The word "India" invokes Taj Mahal, elephant & camel rides, spicy food and exotic clothing. Upon reaching India, one gets culture shock about the crowd, pollution, noise, filth, poverty and diversity. People are so different still so similar!

Less known facts about India may take you by surprise and also help you understand the country and culture better. Listed here are some wow facts -

  • Indus Valley Civilization, one of the most ancient civilization of the world grew around the river Indus(Sindhu) in India.
  • Indian language Sanskrit is the mother of all European languages.
  • Not only zero but Arabic numerals, calculus, algebra, and trigonometry developed in India.
  • Art of navigation developed in India 6000 years back. The word navigation came from Sanskrit word "navgatin".
  • World's first university was set up in Taxila India in 700 BC.
  • Chess is not the only game developed in India. Snakes and Ladder(original name "Mokshpat")  was developed by Gyandev in 13th century in India. Polo was developed in Manipur, India.
  • India gave world four main religions, namely; Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism.
  • India is world's largest democracy but in thousands of years has not invaded another country.

Some other fun statistic about India is worth a look -

  • It is the largest producer of films and beans.
  • Wettest place on Earth is Cherrapunji India, getting 425 inches of rain/year.
  • Mahabharata is world's longest poem.
  • Oldest book in the world is Rig Veda from India.
  • Before 1896, India was the only source of diamonds for the world.
  • India is 1/3 the size of USA, but has almost 4 times the population.
  • Shakuntla Devi, "the human computer" could multiply two 13 digit numbers in 28 seconds.
  • Bathing in the sacred river Ganges is believed to wash off ones sins.
  • Cows are sacred as they provide so many essentials to sustain life.
  • Namaste is the greeting used to say hello and good bye both.
  • Ethnic diversity can be seen not only in  languages, food, dresses but also in music and dance. There are six main classical and numerous folk styles of dances.
  • First Indian prime minister Jawahar Lal Nehru was featured in Vogue magazine and was a trend setter for "Nehru style coat" still popular all over world.