India is the large country with diverse landscapes with extremes on the land limits. India lies on the southern hemisphere with surrounded by almost on three sides. On the north of India, it has one of the mightiest mountain range, The Himalayas. On the other hand, India has a long coastline ranging up to 7000km. This diversity in land-forms is also blessed with diversity of flora and fauna in India.
India is characterized with unique richness and diversity of its vegetation and wildlife. India's dense forest reserves are the perfect abode for its equally dense wildlife which includes about 350 mammal species, more than 1200 species of birds in nearly 2100 forms and more than 30,000 species of insects. Besides this, there is rich wealth of marine life having number of species of fish, amphibian and reptiles. More than 75 national parks, 425 sanctuaries cover over 4.5% of India's geographical area. Indian wildlife has got important place in its rich heritage and culture. Many animals and plants are worshiped and are regarded as the companions in India.
Number of national parks and bird sanctuaries mark the India terrain from Ladakh in Himalayas to Southern tip of Tamil Nadu. In India, these parks and sanctuaries are reserved areas where no human activity can take place, regularized under the special act. These special areas are maintained for the conservation of endangered species of wildlife in India. Bengal Tigers, the Asiatic Elephant, Lion, the Snow Leopard and Siberian Crane are the endangered species in India. These conservation efforts are paying off as there is regular increase in population of wild Elephant, tiger and leopard.
The most reputed are the Kanha national park and Bandhavgarh national park in central India having dense forests and dense population of wildlife. Kanha houses the largest original tiger reserves. Species of swamp deer are found in Kanha National Park and Dudhwa national park in Uttar Pradesh. Most of the national parks and sanctuaries are found in northern part of India but South India too has its portion e.g. Madumalai in Tamil Nadu and Bandipur Tiger reserves, Nagarhole National Park in Karnataka. Each sanctuary and national park supports several species of wildlife, while at the same time, some are well known for one particular species. In some wildlife sanctuaries in India you can even see rare or endangered species.
Indian architecture, belonging to different periods of history, bears the stamp of respective periods. Though the cities of Indus Valley provide substantial evidence of extensive town planning, the beginnings of Indian architecture can be traced back to the advent of Buddhism in India. It was in this period that a large number of magnificent buildings came up. Some of the highlights of Buddhist art and architecture are the Great Stupa at Sanchi and the rock-cut caves at Ajanta.
With the establishment of Hindu kingdoms in South India, the south Indian school of architecture began to flourish. The most notable achievements of the Pallava rulers were the rock-cut temples of Mahabalipuram and the temples of Kanchipuram. The Chola, Hoyasala and Vijayanagar rulers also did remarkable job in the field of architecture. The temples at Thanjavur, Belur and Halebid bear testimony to the architectural excellence of the South Indian rulers.
In north India, there developed a new a different style of architecture. This was called as the Nagara style architecture. In central India, the Chandela rulers built a magnificent temple complex at Khajuraho. With the coming of the Muslim rulers, there developed a new architectural style in India- the Indo-Islamic architecture. The Indo-Islamic style was neither strictly Islamic nor strictly Hindu. The architecture of the medieval period can be divided into two main categories. They are the Delhi or the Imperial Style and the Mughal Architecture.
It was followed by a new style of architecture that developed as a result of colonization of India. This style of architecture came to be called as Indo-Saracenic. The Indo-Saracenic architecture combined the features of Hindu, Islamic and western elements. The colonial architecture exhibited itself through institutional, civic and utilitarian buildings such as post offices, railway stations, rest houses and government buildings.
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