The Republic of India is the seventh biggest country in the world. The distance from the north to the south is about 3200 km. That is the about the same distance from Madrid, Spain to St. Petersburg, Russia! The geography of India is very beautiful and amazing: it has some of the highest mountains in the world, the world’s seventh biggest desert, big rivers and rainforests too. India’s population is very diverse. People speak over one thousand different languages, believe in different religions and have different traditions. And the population of India is growing. In fact, the only country in the world with more people is China.

The three biggest cities in India are Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. Each of those cities has at least 15 million people living in them! India’s cities are a mix of rich and poor people; they live side by side. But most people in India still live in villages. Often there is no running water or electricity in these villages because they are very poor. People’s way of life changes more slowly in the villages than it does in the cities.

India’s history and culture are both thousands of years old. But that doesn’t mean that India is old and boring. It is an interesting mix of old and new: old Indian culture mixed with modern Indian and Western culture.

There are also many people with Indian roots all over the world – about 30 million! Many of them live in Britain because India used to be part of the British Empire. Today, Indian culture has a very big influence on British culture. One person has even said that the national dish of England is “Chicken Tikka Masala”, a kind of Indian curry.