India, officially Known as Republic of India (In Hindi Known as Bharat or Hindustan), is a country in southern Asia, It is bounded on the north by Afghanistan, China, Nepal, and Bhutan; on the east by Bangladesh, Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), and the Bay of Bengal; on the south by the Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar (which separates it from Sri Lanka) and the Indian Ocean; and on the west by the Arabian Sea and Pakistan.
India is divided into 26 states and 6 union territories. It is the world’s seventh largest country. New Delhi is the country’s capital and one of its largest cities.
With nearly 1 billion inhabitants, India ranks second only to China among the world's most populous countries. Its people are culturally diverse, and religion plays an important role in the life of the country.
A Brief History
People have been living in India for many thousands of years. As far as we know, a great civilization developed about 4500 years ago in the valley of the Indus River.
The Indus valley lasted for about thousand years. The ruins of Harrapa and Mohan-Jodero were some of the towns of that civilization. The people was rich, they made rivers, they was aware of farming, trading, cooking etc.
Before 1500 B.C., Aryans began coming to the Indian peninsula. During the years that followed, most of the Aryans settled in villages. They became farmers or craft workers.
Mean while, the Hindu religion was beginning to take shape. This religion combined the beliefs of the Aryans with the beliefs of the earlier peoples who lived in India. Today, about five sixth of India's people follow the Hindu religion.
The Aryans of India used a beautiful language called Sanskrit.
About 563 B.C., a child born to a family of nobles who lived in the foothills of the Himalayas. The boy's name was Siddhartha Gautama, He known as Gautama Buddha. His teachings became a new religion called Buddhism.
In the fourth century BC most of the India was united under a single ruler, ChandraGupta Maurya. Maurya family ruled India for about 150 years.
The greatest of the Maurya rulers was Emperor Ashoka. Pillars with messages preaching love and kindness were setup through out the empire. National Emblem is also taken from top part one of those pillars in SarNath in 1950.
After Ashoka death, Maurya empire fell apart, Then about 320 AD Guptas started building an empire in northern India. India made great achievements in art, literature and science. For this reason, the Gupta period is often called Golden Age of India.
The Gupta empire came to an end around 500 AD.
In the following centuries, India was invaded again by people from other lands including Mughals and Europeans.
Portugal was the first European nation to find all water route to India. After 1498 many European traders sailed to India by the route that Vasco De Gama had discovered.
In the 1700 the portugese lost their power and Britishers started to come up.
By 1857 East India Company governed much of India. In 1877, Queen Victoria of Britain assumed the title "Empress of India."
About 1920, Mahatma Gandhi began leading the Indian people in their fight for the freedom.
In 1947, India got freedom from the Britishers. But India was also divided into two countries India and Pakistan.
On January 26, 1950, India became a democratic republic by adopting the constitution written by Dr. Ambedkar.
Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru was elected as first prime minister of India.