India is a place of wonders. The great Mark Twain once said, “India is, the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great-grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only.”
Every bit of his words are true in every sense. Here are few interesting facts about India that you had no idea about-
1. Floating post office
India is having over 1.5 Lakh post offices across the country which makes it the largest postal network in the world. Astonishingly, there is a floating post office situated in Dal Lake, Srinagar established in August 2011.
2. Kumbh Mela gathering seen from space
India hosts Kumbh Mela once in every 12 years. In 2011, Kumbh Mela has seen the largest gathering of people. More than 75 million pilgrims gathered for taking bath in the Holy Ganga. The gathering was so huge that it was visible from space.
3. Mawsynram & Cherrapunji, the two wettest place in the world
Mawsynram, located in the Meghalaya State, is the wettest place in the world. The annual rainfall here is 11,871 millimeters.
Cherrapunji, which is also located in Meghalaya, just 15 km from Mawsynram, is the second wettest place on earth(11,777 mm). Both these places are at 4500 ft above sea level.
4. Bandra-Worli Sea Link
The Bandra-Worli Sea Link, also known as Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link is a cable-stayed bridge which connects Western and Eastern Mumbai.
It is an architectural marvel which has steel wires equal to the earth’s circumference.
5. The Highest Cricket ground in the world
Build in 1893, the Chail Cricket Ground in Himachal Pradesh is the highest in the world situated at an altitude of 2,444 meters.
6. Shampooing: An Indian Concept
Don’t get confused. Here we are talking about the method, not the liquid. The word ‘Shampoo’, originally derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Champu’, means massage.
7. Water on the moon discovered by India
Chandrayaan-1, the first lunar probe developed by India detected the widespread presence of water on the moon for the first time. It was operational from Oct 2008 to August 2009.
8. Switzerland’s Science Day is celebrated after APJ Abdul Kalam
On May 26th, Switzerland celebrates the Science day. It was declared upon his arrival in Switzerland in 2006.
9. Bicycle transported the first rocket of India
India’s first rocket was transported on a bicycle to the launch pad in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala as it was so light and small.
10. India, the second-largest English speaking country
Don’t underestimate Indians. Almost 125 million Indians can speak English which makes India the second largest English speaking country just after the United States of America.
11. Most number of vegetarian people
India holds the record of having the largest number of vegetarians in a country in the world. 20-40 % Indians are vegetarians for various reasons.
12. Highest production of milk in the world
India is the world’s largest producer of milk. In 2014, 132.4 M tones of milk were produced overtaking the EU.
13. First country to consume sugar
India developed the extraction and purifying techniques of sugar at first. Others learned the process from us.
14. Snake & Ladder game originated in India
The Snake & Ladder, one of the most popular board game in the world, was invented in India. It was originally known as Moksha Patamu for giving moral lessons to children and make them understand about Karma.
15. One special polling station for a single person
A special polling station is set up exclusively for Mahant Bharatdas Darshandas, who is the only voter from Banej in Gir forest. He has been voting since 2004.
Do You Know: Can Traffic Police Snatch Your Keys From Your Vehicle While Checking ?
There have been many cases in India where policemen take out the bike keys from the key holder. Many of us think that it is a standard operating drill carried by the policemen during a random checking on roads.
But, do you know whether the policemen have the right to do so or not? Is this a standard drill or just ill-practice? Let us tell you that this is a violation of the departmental law. Policemen can’t take out your key from your bike or cars. As per the guidelines of the police department, no policemen have the right to do so in the middle of the road. The RTI provided information on this matter says ‘taking out the key of any two or four-wheeler is wrong. No policeman, irrespective of any rank, has the power to do this.’
So, from next time you face such situation where traffic police or any other tries taking your key from your vehicle, you have all the rights to raise complaints against him to the senior officer.
Moreover, cases like deflating the tires are also seen on roads some time. So let us tell you that it also comes under violation of traffic rules. Even if your vehicle is parked outside the yellow line or in no parking area, police can’t deflate the tires of your vehicle.
In the Indian Motor Vehicle Act, 1932, it is clearly mentioned that officers above the on or above the rank of Assistant sub-inspector can only give away challan (for spot fines only). Only officers of the rank of Assistant Sub Inspector (one-star), Sub-Inspector (two-star) and Inspector (three-star) are authorized to collect spot fines by the law. So keep your eyes open. If you see anyone who is below this rank and collecting the spot fine or issuing challan, register a complaint against him.
Just to be safe, always carry your original driving license, pollution control certificate, a copy of Registration Certificate and insurance papers with you all the time. But if a traffic constable stops you and asks for papers, it is your wish whether to show him or not. You can opt to show these papers to an officer only and file complaints if he forces you to do so. If he threatens you, many of us become silent and do as he says. Don’t give him the chance if you have all the right documents.
Raise Your Voice and file complaints against any misconduct by a police constable. You can hit the 1-0-0 button on your mobile keypad as well. Let’s build a corruption free India. You don’t break the rules, don’t allow others to break as well.
Facts Behind 10 Most Popular Beliefs In India
India is a land of superstitions. When we were kids, we have been barred from opening an umbrella inside the house or going out to see the eclipse or cutting the nails after sunset. All these popular beliefs are so deep-rooted in our society. Many of us might have argued with our parents saying ‘ All these are just your superstitions’. But, all these so-called superstitions are not actually superstitions and have a hidden meaning to it.
1. Stop the Car if Cats crosses your path or put reverse gear to it
If a cat crosses your path, it is considered as bad luck. But, do you know the real reason behind it? The meaning of ‘Cat’ here is not the household cats which we fear for bringing bad luck. The cat means the big cats like leopards, hyenas and jackals foxes which were found in large numbers back in ages where people used to travel at night the forest using bullock carts with a kerosene lantern. At night, they might scare the animals pulling the cart with their large glowing eyes. So, back then it was advised to wait for some time to allow the passerby his own space for a safe travel path ahead. The version changed from mouth to mouth and now you know what version of it we are hearing.
2. Shouldn’t go for a Hair Cut on Tuesday
Now-a-days, Sunday is a holiday. But, in past ages, where most of the Indians were farmers and Sunday was a working day. Instead, Monday was the resting day for all. So, most people would clean their houses on Monday or would go for a haircut on that very day. So, the barber would have no customers on Tuesday. In many places, the trend is still their not opening the barber shops on Tuesday without knowing the real reason behind this concept.
3. Opening An Umbrella Inside The House brings bad luck
Most of us heard about it, right? Opening umbrella indoors brings bad luck. But, it was just a safety measures taken back ages ago for not getting hurt as umbrellas were built with hard metal spokes and spring triggers back then. Opening it might hurt someone and break objects inside the house. So, it was sensible back then, but the meaning has changed over time and the new ‘Bad Luck’ version evolved which is not true at all.
4. Hanging Lemon and Green Chillies in Shops and Business places
We see this lemon and chili combo hanging in the front of almost every shops. Superstitions are there that God of Misfortune, Alakshmi brings bad luck and to avoid her entering the shops or business. Actually, Alakshmi likes sour, pungent and hot things. All these three things are made available at the doors only so that she comes to the front and satisfy her hunger and goes back. Now, let’s know the actual reason behind it. The juice of the chillies and lemons are absorbed by the cotton thread and it stops the insects and pests away from the shop. It can be considered as a simple pesticide.
5. Breaking Mirror Brings 7 Years Bad Luck
The misconception going around today that breaking mirror brings 7 years of bad luck was just a simple technique to scare. The mirror was not cheap those days and fragile as well. So to avoid negligence it was said that breaking mirror brings bad luck for seven years. This idea was spread by Romans and seven years concept came from the belief that it took seven years for life to rejuvenate.
6. Cutting Nails and Shaving After Sunset
Back in the olden days where there was no electricity and no proper equipment to cut the nails or shave, our ancestors advised not to cut the nails and save after sunset. It was just for safety and to make people not do it they said demons come at night looking for flesh. This belief continued even though it was just a safety procedure in the ancient times.
7. Lighting 3 Cigarettes with one matchstick brings bad luck
This concept came into existence after the World War-I among the young. If you light three cigarettes with a single matchstick at night time, you give enough time to take an aim at all three by the snippers. You don’t want to give an advantage to the enemy by showing your existence. The concept got twisted over time and now considered to be bad luck. So, there is nothing like you can’t light 3 with 1 unless you are in a war zone. But, smoking is injurious to health and it’s better not to light even a single one. Why kill yourself?
8. Do not leave a Dead person’s eye open
One of the most common superstitions in India is that we shouldn’t leave the eye open of a dead person. As soon as he/she dies, we close the eyes first. Belief is that the dead might take other souls with him who are around through his eyes. But the real reason is that the dead person with an open eye looks scary. Closing those eyes makes it look like he is sleeping peacefully.
9. Bats Entering The House Brings Death to family
It is an old myth that if the bat comes into the house and revolve more than three times, death is imminent in that family. There are other myths associated with bat. But, if we look for a scientific reason, the answer would be that bats were the carriers of various deadly diseases at that time when there were no medicines. Staying more time inside the house increases the chance of getting infected.
10. Adding one rupee to a gift sum is considered auspicious
We have always seen that people gift an odd number sum like 101, 1001, 10001. That one rupee is added to make it auspicious. Many explanations are there for it. But, gifts are the blessing, not just money. If you make it odd, it is not divisible and for married couple separation is not what you bless with that sum. It actually depicts the continuity of life.
So, next time something similar comes up like this, try to educate people what’s the real reason behind it if they are listening. Otherwise, never try to change their belief. They are better that way and never argue, coz it might end up hurting someone’s sentiment. Keep this knowledge to yourself.
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