Q: I want to walk from Delhi to Goa – can I follow the railroad tracks? (Sweden)

A: Sure, it’s only three thousand kms, take lots of water.

Above is an excerpt from a travel site where people post queries about India. The answer by the website officials demonstrates their tolerance and sense of humour:

Saheliyon-ki-Bari Gardens Udaipur

India often attracts generalisations and stereotyping, but more often it defies them. After all, it is an enormous country with diversity in language, styles of cooking and dress.

Did You Know?

  • India was one of the richest countries until the time of British rule in the early 17th Century.
  • Christopher Columbus, attracted by India’s wealth, came looking for a sea route to India when he discovered America by mistake.
  • India is the 7th largest country in the world, and one of the most ancient civilizations. It covers an area > 32 million sq kms.
  • The city of Delhi has a population slightly less than that of Australia.
  • India is the world’s second-largest English-speaking country. With around 125 million people speaking the language, India is second only to the USA.

Early Achievements

  • Algebra, trigonometry and calculus originated in India. Quadratic equations were used in the 11th century using numbers as large as 10*53. Even today, the largest used number is Terra: 10*12.
  • The place value system and the decimal system were developed in India in 100 B.C.
  • The value of “pi” was first calculated by the Indian mathematician Budhayana in the 6th century, long before the European mathematicians described the Pythagorean Theorem.
  • Jaipur has one of the largest sundials and observatories in the world built in the 18th century. Some of the instruments are still used today to forecast the weather.
Jantar Mantar Sundial at Jaipur
  • Bhaskaracharya rightly calculated the time taken by the earth to orbit the sun hundreds of years before the astronomer, Smart.
  • It is claimed that the game of chess originated in India and can be dated back some 1,500 years.
  • Snakes & Ladders was created in India in the 13th century to represent karma. The ladders in the game were virtues and the snakes indicated vices.
  • The art of navigation was born in the river Sindh over 6000 years ago. The word navigation is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘navgatih‘.
  • Ayurveda is the earliest school of medicine known to mankind, consolidated by “The Father of Medicine”, Charaka 2500 years ago.
Kumarakom, Kerala

Modern Achievements

  • India now boasts billionaires with a collective wealth of around USD$313 billion. Mumbai is home to the country’s largest concentration of millionaires.
  • Bangalore is the Silicon Valley of India with 67,000 registered IT companies. Half of the world’s outsourced IT services and software come from India.
  • In terms of purchasing power, India is the world’s third largest economy.
  • India has become self-sufficient in agricultural production and is now one of the top industrialized countries in the world.
  • India prides itself on being the world’s largest democracy and over 600 million (67% of the population) voted at the last parliamentary election in 2019.
  • India has an adult literacy rate of around 75% compared to the worldwide average literacy rate of 86%.
River Ganges, Varanasi

If you haven’t yet been, it is never too late to experience the rhythm of life that is India!

Pink sunset skies reflected on inspiring ancient ruins, vast towering fortresses, mesmerising colours. Food that is spicy, aromas exotic, smells of lemongrass, incense, hypnotising one’s taste buds, stimulating the senses.

Wandering cows, strutting camels, swooping birds diving, gliding, trucks tooting, tuk tuks swerving. People sitting, watching, waiting. A unique calmness among ordered chaos. Chasing Marigolds.

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