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10 incredible facts about our Incredible India
Indian history dates back to the prehistoric era. Modern human beings made an appearance on the Indian subcontinent 75,00 years ago and the Indus Valley Civilization, which flourished in the Indian subcontinent between 3200 to 1300 BC was the first known civilization of South Asia, so it would not be wrong to call India the cradle of mankind.

From modern mathematics to rearing and breeding of horses, and from surgery to invention of sugar, many such still relevant practices, sciences and art-forms originated in India and travelled from this great country to other far away lands that embraced and adopted them. One might be surprised on going through this article, how little we know about our country. So here are 10 incredible facts about our Incredible India. 

Shampoo is an Indian creation

Shampoo was invented in India. The earliest examples of shampoo were decoctions made from extracts of herbs like soapnut and Indian gooseberry (amla). The word shampoo itself has been borrowed from the Sanskrit word `champu', which means massage.

Indian Railways

The Indian railway network is amongst the largest in the world with 1,15,000 km of laid tracks over a route of 65,808 km and 7,112 station. The India Railways carries 23 million passengers each day. And the biggest fact, with over 1,000,000 employees, Indian Railways is the largest employer in the world.

Mawsynram, the wettest place on the planet

Mawsynram, a village in the East Khasi Hill district of the state of Meghalaya in the north-east of India is the wettest place on Earth, as it gets an average annual rainfall of 11,872 millimetres.

Sugar was first invented in India, and then we taught the world how to make it

Believe it or not but the manufacturing of cane sugar granules from sugarcane juice started in India almost two thousand years ago. Historical records suggest that Indians discovered and developed the method of crystallization of sugar around 350 AD during the Gupta dynasty. Later Indian sailors took sugar outside the country with them on trade routes and Buddhist monks took the method of crystallization with them to China. The Sanskrit word for "sugar" (sharkara) also means "gravel" or "sand".

India has a floating post office

With the largest postal network in the world having over 1,55,015 post office spread across the length and breadth of India, each post office serves a population of about 7,175 people. India also has one of the uniquest post offices in the world. A floating post office was inaugurated in Dal lake, Srinagar on August 2011.

World's highest cricket ground is in India

The world's highest cricket ground is in Chail, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh near the state capital of Shimla. The ground which lies 2,444 metres above sea level was built in 1893 by HE the Maharaja of Patiala, Bhupender Singh (grandfather of Capt Amrinder Singh, former Punjab CM and Congress leader). Chail became the summer capital of the princely state of Patiala, after Bhupender Singh was restricted from entering Shimla by Lord Kitchener in 1891. After accession to the Indian Union, the Maharaja donated the ground to the Chail Military School.

Modern surgery has its roots in India

Susruta was an ancient Indian physician who wrote the Susruta Samhita, an ancient Sanskrit text written around 600 BC, in which he catalouged three hundred different types of surgeries and 121 types of surgical instruments. Historical records reveal that Susruta not only used to perform complex surgical procedures but also cosmetic surgery at that time. He is known as "the father of surgery".

Principles of modern mathematics were laid down in India, including invention of the digit "0"

All modern mathematical concepts kids study in schools today owe their origins to India. The number "0" which fulfills a central role in mathematics was invented in India sometime during the 5th century. It was around 100 BC that Indian scholars invented the Place Value System and the Decimal System. The mathematical term trigonometry has been derived from Sanskrit, which if broken down means, Tri (Three) + Kona (Angle) + Miti (Parametre).

You might be surprised to know that India is the second-largest English speaking country in the world

Indians speak English and way more than any other non-English speaking country on Earth. So much has the English language become a part of our lives that even while speaking Hindi we tend to use English words in between without realising. India is one of the few countries where 2 languages instead of one are used for official and government work. India comes only second to USA with around 125 million English speakers in the country.

India has the largest percentage of vegetarians in the world

Percentage wise India ranks at number one in vegetarianism. As per the year 2006 available data, 31 to 40 per cent of population in India is vegetarian, or of non-meat eaters. Israel ranks at number 2 with 13 per cent population of vegetarians, a big gap I must add.

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