India is located in South Asia and is the biggest democracy in the world as well as the second biggest country by population with a total of over 1.2 billion people approximately. Surprisingly, it’s only the seventh largest country by area. In terms of its geography, it’s bounded by the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. It shares a border with Pakistan in the west, Burma and Bangladesh to the east, and China, Bhutan and Nepal in the north-east. India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia.
Historically, India is one of the most significant countries in the world and is known for its diversity. The rich history of this region is nothing short of fascinating. The Indus Valley Civilization, historic trade routes, and vast empires make the history of India notable. Many a times, it has been the victim of the lust of conquerors due to its cultural and commercial wealth, and the region’s diverse culture is mainly due to this.
This region has not only given birth to four religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism), but the arrival of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism has further diversified it. Although India was previously the name of the entire region including India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, that changed in 1947 when the British administration ended and the country was divided into two separate and independent states of Pakistan and India and later in 1971, East Pakistan separated to become Bangladesh. Here are some interesting facts about India.
Interesting Facts About India – History Facts
Indians were the first to establish a culture in the form of the Harappan culture in the ancient Indus Valley Civilization almost five thousand years ago, at a time when most cultures consisted of nomadic forest dwellers.
Do you know where the highly intelligent and complex game of chess comes from? Yes, it was invented in India. Can you tell how old this game is? It’s almost 1500 years old or it could be older than that as its earliest origins are still unknown. From India, it spread to Persia and when the Arabs conquered Persia, the Muslims took it up and it subsequently spread to Europe where it developed into its modern day form.
Not only Chess, but India is also the birthplace of algebra, calculus, and trigonometry. Although algebra’s beginning can be dated back to the Babylonian times as people had developed some algebraic methods to solve problems, the Indian mathematician Brahmagupta’s work was a stepping stone even if the Arabian mathematician Al-Khwarizmi is considered the father of algebra.
Interestingly enough, the decimal and place value system are also believed to have originated and developed in India.
Have you ever played a game of Snakes and Ladders? It was first introduced in the 13th century by an Indian poet saint Gyandev. It was known as Mokshapat at that time and had a lot of significance. Why? Well, because the snakes were a metaphor for vices, while the ladders represented a person’s good virtues. The main idea of the game was that good virtues will take you to heaven, while the sins in the form of snakes would take people through rebirths.
Ever wonder where the first university in the world was? It was in India in Takshila, back in 700 BC. Considered to be one of the biggest achievements in the field of education, it was a huge success as more than ten thousand students traveled from all over the world to enroll and receive education in more than sixty subjects. Another milestone in the field of education was the University of Nalanda that was also in India.
The earliest known school of medicine also originates in India. The father of medicine Charaka came up with Ayurveda almost 2500 years ago.
The art of navigation was also developed in the region of River Indus almost 6000 years ago. In fact, the word “navigation” is a derivation of Navgith, a Sanskrit word.
Do you know the time it takes the earth to complete a revolution around the sun? The famous Indian astronomer Bhaskaracharya calculated the correct time. If you’re wondering what the answer is, it is 365.258 days i.e. a year.
Ever heard of pi or Pythagoras’ theorem? An Indian mathematician calculated the value of pi and explained Pythagoras’ theorem back in the 6th century. Another Indian mathematician Sridhar Acharya introduced the quadratic equations back in the 11th century.
Not only was the father of medicine from India, but the father of surgery Sushruta was also from India and conducted complex surgeries 2600 years ago. Anesthesia’s earliest use is also found in India.
The world’s oldest city Banaras is also in India and is inhabited even today.
Yoga, a common exercise all over the world, originated in India and was only performed by revered sages in the ancient times.
Interesting Facts About India for Travelers – Things to Do and See
India is one of the largest countries in the world, and it is rightly said that it is less of a country and more of a continent. From the cold mountains of Himalaya to the tropical lands of Kerala, from the sacred water of Ganges River to the scorching sand of the Thar Desert, India is filled with sights to see.
India has an endless variety of landscapes, monuments, cultures and places to explore, conforming to the enormity and diversity of the country. You can find ancient ruins, exotic cities, fascinating religious structures of all beliefs, and diverse landscapes. India is filled with so many tourist attractions that you may never be able to explore all of them even if you spent years.
Taj Mahal in Agra is the jewel of India and any tourist traveling to India can’t miss visiting it. It is not only an architectural wonder, but the historical value of this beautiful and huge mausoleum is also great. It’s not only a symbol of love but also a living example of the Mughal greatness and wealth. Made out of white marble, this mausoleum took almost two decades to build.
Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar, also known as the Golden Temple, is another tourist attraction that’s worth visiting in India. Considered as one of the most important religious places for Sikhs, its construction started in the 16th century. By the 19th century, the upper floors of the temple were covered in pure gold by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. A stunning temple which is always filled with thousands of pilgrims from all over India, it’s a place that every tourist should visit at least once.
Another place worth visiting in India is Kashmir. Kashmir is the conflicted valley that the two neighbors Pakistan and India have been quarreling over ever since their separation. However, when you visit this beautiful valley, it seems almost poetic that two countries are in dispute over this piece of heaven on earth. Filled with natural beauty and breathtaking scenery, it’s a place tourists should definitely visit.
Fun Facts About India – Funny Facts About Culture
India is probably the most diverse country in the world, which is something that can be backed by the fact that the 1 billion populace of India is spread over two thousand ethnic groups and speak over two hundred different languages.
In India, guests are highly revered and treated as God. They are taken care of and treated with respect even if they are not part of the family.
In India, people greet one another by joining both their hands together near their chest and saying the phrase, “Namaste.” The elders of the family are respected, and the younger ones take their blessing by touching their feet.
Due to its diversity, Indian holidays and festivals are celebrated by everyone despite different religions or beliefs. Participating in each other’s religious festivals and occasions is a common practice in India and promotes an atmosphere of harmony and tolerance.
India gave birth to four religions, but despite that, it’s home to over eleven different religions that are widely practiced in the country.
Indians love to use herbs and spices in their food, and they are considered to be an essential ingredient. Although regional styles and cuisines vary, a shared characteristic is the wholehearted use of spices. A significant part of the population of India consumes only vegetarian food, but some also like to consume meats such as chicken, goat, fish, and lamb.
Due to its diversity, the traditional clothing varies from region to region in India. However, saris, shalwar kameez, dupatta, dhoti, ghagra choli, and kurta pajama are common in most parts of India. Western fashion trends are also becoming increasingly common in India.
The music and film industry is a significant part of the Indian culture, and movie stars are highly revered in India where people even pray to celebrities and treat them like gods. The traditional Indian music is known as sangeet, and young kids are trained in it. India’s movie industry is the biggest in the world with Bollywood being its major cinematic hub, based in Mumbai. Regional film industries also exist in different languages such as Bengali, Malayalam, Kannada, Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil, and Telugu.
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