India is certainly one of the greatest countries on earth with a rich historical heritage. The Indian subcontinent has greatly contributed to global culture for hundreds and thousands of years in more ways than one. Here are 26 unique facts about India that makes this country different from all the rest.
1. A floating post office
India has got the largest network of postal offices in the world, having more than 155015 post offices all throughout the country. On an average, a single post office serves a total population of about 7175 people. On August 2011, a floating post office was inaugurated in Dal Lake, Srinagar.
2. The gathering of Kumbh Mela visible from space
The 2011 Kumbh Mela bore witness to the largest gathering of men and women in the world, with more than 75 million pilgrims. This gathering was so great that it was visible even from space.
3. The wettest inhabited region in the world
Mawsynram is a village located on Khasi Hills of Meghalaya. It receives the highest average rainfall recorded in the world. Another part of Meghalaya, Cherrapunji holds the world record for having the maximum rainfall in a single calendar year back in 1861.
4. Bandra Worli Sealink is made with steel wires that are equal to earth’s circumference
It took 25700000 man hours to complete the construction of Bandra-Worli Sealink and its weighs about 50000 African elephants, which makes it a true architectural and engineering marvel.
5. The highest cricket ground in the world
The Chail Cricket Ground located in Chail, Himachal Pradesh is situated at the altitude of 2444 meters, which makes it highest in the world. Built in 1893, it forms a part of Chail Military School.
6. Shampoo was first developed in India
Shampoo was originally invented in India as a combination of herbs, much before the commercial liquids came into being. The word ‘shampoo’ is derived from Sanskrit champu, a word that means “to massage”.
7. The Indian national team of Kabaddi has won all the World Cups
India has been the champion of all the five men’s Kabaddi World Cups that have been held till now, thus remaining undefeated throughout all these tournaments. The women’s national Kabaddi team of India has also won each and every Kabaddi World Cup that has been held till date. The word Kabaddi has come from a Tamil word, Kai-pidi which means “holding hands”. check out Kabaddi Information.
8. It was India who discovered the presence of water on the moon
In September 2009, the ISRO Chandrayaan 1 of India used its Moon Mineralogy Mapper to detect the presence of water on the moon’s surface for the first time.
9. Switzerland Science day is dedicated to APJ Abdul Kalam, the Ex-Indian President
In 2006, the father of the missile program in India had visited Switzerland. Upon his arrival, the government of Switzerland respectfully declared 26th May as the Science Day.
10. The first President of India took only 50% of his overall salary
When Dr. Rajendra Prasad was chosen as first President of India, he took only 50% of his overall salary, saying that he did not need more than that. By the end of his tenure as the President, he took only 25% of his overall salary. The salary for the Indian President at that time was Rs 10,000.
11. The first Indian rocket was transported on a bicycle
The first rocket in India was so small and light that it was actually transported on a bicycle to Thumba Launching Station located in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
12. India has got a spa specially meant for elephants
At the Punnathoor Cotta Elephant Yard Rejuvenation Centre in Kerala, elephants receive massages, baths and even food.
13. India is the second largest English-speaking country in the world
India is 2nd only to the USA in terms of people speaking in the English language. Almost 125 million people in India speak in this language, which is just 10% of our total population. The figure is expected to increase in coming years by a significant margin. Even Internet users in India are 2nd largest in the world.
14. Largest vegetarian population in the world
Whether it is for religious reasons, environmental awareness or personal choices, nearly 20% to 40% of the Indian population is vegetarians, which makes India largest vegetarian-friendly country in this world.
15. The largest producer of milk in the world
In 2014, India overtook the European Union with the country’s milk production reaching more than 132.4m tones.
16. India is the first country in the world to consume sugar
The techniques of extracting and purifying sugar were first developed in India. Many visitors from other parts of the world learned the methods for refining and cultivating sugar from us.
17. The human calculator
Shakuntala Devi is widely regarded as the human calculator after she successfully calculated the multiplication of two 13 digit numbers, i.e. 7,686,369,774,870 × 2,465,099,745,779. Both these numbers were chosen at random. However, Shakuntala Devi only took about 28 seconds to answer correctly to the math problem.
18. Rabindranath Tagore wrote national anthem for Bangladesh
Apart from writing the national anthem of India, Jana Gana Mana, Rabindranath Tagore also wrote the national anthem for Bangladesh, Amar Sonar Bangla. He was offered the knighthood by the British government but he refused the honor after the incident of the Jalianwala Bagh massacre.
19. Dhyan Chand was offered German citizenship by Hitler
After defeating Germany with an awesome score of 8-1 in 1936 Berlin Olympics, wizard of hockey Major Dhyan Chand was summoned by German Chancellor Hitler who offered him German citizenship, a major post in German military as well as the opportunity to play for German national side. However, Dhyan Chand declined the offer with a polite smile.
20. Freddie Mercury and Ben Kingsley are both of Indian descent
The legendary singer Freddie Mercury of British rock band ‘Queen’ was originally born a Parsi. His real name was Farrokh Bulsara. Oscar-winning Hollywood actor Ben Kingsley was born as Krishna Pandit Bhanji.
21. Astronaut Rakesh Sharma commented “saare jahaan se achcha” when asked how India looked from space
When asked by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi about how India appeared from space, Rakesh Sharma, the first Indian astronaut in space replied by quoting a line from our patriotic hymn, “Saare Jahaan Se Achcha.”
22. Havell’s is an Indian brand that was named after the company’s first owner
Although the company and the brand were bought just for 10 lakh Rupees many years ago which has over the years turned into a multi-billion electrical goods company, it was originally an Indian company that was named after Haveli Ram Gupta, the company’s original owner.
23. Diamonds were first mined in India
Diamonds were initially found only in alluvial deposits of Guntur and the Krishna District of Krishna River Delta. Up until diamonds were discovered in Brazil during the 18th century, it was India that led diamond production in the world.
24. A special polling station has been set up for only a single voter in Gir Forest
Mahant Bharatdas Darshandas is an individual who has been voting during every election since 2004. Since then, a polling booth has been set up only for him because he is the one and only voter from Banej, Gir forest.
25. The game Snakes and Ladders has originated in India
Known earlier as Moksha Patamu, Snakes and Ladders was invented initially as moral lesson teaching about karma to young children. Later, the game was commercialised and it has now become a highly popular board game that is played in different parts of the world.
26. Indian Railways employs are more than many countries population
Indian Railways employs more than 1.3 million people. That’s more than the population of many nations.