(Republic of India, Bharat Ganrajya)
- Location: South Asia
- Capital: New Delhi
- Language(s): Hindi, English
- Population: 1,210,202,234
- Total Area: 3,287,263 sq km
- Currency: Indian Rupee
- Curious Alcohol Fact: Most Indians frown at alcohol and prefer tea.
- Annual Average Liquor Consumption Per Capita: 2.57 liters
- Most Popular Drink(s): Indian tea (chai), coconut milk
The Republic of India is a large country in many ways. In terms of the area, it is the seventh largest in the world and is second only to China in population. With over a billion inhabitants, India is by far the largest of all the democratic nations on the planet. To the south of the country are the Indian Ocean (aptly named), Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. On land, India shares borders with Pakistan (often described as the archenemy of India), Nepal, Burma, Bangladesh and China. The southern tip of the country is also not too far from the island nations of the Maldives and Sri Lanka.
Millions of people love the Indians and their culture after watching any of the thrilling Bollywood movies. When you visit the country itself, your love and admiration for the people will only become deeper. India is a vast country in geographical terms but the same description can be also be used when describing the ethnic composition. The groups are quite mixed and years upon years of intermarriage have blurred the line. In spite of this, there are more than 200 ethnic groups in the country. Concerning religious practices, an overwhelming proportion of the populace follow Hinduism. Other religions are Islam. Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism and the Baha’i faith. The most widely spoken language in the country is Hindi while others are Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, Assamese, Malayalam, Nepali, Oriya and Gujarati.
If you are in the land of Amitabh Bachchan and Shahrukh Khan, you do more than just watch films. You need to sample Indian culinary delights. One dish that I ate with so much relish in the country is calledchicken hariyali. It is an irresistible blend of chicken and vegetables. Also very popular across the country is a flat bread called the chapatti. The pancake-like bread is so popular that there is virtually no state in the country where you will not find it. If you are a vegetarian, this is paradise.
Drinking in India is both an art and a delightful experience. There are different drinks for you to choose from. The most popular of this is the Indian tea, which is also known as chai. There is also the jal jira, which has a slightly salty taste and the refreshing coconut milk which I tried preparing myself.
India is the home of the Taj Mahal (considered by many to be the most beautiful building in the world, and I agree), the Gir National Forest, which contains some of the last Asiatic lions and the mighty Ganges River, which is considered holy by millions of Hindus. You also have the opportunity to visit numerous temples and even take part in various festivals and celebrations. There is one festival I will always remember because the major activity was splashing paints on each other! The nation is truly incredible.
Just as I noticed in the neighboring nation of Pakistan, Indians are very much in love with the sport of cricket. If you are interested in football, India is not the best destination for you. The people are addicted to cricket and the next popular sport is not even basketball, it is field hockey! Like many other Asian nations, there are numerous local games and sports that are enjoyed throughout the country. Wrestling, chess and boxing are also popular in the country.
- India is the most populous democratic nation in the world and also has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.
- India belongs to the nuclear club, as is her neighbor and arch-rival, Pakistan.
- India is home to the ancient Mughal Empire.
- The mighty Ganges River in the country is worshipped by millions of Hindus in the country.
- India has one of the most formidable armed forces in the world.
- Of all the countries in the world, only China has more people than India.
Story By World By Shotglass
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Special thanks to our contributors:
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria).