Facts About India

Facts about India
  • Films arrived in India less than a year after the Lumieres first exhibited their cinematographie in Paris. On July 7, 1896, an agent who had brought equipment and films from France first showed his moving pictures in Bombay. That was an important day in the social and cultural history of the Indian people.
  • The first Indian-made feature film (3700 feet long) was released in 1913. It was made by Dadasaheb Phalke and was called Raja Harishchandra. Based on a story from the Mahabharata it was a stirring film concerned with honour, sacrifice and mighty deeds. From then on many "mythologicals" were made and took India by storm. Phalke's company alone produced about a hundred films.
  • The art of Navigation was born in the river Sindh 6000 years ago. The very word Navigation is derived from the Sanskrit word 'NAVGATIH'. The word navy is also derived from Sanskrit 'Nou'.
  • The dowry system was originally created in the days when Hindu women had no right to inheritance by law. This was the only way parents could insure that her daughter would have some property of her own. Even her husband had no claim on this property. Arranged marriages was the practice where elders of the family made marriage decisions for their children at a time when children were married at a very young age. Today, families merely introduce youngsters and no demands are made of them. The word arranged has become a misnomer.
  • The red dot(BINDI) used to be worn on the forehead of married women as a sign of matrimony (similar to wedding bands here). Nowadays, Bindis are very advanced.
  • India is a country with probably the largest and most diverse mixture of races. All the five major racial types - Australoid, Mongoloid, Europoid, Caucasian and Negroid - find representation among the people of India, who are mainly a mixed race.
  • On January 26, 1950 India adopted its Constitution which declared India as a sovereign, socialist, secular republic. India follows a two-tiered parliamentary system. The Parliament consists of the President of India and the two houses: Lok Sabha (House of the People) comprised of elected representatives from the states and Rajya Sabha (Council of the States) comprised of appointed representatives.
  • Mohandas Karamchand) Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869 in Porbandar, India. He became one of the most respected spiritual and political leaders of the 1900's. Gandhi helped free the Indian people from British rule through nonviolent resistance, and is honored by his people as the father of the Indian Nation. The Indian people called Gandhi Mahatma, meaning Great Soul.
  • India's mastery of the science of pure mathematics goes back to ancient times. It is generally acknowledged that the concept of zero, crucial to the development of the science, is India's contribution to the world, which was given to Europe through the Arabs. In the Ganita Sara Samgraha, 850 A.D., Mahaviracharya, the greatest Jain mathematician mentions the significance of zero. In the fifth century BC Brahmagupta became the first mathematician to solve the Pellian equation. A century later, Aryabhatta arrived at the most accurate value of the mathematical constant, Pi, in the Gitikapada. The Bakhsali manuscript, written in the third or fourth century BC, on 72 leaves of birch bark, is an exclusively mathematical text that presents rules, illustrated instances and solutions to geometric, algebraic and arithmetical problems. In the Kalpasutras, penned in 290 BC, Bhadrabahu solved the Pythagorean theorem. The mathematical genius of the Jains was so developed that their highest numeral was a forerunner of the Alef zero of modern-day mathematics.
  • Bhaskaracharya calculated the time taken by the earth to orbit the sun hundreds of years before the astronomer Smart. Time taken by earth to orbit the sun: (5th century) 365.258756484 days.
  • The value of "pi" was first calculated by Budhayana, and he explained the concept of what is known as the Pythagorean Theorem. He discovered this in the 6th century long before the European mathematicians.
  • India invented the Number System. Zero was invented by Aryabhatta
  • The place value system, the decimal system was developed in India in100 BC.
  • Chess (Shataranja or AshtaPada) was invented in India.
  • The world's highest cricket ground is in Chail, Himachal Pradesh. Built in 1893 after leveling a hilltop, this cricket pitch is 2444 meters above sea level.
  • The game of Snakes & Ladders was created by the 13th century poet saint Gyandev. It was originally called 'Mokshapat'. The ladders in the game represented virtues and the snakes indicated vices. The game was played with cowrie shells and dices. In time, the game underwent several modifications, but its meaning remained the same, i.e. good deeds take people to heaven and evil to a cycle of re-births.
  • India has the largest number of Post Offices in the world.
  • The World's First Granite Temple is the Brihadeswara Temple at Tanjavur, Tamil Nadu. The shikhara of the temple is made from a single 80-tonne piece of granite. This magnificent temple was built in just five years, (between 1004 AD and 1009 AD) during the reign of Rajaraja Chola.
  • Baily Bridge is the highest bridge in the world. It is located in the Ladakh valley between the Dras and Suru rivers in the Himalayan mountains. It was built by the Indian Army in August 1982.
  • The four religions born in India - Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism, are followed by 25% of the world's population.
  • Jainism and Buddhism were founded in India in 600 B.C. and 500 B.C. respectively.
  • Islam is India's and the world's second largest religion.
  • Martial Arts were first created in India, and later spread to Asia by Buddhist missionaries.
  • The Persian invaders converted it into Hindu. The name 'Hindustan' combines Sindhu and Hindu and thus refers to the land of the Hindus.
  • India exports software to 90 countries.
  • Usage of anaesthesia was well known in ancient Indian medicine. Detailed knowledge of anatomy, embryology, digestion, metabolism,physiology, etiology, genetics and immunity is also found in many ancient Indian texts.
  • Sushruta is regarded as the Father of Surgery. Over2600 years ago Sushrata & his team conducted complicated surgeries like cataract, artificial limbs, cesareans, fractures, urinary stones, plastic surgery and brain surgeries.

Links to more facts and figures:

India Facts and Figures from Encarta
CIA, The World Fact Book, INDIA

We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made.
- Albert Einstein

If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered on the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions, I should point to India.
- Max Mueller

Civilizations have arisen in other parts of the world. In ancient and modern times, wonderful ideas have been carried forward from one race to another...But mark you, my friends, it has been always with the blast of war trumpets and the march of embattled cohorts. Each idea had to be soaked in a deluge of blood..... Each word of power had to be followed by the groans of millions, by the wails of orphans, by the tears of widows. This, many other nations have taught; but India for thousands of years peacefully existed. Here activity prevailed when even Greece did not exist... Even earlier, when history has no record, and tradition dares not peer into the gloom of that intense past, even from until now, ideas after ideas have marched out from her, but every word has been spoken with a blessing behind it and peace before it. We, of all nations of the world, have never been a conquering race, and that blessing is on our head, and therefore we live....!
- Swami Vivekananda