North India is a loosely defined region consisting of the northern part of India. The dominant geographical features of North India are the Indus-Gangetic Plain and the Himalayas, which demarcate the region from the Tibetan Plateau and Central Asia.
The term North India has varying definitions—the Ministry of Home Affairs in its Northern Zonal Council Administrative division included the states of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Rajasthan and Union Territories of Delhi, Chandigarh. while the Ministry of Culture in its North Culture Zone includes the state of Uttarakhand but excludes Delhi whereas the Geological Survey of India includes Uttar Pradesh and Delhi but excludes Rajasthan and Chandigarh. Other states sometimes included are Bihar, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal.
North India has been the historical centre of the Mughal, Delhi Sultanate and British Indian Empires. It has a diverse culture, and includes the Hindu pilgrimage centres of Char Dham, Haridwar, Varanasi, Ayodhya, Mathura, Allahabad, Vaishno Devi and Pushkar, the Buddhist pilgrimage centres of Bodhgaya, Sarnath and Kushinagar, the Sikh Golden Temple as well as world heritage sites such as the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, Khajuraho temples, Hill Forts of Rajasthan, Jantar Mantar (Jaipur), Bhimbetka Caves, Sanchi monuments, Qutb Minar, Red Fort, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri and the Taj Mahal.