We assume that we know everything about our vast and diverse country. However there is still so much which we do not know. Every single day newer details are made public about our country. Different cultures, traditions and people from all over the country make it close to a melting pot, yet gives it a unique identity which makes it so ethereal. Therefore here are some lesser known facts about our country:
1. India was once an island
India was a continent long ago when dinosaurs paraded around the Earth. Most of what is left of the country are the remains of the island which once broke off from the supercontinent Gondwana. About 50 million years ago, India collided with another continent Asia and gave rise to the youngest yet highest mountain ranges, The Himalayas, and is now a peninsula.
2. Hindustan comes from river Indus
One of the vital but important lesser known facts about India is the genesis of its name. The word Hindustan and India both are derived from the name Indus (River). It has go no connection whatsoever to the presence of Hindu population in the country.
3. Diamond mining was an Indian legacy
Until diamond was discovered in Brazil in the 18th century BC; India was the only country to produce diamonds. Diamond was mined in the Guntur and Krishna districts in the river’s vicinity. That explains India’s past riches, doesn’t it?
4. Indian Railways – a boon for the people
Next time when you complain about the unavailability of railway tickets, remember that the Indian railways are the longest railway system in the word. Other than its convenience and frequent trains to the remotest places, it also generates employment to over 1.5 million people which is equal to the population of some countries such as Cyprus, Bahrain, Vatican City, Iceland, Monaco etc.
5. Obsession with Maths
The value of pi was first calculated by an Indian named Budhayana. He also explained the concept of Pythagorean theory in the 6th century, long before the world even though of it. Algebra, Trigonometry and Calculus also originated in India. Quadratic equations were first used by Sridharacharaya in the 11th century. Also, in the Vedic age, Indians used numbers as big as 10*53 and terra 10*12.
6. Chandrayan was the first one to discover water on the moon
The lunar mission known as Chandrayaan was the first to discover absorption features near 2.8–3.0 µ on the surface of Moon. It is typically attributed to hydroxyl or water-bearing materials. The mission also confirmed that the Moon has water in many place and not just locked up in minerals. Signs of water being present on Moon is scattered throughout the broken-up surface and in ice sheets at depth. It was a discovery which was lauded by the world.
7. Switzerland’s National Science Day
Our former president, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, visited Switzerland on 26th November 2006. Switzerland was so enthralled by the man that it christened the day of India’s missile man’s arrival as National Science Day of Switzerland. This gesture is of great respect to the president whose recent demise left the whole country in tears.
8. Lonar Crater Lake
Lonar L=lake is a saline soda lake located at Lonar, Maharashtra. It was created by a meteor impact during the Pleistocene Epoch. Lonar lake is the largest and only hypervelocity impact crater in basaltic rock, anywhere found on earth. This lake, which lies in a basalt impact structure, is both saline and alkaline in nature.
9. Our Kumbh Mela
Held every 12 years, our Kumbh Mela is the most peaceful gathering in the world. Other than that, it is the world’s largest gathering of people from all over the world. The mela is so populous and pompous that it is visible from outer space!
10. Breaking Records
The nation is obsessed with breaking old records and creating new ones. According to Guinness Book of World Records, India ranks third after USA and UK in creating new and bizarre records each year. Records range from the “largest garland made of cow dung cakes” to the “youngest surgeon who performed a C-section at the age of 15”.
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