world-map-151576.png
afghanistan.png

Afghanistan

  • Known as Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

  • It is a landlocked country

  • Border with Pakistan – Durand Line

  • Indus Valley Civilization - Shortugai

  • Other Civilizations – the Oxus civilization and the Helmand civilization

  • Was known as “Ariana” in ancient times.

  • Mauryan empire spread Buddhism and Hinduism in the region.

  • 1747 -  Ahmad Shah Durrani established the Durrani Empire with its capital at Kandahar.

  • Late 19th century, Afghanistan became a buffer state in between the British and Russian empires. (Known as "the Great Game")

  • 3 Anglo-Afghan wars were fought.  

  • Afghanistan first became a socialist state, evoking the Soviet–Afghan War in the 1980s against mujahideen rebels. It was part of the cold war-era conflict between USA & USSR.

  • 1996 – Taliban started ruling the country till the US invasion in 2001. The Taliban govt was only recognized by Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. 

  • Taliban destroyed the Bamiyan Buddha statues.

  • Capital and Largest City – Kabul

  • Tribes - Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, and Uzbeks

  • Other cities – Kandahar, Ghazni

  • Geographic – Mostly mountainous (Hind Kush, Karakoram, Pamir ranges)

  • Currency – Afghani

  • Language – Dari, Pashto

bhutan.png

Bhutan

  • Commonly known as the Kingdom of Bhutan

  • Language – Dzongkha

  • Border with India – Assam (longest) ; Arunachal Pradesh ; West Bengal ; Sikkim

  • Bhutan is a constitutional monarchy

  • Vajrayana Buddhism as the state religion.

  • Capital and Largest City – Thimphu

  • 2008 – Established parliamentary government.

  • House of Wangchuck - Royal house of Bhutan

  • The Treaty of Punakha (1910) between the Kingdom of Bhutan and British India that recognized Bhutan as independent state.

  • River - Drangme Chhu (Manas River)

  • Currency – Ngultrum (Rupee also accepted)

  • Exporter of Hydroelectricity

  • Gross Domestic Happiness (GDH) instead of GDP is used.

myanmar.png

Myanmar (Burma)

  • Official Name - Republic of the Union of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma

  • Capital city - Naypyidaw

  • Largest city - Yangon (Rangoon)

  • Konbaung dynasty ruled the area (briefly controlled Manipur & Assam region)

  • British East India Company made it colony after 3 Anglo-Burmese wars

  • It was briefly occupied by Japan during world war-2

  • Gained Independence in 1948

  • Military coup in 1962 – 2011, 2020 – till date

  • World’s longest running civil war

  • Rohingya conflict – Sectarian violence in Myanmar's Rakhine State between the Rohingya Muslim and Rakhine Buddhist communities. Started with attempt by Rohingya separatists wanting autonomus region to join east Pakistan.

  • UN- Member state with unrecognized govt.

  • Majority religion – Buddhism (~87%)

  • Name change – 1989

  • Longest river – Irrawaddy

  • Sea – Bay of Bengal & Andaman Sea

  • Ethnic group – Bamar (68%), Shan (10%)

  • Language - Burmese

  • Culture influenced by Theravada Buddhism

  • National Epic -  Yama Zatdaw (adopted from Ramayana)

sri-lanka.png

Sri Lanka

  • Official Name - Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

  • Known as Ceylon

  • Legislative Capital – Kotte (Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte)

  • Judicial & Executive Capital - Colombo

  • Largest city – Colombo

  • Official Language- Sinhala and Tamil

  • The Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait separates it from the Indian subcontinent.

  • Considered as an island country.

  • Buddhist writings – Pali Canon – 4th Buddhist council was held in Sri Lanka (also in Kashmir).

  • Independence – 1948

  • It was under Portuguese control, then Dutch finally under British control

  • Became republic in 1972

  • Civil War – 1983-2009 Ended decisively with defeat of LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam). LTTE aim was to secure and independent state of Tamil Eelam. Indian Peacekeeping force was involved between 1987 – 1990.

  • Highest HDI in South Asia

  • Agricultural – Cinnamon, Ceylon Tea and Rubber

  • Religion – Buddhism (largest), Hinduism (2nd)

  • Sri Lanka is known for high literacy rate among developing countries

5694099b8446ecd04e8470a9c0eb7ad9.jpg

Tonga

  • Official Name – Kingdom of Tonga

  • Polynesian country

  • An archipelago(means island groups) of 169 islands(only 36 inhabited)

  • Country has land area of  750 km2  which is spread across 700,000 km2

  • Capital and largest city - Nukuʻalofa

  • Total Population ~ 105000

  • Official languages – English & Tongan

  • Tonga has never been under any foreign rule

  • British protected status -1900-1970

  • No official state religion. But majority follow Christianity.

  • 2010- moved from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy

  • Population known for being overweight (90%) with 60% (obese)

  • Largest island is Tongatapu (capital Nukuʻalofa is in this)

  • Economy depends heavily on remittances from Tongans who are abroad.

  • 2022 volcanic incident:

    1. Island - Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai

    2. 2009 undersea volcano had merged the islands but 2022 explosive volcano eruption separated the islands

    3. Part Tonga–Kermadec subduction zone

    4. Converging plates  where Pacific plate subducts under the Indo-Australian Plate

    5. Largest eruption of 21st century