India is a peninsula of approximately 1.2 million square miles, with the Arabian Sea on the west, the Indian Ocean to the south and the Bay of Bengal on the east. Separating India from mainland Asia and China are The Himalayan Mountains, with the tallest mountain in India being the Kanchenjunga at over 28,000 feet.
India has the second largest population on earth, just behind China (approx 15% of the world’s population)
Population: 930 million people. The capital of India is New Delhi
India is the largest democracy in the world. It survives as a single state with elections being held at different levels – from national goverment, state government as well as city, town and village councils.
The Indian economy is one of the world’s fastest growing economies. It is considered a newly industrialised country. The service sector makes up 54% of GDP, the agricultural sector (including rice, wheat, tea and sugarcane) 28%, and the industrial sector (including textiles, telecommunications, mining) 18%.
The region has a plethora of languages, which vary from state to state. English is widely spoken throughout the sub-continent.
The India is a vast country and the weather varies dramatically depending on where you are visiting. In general the north of India is cooler, the centre is hot and dry and the south is tropical. the weather is divided into three seasons – winter, summer, and the monsoon. Generally, the best time to visit India is during the winter, when the weather in most places is relatively cool and pleasant.
Summer (March to May)
The conditions are mostly very hot, sunny and dry. During this time central and northern parts of India often experience temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius, with the south being slightly cooler but more humid. By late May humidity levels build as signs of the approaching monsoon appear. This doesn’t tend to be the best time to visit unless you plan to visit India’s national park, where wildlife and tigers are more easy to spot as they come out in search of water.
Monsoon (June to October)
India has two monsoons –- the southwest monsoon and the northeast monsoon. The southwest monsoon is the main one and comes in from the sea and starts making its way up India’s west coast in early June. By mid July, most of the country is covered in rain. This gradually starts clearing from most places in northwest India by October. The northeast monsoon affects India’s east coast during November and December. It’s a short but intense monsoon. The states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala receive most of their rainfall from the northeast monsoon, while the rest of the country receives most of its rainfall from the southwest monsoon. During the monsoon it is difficult to travel in most areas of India as rain often disrupts transport. It is however the best time to visit Ladakh in the North where the roads are still snow covered in May.
Winter (November to February)
The disappearance of the monsoon marks the start of clear sunny skies, as well as the start of the tourist season, for most of India. Daytime winter temperatures are comfortable, although often quite chilly at night. In the south, it never gets cold. If you are wanting to visit Kerala or Rajastahan this is definately the time to visit.