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India History

India has a rich, colorful, and breath taking history due to it’s omnipresent past and it’s modernizing present nation. India's history is everywhere, in its temples, mosques, forts, palaces, tombs, and monuments, but it has only recently become a single country, which makes its history a complex one. India’s history begins with the birth of the Indus Valley Civilization in such sites as Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa, and Lothal, and the coming of the Aryans.These two phases are

usually described as the pre-Vedic and Vedic periods. It is in the Vedic period that Hinduism first arose. Historical accounts of India start with the Harappan Civilization. The Harappan Civilization is a sophisticated agricultural and urban society that flourished from 3000-1700 B.C. This period was led by the Sanskrit-speaking elite, which embedded into India Hinduism, the caste system, and the dichotomy between a rural farming majority, and an urbanized merchant class, all ruled by local kings and princes.

In the fifth century, large parts of India were united under Ashoka. Ashoka converted to Buddhism, and it is in his reign that Buddhism spread to most parts of Asia. Mauryas, another leader shaped the country to what we know it to be now. It is in the reign of the Mauryas that Hinduism took the shape that fundamentally informs the religion down to the present day. Islam first came to India in the eighth century, and by the 11th century had firmly established itself in the country as a political force. Today, there are many ways to describe "modern" India, but perhaps the most fitting is "Land of Paradoxes." Life has changed dramatically in the last decade, as India began to liberalize its economy. Nowadays women have more rights and have risen to top positions of power and authority.

India is the fourth-biggest economy in the world after the United States, China, and Japan. The diversity of religious belief and practice in India is both unique and somewhat confounding. 81% of people in India are Hindu, Islam 12%, Christian 2.3%, Sikh 1.9%, other (including Buddhists, Jains, and Parsis) 2.5%. There are many languages spoken in India, but the official language of the country is Hindu. Everything from from their attire, to the way they greet people is rich is history. Even though there is no strict dress code in India, the styles varying from community to community. In the North, men wear a loose type of pajama and kurta. While in the South and the East they use dhotis. Most women usually wear the sari, but the way it is worn varies from place to place.

In India certain customs are observed in social matters. For example, when people are introduced to each other they usually say "Namaste," this means hello. The custom is not in the word but more in how it is presented. Whether you say hello or goodbye both hands are joined and raised when greeting a person in India. India is filled with breath taking views of temples, and medieval architecture. It is a land where you can find beauty in even the most unpleasant location in the country.

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India Travel Guides
 Frommer's India
 Lonely Planet India
 Let's Go India
 Fodors India