India is the 7th largest country in the world, it covers a total area of 3,287,590 sq km in area. It lies in south Asia jutting into the Indian Ocean in its south, undulating over the frozen wasteland of the Himalayas in the north, braving drought in its desert-like west and surviving fierce floods in its east. A substantial portion of northern India is the fertile plain where the great Gangetic riverine system irrigates vast expanses of the land bringing agrarian wellbeing. The Deccan Plateau in Central India is rich in minerals.

In the north-west, Pakistan borders India, and to the east lie China, Nepal, Burma, Bhutan and Bangladesh. To the south lies the teardrop shaped island nation of Sri Lanka. Beyond the peninsula the waters of the Bay of Bengal in the east, the Arabian Sea in the west and the Indian Ocean at the very south wet the shores of India's 7000 km long coastline

The best time to visit India is between October and March. Temperatures in northern India are pleasant and range in the 25-10 degrees Celsius during the daytime in these months, making it pleasant for sightseeing.

India lies within the Indomalayaecozone and contains three biodiversity hotspots. One of 17 megadiverse countries, it hosts 8.6% of all mammalian, 13.7% of all avian, 7.9% of all reptilian, 6% of all amphibian, 12.2% of all piscine, and 6.0% of all flowering plant species. Endemism is high among plants, 33%, and among ecoregions such as the sholaforests.

Indian cultural history spans more than 4,500 years. During the Vedic period (c. 1700–500 BCE), the foundations of Hindu philosophy, mythology, and literature were laid, and many beliefs and practices which still exist today, such as dhárma, kárma, yóga, and mokṣa, were established. India is notable for its religious diversity, with Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam, Christianity, and Jainism among the nation's major religions. The predominant religion, Hinduism, has been shaped by various historical schools of thought, including those of the Upanishads, the Yoga Sutras, the Bhakti movement, and by Buddhist philosophy.