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In popular language the name "India", in its widest extension, is taken to include British India proper, Native States, Portuguese and French India, Burma, and Ceylon, and is even sometimes stretched to include Indo-China.In its strictest sense, however, it means the Indian Empire properly so-called.The people as a whole are of a mild and inoffensive character, and obsequious to the European ; and except for a chance of robbery among the remote hill tribes, the traveller is everywhere as safe as he would be in any part of Europe.India is covered over with a network of railways, along which the chief business centres and the chief objects of interest for the traveller are situated -- the rest being accessible by journeys of a few miles by tonga along decent roads.On the western coast it lasts from June to September, while on the east coast it occurs from October to December -- in each case the rain being borne on to the land by the sea breeze.The rainfall on the western coast strip is about 70 inches, while on the Ghat line it sometimes rises to 300, but falls in the interior to 30, 20, and even less than 10 inches.In the tropical portions there are two hot seasons, the one before and the other after the rains (May and October).
For instance Darjeeling, Simla, Mussourie, Murree, Nainital, etc., on the slopes of the Himalayas; Mount Abu in Rajputana; Khandalla, Poona, Matheran, and Mahableshwar, in the western Ghats; Bangalore, Wellington, and Conoor, in the Mysore hills; Kandy and Nuwara Eliya, in Ceylon.
The peninsula is separated on the north from Tibet and Central Asia by the Himalaya, Hindu Kush, and Karakoram mountains, and some lower ranges divide it from Afghanistan and Baluchistan.
Attached to the Bombay Presidency is a certain portion of Baluchistan bordering on the Afghan frontier.
The climate is on the whole dry and rainless for two-thirds of the year, during which time crops are possible only by means of irrigation.
The rainy season (called the monsoon) occupies the remaining four months but differs on the two sides of the country.
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The Indian Empire, as at present constituted, comprises (besides the peninsula) Burma, Aden, the Laccadive, Maldive, Andaman, and Nicobar Islands, but does not include Ceylon, which is a Crown colony politically distinct.