Did you know that the Indian empire was once one of the richest empires on earth? Or that India was once an island? Here are 51 amazing facts about India you might not know.
Amazing Facts about India
- In August 1947 India gained its independence from the British after a long and grueling fight.
2. In 1950 Rabindranath Tagore’s composition The Jana Gana Mana was recognized in India as the national anthem.
3. The word ‘shampoo’ is actually Indian. It derives from the word ‘Champu’, a Sanskrit word for ‘massage’.
4. There are 844 dialects in India of the total 17 major languages spoken. India is actually the second biggest English speaking nation in the world. Hindi and English are the official languages of India.
5. India is 1.27 million sq. miles, making it the 7th largest country in the entire world, but still 3 times smaller than the U.S. The Lotus Temple in Delhi has 27 enormous petals covered in marble.
6. In complete opposition to other women in India, widows wear white instead of colorful fabrics.
7. About 70% of the world’s animal spices come from India. Asia’s biggest wholesale spice market is in Khari Baoli in Old Delhi near the Red Fort.
8. India is the only country that has never attacked any country in its history.
9. A Bichiya is a wedding ring unlike the rest of the world; the jewelry is worn on the toe.
10. India has the lowest divorce rate even with arranged marriages still being the most common type of marriage.
11. The Victoria Cross was granted to 38 Indians after WWII.
12. A blocked toilet was the cause of a Jesus statue’s dripping base in India that many would drink due to the belief it was spiritual.
13. A world record was set in 2016 for planting almost 50 million trees in 24 hours in India.
14. A meteor struck an Indian bus driver and killed him in 2016.
15. A Mumbai thief was forced to consume 48 bananas by police after he was caught and swallowed a stolen chain.
16. The word ‘candy’ comes from the Indian word for crystallized sugar; Khanda.
17. The world’s most recognized Indian dish; the Tikka Masala, is actually a British invention deriving from Scotland.
18. In India, the mustache is classed as a respected symbol of authority with certain positions, with policemen even receiving more pay just simply for having a mustache.
19. Every cow must have a Photo ID in West Bengal due to issues with smuggling the species.
20. Since 2004, a polling station is erected in a forest for one voter, a temple priest, to cast his vote.
21. Over 23,000 people speak a language called ‘anal’ or Namfu in India and Burma.
22. One Indian airline only hires female hostesses to save on fuel due to their lesser weight.
23. Over 100,000 people get fed at a temple in India simply for turning up. There is no requirement but the meals are always vegetarian. The Golden Temple in the state of Punjab feeds this number of people on holidays and religious occasions.
24. In 2017, Odisha reached a staggering 114 °F (45.5 °C); one resident was seen cooking an egg in an oiled frying pan directly on the street without any fire or heat source other than the temperature outdoors.
25. India was once an island. Around 10 million years ago the land that we now know as India was part of a supercontinent called Gondwanaland.
26. Chess was invented in India. It is believed that it was invented prior to the 16th century. The game later spread to Persia and southern Europe.
27. Varanasi is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world. It is believed to have been founded 5000 years ago by Lord Shiva on the banks of the Ganges river.
28. India has the most royal Bengal tigers in the world. The main national parks in India that are home to Bengal tigers are Bandipur National Park in Karnataka, Uttarakhand, and Madhya Pradesh.
29. India is the second-largest producer of tea in the world. On average India produces 900,000 tonnes of tea each year. Assam and Darjeeling are the most popular varieties.
30. India has more mosques than any other country in the world. It is believed that there are more than 300,000 mosques in India.
31. There is a magnetic field in India. This field defies the laws of gravity and can pull vehicles upward. The field is part of the Leh-Kargil highway in Ladakh.
32. India makes and exports more carpets than anywhere else in the world. The region of Bhadohi-Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh is known for its GABBE woolen carpets.
33. India is also the largest producer of mangoes in the world. More than 100 varieties of mango are grown across the country.
34. India is home to the third highest mountain in the world. The Kanchenjunga Mountain range sits between Nepal and Sikkim and is 8,586 meters high.
35. Houses in the Indian village of Shani Shingnapur don’t have doors. This village is located in Nevasa Taluka in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra and they have no reported theft. The people who live in this village believe that no one would dare to rob them for fear of inviting Lord Shani’s wrath onto themselves and their families.
36. The highest cricket ground in the world is located in Chail in Himachal Pradesh. The altitude is 2,444 metres.
37. The world’s first airmail took place in India on February 18, 1911. Letters were delivered by plane from Allahabad to Naini.
38. The Gorakhpur Railway Station in Uttar Pradesh is the longest in the world at 1.36 kilometres.
39. India’s largest monastery is Tawang Monastery. It is the second-largest monastery in the world after Potala Palace in Tibet.
40. India is the world’s second-largest producer of milk after the United States. It produces over 60 billion kilograms of milk each year.
41. India has the largest number of vegetarians in the world. Vegetarianism became popular in India after Buddhism and Jainism were introduced in the 6th century BC. Today, 38% of India’s population is believed to be vegetarian.
42. India’s railways are one of the largest in the world. Every day in India the number of people who travel by the railways is equivalent to the population of Australia. Indian Railways is one of the largest employers in the world.
43. More people in India use the internet than the population of the United States. Internet usage in India has exceeded 500 million people driven mostly by growth of use in rural areas as well as increases in usage. This number is expected to continue to rise.
44. There are more facebook users in India than in any other country. Facebook is believed to have over 240 million users in India, more than in the United States.
45. India has the world’s highest post office as well as the world’s first floating post office. Srinagar in Kashmir is home to the floating post office.
The world’s highest post office is located in Hikkim and is positioned at 15,500 feet above sea level. India also has the largest postal network in the world.
46. In the village of Piplantri in Rajasthan, 111 trees are planted every time a girl is born. Over the years more than 300,000 trees have been planted.
47. India’s population will probably take over China‘s in 2028. It is estimated that in 14 years’ time India will have about 1.45 billion inhabitants which will be more than China.
48. India has three of the world’s top ten megacities which is also more than China. Delhi is now the second-largest urban agglomeration in the world, Mumbai is ranked 7th on the same measure and Calcutta 10th.
Six other Indian cities – Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Pune and Surat – are all in the UN’s top 100 urban agglomerations.
49. India is the world’s largest democracy. Over 417 million people voted in 2009 which is around 60% of the population. There were over 830,000 polling stations in line with the Election Commission of India policy that no voter should have to travel more than two kilometres to a polling station.
50. There are more deaths by road in India than in any other country in the world. Official figures state that about 115,000 people die each year on the roads of India. However, other estimates suggest this figure could be closer to 200,000.
51. 37% of road deaths are pedestrians, 28% cyclists and motorcyclists and 55% of all fatalities occur within five minutes of the accident.