“India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grand mother of tradition. Our most valuable and most astrictive materials in the history of man are truly treasured up in India only!” said Mark Twain, the great American writer.
True, ancient India made umpteen contributions to the world. Countless, marvelous ideas that are in use even today! Some of them are so revolutionary that they spurted the growth of humankind! The world owes it to India, for her great contributions in mathematics, science, medicine, philosophy etc. Home to the great Indus Valley Civilization, vast empires and historic trade routes, India was identified and well known for its rich culture and commercial wealth for a very long time in history. It is the birthplace of four of the world’s major religions, namely, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism.
India is a country of ancient heritage and abundant natural resources. India is intriguing! It is impossible not to be bewitched by the beauty and splendor of India! It is difficult to completely define and understand India at one go, for it is a concoction of varieties!
Do you know what India has given to the world? A lot of what you see and perceive in the world today, originated in our very own India, centuries ago! From the Vedas, to trigonometry, to astronomy, to surgery and many more to make mention of! India still continues to make worthy contributions to the world, thus, making it a better place to live in! Read on to discover some amazing facts about India!
10. Chess- The game of the kings
Did you know that Chess, ‘the game of kings’ originated in India? A very popular game of mind, it has its origin in India, spanning back to 1500 years! It is a very ancient game, first estimated to be played in northern India before 6th century A.D, during the Gupta dynasty period, when it was called “chaturanga”, meaning four divisions of the military. From India, chess spread to Persia, to the Arabs and later to Europe, where it developed its present form. The 20th century perhaps saw chess becoming an extremely popular sport. But its roots can be traced back to India.
Ayurveda is an ancient form of scientific medicine that originated in India. It involves practices and methods that have been tried and tested over time, to treat various kinds of ailments. It is not only used to treat diseases, but also to diagnose and prevent them.It is not just a form of medicine, but a form of lifestyle, for it deals with a good diet and a healthy routine too.
Ayurveda places emphasis on the use of natural products like spices and hebs to treat the human body, as opposed to Western medicine which has to do with antibiotics mainly. Since only natural products are used, there are no side effects. Slowly, many countries are resorting to Ayurveda, after learning about its ample benefits. India takes the credit for it!
8. The Vedas and Sanskrit
It was during the Vedic Age that Sanskrit texts such as the Vedas were composed. The Vedas are a rich source of information. They are oldest sacred writings of some of the world’s oldest religions. The Rig Veda, the oldest of the four Vedas, is the oldest Indo-European literature. The Upanishads propound the ultimate philosophical truth of life!
Ancient India was a great center of learning. The Nalanda and Takshila Universities were built around that time, where thousands of students from all over the world studied. Sanskrit is considered the mother of many languages. It has its origin in India. It is in fact, the most suitable language for computer software.
7. Saree – the demure drape!
The Saree is the epitome of Indian culture. It is the hallmark of an Indian woman. It symbolizes grace and demureness. It complements the feminine body in a way that no other attire does, making it a very sought after attire in the world. It has become a symbol of glamour too! It is complemented with jewelry. It is India that introduced this piece of cloth to the world. It dates back to the Indus Valley Civilization era. The Saree continues to charm people, because of its elegance and simplicity.
6. The number Zero and Trigonometry
India has been in the forefront with its contribution in the field of Mathematics. As Einstein puts it, Indians taught the world to count. Indians discovered the number ‘zero’ and introduced this concept of ‘nothing’ to the world, which forms the basis for the binary numbering system, based on which all of the computer soft wares are built. The Decimal System and Trigonometry too originated in India. The value of “Pi” was first estimated in India. Indians made great discoveries in Astronomy too. The world famous mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujam was an Indian.
5. Namaste- “athithi devo bhava”
Namaste is actually a form of greeting that originated in India. It translates to, “I bow to you”. But it is more than just a welcome greeting. It represents the warmth and amicability of Indians. It is also a form of showing respect and homage. It is believed that God resides in every one of us and the Namaste portrays that. India taught the world this style of greeting and respecting one another.
Another notion that India put forth to the world is, “Athithi Devo Bhava”, which means “Guest is God” . It is our belief that we should treat a guest like God and give him the best of services and comfort during his stay.
4. Yoga- the art of living!
Yoga is the Indian method for physical, mental and spiritual discipline. When one practices yoga, one attains permanent peace, salvation or ‘nirvana’. It is a great scientific practice that helps in weight reduction, stress reduction and improves the well-being. It is even known to prevent and cure certain deadly diseases like cancer. It fixes respiratory problems. It gives flexibility and posture to the body. It increases core strength and stamina. There are many reknown yoga practitioners and gurus in India. They have guided so many students, in India and in the world, in yogic practices. India has truly given a gem of a gift to the world, in the form of yoga.
3. A model of democracy
India is often considered as a role model in democracy. With such a big population of more than a billion, how democracy has sustained and is successful is nothing short of a wonder! The electoral process in India is remarkable! The various democratic institutions, their movements and the active involvement of the public in the country’s affairs are praiseworthy. The vibrancy of the Indian democracy is looked up to by the rest of the world, as a source of inspiration.
2. IT expertise- a cut above the rest
The past two decades have seen a massive and unprecedented growth in the Information Technology sector In India. IT has in fact become a brand name in India. The Indian IT industry has become globally competitive. Many leading multinational companies worldwide look to India for high skilled and rapid IT services. We have an edge over everyone else, when it comes to skills, products and services. Our expertise and knowhow are unparelelled. India is a leading contributor to the world’s economy in terms of IT.
1.Pluralism- unity in diversity
Perhaps, the best slogan that describes India is, ‘Unity in Diversity’. India is bewitchingly beautiful. It has always captivated travelers from all over the world, since time immemorial. Everything is so diverse in India. Be it the geography, or the traditions or the cuisine.India is a wonderful amalgamation of different cultures and languages. As a secular country, with many religions co-existing harmoniously, India has set an example for the world. Our country is recognized for its pluralism. It stands as a great illustration to show that there is oneness in variety and that we complement each other in our differences!