“India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and most constructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India.” – Mark Twain
India is a large country and has rich cultural heritage. India is a beautiful country and the birthplace of several tribes, religions and cultures. Let us find out some of the most interesting facts about India.
1. Origin of the Name ‘India’: The origin of the name ‘India’ is derived from River Indus, which was worshiped by the Aryans and they referred the river as the Sindhu. It was later converted into ‘Hindu’ by the Persians.
2. Bharat: India is also called Bharat and even recognized as the official name by the Indian constitution. The term Bharat has been taken from Ancient Indian texts.
3. First Urban culture: The Indus Valley Civilization in India is more than 3000 years old and is considered to be the first Urban Culture in South Asia.
4. One of Oldest and continuously inhabited cities: There are just few cities in the world which are loved and respected for their continuous inhibition since ages! India is lucky to have one such city. It is Varanasi – the spiritual capital of India. Varanasi is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities of the world. It is located in Uttar Pradesh. Hindu pilgrims keep on visiting the beautiful city of Varanasi. It is strongly believed that those who bathe in the sacred water of Ganga River at the Varanasi Ghats gets their sins washed away. Varanasi is also known as Banaras. This beautiful city is almost around 3200 years old.
5. Religion: India is the birth place of major religions including Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism.
6. Independence Day: India got freedom on 15th August, 1947 and hence Independence Day is celebrated every year on this day.
7. Father of the Nation: Mahatma Gandhi is known as Father of Indian Nation.
8. Land area: India is the seventh largest country in the world with an area of 3287263 sq. km, which is actually 2.42% of the world’s area.
9. Population: India has the second largest population in the world with a total population of over 1.20 billion, which is actually 17.31% of the World’s Population. (27th September, 2013)
10. Secularism: India never makes partiality between any two religions and no one religion is considered supreme over the other.
11. Vegetarianism: It is a delightful fact that the largest numbers of vegetarians are found in India. In India, approximately, 29% of people are vegetarians. Most of the Vegetarian people do not eat non-vegetarian food because of their religious culture and norms. On the other hand, the health conscious Indians form the other group of people who love to eat only the vegetarian food.
12. Economy: India is third largest economy in the world in terms of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) and tenth largest economy in terms of notional GDP.
13. Taj Mahal: Taj Mahal, the white marble mausoleum at Agra, is considered among the wonders of the world.
14. Largest Postal Network: India has more than 155000 post offices which is the largest in the world, even larger than that of China and Russia. The interesting fact about the postal network in India is that when the concept of Pincode was under discussion, many people thought that Pincode concept will not be successful in India because of high illiteracy rate in the country. However, what actually happened is that Pincode concept became a super hit concept in India.
15. Second Largest Labour force: The labour force of more than 468 million workers ranks second in the world.
16. Army: India has the 3rd largest standing army in the world.
17. Billionaires: India had 122 billionaires in 2012 and is ranked 5th in the world in terms of number of Billionaires.
18. Oceans around India: India is surrounded by Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal on the south, southwest and southeast respectively.
19. Largest Democracy: India is the largest democratic country in the world, even larger than USA. Indian Constitution says that India is a “sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic”.
20. English Speakers: India has more than 121 million English-speaking people. It is the second largest English-speaking country in the world, next only to USA.
21. Federal Country: There are 29 states and 7 Union territories in India. India is a federal country and the powers are divided between the Central and State Governments of India. The States of India remain independent in the Internal Affairs.
22. Railway Network: The Indian Railway network is fourth largest in the world with a network length of 65000 kms.
23. Geography: India is a country in south East Asia. Its North-South extension and East-West extension is 3214 km and 2933 km respectively. Its latitudes are 8o4’ and 37o6’North and longitudes are 68o7’ and 97o25’ East.
24. River Ganga: The Sacred and holy river, Ganga, is longest in India and 34th in the World. River Ganga is worshiped by all the Hindus in India as the spirit of God. The water of River Ganga is traditionally used to wipe off all the bad deeds of the past.
25. Animal Cow: In India, Cow is considered as the sacred animal among the Hindus and worshiped as a Holy Spirit.
26. Milk Production: Another interesting fact about India is that it stands first in milk production. India produces 18.5 percent of total milk of the world. Moreover, this growth rate of India’s milk production is continuously rising. The ten highest milk producing states of India include – Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Haryana, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh.
27. Agricultural and food Products: Agricultural crops: India does not only stand first in milk production all over the world. Rather, India is also first in the production of many agricultural crops. India is the largest producer of mango, papaya, lemon, millet, pulses, jute, dry bean, chick peas, cumin, ginger and chili pepper, milk, in the world. Such large-scale production of agricultural crops indicates clearly why Indian economy is mainly based on agriculture!
Apart from the facts given above, India has got numerous other interesting facts too. This is the country where people of different religion live with peace and harmony. India is also home to thousands of dialects. India also ranks 10th in the world in plant diversity.