Facts About India
From the Essential to the Bizarre...
|For ease of navigation, the facts about India are divided into various sections that cover all the essentials such as flag of India, location, India's capital city, area, time, politics, sport, education, languages and states of India, Indian economy and fun facts about India.|
We have also included some useful pages on population of India, Indian festivals and Indian religion. Indian weather varies hugely depending on where you go and when. While it may be 35 degrees and sunny on the beaches in Goa, it could be misty at 15 degrees in Kerala's hill stations.
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The Indian Flag
Indian flag courtesy of 4 International Flags
|The National Flag of India in its present form was adopted on the 22nd July 1947, shortly before independence from the British in August that year. It is based on the flag of the National Indian Congress designed by Pingali Venkayya. It consists of a horizontal tricolour of deep saffron, white and green. The navy blue wheel with twenty-four spokes in the centre is known as the Ashoka Chakra.|
Legally the flag must be made of khadi, a hand-spun silk or cotton made popular by Mahatma Gandhi. The rights to manufacture it, according to specifications of the Bureau of Indian Standards, are held by the Khadi Development and Village Industries Commission.
India is located in the northern hemisphere in the continent of Asia (south). India shares its borders with Nepal and China to the north, Bhutan in the north-east, Myanmer and Bangladesh to the east and Pakistan to the west. Off is south-eastern coast lies Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
The Bay of Bengal are the waters of India's eastern coast, the Indian Ocean to the south and the Arabian Sea to the west. Within these waters are India's islands, the Andoman and Nicobar Islands to the east and the Lakshadweep Islands in the west.
Click here for a map of India!
India's capital is New Delhi. It has a population of about 12.5 million people and an area of 1,483 sq km. For a map of Delhi, click here!
|City facts about India - the population of Delhi has grown by approximately 3 million since 2001. Mumbai's population is greater than that of Delhi by more than 1.3 million people (census 2010).|
India's total area is 3,287,240 km2 or 1,269,210 square miles. This makes India the 7th largest country in the world, and the second largest in Asia.
India extends 3,214 km or 1,997 miles north to south, and 2,933 km or 1,822 miles east to west. It is slightly more than one third the size of the United States, and about 20 times larger than the UK.
|H20 facts about India - India's inland water makes up 9.56% of the country's area, and the coastline of India is 7,517 kilometres / 4,700 miles.|
Indian Standard Time (IST) is GMT + 5.5hours. India does not observe Daylight Saving. Indian Standard Time is calculated on the basis of 82.5° E longitude - near Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh state.
|Interesting time facts about India - because of India's east to west distance of 1,200 miles / 2,000 km (more than 28° longitude) the sun rises nearly two hours earlier in the far east than in the far west. Inhabitants of the north-east therefore advance their watches with sunrise in order to avoid excess energy consumption after sunset.|
India is the largest democracy in the world and follows a parliamentary system of government known as the Westminster System after that of the U.K.
The President of India is Pratibha Devisingh Patil, the first woman to have assumed the role. The role of President dates back to January 26th, 1950 when the first president (Rajendra Prasad) was elected after independence in 1947. The President's position as head of state can be loosely compared to the role of the monarch in the United Kingdom, with substantial reserve powers, but no real executive power.
The current Prime Minister of India is Manmohan Singh. The Prime Minister of India is the head of government in India, and head of the Council of Ministers. He/She is appointed by the President, and recognized as the head of the majority party.
National political parties in India include the INC (currently the leading party in a coalition known as UPA), the NCP, the CPI and the BJP. As well as these, there are more than 35 recognised state parties.
|State political facts about India - the first freely elected communist government in the world was voted into power in the state of Kerala in 1957.|
- On January 16th, 1967 the Union Territory of Goa was asked to vote for or against a merger with Maharashtra. 54% voted to keep Goa an independent state.
The official language of the Republic of India and most widely spoken language is Hindi. English is used extensively in business, administration and education. There is no recognised 'national language' defined in India.
There are 22 official languages in India, with many states adopting native languages as their official tongue. Significant official languages spoken in India other than Hindi and English include Urdu, Punjabi, Tamil, Malayalam, Konkani, Telugu, Marathi, Kannada and Bengali.
|Linguistic facts about India - consider that there are more than 1500 unofficial dialects and languages spoken in India and its enormous diversity becomes apparent.|
|India's main religions are Hinduism (81.3%), Islam (12%), Christianity (2.3%), Sikhism (1.9%) and others including Buddhism, Jainism and Parsi (2.5%).|
Religion is apparent in almost all aspects of Indian life, and is part of what defines it as a country. Follow the link for more information on Indian religion.
|Facts about India, churches - the oldest European built church in India is believed to be St Francis' Church in Fort Cochin, Kerala, built by the Portuguese Franciscan Friars in 1503. The church that stands today was constructed in the mid 16th century, replacing the original wooden structure.|
States of India
The 28 states of India are Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal.
India's 7 Union Territories are Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep, National Capital Territory of Delhi and Puducherry.
Economic Facts About India
India is a rapidly growing economy. Currently its GDP is the 12th largest in the world - it is predicted that by 2020, India will be among the leading economies of the world.
The service industry accounts for 54% of India's GDP, with 29% representing industrial, and 17% agricultural sectors.
The work force in India is over half a billion with 60% of these employed in the agricultural sector. Agricultural products include rice, wheat, tea, sugarcane, cotton, potatoes, fish, poultry and water buffalo. Main industries include textiles, chemicals, petroleum, mining and software.
India's main exports are petroleum and related products, textiles, jewellery and gemstones, chemicals, leather goods and engineering goods. India's main trading partners are China and the US.
Despite rapid growth, around 80% of India's population live on $2 or less a day, and the economic divide broadens. Sadly, 22% of the population still live below the poverty line, with many struggling on little more.
Educational Facts About India
Education among the young in India is improving, with free education provided up until the age of 14. Numbers in secondary education, however, remain low and India has the largest illiterate population of any country in the world.
Efforts are being made to improve literacy, especially among women where the rate is lowest at 54.5%. Overall, around 66% of India's population are literate, though a steady growth is occuring.
At a tertiary level, the emphasis is on science and technology, with popular choices also covering business management and IT. India has 13 universities which provide both an exceptional level of education and are deemed as having national importance. There are many more providing excellent levels of higher education, but also a large number of questionable quality.
|Literacy facts about India - Kerala is the state with the highest literacy level, at just over 90%.|
One of the less known facts about India is that field hockey is India's national sport. It is cricket, however, that wins the heart of the nation, being by far the most popular sport.
Other popular sports in India include football, badminton, volleyball, kabaddi, golf, basketball and kite flying. Sports / activities popular with tourists and growing numbers of Indian enthusiasts alike include scuba diving, sea kayaking, paragliding, white-water rafting, snow sports, mountain biking and trekking.
Fun Facts About India
Want to know more facts about India? Try our pages on Indian religion and Indian festivals.
|There are more post offices in India than any other country in the world.|
The highest cricket ground in the world is in Himachal Pradesh, north India, which is 2444 metres above sea level.
Varanasi, one of India's north-easterly cities is the oldest city of continued habitation in the world, and was known as 'The Ancient City' when visited by the Buddha in 500 BC
Chess was invented in India.
The word 'navigation' is derived from the Sanskrit word, 'Navgatih' and the art was born 5000 years ago around the river Sindh.
The longest railway platform in the world is Kharagpur in India, which is 2,733 ft long.
India is the only country in the world that has a Bill of Rights for cows.
The board game, 'Snakes and Ladders' was invented in India and was originally named 'Mokshapat'. It was played with cowrie shells and dice.
Bhimbetka in Madhya Pradesh is home to the world's earliest discovered cave paintings.
There are more than 1000 varieties of mango in India.
In the Se Cathedral in Goa there is a bell that can be heard from 14km away. Standing next to the bell however, its sound is soft and light.
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