India, the name of the country evokes so many images and feelings. You first think of Bollywood; the singing and dancing, the festivals, the crowd, the filth and poverty and many more stereotypical things. But it’s much more than that!
Here are 22 rare facts about India that you weren’t aware of!
1. Lets Dance!
Dancing is one of India’s most developed art forms. Known for the use of expressive gestures, dancing is important for religious use, and entertainment.
2. Not Just A Drink
Farmers in India have found success with using Pepsi and Coca-Cola as a pesticide. Coca-Cola and Pepsi both vehemently deny the effectiveness of using their products as pesticides, stating that there is absolutely nothing in their products that should kill pests. Still, farmers in India disagree, and they claim that cola has been equally effective as traditional pesticides, while cutting costs by 80%. The farmers also claim that the sugar content keeps soils rich. One explanation as to why this may work (theoretical and thus far unproven) is that the cola attracts ants that kill and deter other pests.
3. A Reason For A Season
India experiences six distinct seasons. They are Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, Summer Monsoon, and Winter Monsoon.
4. The Mighty Fig
India’s national tree is the fig, or banyan. This tree is a symbol of immortality and found in many mythical stories.
5. Sacred Mountains
India is home to the Himalaya mountains, which comes from the Sanskrit words “hima,” meaning “snow” and “alaya,” meaning “abode.” These sacred mountains are peppered with ancient monasteries.
6. The Coding Crowd
IT workers in India are sought after for their skills. In fact, Hotmail and the Pentium chip were both created by Indians. Tata Consultancy Services is an Indian IT consulting giant that competes globally with other IT consulting firms, such as Accenture.
7. Powerhouse of Production
India is a top producer of dried beans, bananas, tea and milk.
8. Tea Time Calls
India enjoys drinking tea, as it is the national beverage of choice. Chai tea is a special blend of tea developed in India, valued for its aromatic spices, and is enjoyed with sugar and milk.
9. Top Crops
The main food staples in India are wheat, rice, and lentils. Most meals are vegetarian, and most dishes are eaten without the use of cutlery.
10. Sacred Waters
India is home to the Ganges river, which is sacred to Hindus. The river is revered as the home of the goddess Ganga, and is believed to offer purification those who enter its waters.
11. The Silk Road Lives
Over 70% of the world’s spices come from India. Top spice exports include ginger, turmeric, coriander, cumin, pepper, cardamom, chilli, celery, fennel, fenugreek, ajwain, dill seed, garlic, tamarind, clove, and nutmeg among others.
12. Come Together
The Kumbh Mela festival, or Grand Pitcher festival is the largest gathering of human beings on the planet. It takes place every twelve years, and brings together over 100 million people!
13. A Place For People
Despite being 1/3 of the size of the United States, India boasts a population of 1,166,079,217 people, making it home to 17% of the world’s population.
14. The Rupee Stops Here
Foreigners are forbidden by law to take Indian currency out of the country. The rupee is the currency used for monetary transactions in Indian.
15. Air Problems
The air in Mumbai, India is of such poor quality that breathing in all that air pollution is equivalent to smoking 100 cigarettes in a day! And New Delhi, India is the most polluted city on the planet.
16. Say What
India boasts having more mobile phones than toilets. Over 53% of homes in India do not have a toilet. Some things in life cannot be replaced by an app.
17. The Power Of Peace
India has never invaded another country on the planet. However, India has been invaded by outsiders for centuries. The country most recently gained independence from British control peacefully, on August 15, 1947.
18. Pass A Plate
The Golden Temple in India serves over 100,000 people daily vegetarian meals, no matter their ethnicity, class, or creed.
19. Uncovering Buddha
In 1954, an 8th century Viking settlement in Sweden was unearthed by archaeologists. A fascinating discovery was made, as a Buddha statue from India was found.
20. No Police Needed
For over 400 years, the village of Shani Shingnapur, India had no crime. Residents didn’t need locks, or even doors until 2010. The villagers believe that criminals face a Sade Saati (a period of seven-and-a-half years of bad luck). In 2011, expensive gold ornaments kept in an unlocked cupboard disappeared from the house of a temple trustee. Following these crimes, other incidents of petty theft were reported, prompting requests for added security and policing.
21. A World Of Treasure
Indian housewives own more gold than the reserves of the IMF, United States, Germany, and Switzerland combined. The amount of gold owned by Indian ladies is 11% of the world’s gold. This is because Indians have historically (and still do) invested heavily in gold, which is constantly in demand in India and can easily be exchanged for currency.