India is the seventh-largest country in the world, with a total land area of 1,269,219 square miles (3,287,590 square kilometers).
The climate varies from tropical in the south to more temperate in the Himalayan north, where elevated regions receive sustained winter snowfall.
There are the tropical rainforests of the Andaman Islands, Western Ghats, and Northeast India, and the coniferous forest of the Himalayas.
Between these extremes lie the sal-dominated moist deciduous forest of eastern India; teak-dominated dry deciduous forest of central and southern India; and the babul-dominated thorn forest of the central Deccan and western Gangetic plain.
Important Indian trees include the medicinal neem, widely used in rural herbal remedies.
The pipal fig tree, shown on the seals of Mohenjo-daro, shaded the Gautama Buddha as he sought enlightenment.
India is a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement at the United Nations and has been a nuclear power since 1974.