Here are some interesting facts about India for kids which were chosen and researched by children especially for children.
India is the seventh largest country in the world. India is slightly bigger than one third of the USA. The country is located on the Asian continent.
The Himalayan mountains are located in the North of the country while the country on the peninsula is surrounded by the Indian Ocean.
India borders seven countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and Bangladesh.
It takes a 8.5-hour flight from London/England to Delhi/India, 14 hours from New York/USA and 13 hours from Sydney/Australia.
India has some the world's highest mountains and a large high-lying area in the southern part of the country, the Deccan plateau.
The highest mountain in India is the Kangchenjunga. This is also the third highest mountain in the world with 8,586 m/28,169 ft.
The Thar Desert is a large region in the north west of the country and forms a natural border between India and Pakistan. About three quarters of the desert are located in India.
The longest river in India is the Ganges River. This is the most sacred river to the Hindus.
Did you know that the name 'India' is derived from the river Indus which also flows through India?
India is home to many large mammals such as the snow leopard, the Indian rhinoceros, the Bengal tiger or the Asian elephant.
There are also water buffalos and many different antelope species. Some species are endangered and threatened due to the rising population and settlements moving closer to wildlife habitats.
Cow are considered as sacred by the Hindus and thus these animals are highly respected and honoured as they symbolise strength and provide life-giving milk. So do not wonder when you see cows wandering in the middle of the roads or somebody starts bowing to a cow!
India is the second most populous country in the world and thus has also many big cities. However, about two thirds of the population still live in rural areas.
Most of the people in India live in the country's northern regions along the fertile banks of the Ganges river and the southern coastal regions.
India's biggest cities are:
Tradition and social classes or 'castes' are still part of the society, although there are laws in place that make 'Untouchability' illegal and fortunately discrimination due to the caste-system is becoming less in the Indian society.
Family values are important in traditional families and arranged marriage still play a big part especially in rural regions.
Did you know that in India, cars drive on the left side of the road as they do in the UK and Australia?
Road signs on national highways are in English and Hindi.
As India is a large and very diverse country, also the agricultural products are very different. Thus the food and cooking styles are different from region to region.
Indian staple food are rice, lentils, breads and spices. Further, fish and seafood at the coast and chicken, pork, beef and game meats depending on the region. Many dishes contain vegetables such as spinach, peas or mustard greens as well as fruit such as mango, pineapple or bananas.
Indian food is generally spiced a lot and some regions are known for extremely hot and spicy food. Commonly used spices are chilli and ginger, cardamon, cinnamon, cumin (jeera), coriander (dhania) and cloves. Many dishes also use yoghurt, cottage cheese or paneer (white unsalted cheese - you can see the paneer cubes in spinach sauce in the image below)
Typical Indian food:
Indians eat meat but remember that different faiths do not allow their followers to eat certain types of meat. Cows are considered holy by the Hindu, thus many Indians will not eat beef. Beef is even banned in several states!
Muslims do not eat pork, so in the northern regions where most Indian muslims live, pork will not be served.
Food is eaten by Indians traditionally with the right hand, the left hand is only used for serving oneself. However, many Indians today also use cutlery such as forks and spoons.
… the India Gate which stands in Delhi is a war memorial. It was build in remembrance of over 70,000 soldiers of the British Indian Army who died in the First World War.
The memorial is 42 m/132 ft high and stands in the middle of a crossroad. The names of 13,218 dead soldiers are engraved in small letters the memorial.