Indian Cuisine Research

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GORDON COLLEGE

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History of India

The Indus valley civilization saw its genesis in the holy land now known as India around 2500 BC. The people inhabiting the Indus River valley were thought to be Dravidians, whose descendants later migrated to the south of India. The deterioration of this civilization that developed a culture based on commerce and sustained by agricultural trade can be attributed to ecological changes. The second millennium BC was witness to the migration of the bucolic Aryan tribes from the North West frontier into the sub continent. These tribes gradually merged with their antecedent cultures to give birth to a new milieu.

The Aryan tribes soon started penetrating the east, flourishing along the Ganga and Yamuna Rivers. By 500 BC, the whole of northern India was a civilized land where people had knowledge of iron implements and worked as labor, voluntarily or otherwise. The early political map of India comprised of copious independent states with fluid boundaries, with increasing population and abundance of wealth fueling disputes over these boundaries. Unified under the famous Gupta Dynasty, the north of India touched the skies as far as administration and the Hindu religion were concerned. Little wonder then, that it is considered to be India’s golden age. By 600 BC, approximately sixteen dynasties ruled the north Indian plains spanning the modern day Afghanistan to Bangladesh. Some of the most powerful of them were the dynasties ruling the kingdoms of Magadha, Kosla, Kuru and Gandhara. Known to be the land of epics and legends, two of the world’s greatest epics find their birth in Indian settings - the Ramayana, depicting the exploits of lord Ram, and the Mahabharta detailing the war between Kauravas and Pandavas, both descendants of King Bharat. Ramayana traces lord Ram’s journey from exile to the rescue of his wife Sita from the demonic clutches of Ravana with the help of his simian companions. Singing the virtues of Dharma(duty), the Gita, one of the most priced scriptures in Indian Mythology, is the advice given by Shri Krishna to the grief laden Arjun, who is terrified at the thought of killing his kin, on the battle ground.  The diversity of India is unique. Being a huge country with a large population, India presents endless varieties of physical features and cultural pattern. It is only in India one can find people professing all the major religions of the World. In short India is “the epitome of the World”

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Climate & Location

Analyzed according to the Köppen system, the climate of India resolves into six major climatic subtypes; their influences give rise to desert in the west, alpine tundra and glaciers in the north, humid tropical regions supporting rain forests in the southwest, and Indian Ocean island territories that flank the Indian subcontinent. Regions have starkly different—yet tightly clustered—microclimates. The nation is largely subject to four seasons: winter (January and February), summer (March to May), a monsoon (rainy) season (June to September), and a post-monsoon period (October to December).

India's geography and geology are climatically pivotal: the Thar Desert in the northwest and the Himalayas in the north work in tandem to effect a culturally and economically break-all monsoonal regime. As Earth's highest and most massive mountain range, the Himalayan system bars the influx of frigid katabatic winds from the icy Tibetan Plateau and northerly Central Asia. Most of North India is thus kept warm or is only mildly chilly or cold during winter; the same thermal dam keeps most regions in India hot in summer.

Though the Tropic of Cancer — the boundary between the tropics and subtropics — passes through the middle of India, the bulk of the country can be regarded as climatically tropical. As in much of the tropics, monsoonal and other weather patterns...
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