The multi-faceted and historically steeped subcontinent of India is the second most densely populated country in the world (China being the first) and has a population of well over one billion people. It comprises large urban areas and even larger rural regions across its varied landscape. Urban centres are expanding on a continuous basis, though, a process that is particularly influenced by increased contact with the western world, financial stability and technological advancement.

In the slum areas of the urban metropolis centres alone, 40 million people can be found. A slum area may be defined as a neglected suburb or town (depending on its size), where the housing, roads and other services or infrastructure is lacking. These are generally considered to be the “poor areas” and people living in them frequently experience the disadvantages that come with insufficient healthcare, education and household goods. Mumbai has one of the largest slum areas in all of India, with more than one million people living under these tough conditions. This is almost half of Mumbai’s total human population. Patna has the lowest number of people living in slum areas, with only 0.25% of its residents being accounted for in such neighbourhoods.

Particularly fast-growing cities and towns include Delhi, Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad. This expansion can be tied
Image of a night view of India's greatest commercial city Mumbai (Bombay)
Night view of India's greatest commercial city Mumbai (Bombay)
directly to the wealth, education and development of its people, services and infrastructure. Major Indian cities include:

Calcutta/Kolkata – the capital city of West Bengal and known for its revolutionary history, this is India’s third largest urban metropolitan and the world’s eighth largest urban agglomeration. The term “agglomeration” refers to urban population density levels without the issues of administrative borders etc...
Mumbai – previously known as Bombay, this city has the highest population in all of India and one of the highest populations of any city in the world. The population within this city alone totals over 14 million people.
Delhi – having been civilised since the sixth century BCE (Before our Common Era), this is India’s second largest metropolis.
Bangalore – this is the fifth most populous urban agglomerate and its history extends back as far as 900 CE (Common Era).
Jaipur – this was India’s first planned city, founded in 1727, and is a major commercial and financial epicentre today.

Examining the different major cities of India in detail – their people, culture, main industries, and so on – provides fascinating insights into the multiplicity of the country as a whole. This adds depth to the complex nature of such a land and engenders in outsiders a respect in its internal unity.

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