Wednesday, June 19, 2013

More Facts about India

  1. India is about 1/3 the size of the United States, yet it is the second most populous country in the world, with a population of 1,166,079,217. India is the seventh largest country in the world, at 1.27 million square miles.
  2. India is the largest democracy in the world.
  3. The Kumbh Mela (or Grand Pitcher Festival) is a huge Hindu religious festival that takes place in India every 12 years. In 2001, 60 million people attended, breaking the record for the world’s biggest gathering. The mass of people was photographed from space by a satellite.
  4. rupee
    It is illegal for foreigners to import or export Indian currency (rupees)
  5. More than a million Indians are millionaires, yet most Indians live on less than two dollars a day. An estimated 35% of India’s population lives below the poverty line.
  6. India is the birthplace of chess.l The original word for “chess” is the Sanskrit chaturanga, meaning “four members of an army”—which were mostly likely elephants, horses, chariots, and foot soldiers.d
  7. The Indian flag has three horizontal bands of color: saffron for courage and sacrifice, white for truth and peace, and green for faith, fertility, and chivalry. An emblem of a wheel spinning used to be in the center of the white band, but when India gained independence, a Buddhist dharma chakra, or wheel of life, replaced the spinning wheel.m
  8. Khajuraho erotic sculptures
    Khajuraho’s exotic art may suggest that sex was a step for attaining ultimate liberation or moksha
  9. The temples of Khajuraho are famous for their erotic sculptures and are one of the most popular tourist attractions in India. Scholars still debate the purpose of such explicit portrayals of sexual intercourse, which sometimes involve animals.a
  10. The earliest cotton in the world was spun and woven in India. Roman emperors would wear delicate cotton from India that they would call “woven winds.” Mogul emperors called the fabrics “morning dew” and “cloth of running water.
  11. The Himalayas—from the Sanskrit hima, meaning “snow,” and alaya, meaning “abode”—are found in the north of India. They extend 1,500 miles and are slowly growing taller, by almost an inch (2.5 cm) a year. Several ancient Indian monasteries are found nestled in the grandeur of these mountains.m
  12. India is the world’s largest producer of dried beans, such as kidney beans and chickpeas. It also leads the world in banana exports; Brazil is second.l
  13. In India, the fold and color of clothing are viewed as important markers of social classification.
  14. With 150,000 post offices, India has the largest postal network in the world. However, it is not unusual for a letter to take two weeks to travel just 30 miles.f
  15. The Bengal tiger is India’s national animal. It was once ubiquitous throughout the country, but now there are fewer than 2,000 wild tigers left.
  16. Alexander the Great of Macedon (356-323 B.C.) was one of the first important figures to bring India into contact with the West. After his death, a link between Europe and the East would not be restored until Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama (1460-1524) landed in Calicut, India, in 1498.
  17. The British rule, lasted from 1858 to 1947 (although they had a strong presence in India since the 1700s). British influence is still seen in Indian architecture, education system, transportation, and politics.
  18. About 80% of Indians are Hindu. Muslims are the largest minority in India and form approximately 13% of the country’s population. In fact, India has the third largest population of Muslims in the world, after Indonesia and Pakistan.
  19. India has the world’s largest movie industry, based in the city of Mumbai (known as the “City of Dreams”). The B in “Bollywood” comes from Bombay, the former name for Mumbai.
  20. Mumbai (Bombay) is India’s largest city, with a population of 15 million. In 1661, British engineers built a causeway uniting all seven original islands of Bombay into a single landmass.l
  21. Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948) is known around the world as Mahatma, which is an honorific title meaning “Great Soul” in the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit. He devoted his life to free India from British rule peacefully and based his campaign on civil disobedience. His birthday, October 2, is a national holiday. He was assassinated in 1948.
  22. Lotus Temple
    The Lotus temple is one of the most visited temples in the world, with over 50 million visitors per year
  23. The banyan, or Indian fig tree, is considered a symbol of immortality and is mentioned in many Indian myths and legends. This self-renewing plant is India’s national tree.
  24. The official name of India is the Republic of India. The name “India” derives from the River Indus, which most likely is derived from the Sanskrit sindhu, meaning “river.” The official Sanskrit name of India is Bharat, after the legendary king in the epic Mahabharata.
  25. Introduced by the British, cricket is India’s most popular sport. Hockey is considered the national sport, and the Indian field hockey team proudly won Olympic gold in 1928.
  26. Indians made significant contributions to calculus, trigonometry, and algebra. The decimal system was invented in India in 100 B.C. The concept of zero as a number is also attributed to India.
  27. The national fruit of India is the mango. The national bird is the peacock, which was initially bred for food.
  28. Hindi and English are the official languages of India. The government also recognizes 17 other languages (Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Nepali, Manipuri, Konkani, Kannada, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu). Apart from these languages, about 1,652 dialects are spoken in the country.
  29. India’s pastoral communities are largely dependent on dairy and have made India the largest milk-producing country in the world.
  30. India has the world’s third largest road network at 1.9 million miles. It also has the world’s second largest rail network, which is the world’s largest civilian employer with 16 million workers.
  31. Ganges
    Though the Ganges is one of the dirtiest rivers in the world, bathing in the river is thought to wash away one’s sins
  32. Rivers have played a vital role in India’s popular culture and folklore—they have been worshipped as goddesses because they bring water to an otherwise dry land. Bathing in the Ganges in particular is thought to take away a person’s sins. It is not unusual to spread a loved one’s ashes in the Ganges.
  33. Raziya Sultana (1205-1240) was the first woman leader of India. She was considered a great leader, though she ruled for only three years before being murdered.
  34. During the Vedic era in India, horse sacrifice sanctioned the sovereignty of the king.
  35. It is traditional to wear white, not black, to a funeral in India. Widows will often wear white in contrast to the colorful clothes of married or single women.
  36. All of India is under a single time zone.
  37. On India’s Independence Day, August 15, 1947, the country was split into India and Pakistan. The partition displaced 1.27 million people and resulted in the death of several hundred thousand to a million people.
  38. India experiences six seasons: summer, autumn, winter, spring, summer monsoon, and winter monsoon.
  39. India is the world’s largest tea producer, and tea (chai) is its most popular beverage.
  40. Taj Mahal
    According to legend, to prevent the builders from ever replicating the beauty of the Taj Mahal, their hands were cut off
  41. The Taj Mahal (“crown palace”) was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (1592-1666) for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal (1593-1631). This architectural beauty has been called “marbled embroidery” for its intricate workmanship. It took 22,000 workmen 22 years to complete it.
  42. The first and greatest civilization in ancient India developed around the valley of the Indus River (now Pakistan) around 3000 B.C. Called the Indus Valley civilization, this early empire was larger than any other empire, including Egypt and Mesopotamia.
  43. After the great Indus Civilization collapsed in 2000 B.C., groups of Indo-Europeans called Aryans (“noble ones”) traveled to northwest India and reigned during what is called the Vedic age. The mingling of ideas from the Aryan and Indus Valley religions formed the basis of Hinduism, and the gods Shiva, Kali, and Brahma all have their roots in Aryan civilization. The Aryans also recorded the Vedas, the first Hindu scriptures, and introduced a caste system based on ethnicity and occupation.
  44. Alexander the Great invaded India partly because he wanted to solve the mystery of the “ocean,” which he had been told was a huge, continuous sea that flowed in a circle around the land. When he reached the Indian Ocean, he sacrificed some bulls to Poseidon for leading him to his goal.
  45. Chandragupta Maurya (340-290 B.C.), a leader in India who established the Mauryan Empire (321-185 B.C.), was guarded by a band of women on horseback.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Unknown Facts about INDIA


1. Navi Mumbai, a planned satellite township of Mumbai, was developed in 1972 and is the largest planned township on the planet.

2. War of 27 years fought between the Maratha Empire and the Mughal Empire from 1681 to 1707 was the longest recorded military engagement in the history of India.

3.. In 1955, Jawaharlal Nehru rejected an offer to India for a permanent UN Security Council seat to avoid being embroiled in the cold war politics.

4. Viswanathan Anand is first player in chess history to have won the World Championship in three different formats: knockout, tournament, and match.

5. India is one of only 3 remaining countries in the world to have a horsed cavalry regiment.

6. Agni III is the most accurate missile in the world in its range category and BrahMos is the fastest operational cruise missile in the world.

7. The process of crystallization of sugar from sugarcane juice was discovered in India in the Gupta period (350 AD).

8. Many tribes in India worship Asura and Ravan and consider Vijaya Dashami and Dussehra to be black days.

9. In 1928, when the Indian Hockey team was on its way to Amsterdam, they played a series of exhibition matches in England. Seeing its calibre, England decided not to field a team for the Olympics as “they did not want to lose to a slave country.”

10. Lonar Lake, a saltwater lake in Maharashtra, was created by a meteor hitting the Earth and is one of its kind in India.

11. Raj Kapoor’s 1951 film Awaara was massively popular in Soviet Russia and China. The film and its title song were Mao Zedong’s (Founder of People’s Republic of China) favorite.

12. There were two US navy warships called USS Krishna and USS Indra that served during World War II.

13. Unlike in Border movie, only 2 Indians died in battle of Longewala.

14. English Actor Sir Ben Kingsley’s birth name is Krishna Pandit Bhanji and he is ofIndian (Gujarati) descent.

15. Freddie Mercury, British musician was actually of Gujarati descent.

16. “John Doe” orders (restraint orders against unknown persons for breach of plaintiff’s rights) are called “Ashok Kumar” orders in India. Likewise, “unclaimed” or “unidentified” dead body found in a public place is called is Ashok Kumar.

17. The oldest building in Asia is in India, the Sanchi Stupa.

18. Bal Thackeray’s father changed his family name from Thakre to Thackeray after the British writer William Makepeace Thackeray.

19. There is a species of Shark known as the Ganges Shark that inhabits River Ganga and it is critically endangered

20. The first railroad was constructed by two Indians (Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy and Jaganath Shunkerseth) and not the British.

21. Mount Kailash has never been climbed ,in spite of Chinese government’s support to the climbers.

22. Security at Tihar jail is managed by Tamil Nadu special police force.

23. When going to battle Indian kings would make their horses wear trunks. The other side’s elephants would refuse to attack the horses thinking that the horses were baby elephants.

24. If Uttar Pradesh were to be a separate country, it would be world’s fifth most populous country.

25. There are more poor people in 8 Indian states alone than in the 26 poorest African countries

26. Bodhidharma, a prince of the Pallava dynasty went to China and began the physical training of the Shaolin monks that led to the creation of Kung Fu.

27. A sugar company in Andhra provides rocket fuel to ISRO.

28. Tipu Sultan used Rockets with Swords fixed in the front against the British in the Anglo-Mysore Wars.

29. There is a French electronic band named “Masala Dosa.”

30. Did you know India has a National Ice Hockey Team?

31. Govt hiked the payment for the hangman from RS 10 to 5,000 just days before for Kasab hanging.

32. Ajmal Amir Kasab had a case booked for entering CST station without a ticket.

33. Australia’s Cricketer Stuart Clark is of Indian origin. Both his parents, Bruce Clark and Mary Clark are Anglo-Indians.

34. A city name Jhumri Telaiya actually exists in Jharkhand.

35. There was a Great Hedge built by the British across India primarily to collect the salt tax. It was 4000 km long and 12 feet in height spanning from Punjab to Orissa. None of it remains today.

36. Kunal Nayyar (Rajesh Koothrappalli from Big Bang Theory) is married to a former Miss India, Neha Kapur.

37. There is a village called Delhi in New york ,USA. There is a city called Madras in Oregon, USA.

38. India has three antarctic stations, Dakshin Gangotri, Maitri (pictured above) and Bharathi.

39. After United States, India has the largest number of English speakers.

40. During the battle of Rezang La in the 1962 Sino-Indian war a battalion called 13 Kumaon Regiment consisting of mere 120 soldiers held off 6000 Chinese with heavy artillery killing 1300 of their soldiers.

41. Bangalored‘ is a word in Oxford dictionary, which came up after heavy outsourcing to India took the world by storm.

42. One of the oldest College of Engineering in the world is in Chennai, College of Engineering (Guindy).

43. There is a village in Assam called Jatinga where over the last 100 years, thousands of birds have flown to their death on a small strip of land.

44. India has the world’s smallest prison population.

45. The average cost of census taking in India is $0.5 per person (US: $39, World Average: $4.6).

46. Frozen bank accounts of Ottavio Quattrocchi were unexpectedly released by India’s law ministry in 2006 apparently without the consent of the CBI which had asked for them to be frozen.

47 India Post allows you to order personalized stamps with your picture on them.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Facts About Italy !!!


Ø  Italy is slightly larger than Arizona.
Ø  Almost 20% of Italy's population is over 65 years old.
Ø  Italy borders Austria, France, Vatican City, San Marino, Slovenia, and Switzerland.
Ø  Its longest border is with Switzerland. 
Ø  The average Italian family has 1.27 children.
Ø  Everybody 18 and over can vote, however you have to be at least 25 to vote in Senate elections.
Ø  The Italian flag is inspired by the French flag introduced during Napoleon's 1797 invasion of the peninsula.
Ø  The average Italian makes $26,700 a year, however those in the more prosperous north make almost $40,000
Ø  The thermometer, Ice Cream Cone, Eyeglasses are a few Italian inventions.
Ø  Italy's unemployment rate is around 8.6%, but it is as high as 20% in the more impoverished south. 
 Ø  Italian farms produce grapes, potatoes, sugar beets, soybeans, grain, olives, beef, and dairy.
Ø  The average life expectancy at birth for an Italian is 79.54 years and the average Italian is 41 years old.
Ø  The famous children's story, Pinocchio , was written by an Italian.
Ø  The city of Naples gave birth to the pizza .
Ø  The piano hails from Italy.
Ø  The longest river in Italy is the Po.
Ø  Italy's contributions to science include the barometer, electric battery, nitroglycerin, and wireless telegraphy.
Ø  Famous Italian explorers include Christopher Columbus, Marco Polo, John Cabot, and Amerigo Vespucci.
Ø  Today's modern Italian language originated in the region of Tuscany.
Ø  Enrico Fermi, inventor of the nuclear reactor, was an Italian.
Ø  The automobile, Fiat , is one of Italy's greatest products.
Ø  With almost 40 million visitors, Italy is the fourth most visited country in the world.
Ø  Italy is home to two microstates, San Marino and Vatican City .
Ø  Besides Julius Caesar, Shakespeare also set in Italy ( entirely or partially): Romeo and Juliet, Othello, The Merchant of Venice, Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus, Cymbeline,Much Ado About Nothing, Othello,The Taming of the Shrew, Titus Andronicus, The Two Gentlemen of Verona,The Winter's Tale
Ø  Cologne came out of Italy.
Ø  The majority of Italian-American immigrants came from Naples and southern Italy. 
Ø  The ancient city of Pompeii was destroyed by the volcano Mt. Vesuvius.
Ø  Mt. Vesuvius last erupted in 1944, destroying a number of neighboring villages.
Ø  Italy has 16 regions and 4 autonomous regions.
Ø  Before adopting the euro, Italy's currency was known as the lira.
Ø  The average Italian consumes 26 gallons of wine a year.
Ø  Italy's major industries include tourism, machinery, iron and steel, chemicals, food processing, textiles, motor vehicles, clothing, footwear, and ceramics.
Ø  Italy has more hotel rooms than any other nation in Europe.
Ø  The espresso machine hails from Italy.
Ø  Italy is the world's fifth largest industrial economy.
Ø  Barely a third of Italy's land is arable and suitable for farming.
Ø  Italy's biggest trading partners are Germany, France, the United States, and Great Britain. 
Ø  Over 40% of Italy's labor force is unionized.
Ø  The telephone was created by an Italian (Meucci) *Note.
Ø  Most of Italy's industry is centered around the northern cities of Milan, Turin and Genoa .
Ø  Since the end of WWII, Italy has seen almost 60 governments come and go.
Ø  The area around Venice is the wealthiest region in Europe.
Ø  Over 75% of Italy is mountainous or hilly.
Ø  The typewriter is an Italian invention.
Ø  Italians used to be known for having large families, however Italy is now known for having Europe's lowest birthrate.
Ø  Italy owes much of its prosperity to thousands of small private family enterprises.
Ø  Italian families save more money than the Japanese and Germans, and three times more than Americans do.
Ø  The average Italian consumes 25 kilograms of pasta a year.
Ø  The Jewish Ghetto in Rome is now one of the most expensive real estate area in the city
Ø  With over 5 million people, Rome is Italy's largest Italy.
Ø  Italy has a population of over 58 million.
Ø  Italians refer to their country as Italia.
Ø  Italy imports over 75% of its energy. 

Ø  The service sector accounts for almost 70% of the Italian economy.
Ø  Agriculture used to make up over a third of Italy's economy. It now makes up less than three percent.
Ø  The official language is Italian, but German and French are also spoken in some regions.
Ø  Italy's north has warm summers and cool winters. Italy's south has hot summers and mild winters.
Ø  The Seven Hills of Rome are Aventine, Caelian, Capitoline, Esquiline, Palatine, Quirinal, and Viminal.
Ø  The symbol SPQR can be found on many ancient buildings in Rome. It stands for "the senate and people of Rome."
Ø  Rome was founded in 753 BC. 

Ø  Italy did not become a united country until 1861
Ø  The national protest song of Italy is Bella Ciao. It was made famous by Italian partisans in WWII, and can be heard at almost any protest.
Ø  Before Rome became a republic and an empire, it had seven kings.
Ø  The first king of Rome was its legendary founder, Romulus.
Ø  "Ars longa, vita brevis" is a common saying in Italy. It means "art is long, life is short" and reflects the Italian love of leisure.
Ø  An engineering marvel of the ancient world, Cloacus Maxima, is the sewer of Rome.
Ø  The first Roman Emperor was Augustus Octavian, who came to power in 27 BC.
Ø  The Roman Empire fell in 476 AD, after its last emperor, Romulus Augustulus, was forced to abdicate by barbarian invaders.
Ø  A Roman Centurion commanded 100 hundred men.
Ø  A Roman Legion was made up of 6,000 men.
Ø  Italy has a resident foreign population of 1.27 million.
Ø  Italy's current constitution took effect January 1, 1948
Ø  The president of Italy is a ceremonial figure.
Ø  The prime minister serves as the head of government and is the one who runs the country. 
Ø  Since October 1946, the national anthem of Italy has been Inno de Memeli .

Friday, January 18, 2013

Interesting Factss - Part 2

-The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time television were Fred and Wilma Flintstone.
-Coca-Cola was originally green.

-First novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer.

-The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is "uncopyrightable".

-If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle; if the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle; if the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.

-The name Jeep came from the abbreviation used in the army for the "General Purpose" vehicle, G.P.

-The highest point in Pennsylvania is lower than the lowest point in Colorado.

-"Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt".

-"Underground" is the only word in the English language that begins and ends with the letters "und."

-"Stewardesses" is the longest word that can be typed with only the left hand.

-Pearls melt in vinegar

-Peanuts are used in the manufacture of dynamite.

-Easter Sunday is always the first Sunday after the first full moon after March 21. (the first day of Spring)

-Maine is the toothpick capital of the world. It is also the only state whose name is one syllable.

-The space between the 2 front teeth is called a Diastima.

-Alexander the Great was an epileptic.

-The two lines that connect your top lip to the bottom of your nose are known as philtrums.

-The glue on Israeli postage stamps is certified kosher.