It is a modernisation of the historical name Bharatavarsha, which traditionally referred to the Indian subcontinent and gained increasing currency from the mid-19th century as a native name for India.) is a Persian name for India dating back to the 3rd century B. Its meaning varied, referring to a region that encompassed northern India and Pakistan or India in its entirety.Centred around cities such as Mohenjo-daro, Harappa, Dholavira, and Kalibangan, and relying on varied forms of subsistence, the civilisation engaged robustly in crafts production and wide-ranging trade.Gradually annexed and brought under the administration of the British East India Company from the early 18th century and administered directly by the United Kingdom after the Indian Rebellion of 1857, it became an independent nation in 1947 after a struggle for independence that was marked by non-violent resistance led by Mahatma Gandhi.

It shares land borders with Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the northeast; and Myanmar (Burma) and Bangladesh to the east.

In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country (with over 1.2 billion people), and the most populous democracy in the world.

It is bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast.

India's Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia.

Its capital is New Delhi; other metropolises include Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad.

By the 8th and 9th centuries, the effects were felt in South-East Asia, as South Indian culture and political systems were exported to lands that became part of modern-day Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, and Java.

Indian merchants, scholars, and sometimes armies were involved in this transmission; South-East Asians took the initiative as well, with many sojourning in Indian seminaries and translating Buddhist and Hindu texts into their languages.

Following market-based economic reforms in 1991, India became one of the fastest-growing major economies and is considered a newly industrialised country.