North India is like a colour palette of an artist, that would beautifully paint the canvas with the green of the farms and valleys, the brown of the mountains and deserts, the white of the snow to the blue of rivers perfectly. Endowed with diverse topography, climatic conditions, and cultural beliefs, North India covers an area of about 1,420,540 sq km. The dominant geographical features of North India are the Indus-Gangetic Plain and the Himalayas, which demarcate the region from the Tibetan Plateau and Central Asia.
North India includes the states of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi and Chandigarh.
North India includes some highly regarded historical, architectural and archaeological treasures of India. The Taj Mahal, an immense mausoleum of white marble in Agra, is one of the universally admired buildings of world heritage. Besides Agra, Fatehpur Sikri and Delhi also carry some great exhibits from the Mughal architecture. In Punjab, Patiala is known for being the city of royalty while Amritsar is a city known for its Sikh Architecture and the Golden Temple. Lucknow has the famous Awadhi Nawab culture while Kanpur reflects excellent British architecture with monuments like Edward Hall, Police Quarters, Cutchery Cemetery etc. Varanasi, on the banks of the River Ganga, is considered one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and the second oldest in India after Nalanda.
The most widely spoken language in this region is Hindi. It has official status in the states of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh as well as in the union territory of Delhi. Punjabi has predominance in the state of Punjab where it is the official language. It also has significant presence in the nearby regions. Urdu enjoys official status in Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh. Further north in Jammu and Kashmir, major languages are Dogri and Kashmiri. A large part of North India is taken up by the so-called Hindi Belt with dialects of Western Hindi, Bhojpuri, Awadhi, Garhwali and Kumaoni.
Several Sino-Tibetan languages are spoken in the Himalayan region like Kinnauri, Ladakhi and Lahuli–Spiti languages.
Culture & Clothing
North India has been the historical centre of the Mughal, Delhi Sultanate and British Indian Empires. It has a diverse culture, and includes the Hindu pilgrimage centres of Char Dham, Haridwar, Varanasi, Ayodhya, Mathura, Allahabad, Vaishno Devi and Pushkar, the Buddhist pilgrimage centres of Sarnath and Kushinagar, the Sikh Golden Temple as well as world heritage sites such as the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, Qutub Minar, Red Fort, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri and the Taj Mahal.
The places in this northern region can astound you by their cultural extravaganza, architectural marvels and local cuisine, all so different from each other yet sharing the same region.
Hinduism is the dominant religion in North India. Other religions practiced by various ethnic communities include Islam, Sikhism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Bahá'í, Christianity, and Buddhism. The states of Uttarakhand, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh are overwhelmingly Hindu. The state of Uttar Pradesh has Hindu majorities with a significantly large minority of Muslims. Jammu and Kashmir is a Muslim majority state while Punjab has a Sikh majority population.
North India lies mainly in the north temperate zone of the Earth. Though cool or cold winters, hot summers and moderate monsoons are the general pattern. North India is one of the most climatically diverse regions on Earth. During summer, the temperature often rises above 35 °C across much of the Indo-Gangetic plain, reaching as high as 50 °C in the Thar desert, Rajasthan and up to 49 in Delhi. During winter, the lowest temperature on the plains dips to below 5 °C, and below the freezing point in some states. Heavy to moderate snowfall occurs in Himachal Pradesh, J&K and Uttarakhand. Much of North India is notorious for heavy fog during winters.
The best time to visit North India is from the months of September to March as the weather is pleasant with warm days and cool nights.