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For other uses, see Hindustan (disambiguation). It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Indostan. (Discuss) Hindustan map, 1831. Hindustan (Hindi: हिन्दुस्तान, Urdu: ہندوستان, both Hindustān [ɦɪnd̪ʊˈst̪aːn]) "Land of River Sindhu (Indus)", is one of the popular names of South Asia. Though the meaning of Hindustan has evolved over the years, after the partition of India it primarily refers to the Republic of India.[1] Contents 1 Etymology 2 Uses of the word "Hindustan" 2.1 Geographical areas 2.2 Ethnicity 3 See also 4 References 5 Further reading // Etymology Hindustan is derived from the Dari (Persian) word Hindu, which is itself is derived from Sindhu, the original Sanskrit name of Indus River. Sindhu is a river in Sanskrit, in Dari it becomes Hindu 'Black'.[2] This together with a popular suffix -stān (Sanskrit `Sthānam', Old Persian 'sthāna', meaning place) [3][4] gave birth to the word Hindustan, which was rendered as Hindustan.[5] In modern Persian (so called Dari), either Hind or Hindustan may be used to refer to India. Uses of the word "Hindustan" Geographical areas Historical term, usually applied to the Ganges Plain of North India, between the Himalayas in the north and the Deccan plateau in the south. Used variably throughout Indian history—generally in contradistinction to the Deccan of peninsular India—it gradually came to mean the whole of N India from the Punjab to Assam. The term Hindustan has also been applied to the whole Indian subcontinent. – The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition Copyright© 2004, Columbia University Press. Historically, it referred to Northern India, in contrast to the Deccan, or Southern India. This area can be defined more particularly as the basin of the five Punjab rivers and the Indo-Gangetic Plain. The name Hindustan is sometimes used to indicate the lands “north of the Vindhya Range" as well.[5] During the Turkic-Afghan invasions of 11th-13th centuries, Muslims started to call Northern part of sub-continent as 'Hindustan', because they encountered people who were 'hindus' ie 'Black'. The first known use of the term is on an inscription at Naqsh-e Rustam. The inscription, which dates to around 252 CE, was commissioned by the Persian king, Shapur I, and mentions Hindustan as one of the areas over which he rules. In this context, Hindustan likely refers to the lower Indus Valley region rather than the Indian subcontinent.[6] Further, it may relate to various aspects belonging to three geographical areas: the modern Republic of India, the Indian subcontinent during medieval times, or a region in northern India, east and south of the Yamuna river, between the Vindhya mountains and the Himalayas where Hindustani languages are spoken. Ethnicity The term Hindustan retains its importance as it gives culture identity to India and the Indian Subcontinent ethos, amidst the varied culture of India; along with another word that evolved from it - the adjective, Hindustani, used to define the people of Hindustan, their language, Hindustani language, and also their music, Hindustani classical music. The adjective Hindustani is a term applied to the syncretic Hindu culture of South Asia. Hindustani is sometimes also used as an ethnic term applied to South Asia. (e.g., a Surinamese man with roots in South Asia might describe his ethnicity by saying he is Hindustani.) For example, Hindoestanen is a Dutch word used to describe people of South Asian origin, in Netherlands and Suriname. In Pakistan, the term 'Hindustani' is used for Urdu-speaking people generally and specifically for Karachi and Hyderabad, who migrated from India during the partition of 1947. See also Hindustani India (disambiguation) Greater India References ^ Sindh: An Introduction ^ Lipner 1998, pp. 7–8 ^ Guardian Unlimited: What does -istan" mean as in Pakistan, Uzbekistan or Afghanistan? ^ Sri Lanka: Sanskritic loans in modern Sinhala ^ a b "Hindustan". Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.. 2007. http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9040520/Hindustan. Retrieved 2007-05-02.  ^ Ray, Niharranjan; Chattopadhyaya, Brajadulal (2000). A Sourcebook of Indian Civilization. Orient Blackswan. pp. 553–54. ISBN 8125018719.  Further reading A Sketch of the History of Hindustan from the First Muslim Conquest to the Fall of the Mughol Empire by H. G. Keene. (Hindustan The English Historical Review, Vol. 2, No. 5 (Jan., 1887), pp. 180-181.) STORY OF INDIA THROUGH THE AGES; An Entertaining History of Hindustan, to the Suppression of the Mutiny, by Flora Annie Steel, 1909 E.P. Dutton and Co., New York. (as recommended by the New York Times; Flora Annie Steel Book Review, February 20, 1909, New York Times.) The History of Hindustan: Post Classical and Modern, Ed. B.S. Danniya and Alexander Dow. 2003, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 8120819934. (History of Hindustan (First published: 1770-1772). Dow had succeeded his father as the private secretary of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.) Coordinates: 20°00′N 78°00′E / 20°N 78°E / 20; 78