India's general election will take place in seven phases between April and May, the Election Commission says.
Polls to elect a new Lok Sabha, or lower house of parliament, will be held from 11 April to 19 May. Votes will be counted on 23 May.
With 900 million eligible voters, India's election will be the largest the world has seen.
PM Narendra Modi's ruling BJP will be battling the main opposition Congress and a host of regional parties.
Leaders of two powerful regional rivals have formed a coalition against the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state, and a key bellwether state.
The lower house has 543 elected seats and any party or coalition needs a minimum of 272 MPs to form a government.