South Asia is a densely populated region. It is home to more than 20% of the world’s inhabitants, and over two thousand ethnic groups. The main religion is Hindu, but one-third of the population is Muslim and a small minority are Buddhist or Christian.
Nestled above the Indian Ocean, the South Asia World Heritage region is partially isolated due to its protective mountain ranges, including the famous Himalayas. Large rivers run through the region, such as Bangladesh’s Brahmaputra and India’s Ganges. The water is used for drinking, transport, hydroelectric power and irrigation.
South Asia is dependent on annual monsoons, and it can receive up to 90% of its yearly precipitation during the rainy season. This is vital for agriculture and food production, but the monsoons also cause severe floods which endanger people, animals and villages.
South Asia provides a fascinating contrast between large cities with huge shopping centres and the latest technology, and tiny villages perched on remote mountainsides. It is popular with outdoors-oriented tourists and those who want to experience rich culture and cuisine.