India is a country located in South Asia. It borders China, Nepal and Bhutan to the north and north-east; Bangladesh and Burma to the east and Pakistan to the west. The Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean marks the western, eastern and southern boundaries of the country respectively. India is the seventh largest country in the world by land area. It's is a peninsula which comprises of twenty-nine states and seven union territories. The country is blessed with a warm climate. And with over a billion people, it is the second most populous country in the world.
Located in the northern hemisphere, India comprises of 2.2% of the world's landmass.
That translates into 3.3 million square kilometers. Oceans in the south separate it from Africa, Indonesia and Australia. The Himalayas in the north keep the region separate from China and the rest of East Asia. There are mountain passes in the west, which foreigners have used throughout history to invade the lush, fertile and wealthy northern plains of the country.
The country shows a rich variety in topography. The northern plains are the most fertile in the country. The main rivers are Ganges and Brahmaputra that flow through these plains. The southern parts sit on a piece of hard rock known as Gondwanaland. There are mountain areas in the extreme north and north-east, while the Thar Desert occupies a large chunk of area in the west. The Andaman and Nicobar islands are at least a thousand kilometers from the mainland. A few of these islands are home to tribes that are still living like those from the stone or iron ages.
Data from the genome project suggests that India is the second oldest continuously inhabited place in the world after Africa. Archaeological evidence shows an advanced civilization used to inhabit the place more than four millennia ago. There have been many migrations into the country making India the second most genetically diverse region on the earth after Africa. There are currently more than 1.2 billion people living in the country. Three-quarters of the population is Hindu while Islam is the second most popular religion. A little less than two-fifth of Indians are Muslims.
India has a warm climate. Tropic of Cancer passes right through the middle of the country. Seasonal rains called the monsoon have a big influence on the climate. The southern regions have a tropical, humid climate, while far in the north you are bound to encounter some of the coldest regions on earth. The eastern parts receive a lot of rain, at the same time there is a vast desert in the west. The plains have four seasons: summer, monsoons, post-monsoon (autumn) and winter.
The state of West Bengal and the surrounding regions are prone to storms during the summers. The coastal regions were badly hit by the 2004 Asian tsunami. There was a devastating earthquake in Gujarat in 2001. Nonetheless the country is relatively immune to storms and earthquakes while flood and droughts being the most common natural disasters.