Showing posts with label General Knowledge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label General Knowledge. Show all posts

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Incredible facts on Ancient India to rejuvenate your General Knowledge

Facts about Ancient India

India History is classified into three broad categories: Ancient, Medieval and Modern.


Indus Valley Civilization

The development of Indus Valley Civilization is the most important event of ancient Indian history. This civilization wad developed on the banks of river Indus. It extends from Jammu in the north to Ahmednagar in the south, and in various regions of Gujarat. The main sites which have been found in the excavation are Kalibangan in Rajasthan, Lothal in Gujarat, Banwali in Haryana and Ropar in Punjab. Indus Valley Civilization period lies between 3000 BC and 1500 BC. The main cities associated with are Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro, and Lothal. The main features of this civilization are the town planning. They had a great building, well-planned roads, cities, and drainage system. Hunting and agriculture were their main sources of livelihood. They were the first to produce cotton.

A. Vedic Period

This is marked by the entry of Aryans, who were originally inhabitants of Central Asia around the Caspian Sea and probably came through Hindukush mountains. The period lies between 2500-2000 BC. The main feature of Aryans was – They were the admirers of nature and worshiped sun, fire, and water. Yagna was an important part of their religion. They had organized a system of living and were quite matured socially and politically. They had following religious books:
1. Vedas
These books were their most sacred books. These are the oldest known books of Indus Valley Civilization. They were four in number, viz. Rig Veda- The oldest and contained prayers of God, Vayu, Varun, Indra and Agni Sam Veda- It dealt with music. Yajur Veda- It dealt with formulae and rituals. Atharva Veda- It dealt with medicines.
2. The Purana
The Puranas were 18 in number and contained details of Aryan Civilization like their rituals, traditions, and formulae.
3. The Upanishads
They are the main source of Indian Philosophy and are 300 in number. The Brahmans and Aranyakas are the other important religious books of Aryans.

B. The Later Vedic Period

This period ranges from 2000-700 BC. The important features of this period are: It is also known as the period of Brahmanical Age which is very near to modern-day, Hindu religion. Society which was in Hindu divided into four castes (a) Brahmins, (b) Kshatriyas, (c) Vaisyas, and (d) Sudras, depending on the work they did in the mentioned order of preference. [caption id="attachment_335" align="alignnone" width="638"] Caste system in India taken from the ancient India | Image Source[/caption] Brahmins were the priestly class, Kshatriyas were the fighter, Vaisyas were the business class, and Sudras represented the labor class. Two great epics and Shastras were written in this period, namely Mahabharata by Ved Vyas and Ramayana by Maharishi Valmiki. The Shastras dealt with Indian philosophy and concepts of birth, death, and God.

C. Rise of religion (other than Hinduism)

Initiated by a Kshatriya prince of Shakya Clan, Siddhartha, (later came to be known as Buddha) around 6th century BC, who was born at Lumbini (in Nepal) near Kapilvastu. He was the son of King Shuddhodhana, He went in search of truth and attained enlightenment under a papal tree at Bodh Gaya, and delivered his first sermons at Sarnath in U.P. He spread his message of many years and died at Kushinagar in U.P. There are many sects of Buddhism out of which three are important: Mahayan (the higher vehicle) – It believes Buddha to be a God Hinman (the lesser Vehicle) – It does not believe that Buddha was a God. It is a more pristine form of Buddhism. Vajrayan- It is the tantric form of Buddhism. Now prevalent in Ladakh and Bhutan. Buddhism got divided into Hinyan and Mahayan at the fourth Buddhist council held during the reign of Harshavardhan. The main Buddhist teachings are: The eight-fold path of right faith, thought, action, livelihood, efforts, speech, remembrance and concentration. Belief in Nirvana (freedom from the cycle of birth and death), Ahimsa, the law of karma.
Founded by Rishabha (a Kshatriya), Jainism attained peak under Vardhamana Mahavira (the 24th Tirthankara). Mahavira was born was born at Kundagrama in 540 BC in Bihar, and attained perfect knowledge, ‘Kaivalya,' after he becomes ascetic at the age of 30. He became a ‘Jina’ one who has conquered happiness and misery) and died at Pava near Rajgiri. Jainism is also divided into two sects, viz., digambars and shwetambara. Former is a more pristine form and remain naked, while latter, wear white clothes. The main feature of Jainism are: The tri-ratna concept, consisting of (a) right knowledge, (b) right faith, (c) right conduct. Belief in Karma and belief in Ahimsa, are the other two great teachings of this religion. [table id=1 /] Hope you liked the detailed information on ancient India. In the next post, we will discuss medieval India.

A dive into Medieval India - General Knowledge Approach

Medieval India

Indian history can be classified into three broad categories, Ancient, Medieval and Modern. In the last post, we discussed Ancient India and Indus valley civilization detail. Now, we are discussing medieval history.


Marked by the beginning of Delhi, which was established after the conquest of Muhammad Ghouri. The period of Sultanate of Delhi ranges from AD 1206-1526. This is considered as the beginning of Muslim rule in India. India in this period is called Medieval India.

Important Dynasties in Medieval India

1. The Slave Dynasty
The Slave Dynasty’s period ranges from AD 1206-1290. It was founded by Qutub-ud-din Aibek, and the prominent rulers of this dynasty were Iltutmish and the only Muslim woman ruler of India, Razia Sultana.
2. The Khilji dynasty
It was founded by Jalal-Ud-din Khilji and its period ranges from AD 1290-1320. Alaud-din Khilji was one of the most prominent rulers of this dynasty.
3. The Tughlaq dynasty
It was founded by Ghiasuddin Tughlak and the period ranges from AD 1320-1414. Ibn Batuta was an important African traveler who visited India in 1333.
4. The Lodhi Dynasty
It was founded by Bahlol Lodhi and the period of the dynasty ranges from AD 1451-1526. Sikander and Ibrahim Lodhi were the other two prominent rulers belonging to this dynasty.
5. The Mughal Dynasty
One of the most important dynasties of India is Mughal dynasty, which reigned almost continuously from AD 1526-1857 (the longest period).

Important Rulers of Mughal Dynasty:

1. Babur
He is credited with the foundation of Mughal empire by defeating Ibrahim Lodhi in the first battle of Panipat on April 20, 1526.
2. Humayun
He was the next emperor of Mughal empire after Babur.
3. Akbar
The most successful of Mughal emperor. An excellent leader, who separated religion and politics, started a new religion called Din-e-Ilahi.
4. Jehangir
 The son of Akbar, who ascended the throne after Akbar’s death, known for his administration and strict sense of justice. He was the husband of famous Noor Jahan Begum.
5. Shah Jahan
Famous ruler and son of Jehangir, who built Taj Mahal at Agra, in the memory of his wife, Mumtaj Mahal. Jama Masjid and red Fort are the other two famous buildings that were built by him.
6. Aurangzeb
A very cruel ruler and son of Shah Jahan, who demolished several religious structures of Hindus, and ruled for about 50 years. Mughal Empire started declining with the attack of Nadir Shah who took the famous Kohinoor diamond with him to Afghanistan. Then came the Marathas who became powerful under the leadership of Shivaji. Name of Fame: Sher Shah Suri [caption id="attachment_353" align="aligncenter" width="210"] Sher Shah Suri | Image Source[/caption] He was a brilliant administrator who issued the coins and built the famous Grand Trunk Road from Peshawar to Calcutta.
Important monuments built by Mughal in Medieval India:
1. Shalimar garden and Nishant Bagh by Jehangir
2. Taj Mahal, Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Agra Fort by Shah Jahan

Do you know about Modern India? A General Knowledge Approach

As we know, Indian history can be classified into three broad categories. Ancient, Medieval and Modern. We have already discussed Ancient and Medieval India in last few posts. Here, in this post, we will study about Modern India and throw some light on the chain of events happening in ancient India and concluding in modern India.

Modern India

In 1498, a Portuguese sailor Vasco da Gama’s discovery of the sea route to India helped in establishing the political structure in India. East India Company of Britain came here with the excuse of trading and soon started developing its political dominion in India and, finally, succeeded in establishing their rule over India.

Important events related to Modern Indian History

1. First war of Independence (Mutiny of Sepoys)
It took place in 1857 when soldiers refused to touch the new rifle cartridges which were said to have been greased with a cover made of animal fat. Mangal Pande was a prominent figure, who surfaced during this mutiny. He killed two Britishers at Barrackbore, and this was also one of the causes of the mutiny.
2. Government of India Act, 1858
This proclaimed the direct governance of British crown over India.
3. Formation of Indian National Congress
A.O.Hume is credited with the formation of Indian National Congress in December 1885, which held its first session at Bombay, under the presidentship of W.C. Banerjee.
4. Partition of Bengal
It took place in 1905.

Other significant events related to Indian Freedom Movement

formation of congress by AO hume-modern-india
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Important Lords and Viceroys associated with British rule and related events

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List of Important Historical Events

[caption id="attachment_389" align="aligncenter" width="200"]alexander-modern-india Image Source [/caption] [table id=4 /]

List of important Presidents of Indian National Congress

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Important Newspaper brought out by National Leaders

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Important visitors to India and the Kings whose courts they visited

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Geographical Facts Everyone should know as a part of General Knowledge

Physical Geographical Facts

Geographical facts are derived from common general knowledge on planets, satellites, moon, eclipses, atmosphere, continents, oceans, rocks, etc. We will cover these elements of physical geography in brief here. In next post, we will cover an exclusive section on geographical facts of India. To explore more general knowledge resources click here.


The revolving bodies around the Sun are called planets. There are eight known planets. [caption id="attachment_418" align="aligncenter" width="2020"] Diameter of planets | Image Source [/caption] 1. Mercury Closest to the Sun and is the fastest planet to revolve around the Sun 2. Venus Brightest planet after the Sun and the Moon and is the hottest planet in all 3. Earth is only known planet to possess life 4. Mars Known as the red planet. Explored for life astronomers now, as it is having similarities with Earth. 5. Jupiter The largest planet of the solar system. 6. Saturn System of rings are the characteristics feature of this planet 7. Uranus 8. Neptune 9. Pluto – The International Astronomical Union (IAU) downgraded the status of Pluto to that of a dwarf planet because it did not meet the three criteria the IAU uses to define a full-sized planet. Essentially Pluto meets all the criteria except one i.e. it has not cleared its neighboring region of other objects.”


These are essential bodies that move around the Sun. Two famous comets known, are as follow [caption id="attachment_419" align="aligncenter" width="1920"] Halley's Comet | Image Source [/caption] 1. Halley’s Comet: Discovered by British astronomer Edmond Halley, takes 76.1 years to encircle the Sun. It was last seen on February 9, 1986. 2. Smith-Tuttle Comet: It’s huge comet heading on a collision course with Earth on August 17, 2116.


These are the bodies which revolve around the planets. Mercury and Venus have no satellite. Earth has only one satellite (natural), i.e. Moon. Jupiter has the maximum number (63) of satellites. [caption id="attachment_420" align="aligncenter" width="1765"] Moon | Click Here For Interesting Facts [/caption] Moon: The first planet of our solar system visited by man. On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin were the first to set foot on the Moon, and between them, Neil Armstrong is the first person to have set foot on the Moon.


Its shape is oblate spheroid called Geoid, like a ball which is flattened at the poles. Interesting Facts about Earth: 1. Mean distance from the Sun: 1,49,407,000 Km. 2. Time taken by Earth to revolve around the Sun: 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 45.51 seconds. 3. Time taken by Earth for rotating on its own axis: 23 hours 56 minutes and 4.09 seconds. 4. Earth is covered 70% by water and 30% by land.

Movements of Earth

1. Revolution: The earth revolves around the Sun in an elliptical orbit. One complete revolution is called a year and this revolution of Earth causes the change of seasons. 2. Rotation: Earth rotates on its own imaginary axis, also simultaneously revolving around the Sun. It moves from west to east. This causes day and night. 3. Duration of days and night is equal at the equator.


Solar Eclipse

It occurs when the Moon comes between the Sun and the Earth, and this causes hindrance in Sun’s light when reviewed from the Earth. [caption id="attachment_424" align="aligncenter" width="1920"] A view of lunar eclipse from space[/caption]

Lunar Eclipse

When the Earth comes between the Moon and the Sun, the shadow cast by the Earth on the Moon causes the lunar eclipse.


The Earth is surrounded by a gaseous cover called the atmosphere. There are many gasses in the atmosphere like Oxygen, Nitrogen, Caron Dioxide, Helium, Argon, Xenon, etc. The maximum percentage of gas present in the atmosphere is Nitrogen and that comprises 77%. The atmosphere is divided mainly into four layers.

  1. Troposphere: It is the nearest layer to the Earth’s surface and is up to 15 km of height from the Earth’s surface. 2. Stratosphere: From the end of 15 km of the troposphere, the stratosphere is present till 50 km of the atmosphere. 3. Mesosphere: It lies between 50 km and 80 km above the surface of the Earth. 4. Ionosphere: It lies above the mesosphere and extends from 80 km to 400 km above the Earth’s surface. Radio communication takes place because of this layer.

Ozone Layer

The ozone layer is situated in the stratosphere belt of earth’s atmosphere. The basic Ozone gas structure consists of three oxygen atoms. Ozone gas is present in the stratosphere in the form of a layer, which extends from 12 km to 30 km above the earth’s surface. The main function of Ozone is that it protects mankind from harmful radiations which come from the outer space i.e. ultraviolet radiations (UV-radiations) from the Sun. Nowadays this ozone layer is getting depleted which can cause skin cancer and damage vegetation. The main reason behind the depletion of Ozone layer also called Ozone Hole is pollution and pollutants present in the atmosphere like Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s also known as Freons), which comes from refrigerated systems, aerosols, air conditioners and solvents. To minimize the Ozone layer depletion the governments of many countries are now replacing the CFC’s with simple hydrocarbons.


The surface of the Earth is made up of big land masses which are divided into seven continents. The seven continents of the world are as follows: 1. Asia – The largest continent (covers approximately 30% of the world land and hosts 59 percent of the world population. 2. Africa – The largest desert Sahara is there. 3. North America 4. South America 5. Antarctica – covered with ice 6. Europe 7. Oceania (Australia) – The smallest continent and the only continent with capital i.e., Canberra Antarctica and Oceania are islands continents.


There are five oceans on the Earth (1) Pacific Ocean (2) Atlantic Ocean (3) India Ocean (4) Arctic Ocean (5) Antarctic Ocean Pacific being the largest occupies 35.25% of the Earth’s surface. The South China Sea has the maximum area among all the seas of the world.


These form the crust of the Earth. Basically, rocks are mineral material. They are classified into three broad categories. 1. Igneous rocks – It constitutes 90% of the Earth’s crust. 2. Metamorphic rocks – Original igneous or sedimentary rocks when subject to change due to pressure or temperature, and metamorphose into metamorphic rocks, i.e. slate, marble, etc. 3. Sedimentary rocks - As the name suggests, these rocks are formed from the sedimentary deposits on the ocean beds, i.e. gypsum, limestone, etc.

Important Mountain Ranges and Mountain peaks of the World

(i) Mountain Ranges
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(ii) Mountain Peaks
[table id=9 /] Interesting Fact: Everest is the highest mountain peak of the world, situated in Nepal and extended to Tibet and K2 is India's highest mountain peak, but it is situated in POK. Therefore, Kanchenjunga is the highest peak within India.

Important Water Sources of the World

(i) natural Lakes
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(ii) Shipping Canals
  1. Panama Canal: It links the pacific and the Atlantic Ocean. It is located in Central America and is 58 km long.
  2. Suez Canal: It links the red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. It is in Egypt and is 169 km long.
  3. Kiel Canal: It lies between Baltic Sea and the North Sea ports. It is in Germany and is 98 km long.
Note: Angel Waterfall which is in Venezuela, is the highest waterfall in the world having a height of 979 meters.
(iii) Important Rivers of the world
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New names of certain cities and countries

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Important world cities on river banks

[table id=13 /] Hope you enjoyed reading this section. You can also read more General Knowledge resources and about the history of India here.

How much do you know about Constitution of India? Check your GK


The Constitution of India

Constitution of India was framed by the Drafting Committee which was appointed by the Constitution Assembly. The Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Constitution was Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar. The Constitution Assembly adopted the Constitution of November 26, 1949. On January 26, 1950, India became a republic as the Constitution came into force. Originally, there were eight Schedules and 39 Articles. There are four major parts of the Constitution of India at present. 1. The Preamble 2. Parts I to XXII having over 400 articles. 3. Twelve Schedules 4. Appendix The Preamble: Through forty-second amendment, words secular and socialist are added into the Preamble.

Important features of the Indian constitution, borrowed from outside sources.

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Important Articles in Indian Constitution and their areas of focus

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Fundamental Rights

Initially, these were six in number, but now with the inclusion of the right to the education, they are seven in number. These are as follows 1. Right to Equality 2. Right to Freedom 3. Right against Exploitation 4. Cultural and Educational Rights 5. Right to Freedom of Religion 6. Right to Constitutional Remedies 7. Right to Education Note: It was the right to property which earlier used to be the fundamental right, and has now been converted into legal right by the forty-fourth-amendment in the constitution in 1978. Directive Principles of state policy: They come under the Part IV of the constitution. They are basically instructions to the government to carry out certain responsibilities. They cannot be enforced in any court of law.

Structure of the Union Government


He is the constitutional head of the parliamentary system of government and the Supreme Commander of the arm forces. He is also the first citizen of India. Election by an electoral college consisting of the elected member of state Legislatures and both the Houses of the Parliament for a period of five years. He can be removed from the office for violating the constitution by impeachment under Article 61. He is responsible for appointing the senior officials including the Prime Minister.

Vice President

Elected by members of an electoral college consisting of the members of both the Houses of the Parliament. He is elected for a tenure of five years. He is the Ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. He is the person who works in place of President, in the case of death, resignation, or when is unable to discharge his functions due to any reason.

President of India

1. Dr. Rajendra Prasad was the first president of India and the longest serving President of India who served for 12 years. 2. At present Pranab Mukherjee is the President of India. He is the 13th President of India.

Vice President of India

1. Dr. S. Radhakrishnan was the first Vice President and also the longest serving Vice President, who served for 10 years. He was also a well- known philosopher. At present Mohammad Hamid Ansari is the Vice President of India.

Prime Minister

Appointed by President, he is head of the council of ministers and is the leader of the ruling party which is in majority in the Lok Sabha. He is appointed for 5 years. At present, Narendra Modi is Prime Minister of India.

The Parliament

It consists of two houses (a) Lok Sabha and (b) Rajya Sabha

Lok Sabha

Also known as the Lower House of the Parliament, consist of people directly elected by the constituencies in various States and Union Territories. It consists of 552 members, in which two from the Anglo-Indian Community, nominated by the President and 530 from the states and 20 from the Union Territories. The presiding officer of Lok Sabha is the speaker, who is elected by members of Lok sabha. At present, Sumitra Mahajan Is the speaker of the Lok Sabha.

Rajya Sabha

Known as the Upper House. It is chaired by the Vice President (Ex-officio). Rajya Sabha cannot be diluted, therefore, it is a permanent body. One-third of its members retire every two years. A total of 250 members is present in the Rajya Sabha, out of which 12 members are nominated by President and 238 members come through the elections from the states and the Union Territory. Both, the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, are the grounds for debating, passing the bills, constitutional amendments and other issues pertinent to the welfare of the nation.


Except for the money bills (ordinary) can be in traduced in either House of the Parliament. They are, if needed, amended and then passed by either House, before becoming an act. The money bill originates in the Lok Sabha only.

Supreme Court

This is the Apex Judicial body in India, based in Delhi, consists of 25 judges and the Chief Justice, who is appointed by the President. The Judges of the Supreme Court retire at the age of 65. The main functions include solving disputes between the States and Union Governments, hearing of appeals from various High Courts and any matter pertaining to the law for its opinion. The first Chief Justice of India was H. J. Kania. At present, Jagdish Singh Khehar is the chief Justice of India.

Other Important Officials

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG)

Appointed by the President, he is responsible for keeping an eye over the finances of the States and the Union, and to make sure that the money allocated by the voting of the Legislature is spent in a fair and judicious manner. At present, Shashi Kant Sharma is the CAG of India.

The Attorney General of India

It is appointed by the President, can take part in the proceedings of the Parliament and its committees but do not have the right to vote. Mainly responsible for giving expert legal advice to the Government of India and other legal tasks assigned to him. At present, Mukul Rohatgi is the Attorney General of India.


He is the executive head of the state and is appointed by the President for five years and can hold the office with the President’s consent. The main functions of the Governor are as follows: a. Being the executive head of state he is responsible for appointing the council of ministers. b. He is responsible for causing the normal or supplementary budgets to be presented each year. He can sanction advances to the government out of the contingency fund of the state to meet unexpected expenses of the state. c. He is responsible for giving assent to the bills passed by the State Legislative, without which they cannot become an act.

Chief Minister

The real executive authority of the state administration, he is the leader of the party that commands a majority in the Legislative Assembly and is appointed by the Governor on this basis. He recommends the names of the ministers along with their portfolios to the Governor who then appoints them; He formulates the administrative and executive policies of the state and presides over the cabinet meetings.

Table of Schedules and Their Areas of Concern

[table id=14 /] Note: Originally there were eight schedules. Later, four more schedules were added to it, taking the total tally of schedules to twelve.

Table of Important Constitutional Amendments

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Few important cases and Supreme Court's judgment on them

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Geographical facts of India to boost your general knowledge

Geography of India

This post on geographical facts of India is a part of basic geographical facts which can increase your general knowledge and help in competitive exams as well. With no further ado, here we go

India's Geographical Location

India lies in the Asian continent and Northern Hemisphere between parallels of latitude 80 4’ and 370 6’ North and between the meridians of longitude 6807’ and 97025’ East. In the west, India shares its boundary with Pakistan In the South, Sri Lanka is India’s neighboring country In the north, Nepal and China are the neighboring countries. In the east, Bangladesh and Myanmar are the two major countries which surround India. In south-east of India, there is the Bay of Bengal, in south-west, it is the Arabian Sea and in South, it is the Indian Ocean and in the north, it is surrounded by the Himalayan range of mountains.
Important dimensions of India
1. India covers 2.4 percent of the Earth’s surface. 2. Total land area of India is 32,87,263 3. Distance from east to west is 2,933 km 4. Distance from north to south is 3,214 km 5. The total length of the coastline of the mainland, Lakshadweep islands and Andaman and Nicobar Islands is 7,516.6 km. The coastline of the only mainland is about 6300 km

The important Geographical Structures of India

Major rivers of India

The longest Indian river is Ganga, its length is 2,640 km. The other major rivers of India are Indus (has five major tributaries: Sutlej, Chenab, Jhelum, Ravi and Beas), Brahmaputra, Godavari, Krishna, Narmada, Tapti, Cauvery, Damodar, Mahanadi, and Periyar. The world’s largest delta is Sundarbans in West Bengal, is made by the Brahmaputra and the Ganga.


They are Himalayas (highest mountains in the world and one of the youngest mountain ranges), Vindhya, Satpura, Sahyadri, Aravallis (one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world). Patkai (Purvanchal or Eastern mountains), and the Eastern Ghats.


The following table shows various types soils and related information [table id=19 /]


Agriculture in India: More than 50 percent of the area of the country is under the cultivation and about 64% of the Indian population is engaged in agriculture. There are two major crop seasons in India, viz, Rabi and Kharif
It is sown in October or December and harvested in April or May. Major crops are barley, wheat, peas, gram, and mustard.
It is sown in June, or July and harvested in September or October. Major crops are baja, cotton, jowar, rice and jute. Some interesting facts about Indian agriculture 1. Green Revolution was launched in India in 1967-68 for improving agricultural productivity. 2. Operation Flood was initiated in 1970 and mainly aimed at improving the milk production in India. 3. Yellow Revolution for improving oil seed production. 4. Blue Revolution for fisheries.


India has about 2% of the world’s area under forest cover. About 21% India is covered by forest. The target as per the national forest policy is to cover 33% of the area by forests. Important National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries: [table id=20 /] How'd you like this post, please share your thoughts in comments.