption. After a balance-of-payments crisis in 1991, the country adopted free-market reforms which have continued at a meandering pace ever since, fuelling strong growth. The IT and the business outsourcing industries have been the drivers for the growth, while manufacturing and agriculture, which have not experienced reforms, are lagging. About 60% of Indians live on agriculture and around 36% remain in poverty. Relations with Pakistan have been frosty. The two countries have fought four wars, three of them over the status of Kashmir. The third war between the two countries in 1971 resulted in East Pakistan becoming Bangladesh. India continues to experience occasional terrorist attacks that are widely believed to originate in Pakistan and ordered by its military-intelligence complex. China and India went to war in 1962 over a border dispute. Though current relations are peaceful, there is still military rivalry and no land crossings are allowed between the two countries, though one border crossing between Sikkim and Tibet was re-opened in 2006 for trade (but not tourists). Security concerns over Pakistan and China prompted India to test nuclear weapons twice (including the 1974 tests described as “peaceful explosions”). India wants to be accepted as a legitimate nuclear power and is campaigning for a permanent Security Council seat. India is proud of its democratic record. Constitutional government and democratic freedoms have been safeguarded throughout its 60 years as an independent country, except for an 18 month interlude in 1975-1977, when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi declared a state of emergency, suspending elections and human rights. Current concerns in India include the corruption, poverty, over-population, environmental degradation, ongoing disputes with Pakistan and China, terrorism, and ethnic and religious strife. But the current obsession, at least among the educated elite, is over whether India will be able overtake China in economic growth.
The one minute summary for India geography
Best places to see in India
If you really want to see all the worth visiting places in India, one tourist visa of six months can be argued to be considered enough. There are more tourist destinations in India then can be mentioned in one book. Almost every State in India has over ten major tourist destinations and there are cities which can not be fully experienced even in one full week. Not to forget that several states of India are bigger than most of the countries in the world and there are twenty-eight states in India. The Taj Mahal : It is actually bigger and more majestic than what it looks in the photograph. Varanasi : Hindu religious rituals, some harking back to the Vedic age, 5,000 years ago, Varanasi is the oldest living city of the world and the birth place of Hinduism. Don’t miss the evening Ganga Aarti. Tigers : They may or may not be present in all the tiger reserves but your chances of seeing a tiger are fairly good in Bandhavgarh or Ranthambore tiger reserves. Sundarbans: Largest mangrove forest and delta in the world. Home to the famous Royal Bengal tigers and estuarine crocodiles. Hill Stations: India is home to some remarkable, scenic and gorgeous hill stations such as Shimla, Mussorie, Darjeeling, Shillong and Ooty. Sangla Valley : Considered one of the most beautiful valleys of the world lies in the upper regions of Himachal Pradesh. It is extremely scenic with photogenic landscapes and unforgettable landscapes. Leh : Considered to be on the top of the world. One of the highest inhabited cities of the world. It gives a different idea of high altitude altogether with unbelievable landscapes. Srinagar : It is the capital of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Extremely beautiful city in the midst of the Himalayas with a very beautiful Dal lake in it. Gangtok : Capital city of Sikkim. Gangtok is a bewitching hill-station located amidst the multiple-hued mountains of Sikkim. Goa : Ruled by Portuguese for over 400 years, Goa is a cocktail of Indian and Portuguese culture. Quite a different kind of place altogether, Goa is full of beautiful beaches and flocking tourists. Pondicherry : Pondicherry was a French colony over two hundred years and has a lot of sighting of French influence throughout it’s territories. Now tourists often flock there for spiritual ashrams or enjoyable pubs and parties. Bishnupur : Located in West Bengal, it is home to the famous terracotta temples and a great centre for classical Bishnupur Gharana music. Do not forget to buy a Bankura horse made of terracota(which is the symbol for Indian handicrafts). Tirupati Balaji : If you want to see the material richness of a religious place, visit this temple. It is considered to be the richest temple in the world and one surprising sight to see for a non Indian. It is located in Andhra Pradesh. Nalanda : Related to Buddhism, It was the oldest university of the world later on destroyed completely during the Muslim invasions of India. Sights of Buddhist interest like Pavapuri and Rajgir are in the vicinity. Golden Temple : An actual temple plated with gold is one of Sikhism’s holiest shrines. Looks very serene early in the mornings. Khajuraho : Supposedly the birth place of Kamasutra, Khajuraho is full of temples with erotic sculptures all around them. One of the most interesting and less talked about aspects of Hindu culture. Kochi : In a State full of secluded and ravishing beaches, Kochi is one of the most sought after tourist destination. It is advisable to visit the surrounding beach cities of Kochi. Don’t forget to experience backwaters of Kerala in a house boat. Andamans : Beautiful Island territory of India in the Bay of Bengal, Andaman islands can be considered one of the best island destinations in the world. Jaisalmer : A city located in the middle of desert, Jaisalmer is a place to go for watching the beautiful view of sun lighted virgin deserts of Thar Desert. Srirangam, . Srirangam is a marvellous and magnificient temple in South of India. Kumarakom, . Serene back waters in God’s own country, Kerala in South India is a must visit. Sports Football. Other than cricket, you can come across young boys playing around with a ball on any open space which is available. The club soccer is more favorite to the Indians than the international games and you will find people getting into heated arguments in public places over their favorite team .Also , many large restaurants and bars offer a view of important European club matches and the World Cup matches.The most famous and electrifying Derby club match is between Mohun Bagan Athletic club(Estd.-1889) and East Bengal Football club(Estd.-1920) held in Salt Lake stadium(the second largest non-auto racing stadium in the world) in Kolkata, the football capital of India and a tremendously football crazy city. Hockey ((Field hockey)). Despite the craze for cricket and football, the national game of India , hockey retains a prominent position in the hearts of many Indians. Although the viewership has dwindled significantly , (as compared to the golden era before cricket came to the fore in the mid 80’s), it hasn’t vanished off. Specially in North India, some eastern parts like Jharkhand, Odisha and the north-eastern states still have a significant base. The introduction of the Premier Hockey League has recovered its popularity in recent times. Cricket. India is a cricket-obsessed country and cricket is in the blood of most Indians. It plays a dominant role in world cricket and has been world champion twice in ICC Cricket World Cup. Once in 1983 beating a mighty West Indies in the final and most recently in 2011 defeating Sri Lanka. India also emerged triumphant in the inaugural ICC T20 World Cup in 2007 held in South Africa beating arch-rival Pakistan in a nail-biting final. Popularity of cricket in India is second to no other games therefore seeing kids playing cricket in parks and alleys with rubber balls and makeshift wickets is an extremely common sight. Until 2008, Indian cricket was all about the national team playing against other countries in one-day matches or epic 5 day Test marathons, but the advent of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has, for better or worse, brought fast-paced, commercialized “Twenty20” cricket to the fore, complete with cheerleaders and massive salaries. In international matches, while Australia and South Africa make viable opposition, the biggest rivalry by far is with neighbouring Pakistan, and matches between the two sides are often a very charged affair. About half-a dozen Indian stadiums have a capacity of over 45,000 and watching a cricket match can be quite an experience. Eden Gardens cricket stadium in Kolkata is Asia’s highest capacity stadium with over 90,000 seating capacity and is the oldest cricket stadium in the Indian Subcontinent established in 1865 and is comparable to the stadiums of Lords’ in London and the MCG in Melbourne. The atmosphere of most matches is electrifying. Nearly all international matches have sellout crowds, and it is quite normal for fans to bribe officials and make their way in. Starting ticket prices are quite cheap; they can be as low as ?250-300. India and Pakistan are all-time arch rivals, and cricket matches between the two nations attract up to a billion TV viewers