India is the world’s largest democracy, where one of the oldest civilizations, the Indus Valley Civilization flourished. It is the place of vast diversity and is a melting point of age old traditions and customs. With rich historical past, the country is the origin of Sanskrit language, which is regarded as the mother of all language. Affectionately called Incredible India, it is a land where one can find a blend of modernization and ancient tradition. There are several interesting facts about this vast nation that most of you have no idea about. Here are 25 interesting facts on India that are worth knowing about:
1. World’s only floating National Park: India has about 166 national parks that serve as a habitat for the wildlife of the country. Each of the national parks has been established to protect the rich biodiversity and Keibul Lamjao National Park, located in the North-Eastern state of Manipur is World’s only floating National Park. It is an integral part of the Loktak Lake, which has numerous small islands formed by the floating phumdis. The national park is home to the endangered Sangai, which is also known as Manipur Eld’s Deer or Brow-antlered Deer besides other animals and birds.
2. A floating post office: India boasts of the largest postal network in the World and each post office serves about 7,175 people on an average. There are over 1, 55,015 post offices in the country and one of these is on the Dal Lake in Srinagar, which is a floating post office. This is the country’s 1st floating post office, inaugurated in August 2011.
3. The highest cricket ground in the World: Did you know that the highest cricket ground in the World is in this enchanting land? Yes, it is in Chail, a hill town in the state of Himachal Pradesh. This cricket ground is perched at an altitude of 2,444 m, which was owned by erstwhile royal family of Patiala. It was built in the year 1893, which is now used as the school playground by Chail Military School. The ground is also used for playing polo.
4. The World’s oldest oil refinery in operation: A small, quaint town Digboi, located in the state of Assam houses the World’s oldest oil refinery in operation. The town is the birthplace of Indian Oil Industry, where the first oil refinery of Asia was established that dates back to the year 1901. Today, this refinery is the headquarters of Assam division of Indian Oil Corporation and still produces 3 lakh tones of crude oil along with other petroleum products like kerosene, diesel and petrol.
5. The wettest inhabited place in the World: Tucked away in the North-Eastern corner of the country is the state of Meghalaya, which houses the wettest inhabited place in the World. Mawsynram, a village in the East Khasi Hill district of the state has recorded to receive the highest rainfall on Earth with an annual rainfall of 11,872 millimetres. As per the Guinness Book of World Records, it received 26,000 millimetres of rainfall in the year 1985. Even though this quaint village has broken the record of Cheraunjee, which is also in the state of Meghalaya still holds the all-time record for the most rainfall in a year between 1860 and 1861.
6. Kumbh Mela gathering visible from space: An interesting fact about this enchanting land of history and legends is that the gathering of Kumbha Mela was visible from the space. It is the largest religious gathering where people gather to bathe in a sacred river and is held every 12 years. The gathering held in the year 2011 was so huge that it was visible from the space. This religious gathering is attended by people across the globe and according to Hindu mythology, taking a plunge into the sacred river to wipe away the sins and attain moksha or Salvation.
7. Bandra Worli Sealink has steel wires equal to the earth’s circumference: Were you aware of the fact that Bandra Worli Sealink has steel wires equal to the circumference of the earth. It is a marvel of engineering, which weighs the same as 50,000 African elephants and 90,000 tons of cement were used in building it. It has a height that is 63 times taller than Qutub Minar. It took 2,57,00,000 man hours for completion of this architectural wonder. The height of the cable-stayed tower is equal to a 43-storey building.
8. The Indian national Kabaddi team has won all World Cups: Kabaddi originated in ancient India and is a popular game played in the Indian Subcontinent. But, did you know that The Indian national Kabaddi team has won all World Cups. Till date, 5 men’s Kabaddi World Cups have been held and Indian team has been unbeatable throughout these tournaments. Not only India’s men Kabaddi team but also Indian women’s team has won all the matches.
9. World’s largest producer of milk: Recently, India won the title of being the largest milk producer in the World leaving behind the European Union, which once topped the list. The country produced over 132.4m tons of milk in the year 2014.
10. Exports software to 90 countries: India is the 2nd largest exporter of software and exports it to 90 countries across the globe. It ranks among the top 10 software manufacturing countries in the World with its IT hubs at Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, to name a few.
11. The human calculator : Shakuntla Devi was conferred with the title of “human calculator”, who got her name inscribed in The Guinness Book of World Records in the year 1982. She proved her talent by answering calculation of two 13 digit numbers: 7,686,369,774,870 × 2,465,099,745,779 that were picked randomly, within 28 seconds. She was the pride of the country and traveled across the globe demonstrating her talent.
12. Diamonds were first mined in India: Diamonds were first found in this enchanting land in 4th century BC and until 18th century, India was the only source of diamonds in the World. This precious stone was found along the rivers Penner, Krishna and Godavari. After diamonds were discovered in Brazil during the 18th century, the demand of diamonds found in the country declined.
13. A special polling booth is set up for a lone voter in the middle of Gir Forest: Have you heard that a special polling booth has been set up for a single voter in the middle for Gir Forest. Mahant Bharatdas Darshandas has exercising his voting rights since 2004 and during every election; a polling booth is set up in the Gir forest as he is the sole voter in the region.
14. Freddie Mercury and Ben Kingsley are both of Indian descent: You will be startled to know the fact that Freddie Mercury, the famous British singer, songwriter and producer, known as the lead vocalist and lyricist of the rock band Queen was a Parsi born in India until his mid-teens. Ben Kingsley, the Oscar as well as Grammy winner was born as Krishna Pandit Bhanji. Both of them are of Indian descent but it is a fact little known to people.
15. Baily Bridge is the highest bridge in the world: Perched at an altitude of 5,602 m above the sea level, Baily Bridge is the highest bridge in the world. It is located in the Himalayan Mountains, between the Dras River and Suru River in Ladakh. It is 30 m long and was built in the year 1982 by the Indian Army.
16. The first university in the World was established in India: The first ever University in the World was established in this enchanting land in Takshila in the year 700 BC. It had 10,500 students in the University from different parts of the World with over 60 subjects. The University of Nalanda was established in the 4th century, which flourished under the patronage of the Gupta Empire.
17. Chess was invented in India: Chess is considered as the game of intellectuals and it is believed to have originated in India during 280 – 550 CE in the Gupta Empire. Today, this game has become popular all over the World that Chess Olympiad and World Chess Championship competitions are organized.
18. Dhyan Chand was offered German citizenship: After India defeated Germany in the 1936 Berlin Olympics with 8-1, the hero of Indian Hokey Major Dyan Chand was convened by Hitler and offered him German Citizenship. He was also promised with as high post in the German military and the chance to play for the German national side. Nevertheless, Dhyan Chand had declined the offer.
19. Rabindranath Tagore also wrote the national anthem for Bangladesh: The Noble Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore is famous for his poetry and has been credited for writing the national Anthem of our country, Jana Gana Mana. However, did you know that he was the one who also wrote the national anthem for Bangladesh? “Amar Sonar Bangla”, the national Anthem of Bangladesh was written by this great poet, who was also a patriot, who refused to accept the Kingship offered by the British Government after the incident of Jalianwala Bagh massacre.
20. India is the world’s second-largest English speaking country: British has gone back long ago but have left behind their imprints in form of their language. India is the world’s second-largest English speaking country in the World. Over 125 million people speaking the language, which is only 10% of the population of the country, which is expected to grow further in future.
21. Science day in Switzerland is dedicated to former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam: It is a matter of immense pride that Science Day in Switzerland is celebrated to commemorate the visit of our Ex-President, APJ Abdul Kalam. He is a great scientist who is also known as the father of India’s missile program. He visited Switzerland on 26th May 2006 and upon his arrival it was declared as Science Day.
22. Martial Art originated in India : Martial Art is popular in Asia, especially in the countries of China, Japan, Korea, etc. But you might not know the fact that it originated in India and had spread to Asia by Buddhist missionaries. As Buddhism was founded during 500 B.C. This is an interesting fact but not known too many people.
23. Algebra, Trigonometry and Calculus originated in India : Algebra, Trigonometry and Calculus, around which the whole study of mathematics revolves, originated in this beautiful and cultural land. Quadratic Equations were used by Sridharacharya during 11th century. Today, it is studied across the globe but we can take pride in the fact that it originated in this enchanting land.
24. Water on the moon was discovered by India: It has been believed that there was no water on moon and it was dry. But, An Indian space mission had claimed that water was found on the moon. It has been claimed that water is still forming, moving to the possibilities of human life existing there. This was a remarkable achievement by our country’s space mission.
25. Largest number of vegetarians in the world : India has gained the distinction of having the largest number of vegetarians in the World. About 40% of the country’s population is vegetarians owing to religious or even personal reason. This has brought the accreditation of having the largest vegetarian population in the World.