India shares borders with Pakistan, China, Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Bhutan. The Himalaya flank India in the north, while the Indian Ocean surrounds the country's large southern peninsula. The fabled Ganges, the holiest and one of the most important rivers in India, originates in the northern Himalaya and flows down into huge, flat plains. The plains run into the Deccan Plateau in the south.

For tourism purposes, India is often divided into two regions: the north, which includes Delhi and Kolkata (Calcutta); and the south, which includes Mumbai (Bombay), Chennai (Madras), Bangalore and much of the nation's coastline. (The culture, cuisine, languages and customs are noticeably different in each region.) Within those regions, each state also has its own identity, formed around an ethnic group.


Official Name Republic of India
Capital New Delhi
Population 1,205,073,612
Languages; Hindi, English, 14 other official languages
Predominant Religions Hindu, Islamic, Christian, Bhuddist, and a range of more animistic religions
Time Zone 5.5 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (+5.5 GMT). Daylight Saving Time is not observed
Voltage Requirements 220 volts
Telephone Codes 91, country code