India Overview

India is the largest country in the Indian Subcontinent and shares borders with Pakistan to the west, China and Nepal to the north, Bhutan to the north-east, and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. Sri Lanka lies to the south, Maldives to the south-west and Indonesia to the south-east of India in the Indian Ocean. It is the seventh largest country in the world by area and, with over a billion people, is second only to China in population. It is an extremely diverse country, with vast differences in geography, climate, culture, language and ethnicity across its expanse, and prides itself on being the largest democracy on Earth.

The mighty snow-capped Himalaya, the world’s tallest mountain system, rises along its northern border. A vast, scorching desert lies in the west, but parts of eastern India receive some of the highest rainfall in the world. The country also has broad plains, winding rivers, lush rain forests, and tropical lowlands.

India’s culture and heritage are a rich amalgam of the past and the present. This vast country offers the visitor a view of fascinating religions and ethnography, a vast variety of languages with more than 438 living languages, and monuments that have been present for thousands of years. As it opens up to a globalised world, India still has a depth of history and intensity of culture that awes and fascinates the many who visit there.


CAPITAL: New Delhi
POPULATION: 1.1 billion
LANGUAGE: Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Urdu, Punjabi and English
CURRENCY: Indian Rupee
ELECTRIC CURRENT: 230/240V, 50Hz. To power any electrical item an international adapter or a two pin plug is required.


We advise against all travel in the immediate vicinity of the border with Pakistan, other than at Wagah. We advise against all travel in Manipur.

We advise against all travel to Jammu and Kashmir with the exception of the cities of Jammu and Srinagar, travel between these two cities on the Jammu-Srinagar highway, and the region of Ladakh. We advise against all but essential travel to Imphal. You should take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. See Travel Insurance.

Information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK