Last updated on October 28th, 2020
India, officially the Republic of India, is the 2nd most populous country in the world, after China. India has a total area of 3,287,263 sq km. It is a country in South Asia and has 28 states. The country’s capital state is New Delhi. India has eight union territories. Its official language is Hindi. It does not have any national language. The nationals or citizens of India are called Indians. The Indian currency is known as the Indian Rupee (INR). It has six land bordering countries that are Pakistan, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. It shares maritime border with Sri Lanka, Thailand, Maldives and Indonesia. With these 89 facts about India, let us learn about its history, geography, culture, flag, famous people, agriculture, notable inventions, and much more.
What’s in name
1. The name ‘India’ is derived from the river Indus. It is a valley around which people settled in earlier times.
2. India is the world’s oldest, largest and continuous civilization – the Indus Valley civilization.
3. India is also one of the largest democracies in the world.
World’s largest postal system
4. India has the largest postal system in the world with more than 150,000 post offices, which is thrice the size of that of China. India has the world’s only floating post office on Dal Lake, Sri Nagar. The office provides all regular postal services.
5. Sonam Wangchuk, an engineer and innovator born in Ladakh, India, designed the SECMOL campus that runs on solar energy. The campus also provides clean energy for heating, lighting and cooking. The building is designed in such a way that even when the minimum outside temperature falls to minus 25 degrees Celsius, the normal evening temperature inside this campus in the coldest part of the winter stays around plus 14 degrees Celsius. The building has south facing windows to collect heat during winter and insulation is also used in the roof, outer walls and some places under the floor. The building is made from earth. So they dig and use the same material and mix some sand and clay to get the desired strength for the building’s constitution. The construction of the building is such that no electric lights are needed during the day.
World’s most active mosques
6. India has more than 300,000 active mosques. This outnumbers any other country in the world, even the Muslim countries.
7. The second largest pool of engineers and scientists is from India.
English speakers are in plenty!
8. India is the second largest English speaking country in the world – 125,226,449 numbers of English speakers.
World’s largest Hindu population
9. India has the world’s largest Hindu population. Nearly 81% of its population identifies itself as Hindu. India is one of the three countries (other are Nepal and Mauritius) in the world where Hinduism is the majority.
An 80 year old sharp shooter!
10. Did you know that a sharp shooter from India who is more than 80 years old; and who started her shooting career in her late sixties is the oldest (woman) sharp shooter in the world? Chandro Tomar known as “Shooter Dadi” was born in Shamli, Uttar Pradesh, India. To date she has won more than 25 national championships and counting. She has won gold at the Veteran Shooting Championship held in Chennai. Her top honour is a national bronze. Interestingly, she began shooting by chance when she took her granddaughter to a nearby rifle club. Apart from her shooting skills, she also looks after her big family and does regular household chores. She also maintains a Twitter account.
An Ocean named after India
11. India is the only country to have an entire ocean named after it, i.e. Indian Ocean. Commonly, there are a total of five oceans in the world, namely; Atlantic Ocean, Arctic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean and Southern Ocean.
12. India has the fastest growing telecom market and cheapest telecom tariff in the world.
The largest planned city in the world
13. Navi Mumbai, a planned satellite township of Mumbai, is the largest planned city in the world. Its development was started in 1972 to de-congest Mumbai.
14. London has more Indian restaurants than Mumbai or Delhi.
The oldest marathon runner in the world
15. If you are amazed after reading about the Shooter Dadi, here is another fascinating person for you to learn about: Fauja Singh – the oldest marathon runner in the world. He was born on 1st April, 1908 in Beas Pind, Punjab, British India. To inspire you further, it is important to mention here that Fauja Singh was not able to walk until he was five years old. He took up running at the age of 89 and when he first showed up for the marathon running training, he was in three-piece suit. He was featured alongside Mohammad Ali and David Beckham in an advertising campaign in 2004 by Adidas. He competed in his last marathon race in Hong Kong in 2013 clocking 1 hour 32 minutes and 28 seconds until he reached the finish line.
16. Bollywood is the largest movie industry in terms of output, followed by Nollywood – the movie industry of Nigeria.
17. India is also the country in which the highest number of votes were cast for a national general election. In 2009, the country saw its 417 million people cast their votes in five phases to elect the 543 members of the 15th Lok Sabha.
India on the map
485 children dressed as Mahatma Gandhi
18. A world record was set when 485 children dressed as Mahatma Gandhi gathered and walked in Kolkata. The walk was a demonstration to attain peace in the country and the world.
19. Jyoti Kisange Amge is the world’s shortest living woman. She was born on 16 December 1993. She is 62.8 centimeters tall (2 ft 0.6 in.)
Human with most teeth in the world
20. With 37 teeth in his mouth, Vijay Kumar V.A. from India has the most teeth in the world.
21. Benny Prasad, born 1975, is the fastest man to travel all the 195 countries in the world. He is a gospel musician and instrumental guitarist from India.
22. A crazy story of an Indian dad and his son would again make you wander about the creative abilities of the human mind. We all have seen water tanks but not like the ones that were built by Mr Lubhaya in the town of Jalandhar, Punjab, India. In the early nineties, Mr Lubhaya Kaul built a water tank in the shape of a football. He built the tank in two parts and later assembled them for one unit. Once the water tank made its impression on the public’s mind, Mr Kaul started getting orders for building statues on the rooftops of the local residents as well. He started pursuing his passion and was later joined by his son Balwinder Kaul. To date, the father-son duo has crafted more than 3,000 water tanks in various shapes and sizes including those resembling airplanes, tractors, eagles, trucks, navy ships etc.
23. India’s space program is among the top five space programs in the world despite having budget constraints.
24. India is the 7th largest country in the world and the largest democracy.
25. India has one of the world’s highest rates of abortion.
The world’s largest school
26. The City Montessori School, in Lucknow, is the world’s largest school in terms of students with over 45,000 inductees.
28. World’s largest religious building, Angkor Wat is a Hindu Temple in Cambodia dedicated to lord Vishnu. It was built by the Khmer King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century.
29. According to a report published by CNN is 2013, India’s “Go Air” a budget airline, plans to hire predominantly female flight attendants. They made this decision based on the fact that an average female flight attendant is lighter than their male counterparts by 15-20 kilos. Thus, this weight saving will ultimately lead to saving fuel amounting to a total saving of $500,000 per year. Smart move, we must say!
India was so good at Hockey that the British withdrew
30. In 1928, India was so good at Hockey that the British withdrew from the Amsterdam Olympics to avoid a possible embarrassing defeat by its own colony. What the British feared happened! The Indian team won the Olympics Hockey final beating Holland 3-0. And the team repeated their triumph in the Olympics in 1932 as well.
A list of first in India
|First post office of India||Established by British East India company in Bombay in 1764|
|First postage stamps of India||The Scinde Dawk of 1852, the first postage stamp of India is a round red sealing wafer.|
|First train that ran in India||Between Bombay (Bori Bunder) and Thane on 16 April 1853.|
|First Census in India||Starting in 1872 under British Viceroy Lord Mayo, the first complete census was taken in 1881.|
|First Telephone service in India||On 28th January 1882, the first formal telephone service was established (between Calcutta (Kolkata), Bombay (Mumbai), Madras (Chennai))|
|First Cinema of India||Raja Harishchandra (1913), a silent film in Marathi, by Dadasaheb Phalke.|
|India’s First Satellite||ISRO built India's first satellite, Aryabhata, which was launched by the Soviet Union on 19 April 1975.|
|First Satellite to be launched by India||Rohini was placed in orbit by an Indian-made launch vehicle, SLV-3 in 1980.|
|First Indian in Space||Mr. Rakesh Sharma|
|First Indian woman in space||Kalpana Chawla was an American astronaut, engineer, and the first woman of Indian origin to go to space.|
|First President of India||Dr. Rajendra Prasad|
|First Muslim President of India||Mr. Zakir Hussain|
|First Prime Minister of India||Mr. Jawahar Lal Nehru|
|First woman Prime Minister||Mrs. Indira Gandhi|
|First Speaker of the Lok Sabha||Ganesh Vasudev Mavalankar (27 November 1888 – 27 February 1956) popularly known as Dadasaheb|
|First Indian to receive Bharat Ratna award||C. Rajagopalachari, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and C. V. Raman.|
|First Indian to win Nobel Prize||Mr. Ravindra Nath Tagore, 1913|
|First Indian to win an Academy Award||Bhanu Athaiya in 1983, for designing the costumes for Richard Attenborough's Gandhi.|
|First Indian lady to become Miss World||Reita Faria Powell, 1966|
|First Indian lady to become Miss Universe||Sushmita Sen, 1994|
|First Indian to cross English Channel||Mihir Sen was the first Indian to swim the English Channel from Dover to Calais in 1958, and did so in the fourth fastest time (14 hrs & 45 mins).|
|First Indian Mount Everest Climber||Tenzing Norgay|
|First Indian Cricketer||Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji Jadeja, often known as Ranji|
|India's first participation at the Olympic Games||In 1900, with a lone athlete (Norman Pritchard) winning two medals- both silver- in athletics.|
31. India leads the world with the largest number of films.
4700 daily newspaper
32. Over 4700 daily newspapers in more than 300 languages are produced in India.
33. Did you know that the world’s lightest satellite was not built by a renowned space agency like the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) or The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) but by a bunch of Indian science enthusiasts from Chennai, Tamil Nadu? The satellite that weighed only 64 grams is the world’s smallest and lightest satellite till date and was launched into space with the help of a NASA rocket. The satellite did get into space but did not get into orbit.
34. Another satellite made by the same group of space enthusiasts that weighed only 1.26 kg, the Kalamset-V2, was launched by the Indian Space and Research Organization from its Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. According to the ISRO chief K. Sivan, “Kalamset-V2 was the lightest satellite to be ever built and launched into orbit.”
35. The largest wholesale spice market of Asia is in India – Khari Baoli, New Delhi.
36. India’s road network is the world’s second largest with 4,865,000 km of roads constructed. (2014)
The snake man
37. Vava Suresh, popularly known as “The Snake Man” of Kerala, is a wildlife conservationist from India. His mission is about saving snakes that stray into human inhabited areas. He has rescued/captured more than 52,000 snakes. He was born in 1974 in Trivandrum, Kerala. It is believed that he has been bitten more than 3,000 times including 300 times by some venomous snake. On some of the occasions when he was bitten by venomous snakes, he was kept in ICU and on ventilator.
The world’s biggest family
38. India is house to the world’s biggest family: 39 wives, 94 children, and 33 grandchildren. The family lives in a 100-room, four-story house set amidst the hills of Baktwang village in the Indian state of Mizoram.
Facts about Indians and their inventions
39. Mahatma Gandhi is known as The Father of the Nation. His full name was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. He died in 1948 and was responsible for the freedom of India along with other freedom fighters.
40. In 1948, the Nobel Peace Prize was not awarded. It would have been awarded to Mahatma Gandhi, however, due to his assassination; it was left unassigned in his honor. The Nobel Committee declined to award a prize on the ground that “there was no suitable living candidate” that year. Interestingly, Mahatma Gandhi was nominated in 1937, 1938, 1939, 1947 and, finally, a few days before he was murdered in January 1948.
41. ‘Zero’ in the number system was invented by a mathematician from India. His name was Aryabhatta.
42. The Human Calculator, Shakuntala Devi is a math prodigy from India. She could calculate 7,686,369,774,870 × 2,465,099,745,779 and provided the correct answer in mere 28 seconds.
43. Chess was invented in India.
44. Apart from the U.S. and Japan, only India has built a super computer indigenously.
45. Yoga originated from India and is still in existence for over 5000 years.
46. Calculus, Trigonometry, and Algebra originated in India.
Flag of India
The National Flag of India is a horizontal tricolour with deep saffron at the top, white in the middle and dark green at the bottom in equal proportion. The saffron indicates the strength and courage of the country; the white indicates peace and truth; and the green shows the fertility, growth, and auspiciousness of the land. The flag has the Ashoka Chakra, a 24-spoke wheel, in navy blue at its center. The flag was designed by Pingali Venkayya. It was adopted on 22 July 1947.
47. The decimal system and place value system were developed in India around 100 B.C.
48. Snakes and ladders – the game, was invented in India in the 13th century by a poet saint Gyandev. The ladders represent the virtues while the snakes indicate vices. The game was designed on the basis of the concept that good deeds take you to heaven while bad deeds take you to hell.
49. 90 countries from all over the world buy software from India.
The first-ever university in the world
50. Takshila, the first-ever university in the world started around 700 BC in India.
51. India is the place of origin of Buddhism and Jainism.
52. In August of 1982, ‘the highest bridge in the world’ – the Baily Bridge, was built by Indian Army.
54. More than $6 million is donated in the Vishnu temple in the city of Tirupathi. It was built in the 10th century.
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