In this section, I am providing general information - combination of a glossary, listing of great personalities, locations & geographical landmarks, history - in general any subject related to India. I have gathered the information from various sources - books, magazines, internet, word of mouth.

General information about India - I

Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering approximately 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded by Asia- including India (after which the ocean is named) on the north, on the west by Africa, on the east by Australia, and on the south by the Southern Ocean.

Among the few large rivers flowing into the Indian Ocean are the Zambezi, Shatt al-Arab, Indus, Ganges, Brahmaputra, Jubba and Irrawaddy River.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Ocean

Four critically important access waterways are the Suez Canal (Egypt), Bab el Mandeb (Djibouti-Yemen), Strait of Hormuz (Iran-Oman), and Strait of Malacca (Indonesia-Malaysia).
 
It includes Andaman Sea, Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, Flores Sea, Great Australian Bight, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Java Sea, Mozambique Channel, Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Savu Sea, Strait of Malacca, Timor Sea, and other tributary water bodies.
http://geography.about.com/library/cia/blcindian.htm

The Indian Ocean is bounded by Iran, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh to the north; the Malay Peninsula, the Sunda Islands of Indonesia, and Australia to the east; Antarctica to the south; and Africa and the Arabian Peninsula to the west. In the southwest it joins the Atlantic Ocean south of the southern tip of Africa, and to the east and southeast its waters mingle with those of the Pacific.
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/285876/Indian-Ocean

Itihasas
Itihasa literally means history in Sanskrit.

The Friendly Treatises and the Commanding Treatises: There are four books under this heading: The Valmiki-Ramayana, the Yogavasishtha, The Mahabharata and the Harivamsa. These embody all that is in the Vedas, but only in a simpler manner. These are called the Suhrit-Samhitas or the Friendly Treatises, while the Vedas are called the Prabhu-Samhitas or the Commanding Treatises with great authority. These works explain the great universal truths in the form of historical narratives, stories and dialogues
Source: Excerpt from "All About Hinduism" by Sri Swami Sivananda - http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Itihasas/id/22610

Read this article for Comparison & contrast between Itihasas and Puranas - http://veda.sakthifoundation.org/itihasas.htm
A proper interpretation of the Itihasas and the Puranas would be to regard them as the works of gifted seers, who availed themselves of certain ancient or recent historical and religious traditions and wove those traditions into narratives, anecdotes, episodes and homilies, these works reflecting and reproducing certain attitudes towards life. In truth, there are a body of writings which are popular expositions of inherited truths and messages, their avowed purpose being to diffuse their purport amongst the people at large. Thus, the Ramayana furnishes pictures of kings who led a spiritual life and of ascetics who played a great part in the affairs of nations. Difficult situations are pictured, whose impact on several human souls is brilliantly analysed. Dharma, as the chief factor for the shaping of human life, is the underlying motive of the Ramayana and its many episodes. The Mahabharata is not only a picture of a great internecine struggle illustrating the conflict of human motives and human attributes but a repertoire of comprehensive secular and religious learning. It is not simply a great poem but also a manual of ethics, politics and morality. It can well be asserted that the Ramayana and the Mahabharata have throughout been the foundations of Hindu ethics and beliefs.
Source: Excerpt from the article "Religious and Literature articles" - http://sriramadesikan.com/religious-and-literature-articles/



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