CYBER INDIA: Indian Sites on the Net

This document offers a quick tour, a limited, subjective review of some of the most popular and useful India-related sites on the Internet.  Listed first are search engines/portals and e-zines, followed by other sites arranged under alphabetical subject headings, and ending with newsgroups.


Search Engines/Portals                                                                               Computer

Though a search on India may be conducted using a general search engine or a subject directory like Yahoo, there are specialized search engines dedicated to India, which are proliferating and offer a good starting point for your surfing.  Many of these sites also act as general portals or gateways to a mix of information on India--political, business, sports, entertainment, news, current affairs, and so on.  On most sites, it is possible to search either by keyword or under specific subject categories.  In addition, they may offer message boards, electronic greetings, chat and email services.

 

Guruji (www.guruji.com):  This is the first crawler based search engine for India and India related content.  Its proprietary algorithm identifies India related content on the web and organizes it in a way as to get the most relevant results fast.

INDOlink(www.indolink.com):  This electronic link to Indians worldwide carries Indian and world news, NRI community news and events, and features in the areas of health, astrology, immigration, films, music, book reviews, poetry, stories, and more.

Khoj (www.khoj.com):  "Khoj" means search in Hindi, and here one can search either by keyword or under 14 primary categories for over 2,000 India-related web sites.

Yahoo! India(in.yahoo.com):  Offers a search facility, along with a directory of Web sites on India.  Provides access to news, and has special sections on cricket, finance, movies and airfares.  Also provides communication tools such as email, real-time chat, instant messaging and greetings.


E-Zines

E-zines are a great place to get general information on India and links to other sites. These sites are updated frequently and are particularly great for breaking and developing stories.

Indiatimes(www.indiatimes.com):  This Times Group site sports a search facility, links to newspapers and news stories, and links to different channels in entertainment, people, culture, etc


Rediff (www.rediff.com):  A news, entertainment and shopping service in one,where you will find daily updates of news, business, cricket, technology, movies, lifestyle and more.  Also links to channels like money, romance, travel, etc., and provides opportunities for online chat, email service, and interaction with Indian celebrities.  Special US and Indian language editions, live broadcasts, and keyword search facilities.


Arts & Culture                                                                                           Drum

Art India Net  (www.artindia.net):  A site on the practice and practitioners of various visual and performing arts.  It has listings on Indian musicians, dancers, visual artists, photographers, puppeteers, light designers, etc., information on art festivals and events, and an online magazine Artscape , that carries articles, interviews and reviews.

Saffronart(www.saffronart.com):  A site that gives access to the world of contemporary Indian art.  Carries an extensive collection of Indian art works that can be bought online.  Also features more than 300 artist profiles, art news, a directory of exhibitions, links to other art sites, an art café for interaction with artists, and a brief section on art care and conservation.  


Astrology

Astrospeak (www.astrospeak.com):  A web site from (www.indiatimes.com) on astrology, numerology, tarot and palmistry.  Sun signs, gems and stones, predictions and forecasts, consultations, zodiac compatibility, Chinese astrology and feng shui, celebrity astrology, all this and more may be found here.
Business/Finance                                                                                          business

On the Net, it is possible to get stock quotes and information on Indian companies, and look up trade directories.  Major banks and stock exchanges such as the Bombay Stock Exchange (www.bseindia.com) are online.

Baazee (www.ebay.in):  India’s biggest online auction site where it is possible to buy and sell new or secondhand goods across 1500 categories.  Mobile phones, jewellery, used cars and real estate are among the five million items on sale on the site.  Also very popular with non-resident Indians are clothes worn by Bollywood stars and other film merchandise.

IndiaMART(www.indiamart.com):  This is a business-to-business e-marketplace that acts as a trading platform for 400,000 + Indian suppliers, 20,000 +  product categories and global buyers, either Indian or foreign.  It offers online directory services (a database of over 60,000 companies), discussion forums, business information and databases on key Indian industries such as handicrafts, apparel, etc., as well as current business news.

Indian Yellow Pages (www.indianyellowpages.com):  India’s largest and fastest growing online business to business directory, where you can locate or browse categorized company listings for your products and services.  Useful to manufacturers, exporters and traders.

Reserve Bank of India(www.rbi.org.in):  This site for India’s central bank has information on India’s monetary policy, currency, exchange rates, financial markets, and banking sector, and provides access to various forms and publications such as the weekly statistics, monthly bulletin and annual report.  Has links to other banking and financial institution sites.  Also in Hindi.


Childrens' Sites

Indolink-Kidz Korner(www.indolink.com/Kidz/index.html):  Features games and puzzles, and stories including chapters from the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata.

Pitara for Kids(www.pitara.com):  This "chest" of surprises for kids features stories, poems, folk tales, games and activities, information on language, geography and history, and news.  Kids can find e-pals across the globe, engage in online chitchat, or send a gaily designed postcard to a friend.  A parents section and a kids web directory are other features.


City Information

Information on a number of Indian cities is available online, in the form of city magazines or city guides.

Bangalorebest (www.bangalorebest.com):  Features a wide variety of information and resources on ten major cities in India.  Covers facts & data, sightseeing, personalities, events, trade, art & culture, accommodation, food, and more.  Also features resources (companies, etc.) under a variety of industrial and business categories ranging from advertising to travel.

Mumbai on the Net (www.mumbainet.com):  This site covers a great deal of Bombay — news headlines, major attractions, entertainment, food and hotels, utilities, public transportation, shopping and leisure facilities, business, etc.   It also covers forthcoming events in the city, and links to various public bodies such as the municipal corporation, telephone, transport and railway agencies.
Another site on Bombay is at www.chalomumbai.com, by Mid-Day, the city’s afternoon tabloid.

Electronic Communication                                                                             Electronic Communication

Email (www.epatra.com):  A multilingual email service allowing for communication in a number of Indian languages.  Language emails can be composed and sent by typing in
Roman English. To read a mail composed and sent through epatra, you need to install the correct font on your system, which can be downloaded here.

India Together (www.indiatogether.org):  Publishes public-interest material including profiles of organizations, interviews, opinions, book reviews, and articles and discussions on a variety of social, economic and political issues related to women, health, education, environment, and other topics.  Material comes from different sources including freelance journalists, activists, students, policy-makers, people’s movements, NGOs and others.  The site also provides webspace for petitions and signature campaigns related to socio-economic development in India, and to matters of public interest.

Sulekha (www.sulekha.com):  This popular online community and social networking site for Indians is sustained by contributions from over 50 countries.  Carries discussions, photographs, articles, events & tickets, news, reviews, classifieds and blogs.  You can offer, find, buy or sell commodities, or look up a local business in your city.


Films and Movies                                                                                Film              

There is a wealth of Indian film related information online.  Not only are the favorite film magazines online, there are also sites on specific movies, actors, actresses, and other movie celebrities, all the latest tinsel town news and gossip from "Bollywood", and the latest releases and movie reviews.  Most Indian news or portal sites also cover the film world.  Now borrowing favorite films on videos has become easier, thanks to online movie rental sites like HindiFlix (www.hindiflix.com) that carries movies in different Indian languages, and works very much like Netflix.

BollyWHAT? (www.bollywhat.com):  The guide for clueless fans of Bollywood films.  Includes the newcomer’s guide to Bollywood (what does it mean when someone wags her thumb, etc.), guide to award winning films, translated lyrics and detailed film synopses.  Here you can get the lowdown on your favorite stars, check out film reviews, or speak your mind at the Bollywhat forum.

Planet Bollywood (www.planetbollywood.com):  Has box office reports, top 10 songs and films, reviews of films and music, celebrity gossip, pictures, and more.


Food/Cuisine                                                                                          food

Recipes, cooking tips, information on ingredients, and more can be found on a number of Indian food related sites.

Bawarchi (food.sify.com):  Carries readers’ recipe contributions, handy tips, and several tried and tested easy-to-prepare recipes by the resident expert, a glossary, & links to other food sites.  A search engine helps to locate the recipe of your choice.

Daawat  (www.daawat.com):  Has Indian, Chinese, & Western cooking recipes, a glossary, information on measurements and weights, and calorie chart.  Also, restaurant reviews and information on services offered by restaurants in India and the US.

 
Tarla Dalal  (www.tarladalal.com): Offers recipes in Indian and world cuisines by the renowned Indian cook and author, menus for festive occasions, and cooking tips.  Has sections on microwave cooking, kids cooking, low calorie recipes, and more. You can also buy copies of her cookbooks, and chat or exchange recipes in the interactive zone.
General Sites                                                                                                general sites                       

Census of India (www.censusindia.gov.in):  Provides 2001 census data, vital statistics, and maps.

FreeIndia.org ( www.freeindia.org): A site by the Global Hindu Electronic Networks that provides a wide variety of information on India relating to education, culture, history and freedom movment, and tourism.  Offers factual data on India, covers biographies of great Indians and national insignia among others topics, carries a search engine for India related information, and Bharat Daily, a news, current affairs and discussion site.  Also links to the Hindu Universe, that connects to resources related to the Hindu religion and culture.

India (asnic.utexas.edu/asnic/countries/india):  An annotated directory of links for India covering history, government, religion, language, art, book resources, business, newsgroups, and more.

India (lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/intoc.html):  Part of the Country Studies/Area Handbook series put out by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress, this online version describes and analyses different aspects of India’s polity, economy and society.  It gives an overview of India’s history, geography, social systems, population, religion and more.  Ends with a bibliography and glossary.

Kamat’s Potpourri (www.kamat.com):  A content rich, personal webzine put out by the Kamat family with extensive material on the history, culture and art of India.   Also provides a searchable index and a searchable database of images.

Manas: India and its Neighbours (www.sscnet.ucla.edu/southasia):  Covers a great deal of India.  Culture covers India’s music, dance, cinema, cuisine, festivals, literature and street life.  History & Politics briefly spans the period from ancient to independent India.  Social Issues has articles on social realities like caste conflicts and oppression of women.  Religions covers practices, paths, divinities, etc., and Diaspora has a brief history of Indians in the US and the Carribean.


History

Ancient India (www.wsu.edu:8001/~dee/ANCINDIA/ANCINDIA.HTM):  Part of a massive Washington State University Internet project on world cultures, this site provides an excellent overview of ancient Indian civilizations, along with the religious philosophies that helped to shape early Indian culture.  Resources include an anthology of readings, a glossary of Indian terms and concepts, a historical atlas of ancient India, and links to Internet resources on India.


Jobs & Careers                                                                                 jobs

Professional and executive job seekers and employers in India or abroad can avail of a number of sites representing job opportunities in India.  A lot of these have to do with the information technology (IT) industry.

CareerIndia (www.careerindia.com):  A career portal listing over 800 jobs in IT and other sectors, in India & other countries, and over 15,000 resumes.  It offers job searches and profile matches, resume posting, career tips, career related news, and recruiting and interview tips.

Naukri  (www.naukri.com):  A one stop information clearinghouse about jobs and careers for Indians.  Here one can advertise for a job, search for a job (over 13,000 listings) by category, company or location, browse through resumes, place a resume, place a home page, visit employers’ home pages, as also other Indian and international career sites. 


Language   

                                                                    
Languages and Scripts of India (www.cs.colostate.edu/~malaiya/scripts.html): A large collection of sites on various Indian and South Asian languages, scripts, calligraphy, classical languages and manuscripts.

 

Magazines

Like newspapers, a large number of Indian magazines are online.  The two major publishers, Times of India and India Today Group, have all their publications on the
Web.

Business World (www.businessworldindia.com): The online version of the magazine of the new economy.

India Today Group Online (www.india-today.com):  Besides the leading current affairs magazine, India Today, the site carries e-newspapers, e-zines in movies, fashion and astrology, web editions of other leading magazines like Computers Today and Business Today, and links to affiliates like Art Today and Music Today.

Little India (www.littleindia.com):  The online contents of this monthly US magazine include feature articles and columns on Indian overseas life plus vital data on Indian Americans


Matrimonials and Weddings                                                                         weddings           

There are many Internet based matrimonial and dating services designed for the South Asian community.   Many of the portals also have matrimonial sections.  Also popular are wedding planning sites.

Bharat Matrimony (www.bharatmatrimony.com):  An interactive portal offering the A to Z of matrimonial related services and a place for finding Indian brides and grooms by caste, religion, education and occupation.  Services include placement of classifieds, wedding directory and horoscope matching.  All the services are provided through fifteen regional language portals.

Jeevansathi  (www.jeevansathi.com):  On this matrimonial portal, you can search for your match, or view listings for free from 254 castes and 34 communities.  Matrimonial profiles can be browsed by community, religion, country and city.

Shaadi (www.shaadi.com):  A huge matrimonial services provider with over 2 million members.  Matrimonial links are arranged by community, religion and country, covering diverse Indians all over the globe.

Weddingsutra (www.weddingsutra.com):  A wedding portal offering online services and products to wedding couples, their families and friends.  Channels include a vendor directory by state; information on wedding rites and ceremonies; fashion and beauty tips for the bride and groom; advice for guests on etiquette and choosing a gift; planning tools like personal wedding pages, wedding checklist, advice on planning the feast, organizing an inter-religious wedding, and so on.  You can also check to see how a favorite celebrity looked on her wedding day.


Medicine & Health                                                                             health

Homeopathy (www.indiaspace.com/homeopathy):  Offers information on the role of homeopathy in the treatment of various diseases, training courses around the world, articles, and online consultation.

Indmedica  (www.indmedica.com):  A medical portal that acts as a platform for interaction for doctors of all specialties.  Has medical news, job searches, conference information, published scientific papers in different specialties, and Indian medical college admission information.  Carries a directory of doctors, medical equipment suppliers, blood banks, important hospitals/nursing homes, and pathology labs/diagnostic centers, cyber lectures, and an image library for different specialties.


News Sites

There are several sites hosting news from India, either being updated daily or on a more frequent basis, and hence with a click of a button, Indians abroad can stay in touch with much that is going on back home.  Most often, the news is arranged into categories like national, regional, financial, entertainment, and sports.   Most of the portals also carry the latest news headlines.

IndiaExpress (www.indiaexpress.com):  National, business, sports, and other news updates, which can also be received by email.

Samachar  (www.samachar.com):  A fast-updated site that links you to headlines and major news stories in key Indian newspapers and magazines and to world news.  You can also create your customised Indian newspaper, and link to a number of regional publications in Indian languages.


Newspapers                                                                            newspaper

India produces the largest number of newspapers in the world, and a growing number of  these are online.  All the major English language newspapers have Web versions, and often, the papers are posted to Web sites before they even hit the street.  Though some just reproduce the print contents online, including editorials, front pages, supplements, and classifieds, others provide more frequent updates, and additional services and information.

Indian Express (www.indianexpress.com): India’s premier national daily is online.

Times of India (timesofindia.indiatimes.com): includes RK Laxman’s daily cartoon and links to all the Times Group family of publications.

 

Non-English Sites

Hindi Portal (hindi.webdunia.com):  A Hindi language portal with channels to news, entertainment, sports, etc.  Also has other Indian language editions.

NRI (Non Resident Indian)  Sites                                                  NRI     

Non Resident Indians Online (www.nriol.com):  Features news and views, articles and columns, snippets of relevance to NRIs, and community information such as NRI happenings and organizations.  Also a section on resources that includes a web directory, classifieds, recipes, greetings, foreign exchange rates, and Indian baby names, among others, plus an interactive forum.

NRIworld-The Platform for Global Indians (www.nriworld.com):  Besides news updates, columns and articles, it features channels like NRIachievers, that showcases outstanding Indians around the world, and  NRIsearch, comprising over 25,000 businesses.  An information guide includes useful data such as Indian missions abroad, top colleges in India, festivals, baby names, and NRI events worldwide among others.


Online Shopping

Some of the larger portals and e-zines offer online shopping facilities.  Many Indian stores are beginning to offer their goods such as grocery, music, videos, books, etc. online.  There are online malls too, with a slew of vendors.

Flowers & Fruit  (www.indiawithlove.com):  A gift site specially for NRIs to send gifts to relatives or friends who reside in India.  Send bouquets of roses, orchids, and chrysanthemums, as well as chocolates, cakes, soft toys, CDs, Indian sweets, and much more to around 400 locations in India. 

GiftstoIndia (www.giftstoindia.com):  A site offering Indians worldwide a spectrum of products to send such as books, flowers, cakes, chocolates, electronics, perfumes, jewelery, and even pizza.  Destinations include India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Middle East, USA and UK.

India Plaza (www.indiaplaza.com):  Sells music, videos, DVDs, food & groceries, health & beauty products, arts & handicrafts, fashion & jewelry, and more. 

Parenting                                                                                Parent  

Baby Names (www.babynamesindia.com):  Indian baby names, baby pictures, links to pregnancy resources, parenting articles, nursery rhymes, and more.

Indian Moms.com (www.indianmoms.com):  A site that aims to provide easily accessible information to expectant moms and mothers.  Features a mom’s guide (extending from pregnancy to raising of teens), a question & answer section with various child care experts, an activity center for kids from infants to teens, and reviews of books, websites and products.  Also message board and chat for mom to mom interaction.

IndiaParenting (www.indiaparenting.com):  A portal for Indian parents extending from pre-pregnancy, pregnancy and postnatal care to the raising of children.  For kids it has prayers, rhymes, songs and stories, plus puzzles, games and activities.  A lifestyle section has information on Indian dance, religions, festivals, and prayers.  Also has an online store for baby and other products.


Politics & Government                                                        government   

Most major Indian political parties, government ministries, agencies and departments and India’s Parliament are on the Net. 

Embassy of India  (www.indianembassy.org):  Information on different aspects of Indo-US relations, consulates and consular services in US, Indian tourism, cultural events in the US, and government of India links.

Indian Parliament  (www.parliamentofindia.nic.in):  Carries biographical sketches of present and former members of the lower and upper houses, statistical data, information on bills passed & pending, synopses of debates, and an archive of speeches and press releases by the President.  In addition, information on the President, PM & Council of Ministers, parliamentary committees, the text of the constitution of India, and links to various ministry and government web sites are offered.

Ministry of External Affairs (www.meaindia.nic.in): This official government site carries news, press releases and briefings, speeches, events, statements and declarations, profiles, interviews, all relating to India’s foreign policy and relations.  Also has a directory of India’s consular missions and post in different countries.  Also viewable in Hindi.

Prime Minister’s Office  (pmindia.nic.in):  Information on the office, visual tour of the office, speeches, news, and a directory of official government websites.
Radio and Television                                                                  radio        

There are several radio sites broadcasting a variety of Indian music, including classical, instrumental and the latest hit film and pop tunes, as also news.  Special audio software (available from these sites) needs to be downloaded in order to listen to the programs.

All India Radio (allindiaradio.org):  Internet services offered by the national, government operated radio organization include news (text and audio), music, drama
and live audio programs & views.  Also available in a Hindi version.

Doordarshan (www.ddindia.gov.in):  Site of the Indian national television network includes information about the network and real video broadcasts.

Radio Of India (www.radioofindia.com):  A multilingual, 24-hour Internet radio with news, film music, regional music, live cricket commentary, devotional music and more.


Regional Media

Several Indian language newspapers and magazines are also online.  In some cases, the publications are available in English too, and most allow you to download fonts that enable you to read them in the non-English language or to print out their stories.

GujaratiSandesh (www.sandesh.com); Chitralekha (www.chitralekha.com)

HindiNai Dunia (www.naidunia.com); Dainik Jagran (www.jagran.com)

MarathiLokmat (www.lokmat.com)

BengaliGanashakti (www.ganashakti.com)


Religion                                                                                          religion

India has many religions and most of them are well represented on the Web.  Online information on Indian religious scriptures, philosophy, rituals and traditions, or religious institutions is not hard to find.

Eprarthana.com-the divine link (www.eprarthana.com): A site that allows you to order poojas to more than 2000 temples in India.  Also has information on religious festivals and online shopping.

Templenet  (www.indiantemples.com):  A vast storehouse of descriptive information on more than 2000 temples in India.  Traces the religious significance, history and architectural grandeur of the temples, discusses different styles of temple architecture, provides details on festivals, fairs, beliefs and legends, worship protocols, and myths associated with the temples, and also gives tourism related information.  Also a glossary of temple-related terms.
Sports                                                                   sport

There are quite a few sites where Indians can follow their favorite sports, especially cricket, with coverage of all the latest games and scores.

CricInfo (www.cricinfo.com): Covers cricket all over the world including S. Africa, Australia, and UK with live matches, news, latest scores, database of pictures, players & statistics, and an online shop.

Thatscricket  (thatscricket.oneindia.in):  All cricket headlines, live ball by ball coverage, statistics, and schedules.


Travel                                                travel

Many of the portals such as rediff.com and indya.com provide a host of practical information for the traveler to India including best deals in air and rail fares, hotel
discounts, special packages and information on destinations or modes of travel.  Forms and rules for passport renewals and visas may be obtained online either at www.indianembassy.org, or at the site of the Consular Passport & Visa Division of the Ministry of External Affairs at indianpassport.nic.in.  The US State Department’s tip sheets on India can be obtained at travel.state.gov
Air India (www.airindia.com):  The site for India’s national airline is useful for planning your trip in and around India since it gives online information regarding flight arrivals and departures, booking status and schedules, timetables, and seat configurations.  It also has a travel guide section.

Incredible India (www.tourismofindia.com):  This site by the Indian government’s Tourism Department carries holiday/travel ideas (for example, hill stations, palaces, heritage tours and so on), fast facts about the country, image galleries, information useful in planning trips, useful data like list of holidays and local lingo, brief write ups on the Indian experience in the arts, culture, religion, etc., useful links to airline and state tourist office sites, and special monthly features such as on how to drape a sari.

Indian Railways (www.indianrail.gov.in):  This site has information on the various trains comprising the huge rail network in India, schedules, and fares.  Also information on booking tickets, special trains like the Palace on Wheels and list of agents.  Also in Hindi.

 

Newsgroups

Newsgroups abound on various topics such as on different Indian linguistic and regional communities, on music, yoga, politics and other subjects.

alt.yoga  (all forms and aspects of yoga)
rec.arts.movies.local.indian  (Indian cinema)
rec.music.indian.classical  (Hindustani & Carnatic Indian classical music)
soc.culture.india  (discussion about India and things Indian)

 

Archana Chiplunkar

Revised and Updated, July 2008