North America
North America
South America
South America


Administrative divisions (GPS Maps)


People and Society






The Indus Valley civilization, one of the world's oldest, flourished during the 3rd and 2nd millennia B.C. and extended into northwestern India. Aryan tribes from the northwest infiltrated onto the Indian subcontinent about 1500 B.C.; their merger with the earlier Dravidian inhabitants created the classical Indian culture. The Maurya Empire of the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C. - which reached its zenith under ASHOKA - united much of South Asia. The Golden Age ushered in by the Gupta dynasty (4th to 6th centuries A.D.) saw a flowering of Indian science, art, and culture. Islam spread across the subcontinent over a period of 700 years. In the 10th and 11th centuries, Turks and Afghans invaded India and established the Delhi Sultanate. In the early 16th century, the Emperor BABUR established the Mughal Dynasty which ruled India for more than three centuries. European explorers began establishing footholds in India during the 16th century. By the 19th century, Great Britain had become the dominant political power on the subcontinent. The British Indian Army played a vital role in both World Wars. Nonviolent resistance to British rule, led by Mohandas GANDHI and Jawaharlal NEHRU, eventually brought about independence in 1947. Communal violence led to the subcontinent's bloody partition, which resulted in the creation of two separate states, India and Pakistan. The two countries have fought three wars since independence, the last of which in 1971 resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh. India's nuclear weapons tests in 1998 caused Pakistan to conduct its own tests that same year. In November 2008, terrorists originating from Pakistan conducted a series of coordinated attacks in Mumbai, India's financial capital. In January 2011, India assumed a nonpermanent seat in the UN Security Council for the 2011-12 term. Despite pressing problems such as significant overpopulation, environmental degradation, extensive poverty, and widespread corruption, rapid economic development is fueling India's rise on the world stage.


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Airports World Ranking: 22
352 (2012)

Airports - with paved runways
Total 251
Over 3,047 m 21
2,438 to 3,047 m 59
1,524 to 2,437 m 74
914 to 1,523 m 83
Under 914 m 14 (2012)

Airports - with unpaved runways
Total 101
Over 3,047 m 1
2,438 to 3,047 m 4
1,524 to 2,437 m 6
914 to 1,523 m 42
Under 914 m 48 (2012)

41 (2012)

Condensate/gas 2 km; gas 9,596 km; liquid petroleum gas 2,152 km; oil 7,448 km; refined products 10,486 km (2010)

Railways World Ranking: 4
Total 63,974 km
Broad gauge
54,257 km 1.676-m gauge (18,927 km electrified)
Narrow gauge
7,180 km 1.000-m gauge; 2,537 km 0.762-m gauge and 0.610-m gauge (2009)

Roadways World Ranking: 3
3,320,410 km (includes 200 km of expressways) (2009)

Waterways World Ranking: 9
14,500 km (5,200 km on major rivers and 485 km on canals suitable for mechanized vessels) (2012)

Merchant marine World Ranking: 29
Total 340
By type
Bulk carrier 104, cargo 78, chemical tanker 22, container 14, liquefied gas 11, passenger 4, passenger/cargo 15, petroleum tanker 92
10 (China 1, Hong Kong 2, Jersey 2, Malaysia 1, UAE 4)
Registered in other countries
76 (Cyprus 4, Dominica 2, Liberia 8, Malta 3, Marshall Islands 10, Nigeria 1, Panama 24, Saint Kitts and Nevis 2, Singapore 21, unknown 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals
Chennai, Jawaharal Nehru Port, Kandla, Kolkata (Calcutta), Mumbai (Bombay), Sikka, Vishakhapatnam

Shipyards and ship building
Shipyards 13
Ships Built 33 (2009)


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