Medical Tourism : India

   
India Kolkata
 
 
 India 
 

India officially the Republic of India (Bharat Ganrajya), is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, thesecond-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the south-west, and the Bay of Bengal on the south-east, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west; China,Nepal, and Bhutan to the north-east; and Burma and Bangladesh to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and theMaldives; in addition, India's Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia.


Home to the ancient Indus Valley Civilisation and a region of historic trade routes and vast empires, the Indian subcontinent was identified with its commercial and cultural wealth for much of its long history.Four world religions—Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism—originated here, whereas Zoroastrianism, Christianity, and Islam arrived in the 1st millennium CE and also helped shape the region's diverse culture. Gradually annexed by and brought under the administration of the British East India Company from the early 18th century and administered directly by the United Kingdom from the mid-19th century, India became an independent nation in 1947 after a struggle for independence that was marked by non-violent resistance led by Mahatma Gandhi.

 
 
 

The Indian economy is the world's tenth-largest by nominal GDP and third-largest by purchasing power parity (PPP). Following market-based economic reforms in 1991, India became one of the fastest-growing major economies; it is considered a newly industrialised country. However, it continues to face the challenges of poverty, illiteracy, corruption, malnutrition, inadequate public healthcare, and terrorism. A nuclear weapons stateand a regional power, it has the third-largest standing army in the world and ranks seventh in military expenditure among nations. India is a federalconstitutional republic governed under a parliamentary system consisting of 28 states and 7 union territories. India is a pluralistic, multilingual, andmulti-ethnic society. It is also home to a diversity of wildlife in a variety of protected habitats.

The name India is derived from Indus, which originates from the Old Persian word Hindu. The latter term stems from the Sanskrit word Sindhu, which was the historical local appellation for the Indus River. The ancient Greeks referred to the Indians as Indoi , which translates as "the people of the Indus". The geographical term Bharat which is recognised by the Constitution of India as an official name for the country, is used by many Indian languages in its variations.The eponym of Bharat is Bharata, a mythological figure that Hindu scriptures describe as a legendary emperor of ancient India. Hindustan was originally a Persian word that meant "Land of the Hindus"; prior to 1947, it referred to a region that encompassed northern India and Pakistan. It is occasionally used to solely denote India in its entirety.

 
 
 
Geography:

 
 
 

India comprises the bulk of the Indian subcontinent and lies atop the minor Indian tectonic plate, which in turn belongs to the Indo-Australian Plate. India's defining geological processes commenced 75 million years ago when the Indian subcontinent, then part of the southern supercontinent Gondwana, began a north-eastward drift across the then-unformed Indian Ocean that lasted fifty million years. The subcontinent's subsequent collision with, and subduction under, the Eurasian Plate bore aloft the planet's highest mountains, the Himalayas. They abut India in the north and thenorth-east. In the former seabed immediately south of the emerging Himalayas, plate movement created a vast trough that has gradually filled with river-borne sediment; it now forms the Indo-Gangetic Plain. To the west lies the Thar Desert, which is cut off by the Aravalli Range.

The original Indian plate survives as peninsular India, which is the oldest and geologically most stable part of India; it extends as far north as the Satpuraand Vindhya ranges in central India. These parallel chains run from the Arabian Sea coast in Gujarat in the west to the coal-rich Chota Nagpur Plateauin Jharkhand in the east. To the south, the remaining peninsular landmass, the Deccan Plateau, is flanked on the west and east by coastal ranges known as the Western and Eastern Ghats; the plateau contains the nation's oldest rock formations, some of them over one billion years old. Constituted in such fashion, India lies to the north of the equator between 6° 44' and 35° 30' north latitude[e] and 68° 7' and 97° 25' east longitude.
 
 
India's coastline measures 7,517 kilometres (4,700 mi) in length; of this distance, 5,423 kilometres (3,400 mi) belong to peninsular India and 2,094 kilometres (1,300 mi) to the Andaman, Nicobar, and Lakshadweep island chains.According to the Indian naval hydrographic charts, the mainland coastline consists of the following: 43% sandy beaches; 11% rocky shores, including cliffs; and 46% mudflats or marshy shores.

Major Himalayan-origin rivers that substantially flow through India include the Ganges and the Brahmaputra, both of which drain into the Bay of Bengal. Important tributaries of the Ganges include the Yamuna and the Kosi; the latter's extremely low gradient often leads to severe floods and course changes. Major peninsular rivers, whose steeper gradients prevent their waters from flooding, include the Godavari, the Mahanadi, the Kaveri, and the Krishna, which also drain into the Bay of Bengal; and the Narmada and the Tapti, which drain into the Arabian Sea. Coastal features include the marshy Rann of Kutch of western India and the alluvial Sundarbans delta of eastern India; the latter is shared with Bangladesh.  India has two archipelagos: the Lakshadweep, coral atolls off India's south-western coast; and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a volcanic chain in the Andaman Sea.

The Indian climate is strongly influenced by the Himalayas and the Thar Desert, both of which drive the economically and culturally pivotal summer and wintermonsoons. The Himalayas prevent cold Central Asian katabatic winds from blowing in, keeping the bulk of the Indian subcontinent warmer than most locations at similar latitudes. The Thar Desert plays a crucial role in attracting the moisture-laden south-west summer monsoon winds that, between June and October, provide the majority of India's rainfall. Four major climatic groupings predominate in India: tropical wet, tropical dry, subtropical humid, and montane

 
 
 
Biodiversity:

 

India lies within the Indomalaya ecozone 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 shola forests. Habitat ranges from the tropical rainforest of the Andaman Islands, Western Ghats, and North-East India to the coniferous forest of the Himalaya. Between these extremes lie the moist deciduous sal forest of eastern India; the dry deciduous teak forest of central and southern India; and the babul-dominated thorn forest of the central Deccan and western Gangetic plain. Under 12% of India's landmass bears thick jungle. The medicinal neem, widely used in rural Indian herbal remedies, is a key Indian tree. The luxuriant pipal fig tree, shown on the seals of Mohenjo-daro, shaded Gautama Buddha as he sought enlightenment.

 
 
 
 
Many Indian species descend from taxa originating in Gondwana, from which the Indian plate separated more than 105 million years before present. Peninsular India's subsequent movement towards and collision with theLaurasian landmass set off a mass exchange of species. Epochal volcanism and climatic changes 20 million years ago forced a mass extinction. Mammals then entered India from Asia through two zoogeographical passes flanking the rising Himalaya. Thus, while 45.8% of reptiles and 55.8% of amphibians are endemic, only 12.6% of mammals and 4.5% of birds are. Among them are the Nilgiri leaf monkey and Beddome's toad of the Western Ghats. India contains 172 IUCN-designated threatened species, or 2.9% of endangered forms. These include theAsiatic lion, the Bengal tiger, and the Indian white-rumped vulture, which, by ingesting the carrion of diclofenac-laced cattle, nearly went extinct.

The pervasive and ecologically devastating human encroachment of recent decades has critically endangered Indian wildlife. In response the system of national parks and protected areas, first established in 1935, was substantially expanded. In 1972, India enacted the Wildlife Protection Act and Project Tiger to safeguard crucial wilderness; the Forest Conservation Act was enacted in 1980 and amendments added in 1988. India hosts more than five hundred wildlife sanctuaries and thirteen biosphere reserves, four of which are part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves; twenty-five wetlands are registered under the Ramsar Convention.
 
Culture:

 


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 Upanishadsthe Yoga Sutras, the Bhaktimovement, and by Buddhist philosophy.

 
 
 
Art and architecture:

 

Much of Indian architecture, including the Taj Mahal, other works of Mughal architecture, and South Indian architecture, blends ancient local traditions with imported styles. Vernacular architecture is also highly regional in it flavours. Vastu shastra, literally "science of construction" or "architecture" and ascribed to Mamuni Mayan, explores how the laws of nature affect human dwellings;  it employs precise geometry and directional alignments to reflect perceived cosmic constructs. As applied in Hindu temple architecture, it is influenced by the Shilpa Shastras, a series of foundational texts whose basic mythological form is the Vastu-Purusha mandala, a square that embodied the "absolute".The Taj Mahal, built inAgra between 1631 and 1648 by orders of Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife, has been described in the UNESCO World Heritage List as "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage." Indo-Saracenic Revival architecture, developed by the British in the late 19th century, drew on Indo-Islamic architecture.

 
 
 
 

Literature:


 

The earliest literary writings in India, composed between 1400 BCE and 1200 CE, were in the Sanskrit language. Prominent works of this Sanskrit literature include epics such as theMahābhārata and the Ramayana, the dramas of Kālidāsa such as the Abhijñānaśākuntalam (The Recognition of Śakuntalā), and poetry such as the Mahākāvya.Kamasutra, the famous book about sexual intercourse also originated in India. Developed between 600 BCE and 300 CE in South India, the Sangam literature, consisting of 2,381 poems, is regarded as a predecessor of Tamil literature. From the 14th to the 18th centuries, India's literary traditions went through a period of drastic change because of the emergence of devotional poets such as Kabīr, Tulsīdās, and Guru Nānak. This period was characterised by a varied and wide spectrum of thought and expression; as a consequence, medieval Indian literary works differed significantly from classical traditions. In the 19th century, Indian writers took a new interest in social questions and psychological descriptions. In the 20th century, Indian literature was influenced by the works of Bengali poet and novelist Rabindranath Tagore.

 
 
 

Performing Arts:


 

Indian music ranges over various traditions and regional styles. Classical music encompasses two genres and their various folk offshoots: the northern Hindustani and southern Carnaticschools. Regionalised popular forms include filmi and folk music; the syncretic tradition of the bauls is a well-known form of the latter. Indian dance also features diverse folk and classical forms. Among the better-known folk dances are the bhangra of the Punjab, the bihu of Assam, the chhau of West Bengal and Jharkhand, sambalpuri of Odisha, ghoomar of Rajasthan, and thelavani of Maharashtra. Eight dance forms, many with narrative forms and mythological elements, have been accorded classical dance status by India's National Academy of Music, Dance, and Drama. These are: bharatanatyam of the state of Tamil Nadu, kathak of Uttar Pradesh, kathakali and mohiniyattam of Kerala, kuchipudi of Andhra Pradesh, manipuri of Manipur, odissi of Odisha, and the sattriya of Assam. Theatre in India melds music, dance, and improvised or written dialogue. Often based on Hindu mythology, but also borrowing from medieval romances or social and political events, Indian theatre includes the bhavai of Gujarat, the jatra of West Bengal, the nautanki and ramlila of North India, tamasha of Maharashtra, burrakatha of Andhra Pradesh,terukkuttu of Tamil Nadu, and the yakshagana of Karnataka.

 
 
 

Motion Pictures:


The Indian film industry produces the world's most-watched cinema. Established regional cinematic traditions exist in the Assamese, Bengali, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya,Tamil, and Telugu languages. South Indian cinema attracts more than 75% of national film revenue.Television broadcasting began in India in 1959 as a state-run medium of communication, and had slow expansion for more than two decades. The state monopoly on television broadcast ended in 1990s and, since then, satellite channels have increasingly shaped popular culture of Indian society. Today, television is the most penetrative media in India; industry estimates indicate that as of 2012 there are over 554 million TV consumers, 462 million with satellite and/or cable connections, compared to other forms of mass media such as press (350 million), radio (156 million) or internet (37 million).

 
 
 

Society:


 

Traditional Indian society is defined by a relatively strict social hierarchy. The Indian caste system embodies much of the social stratification and many of the social restrictions found in the Indian subcontinent. Social classes are defined by thousands of endogamous hereditary groups, often termed asjātis, or "castes". India declared untouchability illegal in 1947 and has since enacted other anti-discriminatory laws and social welfare initiatives, albeit numerous reports suggest that many Dalits ("ex–Untouchables") and other low castes in rural areas continue to live in segregation and facepersecution and discrimination. Family values are important in the Indian tradition, and multi-generational patriarchal joint families have been the norm in India, though nuclear families are becoming common in urban areas. An overwhelming majority of Indians, with their consent, have their marriages arranged by their parents or other family members. Marriage is thought to be for life, and the divorce rate is extremely low. Child marriages are common, especially in rural areas; more than half of women in India wed before reaching 18, which is their legal marriageable age.

 
 
Many Indian festivals are religious in origin; among them are Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi, Thai Pongal, Navaratri, Holi, Durga Puja, Eid ul-Fitr, Bakr-Id,Christmas, and Vaisakhi. India has three national holidays which are observed in all states and union territories: Republic Day, Independence Day, andGandhi Jayanti. Other sets of holidays, varying between nine and twelve, are officially observed in individual states. Traditional Indian dress varies in colour and style across regions and depends on various factors, including climate and faith. Popular styles of dress include draped garments such as the sari for women and the dhoti or lungi for men. Stitched clothes, such as the shalwar kameez for women and kurta–pyjama combinations or European-style trousers and shirts for men, are also popular. Use of delicate jewellery, modelled on real flowers worn in ancient India, is part of a tradition dating back some 5,000 years; gemstones are also worn in India as talismans.

Indian cuisine features an unsurpassed reliance on herbs and spices, with dishes often calling for the nuanced usage of a dozen or more condiments; it is also known for its tandooripreparations. The tandoor, a clay oven used in India for almost 5,000 years, grills meats to an "uncommon succulence" and produces the puffy flatbread known as naan. The staple foods are wheat (predominantly in the north), rice (especially in the south and the east), and lentils. Many spices that have worldwide appeal are native to the Indian subcontinent, while chili pepper, native to the Americas and introduced by the Portuguese, is widely used by Indians. Āyurveda, a system of traditional medicine, used six rasas and three guṇas to help describe comestibles.Over time, as Vedic animal sacrifices were supplanted by the notion of sacred-cow inviolability, vegetarianism became associated with high religious status and grew increasingly popular,a trend aided by the rise of Buddhist, Jain, and bhakti Hindu norms. India has the world's highest concentration of vegetarians: a 2006 survey found that 31% of Indians were lacto vegetarian, and another 9% were ovo-lacto vegetarianism. Common traditional eating customs include meals taken on or near the floor, caste and gender-segregated dining, and a lack of cutlery in favour of the right hand or a piece of roti.
 
 
 
 
 
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