KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Before you go to India, you might want to know some important things that will help you understand this amazing country and its culture. So here is some very interesting information I have learnt since travelling to India that I wish to share with you.
General Details About India
- India is the oldest continuous civilization in the world.
2. It is the biggest democracy in the world, also.
3. India has 29 states.
4. The average life expectancy in India is only 69 years.
5. 50% of the population is under 25 years old, making India the most youthful country in the world.
6. More than 70% of Indians live in small towns or villages.
7. The wettest place on earth, i.e. with the most rainfall, is Mawsynram Village in Northeast India.
8. The economy in India is one of the fastest growing in the world.
9. Many religions have originated in India – Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. All of these are based on a philosophy of non-violence.
10. The CASTE system still exists in Indian society, even though the government has tried to abolish it.
11. Food is eaten with the right hand, never with the left. Eating with hands is common. This allows you to feel the food, making it a sensual experience. Also, to feel the temperature of the food. In some regions, spoon and fork are used, but no knives, as food is usually cut up in small pieces when cooked.
12. Arranged marriages are still predominant in Indian society today.
13. The giving of a dowry to a bridegroom’s family is no longer legal, but the practice still continues.
Languages of India
14. India has no national language, but there are 22 official regional languages spoken.
15. The most widely spoken language is Hindi.
16. India is the second biggest English speaking country in the world. This makes travel a little easier here for many of us.
UNESCO Sites In India
18. India apparently has the most mosques in the world, 300,000, with the second largest population of Muslims.
19. The most visited place in the world is the Golden Temple of Amritsar, in Punjab. Over 100,000 people go to worship everyday. And to eat. Yes, that’s right, everyday people at the temple are fed a plate of vegetarian food of dhal curry and roti.
20. India now has the tallest statue in the world in Gujarat since 2018. It is a bronze figure of Sardar Patel, who was instrumental in unifying India. At almost 600 feet tall, it’s called ‘The Iron Man of India’. He was a supporter of Gandhi and the independence movement.
Foods of India
21. India produces more milk than any other country.
22. Beef is not common, as cows are sacred in many parts of India under Hinduism and other religions. Many roam around freely, even on the roads. It is illegal to slaughter cows in most parts of India. However, in a few states there is no such law, as in the southern state of Kerala, where beef consumption is common. Cows are a very controversial topic in India.
23. India has the most vegetarians in the world.
24. India is the biggest producer of spices in the world by far, and always has been.
25. Tea is the most popular drink.
26. Sugar was first cultivated and used in India.
Inventions from India
27. Chess was invented in India.
28. The game of Snakes and Ladders was also from India.
29. Many aspects of maths were invented in India – the decimal system, algebra, calculus, trigonometry and the number Pi.
30. Yoga began in India, about 5,000 years ago.
Sport in India
31. India invented the sport of Kabaddi, played originally in the Tamil region of South India.
32. Polo was also invented in India, from Manipur and was known as ‘pulu’.
33. Cricket is the most popular sport in India which came from British rule.
34. India has the second largest road network in the world. Driving is on the left hand side of the road. But I wouldn’t recommend it in the big cities.
35. India has the largest rail network in Asia – Indian Railways.
36. The world’s highest rail bridge is being built in the Himalayas in India, over the river Chenab, to be finished by 2020. It will be 359 metres high.
37. India has the only train hospital in the world, taking medical treatment to people in rural areas, where they even perform surgery. It is called the Jeevan Rekha Express.
Wildlife in India
38. If you are a wildlife enthusiast, this is the place. There are a staggering 543 wildlife sanctuaries in India! These aim to protect the many species of animals which are endangered in India, such as the Bengal Tiger, Himalayan Brown Bear, Gharial Crocodile, and Indian Vultures. Visiting a sanctuary is the best chance of spotting wildlife in their natural habitat.
39. The Asiatic Lion, also endangered, only exists in India.
Other Interesting Information About India
40. India’s film industry, Bollywood (the Hindi language film industry), produces more films than any other.
41. India has never invaded another country.
42. India was the first country in the world to mine diamonds. From around 700 BCE until the 1700’s, India was the only source of diamonds in the world. One of the most famous diamonds in the world is the Koh-i-Noor originally from India, now part of the Crown Jewels in London.
A truly fascinating country that I hope you will consider visiting, if you haven’t already.
Please leave me a comment below.