Asia is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern and Northern Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of Eurasia with the continent of Europe and the continental landmass of Afro-Eurasia with both Europe and Africa. Asia covers an area of 44,579,000 square kilometres (17,212,000 sq mi), about 30% of Earth's total land area and 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area. The continent, which has long been home to the majority of the human population, was the site of many of the first civilizations. Asia is notable for not only its overall large size and population, but also dense and large settlements, as well as vast barely populated regions. Its 4.5 billion people constitute roughly 60% of the world's population.
In general terms, Asia is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean, and on the north by the Arctic Ocean. The border of Asia with Europe is a historical and cultural construct, as there is no clear physical and geographical separation between them. It is somewhat arbitrary and has moved since its first conception in classical antiquity. The division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East-West cultural, linguistic, and ethnic differences, some of which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. The most commonly accepted boundaries place Asia to the east of the Suez Canal separating it from Africa; and to the east of the Turkish Straits, the Ural Mountains and Ural River, and to the south of the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian and Black Seas, separating it from Europe.
China and India alternated in being the largest economies in the world from 1 to 1800 CE. China was a major economic power and attracted many to the east, and for many the legendary wealth and prosperity of the ancient culture of India personified Asia, attracting European commerce, exploration and colonialism. The accidental discovery of a trans-Atlantic route from Europe to America by Columbus while in search for a route to India demonstrates this deep fascination. The Silk Road became the main east-west trading route in the Asian hinterlands while the Straits of Malacca stood as a major sea route. Asia has exhibited economic dynamism as well as robust population growth during the 20th century, but overall population growth has since fallen. Asia was the birthplace of most of the world's mainstream religions including Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, as well as many other religions. (Full article...)
The Taj Mahal (Hindi: , from Persian/Urdu: "crown of palaces") is a white Marble mausoleum located in Agra, India. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal is widely recognized as "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage." Taj Mahal is the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Turkish and Indian architectural styles.
Credit: CEphoto, Uwe Aranas
A little girl making money for her family by posing with a snake in a water village of Tonle Sap Lake
Bangladesh (, Bengali: , pronounced ['ba?la?de?] ), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia. It is the eighth-most populous country in the world, with a population exceeding 163 million people, in an area of 147,570 square kilometres (56,980 sq mi), making it one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Bangladesh shares land borders with India to the west, north, and east, Myanmar to the southeast, and the Bay of Bengal to the south. It is narrowly separated from Nepal and Bhutan by the Siliguri Corridor, and from China by Sikkim, in the north, respectively. Dhaka, the capital and largest city, is the nation's economic, political, and cultural hub. Chittagong, the largest seaport, is the second-largest city.
Bangladesh forms the larger and eastern part of the Bengal
region. According to the ancient Indian texts, R?m?yana
, the Vanga Kingdom
, one of the namesakes of the Bengal region, was a strong naval power. In the ancient and classical periods of the Indian subcontinent
, the territory was home to many principalities, including the Pundra
, and Harikela
. It was also a Mauryan province
under the reign of Ashoka
. The principalities were notable for their overseas trade, contacts with the Roman world, the export of fine muslin
and silk to the Middle East, and spreading of philosophy and art to Southeast Asia
. The Gupta Empire
, Pala Empire
, the Chandra dynasty
, and the Sena dynasty
were the last pre-Islamic Bengali middle kingdoms
was introduced during the Pala Empire, through trade with the Abb?sid Caliphate
, but following the Ghurid
conquests led by Bakhtiy?r Khalj?
, the establishment of the Delhi Sultanate
and preaching of Shah Jal?l
in the north-east, it spread across the entire region. In 1576, the wealthy Bengal Sultanate
was absorbed into the Mughal Empire
, but its rule was briefly interrupted by the S?r Empire
. Mughal Bengal
, worth 12% of world GDP (late 17th century), waved the Proto-industrialization
, showed signs of a possible Industrial revolution
, established relations with the Dutch
and English East India Company
, and became also the basis of the Anglo-Mughal War
. Following the death of Emperor Aurangz?b ?lamgir
and Governor Sh?ista Kh?n
in the early 1700s, the region became a semi-independent state under the Nawabs of Bengal
. Sir?j ud-Daulah
, the last Nawab of Bengal, was defeated by the British East India Company
at the Battle of Plassey
in 1757 and the whole region fell under Company rule
by 1793. (Full article...
Abu Muhammad Hasan al-Kharrat (Arabic: ?assan al-Kharr; 1861 - 25 December 1925) was one of the principal Syrian rebel commanders of the Great Syrian Revolt against the French Mandate. His main area of operations was in Damascus and its Ghouta countryside. He was killed in the struggle and is considered a hero by Syrians.
As the qabaday
(local youths boss) of the al-Shaghour
quarter of Damascus, al-Kharrat was connected with Nasib al-Bakri
, a nationalist from the quarter's most influential family. At al-Bakri's invitation, al-Kharrat joined the revolt in August 1925 and formed a group of fighters from al-Shaghour and other neighborhoods in the vicinity. He led the rebel assault against Damascus, briefly capturing the residence of French High-Commissioner Maurice Sarrail
before withdrawing amid heavy French bombardment. (Full article...
B-29 Superfortress bombers dropping incendiary bombs on Yokohama
in May 1945
Allied forces conducted many air raids on Japan during World War II, causing extensive destruction to the country's cities and killing between 241,000 and 900,000 people. During the first years of the Pacific War these attacks were limited to the Doolittle Raid in April 1942 and small-scale raids on military positions in the Kuril Islands from mid-1943. Strategic bombing raids began in June 1944 and continued until the end of the war in August 1945. Allied naval and land-based tactical air units also attacked Japan during 1945.
The United States military
air campaign waged against Japan began in earnest in mid-1944 and intensified during the war's last months. While plans for attacks on Japan had been prepared prior to the Pacific War, these could not begin until the long-range B-29 Superfortress
bomber was ready for combat. From June 1944 until January 1945, B-29s stationed in India staged through bases in China to make a series of nine raids on targets in western Japan, but this effort proved ineffective. The strategic bombing campaign was greatly expanded from November 1944 when bases in the Mariana Islands
became available as a result of the Mariana Islands Campaign
. These attacks initially attempted to target industrial facilities using high-altitude daylight "precision" bombing, which was also largely ineffective. From February 1945, the bombers switched to low-altitude night firebombing against urban areas as much of the manufacturing process was carried out in small workshops and private homes: this approach resulted in large-scale urban damage. Aircraft flying from Allied aircraft carriers
and the Ryukyu Islands
also frequently struck targets in Japan during 1945 in preparation for the planned invasion of Japan
scheduled for October 1945. During early August 1945, the cities of Hiroshima
were struck and mostly destroyed by atomic bombs
. (Full article...
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Updated: 12:33, 5 May 2021
In the news
The following are images from various Asia-related articles on Wikipedia.
Population concentration and boundaries of the Western Zhou dynasty in China
The Taj Mahal, Agra, India
Projected GDP of 7 largest economies in 2050.
Sun temple at Konarka, Odisha
The Qing Empire in 1820, marked the time when the Qing began to rule these areas.
Here a Jesuit, Adam Schall von Bell (1592-1666), is dressed as an official of the Chinese Department of Astronomy.
A Confucian ritual ceremony in Jeju, South Korea
The Russian Znamensky Cathedral in Tyumen built in 1768
East Asian cultural sphere
Chicken tikka, a well-known dish across the globe, reflects the amalgamation of South Asian cooking styles with those from Central Asia.
Language families in South Asia
Byzantine and Sassanian Empires in 600 AD
The Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taipei, Taiwan, which was the tallest building in the world from 2004 to 2010.
Daian-ji temple at Nara, Japan
Projected shares of global GDP by region to 2050
Contemporary political map of Asia
The third Inter-Korean Summit, which was held in 2018, between South Korean president Moon Jae-in and North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un. It was a historical event that symbolized the peace of Asia.
The global contribution to world's GDP by major economies from 1 AD to 2003 AD according to Angus Maddison's estimates. Before 18th century, China and India were the two largest economies by GDP output.
Detail of Chinese silk from the 4th century BCE. The characteristic trade of silk through the Silk Road connected various regions from China, India, Central Asia, and the Middle East to Europe and Africa.
India's middle-class population of 300 million is growing at an annual rate of 5%. Shown here is an upmarket area in South Mumbai.
Map of Asia for early 20th century
Korean peninsula in 476 AD. There are three kingdoms and Gaya Union in the picture. This picture shows the heyday of Goguryeo
Map of Marco Polo's travels
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