Tag Archives: Himalayas

India, Geography, States and Union Territories part I

The Republic of India is more commonly known as India. It is a sovereign country in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country in the world by geographical area, as well as the 2nd highest populated country, and the most populous liberal democracy in the world.

Surrounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the west, and the Bay of Bengal on the east, India has a coastline of over 7000 kilometres. It borders Pakistan to the west; Nepal, China and Bhutan to the north-east; and Myanmar and Bangladesh to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is near the Maldives, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

Home to the Indus Valley civilization (c. 3300-1700 BC, flourished 2600-1900 BCE), as well as a region of historic trade routes and vast empires, the Indian subcontinent was associated with its commercial and cultural wealth for a lot of its long history.

4 major world religions, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Jainism have their routes here. Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Zoroastrianism arrived in the first millennium CE and formed the region’s diverse culture. Gradually annexed by the British East India Company from the early 1700’s and colonised by Great Britain from the mid 1800’s, India changed into a modern nation-state in 1947, after a struggle for independence that was distinguished by widespread use of non-violent resistance as a means of
social protest.

With the world’s 12th largest economy by exchange rates and the 4th largest in buying power, India has made fast economic progress in the last 10 years. Although India’s standard of living is projected to ascend sharply in the next half-century, it currently battles high levels of poverty, persistent malnutrition, illiteracy and environmental degradation. A pluralistic, multi-lingual, multi-ethnic culture, India also boasts a diversity of wildlife in a variety of protected habitats.

India, Geography, States and Union Territories part 2

India, Geography, States and Union Territories part 2


India makes up the major portion of the Indian subcontinent, which sits on top the Indian Plate and the north-westerly portion of the Indo-Australian Plate. India’s north and north-eastern states are to a degree located in the Himalayan Range. The rest of northern, eastern and central India comprises of the fertile Indo-Gangetic Plain. In the west, bordering south-eastern Pakistan, the Thar Desert is located. Southern India is almost entirely composed of the peninsular Deccan plateau, which has 2 hilly coastal ranges on either side, the Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats.

India has several major rivers, including the Ganges, the Yamuna, the Brahmaputra, the Godavari, the Narmada, the Kaveri and the Krishna. India has three archipelagos (a large group of islands) – Lakshadweep, which lies off the south-western coast; the Sunderbans in the Ganges Delta of West Bengal and the volcanic Andaman and Nicobar Island chain to the south-east.

The climate of India varies greatly – tropical in the south to more temperate in the Himalayan north, where higher regions receive continuous winter snowfall. India’s climate is heavily influenced by the Himalayas and the Thar Desert. The Himalayas, together with the Hindu Kush Mountains, stop cold Central Asian katabatic winds from blowing in. This keeps the greater portion of the Indian subcontinent warmer than most locations at similar latitudes. The Thar Desert is accountable for attracting the moisture-laden summer monsoon winds that, between June and September, are responsible for most of India’s rainfall.

The Administrative Divisions of India

India is a union of 28 states and 7 federally governed union territories. All states, as well as the National Capital Territory of Delhi and the union territory of Puducherry, have elected governments. The other 5 union territories have centrally designated administrators.

The States

1 – Andhra Pradesh
2 – Arunachal Pradesh
3 – Assam
4 – Bihar
5 – Chhattisgarh
6 – Goa
7 – Gujarat
8 – Haryana
9 – Himachal Pradesh
10 – Jammu and Kashmir
11 – Jharkhand
12 – Karnataka
13 – Kerala
14 – Madhya Pradesh
15 – Maharashtra
16 – Manipur
17 – Meghalaya
18 – Mizoram
19 – Nagaland
20 – Orissa
21 – Punjab
22 – Rajasthan
23 – Sikkim
24 – Tamil Nadu
25 – Tripura
26 – Uttar Pradesh
27 – Uttarakhand
28 – West Bengal

The Union Territories

1 – Andaman and Nicobar Islands
2 – Chandigarh
3 – Dadra and Nagar Haveli
4 – Daman and Diu
5 – Lakshadweep
6 – National Capital Territory of Delhi
7 – Puducherry

Both the states and union territories are subdivided into districts. In the larger states, districts are sometimes grouped together to form a division.

28 States, 29 languages!


India’s Amazing Diversity

India climate, when to travel and where not to travel part I

India’s Amazing Diversity

Indias diversity

India’s amazing diversity offers you everything you could ever want in a holiday. From the moment that you set foot in India to be greeted by a graceful namaste, a gesture that denotes both welcome and respect, you are on the way to one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.

Bounded by the majestic Himalayan ranges in the north and edged by a spectacular coastline surrounded by three seas, India is a vivid kaleidoscope of landscapes, magnificent historical sites and royal cities, golden beaches, misty mountain retreats, colourful people, rich cultures and festivities.

At any part of the year India can offer you a dazzling array of destinations and experiences. In summer, when the subcontinent is sizzling, there are spectacular retreats amidst the heady beauty of the Himalayas or the lush heights of the Western Ghats with cool trekking trails, tall peaks to conquer stretches of white water for the adventure seekers.

In the cool of an Indian winter, cities come alive with cultural feasts and FESTIVALS of music and dance. The balmy weather is an ideal time for you to go century hopping in romantic cities studded with medieval forts and palaces. The sun-drenched beaches are inviting and wildlife sanctuaries with their abundance of flora and fauna are a-buzz with the nurture of the young.

You can taste the delights of the Indian monsoon anywhere in the country on a camel safari in the Rajas than desert when nature comes alive and the peacocks dance; along the west coast where the relentless slant ingrain paints the countryside in brilliant greens or even trekking amidst the stark grandeur of mountain valleys lying in the rain shadow of the Himalayas.

Experience exotic India

Live like a maharajah in the rich ambiance of royal forts and palaces that are now heritage hotels; luxuriate in the serene beauty of a coral island with its turquoise lagoon; participate in the exuberance of a village fair or a colourful festival; day dream on a house boat drifting down the palm – fringed backwaters; delight in the grace of a dancer or shop till you drop – buying exquisite silks, carved figurines, brass and silver ware, marble inlaid with semi-precious stones, finely crafted jewelry, miniature paintings, carpets….at unbelievable prices.

India, always warm and inviting, is a place of infinite variety – one that favours you with a different facet of its fascination every time you come on a visit.


India – climate, when to travel and where not to travel part I

India – climate, when to travel and where not to travel part I

The Climate

India’s climate encompasses a wide range of weather conditions across a vast geographic scale and varied topography, making it hard to generalise. India plays host to 6 major climatic sub-types, from arid desert in the west, alpine tundra and glaciers in the north, and humid tropical regions supporting rainforests in the southwest and the island territories, based on the Köppen system. Many regions have entirely different microclimates. There are 4 seasons – winter January and February; summer March to May; a monsoon (rainy) season June-September; and a post-monsoon period October to December.

India’s unique geography and geology heavily influence its climate. This is especially true of the Himalayas in the north and the Thar Desert in the northwest. The Himalayas obstruct the extremely cold katabatic winds coming in that blow down from Central Asia. Hence, North India is kept warm or only mildly cooled during the winter season. In the summer months, the same phenomenon makes India pretty hot. Although the Tropic of Cancer, the boundary between the tropics and subtropics, runs through the middle of India, the entire country is considered to be tropical.

As is common throughout much of the tropics, the monsoon and other weather conditions in India are unstable – huge droughts, floods, earthquakes, cyclones and other natural disasters are infrequent, but have killed or displaced millions.

The climate is of major importance when deciding when to visit India. Bear in mind that there is a distinct difference in climatic conditions in the far north to those of the extreme south. Although there are of course 4 seasons, generally, India’s climate is defined by 3 seasons – the hot, the wet (monsoon) and the cool, each of which may differ in duration from north to south. The most pleasant time to visit most places is during the cooler period from November to roughly mid-February.

The Hot Season

The heat starts to gather on India’s northern plains from around February, by April or May it gets really hot, with the hottest time being June. Temperatures of 45°C and above are common in central India. During these months South India also becomes extremely hot, sometimes unbearably so! Late in May the first signs of the monsoon appear in some areas – high humidity, electrical storms, short rainstorms and dust storms that turn the day as dark as night. The hot season is the time to leave the plains behind, heading for the cooler hills. This is when hill stations are at their best – and busiest!

The Monsoon Season

When the monsoon fully arrives, the rain falls steadily, usually starting the beginning of June in the extreme south, then spreading north to cover the whole country by early July. The main monsoon comes from the southwest, but the southeast coast – and southern Kerala – are mainly affected by the short and astoundingly wet northeast monsoon, which brings rain from around October to early December. Things don’t really cool down though – hot, dry, dusty weather is merely replaced by hot, humid and muddy conditions. It doesn’t rain all day, but usually it does rain every day. Followed by the sun this makes for a tiring steam room environment.

India – climate, when to travel and where not to travel Part II