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World's countries : India

Andaman Islands
photograph by Iztok Kurnik

Andaman Islands

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andaman_Islands

The Andaman Islands (अंडमान द्वीप) form an archipelago in the Bay of Bengal between India, to the west, and Myanmar, to the north and east. Most are part of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Union Territory of India, while a small number in the north of the archipelago, including the Coco Islands, belong to Myanmar.

The Andaman Islands are home to the only known paleolithic people, the Sentinelese people, who have had no contact with any other people.[1]

Ganges river
photograph by Amritash

Ganges

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganges

The Ganges (/ˈɡænz/ GAN-jeez), also Ganga (Hindustani: [ˈɡəŋɡaː]), is a trans-boundary river of Asia which flows through the nations of India and Bangladesh. The 2,525 km (1,569 mi) river rises in the western Himalayas in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, and flows south and east through the Gangetic Plain of North India into Bangladesh, where it empties into the Bay of Bengal. It is the third largest river by discharge.

The Ganga is the most sacred river to Hindus.[4] It is also a lifeline to millions of Indians who live along its course and depend on it for their daily needs.[5] It is worshipped as the goddess Ganga in Hinduism.[6] It has also been important historically, with many former provincial or imperial capitals (such as Pataliputra,[7] Kannauj,[7] Kara, Kashi, Patna, Hajipur, Munger, Bhagalpur, Murshidabad, Baharampur, Kampilya, and Kolkata) located on its banks.

The Ganges was ranked as the fifth most polluted river of the world in 2007. Pollution threatens not only humans, but also more than 140 fish species, 90 amphibian species and the endangered Ganges river dolphin.[citation needed] The Ganga Action Plan, an environmental initiative to clean up the river, has been a major failure thus far,[8][9][10] due to corruption, lack of technical expertise,[11] poor environmental planning,[12] and lack of support from religious authorities.[13]

Nohkalikai Falls
photograph by Saravanan Dhandapani

Nohkalikai Falls

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nohkalikai_Falls

Nohkalikai Falls is the tallest plunge waterfall in India.[1] Its height is 1115 feet (340 metres),[2] making it as the highest waterfall in India. The waterfall is located near Cherrapunji, one of the wettest places on Earth. Nohkalikai Falls are fed by the rainwater collected on the summit of comparatively small plateau and decrease in power during the dry season in December - February. Below the falls there has formed a plunge pool with unusual green colored water.[3]

The name of the falls in Khasi language meaning "Jump of Ka Likai" is linked to a legend about local women Likai who jumped off the cliff next to the falls; According to legends, in a village called Rangjyrteh, upstream from Nohkalikai Falls, a woman named Likai resided but had to remarry after her husband died. Ka Likai (Ka is the prefix given for the female gender in Khasi) was left with her infant girl with no means of income. So she had to become a porter herself. Her work required her to leave her daughter unattended for long intervals but when she would be at home she would spend most of her time taking care of her infant. Ka Likai, who married a second time, couldn’t pay attention to her second husband. The jealous husband killed the infant and cooked her meat after throwing away her head and bones. When Ka Likai returned home, she saw nobody in the house but except for a meal that had been prepared. She wanted to go look for her daughter but she ate the meat as she was tired from work.

Ka Likai usually had a betel leaf after her meals but she found a severed finger near the place where she usually cut betel nuts and betel leaves. Ka Likai realized what had happened in her absence and went mad with anger and grief and started running as she swung a hatchet in her hand. She ran off the edge of the plateau and the waterfall where she jumped from was named Nohkalikai Falls after her.[3]

The Himalayas
photograph by Thomschphotography

Himalayas

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Himalayas

The Himalayas or Himalaya (/ˌhɪməˈl.ə/ or /hɪˈmɑːləjə/; Sanskrit: हिमालय, Urdu: ہمالیہ‎; from Sanskrit hima (snow) + ālaya (dwelling), literally meaning "abode of snow"[1]) is a mountain range in the Indian subcontinent which separates the Indo-Gangetic Plain from the Tibetan Plateau. This range is home to nine of the ten highest peaks on Earth, including the highest above sea level, Mount Everest. The Himalayas have profoundly shaped the cultures of South Asia. Many Himalayan peaks are sacred in both Buddhism and Hinduism.

The Himalayas are bordered on the north by the Tibetan Plateau, on the south by the Indo-Gangetic Plain, on the northwest by the Karakoram and Hindu Kush ranges, and on the east by the Indian states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. The Hindu Kush, Karakoram and Himalayas form together the "Hindu Kush Himalayan Region" (HKH).[2][3][4] The western anchor of the Himalayas—Nanga Parbat—lies just south of the northernmost bend of the Indus River, while the eastern anchor—Namcha Barwa—is situated just west of the great bend of the Yarlung Tsangpo River. The Himalayas span five countries: India, Nepal, Bhutan, China (Tibet), and Pakistan, with the first three countries having sovereignty over most of the range.[5]

Lifted by the collision of the Indian tectonic plate with the Eurasian Plate,[6] the Himalayan range runs northwest to southeast in a 2,400 kilometres (1,500 mi) long arc. The range varies in width from 400 kilometres (250 mi) in the west to 150 kilometres (93 mi) in the east. Besides the Greater Himalayas, there are several parallel lower ranges. The southernmost of these, located along the northern edge of the Indian plains and reaching about a thousand meters in altitude, are called the Sivalik Hills. Further north is a higher range, reaching two to three thousand meters, known as the Lower Himalayan Range.

The hills of Munnar
photograph by Piyush Bedi

Munnar

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munnar

Munnar (Malayalam: മൂന്നാർ) is a town and hill station located in the Idukki district of the southwestern Indian state of Kerala. Munnar is situated at around 1,600 metres (5,200 ft) above sea level,[2] in the Western Ghats range of mountains.

The name Munnar is believed to mean "three rivers",[3] referring to its location at the confluence of the Mudhirapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundaly rivers.[4] Munnar town is situated on the Kannan Devan Hills village in Devikulam taluk and is the largest panchayat in the Idukki district covering an area of nearly 557 square kilometres (215 sq mi).[citation needed] The nearest major railway stations are at Ernakulam and Aluva (approximately 140 kilometres (87 mi) by road). The nearest airport is Cochin International Airport, which is 105 kilometres (65 mi) away.

Vazhachal Falls
photograph by Monojit Dey

Vazhachal Falls

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vazhachal_Falls

Vazhachal Falls is situated in Athirappilly Panchayath of Thrissur district in Kerala on the southwest coast of India. Located on the west-flowing Chalakudy River near the Vazhachal Forest Division and at the edge of the Sholayar ranges, it is just 5 km from entrance of Athirappilly Falls. It is located 36 km from Chalakudy.[1][2][3][4]