Saturday, November 25, 2006

Rajasthan the Land of Vibrant Culture

  • The culture and the folklore of Rajasthan is one of the vibrant and colorful cultures in India
  • Rajasthan, a barren desert land, becomes resplendent with the colors of joyous celebration of its fairs and festivals whether Teej, Gangaur, Sawan, Kite festival etc.
  • The music and dances of Rajasthan are heady, exciting, hypnotic and compelling… in short, very much a part of the eternal appeal of this strange and wondrous land.
  • The state of emperors, Rajasthan, boasts of a fine kitchen - both within the palaces and outside. Princely kitchens have produced many incomparable and exotic delicacies and given unique recipes to India.

The Himalayas

Himalayan range covers the entire northern part of India, nestling five major states of the country within it. The ancient Indian pilgrims who have travelled in these mountains since time immemorial coined a Sanskrit word for the Himalayas meaning “Abode of Snow”.

For the rest of the world Himalayas is a mountain range that encloses the Highest peaks of the world. For the thrill seekers, Himalayas is the ultimate adventure sports destination. And for the tourists they have the most exotic and picturesque holiday resorts found on earth. But for the pilgrims they are the most sacred and revered mountain ranges in the world.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Indian Food

There are several kinds of cuisines within India and each one rocks. Curry does not sum it all up. It’s much more than that. No other cuisine would have as many dessert verities as Indian.. 1 billion at the last count... !

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Major Hindu Festivals

Diwali – Festival of lights

Holi – Festival of color

Dussera – Victory of good over evil

Raksha Bandhan – Celebration of affectionate ties of brother-sister

Glimpses - Nature’s Bounty

Weddings in India

The ceremony is conducted in front of the ceremonial fire & priest with parents seated on either side of the bride and groom

Dances of India

There are a number of classical dance forms

  • Bharatnatyam

  • Kathak

  • Kathakali

  • Kuchipudi

  • Manipuri

  • Mohiniyattam

  • Odissi

Folk Idioms

  • Chauu dance of Bihar

  • Garba of Gujarat

  • Bangra of Punjab

  • Banjara of Andra Pradesh

Saturday, November 18, 2006

People of India

1,065,070,607 (July 2004 est.)

Ethnic Groups:
Indo-Aryan 72%, Dravidian 25%, Mongoloid and other 3% (2000)

Hindu 81.3%, Muslim 12%, Christian 2.3%, Sikh 1.9%, other groups including Buddhist, Jain, Parses 2.5%

Hindi is the national language and primary tongue of 30% of the people.
English enjoys associate status for national, political, and commercial communication.
14 other official languages and over 1600 languages and dialects.

Architecture / Famous Landmarks

  • Hoysala architectural style

  • Chenna Kesava temple at Belur

  • Indo-Islamic Architecture

  • Taj Mahal

  • Kutub Minar

  • Buddhist Caves and Chaityas

  • Sanchi, center of the Heavens

  • Rock cut architecture at Karle

  • Rajput Architecture

  • Jayastambha

  • Gwalior fort

Economic Overview

India's Economy Encompasses:

Traditional village farming, modern agriculture, handicrafts, Wide range of modern industries, a multitude of support services.

Average growth rate: 6% since 1990

GDP Real Growth Rate: 8.3%

GDP - Composition by Sector:

  • Agriculture: 23.6%

  • Industry: 28.4%

  • Services: 48%

Agriculture Products:

  • Rice, wheat, oilseed, cotton, jute, tea, sugarcane, potatoes; cattle, water buffalo, sheep, goats, poultry, fish


Textiles, chemicals, food processing, steel, transportation equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery, software

Industrial Growth rate: 6.5%

Government Structure of India

Government Type: Federal Republic

Chief of State: President Abdul Kalam

Head of Government: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

Cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister


  • President elected by an electoral college - five-year term

  • Vice president elected by both houses of Parliament for a five-year term

  • Prime minister elected by parliamentary members of the majority party following legislative elections

  • Supreme Court - judges are appointed by the president

Few Facts

Total area: 3,287,590 sq km (slightly more than 1/3rd the size of USA)

  • Land: 2,973,190 sq km
  • Water: 314,400 sq km

Neighboring countries:

  • Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, China, Nepal, Pakistan


  • Varies from tropical monsoon in south to temperate in north


  • Upland plain (Deccan Plateau) in south, flat to rolling plain along the Ganges, deserts in west, Himalayas in north

Natural Resources:

  • Coal (fourth-largest reserves in the world), Iron ore, manganese, mica, bauxite, titanium ore, chromite, natural gas, diamonds, petroleum, limestone, arable land

Background / History

  • India is presently a Sovereign Democratic Republic country
  • The Indus Valley civilization flourished on the Indian subcontinent from c. 2600 B.C. to c. 2000 B.C.
  • Dates back at least 5,000 years
  • Aryans from the northwest invaded about 1500 B.C. They introduced Sanskrit and the Vedic religion, a forerunner of Hinduism
  • Buddhism was founded in the 6th century B.C.
  • Asoka (c. 269–232 B.C.), one of the great ancient kings of the Mauryan dynasty unified most of the Indian subcontinent for the first time.
  • Arab incursions started in the 8th century followed by Turkish invasion in the 12th century . European traders entered beginning in the late 15th century
  • By the 19th century, Britain had assumed political control of virtually all Indian lands.
  • Nonviolent resistance to British colonialism under Mohandas Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru led to independence in 1947.

Flag of India

Three equal horizontal bands

Saffron (subdued orange) - stands for courage, sacrifice

White - stands for Peace and Harmony

Green – stands for prosperity

Blue 24-spoked wheel centered in the white band indication of we are working on our progress 24 hours of day.

Geographical location of India

  • Peninsula located in Southern Asia

  • Bordering Arabian Sea & Bay of Bengal, between Burma & Pakistan