In the early 1980s, the South Asian countries recognised the significance of a friendly relations and mutual co ordination in various fields to progress in future. With this thought in mind, they created an association – SAARC or South Asian Association for Regional Co operation. At the time of creation, SAARC included seven member countries – India, Pakistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Nepal. In 2007, a new country made its entry into this group – Afghanistan. Below we provide you some information on each of these South Asian countries.
India – The biggest amongst all Saarc nations, India’ population is next only to China. The diversity of India leaves everyone fascinated, awed and confused at the same time. The country is the seventh largest country in the world and can be geographically divided into the Himalayan region, the Gangetic plain and the Deccan plateau. The country is a federal republic with its capital city at New Delhi.
Sri Lanka – The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka was formerly known as Ceylon. The country is located south to India and is in a shape of a tear drop. The administrative capital of Sri Lanka is Sri Jayewardenepura while the commercial capital is Colombo. Buddhism is the primary religion in this country.
Maldives – Located south west of Sri Lanka, Maldives comprises 1,190 islands, though only 200 of these are populated. The island also has 26 natural ring-like atolls. The official name of this Saarc nation is Republic of Maldives and its capital city is in Male. The beaches of Maldives are the prime attractions for visitors.
Nepal – Covering an area of 140,800 sq km, Nepal is a kingdom located between two biggest Asian countries, China and India. Kathmandu is the capital city of this Saarc nation and the country is a Parliamentary Democracy & Constitutional Monarchy. Nepal is known for its umpteen adventure activities scope that it offers.
Bangladesh – The official name of this Saarc country is The People’s Republic Of Bangladesh. Dhaka is the capital city of this small country that covers an area of 144,000 sq km. With the Bay of Bengal stretching in its southern borders, the country is home to long and beautiful sea beaches. The country is also home to large mangrove forests of the Sundarbans that houses the Royal Bengal Tiger.
Bhutan – It is officially known as the Kingdome of Bhutan and has its capital at Thimpu. The total area covered is 38,816 km square. Bhutan, due to the frequent storms that occur there, is also known as ‘The Land of Peaceful Thunder Dragon’. The incredible beauty of this Himalayan kingdom along with umpteen adventure options that it offers draws tourists in large number.
Pakistan – The official name of Pakistan is Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The country is divided into four main provinces – Punjab, Sindh, NWFP and Baluchistan. The country is home to ruins of two of the earliest civilizations of the world – Mohenjo Daro and Harappa. The natural beauty is enhanced by the Himalayas, Hindukush Karakoram and the dry desert regions of Sindh.
Afghanistan – The latest entry in the list of Saarc Countries is Afghanistan. The official name of the country is Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the capital city is Kabul. Excluding the south west region, Afghanistan is mostly a mountainous region.