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Passport to India

India is a jumble of contradictions. It's the third biggest economy in the world, yet a huge percentage of the population lives in poverty. It is home to some of the most beautiful sights the world has to offer but also some of the world's biggest slums. Get the goods on this complex country.

India - Where is it?

India is 1.2 million square miles (or 287,590 square kilometers), which makes it the seventh-largest country in the world in terms of geographical size. And with more than one billion inhabitants, it's the second-biggest nation in terms of population (China is the first). The Indian subcontinent is located in southern Asia, with Pakistan to the west, Nepal and China to the north and Bangladesh to the east. The capital city is Delhi.

India - A Brief History

Indian civilization goes way back to the Stone Age. The first known settlements are more than 9,000 years old. The Maurya dynasty built the empire that eventually united most of modern India around 180 BCE and various dynasties duked it out for power for many generations. European nations started colonizing India in the 18th and 19th centuries. Britain took the biggest chunk - but Portugal, France and the Netherlands grabbed bits too. The country fought for independence from foreign rule through most of the 20th century - led by their spiritual leader and icon Mahatma Gandhi. India finally gained independence on August 15, 1947.

India - Did You Know?

  • There are 22 languages recognized by the Indian constitution including Urdu, Tamil and Punjabi. Hindi and English are the official languages used by the central government.
  • The Taj Mahal (located in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh) is one of the Seven Modern Wonders of the World.
  • India is home to elephants, tigers, asiatic lions, hippos and tons of other cool animals.
  • India is home to one of the stragest temples around - it's home to thousands of rats!
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