India has always been the land of culture and heritage with a rich history. People, landscapes, architecture, cuisine and languages as vast as the Indian Ocean. Today, India is seen as one of the developing nation that has a lot of potential in terms of economy, education, and globalization.
This 71st Independence day, we determine to help you define your patriotism for the country, a little bit differently! Here we list some of the most intriguing facts about India that you probably never knew.
- India was an island.
More than 100 million years ago most of what is India today, was an island. The land was actually part of a super-continent called, Gondwanaland, that broke away and moved northwards.
About 50 million years later, the continental plate collided with Asia. This process created the Himalayas, home to the tallest mountain peak, Mount Everest.
In fact, archaeologists have found fossilized sea shells and sea animals on the peaks. The process of the collision hasn’t stopped yet, rendering Mount Everest and other high peaks a new height each year.
- The country is named after the Indus River that flows through India and Pakistan (which was a part of India pre-Independence in 1947). While the name ‘India’ is relatively new, Muslim invaders who conquered India till the British Raj, had called it Hindustan, also a variant of the name of the Indus River. The word ‘Hindus’ also comes from the Indus.
- India has been the largest troop contributor to the United Nations Peacekeeping Missions since its inception.
- The Tirupati Balaji temple and the Kashi Vishwanath Temple both, receive more visitors than the Vatican City and Mecca combined.
- Every 12 years, a religious gathering called the Kumbh Mela occurs in India. It is the world’s largest gathering of people.The gathering is so large that the Kumbh Mela is visible from the space.
- India has more mosques (300,000 mosques) than any other nation in the world and the third largest Muslim population in the world.
- India has the world’s largest school in terms of students, the City Montessori School in Lucknow. It has more than 40 thousand students!
- Indian Railways employs more than 1.3 million people. That’s more than the population of 77 nations.
- Lonar Lake, a saltwater lake in Maharashtra, was created by a meteor hitting the Earth and is one of its kind in India.
- Magnetic Hill is a gravity hill located near Leh in Ladakh, India. The hill is alleged to have magnetic properties strong enough to pull cars uphill and force passing aircraft to increase their altitude in order to escape magnetic interference.
- India is the largest producer of Films in the world with about 1400 films every year.
- The Human Calculator: Shakuntala Devi solved a problem involving two 13 digit numbers which were picked at random. She did it in just 28 seconds. After which she was awarded the title of The Human Calculator.
- Water on the moon was discovered by India. In September 2009, India’s ISRO Chandrayaan- 1 detected water on the moon for the first time in the world.
- In a village called Shani Shingnapur in Maharashtra, people have been living in houses with no doors for generations. This is because they believe that whoever steals anything from this place will incur the wrath of Shani God and will have to pay for his/her sins very dearly. There is no police station in this village either.
- Science day in Switzerland is dedicated to Ex-Indian President, APJ Abdul Kalam. Switzerland declared May 26th as Science Day after a visit by APJ Abdul Kalam on that day in 2006.
- India has the largest postal network in the world with over 1, 55,015 post offices. A single post office on an average serves a population of 7,175 people.
- The wettest inhabited place in the world. Mawsynram, a village in the Khasi Hills, Meghalaya, receives the highest recorded average rainfall in the world. Cherrapunji, also a part of Meghalaya, holds the record for the most rainfall in the calendar year of 1861.
- The highest cricket ground in the world. At an altitude of 2,444 meters, the Chail Cricket Ground in Chail, Himachal Pradesh, is the highest in the world. It was built in 1893 and is a part of the Chail Military School.
- Diamonds were first mined in India. Initially, diamonds were only found in the alluvial deposits in Guntur and Krishna District of the Krishna River Delta. Until diamonds were found in Brazil during the 18th century, India led the world in diamond production.
- Yoga was originated in India about 5,000 years ago.
- Chess was invented in India. Viswanathan Anand is the first player in chess history to have won the World Championship in three different formats: knockout, tournament, and match.
- India was a pioneer of education and medicine in the world. Takshila is said to be the first every university in the world; it started around 700 BC. India is credited for the discovery of Zero, trigonometry, calculus, cataract and plastic surgery.
- India’s tech capital, Bangalore, has increased its office supply by six times since 2006, and now has more Grade-A offices than Singapore. – Which makes it the base of startups.
- India is the largest producer of mangoes. India grows 1.2 million tons of mangoes every year, the weight equivalent to 80,000 blue whales.
- The largest number of vegetarians in the world. Around 20-40% of Indians are vegetarians, making it the largest vegetarian-friendly country in the world.
- Pizza Hut, McDonalds and KFC had to introduce a vegetarian menu only for India.
- Sundar Pichai, an Indian, is the present CEO of Google Inc.
- India is the world’s second largest producer of small cars. It is the largest newspaper market in the world.
- World’s largest electronic ID program, Aadhar, is underway in India.
- The Indian currency has braille markings for the blind.
How many did you know? Did we make you feel a bit more proud of being an Indian? Let us know, in the comment section below.