Key facts about South Asia

Key facts about South Asia

22 February 2024

Our latest exhibition explores how modern and contemporary artists have been inspired by the historic miniature paintings of South Asia - but how much do you know about this fascinating part of the world? Here are five key facts about the South Asian region.


It's home to a number of countries.

South Asia is a region of the Asian continent that consists of the sub-Himalayan countries including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.


It has a large population.

With over 1.7 billion people, South Asia is home to nearly a quarter of the world's population. India itself contains over 1.3 billion people.


It has a varied terrain and climate.

South Asia includes the Himalayan mountains, Indo-Gangetic plains, Thar desert and Indian Ocean coasts. Major rivers like the Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra flow through the region. The climate is dominated by the monsoons with four main seasons - winter, summer, monsoon and post-monsoon. The monsoon rains play a critical role in agriculture.


It's a truly diverse place.

South Asia is hugely diverse in terms of languages, ethnic groups, art, architecture, literature, philosophy, cultural practices and religions with Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism and Christianity, amongst other faiths.


It has a fascinating history.

Some of the world's most ancient civilisations flourished in South Asia, which has also been influenced by Islamic, Persian, Turkic and European cultures over the centuries. Key historical events include the rule of empires like the Mauryas, Guptas, Delhi Sultanate, Mughals in India, and European colonialism across the region. South Asia gained independence from British rule in the 1940s.

Find out more about Beyond the Page: South Asian Miniature Painting and Britain, 1600 to Now - which is on display in our St Luke's church gallery until the end of Sunday 2 June 2024.