Population 1.2 billion (2011 Census)
India has 22 official languages and thousands of different dialects. The Sanskrit of the Aryan settlers has merged with the earlier Dravidian vernaculars to give rise to new languages.
Hindi spoken by about 45 per cent of the population is the national language. English has also been retained as a language for official communication.
The Hindu religion had its origin in the concepts of the early Aryans who came to
Arab traders brought Islam to
Islam has flourished in
Jainism and Buddhism :
In the sixth century before Christ, Mahavira propagated Jainism. His message was asceticism, austerity and non-violence.
At about the same time, Buddhism came into being. Gautama Buddha, a prince, renounced the world and gained enlightenment. He preached that "Nirvana" was to be attained through the conquest of self. Buddha's teachings in time spread to
Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism in the 15th century, stressed the unity of God and the brotherhood of man. Sikhism, with its affirmation of God as the one supreme truth and its ideals of discipline and spiritual striving, soon won many followers.
In the days of the old Persian Empire, Zoroastrianism was the dominant religion in West Asia , and in the form of Mithraism, it spread over vast areas of the Roman Empire , as far as
Jewish contact with the
Jan gana mana written by Rabindranath Tagore
The following is a translation of Rabindranath Tagore's rendering of the anthem:
Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people, dispenser of
Victory, victory, victory to thee.
The National Emblem of India is a replica of the Lion of Sarnath, near Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. The Lion Capital was erected in the third century BC by Emperor Ashoka to mark the spot where Buddha first proclaimed his gospel of peace and emancipation to the four quarters of the universe. The National emblem is thus symbolic of contemporary India 's reaffirmation of its ancient commitment to world peace and goodwill.
The four lions (one hidden from view) - symbolising power, courage and confidence - rest on a circular abacus. The abacus is girded by four smaller animals - guardians of the four directions: the lion of the north, the elephant of the east, the horse of the south and the bull of the west. The abacus rests on a lotus in full bloom, exemplifying the fountainhead of life and creative inspiration. The motto 'Satyameva Jayate' inscribed below the emblem in Devanagari script means 'truth alone triumphs'.
The Indian flag was designed as a symbol of freedom. The late Prime Minister Nehru called it a flag not only of freedom for us, but a symbol of freedom to all people
The flag is a horizontal tricolour in equal proportion of deep saffron on the top, white in the middle and dark green at the bottom. The ratio of the width to the length of the flag is two is to three. In the centre of the white band, there is a wheel in navy blue to indicate the Dharma Chakra, the wheel of law in the Sarnath Lion Capital. Its diameter approximates the width of the white band and it has 24 spokes. The saffron stands for courage, sacrifice and the spirit of renunciation; the white, for purity and truth; the green for faith and fertility.
National animal : Tiger
Large Asiatic carnivorous feline quadruped, Panthera Tigris, maneless, of tawny yellow colour with blackish transverse stripes and white belly, proverbial for its power and its magnificence.
National bird : Peacock
ale bird of species P. cristatus, is a native of
National flower : Lotus
The Lotus or waterlily is an aquatic plant of Nymphaea with broad floating leaves and bright fragrant flowers that grow only in shallow waters. In
National tree : Banyan
Indian fig tree, Ficus bengalensis, whose branches root themselves like new trees over a large area. The roots then give rise to more trunks and branches. Because of this characteristic and its longevity, this tree is considered immortal and is an integral part of the myths and legends of
National fruit : Mango
A fleshy fruit, eaten ripe or used green for pickles etc., of the tree Mangifera indica, the mango is one of the most important and widely cultivated fruits of the tropical world. Its juicy fruit is a rich source of Vitamins A, C and D. In
National currency : Rupees (One Rupees=100 paise)
INDIA – Did you know that….
Is among the few countries to have sent own satellites into space.
Is a globally acknowledged software power and leader in the knowledge based economy.
Has one of the largest number of software engineers in the world
Ranks 1st in the production of milk and butter, mango, tea, raw sugar, jute, coconut, cashew
Ranks 1st in the cutting, processing and manufacturing of gems and jewellery
Ranks 1st in the diamond cutting and polishing trade
Largest manufacturer of tractors and leather goods
2nd largest producer of vegetables and fruits
2nd largest producer of rice, groundnuts, sugarbeet, tobacco
2nd largest manufacturer of motorcycles and scooters
3rd largest producer of wheat
4th largest producer of natural rubber
4th largest producer of cement
Has the world's largest postal network
Has the world's largest rail network: Indian Railways is the world's single largest employer
Has the oldest film industry and produces the maximum number of films in the world
Has given the world 7 Noble Laureates:
Rabindranath Tagore – Literature (1913),
Dr C.V. Raman – Physics (1968),
Mother Teresa – Peace (1979),
Dr Amartya Sen – Economics (1998)
Dr Hargobind Khurana – Genetics (1968),
Dr S. Chandrashekar – Astrophysics (1983),
Sir V.S. Naipaul – Literature (2001)
Inventor of Hotmail (Sabeer Bhatia) and the Pentium chip (Vinod Dham) are both persons of Indian origin
Inventor of the Number system and Zero was the Indian mathematician Aryabhatta
The decimal system was developed in India in 100 B.C.
The value of 'pi' (π) was first calculated by Budhyana in the 6th century
The time taken by the earth to orbit the Sun was first calculated by the Indian mathematician-astronomer Bhaskaracharya in the 5th century as 365.259756484 days
The world's first university was established in Takshila in India in 700 B.C.
Ayurveda of India was the earliest school of medicine known to the world
Chess was invented in