Sherpa Temba Tsheri, 16, becomes the youngest person to conquer Mount Everest.
Crown Prince Dipendra of Nepal kills his father, the king, his mother and other members of the royal family with an assault rifle and then shoots himself in the Nepalese royal massacre. Dipendra dies June 4, as King of Nepal. His uncle Gyanendra accedes to the throne.
Pervez Musharraf becomes President of Pakistan after the resignation of Muhammad Rafiq Tarar.
Tamil Tigers attack Bandaranaika International Airport in Sri Lanka, causing an estimated $500 million of damages.
The Parliament of India is attacked, killing 14. This brings India and Pakistan to the brink of war.
Calcutta officially becomes Kolkata, reverting to its pre-colonial name.
More than 100 million people - almost 2% of the world's population - attend the Maha Kumbh Mela festival in Allahabad, making it the largest gathering of human beings in history. On the festival's most important day an estimated 20 million Hindu pilgrims bathe in the sacred waters of the three rivers which meet near the town. The festival is held every 12 years.
The government announces that it is willing to meet the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) for open negotiations on ending the 20-year insurgency in the northeastern state.
Pakistan reacts angrily to news that the Indian military has successfully test-fired an improved Agni-II intermediate ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead to anywhere in Pakistan.
Unrest and clashes in Kashmir continue.
A massive earthquake, measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale, strikes the northwestern state of Gujarat. Estimates of the death toll rise rapidly to 30,000, with some much higher figures being quoted. The epicentre of the quake is some 300 km wect of Ahmadabad near the town of Bhuj, which bears the brunt of the destruction. Tremors are felt as far away as Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh. The government calls for $1.5 billion in international loans to deal with the devastation.
The UK-based human rights group Amnesty International urges the government to crack down on the widespread use of torture by police.
Defence Minister George Fernandes resigns in a bribery scandal which threatens to bring down the government. The leader of the ruling BJP, Bangaru Laxman, has already left his position, but the departures fail to calm opposition parties, who continue to stall the workings of parliament for a third day on March 16. Journalists beleased secretly filmed footage on the Internet, showing government members from the defence ministry and other senior figures accepting bribes from bogus arms dealers.
The Tibetan spiritual leader, the 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso, welcomes news that tens of thousands of Dalits (lower-caste Hindus) are to convert to Buddhism on October 14.
The country's space program is brought into a new era with the successful test launch of its geostationary satellite launch vehicle, the GSLV-D1, at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
The central government imposes direct rule in the northeastern state of Manipur after the state government collapsed.
Famed Bandit Queen turned M.P. Phoolan Devi is assassinated by masked gunman at the gate of her New Delhi residence at the age of 37.
India's first police office dedicated specifically to Internet crimes opens in Bangalore.
Celina Jaitley is awarded the title "Miss India", in the Femina Miss India Pageant.
The south Indian dancer Yamini Krishnamurti is awarded Padma Bhushan
Shehnai player Bismillah is awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour.
Santur player Shiv Kumar Sharma and Sarodist Amjad Ali Khan are awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian honour
South Indian dancer Sobha Naidu is awarded Padma Shree