South Asia refers to the geographical region comprising the South Asian subcontinent, roughly corresponding to the modern states of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka. Demarcated in the north by the Himalayan and Kunlun mountain ranges and in the south by the Indian Ocean, this area is one of the most religiously diverse in the world. It has given rise to two global religions—Hinduism and Buddhism—both of which have spread outside South Asia and exerted tremendous influence on other cultural regions. Three other transnational religions—Christianity, Judaism, and Islam—were introduced to South Asia from outside, developing distinct regional characteristics through their interaction with indigenous cultures. Finally, smaller-scale traditions such as Jainism, Sikhism, and Zoroastrianism have also contributed to the unique diversity of this region. ...

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