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 Indian Culture officially describes the cultural heritage of the seven North Indian states of Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir, Chandigarh (Union Territory), Haryana, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh which itself means Northern State.
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, Qutub Minar, Red Fort, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri and the Taj Mahal.
The languages that have official status in one or more of the states and union territories located in North India are Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Kashmiri/Koshur, Dogri and English.
North India lies mainly in the north temperate zone of the Earth. During summer, the temperature often rises above 35 °C across much of the Indo-Gangetic plain, reaching as high as 60 °C in the Thar desert, Rajasthan and up to 49 in Delhi. During winter, the lowest temperature on the plains dips to below 5 °C, and below the freezing point in some states. Heavy to moderate snowfall occurs in Himachal Pradesh, J&K and Uttarakhand. Much of North India is notorious for heavy fog during winters. Extreme temperatures among inhabited regions have ranged from −45 °C (−49 °F) in Dras, Jammu and Kashmir to 50.6 °C (123 °F) in Alwar, Rajasthan.