India, officially the Republic of India, is a sovereign country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second most populous country, and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the west, and the Bay of Bengal on the east, India has a coastline of over 7000 kilometres. It borders Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the north-east; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east.
India may also refer to the Indian subcontinent.
Home to the Indus Valley civilization 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 major world religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism originated here, while Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism arrived in the first millennium CE and shaped the region's variegated culture. Gradually annexed by the British East India Company from the early eighteenth century and colonized by the United Kingdom from the mid-nineteenth century, India became an independent country in 1947.
Castes and other groups
See the Caste article regarding more details.