What if Mughals never landed on India?
Travel information about India
Capital: New Delhi
Form of government: Parliamentary federal Republic
Residents: 1,368,738,000 (as of 2019)
Time shift: Central European Time (CET) +4 1/2 hours (during European summer time +3 1/2 hours).
Languages: Hindi, English
The Indian Federal Republic is located in Asia on the Indian subcontinent. The country borders Pakistan in the northwest and the People's Republic of China and Nepal in the north. In the east, the Indian Federal Republic encloses Bangladesh and then borders on Myanmar and the Bay of Bengal, in the south on the Gulf of Manar and in the west on the Arabian Sea.
History and politics
The political history of India goes back to the conquest of the Dravids in 3,000 BC. For several centuries in the dark. Around 1200 BC Shepherd warriors immigrated to the area, who conquered the north Indian plain and introduced the caste system. Around the middle of the first century BC BC Buddha worked in today's Bihar. Alexander the Great led in 326 BC An expedition to northern India. In the period that followed, there were several great empires, including the Maurya dynasty and the Gupta empire. As early as 732 AD. Sind was subjugated by the Arabs, but it was not until around 1200 that an Islamic state was formed there. Almost all of India was united into one empire under Akbar's Mughal rule. The Mughal Empire reached its cultural heyday and Indo-Saracen architecture was developed, the most famous example of which is the Taj Mahal. Only through the invasion of Afghan conquerors and the Europeans (Portuguese, Dutch, French, British) in the 18th and 19th centuries. In the 19th century, the balance of power changed. In 1858 India was placed directly under the British Crown. Efforts for independence, which sparked, for example, in the Great Indian Uprising of 1857/58, were followed by periods of brutal repression by the troops of the British colonial power. But even violence could not prevent the Indian National Congress from being formed in Puna in 1885. After World War I (in which Indian units took part alongside Britain), Mahatma Gandhi led a civil disobedience movement and called for a boycott of British goods. In 1947 India and Pakistan (divided since 1940) became independent. Disputes between India and Pakistan, which mainly concerned the province of Kashmir, erupted from 1947 to 1949 and 1965. In the 1970s, India supported the independence of East Pakistan into Bangladesh. The following period was marked by religious conflicts that re-emerged, such as the striving for autonomy of radical Sikhs in Punjab, which were bloodily suppressed. The ongoing conflict between Hindus and Muslims culminated in bloody unrest in 1992/1993. In the relationship with Pakistan, too, disputes arise again and again.
More than two thirds of the Indian population make a living from agriculture. On fertile soil there can be up to three harvests a year. Most of the farms are very small. Rice is the most important crop and at the same time the staple food for large parts of the Indian population. But India is also one of the world's largest producers of sugar cane, tea, cotton and jute. In addition to coffee, sorghum, millet, corn, barley, chickpeas and bananas, other crops are also mangoes, gum, flax seeds, peanuts and various spices. Cattle breeding (buffalo, horses and donkeys) is of great importance for agriculture. Camels are one of the most important pack animals in the arid regions of Punjab and Rajasthan. Sheep and goats are mainly bred for their wool. The diverse mineral resources formed the basis for the economic development of India after independence. The country is one of the world's leading producers of iron ore, coal and bauxite. The oldest and still most important industrial branch in India is the textile industry (mainly cotton fabrics are produced). In the last few years the computer industry, especially the software sector, experienced a huge boom. The south Indian city of Bangalore is known as the "Silicon Valley" of India.
The classic Indian jungle can only be found in a few parts of the country. Most of the country has become cultivated land. In the Himalayas, rhododendrons and junipers can be found just below the snow line (5,000 m). There are also forests at lower altitudes. Maize can be grown up to around 3,000 m, with grain only being cultivated below 2,600 m and rice only below 2,000 m. In the other regions of India you can find palm trees (coconut, dates, betel nut), tea and coffee, sandalwood, cotton, sugar cane, peanuts, tobacco and many other economic crops, depending on the frequency of precipitation. Bamboo grows pretty much anywhere.
The cow is considered sacred in India. This peculiarity arose from the outstanding importance that cattle had in arable farming, where they were essential for tilling the soil. This life-sustaining function was eventually transformed into a ban on killing cattle due to the Buddhist influence of non-harming life. The Bengal tiger has been decimated by the now forbidden hunting, only about 6,000 animals are suspected in India. There are now some reserves to protect the animals and their habitat. In addition, there are other big cats in India, including lions, leopards and cheetahs. With a little luck you can see sloth bears in the West Indian Gir reserve or in the Kumbhalgarh sanctuary. Elephants are still used for forest work. You can see monkeys almost everywhere. Some rhesus monkeys enjoy special protection in temples and some even live in cities. The peacock is the Indian national bird and is a popular pet. The Beo, now well-known in Europe, is often kept in captivity because he can speak extremely well. His voice is piercing and he can imitate noises deceptively real. Termites are particularly noticeable for their rust-red mounds. Up to three million termites live in this complicated construction of clay, scraps of wood and saliva. The butterflies are particularly beautiful, the largest of which can span up to 20 cm.
The capital of India is an ideal starting point for trips to the northern Indian states. The metropolis itself is now one of the dirtiest cities in the country. It consists of Old Delhi with its narrow, crowded streets, bazaars and mosques, and New Delhi, which was designed as the capital of colonial India. The center of the government district of New Delhi is the circular Connaugh Place with the green area and the underground bazaar. In Delhi you can visit some famous buildings, but they are very far apart. There are also several interesting museums, such as the National Museum.
The former capital of India, with its uncontrolled immigration, is considered the poor house of the nation. In order to alleviate the plight of the poorest, Mother Theresa worked in the city's slums. In contrast, the historic government district with its imposing colonial buildings. The Indian Museum with collections from the British colonial empire is also worth a visit. In the recent past, Kolkata has built a reputation as the country's cultural center; the Nobel Prize winner Rabindranath Tagore comes from the city.
The 13 million metropolis of Mumbai is a city with great contrasts. On the one hand, the city has more dollar millionaires than the Federal Republic in relation to the number of inhabitants, on the other hand, over half of the population live in slums. Numerous colonial buildings can still be admired in the Fort district. In addition, the Prince of Wales Museum, the Victoria Terminus (train station), the triumphal arch "Gate of India" and the Taj Mahal Hotel invite you to visit.
A few hours by train or bus from Delhi one arrives at the foothills of the Himalayas with beautiful valleys and picturesque mountain villages. The city of Dhramsala, which was declared a climatic health resort by the English, is particularly interesting for tourists in the upper, Tibetan-influenced part (McLeodgani). The Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet, has lived here since 1960. The main attraction in the area is Hari Mandir, the Golden Temple of Amritsar, the highest sanctuary of the Sikhs. Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir, has old wooden houses, a wooden mosque and beautiful Mughal gardens. At the Yamuna lies Agra, the city of the Taj Mahal. The white mosque, built in 1629, is India's main tourist attraction. For visitors interested in Muslim architecture, Lucknow is well worth a visit. In addition to numerous palaces and gardens, the Bara Imambara, a three-story mausoleum can also be visited here. Varanasi, one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, is the holy city of the Hindus. The religious acts of the Hindus can be observed on the bathing stairs on the river bank.
The east of India has so far been one of the areas that are less touristically developed. Regardless of this, it also has a large selection of sights to offer. Orissa with its temples in Bhubaneshwar and Konark, the pilgrimage city of Puri and Bihar with Bodhgaya and Nalande, both important sites of Buddhism, invite you to visit.
The attractions of Central India include the cave temples of Ellora, the small Taj Mahal Bibika-Maqbara and the city of Bijapur with its numerous palaces, mosques and mausoleums. The small state of Goa has coastlines of more than 100 kilometers in length. Its beautiful beaches, some of which are heavily overcrowded, its palm groves and idyllic fishing villages have been attracting many visitors to the Arabian Sea for decades. The inland Velha Goa (Old Goa) is very worth seeing because of its buildings from the Portuguese colonial times.
The south of India has beaches, beautiful natural landscapes and cultural sights to offer. Since there are fewer external influences, the region is more pristine than the north of the country. Incidentally, this also applies to tourism, which tends to frequent the north than the south of the country. Good starting points for a visit to South India are Madras, the boomtown Bangalore and Hyderabad. The temple sites in the south that are worth visiting include Tamil Nadus, Madurai, Mamallapuram, Kanchipuram and Thanjavur. Tanjore with its Brihadeshwara Temple is also a suitable place for a longer stay. In addition, the south, especially the state of Kerala on the southwest coast, beckons with beaches, the backwaters, a labyrinth of canals, rivers and lagoons directly behind the coast between the cities of Kochi and Kollam, and its traditional festivals.
Some of the most interesting national parks in India are located in Uttar Pradesh. The Corbett National Park in the foothills of the Himalayas is the oldest national park in the country and a special tiger sanctuary. In addition to tigers, you can also observe elephants, leopards, various types of monkeys, crocodiles and many species of birds. Dudhwa National Park is known for its rhinoceros settlement project and for its abundance of birds. The Kanha National Park offers good observation opportunities for both tigers (including white ones) and leopards and has a rich bird life. Also worth mentioning is the Valley of Flowers National Park in Uttar Pradesh, a paradise for flower lovers. In the main blooming season of July and August you will find a flower valley with cinquefoil, poppy poppy, lady's slipper and gentian. National parks and nature reserves There are over 200 national parks and game reserves in India. It is advisable to book accommodation in the parks in advance. Jeep tours and elephant rides are offered in many national parks. Hiking trails are available in some. In the Hazaribagh National Park in Bihar you have the opportunity to see tigers and leopards. The Jaldapara Game Reserve in West Bengal has rhinos, elephants and a large bird population. The Sundarbans Tiger Reserve, also located in West Bengal, with its mangrove swamps and branched river system is ideal for boat trips. Here is the retreat of the Bengal tiger. There are also many different species of birds, but also water snakes and crocodiles. In the Mudumalai National Park in Tamil Nadu, where sambar deer, tigers and various species of monkeys can be observed, hiking trails have been created in the peripheral areas. The Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary in Rajasthan is a well-known bird paradise. With its man-made lakes and canals, it is an ideal place for walks and bike rides. Also in Rajasthan is the Ranthambor Tiger Reserve, where not only tigers but also various species of deer can be observed. It is also home to crocodiles, snakes and numerous species of birds. Finally, the Sasan Gir National Park in Gujarat is the refuge for the last Asiatic lions.
In India there is left-hand traffic. The most important part of vehicles is the horn, it is used all the time. On the often brightly painted trucks that you see everywhere, the request “Please honk!” Is regularly displayed. The traffic is - at least initially - absolutely terrifying. Travelers to India will notice a certain “irregularity” in traffic (traffic lights are mostly respected, otherwise only larger vehicles), to which one “gets used” surprisingly quickly. The most noticeable element in Indian road traffic are free-roaming animals - especially the "sacred" cows (around 100 to 120 million in India) described many times in the literature, but also other animals both inside and outside the villages.
Buses and authorities
The transport is organized by our Indian partners with the greatest possible comfort. Depending on the size of the group, transport takes place in a van, mini or coach. Please note that Indian buses do not have a toilet or galley. Toilet breaks are only possible at designated service areas, which are sometimes quite far apart. If there is an urgent need, “on the way in the bush” must be stopped.
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