Indian Towns & Places

Abu, Mt: (Rajasthan) hill station on the Aravali Range; sacred centre of Jain worshippers; Dilwara temples.

Adam’s Bridge: very nearly joined to India between two points viz, Mannar Peninsula and Dhanushkodi by a line of sand banks and rocks called ‘Adam’s Bridge’.

Aga Khan Palace: in Pune where Mahatma Gandhi was kept interned with his wife Kasturba Gandhi. Kasturba died in this palace.

Agra: (Uttar Pradesh) the Taj Mahal.

Ahmedabad: is situated on the river Sabarmati.

Ajanta Caves: near Aurangabad (Maharashtra) are famous for wonderful Buddhist cave temples richly ornamented with sculpture and carved with paintings of exceptional skill. Dating from about 150 BC to AD 650, it is work of Vakatkas and early Chalukya kings.

Ajmer: (Rajasthan); pilgrim centre for the Muslims; tomb of Khwaja Muin-ud-din Chisti.

Alang: situated in the Gulf of Khambata (Gujarat), is well-known for ship-breaking industry.

Aliabet: is the site of India’s first off-shore oil well—nearly 45 km from Bhavnagar in Gujarat. On 19 March 1970, the Prime Minister of India set a 500-tonne rig in motion to inaugurate “Operation Leap Frog’’ at Aliabet.

Alipur: Suburb of Kolkata; Government mint.

Allahabad: also called Prayag is a city in Uttar Pradesh situated at the confluence of the Ganga and the Yamuna. Kumbha Mela (religious fair of the Hindus) is held here.

Almora: 132 km from Kathgodam in Uttarkhand is the main town in Kumaon Hills. It is said to have been founded by Raja Kalyan Chand about 400 years ago.

Alwaye: (Kerala); Monazite factory.

Amarkot: in Rajasthan, is the birth-place of Akbar. Akbar was born here in 1542.

Amarnath: situated at a height of about 4054 metres in Jammu & Kashmir. A place of pilgrimage for the Hindus.

Ambala: (Haryana) junction station; scientific instruments manufacturing centre; glassware and durries; IAF base.

Ambernath: near Mumbai; Machine Tools Prototype factory and a training school attached to it.

Amber Palace: deserted capital near Jaipur (Rajasthan) containing the finest specimens of Rajput architecture.

Amritsar: (Punjab) on the north-west border of India; Golden Temple; Jallianwala Bagh tragedy on 13 April 1919. The plot of land at Amritsar containing a pool was granted by Akbar to Guru Ramdas (1574-1581). Golden Temple, the famous Sikhs temple was constructed on this plot.

Anand: between Ahmedabad and Baroda in Gujarat. Famus for milk dairy—Amul.

Anand Bhawan: Residence of Pt Moti Lal Nehru in Allahabad, dedicated to the Indian National Congress.

Angarpota: Angarpota and Dahagram were two enclaves given by India to Bangladesh in exchange for Berubari enclave under the Indo-Bangladesh Border Demarcation Agreement signed on 16 May 1974.

Atal Setu: It is the first cable-stayed bridge of north India in Kathua district of J&K, built on river Ravi. It provides close connectivity between the three States of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab.

Aurangabad: one of the important towns of Maharashtra; tomb of Emperor Aurangzeb and of his wife. Ellora and Ajanta Caves are reached from here.

Auroville: is an international township being constructed in Pudducherry with the help of UNESCO.

Avadi: near Chennai in Tamil Nadu is known for the government-owned Heavy Vehicles Factory. ‘Vijayanta’ and ‘Ajit’ tanks are manufactured here.

Ayodhya: is situated on the river Gogra (called Sarayu in ancient times).

Badrinath: Himalayas; place of pilgrimage for the Hindus near Gangotry Glacier.

Bangalore: capital of Karnataka. Hindustan Aircraft Factory; Telephone Industries, Machine Tool Factories, Information Technology hub.

Barauni: (Bihar) famous for a big oil refinery.

Bardoli: (Gujarat); famous for non-payment of taxes campaign by peasants of Bardoli started by late Sardar Patel in 1928.

Baroda: capital of the former Baroda State is now one of the main towns of Gujarat; known for Laxmi Vilas Palace which is one of the most beautiful palaces in India.

Belur Math: is a monastery near Kolkata in West Bengal founded by Swami Vivekananda. There is a beautiful temple dedicated to Shri Rama Krishna Parmhans.

Bhakra: known for Bhakra dam built across the Sutlej river in a natural gorge just before the river enters the plains 80 km upstream Ropar in Punjab State.

Bharatpur: town in Rajasthan; famous for its historic fort.

Bhilai: (Chattisgarh), famous for one of the gigantic steel plants set up here with the help of Russian engineers and credit.

Bhubaneswar: the capital of Odisha, famous for Lingaraja Temple.

Bijapur: town in Karnataka; capital of the old Adilshahi Sultans of Bijapur. Known for Gol Gumbaz (the tomb of Mohammad Adil Shah and the second largest dome in the world) also called the Whispering Gallery. The town is rich with the remains of palaces, mosques and tombs.

Bokaro: in Jharkhand; known for the fourth steel plant set up in public sector.

Brihadeeswara Temple: at Tanjore. It was built by Raja Raja-I of Chola dynasty.

Buddh-Gaya: is situated 10 km south of Gaya in Bihar on the western bank of the Lilajan river and connected by two metalled roads. It is famous as the place where Buddha got enlightenment. There are modern monasteries, rest houses, and museum.

Buland Darwaza: Gateway of Fatehpur Sikri built by Akbar. This is the highest and the greatest gateway in India. It was erected to commemorate Akbar’s conquest of Gujarat.

Bundi: in Rajasthan is well known for jungles nearby providing plenty of tiger shooting.

Cape Comorin: also called Kanya Kumari in Tamil Nadu is the southernmost tip of Indian peninsula where the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal meet the Indian Ocean. It gives a beautiful view of sun-set and sun-rise.

Chandernagore: (West Bengal) on the river Hooghly, previously a French settlement, now merged with the Indian Union.

Chandigarh: Union Territory and joint capital of the Punjab and Haryana States; beautiful buildings on modern style, situated at the foot of the Himalayas; designed by French Architect Le Corbusier.

Chennai: capital of Tamil Nadu is the third largest city in India. Known for Fort St George; Light-house; St Thomas Mount; Integral Coach Factory; Adyar (the headquarters of the Theosophical Society).

Cherrapunji: in Meghalaya; the place of heaviest rainfall.

Chidambaram: is a town in South Arcot district, Tamil Nadu, 245 km by rail from Chennai City. It is famous for its great Hindu Siva temple, dedicated to Natraja or Siva in his aspect of “cosmic dance’’. It is also the seat of Annamalai University founded in 1929. The name of the town comes from Tamil chit plus ambalam, “the atmosphere of wisdom’’.

Chilka: a lake on the East Coast of India in Odisha on the KolkataChennai line, about 88 km from Bhubaneswar by rail. It is an excellent place for fishing and duck shooting. Naval Boys’ training centre. Chilka region is an inland drainage area. Chilka lake is endangered by prawn forming.

Chittaranjan: in West Bengal; famous for Locomotive Works; railways engines are manufactured here.

Chittorgarh: ancient capital and fortress of Udaipur; known for Tower of Victory and Mira Bai’s Temple.

Churk: in Uttar Pradesh; cement factory.

Coimbatore: (Tamil Nadu) cotton industrial centre; Government of India Forest College is situated here.

Corbett Park: in Uttarkhand is a National Park named after Jim Corbett, a famous hunter and writer of Shikar stories.

Dalal Street: in Mumbai is associated with the stock-exchange market.

Dakshineswar: about 8 km from Kolkata where Swami Vivekananda was initiated into religious life by Shri Ramakrishna Paramhansa.

Dandi: Famous for Salt Satyagraha (Dandi March) by Mahatma Gandhi in 1930.

Dayalbagh: near Agra; known for Dayalbagh Industrial Institute; shoe manufacture. Religious and cultural seat of a section of the Hindus.

Dhanbad: (Jharkhand) famous for coal mines and the Indian School of Mines. National Fuel Research Institute is situated here.

Dhirubhai Ambani City: The 132-acre complex, known earlier as knowledge city, is the largest commercial complex of India.

Dibrugarh: town in Assam; terminus of rail and river communications along the Brahmaputra from Kolkata.

Digboi: (Assam) known for rich oil-fields.

Dilwara Temples: near Mount Abu (Rajasthan) are five Hindu Temples constructed here between 11th and 13th century AD.

Dindigul: in Tamil Nadu; famous for cigars and tobacco.

Durgapur: in West Bengal is known for a gigantic steel plant set up here with the help of British Engineers.

Eagle’s Nest: is the name given to the historic fort at Raigarh in the Kolaba district of Maharashtra where, 300 years ago, Chhatarpati Shivaji, the great warrior-statesman, was crowned.

Elephanta: an Island in Mumbai harbour—famous for rock-cut temples.

Ellora and Ajanta: in Aurangabad (Maharashtra) famous for wonderful Buddhist cave temples richly ornamented with sculpture and carved with paintings of exceptional skill.

Ernakulam: in Kerala is famous for its backwaters.

Faridabad: an industrial township in Haryana State. It is situated about 29 km from Delhi.

Fatehpur Sikri: 32 km from Agra; city built by Emperor Akbar in 1569 now deserted.

Ferozabad: (Uttar Pradesh) famous for glass bangles industry.

Garhmukteswar: a town in Meerut district of Uttar Pradesh. A big fair of Hindus is held every year at this place.

Gateway of India: in Mumbai harbour erected in 1911 on George V’s visit to India.

Gaya: (Bihar) the place where Lord Buddha got enlightenment; famous for pilgrimage.

Gazipur: (Uttar Pradesh) known for the government opium factory.

Gersoppa (Jog) Falls: in the river Sharavati are in Mysore.

Golconda: a ruined city of India, about 11 km west of Hyderabad; formerly there was a diamond mine here.

Golden Temple: in Amritsar (Punjab). Sacred to the Sikhs. The plot of land containing a pool was granted by Akbar to Guru Ramdas, the fourth Guru of Sikhs, who built the temple.

Gol Gumbaz: largest Dome in Bijapur (Karnataka).

Gomateswara: (Karnataka) famous for the 2000-year-old statue of Jain Sage carved out of a single stone.

Guntur: in Andhra Pradesh; known for cotton manufacture.

Gwalior: in Madhya Pradesh is famous for its fort, Tansen’s Tomb, Rani Laxmi Bai’s Chhatri.

Haldia: in West Bengal is known for a big oil refinery being set up in public sector.

Haldighati: a pass in Rajasthan where in 1576, the brave Rana Pratap faced the Mughal forces headed by Man Singh and Asaf Khan.

Hampi: site of ruins of Vijayanagar—ancient capital of Vijayanagar Empire. It is in Karnataka.

Hardwar: on the Ganga—where the Ganga leaves the mountains. It is one of the most sacred places of pilgrimage for the Hindus.

Hazrat Bal: is a mosque in Srinagar in which relics of Prophet Mohammad are kept.

Hoshangabad: is situated on river Narmada.

Howrah Bridge: a cantilever span bridge constructed over the river Hooghly connecting Howrah Railway Station with Kolkata.

Hyderabad-Secunderabad: the twin-city is the capital of Andhra Pradesh. It is centrally situated for all-India communications. It stands on the river Musi. Known for Char Minar; Osmania University; Salarjung Museum one of the richest and most varied collections in Asia.

Imphal: north-east frontier town and capital of Manipur is well-known for its Manipuri dance and handloom industry.

India Gate: A memorial in New Delhi facing the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Itanagar: is the capital of Arunachal Pradesh.

Jabalpur: in Madhya Pradesh is known for Marble Rocks and Dhunva Dhar (water-falls). It is situated on the river Narbada.

Jadugoda: in Bihar is famous for Uranium Ore Mill.

Jaipur: capital of Rajasthan called “pink city” is famous for pottery, brassware, sculpture, ivory and scandal-wood work and jewellery. Famous for Maharaja’s Palace; Jai Singh’s Observatory; Amber (ancient capital); Hawa Mahal. The city was founded by Sawai Jai Singh.

Jalandhar: one of the largest towns of the Punjab; Surgical and Sports goods industry.

Jallianwala Bagh: a garden in Amritsar; scene of massacre of innocent Indians by the British on 13 April 1919.

Jama Masjid: (Delhi) built by Shah Jehan; India’s biggest mosque.

Jamshedpur: (Jharkhand) centre of iron and steel industry; Tata Iron and Steel Factory is located here.

Jantar Mantar: in Delhi, is an observatory constructed in 1724 during the days of Maharaja Jai Singh II of Amber.

Jealgora: in Bihar is known for Central Fuel Research Institute.

Jhansi: (Uttar Pradesh) occupies a key position as a railway junction; famous of the heroic part played by its queen Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi in the war of Indian Independence, 1857.

Jharia: in Jharkhand is famous for coal-mining.

Jog Falls: also called Gersoppa Falls in Karnataka are one of the highest water-falls in the world. These falls are formed by the river Sharavati which takes a big leap down a steep rock from a height of 253 metres.

Juma Masjid, Mandu: is in Madhya Pradesh. It depicts a synthesis of Hindu and Muslim styles in architecture.

Junagadh: in Gujarat, situated below the Girnar Hill is one of the most ancient cities in India. The famous Gir Forest—the only place in Asia where lions are found—is in Junagadh. The temples on the Girnar Hill are noted for their delicate painting and architecture.

Kailasha Temple: rock-out temple in Ellora caves.

Kalpakkam: near Chennai in Tamil Nadu is known for Madras Atomic Power Project (MAPP).

Kanchi or Conjeevaram: near Chennai was the capital of the ancient Pallavas; famous for ancient temples.

Kanchenjunga: is the world’s third highest mountain peak (height 28,208 ft.). It stands in the Himalayas on the borders between Nepal and Sikkim, 58 km north-west of Darjeeling, from where it is conspicuous.

Kanheri: about 32 km from Mumbai is famous for its Buddhist caves dating back to the 1st century AD.

Kanpur: on the Ganga in Uttar Pradesh, is a big industrial centre; sugar mills, cotton mills, woollen mills, soap, iron, leather, tent and hosiery factories; known as the city of factories.

Kanya Kumari: in Tamil Nadu; famous temple (the Virgin Goddess) situated at Cape Comorin on the extreme southern tip of India where the Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean meet; a picturesque spot. Vivekananda Rock Memorial being built here.

Kapilvastu: a small ancient kingdom in the north of India; associated with Mahatma Buddh.

Karnal: a town in Haryana, known for National Dairy Research Institute.

Karwar: Situated in North Kanara district of Karnataka, it is India’s biggest naval base.

Kasauli: in Himachal Pradesh is a hill station known for Pasteur Institute.

Katni: Madhya Pradesh; cement factory.

Kavaratti: is the headquarters of Lakshadweep, a Union Territory of India, formerly known as Laccadive, Minicoy, and Amindivi Islands.

Kaziranga: is a Game Sanctuary in Assam. It is the centre of the great Indian one-horned rhinos.

Khadakvasla: near Pune; National Defence Academy is situated here.

Khajuraho: in Madhya Pradesh is famous for its group of highly ornate mediaeval Hindu temples.

Khetri: in Rajasthan; copper manufacture.

Kirkee: near Pune; Institute of Armament Studies; the first of its kind in India; Meteorological Observatory.

Kodaikanal: is a town in Tamil Nadu famous for its Observatory for the study of Solar Physics.

Koderma: (Jharkhand) is a mica mining centre.

Kolar: in Karnataka, gold mining centre.

Kolkata: famous as the commercial capital of India. It is the capital of West Bengal. It has a port of immense river traffic. Known for Victoria Memorial, Belyedere House (where the British Viceroys stayed when on a visit to Kolkata) now the National Library, Dakshineshwar Temple, Dum Dum airport, Diamond Harbour.

Konarak: small town 16 km north of Puri (Odisha); famous for its Black Pagoda; Sun Temple.

Korba: in Chhattisgarh is the site of a huge public sector aluminium plant.

Kovalam: is a sea-beach about 16 km from Thiruvanthapuram in Kerala.

Koyali: in Maharashtra, is known for Petro-Chemical complex.

Kumbalgarh fort: The wall of this fort is the second largest continuous wall in the world after the Great Wall of China. It extends over 38 km. The fort is located 82 km from Udaipur and is a UNESCO world heritage site.

Kurukshetra: Ancient town near Ambala (Haryana) where the great battle Mahabharata was fought between the Kurus and Pandvas; Kurukshetra University is located here.

Kutab Minar: in Delhi (88 m high) is one of the master-pieces of Indian architecture and art. It is the biggest minaret in the world. Completed by Altamash in 1232.

Leh: capital of Ladakh; once a caravan centre for Central Asia. It is situated on the river Indus.

Lothal: ancient town, situated on the sea-plain of former Saurashtra, 720 km south-east of Mohenjo-Daro. The excavation made here represent the Indus-Valley culture.

Lucknow: capital of Uttar Pradesh is known as the city of Gardens. It has many places of historical interest—Imambara; Tomb of Wajid Ali Shah; Chattar Manzil; Dilkusha Palace; Alambagh; Sikander Bagh; Havelock’s Tomb.

Ludhiana: Industrial town of Punjab; known for hosiery, cycle and sewing machine industry.

Lumbini: in Nepal Terai; birth-place of Mahatma Buddha.

Lunej: oil wells found in Cambay basin (Baroda).

Madurai: (Tamil Nadu) famous for Minakshi Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Mahabaleshwar: 1372 metres above see level on the Western Ghats of India, fort and health resort; principal hill station of Maharashtra.

Mahabalipuram: in Tamil Nadu on the Eastern Ghats; famous for temples and monumental architecture. The Mahabalipuram sea-shore temple was built during the reign of Pallava dynasty. An atomic power station is being set up near here at Kalpakkam.

Malanjkhand: situated in the Balaghat district in Madhya Pradesh is the location of richest ever copper deposits in the country.

Mathura: a holy city in Uttar Pradesh, birth-place of Lord Krishna; Hindu Temples. Oil Refinery.

Minakshi Temple: famous Hindu temple in Madurai.

Mirzapur: (Uttar Prdesh) on the Ganges; carpets, brassware and lac.

Moradabad: (Uttar Pradesh) on the Ram Ganga; brassware, enamel and cutlery industry; exports mangoes in large quantity.

Mount Abu Temples: in Rajasthan, were built by the Minister of Solanki Rulers.

Mukteshwar: (Uttar Pradesh) Veterinary Research Institute situated here.

Mumbai: called the Gateway to India is the second city and port in India; capital of Maharashtra. Known for Prince of Wales Museum, Aarey Milk Colony, Oil Refineries at Trombay.

Nagpur: former capital of Madhya Pradesh and now in Maharashtra; textile mills, oranges.

Naharkatia: situated near Digboi in Assam where oil has been located.

Nalanda: (Bihar) seat of ancient Nalanda University.

Namrup: in Assam is known for fertilizer factory set up in Public Sector by the Fertilizer Corporation of India.

Nasik: on the river Godavari in Maharashtra is known for Security Printing Press.

Nepanagar: (Madhya Pradesh) known for government-owned newsprint factory.

Neyveli: known for Thermal Power Station in the Neyveli lignite integrated project in Tamil Nadu; Monazite factory.

Nilgiris: mountain range in Tamil Nadu; tea plantations.

Nunamati: in Assam is the place where first of the three Oil Refineries has been set up in Public Sector.

Pagodas: The seven Pagodas at Mahabalipuram are attributed to Pallava dynasty.

Palitana: in Gujarat, is famous for its holy hill Shatrunjaya, the most sacred place of Shvetambara Jains.

Pandharpur: town in Maharashtra (in Sholapur district). It is situated on the river Bhima. It is one of the most sacred places of pilgrimage in Maharashtra—known for the temple of Vithoba, an incarnation of Vishnu.

Panipat: in Haryana; scene of three successive historical battles: 1526, 1556 and 1761.

Panna: a town and district in the Rewa Division of Madhya Pradesh situated 176 kms south-west of Jhansi. Panna district is known for diamond mines. Panna town has several buildings of historical interest including Shri Baldeoji temple built by Maharana Pratap Singh. In 1675, Chhatarsal, the ruler of Bundelkhand made it his capital and the town gained importance during that period.

Pantnagar: in Uttarkhand is famous as a big Agricultural University. It is named after Shri Govind Ballabh Pant.

Patna: capital of Bihar. It stands on the site of the ancient city of Patliputra.

Perambur: near Chennai; known for integral coach factory.

Pichola Lake: is a well-known man-made lake in Udaipur (Rajasthan). In the middle of the lake, there is a palace which has now been converted into a hotel by the Maharana of Udaipur.

Pimpri: near Pune known for penicillin factory.

Plassey: a village on the Ganga (West Bengal). Battle of Plassey was fought here in 1757 in which Clive defeated Siraj-ud-Daulah and laid the foundation of British rule in India.

Pokhran: is in the Thar desert of Rajasthan where India successfully exploded her first nuclear device on 18 May 1974. The Pokhran Range runs between Jodhpur and Jaisalmer. The test site is about 150 km from Indo-Pak border.

Puducherry: formerly a French possession; since taken over by the Indian government and now specified as a Union Territory. Aurobindo Ashram is established here. “Auroville’’, an international township in the memory of Sri Aurobindo has been built here.

Porbunder: in Kathiawar, Gujarat ; birth-place of Mahatma Gandhi.

Port Blair: Capital of Andaman and Nicobar islands in the Bay of Bengal.

Prabhas Patan: in Gujarat, is the site of the famous Somnath Temple.

Pulicate Lake: is saltwater lagoon on the Coromandel Coast of Andhra Pradesh extending from the extreme southeastern portion of Andhra Pradesh into the adjacent portion of Tamil Nadu. It has a length of about 50 km and a width 5 to 16 km. The lake is located on the swampy, sandy Andhra plains. The lake yields salt and prawns. Sriharikota Island separates Pulicate Lake from the Bay of Bengal. The only sea entrance into the lake is north of Pulicate town.

Puri: in Odisha, famous for Jagannath Temple.

Pusa: (Bihar) Agricultural Research Station.

Pushkar: near Ajmer is famous for ancient temple of Brahma.

Qadian: (Punjab) seat of Ahmadiya Muslim sect. Founded by Hazrat Mirza Gholam Ahmad of Qadian.

Qutub Minar: famous historical monument in Delhi was begun by Qutab-ud-din Aibak and completed by Iltumish.

Raj Ghat: on the bank of Yamuna in Delhi; Samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi.

Rajgir: (Bihar) place of pilgrimage for the Buddhists. During the Mahaparinirvana celebrations, Buddhists from foreign countries visited this place.

Rameshwaram: (Tamil Nadu) holy place for pilgrimage.

Rana Pratap Sagar: in Rajasthan; Atomic Power Plant has been set up here.

Ranchi: hill station of Jharkhand is well-known for its picturesque scenery and fine roads.

Raniganj: (West Bengal); coal mining centre.

Rashtrapati Bhawan: official residence of the President of India in New Delhi; known as Viceregal Lodge during British reign.

Red Fort: Red-stone fort built by Shah Jehan in Delhi near the Yamuna.

Renukoot: near Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh; Hindustan Aluminium Factory.

Rishikesh: in Uttarkhand is a celebrated centre of Hindu pilgrimage.

Rourkela: (in Odisha); steel plant and fertilizer factory.

Sabarmati: in Gujarat, near Ahmedabad; Harijan Ashram founded by Mahatma Gandhi.

Sambhar: Salt lake in Rajasthan. It is known for India’s largest Brakish water lake.

Sanchi: (Madhya Pradesh); famous for the largest and the most wellpreserved Buddhist Stupa (33 metres in diameter and 13 metres in height).

Sarnath: Situated 8 km outside Varanasi, Sarnath is the famous place of Buddhist pilgrimage in India. In the “Deer Park’’ of Sarnath, Gautama Buddha preached his first sermon. Also located here is the famous Ashoka Pillar of polished sandstone whose lion capitol was adopted by the new Republic of India as the State emblem.

Seringapatnam: Seringapatnam was the capital of Karnataka during the rule of Tipu Sultan. The fourth and the last Mysore war was fought here. Tipu Sultan died here fighting bravely against the British forces.

Sesaram: in Bihar is known for the tomb of Sher Shah Suri.

Sevagram: about 19 km by road from Wardha railway station. Mahatma Gandhi lived and worked in this Ashram for many years.

Shantiniketan: (Vishwa Bharati) near Kolkata; famous University founded by Rabindarnath Tagore.

Shanti Vana: Near Raj Ghat, Shanti Vana is the place in Delhi where late Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru was cremated.

Shivpuri: in Madhya Pradesh. It is 115 km from Gwalior and is also known as Sipri; an international tourist resort.

Sikandra: near Agra; Tomb of Akbar; commenced by Akbar himself and completed by his son Jehangir in 14 years’ time at a cost of ` 15 lakh.

Sindri: (Jharkhand) about 33 km from Dhanbad; Fertilizer factory.

Singerini: in Andhra Pradesh is famous for coal mines.

Solan: hill station in Himachal Pradesh, situated on Kalka-Shimla highway; known for Solan Brewery.

Somnath: temple in the extreme south of Kathiawar sacked by Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni in AD 1025.

Sriharikota: in the Nellore district on the Andhra coast is India’s satellite launching centre. The Sriharikota Range (SHAR) comprises the Sriharikota Launch Complex, Rocket Sled Facility, Static Test and Evaluation Complex, Solid Propellant Space Booster Plant and Sriharikota Common Facilities.

Sundarbans: is a tract of forests and swamps—264 km long and 129 km wide fringing the delta of the Ganga.

Taj Mahal: the white marble mausoleum built at Agra by Shah Jehan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.

Tanjore: (Tamil Nadu) famous for museum, temples and library.

Tarapore: 80 km north of Mumbai; Atomic Power Plant.

Tatanagar: in Jamshedpur; famous for Tata Iron and Steel works.

Thiruvananthapuram: (Trivandrum) capital of Kerala; known for Padmanabha Temple.

Thumba: near Trivandrum in Kerala, is known as rocket-launching station.

Tiruchirapalli: the third largest city of Tamil Nadu situated on the river Cauvery is famous as a great educational centre.

Tirupati: in Andhra Pradesh, situated about 160 km to the north-west of Chennai is one of the holiest places in South India. This hill temple of Sri Venkateswara is an example of early Dravidian architecture and is one of the finest in the south.

Titagarh: in West Bengal is known for paper manufacture.

Tower of Victory: (Chittor, Rajasthan); famous tower built by Rana Kumbha, the Raja of Mewar in AD.1450. to commemorate his victory over the Muslim armies of Malwa and Gujarat. The tower is 37 metres high and has nine storeys.

Tribhuvaneswara Temple: is the famous temple built in AD 1100 and dominating all other temples in Bhubaneswar (Odisha).

Triveni: (or Tribeni); in Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh); confluence of the Ganga, the Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati; a place of pilgrimage for the Hindus.

Trombay: in Mumbai. Atomic Reactors.

Tungabhadra: is a tributary of the river Krishna.

Udaipur: in Rajasthan is famous as a city of lakes with island palaces; Pichola Lake.

Ujjain: in Madhya Pradesh is one of the seven cities sacred to the Hindus. Known for Mahakaleshwar temple.

Uri: village in Kashmir on cease-fire line between India and Pakistan.

Vaishali: modern Besarch in the district of Muzaffarpur in Bihar. It was the capital of the famous Vaishali clan in ancient times.

Varanasi: or Banaras is a town in Uttar Pradesh very sacred to the Hindus. It is known as the religious capital of Hindu India. Famous for Banaras Hindu University, Vishwanath Temple, Manmandir with Jaisingh’s Observatory, Ramnagar Fort etc. It is also known for the manufacture of electric locomotives for Indian Railways.

Victoria Memorial: a magnificent building in Kolkata having an art gallery and a well-laid out garden attached to it.

Vijay Ghat: on the banks of the Yamuna in Delhi is Smadhi of Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri, former Prime Minister of India.

Vir Bhumi: Samadhi of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi; in Delhi on the banks of Yamuna.

Visakhapatnam: big harbour on the eastern coast of India; ship-building yard.

Viswa Shanti Stupa: (World Peace Pagoda) 45 metres high stupa raised atop the picturesque Ratnagiri Hill. It is the first stupa of its kind in India.

Vivekananda Rock: is situated near Kanyakumari at the southern tip of India’s coastline. It has been so named in memory of Swami Vivekananda.

Wardha: (Maharashtra); Mahatma Gandhi lived here for several years; centre of cotton trade.

Wellington: in the Nilgiri Hills (Tamil Naidu) is known for Defence Services Staff College.

Writers’ Building: in Kolkata is the West Bengal Government Secretariat.

Wulur Lake: in Jammu & Kashmir, is the largest fresh water lake in the world.

Zojila: a pass in the way from Srinagar (Jammu & Kashmir) to Leh and then to Yarkand in Tibet.

FAMOUS SITES IN INDIA

Site                                                                        Location

Adina Mosque                                                    Pandua, West Bengal
Ajanta                                                                  Aurangabad, Maharashtra
Akbar’s Tomb                                                     Sikandra, Agra
Aksherdham                                                      Gandhinagar, Gujarat
Amarnath Cave                                                  Jammu & Kashmir
Amber Palace                                                     Jaipur, Rajasthan
Anand Bhawan                                                  Allahabad
Bhakra Dam                                                       Punjab
Bibi Ka Maqbra1                                               Aurangabad
Birla Planetarium                                              Kolkata
Black Pagoda                                                      Konarak (Odisha)
Bodhistava                                                          Ajanta Caves
Brihadeeswara                                                   Tanjore Temple
Brindaban Gardens                                           Mysore
Buland Darwaza                                                Fatehpur Sikri
Char Minar                                                         Hyderabad
Cheena Kesava Temple                                    Bellur
Chilka Lake                                                         East Coast of India near Bhubaneswar
Dal Lake                                                              Srinagar
Dilwara Temples                                               Mt Abu
Elephanta Caves                                                Mumbai
Ellora Caves                                                        Aurangabad
Gateway of India                                               Mumbai
Golden Temple                                                  Amritsar
Gol Gumbaz                                                       Bijapur
Hanging Gardens                                              Mumbai
Hawa Mahal (Palace of winds)                      Jaipur
Howrah Bridge                                                  Kolkata
Island Palace                                                      Udaipur
Itmad-ud-Daulah’s Tomb                                Agra
Jagannath Temple                                            Puri
Jahaz Mahal (City of Joy)                                Mandu
Jai Stambha (Tower of victory)                     Chittorgarh
Jama Masjid                                                       Delhi
Jantar Mantar                                                    New Delhi
Jog (Gersoppa) Falls                                         Mysore
Kailasa Temple                                                  Ellora
Kalan Masjid                                                      Delhi
Kanyakumari Temple                                        Cape Comorin (Tamil Nadu)
Khajuraho                                                           Bhopal
Konarak                                                               Puri
Lakshmi Vilas Palace                                        Baroda
Lal Bagh Garden                                                Bangalore
Lalgarh Palace                                                    Bikaner
Lingaraj Temple                                                 Bhubaneswar
Mahakaleshwar Temple                                   Ujjain
Maheshmurti                                                      Elephanta (Trimurti) Caves
Mahmud Gawan’s Mosque                              Bidar
Malabar Hill                                                        Mumbai
Man Mandir Palace                                           in Gwalior Fort
Marble Rocks                                                     Jabalpur
Marina                                                                 Chennai
Minakshi Temple                                               Madurai
Mt Girnar (Jain Temples)                                 Junagadh
Nagin Lake                                                          Srinagar
Nataraja1                                                             Chennai
Nishat Bagh                                                         Srinagar
Padmanabha Temple                                        Thiruvanthapuram
Palitana                                                                Junagadh
Panch Mahal                                                       Fatehpur Sikri
Pichola Lake                                                        Udaipur
Qutab Minar                                                        Delhi
Raj Ghat                                                                Delhi
Rashtrapati Bhawan                                          Delhi
Red Fort                                                                Delhi
Sanchi Tope (The Great Stupa)                        Sanchi (Bhopal)
Santa Cruz                                                           Mumbai
Shakti Sthal                                                         Delhi
Shalimar Bagh                                                    Srinagar
Shahi Chashma                                                  Srinagar
Shanti Van                                                           Delhi
Shore Temple                                                     Mahabalipuram
Sidi Sayyid Mosque                                           Ahmedabad
Somnathpur Temple                                         Mysore
Statue of Gomateswara                                    Mysore
Statue of Ugra Narasimha                               Hampi
Sunderbans                                                        West Bengal
Sun Temple                                                         Konarak
Taj Mahal                                                            Agra
Tehzeeb Mahal                                                   Srinagar
Tirupati Temple                                                 Andhra Pradesh
Tower of Silence (of the Parsis)                     Mumbai
Victoria Memorial                                            Kolkata
Victoria Garden                                                Mumbai
Vijay Ghat                                                          Delhi

NATIONAL PARKS

Corbett National Park                 …  Uttarakhand
Darrah National Park                  …  Rajasthan
Hazaribagh National Park          …  Bihar
Kanha National Park                   …  Madhya Pradesh
Shivapuri National Park              …  Madhya Pradesh
Dudhwa National Park                …  Lakhimpur Kheri (Uttar Pradesh)
Great Himalayan Park                …  Kullu (Himachal Pradesh)
Nandadevi National Park            …  Chamoli (Uttarakhand)

 GAME SANCTUARIES

Bandipur Sanctuary                     …  Karnataka
Chandraprabha Sanctuary          …  Uttar Pradesh
Dachigam Sanctuary                   …  Srinagar
Ghana Bird Sanctuary                 …  Rajasthan
Gir Forest                                      …  Gujarat
Jaladapara Sanctuary                  …  West Bengal
Kaziranga Sanctuary                   …  Assam
Manas Sanctuary                         …  Assam
Melghat Sanctuary                      …  Maharashtra
Mudumalai Sanctuary                 …  Ootacamund (Tamil Nadu)
Periyar Sanctuary                        …  Kerala
Ranganthittoo Bird Sanctuary   …  Karnataka
Ranthambhur Sanctuary             …  Rajasthan
Sariska Sanctuary                        …  Alwar (Rajasthan)
Satna                                              …  Madhya Pradesh (World’s first white tiger Safari)
Simplipal Sanctuary                    …  Odisha
Vedanthangai Bird Sanctuary   …  Tamil Nadu
Chandaka Elephant Sanctuary …  Odisha

HILL STATIONS OF INDIA

(‘h’ stands for height above sea level)

Almora: h 1676 metres in Kumaon hills (Uttarkhand); nearest railway station is Kathgodam.

Cheerapunji: h 1358 metres—48 km south of Shillong; place of heaviest rainfall in the world (average 1182 cm annually).

Coonoor: h 2054 metres on the Nilgiri Hills in Tamil Nadu; it is reached from Ootacamund by rail.

Dalhousie: h 2397 metres in Himachal Pradesh; 80 km from Pathankot.

Darjeeling: h 2184 metres in West Bengal; Magnificent snow views of Mt Everest and Kanchanjangha.

Gulmarg: h 2697 metres in Jammu & Kashmir; 48 km from Srinagar.

Kalimpong: h 1219 metres near Darjeeling reached from Siliguri.

Kasauli: h 2200 metres near Shimla reached from Kalka.

Kodaikanal:  h 2194 metres hill resort in Tamil Nadu.

Kulu Valley: h 2070 metres A picturesque valley in Himachal Pradesh.

Lansdowne: in Garhwal, Uttarkhand reached by N. Railway up to Kotdwar and then by motor service.

Mahableshwar: h 1372 metres summer retreat of the Maharashtra government.

Mt Abu: h 1372 metres (Rajasthan) place of pilgrimage for Jains; celebrated Dilwara temples situated here.

Mukteshwar: h 2171 metres in Kumaon hills (Uttarkhand); a beautiful spot; Government of India Veterinary Research Institute is located here.

Mussoorie: h 2286 metres in Uttarkhand; hill sanatorium; reached from Dehra Dun by motor; queen of hills.

Nainital: h 1950 metres in Uttarkhand.; magnificent lake; reached from Kathgodam or Haldwani by bus.

Ootacamund: h 2286 metres in Tamil Nadu (in the heart of the Nilgiris); summer Headquarters of Tamil Nadu government.

Pachmarhi: h 1066 metres in Hoshangabad; summer headquarters of Madhya Pradesh government.

Ranchi: h 640 metres capital of Jharkhand.

Shillong: h 1524 metres on Khasi and Jaintia Hills.

Shimla: h 2134 metres capital of Himachal Pradesh reached from Kalka by rail as well as by motor service.

Srinagar: h 1600 metres capital of Jammu and Kashmir State. It is a lovely and beautiful place for sight-seeing and attracts visitors from all over the world. It is situated on the river Jhelum.

Vagamon: h 1200 metres The Kerala government is building this unique tourist resort, described as the first hill destination to be planned after Independence.

INDIAN TOWNS ASSOCIATED WITH INDUSTRIES

Ahmedabad … Cotton Textiles
Aligarh … Locks
Alwaye … Rare Earths Factory
Ankleshwar [Gujarat] … Oil
Bengaluru …  Information Technology, Cotton Textiles, Toys, Carpets, Motors, Hindustan Aircraft, Industries and Machine Tools
Bareilly … Resin industry; woodwork
Batanagar … Shoes
Bhilai … Steel
Bhopal … Heavy Electricals
Bokaro  … Steel Plant
Kolkata   … Jute Manufacture, electric bulbs and lamps
Chhindwara [Madhya Pradesh]  … Lime-stone; Coal
Chittaranjan [West Bengal]  … Locomotives
Churk [Uttar Pradesh] … Cement
Dhariwal … Woollen goods
Digboi  … Petroleum
Durgapur  …   Steel
Firozabad  … Glass
Guntur  …  Cotton manufacture
Gurugram … Auto Industry, BPO, Services
Gwalior … Pottery
Howrah  … Jute
Hyderabad … Information Technology
Jaipur  …  Embroidery; pottery; brassware
Jalahalli  … Machine Tool Factory and Electronics
Jamshedpur [Tatanagar] … Iron and Steel goods
Jharia   …   Coal
Kanpur  …  Leather, shoes
Katni    … Cement
Khetri  …  Copper
Koyali  …  Petro-chemicals
Ludhiana  …  Hosiery
Mohali (SAS Nagar) …  Information Technology, LCVs, Tractors, Micro-chips
Moradabad   … Utensils, Calico-printing
Mumbai  …  Cotton Textile, Cinema
Mysore  …  Silk
Nangal  … Fertilizers
Nepanagar  … Newsprint
Neyveli  … Lignite
Noonamati  … Oil-refining
Perambur [near Chennai] …  Railway Coach Factory
Pimpri [Pune]   … Penicillin Factory
Rana Pratap Sagar   …  Atomic Power Plant
Raniganj  …  Coal Mining
Renukoot  … Aluminium
Rourkela  … Steel; Fertilizer
Rupnarainpur  …  Cables
Sindri … Fertilizer
Singareni  … Coal
Singhbhum  …  Copper
Surat  … Textiles
Suratgarh  … Modern Agricultural Farm
Tiruchirapalli  …  Cigar
Titagarh  …  Paper
Trombay  …  Atomic Reactors; Fertilizer
Varanasi … Electric locomotives
Vishakhapatnam  … Ship-building

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Indian States & UTs

INDIAN STATES (Capital, Principal Languages, Area, Density, Sex Ratio)

Andhra Pradesh: Capital: Hyderabad. Languages: Telugu and Urdu. Area:  1,60,205 sq. km. Population: 5,24,106,53. Density (per sq km): 308. Sex Ratio: 992.

Arunachal Pradesh: Capital: Itanagar. Languages: Nissi/Dafla, Adi Wancho, Monpa, Nocte, Bengali and English. Area: 83,743 sq. km. Population: 1,382,611. Density (per sq km): 17. Sex Ratio: 920.

Assam:  Capital: Pragjyotishpur. Languages: Assamese and Bengali. Area: 78,438 sq. km. Population: 31,169,272. Density (per sq km): 397. Sex Ratio: 954.

Bihar: Capital: Patna. Language: Hindi. Area: 94,164 sq. km. Population: 103,804,637. Density (per sq km): 1102. Sex Ratio: 916.

Chhattisgarh: Capital: Raipur. Language: Hindi. Area: 135,191 sq. km. Population: 25,540,196. Density (per sq km): 189. Sex Ratio: 991.

Goa: Capital: Panaji. Languages: Marathi, Konkani and Gujarati. Population: 1,457,723. Density (per sq km): 394. Sex Ratio: 968.

Gujarat: Capital: Gandhinagar. Language: Gujarati. Area: 1,96,024 sq. km. Population: 60,383,628. Density (per sq km): 308. Sex Ratio: 918.

Haryana: Capital: Chandigarh. Language: Hindi. Area: 44,212 sq. km. Population: 25,353,081. Density (per sq km): 573. Sex Ratio: 877.

Himachal Pradesh: Capital: Shimla. Languages: Hindi and Pahari. Area: 55,673 sq. km. Population: 6,856,509. Density (per sq km): 123. Sex Ratio: 974.

Jammu and Kashmir: Capital: Srinagar (Summer), Jammu (Winter). Languages: Kashmiri, Dogri, Urdu, Ladakhi, Balti, Dardiro and Pahari. Area: 2,22,236 sq. km. (2,22,236 sq.km.—provisional geographical Area); of this 78,114 sq. km. is under illegal occupation of Pakistan and 5,180 sq.km. illegally handed over by Pakistan to China and 37,555 sq. km. under illegal occupation of China. Population: 12,548,926. Density (per sq km): 56. Sex Ratio: 883.

Jharkhand: Capital: Ranchi.  Language: Hindi. Area: 179,714 sq. km.

Population: 32,966,238. Density (per sq km): 414. Sex Ratio: 947.

Karnataka: Capital: Bengaluru. Language: Kannada. Area: 1,91,791 sq. km. Population: 61,130,704. Density (per sq km): 319. Sex Ratio: 968.

Kerala:  Capital: Thiruvanthapuram. Language: Malayalam. Area: 38,863 sq. km. Population: 33,387,677. Density (per sq km): 859. Sex Ratio: 1084.

Madhya Pradesh: Capital: Bhopal. Language: Hindi. Area: 308,144 sq. km.  Population: 72,597,565. Density (per sq km): 236. Sex Ratio: 930.

Maharashtra: Capital: Mumbai. Language: Marathi. Area: 3,07,690 sq. km. Population: 112,372,972. Density (per sq km): 365. Sex Ratio: 946.

Manipur: Capital: Imphal. Language: Manipuri. Area: 22,327 sq. km. Population: 2,721,756. Density (per sq km): 122. Sex Ratio: 987.

Meghalaya: Capital: Shillong. Languages: Khasi, Jaintia and Garo. Area: 22,429 sq. km. Population: 2,964,007. Density (per sq km): 132. Sex Ratio: 986.

Mizoram: Capital: Aizawl. Languages: Mizo and English. Area: 21,081 sq. km. Population: 1,091,014. Density (per sq km): 52. Sex Ratio: 975.

Nagaland: Capital: Kohima. Languages: Ao, Konyak, Angami, Sema and Lotha. Area: 16,579 sq. km. Population: 1,980,602. Density (per sq km): 119. Sex Ratio: 931.

Odisha: Capital: Bhubaneswar. Language: Odia. Area: 1,55,707 sq. km. Population: 41,947,358. Density (per sq km): 269. Sex Ratio: 978.

Punjab:  Capital:  Chandigarh. Language: Punjabi. Area: 50,362 sq. km. Population: 27,704,236. Density (per sq km): 550. Sex Ratio: 893.

Rajasthan:  Capital: Jaipur. Languages: Rajasthani and Hindi. Area: 3,42,239 sq. km. Population: 68,621,012. Density (per sq km): 201. Sex Ratio: 926.

Sikkim:  Capital: Gangtok. Languages: Lepcha, Bhutia, Hindi, Nepali and Limbu. Area: 7,096 sq. km. Population: 607,688. Density (per sq km): 86. Sex Ratio: 889.

Tamil Nadu: Capital: Chennai. Language: Tamil. Area: 1,30,058 sq. km. Population: 72,138,958. Density (per sq km): 555. Sex Ratio: 995.

Telengana: Capital: Hyderabad. Language: Telugu & Urdu. Area: 1,14,863 sq. Km. Population: 3,22,54,880. Density (per sq km): 310. Sex Ratio: 992

Tripura: Capital: Agartala. Language: Bengali. Area: 10,486 sq. km. Population:  3,671,032. Density (per sq km): 350. Sex Ratio: 961.

Uttarkhand: Capital: Dehradun (provisional); Language: Hindi, Area: 53,483 sq. km. Population: 10,116,752. Density (per sq km): 189. Sex Ratio: 963.

Uttar Pradesh:  Capital: Lucknow. Language: Hindi. Area: 2,38,566 sq. km. Population: 199,581,477. Density (per sq km): 828. Sex Ratio: 908.

West Bengal:  Capital: Kolkata. Language: Bengali. Area: 87,752 sq. km. Population: 91,347,736. Density (per sq km): 1029. Sex Ratio: 947.

UNION TERRITORIES

Andaman & Nicobar Islands: Capital: Port Blair. Languages: Bengali, Hindi, Nicobarese, Tamil and Malayalam. Area: 8,249 sq. km. Population: 379,944. Density (per sq km): 46. Sex Ratio: 878.

Chandigarh: Capital: Chandigarh. Languages: Punjabi and Hindi. Area: 114 sq. km. Population: 1,054,686. Density (per sq km): 9252. Sex Ratio: 818.

Dadra & Nagar Haveli: Capital: Silvassa. Languages: Bhili/Bhildoli, Gujarati and Hindi. Area: 491 sq. km. Population: 342,853. Density (per sq km): 698. Sex Ratio: 775.

Daman & Diu: Capital: Daman. Languages: Marathi and Gujarati. Area: 112 sq. km. Population: 242,911. Density (per sq km): 2169. Sex Ratio: 618.

Lakshadweep: Capital: Kavaratti. Language: Malayalam. Area: 32 sq. km. Population: 64,429.  Density (per sq km): 2013. Sex Ratio: 946.

The Laccadive, Minicoy and Amindivi group of islands were renamed as Lakshadweep in 1973. Lakshadweep is a group of coral islands consisting of 12 atolls, three reefs and submerged sand banks. Of the 36 islands, only 11 are inhabited. These lie scattered in the Arabian Sea, about 280 km to 480 km off Kerala coast.

Puducherry:  Capital: Puducherry. Languages: Tamil and French. Area: 492 sq. km. Population: 1,244,464. Density (per sq km): 2598. Sex Ratio: 1038.

NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION

Delhi: Capital: Delhi. Languages: Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu. Area: 1,483 sq. km. Population: 16,753,235. Density (per sq km): 9340. Sex Ratio: 866.

  • Arunachal Pradesh has a strategic location bordering Bhutan, Myanmar and China.

  • Odisha has its longest border with Andhra Pradesh.

  • Uttar Pradesh has the highest population (16.44% of total population).

  • Sikkim has the lowest population (0.05% of total population).

  • Among Union Territories Delhi has the highest population while Lakshadweep has the lowest population.

Present Day India

India 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 bounded on the south-west by the Arabian Sea and on the south-east by the Bay of Bengal. On the north, north-east and north-west lie the Himalayan ranges. The southern tip, Kanyakumari, touches the Indian Ocean.

India measures 3214 km from north to south and 2933 km from east to west. The total land area is 3,287,263 sq km. India has a land frontier of 15,200 km and a coastline of 7516.5 km.

The southernmost point in Indian Territory, (in Great Nicobar Islands) is the Indira Point, while Kanyakumari, also known as Cape Comorin, is the southernmost point of Indian mainland.

The 82o30’E longitude is taken as Standard Time Meridian of India, as it passes through the middle of India (at Naini, near Allahabad). Indian

Standard Time is GMT +05:30

The Indian Union is made-up of 29 States, six Union Territories and the National Capital Territory Delhi.

India has a common border with Afghanistan and Pakistan to north-west, China, Bhutan and Nepal to north, Myanmar to the east and Bangladesh to the east of West Bengal.

A narrow channel of sea formed by the Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar separates India and Sri Lanka.

Area-wise, Rajasthan is the biggest State of India (342,239 sq km) and Goa is the smallest (3,702 sq. km.).

The States/Union Territories having a coastline on the Bay of Bengal are: Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

The States having common border with Myanmar are: Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh. The States having coastline on Arabian Sea are: Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Union Territories of Daman & Diu and Lakshadweep.

Languages of India

Languages recognised in the Eighth Schedule of Indian Constitution are: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Maithili, Malayalam, Marathi, Odia, Punjabi, Santhali, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Konkani, Nepali and Manipuri.

Originally fourteen languages were specified in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution. Sindhi was included as the fifteenth recognised language, vide the Constitution (21st Amendment) Act. Nepali, Manipuri and Konkani were included vide the Constitution (71st Amendment) Act. Bodo, Maithili, Santhali and Dogri were inculded vide the Constitution (92nd Amendment Act).

 

The Indian languages of today have evolved from different language families corresponding more or less to the different ethnic elements that have come into India from the dawn of history. They may be grouped into 6 groups as under: 1. Negroid, 2. Austric, 3. Sino-Tibetan, 4. Dravidian, 5. Indo-Aryan and 6. Other Speeches.

The Constitution recognises Hindi in Devanagari script as the official language of the Union (Art. 343 et seq.) and the regional languages as the official languages of the States concerned (Art. 345 et seq.). English was recognised as the authoritative legislative and judicial language (Art. 348 et seq.). A schedule—the 8th Schedule—was added to the Constitution to indicate all regional languages statutorily recognised.

Assamese, an Indo-Aryan language, is the official language of Assam State. More than 57 per cent of the population of Assam speak Assamese. Assamese has developed as a literary language from the 13th century.

Bengali, one of the leading Indo-Aryan languages, is the official language of West Bengal. It is spoken by more than 86 million people, the majority of whom are now in Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan. Bengali emerged as a separate language around A.D. 1000. It is now one of the most advanced languages of India.

Gujarati, a member of the Indo-Aryan family, is the official language of the State of Gujarat. Gujarati started out as an independent language around AD 1200. It has progressed at a rapid pace and is now one of the most developed Indian languages.

Hindi, numerically the biggest of the Indo-Aryan family is the official language of the Government of India. Among the various dialects of Hindi, the dialect chosen as official Hindi is the standard Khariboli, written in Devanagari script. This was originally spoken in Delhi and some western UP districts. From the literary point of view, the term Hindi covers not only the Khariboli form, but also a number of other dialects like Brajbhasha, Bundeli, Awadhi, early Marwari of Rajasthan and the Maithili and Bhojpuri of Bihar.

Being the official language of six States and the Indian Union today, Hindi is receiving high patronage. This patronage and support has encouraged the development of Hindi as a great literary language.

Kannada, the official language of the State of Karnataka, belongs to the Dravidian family. The majority of its speakers is found in Karnataka where they form more than 65 per cent of the population. Kannada, as an independent language, dates from the 9th century. It has rich literary traditions.

Kashmiri, a language of the Indo-Aryan group is often mistaken as the State language of Jammu and Kashmir. Actually, Urdu is the State language of Jammu and Kashmir.

Malayalam, a branch of the Dravidian family, is the official language of the State of Kerala. Malayalam struck out on its own by the 10th century AD. It is one of the most developed languages of India.

Marathi, belonging to the Indo-Aryan stock, is the official language of Maharashtra. Though Marathi separated from the main Indo-Aryan stock at a very early date, its literary career began only in the 13th century. Since then, it has made wonderful progress. It has today a fully developed literature of the modern type.

Odia, a branch of the Indo-Aryan family, is the official language of the State of Odisha, where Odia-speaking population comprises some 82 per cent of the population. Oriya is found recorded as far back as the 10th century. But its literary career began only in the 14th century.

Punjabi, belongs to the Indo-Aryan family and is the official language of the State of Punjab. Punjabi, though a very ancient language, turned literary only in the 15th century. From the 19th century, Punjabi showed vigorous development in all branches of literature. It is written in the Gurumukhi script.

Sanskrit, the classical language of India, is also one of the oldest languages of the world—perhaps the very oldest to be recorded. It starts with Rig Veda, which appears to have been composed around 2000 BC. Early Sanskrit is known as Vedic Sanskrit and covers the period between 2000 and 500 BC. Classical Sanskrit covers the period between 500 BC and AD 1000.

Sindhi, is a branch of the Indo-Aryan family. It is spoken by some seven million people, of whom 5.5 million live in Sind (Pakistan), and the rest mostly in India.

Tamil, the oldest of the Dravidian languages, is the State language of Tamil Nadu. Tamil literature goes back to centuries before the Christian era.

Telugu, numerically the biggest of the Dravidian languages, is the State language of Andhra Pradesh. Next to Hindi, it is the biggest linguistic unit in India. Telugu is found recorded from the 7th century AD. But it was only in the 11th century that it broke out into a literary language.

Urdu, the State language of Jammu and Kashmir, is spoken by more than 28 million people in India (1981 census). The name Urdu is derived from ‘Zaban-e-Urdu-Muala’ which means the language of the exalted camp or court. The exalted camp or court here meant the camp or court of the ruling Sultans of Delhi. Urdu has produced an extensive literature. Muslim speakers of Urdu use the Perso-Arabic script while Hindus use the Devanagari script. Urdu is also written in Roman characters.

Prominent Indian languages having Dravadian origin: Telugu, Malayalam, Tamil and Kannada.

Literacy rate: As per Population Census of India 2011, the Literacy rate of India has gone up to 74.04% in 2011 from 65.38% in 2001. Male literacy rate is 82.14% and female literacy rate is 65.46%. With 93.9% literacy rate, Kerala is the most literate State of India. Bihar, with 63.08% literacy rate, is the last in terms of literacy rate.

POPULATION

Population of India in 2012: 1,220,200,000 (1.22 billion).

Total Male Population: 628,800,000 (628.8 million).

Total Female Population: 591,400,000 (591.4 million).

Sex Ratio: 940 females per 1,000 males.

India is the second most populous country in the world. India represents almost 17.31% of the world’s population, which means one out of six people on this planet live in India. With the population growth rate at 1.58%, India is predicted to have more than 1.53 billion people by the end of 2030.

Population-wise, Uttar Pradesh is the largest and Sikkim the smallest.

More than 50% of India’s current population is below the age of 25 and over 65% below the age of 35. About 72.2% of the population lives in some 638,000 villages and the rest 27.8% in about 5,480 towns and urban agglomerations. The birth rate (child births per 1,000 people per year) is 22.22 births/1,000 population (2009 est.) while death rate (deaths per 1000 individuals per year) is 6.4 deaths/1,000 population. Fertility rate is 2.72 children born/woman and Infant mortality rate is 30.15 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.).

NATIONAL FLAG

The National Flag of India is a tri-colour with three equal horizontal stripes: (i) saffron (kesari) at the top (ii) white in the middle and (iii) dark green at the bottom. A Chakra—dark blue in colour and having 24 spokesis superimposed on the middle white stripe. This Emblem on the Flag is an exact reproduction of the Dharma Chakra on the capitol of Ashoka’s pillar at Sarnath. The ratio of the width to length of the flag is two to three.

The National Flag of India was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on the 22nd July 1947, and it was presented to the nation at the midnight session of the Assembly on the 14th August 1947.

Use of the Flag:

  • The dipping of the Flag to any person or thing is prohibited.
  • No other Flag or Emblem is to be placed above or to the right of the National Flag. If hung in a line, all other flags are to be placed on the left of the National Flag. When flown or raised with other flags, the National Flag must be the highest.
  • The flag is not to be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free; when carried in a procession it is to be borne high on the right shoulder of the standard bearer and carried in front of the procession.
  • The saffron stripe should always be at the top when the Flag is displayed from a staff projecting horizontally or at an angle from a window, a balcony or from the front of a building.

The Union Cabinet decided in January 2002, that all citizens of India could hoist the Tricolour throughout the year. Earlier they could do so only on special days such as Republic Day and Independence Day.

The decision was taken in the wake of Supreme Court and Delhi High Court judgements in favour of extending this right. While the Supreme Court had observed that restrictions on flying the national flag appeared prima facie unsustainable, the Delhi High Court had ruled that the display of the Tricolour was part of the fundamental right to freedom of expression.

Normally, the National Flag is flown on all important Government buildings. In frontier areas, it is flown at some special points.

NATIONAL SYMBOLS

National Emblem and Seal

The National Emblem and Seal of the Government of India is a replica (duplicate) of the capitol (top part) of Ashoka’s pillar at Sarnath. In the original capitol of the stone pillar are carved out four lions, standing back to back with their mouths wide open.  In the emblem, however, only three lions are visible—as it appears in print—because the fourth remains hidden from view. The capitol (top part) is mounted on an abacus (a flat slab or base plate). There is a Dharma Chakra in the centre of the base plate, on the right of which stands the figure of a bull and on the left that of a horse. The side-views (only the edges) of the Dharma Chakra of the other right and left side are visible on both ends of the base plate. The words “Satyameva Jayate” are inscribed below the base plate of the Emblem in the Devnagari script. The words Satyameva Jayate are taken from the Mundaka Upanishad, meaning “Truth alone triumphs”.

The original lioned capitol of the pillar was designed by Emperor Ashoka between 242-232 B.C. to mark the hallowed spot where Mahatma Buddha first initiated his disciples in the eight-fold path of salvation. This was adopted as the National Emblem on 26th January 1950, by the Government of India.

NATIONAL ANTHEM

The song Jana-gana-mana was adopted as the National Anthem of India on 24th January 1950.

The song Jana-gana-mana was composed by Rabindranath Tagore and it was first published in January 1912, under the title Bharat Vidhata in the Tatva-Bodhini Patrika edited by Tagore himself. The song was translated into English by Tagore in 1919 under the title Morning Song of India. The complete song consists of five stanzas and only the first stanza has been adopted by the Defence Forces and is usually sung on ceremonial occasions.

It reads as follows:

Jana-gana-mana-Adhinayaka jaya he Bharat-bhagya-vidhata.
Punjaba-Sindhu-Gujarata-Maratha-
Dravida-Utkala-Banga
Vindhya-Himachala-Yamuna-Ganga
Uchchala-jaladhi taranga
Tava subha name jage
Tava subha asisa mage Gahe tava jaya-gatha.
Jana-gana-mangala-dayaka jaya he,
Bharat-bhagya-vidhata
Jaya he, jaya he, jaya he, Jaya, jaya, jaya, jaya he.

NATIONAL SONG

The song Vande Mataram is the national song of India. It is older than Janagana-mana and was composed by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee and appeared in his novel Anand Math published in 1882. It was first sung at the 1896 session of the Indian National Congress. Its first stanza reads as under:

Vande Mataram!
Sujalam, suphalam, malayaja sitalam, Sasyasyamalam Mataram!
Subhrajyotsna-pulakitayaminim,
Phullakusumita-drumadala-sobhinim, Suhasinim, Sumadhura-bhasinim, Sukhadam,
Varadam, Mataram!

NATIONAL CALENDAR

The two calendars most widely used in India are the Vikrama calendar, followed in Western and Northern India and Nepal, and the Shalivahana or Saka calendar which is followed in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa.

In the year 56 BC, Vikrama Samvat era was founded by the emperor Vikramaditya of Ujjain, following his victory over the Sakas. Later, in a similar fashion, Satavahana king Gautamiputra Satakarni initiated the Saka era to celebrate his victory against the Sakas in the year 78 AD.

Both the Vikrama and the Shalivahana eras are lunisolar calendars, and feature annual cycles of twelve lunar months, each month divided into two phases: the ‘bright half’ (Śukla Pakṣa) and the ‘dark half’ (Kṛṣṇa Pakṣa); these correspond respectively to the periods of the ‘waxing’’ and the ‘waning’ of the moon.

The names of the 12 months, as also their sequence, are the same in both calendars; however, the New Year is celebrated at separate points during the year and the “year zero” for the two calendars is different. In the Vikrama calendar, the zero year corresponds to 56 BC, while in the Shalivahana calendar, it corresponds to 78 AD. The Vikrama calendar begins with the month of Baiśākha or Vaiśākha (April), or Kartak (October/November). The Shalivahana calendar begins with the month of Chaitra (March) and the Ugadi/Gudi Padwa festivals mark the New Year.

A variant of the Shalivahana Calendar was reformed and standardized as the Indian National calendar in 1957. This official calendar follows the Shalivahan Shak calendar in beginning from the month of Chaitra and counting years with 78 AD being year zero. It features a constant number of days in every month (with leap years). Chaitra is the first month and Phalguna is the last month of the year.

The dates of this calendar permanently correspond with the Gregorian calendar Chaitra 1 falling on March 21 in a common year and March 22 in a Leap Year.

The use of the National Calendar is being implemented for the following official purposes: (1) the Gazette of India; (2) news broadcasts by All India Radio; (3) calendars issued by the Government of India; (4) communications addressed to public by the Government of India.

Months of the National Calendar: (1) Chaitra, (2) Vaishakha, (3) Jaishtha, (4) Ashadha, (5) Shravan, (6) Bhadra, (7) Ashvina, (8) Kartika, (9) Margashirsha,
(10) Pausha, (11) Magha, (12) Phalguna.

NATIONAL ANIMAL, BIRD, FLOWER

National Animal of India: Tiger (Previously it was Lion).
National Bird of India: Peacock.
National Flower of India: Lotus.

PRINCIPAL RELIGIONS
Places of Worship and Religious Books

Christianity: Church; Bible.
Hinduism: Temple; Vedas; The Bhagwad Gita; Ramayana; Mahabharata.
Islam: Mosque; Qoran.
Jews: Synagogue; Torah.
Sikhism: Gurudwara; The Granth Sahib.
Zoroastrianism (Parsi religion): Fire Temple; Zend Avesta.