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Fun Facts About India

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How much do you know about the second-most populated country? Learn all about the incredible country of India with these fun facts.

Fun Facts About India

Basic India Facts

The Republic of India is a diamond-shaped country in southeast Asia.

Most of India is a peninsula, with the Arabian Sea to the east, the Indian Ocean to the south, and the Bay of Bengal to the west.

The country is more than 1.2 million square miles, about 1/3 the size of the U.S.

Its capital is the city of New Delhi, which is located inland near the north of India.

India doesn’t have one official language–it has 23! Two of the common languages are Hindi and English.

The India flag has three horizontal bars of colors: orange, white, and green. The orange represents the color of saffron, India’s most valuable spice.

The center of the flag has a navy blue wheel with 24 spokes. This wheel, called the Ashoka Chakra, symbolizes teachings from Buddha.

Now that you know some basic facts about India, let’s move on to some fun facts about India.

Fun Facts About India

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10 Fun Facts About India

Get to know India with these fun facts about the country.

India Is the Land of Spices

The country of India produces many of the spices we use around the world (around 70%).

At one time, spices were more valuable than gold!

You can see why so many countries were eager to trade with India.

Black pepper, which comes from a berry, was such a prized spice that its nickname was “black gold.”

Cinnamon, another valuable spice from ancient and medieval times, comes from the inner bark of the tree.

It is native to the Malabar Coast of India.

Saffron comes from the crocus flower. It takes 70,000 flowers to make 1 pound of saffron spice.

This explains why saffron can cost over $5000 per pound!

India Has a Musical Instrument Made from a Pumpkin

The sitar is a stringed instrument (like a guitar) whose body is made from the kaddu gourd (which is in the pumpkin family).

The gourd is hollowed out and dried. Then, you attach a wooden neck and up to 21 strings.

Although the sitar sounds quite basic, this instrument can be a work of art. They are made of the finest wood and decorated in ornate patterns.

The sound of the sitar is familiar Indian music, and even the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and the Doors added sitar to their music.

Fun Facts About India

Board Games Were Invented in India

India is the home of ancient civilizations, and its advances in art, science, and math have rippled worldwide.

You can thank India for the invention of shampoo, USB drives, buttons, fabric made from cotton and cashmere, and even the number zero.

India is also the home of the board game.

Mancala, Snakes and Ladders, and chess all began in India.

Chaturanga was the original name for chess. It was a royal game designed to teach the princes about the parts of the army.

Chaturanga featured infantry, elephants, chariots, and cavalry. Over the years, the pieces morphed into what we know today: pawns, castles, knights, etc.

In India, You Can Walk in One of the Seven Wonders of the World

The Taj Mahal is one of the world’s most beautiful and spectacular buildings.

Shah Jahan built it as a mausoleum for his wife Mumtaz after she died in 1631.

It took twenty years to build.

Elephants dragged materials to the location in the city of Agra.

The building is made of marble and is decorated with precious and semi-precious stones and intricate carvings.

It is truly a wonder to behold.

India Is Named After a River

The Indus River flows in northwest India. It is the site of an ancient civilization.

The river was called Sindhu by the people there, but neighboring Arabs pronounced the letter “s” as the sound of “h.”

The Greeks heard the Arabic pronunciation, and they, in turn, referred to the river as the “Indus.”

The Romans picked up the name from the Greeks and referred to the land around the Indus as India.

India became the country’s official name when the government ratified its constitution in 1950, although the constitution also refers to the land as “Bharat” (the Sanskrit name).

Fun Facts About India

Vegetarians Have Lots of Options in India

India has the largest population of vegetarians in the world.

This is due to religious and cultural traditions. Hindus believe cows are sacred, so they do not eat beef.

Many Muslims do not eat pork.

Most Indians restrict meat in their diet, and 20 – 40% of the population are fully vegetarian.

Some famous Indian vegetarian dishes include:

  • Samosas – pastry packets filled with spices and potato
  • Aloo Puri – a breakfast vegetable curry with wheat, potato, and a little tomato
  • Halwa – a sweet dish made with carrots and semolina
  • Paratha – a flatbread that sandwiches various fillings
  • Shahi Paneer – a cheese curry with a spicy tomato sauce
  • Dal Makhani – lentils and kidney beans slow cooked in a garlic and tomato sauce

You Can See Big Cats Swim in India

India is known for its spectacular wildlife, from elephants to rhinoceroses to leopards.

No animal in India is more stunning than the Bengal tiger.

The stripes of each tiger are unique; they are just like fingerprints.

Bengal tigers live in forested areas, even in wet mangrove forests. They can even swim!

Indians Love Finger Foods

In India, it is customary to eat with your hands (but only your right hand). This is a practical and purposeful custom.

You are not likely to burn your mouth on food that is too hot because your fingers can sense the temperature.

There is also an art to it!

Even a dish full of liquid (like a saucy curry) can be eaten neatly with your hands by grabbing the chunks and soaking up the remaining sauce with bread.

Fun Facts About India

India Has a Calendar Full of Holidays

If you like to celebrate, go to India!

Although it only has three national holidays (Republic Day, Independence Day, and Gandhi’s birthday), the country holds more than 30 celebration days yearly.

This is because India is a mixture of many cultures and religions.

You will find celebrations to honor holy days in the Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Buddhist, Jain, and Zoroastrian religions.

The Indian Year Has Six Seasons

You know the four seasons of the year: winter, spring, summer, and fall.

India’s calendar follows the Hindu calendar of six seasons:

  • Spring (March and April) – mild and pleasant weather
  • Summer (May and June) – hot, dry months
  • Monsoon (July and August) – it rains heavily during these months
  • Autumn (September and October) – hot weather gradually fades
  • Pre-winter (November and December) – cool months of weather, genuinely lovely
  • Winter (January and February) – the coldest season
Fun Facts About India

Read More About India

If you liked these fun facts about India, check out these books.

India for Kids

This book is full of interesting facts about the country of India. It is in a question-and-answer format.

The Magic Time Machine: Journey Through Indian History

This illustrated book takes children on a journey through India’s rich and varied history.

Illustrated Ramayana for Children

These classic tales from India are retold for children. They feature bright and bold illustrations.

India: A History

This book for high school and adults covers the history of India across five thousand years.

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