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INDIA

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Taj Mahal, Agra, India
Taj Mahal, Agra, © Can Stock Photo / matejh

India is officially known as the Republic of India and has a population in excess of 1 billion people.  It shares borders with Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, China, Burma and Bangladesh.  The capital of India is New Delhi (located within the metropolis of Delhi) and its largest city is Mumbai (formerly called Bombay).  Settlement in India dates back to before the establishment of the Indus Valley Civilization in approximately 2,000 BC.  Its more recent history is marked by a series of regional rulers, leading up to control by the British East India Company in the 1700s.  India was ruled by the United Kingdom in the 1800s and gained independence from Britain in 1947 through the non violent leadership of Mahatma Ghandi.  Ghandi is remembered for the success of his protests by hunger strike.  India remains a member of the British Commonwealth and shows strong British influences, such as the popularity of the game of cricket.

Diwali is an annual festival of lights that consumes the country.  This is a Hindu based tradition.  It involves candles in the home and lots of personal fireworks.  Diwali falls between mid October and mid November.

English is widely spoken due to the influence of British occupation. 

Climate:

As one of the largest countries in the world, India has great geographical and climatic diversity.  The northern areas touch up against the Himalayas and the Thar Desert is located in the northwest of the country.  The Himalayas produce abundant water and rivers that traverse the grasslands to their south and then flow in an easterly direction.  In the southern parts of the country, temperatures and humidity increase and so does the risk of flooding during the heavy rainfall of summer monsoons.

Visas:

A visa is required for tourist travel to India.  The application can be completed at a local Indian consulate, the Government of India - Indian Visa Online or online with VisaHQ.  For a list of exempt countries, visit Project Visa.

Currency:

The currency in India is the Indian rupee.

Best Time to Visit India:

City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

 Agra

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