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Your Guide to South Asia

By Rachel Nash

Posted: 22nd August 2014 09:07

As one of the most densely populated regions of the world, South Asia packs a lot of culture into a relatively small subcontinent.  Home to some 1.7 billion people, three of the world’s major religions – Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism – originated in this part of the world, and the region has been hugely influenced due to past colonisation by European, Middle Eastern and Central Asian cultures.  Although English has had a long history in the area and is fast growing as a language of business and education, a huge variety of languages and cultural traditions exist side-by-side.

The region was created when the Indian continent, once separate from Eurasia, crashed into Central Asia, creating South Asia’s unique landscape.  To the north lie the Himalayas, a gigantic mountain range and home to the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest.  From these northern peaks flow rivers that provide water for the flatter southern basins, where the majority of the population of South Asia live.  While the Himalayas are often very cold due to their elevation, the rest of South Asia is a tropical climate, often with monsoon seasons in the summertime and dryer winters.  South Asia is surrounded by the Indian Ocean, a warm ocean that has a long maritime history as a trading route between Europe, Africa and Asia.

As a rich, diverse part of the world, South Asia has a great range of food, drink, music and culture to take in.  With friendly people and surprises around every turn, it can provide any traveller around the subcontinent with a true adventure worth remembering.

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