India is one of the most incredible and, to us, most strange countries in the world. There are so many cultural and traditional practices that are complete oddities to western countries, that there are no end to the intrigue.
With that in mind, we set out to find some of the most interesting facts about India, that will get your curiosity up even more! We do know one thing for sure, that every traveler and explorer should try and make at least one visit of their own, to this amazing country.
73 Interesting Facts about India
1. India has the world’s largest, oldest, continuous civilization.
2. The name ‘India’ is derived from the River Indus, the valleys around which were the home of the early settlers.
3. India invented the number system. Zero was invented by Aryabhatta.
4. Only 2% of people in India define themselves as atheists.
5. India has the largest number of Post Offices in the world. However, it is not unusual for a letter to take two weeks to travel just 30 miles.
6. The Baily Bridge is the highest bridge in the world. It is located in the Ladakh valley between the Dras and Suru rivers in the Himalayan Mountains.
7. The Vishnu Temple in the city of Tirupathi built in the 10th century, is the world’s largest religious pilgrimage destination. Larger than either Rome or Mecca, an average of 30,000 visitors donate $6 million (US) to the temple everyday.
8. The Taj Mahal (“crown palace”) was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (1592-1666) for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal (1593-1631).
9. There 2.5 million of Zero Rupee bank notes in India. They are “paid” in protestby angry citizens to government functionaries who solicit bribes.
10. The total distance covered by the 14,300 trains on the Indian Railways everyday, equals three & half times the distance to moon
11. Islam is India’s second largest religion.
12. India is the largest democracy in the world.
13. The Kumbh Mela (or Grand Pitcher Festival) is a huge Hindu religious festival that takes place in India every 12 years. In 2001, 60 million people attended, breaking the record for the world’s biggest gathering.
14. Many Indians find toilet paper repelling and consider it cleaner to splash water with the left hand in the appropriate direction. Consequently, the left hand is considered unclean and is never used for eating.
15. To avoid polluting the elements (fire, earth, water, air), followers of Zoroastrianism in India don’t bury their dead, but instead leave bodies in buildings called “Towers of Silence” for the vultures to pick clean. After the bones dry, they are swept into a central well.
16. It is illegal to take Indian currency (rupees) out of India.
17. India leads the world with the most murders (32,719), with Russia taking second at 28,904 murders per year.
18. India has more population than the entire Western Hemisphere of Earth.
19. Dancing is one of India’s most highly developed arts and was an integral part of worship in the inner shrines of every temple. It is notable for its expressive hand movements.
20. Only about 1 in 100 marriages in India end in divorce, one of the lowest rates in the world.
21. 74% of young Indians prefer an arranged marriage over a free-choice one, a 2013 survey found.
22. Many Indian wives will never say their husband’s name aloud, as it is a sign of disrespect. When addressing him, the wife will use several indirect references, such as “ji” or “look here” or “hello,” or even refer to him as the father of her child.
23. A widow is considered bad luck—otherwise, her husband wouldn’t have died. Elderly women in the village might call a widow “the one who ate her husband.” In some orthodox families, widows are not allowed near newlyweds or welcomed at social gatherings.
24. The Himalayas—from the Sanskrit hima, meaning “snow,” and alaya, meaning “abode”
25. In India, grasping one’s ears signifies repentance or sincerity.
26. The people of North Sentinel Island, India, are among the last people to remain virtually untouched by modern civilization.
27. The Bengal tiger is India’s national animal. It was once ubiquitous throughout the country, but now there are fewer than 4,000 wild tigers left.
28. India has the world’s largest movie industry, based in the city of Mumbai (known as the “City of Dreams”). The B in “Bollywood” comes from Bombay, the former name for Mumbai. Almost all Bollywood movies are musicals.
29. The lotus is sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists. The Bahá’í house of worship in Delhi, known as the “Lotus Temple,” is shaped like a lotus flower with 27 gigantic “petals” that are covered in marble.
30. There’s a village in India that produces most bouncers and bodyguards of New Delhi’s nightclubs.
31. There’s an experimental township in India founded in 1968 and called Auroville, where citizens are from all over the world and there’s no money or religion.
32. The banyan, or Indian fig tree, is considered a symbol of immortality and is mentioned in many Indian myths and legends. This self-renewing plant is India’s national tree.
33. On India’s Independence Day, August 15, 1947, the country was split into India and Pakistan. The partition displaced 1.27 million people and resulted in the death of several hundred thousand to a million people.
34. In 2009, a doctor in India removed 172,155 stones from a patient’s left kidney during a three-hour surgery.
35. . Chandragupta Maurya (340-290 B.C.), a leader in India who established the Mauryan Empire (321-185 B.C.), was guarded by a band of women on horseback.
36. Goa is the smallest state in India, but is the biggest international tourist destination. Subsequently, Goa has at least 7000 licensed bars, and who knows how many unlicensed ones!
Related article: 80 Awesome Things to do in Goa
37. India planted nearly 50 million trees in 24 hours on Monday, July 11, 2016, a new Guinness World Record.
38. 100 million people come to India’s Kumbh Mela Festival, making it by far the world’s biggest gathering of humans.
39. The Golden Temple in India feeds over 100,000 people a day regardless of race, religion and class.
40. India’s Hindu calendar has 6 seasons: spring, summer, monsoon, autumn, winter and prevernal.
41. Sanskrit is the mother of all the European Languages.
42. An Indian man claims he hasn’t eaten or drunk for 70 years. After many tests, doctors still don’t know how it’s possible.
43. Breathing the air in Mumbai, India, for just one day is equivalent to smoking 100 cigarettes.
46. The world’s biggest family lives together in India: a man with 39 wives and 94 children.
47. A man married a dog in India as atonement.
48. London has more Indianrestaurants than Mumbaior Delhi.
49. In 2016, an Indian bus driver became the firstperson in modern recorded history to be struck deadby a meteorite.
50. Britain boasts the largest Indian restaurant in the world, The Aakash, which can seat up to 750 people in one sitting.
51. Police officers in one state in India are given a slight pay upgrade for having a moustache.
52. Cows can be found freely wandering the streets of India’s cities. They are considered sacred and will often wear a tilak, a Hindu symbol of good fortune. Cows are considered one of humankind’s seven mothers because they offer milk as does one’s natural mother.
53. India has the world’s lowest meat consumption per person.
54. Only 2% of people in India define themselves as atheists.
55. A 30-year-old woman from India, who claimed to have fallen in love with a snake, got married to the reptile in 2006.
56. Children’s Day is celebrated in India on November 14th, 9 months after Valentine’s Day.
59. In West Bengal, India, cows must have a Photo ID Card.
Related Article: Interesting facts about Trinidad & Tobago
60. Gleevec, a cancer drug that costs US$70,000 in the U.S. per year, cost just US$2,500 in India because it can’t be patented there.
61. The Taj Mahal’s white marble exterior is gradually turning yellow due to high levels of air pollution.
62. A con man in India repeatedly “sold” the Taj Mahal, the Indian parliament and various other heritage sites. He was sentenced to 113 years but managed to escape prison 9 times. The last time, he was 84 years old.
63. The richest man in India, Mukesh Ambani, built a home valued at US$1 billion. It’s a 27-story building with 3 helipads, a 6-floor car park, a staff of 600, a 4-storey hanging garden and a cinema.
64. There is a gypsy tribe in India that celebrates death as one of the happiest events in their lives, while treating births with great grief.
69. Martial Arts were first created in India, and later spread to Asia by Buddhist missionaries.
70. One woman dies every hour in India because of dowry-related crimes.
72. India has more mobile phones than toilets.
73. India has over 1700 languages.