Everybody knows about the discovery of Zero and the value of Pi and other such accomplishments from our mother land India. If you think about it, India has existed from the beginning of human civilization in one form or another. So many races and religions conquered India and were absorbed in the nation and in a way were won over by India. Today we are the largest democracy in the world, the 7th largest country, the largest population of English speaking people and one of the most ancient civilizations in the world. But here are 7 facts about India that you might not have known.
7. Highest Number of Post Offices
We know that Indian Railways is the largest employer in the world but did you know that we also have the highest number of post offices which makes our postal service the largest postal service in the world! We have a total of 154,919 post offices (as of 2001) as compared to just 57,135 of China which is in second place.
6. Carrier Pigeons
Considering we have the largest postal service in the world, it’s a little strange that we still use carrier pigeons to deliver mail in some parts of India. The Cuttack Police has about 1000 pigeons that are used to deliver messages quickly to desolate areas in the hills. The messages are put in little containers tied to the pigeons’ feet. They deliver the message and return the same day with the reply.
Did you know that diamonds were first mined only in India. From ancient times, diamonds were considered precious gem stones and used in worship rituals and for jewelry. Diamonds were discovered in the Krishna River delta in the 9th century BC. From then on, till the 18th century, India led the diamond trade of the world till it’s stores were exhausted and Brazil took over in 1725.
4. World’s First Granite Temple
The Brihadeeshwarar Temple in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu is the world’s first granite temple. It is India’s largest temple and today is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is 1003 years old and celebrated it’s 1000th birthday in 2010. It is built by using granite which was mined at Tiruchirappalii. It has been in operation since then to this date with thousands of people coming to visit it everyday. It also has a big statue of Nandi carved out of a single rock which is very famous. It is 16 feet long and 13 feet high.
3. The Art of Navigation
The art of navigation also began from India during the Indus valley civilization when people learned to navigate the Sindhu River. The word navigation comes from Sanskrit ‘Navagatiha’ and even Navy has it’s root in Sanskrit ‘Nau’. In fact Sanskrit is considered to be the mother of all European languages and there is a lot of similarity in many European languages such as German and Sanskrit.
If you think plastic surgery is a modern invention of the Americans who never want to get old then you’d be wrong. Just like chess, snakes and ladders, algebra, trigonometry and calculus, surgery and medicine were two fields in which India had made a lot of progress. Sushruta is said to have been the inventor of surgery and he did many operations including cataract, amputation and artificial limbs, treating fractures, Cesarean births, urinary stones, plastic surgery and even brain surgery. Ayurveda was way ahead of any other medicinal science of that time and still cures diseases that modern medicine can’t. Yoga itself is a holistic and all inclusive approach to ultimate health and fitness.
1. One of the Oldest Cities in the World
Varanasi is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities of the world. It has been in habited since 1200 BC. That makes it at least 3214 years old. It is definitely the oldest city in India and rightly so is considered one of the holiest sites in India. Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism all three grew and flourished in this city which has been called by many names such as Banaras, Kashi and has been said to have founded by God Shiva himself.