(Last updated on: 01/10/2022)
If you are in search of the most fascinating history facts about India, then you have come to the right place! India has a lot to offer in terms of historic traditions, landmarks, and habits that people have adopted for centuries. In this article, we will look at 25 of the most interesting history facts about India. Are you ready? Keep scrolling…
- Fascinating History Facts about India
- 1. Indians Discovered Zero
- 2. India Has The Oldest Formal University In the World
- 3. Snakes and Ladders
- 4. Indians Invented Chess
- 5. Pioneers of Plastic Surgery
- 6. Indus Valley Civilization
- 7. Bhaskaracharya’s Calculation
- 8. Inventing Shampoo
- 9. Sugar Purifying Techniques
- 10. Navigation Originated In India
- 11. City of Varanasi
- 12. First Country To Mine Diamonds
- 13. Oldest Religion In the World
- 14. Taj Mahal and Bamboo Stockpile
- 15. Step Wells
- 16. Maharashtra’s Lonar Lake
- 17. Anti-Gravity Hills – Tulsi Shyam
- 18. Shani Shingnapur Village
- 19. Highest Cricket Ground In the World
- 20. India Has A Lot Of Mosques
- 21. Golden Temple in Amritsar
- 22. There Is A Rat Temple in Rajasthan
- 23. Roopkund Is Home To A Skeleton Lake
- 24. The Floating Post Office
- 25. Indian Flag Origin
- History Facts About India
Fascinating History Facts about India
From the Taj Mahal to the streets of Mumbai, India is not short of rich history. Let us jump right into some of the best history facts about India!
1. Indians Discovered Zero
This is one of my favourite history facts about India!
Aryabhata was an Indian mathematician and astronomer who discovered zero. Another contribution of his was finding out the value of Pi to the field of Trigonometry and Algebra. The compilation of his works is called the ‘The Aryabhatia.’
He first used the word ‘Kha’ for the position and later it would be used for zero as well. Earlier manuscripts show that a dot has also been used to denote the number zero.
2. India Has The Oldest Formal University In the World
The University of Takshashila, the world’s oldest formal university is situated in modern-day India. Students from all over the world used to come here to study. Taxila is a great influence on Hindu culture and the Sanskrit language. The University dates back to 700 BCE and many notable alumni graced its halls such as Charaka, the ayurvedic healer, and Panini, the renowned grammarian.
The earliest education that was taught in this university was Vedic texts and scriptures. There were several subjects ranging from linguistics to law, astronomy, and reasoning. Religious and secular subjects were taught but the University was particularly famous for medicine.
3. Snakes and Ladders
If games are your thing then this will be one of your favourite history facts about India.
Snakes and Ladders originated in India by Gyandev, a 13th-century poet. The original name of the game was ‘Mokshapat’. The game was introduced first to children to teach them lessons about morality and sin. The meaning of ladders was good deeds while the snakes signified bad deeds.
The number of ladders in the game was less than the number of snakes. It signified that a path of good and righteousness is difficult to obtain compared to a path of sin.
4. Indians Invented Chess
Here is another game fact- Northern India has the honour of inventing Chess. From there it spread to Persia where it spread to the Muslim world. After the Muslims got to know about chess, it then spread to Southern Europe. The Europeans included some changes in the original game and that is how we start our game today.
The earliest form of chess in India was known as ‘chaturanga’, which meant four divisions – infantry, cavalry, elephants, and chariotry. These would later evolve into the modern chess pieces we know today.
5. Pioneers of Plastic Surgery
Indians were the ones who invented plastic surgery. Sushruta is considered to be the father of surgery. He authored the “Sushruta Samitha.- one of the most important surviving studies on medicine. The earliest plantations were done by Lord Shiva by attaching an elephant’s head to his son’s body and by Ashwini Kumars who successfully replanted the severed head of Yagna. This goes back as far as 4000 years ago. Wow, this is certainly one of the most fascinating history facts about India!
6. Indus Valley Civilization
The Indus Valley Civilization is located in what is now Pakistan and northwest India on the flood plain of the Indus River. It lasted for two thousand years! Harappa and Moen-jo-Daro were the main cities of the famous civilization which was popular for intricate town planning, and inspiration for modern sewerage systems.
The Indus Valley Civilization is considered to be the third longest civilization that has existed in human history after Mesopotamia and Egypt.
7. Bhaskaracharya’s Calculation
An Indian mathematician and astronomer, Bhaskaracharya’s calculations were the first ones to tell us about the time it takes for the Earth to revolve around the sun. His calculations had a value of 365.258 days while today’s accepted measurement is 365.256 days so he was pretty close!
According to this method, the first thing to do was to find the distance between two places, which are at the same longitude. Then find the correct latitudes of those two places and the difference between the latitudes. Many would argue that this is one of the most important history facts about India!
8. Inventing Shampoo
Indians were the ones who invented Shampoo, believe it or not! They used the pulp of a fruit called soapberries. A combination of soapberries, herbs, and hibiscus flowers was massaged together in the hair to create a fresh and comforting effect.
The technique of shampooing was first written by Greek historian Strabo in the 4th century. The word was derived from the Hindu word champo, meaning to massage or knead.
9. Sugar Purifying Techniques
Sanskrit literature from ancient India provides us with the first documentation of sugar cane and sugar manufacture. The Sanskrit of a crudely named sugar substance was guda meaning “to make into a ball.”
Being originated in India, this tells us that Aryans knew about the sugar cane plant for a very long time. After the Indians started cultivating it, the crop got the attention of the Greeks as well. As someone who has a sweet tooth, this is definitely one of my favourite history facts about India!
10. Navigation Originated In India
This is another one of the most important history facts about India.
Navigation originated in India on the Indus River 6000 years ago. The word Navigation comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Navgatih”. The word navy is also called ‘Nou’ in Sanksrit
The Vedic records show us that Indian merchants had trade contacts in the far east and Arabia. There is certainly evidence of a ‘Naval Department’ existing during the Mauryan period.
11. City of Varanasi
The City of Varanasi is the oldest place in India which dates back to 5000 years. It is the most sought-after town for Hindus in the country. The common belief is that if anyone dies in this city they attain salvation and freedom from the cycle of birth and rebirth.
The city is located in the middle-Ganges valley in the southeastern part of the state of Uttar Pradesh, Varanasi lies on the left bank of the river.
12. First Country To Mine Diamonds
From the 4th century BC for around 1,000 years, India was the only country that was locating diamonds. The original diamonds were found in the Krishna River Delta which brought the country decent profits. That was until the market expanded in countries like Brazil and South Africa.
Diamonds were reported from several places across India, but most of the diamond mining took place by placer mining in the drainages of the Pannar and Krishna Rivers.
13. Oldest Religion In the World
Hinduism is the oldest religion in the world which dates back to 5,500 BCE. Funnily enough, there isn’t a single person who is credited to be the inventor of it.
Hinduism is more or less a way of life and today Hinduism has 1 billion followers. As per Hindu texts, it is revealed that the origins of Hinduism lie beyond human history.
14. Taj Mahal and Bamboo Stockpile
The Taj Mahal is one of the most important monuments in the world ever since Shah Jehan built it in the memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. During the Second World War, bamboo coverings were spread all over the Palace to prevent overhead planes from bombing it. It was a stroke of genius since no harm came to the monument.
This wasn’t the only instance where such a practice was adopted. India did this on two other occasions when it was fighting a war against Pakistan in the years 1965 and 1971.
15. Step Wells
India is well-known for its step wells which are known as ‘vavs’ in Gujarat. These steps are an important part of Indian history and architecture, making this one of the most important history facts about India. The common belief is that these stairs appeared somewhere between the 2nd and 4th centuries.
These step wells are located on the banks of the Saraswati River. Since 2014, it has been listed as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.
16. Maharashtra’s Lonar Lake
Maharashtra’s Lonar Lake originated after a meteor crashed at the spot about 52,000 years ago. Now it has become a famous tourist spot having several temples around it. The water in the lake is both saline and alkaline. Mainly due to the effects of the meteor still lingering. This is definitely one of the most interesting history facts about India!
17. Anti-Gravity Hills – Tulsi Shyam
In Ladakh, you can find hills with anti-gravitational effects. The landmark has a yellow board that has instructions on it on how to drive your car. This is because there will come a point on the hill where your car will start to move uphill on its own.
The site is also famous for having the Tulsi Shyam temple of Lord Vishnu and Lord Shyam. According to legend, Lord Krishna eliminated the demon called Tul at this site.
18. Shani Shingnapur Village
The Shani Shingnapur Village in India is a village that doesn’t have any doors and locks. This village has over 40,000 devotees visiting it each day. The residents of this village sleep safe and sound as they believe that they are under the protection of Lord Shani.
Legend has it that about 300 years ago, after a bout of rain and flooding, a heavy black slab of rock was found washed up on the shores of the Panasnala River which has since then been put up for worship in this village with the residents believing Shani instructed their ancestors to get this done.
19. Highest Cricket Ground In the World
We all know Indians and their love for the game of cricket, which is why it is only fair that they are the ones to take cricket to incredible heights, quite literally.
The cricket ground is situated at a level of 2,144 meters above sea level in Chail, Himachal Pradesh. It is the highest cricket ground in the world recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records- this is definitely one of the most impressive history facts about India!
20. India Has A Lot Of Mosques
Even though India is a nation that is Hindu-majority in most of its parts, it has a staggering number of 300,000 mosques throughout the entire country. Some of the famous ones are present in the cities of New Delhi, Hyderabad, and Bhopal.
21. Golden Temple in Amritsar
The Golden Temple in Amritsar is one of the most visited places in the world with over a hundred thousand devotees visiting the shrine every day. The man-made pool on the site of the temple was completed by the fourth Sikh Guru, Guru Ram Das, in 1577.
22. There Is A Rat Temple in Rajasthan
The Karni Mata Temple in Rajasthan is where thousands of rats reside. It is whom pilgrims consider being their ancestors and worship. It is one of the strangest attractions in India and many people still have no idea about this place. This has to be one of the most bizarre history facts about India!
23. Roopkund Is Home To A Skeleton Lake
Uttarakhand’s Roopkund is famous for hundreds of human skeletons at the bottom of the lake as well as in surrounding areas. It is locally known as the mystery lake or the skeleton lake.
Roopkund Lake is located 5,029 meters (16,500ft) above sea level at the bottom of a steep slope on Trisul, one of India’s highest mountains, in the state of Uttarakhand.
24. The Floating Post Office
India has one of the most unique post offices in the world- because it floats on water! This post office is located in Dal Lake, Srinagar, and without any surprise, this place has become a popular spot for tourist attractions.
25. Indian Flag Origin
Contrary to popular belief, the person behind the Indian flag wasn’t Pingali Venkayya. Instead, it was a woman, Surayya Tyabji. She and her husband were approached for the flag’s design after which they took the Ashok Chakra and put it on the three-color scheme. The flag’s acceptance took place on July 22, 1947.
History Facts About India
India is a big country with plenty of historic facts. You never know what secrets unfold as the years roll on that will contribute to India’s already incredible history. A country with so many unknown rituals, places, and historic origins has every right to be incredible and it is no surprise that there are so many fascinating history facts about India!
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