India is a country in South Asia known for its cultural diversity, rich history and impressive sights. India's history dates back more than 5,000 years and includes the rise and fall of various civilizations, kingdoms and dynasties such as the Indus Valley Civilization, the Maurya and Gupta dynasties, as well as Mughal and British colonial rule. India gained its independence in 1947 and is now one of the largest democracies in the world. India's major landmarks are diverse and reflect the different cultural and historical influences. The most famous landmark is the Taj Mahal in Agra, an impressive example of Islamic architecture and symbol of love. Other important sites include the historic cities of Delhi and Jaipur, the spiritual centers of Varanasi and Rishikesh, the monumental temple complexes of Khajuraho and Hampi, and the impressive forts and palaces of Rajasthan.