“India was the motherland of our race and Sanskrit the mother of Europe’s languages. India was the mother of our philosophy, of much of our mathematics, of the ideals embodied in Christianity… of self-government and democracy. In many ways, Mother India is the mother of us all.” – Will Durant
The words of the Will Durant will ring true to you, just like it rings true to the millions of Indians. The world’s largest democracy is not just a country or a nation; it is a subcontinent of languages, nationalities, and religions. Here are 15 remarkable facts about Incredible India:
1. Floating Post Office
Largest post office network in the world with more than 1, 55, 015 post offices, India has one of its kind ‘Floating Post Office’. Inaugurated in August 2011 at Dal Lake, Srinagar, it acts as a post office and a philately museum.
2. Bandra-Worli Sea Link
The incredible Bandra-Worli Sea Link took a total of 2,57,00,000 hours to complete and weighs as much as 50, 000 African Elephants. It is considered an architectural marvel and an engineering feat.
3. Shampooing: An Indian Concept
The word ‘Shampoo’ is derived from Sanskrit word ‘champu’ which means to massage. Shampooing is an Indian concept which was first done using herbs, not the commercial liquid.
4. Water on Moon was discovered by ISRO
September 2009, resulted in India’s ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) discovering water on the moon. The water was mapped by Chandrayaan-1 with its Moon Mineralogy Mapper.
5. Science Day for Ex-Prez APJ Abdul Kalam in Switzerland
Ex-Prez and Missile Man of India visited Switzerland back in 2006. Since then, Switzerland celebrates May 26th as Science Day in honour of him visiting the country.
6. First Rocket was transported on Cycle and First satellite on Bullock cart
First rocket, which was created in India, was so light and small that it was transported on a bicycle to the Thumba Launching Station in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. Similarly, ISRO’s first satellite Apple was transported in bullock cart for its antenna pattern test as wood is an insulator.
7. World’s Second Largest English Speaking Country
Second, only to the USA, India has around 125 million people speaking the language. What’s amazing is that it is only 10% of the total population. The number is expected to grow by a big margin in upcoming years.
8. First Country to Consume Sugar
The first country to consume the sugar, India was also the first country to create extraction and purifying techniques for sugar production. People across the globe learned the technique of refining and cultivation from India.
9. India has world’s biggest family
Holding world record as the head of the “world’s largest existing family” Ziona from Mizoram has 39 wives, 94 children, 33 grandchildren and 14 daughters-in-law, who all live together in the same house. The family is self-reliant as they grow crops according to their food requirements. Ziona has also established a school for his children.
10. Meteor Lake
One of its kinds in the country, Lonar Lake in Maharashtra is a saltwater lake that was created by a meteor falling on the Earth.
11. Magnetic Hill of Leh
Located near Leh in Ladakh, India, magnetic hill is a gravity hill that has magnetic properties strong enough to pull the cars uphill and make the passing planes to increase their altitude to escape the magnetic force.
12. Chail: World’s Highest Cricket Pitch
Chail in Himachal Pradesh has the world’s highest cricket pitch. It was built in 1893 and is located at an elevation of 2444 meters (above the sea level).
13. Biggest consumer and producer of mangoes
Ranking Numero Uno in the production of mangoes, India, in 2013, has been accounted for 42% (18 millions of tonnes) of world’s mango production followed by China with 4.45 millions of tonnes. India has also turned out to be world’s largest consumer of the mangoes.
14. Hindi is not a national language
While the whole world might think that Hindi is the national language of India, it is not at all true. India is home to 23 languages. Hindi and English act as official languages of the country. Each state has Hindi, English plus the regional language as its official language.
15. A Spa Just for the Elephants!
The elephants of Guruvayurappan Temple, Kerala are pampered to spa therapy in July every year at the Punnathoor Cotta Elephant Yard. The exceptional treatments involve relaxing massages, sumptuous scrub baths, carefully selected diet and herbal tonics that rejuvenate and revitalize the elephants.