South Asia, which consists of 8 countries that form part of the sub-Himalayan SAARC countries was largely formed from the administrative boundaries of the British Raj. While the Indian subcontinent takes up the largest area, along with the other core lands of the British Empire, namely Pakistan and Bangladesh, the question about Afghanistan’s place is still debatable. Although Afghanistan is included as part of South Asia, questions about whether it should instead be included in the Middle East are continuously raised. The mountainous nations of Nepal and Bhutan renowned for their beautiful landscapes and mystique, and the equally spectacular island countries of Sri Lanka and the Maldives also form part of Southern Asia.
South Asia is the most populated region in the world, with a population of about 1.749 billion. Customs and traditions vary from one region to the next with a number of languages spoken and religions practiced. South Asia is the land of Buddha and Yoga and spirituality is dominant in the region. Temple cities and beautiful monasteries abound in this part of the world. Once a much sought after land for its wealth and spices, its rich and varied history is reflected in the grand old monuments that dot the land. From the glory of the ancient Indus Valley civilization to the remnants of the various kingdoms and invaders that passed through the land, there is much about the region to marvel at.