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Welcome To India
India, officially the Republic of India is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest
country by area, the second-most populous country, with over 1.2 billion people, and
the most populous democracy in the world. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean on the
south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast. It
shares land borders with Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the
northeast; and Myanmar (Burma) and Bangladesh to the east. In the Indian Ocean,
India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives. India's Andaman and Nicobar
Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia.
The Indian subcontinent was home to the urban Indus Valley Civilisation of the 3rd millennium BCE. In the following
millennium, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism began to be composed. Social stratification, based on caste,
emerged in the first millennium BCE, and Buddhism and Jainism arose. Early political consolidations took place under the
Maurya and Gupta empires; the later peninsular Middle Kingdoms influenced cultures as far as southeast Asia. In the
medieval era, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, and Islam arrived, and Sikhism emerged, all adding to the region's
diverse culture. Much of the north fell to the Delhi sultanate; the south was united under the Vijayanagara Empire.
The economy expanded in the 17th century in the Mughal Empire. In the mid-18th century, the subcontinent came under
British East India Company rule, and in the mid-19th under British crown rule. A nationalist movement emerged in the late
19th century, which later, under Mahatma Gandhi, was noted for nonviolent resistance and led to India's independence in 1947.
In 2015, the Indian economy was the world's seventh largest by nominal GDP and third largest by purchasing power parity.
Following market-based economic reforms in 1991, India became one of the fastest-growing major economies and is
considered a newly industrialised country. However, it continues to face the challenges of poverty, corruption, malnutrition,
and inadequate public healthcare. A nuclear weapons state and regional power, it has the third largest standing army in
the world and ranks fifth in military expenditure among nations. India is a federal republic governed under a parliamentary
system and consists of 29 states and 7 union territories. It is a pluralistic, multilingual and multi-ethnic society and is also
home to a diversity of wildlife in a variety of protected habitats.
Religion in India is characterised by a diversity of religious beliefs and practices.
Secularism in India means treatment of all religions equally by the state. India is a
Secular State by the 42nd amendment act of Constitution in 1976. The Indian
subcontinent is the birthplace of four of the world's major religions; namely
Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. Throughout India's history, religion
has been an important part of the country's culture. Religious diversity and
religious tolerance are both established in the country by the law and custom; t
he Constitution of India has declared the right to freedom of religion to be a
Northwest India was home to one of the world's oldest civilizations, the Indus valley
civilisation. Today, India is home to around 90% of the global population of Hindus.
Most Hindu shrines and temples are located in India, as are the birthplaces of
most Hindu saints. Allahabad hosts the world's largest religious pilgrimage,
Kumbha Mela, where Hindus from across the world come together to bathe in
the confluence of three sacred rivers of India: the Ganga, the Yamuna, and the
Saraswati. The Indian diaspora in the West has popularised many aspects of
Hindu philosophy such as yoga, meditation, Ayurvedic medicine, divination, k
arma, and reincarnation. The influence of Indian religions has been significant
all over the world. Several Hindu-based organisations, such as the Hare Krishna
movement, the Brahma Kumaris, the Ananda Marga, and others have spread Indian
spiritual beliefs and practices.
According to the 2011 census, 79.8% of the population of India practices Hinduism
and 14.2% adheres to Islam, while the remaining 6% adheres to other religions
(Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism and various indigenous ethnically-bound
faiths). Christianity is the 3rd largest religion in India. Zoroastrianism and Judaism
also have an ancient history in India, and each has several thousands of Indian
adherents. India has the largest population of people adhering to Zoroastrianism
(i.e. Parsis and Iranis) and Bahá'í Faith in the world, even though these religions
are not native to India. Many other world religions also have a relationship with
Indian spirituality, such as the Baha'i faith which recognises Buddha and Krishna
as manifestations of the God Almighty.
India has the third largest Shia population in the world and being the cradle of Ahmadiyya Islam, it is one of the countries
in the world with at least 2 million Ahmadi Muslims. The shrines of some of the most famous saints of Sufism, like Moinuddin
Chishti and Nizamuddin Auliya, are found in India, and attract visitors from all over the world. India is also home to some
of the most famous monuments of Islamic architecture, such as the Taj Mahal and the Qutb Minar. Civil matters related to
the community are dealt with by the Muslim Personal Law, and constitutional amendments in 1985 established its primacy
in family matters.