India - HowStuffWorks

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what's inside: india

Maps of India show the location of major cities and regions in India. Check out our interactive maps of India.



Agra maps show locations and major features. Explore interactive Agra maps. See more »

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Mumbai (Bombay) maps show locations and major features. Explore interactive Mumbai (Bombay) maps. See more »



Kolkata (Calcutta) maps show locations and major features. Explore interactive Kolkata (Calcutta) maps. See more »

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New Delhi/Delhi

New Delhi/Delhi

New Delhi/Delhi maps show locations and major features. Explore interactive New Delhi/Delhi maps. See more »

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Country (long form) Republic of India
Capital New Delhi
Total Area 1,269,345.60 sq mi
3,287,590.00 sq km
(slightly more than one-third the size of the US)
Population 1,029,991,145 (July 2001 est.)
Estimated Population in 2050 1,619,582,271
Languages English enjoys associate status but is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication, Hindi the national language and primary tongue of 30% of the people, Bengali (official), Telugu (official), Marathi (official), Tamil (official), Urdu (official), Gujarati (official), Malayalam (official), Kannada (official), Oriya (official), Punjabi (official), Assamese (official), Kashmiri (official), Sindhi (official), Sanskrit (official), Hindustani (a popular variant of Hindi/Urdu spoken widely throughout northern India)
note: 24 languages each spoken by a million or more persons; numerous other languages and dialects, for the most part mutually unintelligible
Literacy 52.0% total, 65.5% male, 37.7% female (1995 est.)
Religions Hindu 81.3%, Muslim 12%, Christian 2.3%, Sikh 1.9%, other groups including Buddhist, Jain, Parsi 2.5% (2000)
Life Expectancy 62.22 male, 63.53 female (2001 est.)
Government Type federal republic
Currency 1 Indian rupee (Re) = 100 paise
GDP (per capita) $2,200 (2000 est.)
Industry textiles, chemicals, food processing, steel, transportation equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery, software
Agriculture rice, wheat, oilseed, cotton, jute, tea, sugarcane, potatoes; cattle, water buffalo, sheep, goats, poultry; fish
Arable Land 56%
Natural Resources coal (fourth-largest reserves in the world), iron ore, manganese, mica, bauxite, titanium ore, chromite, natural gas, diamonds, petroleum, limestone, arable land
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Geography of India

India, or Republic of India, a country in southern Asia and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.

History of India

The civilization of India is very ancient. In the Indus Valley are ruins of a civilization of high order that flourished from about 2300 B.C.