India facts & history
The Republic of India, forms with Pakistan
and Bangladesh, the subcontinent of India.
The seventh largest country and
the second most populous in the world,
over 900 million.
It consists of the entire Indian peninsula
and a large part of the Asian mainland, and
bordered by China, Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan,
Myanmar (Burma), Bangladesh, the Bay of
Bengal, Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea,
Pakistan, and Afghanistan and divided into the
following 25 states, 6 Union Territories
and the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
Delhi is the capital and the country's
largest city is Mumbai (Bombay).
India is very rich in history, tradition
and natural and human resources.
A large variety of wild animals exist within
its boundary, eg. Bengal tigers,
Indian elephants etc.
India, than including Pakistan and
Bangladesh was under British rule until 1947.
India and Pakistan were established as
independent states mainly on religious
grounds, India being mainly Hindi and
Pakistan predominantly Muslim.
From the Himalayas to Bombay there's
a great variety in climate and culture,
nearly 1600 different dialects spoken.
We travelled in and out of India during
our 1999 trip to the Himalayan countries.
First we visited Calcutta.
From there we flew to Bhutan.
After spending a couple weeks in Bhutan,
our Bhutanese guides taken
us to Siliguri in India.
In Siliguri they helped us to get the
visitors permit and negotiated a taxi
jeep to take us to Gangtok in Sikkim.
After finishing our sightseeing in Sikkim,
we got him to take us to Baritnagar in Nepal,
through India, to fly to Kathmandu.
We spent some time visiting Nepal and
Tibet before we flew back to India to
visit Varanasi (Benares).
Spent a few days in Varanasi and Sarnath,
a few kilometres from Varanasi and
than we went to explore to Agra and the
famous Taj Mahal.
Finishing in Agra and the surrounding area, we
were to fly to New Delhi.
Our flight got cancelled and we ended
up on a long, taxi ride to New Delhi.
Again arriving in the middle of the night.
Taken us some time to find suitable
accommodation, we didn't go to
bed till 3 a.m. the next day.
(De javu, you may say, see my story about
Bagan (Pagan) in Burma (Myanmar).
The next few days we explored Delhi and the
surrounds, on foot and by sightseeing tours.
From Delhi we went to Kashmir
after some table banging.
It is not the easiest place to visit,
due the guerrilla fighting and the ongoing
Indian-Pakistani dispute about Kashmir.
We flew back to Delhi from Srinagar.
Stayed on a house-boat on
Dal Lake in Srinagar for a few days.
Our Kashmir experience
Another few days we spent in Delhi,
than flew back to Singapore and
Auckland, New Zealand.
We did have some unforgettable experiences.
Varanasi also known as Benares or Banaras
is an ancient holy city of the
Hindus in northern India, on the west
bank of the Ganges River and the
largest city of Uttar Pradesh.
The main products of the city
include shawls, saris, gold-embroidered
cloth, hand-hammered brassware,
and heavy gold and silver jewellery.
It is well known for its fine silk fabrics.
Varanasi is one of the holiest city
in India and about a million devout
Hindus visit the city each year
to its large temples and its monasteries
and palaces, but foremost to bathe
in the Ganges, whose water they
believe to be sacred.
Population is nearly 2 million.
You can click on these photos for an enlargement.
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