General Facts About India:
1. The name ‘India’ derives from the river Indus.
The name ‘Hind’ is derived from the Persian equivalent of ‘Sindh’, as the Persian ‘H’ is cognate with Sanskrit ‘S’. And the Persian word ‘stan’ means land or country, hence the name: Hindustan.
2. India has the second-largest population in the world.
As of 2020 there are more than 1.2 billion people in India. China currently is the most populous country in the world with 1.4 billion, however, India is predicted to take the top spot by 2024.
3. India is the 7th largest country in the world.
The total land area of India is 3.287 million km². It is world’s largest democracy (by population size).
4. Thousands of languages are spoken all over India.
There are 22 recognised languages, with Hindi and English being the official languages. However, other commonly-spoken languages include Bengali (the second most spoken language), Telugu, Tamil, Urdu and Punjabi. There are as many as 19,500 known languages and dialects across the country.
Hindi is the fourth most spoken language in the world – with 310 million native speakers (4.5% of the world’s population). Bengali is the world’s 7th most spoken language and Punjabi is the 10th most spoken language.
Source: Gulf News
5. The national symbol of India is the endangered Bengal Tiger.
Thanks to conservation efforts, the population of the Bengal Tiger has been slowly increasing – from around 1,800 tigers in 2010, there is an estimated 3,000 as of 2018.
6. India is the second largest English speaking country in the world.
With around 125 million speakers (about 10% of the population), it is second only to the USA, which currently has more than 300 million English speakers.
7. Hinduism, the world’s oldest religion, is the most popular religion in India.
Nearly 80% of the Indian population follows Hinduism. Islam is the second most popular, (14.2%), then Christianity (2.3%), Sikhism (1.7%), Buddhism (0.7%) and Jainism (0.4%).
8. India gained independence from Britain in 1947.
After nearly a century of British rule (known as the British Raj) – from 1858 til 1947. Prior to British rule, much of the Indian sub-continent was ruled by the Mughal empire for more than 300 years.
9. Superstar Freddie Mercury is of Indian origin.
Known as the world’s first Indian rock star, Freddie was born of Parsi origin with the name Farrokh Bulsara.
10. 70% of all the world’s spices come from India.
11. India is the world’s largest arms importer.
Much of India’s expenditure is focused on defense against its neighboring arch-rival: Pakistan, and on countering Chinese influence in the Indian Ocean.
12. India has the world’s second-largest military, with over 1.39 million active troops.
13. During WW2, India produced the largest volunteer Army in world history.
Over 2.5 million men served for the British Empire. At least 38 Indians received the Victoria Cross or the George Cross.
14. Chess was invented in India.
One of the oldest games in the world that is still played, the popular game was invented around the 6th Century AD.
15. India is the world’s largest producer of milk.
Having recently overtaking the European Union, milk production in India reached over 132.4 million tons in 2014.
16. Children’s Day is celebrated in India on November 14th.
Exactly 9 months after Valentines Day. Is it a coincidence?
17. India has over 300,000 mosques.
There are more mosques in India than in any Islamic nation on earth.
18. India has the largest number of vegetarians in the world.
Around 20-40% of the population are vegetarians. Religious reasons is a major factor – especially Hinduism and Jainism, and another factor is personal choices.
19. Snakes & Ladders originated in India.
The game was initially invented to teach young children about morals and karma. It was later commercialized and has become one of the world’s most popular board games.
20. At over 5000 years old, Varanasi is one of the oldest inhabited places on earth.
It is also one of India’s holiest cities. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva founded the city 5000 years ago.
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