Location: South Asia.
Area: 3,166,414 sq km (1,222,582 sq miles).
Population: 1.1 billion (estimate 2007).
Population Density: 347 per square km.
Time: GMT + 5.5.
Capital: New Delhi, Population: 16.6 million (estimate 2007).
Government: Republic since 1947.
Head of State: President Pratibha Patil, the first female president of India.
Head of Government: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Language: 17 regional languages have been recognized by the constitution, out of which Hindi is spoken by almost 40% of the population. Bengali, Gujrati, Oriya, Punjabi and Hindi are spoken in north India and Tamil and telagu are spoken in south India.
Religion: there are 12% Muslims in India and 82% Hindus, and there are also certain minorities such as Jain, Parsi, Sikh, Christian and Buddhist.
Photography: Photography is restricted at certain places such as airports, train stations and crossings, and there is fixed fee applicable for it at certain places.
Gadgets and electricity: Plugs used in India are round pin type, with two and three pins. So if your cell phone’s and Camera’s chargers do not have a round pin then you can buy an extension plug from the local electric shops.
Social conventions: English-speaking guides are available at many bookstores including the official tourist centers. At many places guides speaking French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish or Japanese are available.
Smoking and wearing footwear is not allowed at most religious places. Travelers are suggested to wear modest clothing at all places and fold hands when greeting someone.