INDIA - HISTORY
The people of India have had a continuous civilization since 2500 B.C., when the inhabitants of the Indus River valley developed an urban culture based on commerce and sustained by agricultural trade. This civilization declined around 1500 B.C., probably due to ecological changes.
During the second millennium B.C., pastoral, Aryan-speaking tribes migrated from the northwest into the subcontinent, settled in the middle Ganges River valley, and adapted to antecedent cultures.
The political map of ancient and medieval India was made up of myriad kingdoms with fluctuating boundaries. In the 4th and 5th centuries A.D., northern India was unified under the Gupta Dynasty. During this period, known as India's Golden Age, Hindu culture and political administration reached new heights.
Islam spread across the subcontinent over a period of 700 years. In the 10th and 11th centuries, Turks and Afghans invaded India and established sultanates in Delhi. In the early 16th century, Babur, a Turkish adventurer and distant relative of Timurlane, established the Mughal Dynasty, which lasted for 200 years. South India followed an independent path, but by the 17th century large areas of South India came under the direct rule or influence of the expanding Mughal Empire. While most of Indian society in its thousands of villages remained untouched by the political struggles going on around them, Indian courtly culture evolved into a unique blend of Hindu and Muslim traditions.
The first British outpost in South Asia was established by the English East India Company in 1619 at Surat on the northwestern coast. Later in the century, the Company opened permanent trading stations at Madras (now Chennai), Bombay (now Mumbai), and Calcutta (now Kolkata), each under the protection of native rulers.
With Indians increasingly united in their quest for independence, a war-weary Britain led by Labor Prime Minister Clement Attlee began in earnest to plan for the end of its suzerainty in India. On August 15, 1947, India became a dominion within the Commonwealth, with Jawaharlal Nehru as Prime Minister. Strategic colonial considerations, as well as political tensions between Hindus and Muslims, led the British to partition British India into two separate states: India, with a Hindu majority; and Pakistan, which consisted of two "wings," East and West Pakistan--currently Bangladesh and Pakistan--with Muslim majorities. India became a republic within the Commonwealth after promulgating its Constitution on January 26, 1950.
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT INDIA
The number system was invented by India. Aryabhatta was the scientist who invented the digit zero.
Chess was invented in India.
The' place value system' and the 'decimal system' were developed in 100 BC in India.
The first six Mogul Emperor's of India ruled in an unbroken succession from father to son for two hundred years, from 1526 to 1707.
The World's First Granite Temple is the Brihadeswara temple at Tanjavur in Tamil Nadu. The shikhara is made from a single ' 80-tonne ' piece of granite. Also, this magnificient temple was built in just five years, (between 1004 AD and 1009 AD) during the reign of Rajaraja Chola
India is.......the Largest democracy in the world, the 6th largest country in the world AND one of the most ancient and living civilizations (at least 10, 000 years old).
Usage of anesthesia was well known in ancient India medicine. Detailed knowledge of anatomy, embryology, digestion, metabolism, physiology, etiology, genetics and immunity is also found in many ancient Indian texts.
TAJ MAHAL, AGRA, INDIA
Taj Mahal is regarded as one of the eight wonders of the world, and some Western historians have noted that its architectural beauty has never been surpassed. The Taj is the most beautiful monument built by the Mughals, the Muslim rulers of India. Taj Mahal is built entirely of white marble. Its stunning architectural beauty is beyond adequate description, particularly at dawn and sunset. The Taj seems to glow in the light of the full moon. On a foggy morning, the visitors experience the Taj as if suspended when viewed from across the Jamuna river.
Taj Mahal was built by a Muslim, Emperor Shah Jahan (died 1666 C.E.) in the memory of his dear wife and queen Mumtaz Mahal at Agra, India. It is an "elegy in marble" or some say an expression of a "dream." Taj Mahal (meaning Crown Palace) is a Mausoleum that houses the grave of queen Mumtaz Mahal at the lower chamber. The grave of Shah Jahan was added to it later. The queen’s real name was Arjumand Banu. In the tradition of the Mughals, important ladies of the royal family were given another name at their marriage or at some other significant event in their lives, and that new name was commonly used by the public. Shah Jahan's real name was Shahab-ud-din, and he was known as Prince Khurram before ascending to the throne in 1628.
TAMIL NADU, INDIA
Tamil Nadu has an elongated coastline that spans across a distance of 1000 km. As a natural corollary to this, the state has extensive sea trade and travel facilities. There are three major ports at Chennai, Ennore and Tuticorin, an intermediate port, Nagapattinam, and seven minor ports, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Cuddalore, Colachel, Karaikal, Pamban and Valinokkan that handle over 73 million metric tonnes of cargo annually.
The Chennai International Airport that provides global connectivity with as many as 19 countries is another instance of Tamil Nadu’s excellent infrastructure. The airport has more than 169 flights scheduled every week. In addition the state also has domestic airports at Coimbatore, Trichy, Tuticorin and Madurai that facilitates intra-state travel as well as freight carriage.
Tamilnadu Tourism holds a special place in India’s tour landscape. Known to be the land of serene beaches and panoramic valleys, Tamilnadu welcomes all with its infinite reserve of natural beauty. Situated on the southern corner of the country, the place is visited by large number of foreign tourists. The endless special appeals of Tamilnadu not only make it an obvious choice of holiday destination but also extend its aesthetic credibility to the outer world.
Chennai, formerly known as Madras is the capital of the great state Tamil Nadu and is one of the four metropolitan city in India. This 350 year old city grew up under the huge influence of an English settlement of Fort Saint George and with time absorbed the surrounding towns and villages. However, despite having a British influence, Chennai has been succesful in retaining its traditional Tamil Hindu culture and have been able to provide a unique blend of foreign influence and Indian culture. The city is widely spread in about 180 Sq. Kms. and is one of the major trade centers of India, being well linked by road, rail and air to important cities besides being a sea port. Compared to the other major metros of India, it is far less congested and polluted and also boast of the 100% literacy rate. Chennai, is a journey into timeless India, a kaleidoscope of sorts. Rich in the treasures of history, from temples and shrines to forts and palaces, here past is able to live easily with the present.
From being a small fisherman's village in 1639 to becoming one of the most enormous and beautiful city in India Chennai has definitely come a long way from where it stood. Chennai is also host to some cultural theatres that showcase various India traditional dances and plays on regular basis. Chennai like its counterpart Mumbai is the centre of the film industry of south India. Large number of hoardings and billboards displaying latest movie releases surround the city.