About India

Kanchenjunga National Park Samiti Lake (4500m) Last stage before ascending the Gocha La Sikkim, India

East meets West in the land of Shiva, Tigers and Information Technology

One in every 6 humans lives in India, a vast nation that boasts some of the most ancient civilizations on Earth.

Rare wildlife (tigers, elephants, rhinos and the world’s rarest monkey, the golden langur), a wide range of beliefs, and an economic explosion converge in a country that remains as fascinating today as it was 3,000 years ago.


India stretches from the Himalayan Range to the north, all the way down to the tip of its southern peninsula, which juts into the Indian Ocean.

Between these two climatic extremes lies the fertile Indo-Gangetic Plain and the Thar Desert to the west (bordering southeastern Pakistan).

A vast plateau flanked by two hilly coastal ranges, the Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats, covers the southern part of the country. Several rivers weave their way around the country, including the Ganges, the Brahmaputra, and the Yamuna.


India’s varied habitats – coasts, rainforests, swamps, mountains among other – are home to 7.6% of all mammalian, 12.6% of avian, 6.2% of reptilian, and 6.0% of flowering plant species globally. Strong summer monsoons cause seasonal changes in vegetation and habitat every year.

Many of WWF’s most remarkable ecoregions are found in India, including Southwestern Ghats Moist Forests, Sundarbans Mangroves and Western Himalayan Temperate Forests .
 Indian rhinoceros, female and young. More than 500 of them live in Chitwan, Nepal. 
	© WWF / Jeff FOOTT
Indian rhinoceros, female and young. More than 500 of them live in Chitwan, Nepal.
© WWF / Jeff FOOTT

Population & religion

More than 1.1 billion people live in India, making it the second most populous country in the world. A majority of Indians are Hindu, followed by Muslims. On any given day, more than 1,500 dialects are in use across the country, although Hindi and English are widespread languages.

Economy & Development

India’s economy is among the fastest growing in the world. As the country's markets have gradually opened through foreign trade and investment, living standards have gone up for part of the population.

However, India still faces serious problems of poverty, malnutrition and environmental degradation.
	© WWF
What are the problems?
	© WWF
What is WWF doing about the problems?
Wikipedia. India. Accessed at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/India on January 23, 2007.

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