Your guide to being an expatriate in India

Caffeinate Your India Expat Journey: Find Essential Info and Connect with Expatriates Today!

India, officially the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. India is the seventh-largest country by area and the second-most populous country after China. India is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of 28 states and 8 union territories. Its capital is New Delhi and its largest city is Mumbai. India is the world's largest democracy and has a history of civilisation spanning over 5000 years.

India

Expat destinations in India

Demographics of India:

Ethnic groups

India's population is predominantly Indo-European in origin, with significant Dravidian and Tibetan-Burman populations. Major ethnic groups include Biharis (18%), Bengalis (13%), Punjabis (11%), Gujaratis (9%) and Marathas (8%).

Languages

Hindi and English are the official languages of India. There are also 22 recognised regional languages, with Bengali and Telugu among the most widely spoken.

Religion Overview

India is home to a wide array of religions, making it a diverse and spiritual melting pot. Hinduism is the largest religion in India, with over 80% of the population identifying as Hindu. Other major religions include Islam (13%), Christianity (2.3%), Sikhism (2%) and Buddhism (0.7%).

Major Religions

Climate

India experiences a wide range of climates, thanks to its large size and varied topography. India's climate can broadly be divided into four regions: tropical, subtropical, temperate, and arctic. The hot and dry desert regions in the northwest and southwest are known for their extreme temperatures, while southern India is known for its lush, tropical rainforests. India's monsoon season brings heavy rainfall and flooding to many areas.

Economy Overview

India has a rapidly growing economy, with a current GDP of $2.924 trillion (IMF, 2021). India is the fifth-largest economy in the world by nominal GDP and the third-largest by purchasing power parity. The economy is mainly based on services, with key industries including finance, manufacturing, technology, and agriculture. India's large and young population is a major driving force behind its economic growth.

Key Industries

  • Technology
  • Manufacturing
  • Finance
  • Agriculture
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Transportation
  • Tourism
  • Renewable Energy

Major Companies

  • Tata Consultancy Services
  • Infosys
  • Wipro
  • HCL Technologies
  • Bharat Petroleum
  • State Bank of India
  • Reliance Industries
  • Maruti Suzuki
  • Bharti Airtel
  • Axis Bank

Culture and Language Overview

India's rich and diverse culture is characterized by a deep attachment to tradition and history. India's vibrant festivals, colorful traditions, and diverse cuisine reflect the complex mix of influences that have shaped its culture over thousands of years. Music, dance, and theater are also a significant part of Indian culture, with classical forms such as Bharatanatyam, Kathak, and Odissi still performed today.

Cultural Highlights

  • Diwali - Also known as the Festival of Lights, this festival is celebrated to mark the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile. Diwali is celebrated throughout India during October or November.
  • Holi - The Festival of Colours is celebrated in March or April to signify the arrival of spring.
  • Thaipusam - This Tamil festival is celebrated by Hindus and Tamils worldwide, and is particularly popular in Southern India. It is typically celebrated during January or February.
  • Durga Puja - This festival is celebrated by Hindus and lasts for five days in September or October. It commemorates the victory of Goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura.
  • Ganesh Chaturthi - Celebrated in August or September, this festival is dedicated to Lord Ganesha, the god of wisdom, and is particularly popular in Maharashtra.

Geography and Landmarks Overview

India is home to a diverse range of landscapes, from the snow-capped Himalayas in the north to the sandy beaches of the Indian Ocean. India's geography is distinguished by its many rivers, plains, and coastal areas. The country is also home to several prominent landmarks, including the Taj Mahal, the Red Fort, and the Golden Temple.

Notable Landmarks

  • The Taj Mahal - This iconic mausoleum is located in Agra, and was commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife.
  • The Red Fort - Located in Delhi, this fort was originally built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1639.
  • The Golden Temple - Located in Amritsar, Punjab, this temple is the holiest site in Sikhism and attracts millions of visitors each year.
  • The Himalayan Mountains - This majestic range spans five countries, including India, and includes several of the world's highest peaks, including K2 and Kanchenjunga.
  • The Sacred groves of Kerala - These dense, primal forests are considered sacred by local communities and are home to a diverse array of flora and fauna.

National Holidays

  • Republic Day (January 26)
  • Mahatem Gandhi Jayanti (October 2)
  • Independence Day (August 15)
  • Buddha Purnima (April 8 or April 15)
  • Education Day (September 1)
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Sunday
  • Ascension Day (40 days after Easter)
  • Pentecost Sunday
  • Corpus Christi Sunday
  • International Yoga Day (June 21)
  • Good Friday (moves annually)

Political Stability

India is a federal parliamentary republic with a political system that is both democratic and stable. The government is headed by the Prime Minister, who is elected by the Lok Sabha (the lower house of Parliament). India's political landscape is complex, with multiple political parties vying for power. Political stability in India is generally high, although there have been occasional bouts of political unrest and civil unrest in certain areas.

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