India is the seventh largest country on earth by area, but the second largest population. It shares land borders with numerous countries including China and Pakistan. India is considered a megadiverse country in terms of biodiversity and there are thousands of species found within the country.
The two official languages are Hindi and English, but numerous other languages are spoken within pockets throughout the country.
- The Indian Railway is the world’s largest employer with over 1,000,000 people on the payroll.
- India has the most post offices in the world.
- The archaic Indian language of Sanskrit is considered the mother to all higher languages.
- The ‘place value system’ and the ‘decimal system’ were developed in India in 100 B.C. Algebra, trigonometry and calculus are studies which originated in India.
- It’s thought that martial arts first originated in India, and later spread to Asia by Buddhist missionaries.
- The Ladakh Valley’s Baily Bridge is the highest elevated bridge in the world, situated up in the Himalayas. The Indian Army built it in August 1982.
- Staple foods in Indian cuisine include millet, rice and lentils. Many spices are used, and the spice trade between India and Europe is often cited as a catalyst for the Age of Discovery.
- Family values are very important in India and multi-generational households are the norm, rather than the exception.
- While many Indian residents today wear “Western” clothing, some traditional garments are often worn too. The draped Sari, for women, is probably the best-known piece.
- India played an important role in popularizing cricket, which is still today the most commonly played game in the country.