“Vasil Aprilov” Primary school Burgas Rositsa Stoyanova class 7b India Area • The geography of India describes the physical features of India, a country in South Asia that lies entirely on the Indian Plate in the northern portion of the Indo-Australian Plate. The country lies to the north of the equator between 8°4' and 37°6' north latitude and 68°7' and 97°25' east longitude.It is the seventh-largest country in the world, with a total land area of 3,287,263 square kilometres (1,269,219 sq mi).India measures 3,214 km (1,997 mi) from north to south and 2,993 km (1,860 mi) from east to west. It has a land frontier of 15,200 km (9,445 mi) and a coastline of 7,517 km (4,671 mi). Population • Population of India . Although India occupies only 2.4% of the world's land area, it supports over 15% of the world's population. Only China has a larger population. Almost 40% of Indians are younger than 15 years of age. Flag • • • The National Flag of India is a horizontal rectangular tricolour of saffron, white and green with the Ashoka Chakra, a 24-spoke wheel in blue at its centre. It was adopted in its present form during a meeting of the Constituent Assembly held on 22 July 1947, when it became the official flag of the Dominion of India. The flag was subsequently retained as that of the Republic of India. In India, the term "tricolour“ almost always refers to the Indian national flag. The flag is based on the Swaraj flag, a flag of the Indian National Congress designed by Pingali Venkayya. The flag, by law, is to be made of khadi, a special type of hand-spun cloth of cotton or silk made popular by Mahatma Gandhi. The manufacturing process and specifications for the flag are laid out by the Bureau of Indian Standards. The right to manufacture the flag is held by the Khadi Development and Village Industries Commission, who allocate it to the regional groups. As of 2009, the Karnataka Khadi Gramodyoga Samyukta Sangha was the sole manufacturer of the flag. Usage of the flag is governed by the Flag Code of India and other laws relating to the national emblems. The original code prohibited use of the flag by private citizens except on national days such as the Independence day and the Republic Day. In 2002, on hearing an appeal from a private citizen, the Supreme Court of India directed the Government of India to amend the code to allow flag usage by private citizens. Subsequently, the Union Cabinet Of India amended the code to allow limited usage. The code was amended once more in 2005 to allow some additional use including adaptations on certain forms of clothing. The flag code also governs the protocol of flying the flag and its use in conjunction with other national and non-national flags. History • • The history of India begins with evidence of human activity of Homo sapiens as long as 75,000 years ago and hominids (Homo Erectus) from about 500,000 years ago. The Indus Valley Civilization, which spread and flourished in the north-western part of the Indian subcontinent from c. 3300 to 1300 BCE, was the first major civilization in India. A sophisticated and technologically advanced urban culture developed in the Mature Harappan period, from 2600 to 1900 BCE. This Bronze Age civilization collapsed at the beginning of the second millennium BCE and was followed by the Iron Age Vedic Civilization, which extended over much of the Indo-Gangetic plains and which witnessed the rise of major polities known as the Mahajanapadas. In one kingdom, Magadha, Mahavira and Gautama Buddha were born in the 6th or 5th century BCE, who propagated their Shramanic philosophies. Almost all of the subcontinent was conquered by the Maurya Empire during the 4th and 3rd centuries BCE. It subsequently became fragmented, with various parts ruled by numerous Middle kingdoms for the next 1,500 years. This is known as the classical period of India, during which India is estimated to have had the largest economy of the ancient and medieval world, controlling between one third and one fourth of the world's wealth up to the 18th century. • • Much of Northern and Central India was once again united in the 4th century CE, and remained so for two centuries thereafter, under the Gupta Empire. This period, of Hindu religious and intellectual resurgence, is known among its admirers as the "Golden Age of India." During the same time, and for several centuries afterwards, Southern India, under the rule of the Chalukyas, Cholas, Pallavas and Pandyas, experienced its own golden age. During this period aspects of Indian civilization, administration, culture, and religion spread to much of Asia. The southern state of Kerala had maritime business links with the Roman Empire from around 77 CE. Islam was introduced in Kerala through this route by Muslim traders. Muslim rule in the subcontinent began in 712 CE when the Arab general Muhammad bin Qasim conquered Sindh and Multan in southern Punjab, setting the stage for several successive invasions between the 10th and 15th centuries CE from Central Asia, leading to the formation of Muslim empires in the Indian subcontinent such as the Delhi Sultanate and the Mughal Empire. • • Mughal rule came to cover most of the northern parts of the subcontinent. Mughal rulers introduced middle-eastern art and architecture to India. In addition to the Mughals and various Rajput kingdoms, several independent Hindu states, such as the Vijayanagara Empire, the Maratha Empire and the Ahom Kingdom, flourished contemporaneously in Southern, Western and North-Eastern India respectively. The Mughal Empire suffered a gradual decline in the early eighteenth century, which provided opportunities for the Afghans, [[Balochis], Sikhs and the Marathas to exercise control over large areas in the northwest of the subcontinent until the British East India Company gained ascendancy over South Asia. Beginning in the mid-18th century and over the next century, India was gradually annexed by the British East India Company. Dissatisfaction with Company rule led to the First War of Indian Independence, after which India was directly administered by the British Crown and witnessed a period of both rapid development of infrastructure and economic decline. During the first half of the 20th century, a nationwide struggle for independence was launched by the Indian National Congress, and later joined by the Muslim League. The subcontinent gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1947, after being partitioned into the dominions of India and Pakistan. Languages • • • The languages of India belong to several major linguistic families, the two largest being the Indo-European languages—Indo-Aryan (spoken by 70% of Indians)—and the Dravidian languages (spoken by 22% of Indians). Other languages spoken in India come mainly from the Austro-Asiatic and TibetoBurman linguistic families, in addition to a few language isolates. The principal official language of the Republic of India is Hindi while English is the secondary official language.The constitution of India states that "The official language of the Union shall be Hindi in Devanagari script.“ Neither the Constitution of India nor Indian law specifies a National language, a position supported by a High Court ruling. Individual mother tongues in India number several hundred;the 1961 census recognized 1,652. According to Census of India of 2001, 29 languages are spoken by more than a million native speakers, 122 by more than 10,000. Three millennia of language contact has led to significant mutual influence among the four language families in India and South Asia. Two contact languages have played an important role in the history of India: Persian and English. Festivals of India Indians love to celebrate, whether it’s Diwali, Id, Pongal or Christmas. Every festival has its own special customs and rituals - pujas, lighting lamps, throwing colour, feasting or even fasting. Customs and traditions India is very rich in its customs and traditions keep its people binding together. Religions of India India is a melting pot of religions. In this country the Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Jews and many other religious sects live side by side in relative harmony. The Taj Mahal • The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum located in Agra, India, built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal is considered the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Indian, and Islamic architectural styles. In 1983, the Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was cited as "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage." While the white domed marble mausoleum is its most familiar component, the Taj Mahal is actually an integrated complex of structures. Building began around 1632 and was completed around 1653, and employed thousands of artisans and craftsmen . The construction of the Taj Mahal was entrusted to a board of architects under imperial supervision including Abd ul-Karim Ma'mur Khan, Makramat Khan, and Ustad Ahmad Lahauri. Lahauri is generally considered to be the principal designer .