Darren Bravo (22 not out) and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (17 not out) shared an unbroken fourth wicket partnership of 40 either side of lunch to revive the hosts from early crisis.
Chanderpaul, playing in his 133rd Test to move one past Courtney Walsh as the most capped West Indian player, hit one boundary in 44 deliveries.
Bravo cracked three fours off 53 balls.
Windsor Park, which became the 106th Test ground across the world and 12th in the Caribbean, gave a watery welcome to its first day of Test cricket.
Ishant Sharma (2-23) and Praveen Kumar (1-19) made early inroads with the new ball after India won the toss and chose to bowl.
West Indies slumped to 35 for three midway through the first session as Adrian Barath and the two debutants, Kieran Powell and Kirk Edwards, perished cheaply.
Kumar claimed Powell (3) to an outside edge to second slip, and Barath compiled 12 off 38 balls before he under-edged a pull back onto his leg stump. Edwards (6) was undone by Sharma's bouncer, deflecting a hook through to the wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
The 36-year-old Chanderpaul, who had earlier presented Powell and Edwards with their first caps, batted with typical grit alongside Bravo.
Bravo, 14 years younger than Chanderpaul, was more adventurous and stroked three off-side boundaries.
But the pair was frustrated as cloudy conditions engulfed the Island's capital city throughout the afternoon and ruined the last two sessions.
India lead 1-0 in the three Test series.