Nepal and Himalayan chain to the north, Bangladesh and Bay of Bengal to the east, Tibet and Bhutan to North east, Arabian sea to the west, and the India Ocean to the south roughly define the geographical shape of India roughly in the shape of a triangular peninsula. Beside the Arabian Sea, its western border is defined exclusively by Pakistan. In between all these the landscape is unimaginable. This has set apart a big chunk of the continent in South Asia.
The nature has endowed India with mountain ranges, national parks, sea beaches, swift rivers and most of all diverse culture and people of every shades and colour. It has everything for everyone in its own way. The distance from north to the south is 3200 km. North India has largest area that has lakes in Jammu and Kashmir to the north in the mountain and fertile land of Punjab to the west and the Himalayan foothills of Uttar Pradesh and the Ganges river valley to the East. Apart from the vibrating culture of Gujarat and Maharashtra, Goa located in the west coast is famous for sea beaches. The land along the coast is typically lush with rainforests. River Ganges, a scared river, and foothill of the Himalayas also define the culture of this part of India. Southern India that includes Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala are the extension of Deccan pleateau that extend to Cape Comorin. These are unique places and favourite leisure destination of tourists.
People visit India for its unique culture and monuments. It has extra ordinary cultures that has been shaped by its history. The famous Indus civilization in the Indus river valley that had flourished about five thousand years ago is a major force that shaped what is India today. The word ‘Hindu for Indus’ is believed to have originated in this valley. The meaning of the word ‘Hindu’ was not so much of a religion rather it is definition of the civilization at that time. The ‘Indus Civilization’ is believed to have adopted high level of lifestyle and advance form of technology that developed the towns and undecipherable script language. The civilization is as old as the ancient civilizations of Egypt and Sumer but it outlasted both in all aspect. However, The tectonic upheavals in about 1700 BC and the advent of Aryans around 1500 BC in the valley brought end to its glory. The Aryans who came from the North and spread throughout India brought another dimension in the culture and religions of the Indus valley that transform its own character and thereby culture of the Arayans. It is strongly believed that the Four Vedas or script of Hinduism were compiled at this time of the history.
In 567 B.C. Gautam Buddha was born in Limbuni, a small town in Nepal, and later attained Nirvana in India. This is a landmark era in the history of Inida. Gautam Buddha well known for his ‘Buddhist’ Phylosophy brought a tremendous impact in the lives of the people. Mahavira propogated Jain Religion a that time also had impressive impact on the civilization of India. Next mile stone was two hundred years later, in the 4th century B.C. The emperor Ashoka who led the Mauryan Empire defined the modern cultural boundary of India. Ashoka later adopted Buddhism as his religion and built many monuments that are included in the UNESCO World heritage list.
The other imprint in the culture was made by Guptas in the north and in the south Cholas, Pandyas and the Cheras; they spread Hinduism. They flourish in the trade with Europes and other nationalities of Asia till the end of the 1100. During the time Christianinty came into India from Europe. The history has it that Jewish religion made its mark even before the arrival of Christianity. The Parsees who landed in Gujarat made its own impact in the religious mix. In 15th century Guru Nanak made lasting impact with Sikh religion in Punjab. Mohammed of Ghori, a ruler from Afghanistan came to India in 1192 and placed his important impression by introducing Islam as the religion in several places in North India including Delhi. Before him Islam was already flourishing in Kerala. After that Mughals came from Iran and captured north part of India. During this time in 1336 the Hindu empire of Vijayanagar was strong in the south. The Europeans – Portuguese, French, Dutch, Danish and last but not the least the British came in and placed their own imprint on the culture and civilization of India.