Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) is the northern most state in India. It is surrounded on the north by Afghanistan and China, on the east by China, on the south by the state of Himachal Pradesh and the state of Punjab in India, and on the west by the North-West Frontier Province and the Punjab Province of Pakistan. J&K covers an area of 222,236 sq km (85,805 sq mi).
Jammu and Kashmir are really three regions: the foothill plains of Jammu; the lakes and blue valleys of Kashmir rising to alpine passes, the high altitude plains and starkly beautiful mountains of Ladakh which lies beyond those passes. The Indus River flows through Kashmir and the Jhelum River rises in the northeastern portion of the territory.
Kashmir possesses a more equable climate than that of southern and central India. The beautiful Vale of Kashmir is a noted resort region. Srinagar is Jammu and Kashmir's summer capital and Jammu is the winter capital.
Himachal Pradesh the land of eternal snow peaks is a charming mountain state. Blessed with charming crystal lakes, pretty flowers, ancient shrines and beautiful people; Himachal Pradesh is one of the most beautiful states in India. Himachal Pradesh is bordered on the north by Jammu and Kashmir, on the west and southwest by Punjab, on the south by Haryana, on the southeast by Uttar Pradesh, and on the east by Tibet (an autonomous region of China). Himachal Pradesh is enveloped by the Pir Panjal and Dhauladhar ranges in the northwest, dominated by the great Himalayas in the north and east and marked with lower ridges of the Shivalik ranges in the south-east.
Himachal has five mighty snow-fed rivers flowing through it - the Chenab, Ravi, Beas, Sutlej and Yamuna. Climatically, this state is divisible into two regions - the south which is as warm as the plains, and the north where the summers are temperate and winters are extremely cold.
Himachal Pradesh has a single-chamber legislative assembly with 68 seats. The state sends seven members to the Indian national parliament: three to the Rajya Sabha (Upper House) and four to the Lok Sabha (Lower House). Local government is based on 12 administrative districts. Shimla, also a beautiful hill resort is the capital of this state.
The state is frequently denoted as the Dev Bhumi or Land of God because it houses various religious places and places of worships that are regarded as the most sacred and propitious areas of devotion and pilgrimage. Uttarakhand was created by joining a number of districts from the northwestern part of Uttar Pradesh and a portion of the Himalayan Mountain Range. At present, it is the 27th state of the country. The state is mostly famous for its scenic features and affluence of the Himalayas, the Terai and the Bhabhar.
Delhi, the capital city of India, is the second most populated city in India and has a population of over 16 million people. Delhi is situated on the banks of Yamuna and extends over an area of 1484 sq km. The city is bordered by the Haryana in the north, west and south and Uttar Pradesh in the east. Delhi is the largest commercial center in the northern India and the culture of Delhi has been influenced by its important history as the capital of India.
The old city of Delhi was surrounded by a high stone wall, erected in 1638. It is approached through seven arched gateways, including the Delhi Gate in the south, the Ajmer Gate in the east, and the Kashmir Gate in the north. Within the walls is a maze of congested narrow streets, alleys, busy bazaars, and some of the nation's most spectacular Indo-Muslim architectural features. Delhi can be said to be the true portrayer of India culture. Delhi manages to seamlessly blend the traditional and the modern.
Rajasthan is located in the northwestern part of the subcontinent. It is bordered on the west and northwest by Pakistan, on the north and northeast by the states of Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, on the east and southeast by the states of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, and on the southwest by the state of Gujarat. The Tropic of Cancer passes through its southern tip in the Banswara district. The state has an area of 342,239 sq kilometers. The capital city is Jaipur.
Landlocked in the central part of the country, Madhya Pradeshis bordered by the states of Rajasthan to the northwest, Uttar Pradesh to the north, Chhattisgarh to the east, Maharashtra to the south, and Gujarat to the west.
Madhya Pradesh had the honor of being the largest state of the country until Chhattisgarh was carved out of it on 1st November 2000.
Madhya Pradesh has a mixed topography that consists of both hills and plains. The state has three predominant seasons: winter (November through February), summer (March through May), and the monsoon season (June through September). During the winter average temperatures range from 10° to 27° C (50° to 81° F). Summers are hot, with an average temperature of 29° C (85° F) and a high temperature that at times reaches 48° C (118° F). During the monsoon season temperatures average 19° to 30° C (66° to 86°). Madhya Pradesh receives an average annual rainfall of about 1200 mm (nearly 50 in), of which 90 percent falls during the monsoon season. The capital of the state is Bhopal.
Gujarat is situated in the west coast of India. The state is bounded by the Arabian Sea on the west, Pakistan and Rajasthan in the north and north-east respectively, Madhya Pradesh in the south-east and Maharashtra in the south. The state covers an area of 196,024 sq km (75,685 sq mi).
The name Gujarat is said to have been derived from the Prakrit Gujjar Ratta or Gujjar Rashtra - the land of Gujjars - a tribe that entered India with the Huns in ancient time and wandering through Punjab and Rajasthan, settled in western India.
Gujarat had a great civilization even before the arrival of the Aryans. It had trade links with ancient civilizations of Sumer, Babylon, Assyria and Egypt. The Port of Lothal which has been excavated recently has been identified as an important centre of the 4500 years old Aryan civilization. Gujarat is renowned for its temples and monuments associated with momentous historical periods. The architectural and artistic virtuosity of the people of Gujarat is reflected in the many buildings both ancient and modern. As much a part of the state are its wildlife sanctuaries, its hill resorts, its natural grandeur and religious and pilgrim centers.
Gujarat has a single-chamber legislative assembly with 182 members. The state sends 37 members to the Indian national parliament: 11 to the Rajya Sabha (Upper House) and 26 to the Lok Sabha (Lower House). Local government is based on 19 administrative districts.
One of the largest states of India, Maharashtra occupies a substantial portion of the Deccan Plateau in the western part of the subcontinent. It is the second most populous state in India and spreads out over an area of 307,713 square kilometers making it third largest by area. The state is bound by the Arabian Sea in the west, Gujarat in the north-west, Madhya Pradesh in the north, Andhra Pradesh in the south-east, and Karnataka and Goa in the south. Mumbai is the capital city of Maharashtra and is one of the most vibrant commercial and cultural centers of India.
Originally known as the state of Mysore, Karnataka is a state in India situated on the western edge of the Deccan plateau. It is bordered by Maharashtra and Goa on the north, Andhra Pradesh on the east, Tamil Nadu and Kerala on the south, and on the west it opens out to the Arabian Sea.
It has an area of 191,791 sq km. Bangalore, nicknamed as the Silicon Valley of India, is the Capital of this southern state. It is also known as the Garden City because of its many beautiful gardens and parks. Though the origin of Bangalore is ancient, the present-day city was founded in the 16th century and has since continued to be an important administrative center. Due to the high concentration of IT industry, it also called the Silicon Valley of India.
Andhra Pradesh is the third largest state in India with an area of 275,000 sq. km. A state in the southern region of India, Andhra Pradesh is bordered on the south by Tamil Nadu , on the west by Karnataka, on the north and northwest by Maharashtra, on the northeast by Madhya Pradesh and Orissa, and on the east by the Bay of Bengal.
The northern area of Andhra Pradesh is mountainous. The highest peak Mahendragiri rises 1500 m above the sea level. The climate is generally hot and humid. Annual rainfall: 125 cm. The Krishna and Godavari are the major rivers in the state.
Centuries ago, Andhra Pradesh was a major Buddhist centre and part of Emperor Ashoka's sprawling kingdom. Not surprisingly, traces of early Buddhist influence are still visible in several places in and around the state. After the death of Emperor Ashoka, the Satavahanas established their kingdom in this region.
During the 7th century, the Chalukyas held sway over Andhra Pradesh until the 10th century, when the Cholas seized power. In the 14th century, Muslim power reached this southern state and for centuries ruled over this princely state and finally was taken over by a General of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in 1713.
The successors of the General, known as Nizams, ruled the state till Indian Independence. Successive dynasties from the Ikshvakus, Pallavas, Chalukyas, Kakatiyas, Vijayanagaram kings, Qutub Shahis, Mughals and the Asaf Jahis, have contributed significantly to the State's rich cultural tapestry and have left behind a heritage studded with spectacular monuments, temples, mosques, palaces all
Odisha ( Formally Orissa) is located on India's east coast. It is bounded by the Bay of Bengal in the east and by the states of West Bengal in the northeast, Bihar in the north, Madhya Pradesh in the West, and Andhra Pradesh in the south. The state occupies an area of about 156,000 square kilometers. The capital of Orissa is Bhubaneswar. Bhubaneswar is also the most populated city in Orissa. Cuttack and Puri are two other cities with high populations.
Puri and Konark are major tourist attractions. Hirakud Dam, the fourth largest in the world is also worth seeing. Chilka, the largest brackish water inland lake in Asia, stretches over an area of 1100 sq. km. The largest Lion Safari of India, and the only White Tiger Safari in the world, are located in the outskirts of Bhubaneswar. Odissi, one of the dance forms of India continues to draw admirers throughout the world.
Tamil Nadu is one of the most important states in the country situated in the Southern part of India. It is bordered on the north by Andhra Pradesh state, on the northwest by Karnataka state, on the west by Kerala state, and on the east and south by the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean. Occupying the extreme south of the Indian peninsula, Tamil Nadu has an area of 130,058 sq km (50,215 sq mi).
The state of Tamil Nadu is divided into 32 Administrative Districts which in turn are further bifurcated into smaller divisions and subdivisions including a total of 17,272 villages. The state Capital, Madras now renamed as Chennai is the fourth largest city in the Indian sub-continent. It extends over an area of 174 Sq.km
Goa is situated on the Malabar Coast and has sandy beaches and a tropical climate. Inland, Goa becomes hilly, stretching to part of the Western Ghats. It is bounded by the states of Maharashtra on the north and Karnataka on the east and south and by the Arabian Sea on the west. The total area is 3,702 square kilometers.
Goa, with a coastline of 65 miles, is hilly and includes a portion of the Western Ghats rising to nearly 4,000 feet.The two largest rivers are the Mandavi and Zuari, between the mouths of which lies the island of Goa (Ilhas). The island is triangular, the apex (called the cape) being a rocky headland separating the harbor of Goa into two anchorages.
There are three principal cities in Goa: Marmagao , Madgaon (Margao), and Panaji (Nova Goa). Old Goa is, for the most part, a city of ruins.
Kerala is a small state tucked away in the southwest corner of India. It represents only 1.18 per cent of the total area of India but 3.43 percent of the population of the country.
Though Kerala has a history dating back to the Christian era, the modern Kerala was created in 1956 when all the states were reorganized along linguistic lines.
Kerala is different from the rest of the India in many ways. History was created in 1957 when Kerala became the first state in the world to democratically elect a Marxist government.
The state has a strong presence of left ideology. It has the highest literacy rate in the country, lowest infant mortality rate and the highest female to male population ratio. These facts speak volume of the state which is often compared to the society of the developed western countries.
Kerala is made up of fourteen districts. Each of them has a distinct character.
Thiruvananthapuram (also known as Trivandrum) is the capital of Kerala, famous for its Kovalam beach (rated one of the top ten beaches of the world).