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Indian Book Of Records | INDIA FACTS

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The transformation of India instills a sense of national pride in the heart of every Indian within the Country and abroad, and this section is a modest attempt at keeping its flame alive. We have collected a number of interesting facts about India. These include the facts about geographical diversity of India, history of India, achievements of India as a nation and achievements of Indian people in the sphere of science & technology, sports, adventure etc

Indian geography is a showcase of diversity. India's landscape varies from snow-capped peaks to deserts, plains, rainforests, hills, and plateaus. India has a vast coastline of over 7000km, and is home to some of the highest mountains of the world. India has number of rivers that have resulted in a number of fertile deltas and on the other hand it is also home to the barren Thar Desert. India has the second coldest place on the earth and at the same time it has places that witness temperatureover 50oC in summers. Check out some interesting facts on Indian geography.

Drass in western Ladakh is the coldest place in India. It is also the second coldest place in the world after Siberia. Temperatures drop down to about -40 degrees Celsius in winters. However, summers in Drass are balmy and many trekkers and campers visit Drass during the summer time.

Drass has an altitude of 3230 m and lies 60 km west of Kargil on the road to Srinagar. The Drass valley starts from the base of the Zojila pass, the Himalayan gateway to Ladakh. Drass is a convenient base camp for treks to Suru valley. Inhabitants of Drass are of Dard descent, an Indo-Aryan race believed to have originally migrated to Ladakh from Central Asia.

Kibithu is the easternmost point of India. Kibithu is a tiny village located at an altitude of 11,000 feet in Arunachal Pradesh's Lohit District, bordering China's Tibet region. Kibithoo is nestled on the right bank of the mighty Lohit River. It is the first settlement along the banks of Lohit River in Arunachal Pradesh after the river enters the Indian Territory from China. The climate of Kibithu is cool and salubrious. The whispering pine forests, wild rash berries, beautiful flowers and majestic waterfalls set against tall blue hills add to the abundant natural beauty of Kibithu.

Kibithu witnessed some of the fiercest fights by Indian Soldiers against the Chinese in 1962. But with the passage of time, after Nathu La, Kibithu is fast emerging to be a new melting point of Indo-China friendship. It offers relatively easy travel up to Chinese side.

India has an area of 3,287,240 sq. km. It is the seventh largest country of the world after Russia (1,70,75,000 sq. km), Canada (99,76,132 sq. km), China (99,76,132 sq. km), the U.S.A. (90,72,340 sq. km), Brazil (85,11,965 sq. km) and Australia (76,82,300 sq. km). India accounts for about 2.4 per cent of the total surface area of the world.

India is nearly twenty times as large as Great Britain. Many of the Indian states are larger than several countries of the world.

Kanchenjunga is the highest mountain peak in India. Kanchenjunga has an altitude of 8,586 metres (28,169 feet). It is engirdled by three territories: Sikkim in the south and east, Nepal in the west, and Tibet in the north. The name Kanchenjunga is derived from the Tibetan words, 'Kanchen' and 'Dzonga', meaning 'Five Treasuries of the Great Snow', as it contains five peaks. The treasures represent the five repositories of god, which are gold, silver, gems, grain, and holy books. The five ridges are named according to their respective directions with reference to the main peak to which they are attached.

The five peaks of Kanchenjunga are:

  • Kanchenjunga Main: 8,586 m
  • Kanchenjunga West: 8,505 m
  • Kangchenjunga Central: 8,482m
  • Kangchenjunga South: 8,494m
  • Kangbachen: 7,903m

The Great Plain of North India also known as Indo-Gangetic-Brahmaputra Plain is the largest alluvial plain of the world. This arcuate plain extends for a length of 3200 km from the mouth of the Indus to the mouth of the Ganga. The plain lies partly in Pakistan and partly in India. The length of the plain in India is around 2400 km. The average width of the plain varies from 150 to 300 km. It is widest in the west where it stretches for about 500 km. Its width decreases in the east. It is about 280 km wide near Allahabad and 160 km near Rajmahal Hills.

The plain widens to about 460 km in Bengal but narrows down in Assam where it is only 60-100 km wide. The plain covers a total area of 7.8 lakh sq km. The northern boundary of the plain is well defined by the foothills of the Shiwaliks but its southern boundary is a wavy irregular line along the northern edge of the Peninsular India.

Sundarban is the largest delta in India. The Sundarbans are a part of the world's largest delta formed by the rivers Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna. They are vast tract of forest and saltwater swamp forming the lower part of the Ganges Delta, extending about 260 km along the Bay of Bengal from the Hooghly River Estuary in India to the Meghna River Estuary in Bangladesh. Sunderban covers an area of 4262 sq. km in India.

Sunderban is a unique ecosystem dominated by mangrove forests and gets its name from the Sundari trees. Sunderban is spread over 54 islands and two countries. It is one of the last preserves of the Bengal tiger and the site of a tiger preservation project.

Kachchh (also spelled as Kutch) in Gujarat, with an area of 45,652 sq km is the largest District in India. The administrative headquarters of Kachchh is in Bhuj. The district's five main towns are Gandhidham, Bhuj, Anjaar, Mandavi and Mundra. There are 966 smaller villages in the area.

Kachchh literally means something which intermittently becomes wet and dry. Rann of Kachchh, a significant region of Kachchh district is shallow wet-land which submerges in water during the rainy season and becomes dry during other seasons. Kachchhi and Gujarati are the dominant languages of the area. Kachchhi draws heavily from its neighbouring language groups: Sindhi, Punjabi and Gujarati.

Siachen Glacier is the largest glacier in India. In fact, it has the distinction of being the largest glacier outside the polar and the sub-polar regions. Siachen glacier is 75.6 km long and 2.8 km wide. It is the source for the 80km-long Nubra River, a tributary of the Shyok, which is part of the Indus River system.

The Siachen Glacier lies south of the great watershed that separates China from the Indian subcontinent in the extensively glaciated portion of the Karakoram. The word 'Siachen' means "the place of wild roses". Siachen also has the dubious distinction of being the highest battleground on earth. India and Pakistan have fought intermittently since April 13, 1984. The volume of the glacier has been reduced by 35 percent over the last twenty years. Global warming and military activity have been cited as the main reasons for the receding of the glacier.

India is divided into five physiographic divisions. These are:

  • The Himalayan Mountains
  • The Great Plains of North India
  • The Peninsular Plateau
  • The Coastal Plains
  • The Islands

Among these five physiographic units, The Peninsular Plateau is the largest physiographic unit of India. The entire plateau measures about 1,600 km in the north-south and 1400 km in east-west direction. It covers a total area of about 16 lakh sq km which is about half of the total land area of the country. The Peninsular Plateau is roughly triangular in shape with base coinciding with the southern edge of the great plain of North India and its apex is formed by Kanyakumari in the southern extremity.

Majuli Island in Assam is the largest river Island in India. Majuli is in the Brahmaputra River, and is about 200 kilometres east from Guwahati, the capital of Assam. Majuli was formed due to course changes by the river Brahmaputra and its tributaries, mainly the Lohit. The total area of the island was 1250 sq.km but due to erosion its present area is 557 sq km.

Majuli is inhabited mainly by tribals. Major tribes are: Mishing, Deori, and Sonowal Kacharis. Major languages spoken in Majuli are Assamese, Mishing, and Deori. The island has twenty-three villages with a population of 150,000 and a density of 300 persons per square km.

Rajasthan with an area of 342,239 sq km is the largest state in India. Before the formation of Chattisgarh as a separate state in the year 2000, Madhya Pradesh was the largest Indian state in terms of area. Rajasthan is located in the western part of India and has two distinct geographical regions with desert on one side and thick forest on the other.

Aravalli the oldest mountain chain is the dividing line between the two climatic zones of the State. Western Rajasthan encompasses most of the area of the Great Indian Desert (also known as Thar Desert). The eastern region of the State has thick vegetation of Sal, Axlewood, Dhak and Mesquite.

Andaman & Nicobar Islands with an area of 8,249 sq km is the largest union territory in India. The Andaman & Nicobar Islands are situated between 6o and 14o North Latitude and 92o and 94o East Longitude. The group of 572 islands / islets is located in the Bay of Bengal, 1,255 km from Kolkata and 1190 km from Chennai. The entire chain of island consists of two distinct groups of islands.

The Great Andaman group of islands in the north is separated by the Ten Degree Channel from the Nicobar group in the south. The Andaman group of islands is divided into three main groups viz., North Andaman, Middle Andaman and South Andaman. Little Andaman is separated from the Great Andamans by 50 km wide Duncan Passage. The Nicobar group of islands consists of 7 big and 12 small islands together with several tiny islands. The Great Nicobar is the largest of all the islands.

Length of coastline of India including the coastlines of Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal and Lakshwadweep Islands in the Arabian Sea is 7517 km. Length of Coastline of Indian mainland is 6100 km. Coastline of Indian mainland is surrounded by Arabian Sea in the west, Bay of Bengal in the east, and Indian Ocean in the south. length of total coastline of India.

The long coast line of India is dotted with several major ports such as Kandla, Mumbai, Navasheva, Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Tuticorin, Vishakapatnam, and Paradip. For the effective defence of Indian Coastline, a separate force known as Indian Coast Guard was formed on February 1, 1977.

Ganga is the longest river of India. The total length of the Ganga river from its source to its mouth (measured along the Hughli) is 2525 km of which 1450 km is in the Uttar Pradesh, 445 km in Bihar and 520 km in West Bengal. The remaining 110 km stretch of the Ganga forms the boundary between Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

The Ganga originates as Bhagirathi from the Gangotri glacier in Uttar Kashi District. It is joined by the Alaknanda at Devaprayag and the combined flow of the Bhagirathi and the Alaknanda is known as Ganga. After traveling 280 km from its source, Ganga enters plains at Haridwar. At Allahabad, about 770 km south-east of Haridwar, Ganga is joined by Yamuna, which is its most important tributary. After Farraka in West Bengal, the river ceases to be known as the Ganga. It bifurcates itself into Bhagirathi-Hughli in West Bengal and Padma-Meghna in Bangladesh. After traversing 220 km further down in Bangladesh, the Brahmaputra joins it at Goalundo and after meeting Meghna 100 km downstream the Ganga joins the Bay of Bengal.

India lies wholly in the northern and eastern hemispheres. The main land of India extends from 8o 4' 28" N to 37o 17' 53" N latitudes and from 68o 7' 53" E to 97o 24' 47" E longitudes. The latitudinal and longitudinal extent of India is approximately the same i.e. 30o. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands extend further southwards and add to the latitudinal extent of India.

The southernmost point known as the Indira Point in the Great Nicobar Island is at 6o 45' N. The latitudinal extent of India from Kashmir in the north to Kanyakumari in the south is 3,214 km. India's longitudinal extent from the Rann of Kutch in the west to Arunachal Pradesh in the east is 2,933 km.

Northernmost Point of India is disputed. The Siachen Glacier in the State of Jammu & Kashmir is the northern most point under Indian control. India claims the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir on the basis of Instrument of Accession signed in 1947, which inter alia includes Gilgit, Baltistan, and Kanjut.

Gilgit, Baltistan, and Kanjut are presently under the control of Pakistan. The northern most point if we take the whole state of J&K in consideration is Dafdar in the Taghdumbash Pamir near Beyik Pass in Kanjut.

Mahe is the smallest district in India. It has an area of 9 sq. km. Mahe is geographically located in the state of Kerala, where as administratively it comes under the control of Union Territory of Pondicherry. Mahe has the official name of Mayyazhi in the local Malayalam language.

Mahe has a population of about 36,000 according to the 2001 census. The population density of the town is 4091 per sq. km. Males constitute 47% of the population and females 53%. Mahe has an average literacy rate of 85%. Mahe has two members in the Pondicherry Legislative Assembly, representing Mahe and Palloor.

Goa with an area of 3702 sq. km is the smallest State in India. Goa was a Portuguese colony and was liberated from Portuguese rule on December 19, 1961. After its independence Goa along with Daman & Diu was accorded the status of Union Territory. On May 30, 1987, the Union Territory was split, and Goa was elevated as India's 25th state, with Daman and Diu remaining Union Territories.

Goa is one of the most developed states of India. Tourism is the mainstay of Goa. Panaji is the capital of Goa and Vasco is its largest town. The main language of Goa is Konkani.

Lakshadweep with an area of 32 sq km is the smallest Union Territory in India. Lakshadweep islands lie in the Arabian Sea and extend from 8o N to 12o 20' N and 71o 45' E to 74o E. The islands north of 11o N are known as Amindivi Islands while those south of this latitude are called Cannanore Islands. In the extreme south is the Minicoy Island.

The Laccadives, Minicoy and Amindivi group of islands were renamed as Lakshadweep in 1973. All the islands are of coral origin. The islands consist of 12 atolls, three reefs and submerged sand banks. Of the 27 islands, only 11 are inhabited.

Indira Point, the southernmost tip of the Great Nicobar island is the southernmost point of land in the territory of India. It is at 6o 45' N latitude. Indira Point was formerly known as Pygmalion Point and it was so named by the late Rajiv Gandhi after his mother on a visit to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

A large part of the Indira point was submerged under the sea due to the tsunami generated by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. The sea is now slowly retreating back to its original position. Indira Point is also a favourite nesting site for exotic sea animals.

Kanyakumari is the southernmost Point of Indian Mainland. Kanyakumari, also known as Cape Comorin, is located in the state of Tamil Nadu. Kanyakumari has great geographical significance as it is the confluence of the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal meet. The place is famous for its spectacular sunrises and sunsets.

Kanyakumari has been associated with great men such as Swami Vivekanada and Mahatma Gandhi. Swamy Vivekananda visited Kanyakumari during 24th, 25th and 26th December 1892 for deep meditation and enlightenment. To commemorate the visit, a monument known as Vivekananda Rock Memorial, has been built which attracts a large number of tourists. Mahatma Gandhi visited Kanyakumari twice in 1925 and 1937.

West of Ghuar Mota in Gujarat is the westernmost point of India. Its Latitude/Longitide is 23.67 N/ 68.52 E. Ghuar Mota is in the Kutch region of Gujarat. Other cities located near Ghuar Mota are: Koteshwar, Mudia, Panadra, Pipar, Ber Mota, Ber, Lakhpat, and Lakhpal.

Kutch was one of the princely states of India during the British rule. During the monsoon season the region becomes virtually an island resembling a tortoise "Katchua", surrounded by seawater. Kutch has an extreme climate and the temperature ranges from 20o C in winter to 45o C in summers.

Wettest Place in India is Cherrapunji. In fact, Cherrapunji is the wettest place on the earth. The place receives an annual rainfall of over 1200 cm. Cherrapunji is situated at 56 kms from Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, in one of the heaviest rain-belts in the world. However, off late, a ding-dong battle has been on between Cherrapunji and the neighbouring village of Mawsynram for the crown of "Wettest Place in the World".

Sometimes, it is Cherrapunji which records highest annual rainfall in the world and sometimes it is Mawsynram. However, meteorologists question the genuineness of the data obtained from Mawsynram. Unlike Cherrapunji, there is no meteorological office at Mawsynram and the readings there are taken by a peon of the Meghalaya Public Works Department posted there.

Goa is the state with least number of districts in India. It has two districts: North Goa & South Goa.

The North Goa District has an area of 1736 sq. Km. Geographical position of Goa is marked by 15o 48' 00" N to 14o 53' 54" N latitudes and 73o E to 75o E longitudes. North Goa shares its boundaries with the Sawantwadi & Dodamarg, of Ratnagiri District and Kolhapur District of Maharastra state and with South Goa District shares the southern boundary.

South Goa is situated between the latitudinal paralles of 15o 29' 32" N and 14o 53' 57" N and longitudinal parallels of 73o 46' 21" E and 74o 20' 11" E. Arabian Sea is to the west of district, North Goa district to the North and Uttar Kannada district of Karnataka in the East and South. The total geographical area of the district is 1966 sq km.

Uttar Pradesh is the state with maximum number of districts in India. It has a total of 70 districts. Uttar Pradesh is the most populous and fifth largest state of India.

Only five countries of the world, China, the United States, Indonesia, Brazil and India itself have populations larger than that of Uttar Pradesh. Kanpur is the largest city of Uttar Pradesh and as per the 2001 census six cities of Uttar Pradesh, namely, Agra, Allahabad, Kanpur, Lucknow, Meerut, and Varanasi have population of over million.

Indian literature is considered as the oldest literature in the world. The Vedas, Ramayana, and Mahabharata are considered to be nearly 5000 years old. Similarly other examples of ancient Indian literature are Sangam Poetry which dates back to 1st century BC, Arthashastra, and Kamasutra. Apart from being the oldest, Indian literature is also very rich. There are 22 officially recognized languages in India and each one has a huge variety of literature. Among modern Indian literature, the first name that comes to mind is that of Rabindranath Tagore - India's first Nobel laureate. Munshi Premchand is also not far behind. In recent times several Indian writers such as Arundhati Roy, Vikram Seth, Jhumpa Lahiri and Kiran Desai have done India proud. Check out some interesting facts about Indian literature.

Children's magazine with largest circulation in India is Tinkle. Tinkle is a monthly magazine published by India Book House Pvt Ltd Mumbai. The magazine was launched on November 14, 1980 and is edited by Anant Pai. Tinkle has a monthly readership of around 12 lakh.

Tinkle is a fun-to-read 72-page monthly comics magazine, designed for the 8-14 age group. It contains stories, regular cartoon fearures, a fascinating science or general knowledge feature, a do-it-yourself craft idea, puzzles, gags, a book review and first hand accounts of various experiences our young readers have had.

Therigatha, the ninth book of the Khuddaka Nikaya, is the earliest anthology of India. It is a Buddhist scripture, a collection of short poems supposedly recited by early members of the Buddhist sangha. Therigatha consists of 73 poems, organized into 16 chapters, and has 522 stanzas in all. In these poems, the bhikshus (monks) and bhikshunis (nuns) describe how their lives were transformed by the teachings of the Buddha.

The verses by the bhikshus in the Therigatha are often spiritual and meditative, with may beautiful passages on nature while the bhikshunis strike a more personal note and sing to the joys, sorrows and complexities of life. Therigatha is a very significant document in the study of early Buddhism. It contains a number of passages that re-affirm the view that women equal to men in terms of religious attainment.

Mahabharata is the longest epic in the world. Mahabharata has more than 74,000 verses, long prose passages, and about 1.8 million words in total. Mahabharata was written by Ved Vyasa in Sanskrit. Its origin dates back to the late Vedic period and it probably reached its final form in the early Gupta period. Mahabharata is the story of the Bharata Dyanasty. It includes aspects of Hindu mythology, stories of the gods and goddesses, and explanations of Hindu philosophy.

One of the main aims of Mahabharata is to elucidate the four goals of life: dharma (duty), artha (wealth), kama (pleasure), and moksha (liberation). The narrative culminates in moksha, believed by Hindus to be the ultimate goal of human beings.

Longest Indian Novel is Avakasikal, written by MK Menon in Malayalam under the penname "Vilasini". The novel runs into 3,958 pages in four volumes and took ten years to complete. MK Menon spent the best part of his life abroad as a journalist. At an early stage in his literary career he set his mind on writing long novels. MK Menon received Sahitya Akademi Award for Avakasikal in 1981 and Vayalar Award in 1983. Sahitya Akademi is an independent organistion, supported by Government of India, and dedicated to the promotion of literature in the languages of India. Vayalar Award is given for the best literary work in Malayalam. Other famous novels of MK Menon include "Oonjal" and "Agnisaakshi".

Chandamama is the longest running children magazine in India. The magazine was launched in July, 1947 in Telugu. Chakrapani was the founder-editor of Chandamama. B Viswanatha Reddy has been the publisher of Chandamama for the last 40 years. Owing to labour disputes, the magazine ceased publication in 1998. However, it was relaunched a year later and continues to be published till date.

Chandamama is currently published in 13 languages including English. The 13th edition was launched in 2004 in Santhali making it the first and only children's magazine in a tribal languages. Other languages in which Chandamama is published are: Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Bangla, Assamese, Oriya, Malayalam, Kannada, and Sanskrit. Gurmukhi and Sinhalese editions were also brought out for a short while. For several years till 1998, a Braille edition was published too.

Most Expensive Indian Book is "Firefly - A Fairytale", written by famous fashion designer Ritu Beri. The book is priced at Rs 1 lakh and is published by Ritu Beri herself. Famous publisher Penguin had earlier commissioned Ritu Beri to write the book but abandoned the project after hearing the price for the book she had in mind.

The book deals with topics like architecture, history, women and their beauty. It also talks about Ritu Beri's experiences in Paris which were important in shaping her career. Francois Lesage, ''the guru of embroidery'', has written the foreword to the book. Firefly - A Fairytale will have limited edition. Only 100 copies will be sold in India through Ritu Beri's store in Delhi and the book is also available at the new Louis Vuitton flagship store near Champs Elysee in Paris.

Most translated literary work is Bhagavad Gita, an integral part of the Mahabharata. It was first translated into English in 1785 by Charles Wilkeinson. Since then, Bhagavad Gita has been translated into 55 languages.

Bhagavad Gita is considered as a practical, self-contained guide to life. It is a conversation between Krishna and Arjuna which took place on the battlefield of Kurukshetra just prior to the start of a climactic war. Responding to Arjuna's confusion and moral dilemma, Krishna explains to Arjuna his duties as a warrior and Prince and elaborates on a number of different Yogic and Vedantic philosophies, with examples and analogies.

Tamil is the oldest living language of India and the world. It belongs to the Dravidian group of languages. Tamil is the official language of the state of Tamil Nadu, and also has official status in Sri Lanka and Singapore. Tamil ranks 17th amongst the top twenty of the world's most spoken languages. Tamil has a literary tradition of over two thousand years.

Tolkappiyam, the oldest known literary work in Tamil, has been dated variously between second century BC and fifth century AD. Tamil was declared a classical language of India by the Government of India in 2004 and was the first Indian language to have been accorded the status. The Tamil script consists of 12 vowels, 18 consonants and one special character, the aytam. The vowels and consonants combine to form 216 compound characters, making a total of 247 characters.

The oldest surviving Indian book is the Tamil work, Christiya Vanakkam, revised edition of the original Doctrina Christa.

The book was published from Quilon (located in present day Kerala) on October 20, 1578. The Harvard University library possesses a surviving copy of this book. The second page of the book mentions that it was printed on October 20, 1578 at the press of the 'Saviour'. Christiya Vanakkam is a translation of St. Francis Xavier's work in Portuguese, translated by Fr. Henrique and Father Manual de San Pedro. Doctrina Christa was first published by Portuguese Jesuit priests in 1560 in Goa, followed by its Tamil version in 1564.

Though India has never been a big sporting power, India has some noteworthy achievements in the realm of sports. For example, India has won eight Olympic gold medals in hockey. India has been a major power in Cricket and has won both the One Day and T-20 World Cup. Indian tennis players Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi have won several Grand Slam titles. There have been occasional brilliant performances by Indian athletes such as Milkha Singh, P.T. Usha and Anju Bobby George. Vishwanathan Anand has been the World Chess Champion and India has been a major power in billiards and snooker too. Here are some interesting facts about Indian sportsmen and their achievements.

Milkha Singh was the first Indian athlete to reach Olympic finals. Milkha Singh reached the finals of 400 m at the 1960 Rome Olympics. He finished fourth in the finals and clocked a timing of 45.6 seconds. Mlkha Singh missed the bronze medal by just a difference of 0.1 second.

Milkha Singh is nicknamed The Flying Sikh. He was born in Lyallpur (now in Pakistan) on 8 October 1935. He lost his parents during partition. Milkha Singh also worked in the Indian Army for a short time. He came into limelight during the National Games at Patiala in 1956. In 1958, Milkha Singh set 200 and 400 meters record in the National games at Cuttack. The same year he established new records in the 200 and 400 meters in the Asian games at Tokyo. Milkha Singh also won the gold medal in the 1958 Commonwealth Games at Cardiff. Milkha Singh was conferred with Padma Shri in 1958.

Anju Bobby George is the first Indian athlete to win a medal in World Athletics Championship. Anju entered record books when she won the bronze medal in Long Jump at the 2003 World Championships in Athletics in Paris. Anju Bobby George won the medal with a jump of 6.70 m in the penultimate round.

Anju started her athletics career with Heptathlon and later on moved to Long Jump and Triple Jump. In 1999 Anju set the national record for triple jump in the Bangalore Federation Cup. In 2001 Anju broke her own record in Long Jump with an effort of 6.74 m in the National Circuit Meet at Thiruvananthapuram. She won the bronze medal at the 2002 Commonwealth Games at Manchester and gold medal at the Asian Games in Busan. Anju Bobby George finished sixth at the 2004 Athens Olympics but achieved a personal best of 6.83 m.

Anju has won many awards and honours. She is the recipient of India's highest sporting award, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna for the year 2003. She was honoured with Padma Shri in 2004, and with Arjuna Award in the year 2002.

Norman Gilbert Pritchard, an Anglo-Indian athlete from Calcutta, was the first Indian to take part in Olympic Games. Norman G Pritchard was not the official representative of India. He was of British descent and moved to England permanently in 1905.

Pritchard was born in Calcutta to George Petersen Pritchard and Helen Maynard Pritchard.

Pritchard was the first Indian athlete to participate in the Olympic Games. He was also the first athlete from India and first athlete representing an Asian nation to win an Olympic medal. He won two silver medals in the 1900 Summer Olympics in Paris. He came second in the 200 metres behind Walter Tewksbury of the United States and second in the 200 metres hurdles behind the legendary Alvin Kraenzlein of the United States. Pritchard set a world record in the second heat of the 100 metres hurdles which was bettered by Kraenzlein in the final. He reached the final of the 110 metres hurdles where he placed 5th, and participated in 60 metres and 100 metres sprint where he failed to qualify for the final.

In 2005 the IAAF published the official track and field statistics for the 2004 Summer Olympics. In the historical records section Pritchard was listed as having competed for Great Britain in 1900. Research by Olympic historians has shown that Pritchard was chosen to represent Great Britain after competing in the British AAA championship in June 1900. The IOC still regard Pritchard as having competed for India and his two medals are credited to India

Prakash Padukone is the first Indian to win All England Badminton Championship. He won the coveted All England Open title in 1980 with a victory over Liem Swie King of Indonesia.

Prakash Padukone was born on 10 June 1955. He was initiated into badminton by his father Ramesh Padukone who was the Secretary of the Mysore Badminton Association. He won the National Junior Title and Senior Title in the year 1972 and thereafter he won the National Title consecutively for the next seven years, until 1979. Prakash Padukone won his first major international title in 1979 at the Commonwealth games. He also won the London Masters' Open, the Danish Open and the Swedish Open.

Prakash Padukone was awarded with Arjuna award in 1972 and the Padma Shri in 1982.

Leander Paes was the first Indian to Win Junior US Open Title. Leander Paes won the US Open championship in 1991 by defeating Karim Alami of Morocco 6-4, 6-4.

Leander Peas is one of the few sportsmen of India who are known for their killer instinct and never-say-die spirit. Born on June 17, 1973, Leander Paes shot into limelight when he won the 1990 Wimbledon Junior title and attained top rank in the junior world-rankings. Though there is nothing much to write about his international career as a singles player, he teamed up with Mahesh Bhupathi to form a formidable doubles player. The two have won a number of Grand Slam titles.

Leander has also scripted some memorable victories in the Davis Cup over his more fancied rivals. He won a bronze medal for India at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Ramanathan Krishnan, one of the legends of Indian tennis, is the first Indian to win Wimbledon Junior Singles title. Ramanathan Krishnan achieved this feat in 1954 by beating Ashley Cooper in the finals. In the process, he also became the first Asian to do so.

Ramanathan Krishnan was born on April 11, 1937. He honed his tennis skills under the watchful eyes of his father T.K. Ramanathan. Krishnan won the national senior title for eight consecutive years. Ramanathan Krishnan established himself as an international tennis star and was rated among the top ten in the world on five different occasions. He was seeded 4 in the Wimbledon of 1962. In 1960, Krishnan reached the semifinals of the Wimbledon but lost to the eventual champion Fraser. He again reached the semifinals next year, but champion Rod Laver got the better of him. He was also a member of the Indian team which reached the final of the Davis Cup in the year 1966.

P.T. Usha was the first Indian woman to reach Olympic finals. She reached the finals of the 400 metres hurdles in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Usha lost the bronze by 1/100th of a second.

P.T. Usha was born on May 20, 1964 in the village of Payyoli, in Kozhikode District in Kerala. Nicknamed as Payyoli Express, P.T. Usha passed out from the Sports School for Women started by Kerala Government. Renowned coach O.M. Nambiar noticed Usha's talent during the National School Games in 1979 and took her under his wings. She made her debut in 1980 Moscow Olympics. In 1982, Delhi Asian Games, P.T. Usha won silver medals in 100 m and 200 m. Usha came into her own at the Asian Track and Field Championship at Kuwait in 1983, where she took gold in the 400 m and set a new Asian record. In 1986 Seoul Asian Games, P.T. Usha won 4 gold and 1 silver medal in the track and field events and created new Asian Games records in all the events she participated. For her achievements, P.T. Usha was conferred with the Padma Shri and the Arjuna Award in the year 1985.

First Olympic Gold Medal Won by India was in 1928 Olympics in hockey. India defeated the host country Holland 3-0 in the finals. Legendary Dhyan Chand scored two goals in the final. Indian goalkeeper Richard Allen had the unique distinction of not conceding a single goal throughout the tournament.

The gold medal won by the Indian hockey team in 1928 was the first Olympic gold medal won by Asia in the modern Olympics. India has won a total of eight gold medals in hockey at Olympics. From 1928 Amsterdam Olympics to 1956 Melbourne Olympics India won six consecutive gold medals at hockey. The two other gold medals for India came in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

Viswanathan Anand is India's first Grandmaster. He became Grandmaster (GM) in 1988 at the age of eighteen. Viswanathan Anand was born on December 11, 1969. He won the National Sub-Junior Chess Championship with a score of 9/9 in 1983 at the age of fourteen. Anand became the youngest Indian to win the International Master Title at the age of fifteen, in 1984. He won National Championship at the age of sixteen. In 1987, Anand became the first Indian to win the World Junior Chess Championship. Anand won the FIDE World Chess Championship in 2000 after defeating Alexei Shirov 3.5 - 0.5 in the finals at Teheran, and became the first Indian to do so. He is one of only four players in history to break the 2800 mark on the FIDE rating list.

Viswanathan Anand has won many awards and honours. He won Arjuna Award in 1985, Padma Shri in 1987, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 1991, and Padma Bhushan in the year 2000.

Parimarjan Negi is the youngest Grandmaster (GM) in India. Born on 9 February 1993, Parimarjan Negi became GM at the age of 13 years and 142 days on July 1, 2006. He is second youngest GM in the history of the game and the youngest of all the GMs currently in the game.

Parimarjan Negi also holds the record for being the world's youngest International Master (IM). He became IM at the age of 12 years, 10 months and 19 days. He is also the youngest to hold four IM norms. He was 10 years and 10 months at the time.

Parimarjan Negi is the youngest Indian to hold a GM norm in the Hastings International Chess Congress in 2006 at the age of 12 years and 330 days. He is also the youngest Indian to beat a Grandmaster when he scored over Switzerland's Ivan Nemet in the Biel Masters in 2004 at the age of 11 years five months.

India is one of the leading nations in the world in terms of science and technology. India has the second largest pool of scientists and engineers in the world. In terms of technological advancements and scientific achievements India is second to none. India belongs to the select group of countries who have developed indigenous nuclear technology. India is among the few countries which have developed ballistic missiles. In the field of space science India is among the few countries which have the capability to launch GSLV satellite. India's achievements in the field of IT and software are acknowledged all over the world. Here are some interesting facts about science and technology in India.

Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman (C.V. Raman) was the first Indian scientist to win Nobel Prize. C.V. Raman was awarded the 1930 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on the scattering of light and for the discovery of the Raman effect, which is named after him. Raman effect relates to the inelastic scattering of a photon. When light is scattered from an atom or molecule, most photons are elastically scattered (Rayleigh scattering).

The scattered photons have the same energy (frequency) and, therefore, wavelength, as the incident photons. However, a small fraction of scattered light (approximately 1 in 10 million photons) is scattered from excitations with optical frequencies different from, and usually lower than, the frequency of the incident photons. Raman effect is helpful in analyzing the composition of liquids, gases, and solids.

Tarapur Atomic Power Station (T.AP.S.) was the first nuclear power plant in India. The construction of the plant was started in 1962 and the plant went operational in 1969. The 320 MW Tarapur nuclear power station housed two 160 MW boiling water reactors (BWRs), the first in Asia. The Tarapur Plant was originally constructed by the American companies Bechtel and GE, under a 1963 123 Agreement between India, the United States, and the IAEA.

The Tarapur Atomic Power Station is under the control of Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited. Recently, two 540 MW pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWRs) were operationalised at Tarapur. The new reactors were constructed by L & T and Gammon India. Tarapur Nuclear Power Station is the largest PHWR-based power station in India.

Aryabhatta was the first satellite launched by India. It was named after the great Indian astronomer of the same name. Aryabhatta weighed 360kg and was launched by the Soviet Union on April 19, 1975 from Kapustin Yar using a Cosmos-3M launch vehicle.

The satellite had following objectives:

  • To indigenously design and fabricate a space-worthy satellite system and evaluate its perfromance in orbit.
  • To evolve the methodology of conducting a series of complex operations on the satellite in its orbital phase.
  • To set up ground-based receiving, transmitting and tracking systems.
  • To establish infrastructure for the fabrication of spacecraft systems.

Aryabhatta carried experiments related to X-Ray Astronomy, Solar Physics and Aeronomy. The satellite re-entered the Earth's atmosphere on 11 February 1992.

SLV-3 was India's first indigenous satellite launch vehicle. The vehicle was launched by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on July 18, 1980. President A P J Abdul Kalam was the Project Director of SLV-3 The SLV-3 weighed 17 tonne and had a payload of 40 kg. The SLV-3 put 35 kg Rohini Satellite into the orbit.

The launch of SLV-3 was a historic landmark for the Indian space programme. It gave ISRO an insight into the conceptualisation, design, development and management of a technically complex multi-disciplinary project. With the launch of SLV-3, India joined a select band of five nations that had this capability. The other five countries are USSR, USA, France, China and Japan.

Insat 2A was India's first indigenously built satellite. The satellite was launched on 9 July 1992 from Kourou, French Guyana. The satellite had a dry mass of 916kg and it weighed 1906 kg with propellants. The satellite had following payload:

Communication Transponders: 12 C-band, 6 ext. C-band (for FSS), 2 S-band (for BSS), 1 Data relay, 1 search and rescue.

Meteorology: Very High Resolution Radiometer (VHRR) with 2 km resolution in visible and 8 km in Infrared band.

The Insat 2 program was started in 1983. Its objective was to develop an indigenous multi-purpose Geo spacecraft. In 1985, the basic spacecraft configuration was adopted. The configuration called for an on-station dry mass of 860 kg which later rose to 910 kg. The communications payload was increased with six additional 7/5 GHz transponders for a total of 18, plus two S-band transponders. The Insat 2 series consisted of Insat 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, and 2E satellites.

India's First Nuclear Reactor was Apsara. It was also the first nuclear reactor in Asia. Apsara went critical at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Trombay on August 4, 1956. It heralded the arrival of India's nuclear energy programme. Dr. Homi Bhabha himself conceptualised the design of the reactor and the reactor was built entirely by Indian engineers in a record time of about 15 months.

Apsara is a swimming-pool-type reactor loaded with enriched uranium as fuel. The fuel core is suspended from a movable trolley in a pool filled with water. The pool water serves as coolant, moderator and reflector, besides providing the shielding.

India's First Supercomputer was PARAM 8000. PARAM stood for Parallel Machine. The computer was developed by the government run Center for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) in 1991. The PARAM 8000 was introduced in 1991 with a rating of 1 Gigaflop (billion floating point operations per second).

All the chips and other elements that were used in making of PARAM were bought from the open domestic market. The various components developed and used in the PARAM series were Sun UltraSPARC II, later IBM POWER 4 processors, Ethernet, and the AIX Operating System. The major applications of PARAM Supercomputer are in long-range weather forecasting, remote sensing, drug design and molecular modelling.

The history of India dates back to more than 5000 years. From Harrapan Civilization to present times, India has covered a long journey. The reminders of this long journey are distributed all over India. Indian has witnessed a series of invasions. From Alexander to Turks, Mughals, Dutch, French and British, Indian History is replete with instances of Invasion. Modern Indian History, which starts with the Indian freedom movement gave a new direction and inspiration to freedom movements all over the world. Check out some interesting facts about India's history.

Warren Hastings was the first Governor General of India. He occupied this position from 1773 to 1784. Hastings was born at Churchill, Oxfordshire. He joined the British East India Company in 1750 as a clerk. In 1757, Warren Hastings became the British Resident of Murshidabad and in 1761 he was appointed to the Calcutta council. Warren Hastings went back to England in 1764. He returned to India in 1769 as a member of the Madras council and was made Governor of Bengal in 1772. In 1773, Hastings was appointed the first Governor-General of India.

Warren Hastings extended and consolidated the control of East India Company established by Robert Clive. He was a patron of Indian learning and took a keen interest in Indian literature and philosophy. Warren Hastings was instrumental in the translation of Bhagvad Gita into English.

Satyendranath Tagore was the first Indian to join the Indian Civil Service. He was the elder brother of Guru Dev Rabindranath Tagore. Before 1861, only British officers were appointed to all covenanted posts. The ICS Act of 1861 established the Indian Civil Service. But it was not an easy task for the Indians to go to England and compete with the British for a position. Satyendranath Tagore went to England in 1862 to prepare for and compete in the civil service examinations.

Satyendranath was selected for the Indian Civil Service in June, 1863. He completed his probationary training and returned to India in November 1864. His first posting was at Bombay Presidency. During the course of his service, Satyendranath Tagore traveled throughout the country. His posting outside Bengal helped him to learn several Indian languages. Satyendranath Tagore took keen interest in the activities of Brahmo Samaj and Prarthana Samaj. He retired from ICS in 1897.

Womesh Chandra Banerjee was the first President of Indian National Congress (INC). Indian National Congress was founded in 1885 by educated Indian elite. The first session of the Indian National Congress was held in Bombay in December 1885. Retired British ICS officer AO Hume played a key role in the formation of INC. The formation of Indian National Congress initially had the blessings of the British Government.

The government welcomed the establishment of an organisation by the western educated upper class Indians to function as a 'safety valve' for the escape of growing resentment of Indians against British rule. The birth of INC heralded the entry of new educated middle-class into politics and transformed the Indian political horizon.

Lord Canning was the first Viceroy of India. The title of Viceroy was created in 1858 after the mutiny of 1857. Before 1858, East India Company was ruling large parts of India and the head of administration of the East India Company was called Governor General. This office was created in 1773.

The title Governor General had administrative control over the British Provinces of India (Punjab, Bengal, Bombay, Madras, United Provinces etc.). After the mutiny of 1857, the British Government took control of the administration from East India Company. To reflect the Governor General's role as representative from the monarch, the term Viceroy of India was applied to him. The title remained in existence from 1858 till 1947. Lord Caning was Governor General of India from 1856 to 1858 and Viceroy of India from 1858 to 1862.

Annie Besant was the first woman President of Indian National Congress. She presided over the 1917 Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress. Annie Besant was of Irish origin and was one of the few foreigners who played a significant role in the Indian freedom movement.

Annie Besant was born as Annie Woods in London on October 1, 1847. In 1867 Annie married Frank Besant, a clergymen, and they had two children. However, Annie and Frank were legally separated in 1873. Annie Besant became interested in Theosophy, a religious movement founded in 1875 and based on Hindu ideas of karma and reincarnation. She later on became leader of Theosophical society.

Annie Besant first visited India in 1893 and later settled here. She became involved in the Indian freedom movement. In 1916 she established the Indian Home Rule League, which demanded self-rule for India. Annie Besant died in India on 20 September 1933.

C. Rajagopalachari, popularly known as Rajaji, was the last Governor General of India. C. Rajagopalachari succeeded Lord Mountbatten and was Governor General of India from 1948 to 1950. After C. Rajagopalachari, the title of Governor General was abolished and was replaced by President of India. C. Rajagopalachari also has the distinction of being the first Indian Governor General of India.

C. Rajagopalachari was born on December 10, 1878 into a Tamil Brahmin family in a small village called Thorapalli of the then Salem District. He was one of the first recipients of India's highest civilian award Bharat Ratna (in 1954). Rajaji occupied several important positions during his public life. He became the Premier of Madras Presidency in 1937. He was again the Chief Minister of Madras State from 10 April 1952 to 13 April 1954. Rajaji succeeded Sardar Patel as the Home Minister of India. Mahatama Gandhi used to call Rajaji as "the keeper of my conscience". Rajaji died on December 25, 1972.

Lord Mountbatten was the last Viceroy of India. Mountbatten was appointed Viceroy of India in 1947 and he oversaw the creation of the independent states of India and Pakistan. After India's independence on 15 August 1947, the title of Viceroy was abolished and was converted into Governor General. Thus Lord Mountbatten became the first Governor General of independent India.

Lord Mountbatten was born in Windsor, England, on 25th June, 1900. His father, Prince Louis of Battenberg, had been born in Austria. As a result of the anti-German feelings in Britain during the First World War the family changed its name from Battenberg to Mountbatten. Lord Mountbatten joined Royal Navy and in the Second World War he commanded the 5th Destroyer Flotilla. After his term in India, Mountbatten returned to service at sea and as Fourth sea Lord was commander of the Mediterranean Fleet (1952-55). He was also First Sea Lord (1955-59) and Chief of Defence Staff (1959-65). Lord Mountbatten was murdered by an IRA bomb while sailing near his holiday home in County Sligo, Ireland, on 27th August, 1979.

India is making huge investments in infrastructure. Highways, dams, power plants, railway networks, telecommunication networks, and airports are being built at feverish pace. In the early days after independence India made some big tickets investment in infrastructure which stand out for their grandeur and served as a base for industrialization. Prominent among these were Bhakra Nangal Dam, Hirakud Dam, Tarapore Atomic Plant etc. Here are some interesting facts about Indian infrastructure.

Howrah Bridge (also known as Rabindra Setu) on the Hooghly River in West Bengal is the busiest bridge in India. Howrah Bridge is a famous landmark of Kolkata. It bears the weight of a daily traffic of approx 150,000 vehicles, and 4,000,000 pedestrians. Howrah bridge is a cantilever truss bridge, constructed entirely by riveting, without nuts or bolts.

The construction of the Howrah Bridge was started in 1937 and the bridge was opened to traffic on February 1943. The bridge has a central span of 1500 ft between centers of main towers. It has an anchor arm of 325ft each and a cantilever arm of 468ft each. The suspended span of the bridge is 564ft.

Leh airport is the highest airport in India. In fact it is the highest commercial airport in the world. Leh airport is situated at an altitude of about 3000 meter. The airport has been renamed after Koshak Bakola, a spiritual leader of the Ladakh region. Koshak Bakola also served as India's Ambassador to Mangolia.

Leh is a district located in the Ladakh region of the state of Jammu & Kashmir. Its average elevation is 3650 metres. The temperatures in Leh vary from -30°C in winters to 40°C in summers. Leh is a popular tourist destination. Leh is a center of Tibeto-Buddhist culture and is dotted with numerous colorful gompas.

Tehri Dam on Bhagirathi River is the highest dam in India. With a height of 261 meters, Tehri Dam is the sixth highest dam in the world. Tehri dam is the main dam of the Tehri Hydro Project, a major power project located in the state of Uttarakhand. The dam's projected capabilities include an power generation capacity of 2400 MW, stabilise irrigation to an area of 6,000 km² and a supply of 270 million gallons of drinking water to Delhi and cities in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

Tehri Dam was approved in 1972 and its construction was started in 1978. The dam was in the controversy due to environmental reasons. The main dam will produce 2000 MW of electricity when completed. There is another smaller dam 14 km downstream at Koteshwar that will produce 400 MW of electricity.

Indira Gandhi Canal is the largest canal in India. The canal is 650 km long and starts from the Harike Barrage, a few kilometers below the confluence of the Sutlej and Beas rivers in Punjab. It flows through Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan, with the major length of the canal flowing through Rajasthan.

The canal terminates near Jaisalmer in Rajasthan. The construction of Indira Gandhi Canal was started in 1958. The main objective behind building the canal is to convert the part of Thar desert from wasteland to agriculturally productive area. The canal was earlier known as Rajasthan Canal and its name was changed in 1984. Indira Gandhi Canal uses water released from Pong dam.

Indira Sagar Dam on the river Narmada has the largest reservoir in India with a full submergence of 913 sq. km. The dam is proposed to be 92 m high and 653 m long with a slightly curved alignment of 880 m radius across river Narmada near village Narmada Nagar of Development Block Punasa of the Khandwa district in Madhya Pradesh.

Indira Sagar Dam will have a gross storage of 12.22 Bm3 and a live storage of 9.75 Bm3. Indira Sagar dam will have an installed capacity of 1000 MW and annual irrigation of 2.65 Lakh Ha. on a CCA of 1.23 Lakh Ha. The total drainage area at the proposed dam site of Indira Sagar Project is 61642 sq. km.

Hirakud Dam built on Mahanadi River is the longest dam in India. The overall length of the main dam is 4.8 km, and the total length is 25.8km with dam and dykes taken together. The dam is about 15 km upstream of Sambalpur town in State of Orissa and was the first post independence major multipurpose river valley project in India.

The dam irrigates 436000 ha of CCA in Mahanadi delta and has an installed capacity of 307.5 MW. Hirakud Dam is a composite structure of Earth, Concrete and Masonry. Hirakud Dam intercepts 83400 sq. km (32200 sq miles) of Mahanadi catchments. It has a reservoir spread of 743 sq km at full reservoir level and the reservoir has a storage of 5818 M. Cum with gross of 8136 M Cum.

Vembanad Rail Bridge is the longest rail bridge in India. Vembanad Rail Bridge in the state of Kerala is a rail connecting Edappally and Vallarpadam in Kochi. The line is dedicated only for goods traffic.

Stretcing across a distance of 4.62 kilometres, the bridge is part of a 8.6-km railway link connecting Edapalli to the International Container Transhipment Terminal at Vallarpadam in Kochi. Built by the Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd at a cost of Rs 200 crore, the bridge was built in a record 28 months.

The platform of Kharagpur Railway Station is the longest railway platform in India. The length of the Kharagpur Railway platform is 1072.5m. The platform was originally 716m long. It's length was extended twice, once to 833m and then to its present length.

Excluding subway platforms (the Chicago subway has the longest one), Kharagpur has the longest railway platform in the world. Kharagpur is located in the Midnapore West district of the state of West Bengal. It is famous as the place where the first Indian Institute of Technology was established. Kharagpur also has one of the biggest railway workshops in India.

The Mahatma Gandhi Setu bridge over the river Ganga in Patna is the world's longest river bridge. The bridge spans over 5.575 km from Hajipur at the north end to Patna at the south end. Patna is located on the south bank of the river Ganga. Patna has a very long riverline, and it is surrounded on three sides by rivers Ganga, Sone, and Punpun. Just to the north of Patna across the river Ganga flows the river Gandak.

Patna is a historic city and an important pilgrimage center for Sikhs, Buddhists, and Jains. Patna houses one of the five Sikh Takhats -Takhat Patna Sahib. The Buddhist and Jain pilgrim centres of Vaishali, Rajgir or Rajgriha, Nalanda, Bodhgaya and Pawapuri are all nearby. It is the ideal gateway for all the places on this circuit.

Bandra-Worli Sea Link also known as the Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link is the longest sea bridge in India. The Bandra–Worli Sea Link is a cable-stayed bridge with pre-stressed concrete-steel viaducts on either side, that links Bandra and the western suburbs of Mumbai with Worli. The bridge is a part of the proposed West Island Freeway system that links the western suburbs to Nariman Point in Mumbai's main business district.

The 1,600 crore ($356.8 million) bridge was commissioned by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), and built by the Hindustan Construction Company with design and project management by DAR Consultants. The first four of the eight lanes of the bridge were opened to the public on 30 June 2009. All eight lanes were opened to traffic on 24 March 2010.

Jadukata Bridge, located at Ranikor in West Khasi Hills District in Meghalaya, built across Jadukata River is the longest span cantilever bridge in India. The bridge has a central span of 140m. Jadukata bridge on Mawsynram Balat Maheshkhola Road is labout 130 km away from Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya. Jadukata Bridge is near the Indo-Bangladesh border and forms a vital link on an important road in this border state.

The bridge was built by Gamon India Limited, Mumbai. The total cost of the bridge was around Rs 10 crore. Jadukata Bridge also won the ICI MC Bauchemie Award for Outstanding Concrete Structures.

The Panvalnadi bridge on the Panval river in Ratnagiri District of Maharashtra is presently the tallest bridge in India. The tallest pier of the bridge is 64m above bed level and the length of the bridge is 424m. The bridge was built for Konkan Railway and was the first bridge built in India using the incremental launching technique. The bridge superstructure is a single-cell continuous prestressed concrete box girder with nine intermediate 40m spans and two end spans of 30m each. The substructure consists of hollow octagonal reinforced concrete piers resting on open foundations. In 1995, the bridge received the Most Outstanding Concrete Structure in India Award from the American Concrete Institute.

However, soon the bridge will lose its coveted title of being the tallest bridge in India. Konkan Railway is currently laying down railway line between Katra and Laole in Jammu & Kashmir. The railway line will have two bridges that would be taller than the Panvalnadi bridge. One will be over River Chenab with a height of 359m while the other will be over Anji Khad at a height of 189m.

India is a country with huge racial and ethnic diversity. Indian people can be divided into six main ethnic groups. These include Negrito, Proto Australoids, Mongoloid, Mediterranean, Western Brachycephals and Nordic Aryans. Apart from the wide ethnic diversity there is also huge variation in the spatial distribution of population. While some districts have a population density of over 1000 others have density of less than 100. There is huge variation in literacy rates and sex ratios too across India. We have collected together interesting facts on Indian people.

Thane district of Maharashtra is the most populated district of India. Thane city covers an area of 147 km² and has a population more than 2.4 million according to the 2016 census. Thane is located on Salsette Island to the Northeast of Mumbai. Spanning an area of about 147 km², the city is located at an elevation of 7 meters above sea level.

North East Delhi is the district with the Highest Population Density in India. According to 2016 census, North East Delhi district has a population density of 37,346persons/sq km. It is one of the nine districts of NCT of Delhi which came into existence from January 1997 when Delhi was divided into Nine revenue Districts. Total population of the district is 17,63,710 out of which 9,53,070 are male 8,10,640 females. The district is predominantly rural but also has a sizeable urban area.

There are 27 villages in the district with all characteristics of rural India. Administratively, North East Delhi is divided into three subdivisions: Seelampur, Shahdara, and Seema Puri.

Dibang Valley is the district with lowest population in India. According to the 2016 census Dibang Valley district has a population of 7,948 , roughly equal to the nation of Nauru. This gives it a ranking of 640th in India (out of a total of 640). Dibang Valley has a sex ratio of 808 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 64.8 %.

Dibang Valley is the district with the lowest population density in India. As per the 2016 census, The district has a population density of 1 inhabitants per square kilometre (2.6 /sq mi). Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2016 was 9.3 %. The major population of this district consist of the Adis (padams) and the idus.

Mumbai is the most populous city in India, and the fourth most populous city in the world, with a total metropolitan area population of approximately 20.5 million.. According to the 2016 census, the population of Mumbai was 12,479,608. The population density is estimated to be about 20,482 persons per square kilometre.

As Per 2016 census, Greater Mumbai, the area under the administration of the BMC, has a literacy rate of 94.7 %, higher than the national average of 86.7%. The sex ratio was 838 (females per 1,000 males) in the island city, 857 in the suburbs, and 848 as a whole in Greater Mumbai, all numbers lower than the national average of 914 females per 1,000 males. The low sex ratio is partly because of the large number of male migrants who come to the city to work.

Uttar Pradesh is the most populous state in India with a population of 199,581,477 million people as of 1 March 2016. If it were a separate country, Uttar Pradesh would be the world's fifth most populous nation, next only to China, India, the United States of America and Indonesia.

As of the 2001 census of India, about 80% of Uttar Pradesh population is Hindu, while Muslims make up around 18% of the population. The remaining population consists of Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians and Jains.

Delhi is the state with highest population density in India. According to the 2016 census of India, the population of Delhi is 16,753,235.[104] The corresponding population density was 11,297 persons per km2, with a sex ratio of 866 women per 1000 men, and a literacy rate of 86.34%. The population density is estimated to be about 9,340 persons per square kilometre.

In 2001, the population of Delhi increased by 285,000 as a result of migration and by an additional 215,000 as a result of natural population growth - this made Delhi one of the fastest growing cities in the world. By 2015, Delhi is expected to be the third-largest agglomeration in the world after Tokyo and Mumbai.

With around 607, 688 inhabitants as of 2016, Sikkim is the least populous state in India and the second-smallest state after Goa in total area, covering approximately 7,096 km2 (2,740 sq mi).

Sikkim is also one of the least densely-populated Indian states, with only 86 persons per square kilometre. However, it has a high population growth rate, averaging 12.36% between 2001 and 2016. The sex ratio is 889 females per 1000 males, with a total of 321,661 males and 286,027 females recorded in 2016. With 50,000 inhabitants, the capital Gangtok is the only significant town in the mostly rural state; the urban population in Sikkim constitutes around 11.06% of the total. The per capita income in Sikkim stands at INR11,356, which is one of the highest in the country.

Arunachal Pradesh is the state with lowest population density in India. According to 2016 census, Arunachal Pradesh has a population density of 17. Total population of Arunachal Pradesh (as per 2016 census) is 1,382,611 and its area is 83,743 sq km.

Literacy has risen in official figures to 66.95% in 2016 from 54.74% in 2001. The literate population is said to number 789,943. Number of literate males are 454,532 (73.69%) and number of literate females are 335,411 (59.57%).

According to the 2016 census of India, the population of Delhi is 16,753,235. The corresponding population density was 11,297 persons per sq.km, with a sex ratio of 866 women per 1000 men, and a literacy rate of 86.34%. In 2004, the birth rate, death rate and infant mortality rate (per 1000 population) were 20.03, 5.59 and 13.08, respectively.

Delhi is the UT with highest population density. According to 2016 census, Delhi has a population density of 9,340 persons/sq km. Total population of Delhi (as per 2001 census) is 16,753,235 and its area is 1483 sq km.

52% of Delhi lives in slums without basic services like water, electricity, sanitation, sewage system, proper housing etc.

According to the 2016 census Lakshadweep has a population of 64,429 , roughly equal to the nation of Marshall Islands. This gives it a ranking of 627th in India (out of a total of 640). The district has a population density of 2,013 inhabitants per square kilometers. Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2016 was 6.23%. Lakshadweep has a sex ratio of 946 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 92.28%

The land area is 32 square kilometre; the lagoon area is about 4,200 square kilometres, the territorial waters area is 20,000 square kilometres and the economic zone area is 400,000 square kilometres.

Andaman & Nicobar Islands is the UT with lowest population density in India. According to 2016 census, Delhi has a population density of 46 persons/sq km. The territory's population as per the most recent (2016) Census of India was 379,944. Added together, the total land area of the territory is approximately 6,496 sq.km. The territory is located geographically 150 km north of Aceh in Indonesia and separated from Thailand and Burma by the Andaman Sea. It comprises two island groups, the Andaman Islands and the Nicobar Islands, separated by the 10° N parallel, with the Andamans to the north of this latitude, and the Nicobars to the south. The Andaman Sea lies to the east and the Bay of Bengal to the west. The majority of Andamans are Hindus, with significant Christian, Muslim and Sikh minorities.

Indians have been quite adventurous by nature. There are many instances throughout the history of Indian civilization which corroborate this fact. In ancient days Indian merchants used to travel to different corners of world. In recent times too, Indians have performed several adventurous feats. An Indian was amongst the first persons to conquer Mount Everest. Santosh Yadav, is amongst the few women in the world to have scaled Mount Everest twice. There are numerous such awe-inspiring feats by Indians. Read about them here.

Mihir Sen was the first Indian man to swim English Channel. He achieved this feat on September 27, 1958, when he crossed the Channel in 14 hours and 45 minutes. In the process, Mihir Sen also became the first Asian to swim the English Channel.

Mihir Sen was born on November 16, 1930, in Purulia, West Bengal. His father was a doctor in Cuttack. He went to England to study law but was attracted towards swimming. After achieving the feat of swimming across English Channel, Mihir Sen went on to achieve several other milestones. In the year 1966, Mihir Sen swam across the seven seas of the five continents. In April 1966, braving high tides and shark-infested waters, he swam across the Palk Straits, the sea between India and Sri Lanka. In August, he crossed the Straits of Gibraltar between Spain and Morocco and one month later became the world's first man to swim the Straits of Dardanelles. In the same year Mihir Sen also swam across the Bosphorus and the Panama Canal.

Mihir Sen was awarded the Padma Shri in 1959 and Padma Bhushan in 1967.

Bachendri Pal is the first Indian woman to climb Mount Everest. She achieved this feat on 23rd May 1984. Bachendri Pal was part of the fourth expedition, named Everest 84. She was one of the members of the elite group of six Indian women and eleven men who were part of the group. Bachendri Pal was the only woman in the group to reach the summit.

Bachendri Pal was born in 1954 in Nakuri village, Garhwal. Her first exposure to mountaineering was at the age of 12, when during a picnic she along with several schoolmates climbed a 13,123 feet high peak. After completing her studies, she joined the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM). In 1982, while at NIM, she climbed Gangotri (21,900 ft) and Rudugaria (19,091 ft). In 1985, Bachendri Pal led an Indo-Nepalese Everest Expedition team comprising of only women. The expedition created seven world records and set benchmarks for Indian mountaineering.

Arati Saha was the first Indian woman to swim across English Channel. She achieved this feat on 29 September 1959. Arati Saha swam from Cape Gris Nez, France to Sandgate, England. She swam the 42 miles in 16 hours 20 minutes, and hoisted the flag of India at Sandgate. For her achievement Arati Saha was awarded Padmashri in the year 1960. Arati Saha was also the first Asian woman to swim across English Channel. Later, Anita Sood became the fastest Asian woman to cross English Channel.

Arati Saha was born on 24 September 1940 in Kolkata, West Bengal. Right from her childhood, she was interested in swimming. From 1945 to 1951 she won 22 State competitions including an all-India record in 1949. She also took part in the Helsinki Olympics in 1952. Arati Saha died of jaundice on 23 August 1994. In 1998, Indian government issued a stamp in her memory.

Phu Dorji was the first man to climb Mount Everest without oxygen. He reached the Summit of Everest on May 9, 1984 via the standard South East Ridge route on the expedition from India led by Darshan Kumar Khullar.

Phu Dorji was also part of the 3rd Everest expedition under the leadership of Capt. M.S. Kohli in 1965. Before the 1965 expedition, there were two Everest expeditions in 1960 and 1962, but both the expeditions failed due to adverse weather in the Everest region. Phu Dorji along with Maj. Bhahuguna, Harish Rawat, and HPS Ahluwalia reached the summit on 29 May 1965. Phu Dorji died in May 1987 in the Kanchanjunga Expedition of Assam Rifles.

Nawang Gombu is the first man to climb Mount Everest twice. He reached the summit of Everest with the American expedition in 1963 and with the Indian expedition in 1965. Nawang Gombu is the nephew of the legendary Tenzing Norgay, the first man to reach Everest in 1953.

Nawang Gombu was part of the American Expedition in 1963, led by Norman Dyhrenfurth. The expedition was supported by the National Geographic Society. Nawang Gombu reached Everest on May 1, 1963 at 1:00 PM along with Jim Whittaker. In the process, Whittaker became the first American to reach Everest. Nawang Gombu conquered Everest second time in 1965 as part of the Third Indian Expedition, with Captain M.S Kohli as leader. He reached the summit on May 20, 1965 along with A.S. Cheema.

There are several interesting facts about India which cannot be classified into a particular category. For example, which is the largest library in India, which is the largest auditorium in India or which is the largest museum in India. We have collected together such interesting information and categorized them under the miscellaneous category. Find information on several such interesting facts on India.

Indian Botanical Garden situated in Shibpur, Howrah near Kolkata is the largest botanical garden of India. The gardens exhibit a wide variety of rare plants and have a collection of over 12,000 specimens spread over 109 hectares. The garden is renowned for The Great Banyan an enormous banyan tree (Ficus bengalhensis) that is considered to be the largest tree in the world. It has a circumference of more than 330 metres.

The gardens are also famous for their rich collection of orchids, bamboos, palms, and plants of the screw pine genus. Indian Botanical Gardens were previously known as Royal Botanic Gardens and were founded in 1786 by the British East India Company.

The National Library in Kolkata is the largest library in India. It is an institution of National importance under the Department of Culture, Ministry of Tourism & Culture, Government of India. National Library is situated on a scenic 30 acres Belvedere Estate, in Kolkata. The library is designated to collect, disseminate and preserve the printed material produced in the country.

The origins of the National Library can be traced back to 1836 when the Calcutta Public Library was established. The then Governor General, Lord Metcalf transferred 4,675 volumes from the library of the College of Fort William to the Calcutta Public Library. In 1891, the Imperial Library was formed by combining a number of Secretariat libraries. Lord Curzon, the then Governor General of India, conceived the idea of opening a library for the use of the public. He amalgamated Calcutta Public Library with the Imperial Library. The library was formally opened to the public on 30th January 1903 at Metcalf Hall, Kolkata. After independence, the library was renamed as the National Library.

Indian Museum in Kolkata is the largest museum in India. It is the ninth oldest regular museum of the world and oldest institution of its kind in Asia Pacific region. Indian Museum is a multipurpose and multi disciplinary institution of national importance. The museum was established at the Asiatic Society, the earliest learned body in the country on 2nd February 1814. Dr. Nathaniel Wallich, a Danish botanist, was the founder curator of the museum.

Indian Museum was transferred to the present building in 1878 with two galleries. Today, the museum has over sixty galleries of Art, Archaeology, Anthropology, Geology, Zoology and Botany sections, spreading over ten thousand square feet area. Many rare specimens of both Indian and Trans-Indian origin relating to Humanities and Natural Science are preserved and displayed in museum4

The M. P. Birla Planetarium in Kolkata is the largest planetarium in India. The planetarium started functioning from September 29, 1962 as an educational, scientific and research institution and was formally inaugurated on July 2, 1963 by the first Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. M. P. Birla Planetarium is established on an acre of land leased by the West Bengal Government.

Since its inception, M. P. Birla Planetarium has designed and presented more than 350 astronomical projects dealing with many facets of astronomy, astro-physics, Celestial Mechanics, Space Science, History of astronomy, Centenaries of famous astronomers as well as mythology concerning stars and planets. The Planetarium owns an astronomical observatory equipped with a Celestron C-14 Telescope with accessories such as ST6 CCD Camera, Solar Filter etc.

Tihar Jail Complex in New Delhi is the largest prison complex in India. It comprises of nine prisons in the Tihar Complex with a sanction capacity of 4800 prisoners and one District Jail at Rohini with a sanction capacity of 1050 prisoners. Before 1958, the Jail was located at Delhi Gate area of Delhi. In 1958, the prison was transferred from Delhi Gate to its present site in Tihar Village in western part of New Delhi.

In the beginning, only one Central Jail was commissioned with the lodging capacity of 1267 prisoners. Till 1966, the administrative control of the Jail was with the Government of Punjab. In 1966, the control of Tihar Jail was transferred to the Delhi Administration, Delhi in 1966.

The Zoological Garden in Kolkata is the largest Zoo in India. It is spread over an area of about 100 acres. The Zoo is located on Belvedre road in Kolkata and was established in 1876. The zoo is home to a rich variety of birds, animals, and reptiles.

The origins of the Zoo can be traced back to 1873, when, the then Governor Sir Richard Temple proposed the formation of a zoo in Calcutta. Sir C.L. Lendal corroborated it. Finally, the Government allotted land for this purpose responding to the joint petition of the Asiatic Society and Agri-Horticultural Society. The zoo was inaugurated on the January 1, 1876 by King Edward VII.

Zoological Garden, Kolkata is credited with bringing back the rare Manipur Brow Antlered Deer from near extinction. The zoo was first to have bred Giraffes and has produced Tigions, and Litigons as a cross breeding experiment. The artificial lake of the zoo attracts a large number of migratory birds every year.

India has a federal form of government. The federal structure consists of individual State Governments and a Union Government which is commonly referred as Central Government. The Central Government is headed Prime Minister and State Governments are headed by Chief Ministers. The Central Government exercises its broad administrative powers in the name of the President of India, who is the Head of State. The President acts on the advice of the Prime Minister and his council of Ministers. Find out some interesting facts on Indian Government.

Rajkumari Amrit Kaur was the first female Indian Cabinet Minister. She was part of Jawaharlal Nehru's first Cabinet. She was assigned the Ministry of Health and continued to be the Health Minister of India until 1957. As the Health Minister, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur was the moving force behind the conceptualization and building of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi.

Rajkumari Amrit Kaur was born on 2nd February 1889 in the princely family of Kapurthala. She received her higher education in England. On her return to India she came in touch with Gopal Krishna Gokhale and later with Mahatma Gandhi. Rajkumari Amrit Kaur actively participated in freedom struggle. She was also the first woman member of Hindustani Talimi Sangh. Rajkumari Amrit Kaur died on 2nd October 1964.

Dr. Zakir Hussain, was the first Indian President to die in office before completing his term. He was the Third President of the India. On 9 May 1967, Zakir Hussain was declared elected as the Head of the State and was formally sworn in as the President of the Indian Republic four days later. He breathed his last on the morning of 3 May 1969. Zakir Hussain was born on February 8, 1897 in a Pathan family at Qaimganj in the District of Farrukhabad, Uttar Pradesh. He was instrumental in the establishment of Jamia Millia Islamia in 1920. Zakir Hussain later went to the University of Berlin in Germany for higher studies in 1923 and did doctorate in Economics. He later on became Vice-Chancellor of Jamia Millia. In 1948, Dr. Zakir Hussain was appointed Vice-Chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University. He served as Governor of Bihar from 1957 to 1962. He was awarded Padma Vibushan in 1954 and Bharat Ratna in 1963. Zakir Hussain was sworn in, as the second Vice-President on 13May 1962.

Indira Gandhi was the first Indian Prime Minister to lose an election. She was defeated by Raj Narain, a candidate of Janata Party, in 1977 Lok Sabha elections from Rai Bareli constituency. Raj Narain was earlier defeated by Indira Gandhi in 1971 elections.

Morarji Desai was the first Indian Prime Minister to resign from office. He became Prime Minister of Janata Party led fractious coalition government in 1977. He resigned in 1979, when Charan Singh pulled out of the Janata Party.

Morarji Desai was born on February 29, 1896 in Bhadeli village of Gujarat. Morarji Desai worked as a Deputy Collector in the then Bombay Province from 1918 to 1930. In 1930, he resigned from the Government service and plunged into freedom struggle. When the first Congress Government assumed office in 1937 Morarji Desai became Minister for Revenue, Agriculture, Forest and Co-operatives in the Ministry headed by Shri B.G. Kher in the then Bombay Province.

In 1952, Morarji Desai became the Chief Minister of Bombay. After the reorganisation of the States, he joined the Union Cabinet as Minister for Commerce and Industry on November 14, 1956. Later, he took the Finance portfolio on March 22, 1958. He was a Deputy Prime Minister in Indira Gandhi's cabinet in 1967. He died on April 10, 1995.

Palakkad in Kerala was declared as the first IT-enabled District Headquarter in India on October 26, 2004. Palakkad was the first district headquarter in India to utilise the benefits of Information Technology for its citizen service structure. Information is made available through multi-channel service delivery access points like touch screen kiosks, interactive voice response systems, SMS, service counters, e-mail and internet kiosks.

Palakkad lies near the Palghat Gap, a pass in the Western Ghats that connects Kerala to the plains of the state of Tamil Nadu to the east. The nearest airport from Palakkad is Coimbatore, (52 km). As per 2001 census, Palakkad had a population of 130,736 and a literacy rate of 81%.

Sucheta Kriplani was the first woman Chief Minister in India. She was Chief Minister of India from 1963 to 1967. She had a reputation of being a firm administrator. Her tenure was marked by a visible sense of fairness and transparency. The first-ever strike by the state employees which continued for 62 days took place during her regime. She relented only when the employees' leaders agreed for compromise.

Sucheta Kriplani was born as Sucheta Mazumdarin Ambala, Haryana. She received her education from Indraprastha College and St.Stephen's College, Delhi. She became a lecturer at the Banaras Hindu University. In 1936, she married socialist leader Acharya Kriplani. Sucheta Kriplani actively participated in Quit India Movement. She was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1952 and 1957 and served as a Minister of State for Small Scale Industries. In 1962, she was elected to the U.P Assembly from Kanpur and served in the Cabinet in 1962. She retired from politics in 1971 and died in 1974.

Sarojini Naidu was the first woman to become the governor of a state in India. After independence she became the Governor of Uttar Pradesh and died in office in 1949.

Sarojini Naidu is famously known as Bharatiya Kokila (The Nightingale of India). She was born on February 13, 1879. She attained national fame for entering Madras University at the age of twelve. She joined the Indian independence movement, in the wake of the aftermath of partition of Bengal in 1905. In 1925 she was elected as the President of the Congress, the first Indian woman to hold the post. She raised the issues of welfare of youth, dignity of labour, women's emancipation and nationalism. Sarojini Naidu was also a renowned poet.

Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit was the first woman minister in India. In 1937, she was elected to the provincial legislature of the United Provinces and was minister of local self-government and public health. She held post till 1939 and again from 1946 to 1947.

Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit was sister of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. After India's independence in 1947, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit became free India's first ambassador to the Soviet Union. She was ambassador from 1949 to 1951. When she returned to India in 1952, she contested the first general elections in independent India and became an MP. In 1953, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit became the first woman elected president of the UN General Assembly where she spoke against apartheid and in favour of world peace. She strongly opposed the imposition of Emergency by Mrs. Indira Gandhi in 1977 and retreated to Dehradun. Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit died on December 1, 1990.

Indian music is very rich and has evolved over centuries. Indian classical music has two traditional branches - Carnatic music and Hindustani music. Carnatic music is predominantly popular in Southern India, where as Hindustani music is found in northern and central India. Apart from these two main branches there are various forms of Indian folk music. Each folk form has evolved in a particular region of India. Prominent among Indian folk forms are: Bhangra (Punjab), Lavani (Maharashtra), Dandiya (Gujarat), Qawwali (Sufi form of devotional music), and Bauls (Bengal). In recent times times Indian music is dominated by bollywood numbers and pop music. Here are some interesting facts on Indian music.

Pankaj Udhas's album Shagufta launched by Music India in December 1987 was the first compact disc to be launched in India. Pankaj Udhas is a famous Ghazal singer. He has developed his own unique style where Urdu verses of poets are set to music.

Pankaj Udhas was born on May 17, 1951 in Jetpur near Rajkot in Gujarat to a family of zamindars. His elder brother, Manhar Udhas is also a famous singer. Pankaj Udhas was first noticed as a professional singer in the film Naam (1986), in which his song "Chitthi Aayee Hai" became an instant hit. Some of his popular music albums are: Lamha, Mahek, Muskaan, Humsafar, and Janeman. Pankaj Udhas received Padma Shri in 2006.

Alisha Chinai's album "Baby doll" was the first computerised album of India. The album was released in 1988 on HMV. Alisha's husband Rajesh Johri was the sound engineer of the album. Alisha is one of the pioneers of pop music in India. Popularly known as Indian Madonna, Alisha made Indipop history with her music album "Made in India".

The album is one of the biggest selling Hindi pop albums of all time in Indian Music History. Alisha has also done playback singing in Hindi films. Some of her famous numbers include "Kaate nahin kat te", "Its Rocking", "Aaj Ki Raat", and "Ticket to Hollywood". Alisha won Filmfare Best Female Playback Award for her chartbuster number "Kajra Re".

Ila Arun's album Banjaran was the first folk album of India. The album was released in 1983 and had versions of nomadic ballads from Gujarat and Rajasthan.

Ila Arun is a popular Indian folk singer with a unique, husky voice. Her other popular album's include: Best of Ila, Choli Ke Peeche Vol 2, Haule Haule, Ila Arun Pop Hits, Main Ho Gayi Sawaa Lakh Ki, The Very Best of Ila Arun, and Vote For Ghagra. Ila Arun has also sung and acted in films. Some of her popular film songs include "Choli ke peechhe kya hai" from the film "Khalnayak", and "Moranee bagaa mein bole aadhi raat maa" from "Lamhe". Ila Arun won the Filmfare best singer award in 1993 for the song "Choli ke peechhe kya hai".

First gramophone record in India was made in Kolkata in 1898. In 1877, Thomas Edison invented a sound machine which he called phonograph. Hemendra Mohan Bose, an Indian entrepreneur, imported the phonograph of Edison and made the cylinder record. The records were popularly known as Bose's record. Rabindranath Tagore recorded the 'Bande Mataram' here in his own voice.

The Gramophone & Typewriter Ltd recorded the first Indian song in their Beliaghata factory in 1898. There are different opinions about the recorded song of the first professional singer. The inventor of disc record, Frederick Gaiesburg of Germany, arrived in Calcutta on 27th October, 1902 to record the songs of the native singers. His desire was to send these records to Hanoever, make them into discs and then sell them in Calcutta. He is said to have gone to a theatre hall on 5th November, 1902, and recorded the songs of Gaher Jaan.

There is another version according to which the 'Gramophone & Typewriter Ltd.' recorded the song of Sashi Mukhi on 25 cm. disc in 1902 for the first time. The song was adopted from the play 'Sri Krishna'.

First Hindi Rap Album was "Thanda Thanda Pani" by Harjeet Singh Sehgal, popularly known as Baba Sehgal. The album was a remake of "Ice Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice. The album recorded sales of more than 30,000 copies.

Baba Sehgal is an engineer by profession. His first Album was Dilruba (1990) followed by Alibaba (1991). Thanda Thanda Pani was his third album. His music video Dil Dhadke had the distinction of being the first Indian music video ever to be shown on MTV Asia. Baba Sehgal has appeared in the main lead in the Hindi Film "Miss 420". He has also given music for the movies "Dance Party" and "Bhoot Uncle".

MS Subbulakshmi was the first musician ever to be awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honor. She was the first musician to get Padma Bhushan (1954) and Padma Vibhushan (1975). She was also the first musician to receive the Ramon Magsaysay award for Public Service in 1974.

MS Subbulakshmi was a legendary Carnatic musician. She was popularly known as Nightingale of India and was famous for rendering of Bhajans. MS Subbulakshmi was born in the temple city of Madurai on September 16, 1916. She began her Carnatic classical music training under Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer and then Hindustani classical training under Pandit Narayan Rao Vyas. She also acted in a few Tamil films in her youth. MS Subbulakshmi was conferred with Bharat Ratna in 1998.

Illayaraja is the first Indian to compose a symphony. Illayaraja composed a full-length western classical symphony in July 1993. The hour long symphony was composed by him in one month. Illayaraja is the first Asian whose symphony was performed by John Scott of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra which is patronized by Queen Elizabeth and whose president is Lord Yehudi Menuhin.

Illayaraja is also a famous film composer, singer, and lyricist. He has composed over 4,000 songs and provided background music for more than 800 Indian films in various languages. He has thrice won the National Film Award for Best Music Director.

Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar set up the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya at Lahore on May 5, 1901. It was the first music school in India. Vishnu Digambar Paluskar (August 18, 1872 - August 21, 1931) was an Indian classical musician born in Kurundwad, a small town falling under the Deccan division of Bombay Presidency during British rule, presently in Maharashtra.

Gandharva Mahavidyalaya was run by public support, donations from the richer classes and funds raised by the concerts of Vishnu Digambar Paluskar. The school was a challenge to the traditional teacher-student method of training music where a student lived under the roof of the teacher. Many students from his early batches became respected musicians and teachers in North India. This brought a change in the way people looked at classical musicians. Vishnu Digambar returned to Mumbai in September 1908 to start a branch of the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya. Eventually, the Lahore school was shifted to Mumbai after Independence.

Sharan Rani is the first woman sarod player of India. Born in 1929 in Delhi, Sharan Rani is playing Sarod for nearly 70 years. In fact, she is also popularly called as Sarod Rani. Sharan Rani learnt sarod from eminent musicians such as Baba Allauddin Khan and Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. Sharan Rani has performed concerts throughout the world. Jawahar Lal Nehru called her "Cultural Ambassador of India".

For her achievement in music, Sharan Rani was awarded the Padma Shri in 1968 and Sahitya Kala Parishad Award in Delhi in 1974. She received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Hindustani Instrumental Music in 1986. Sharan Rani is one of the three women to be conferred the title of "Gems of Indian Music" by the Government of India, the other two being Lata Mangeshkar & MS Subbulaksh.

Bageshwari Qamar is the first woman shehnai player of India. Bageshwari Qamar learnt Shehnai from Ustad Bismillah Khan. She was crowned Shehnai Queen at Chandigarh in 1983, the year she made her debut. Bageshwari has recorded a jugalbandi with Ustad Bismillah Khan apart from solo cassettes. She represented India at the Bharat Mahotsav at Russia in 1988.

Bageshwari Qamar is the daughter of Jagdish Prasad Qamar, the only disciple of Ustad Bismillah Khan, who joined him as per the traditional Gurukul system. Jagdish joined Ustad Bismillah Khan at the age of 10 in 1946. He lived and learned shehnai at the Ustad's house in Benaras.

Gwalior Gharana is the oldest gharanas of Hindustani Music. Gwalior Gharana is the oldest of the khyal gharanas and the one to which most of the others gharanas trace the origins of their style. It is believed that the Gwalior Gharana was founded in the 16th century by Nathan Peer Baksh and Nathe Khan. They were musicians at the court of Raja Mansingh Tomar (1486 - 1516 AD). Later on grandsons of Nathan Peer Baksh, Haddu Khan and Hassu Khan, further enriched the gharana and took it to greater heights. Gwalior Gharana is marked by its lucidity and simplicity.

Some of the famous exponents of Gwalior Gharana were Pt. Shri Balkrishnabuva Paluskar, Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar, Rehamat Khan, Aptebua, Paranjpebua, Vasudevbua, Shankar Pandit, Eknath Pandit, Anant Manohar Joshi, Krishnarao Shankar Pandit, Gajananrao Joshi, Sharadchandra Arolkar, Omkarnath Thakur, Vinayakrao Patwardhan, Narayanrao Vyas, B.R.Deodhar, D.V.Paluskar, Kumar Gandharva and Shankar Rao Bodas.

A. R. Rahman is the first music director to win two Academy Awards for the film Slumdog Millionaire in the year 2009. Described as the world's most prominent and prolific film composer by Time, his works are notable for integrating eastern classical music with electronic music sounds, world music genres and traditional orchestral arrangements. He has won two Grammy Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe, four National Film Awards, fourteen Filmfare Awards, thirteen Filmfare Awards South in addition to numerous other awards and nominations.

His extensive body of work for film and the stage earned him the nickname “the Mozart of Madras”. In 2009, Time placed Rahman in its list of World's Most Influential People. The UK based World Music magazine Songlines named him one of 'Tomorrow's World Music Icons' in August 2016.

Indian film industry is the largest film industry in the world and every year more than 1000 films are produced in India. Indian cinema has made its mark all over the world. Indian actors are in demand in Hollywood movies, and leading Indian stars are popular in far flung corners of the world. Indian cinema has a history of nearly 100 years and has become an integral part of Indian society and culture. Here are some interesting facts on cinema.

Madan Theatres' Indra Sabha with 71 songs is the film with most number of songs. The film was made in 1932 and the director of the film was J.J. Madan. The plot of the film revolves around a benevolent king whose moral character is tested by celestial powers. They cause an apsara (a fairy) to appear before the king as a fallen woman begging for mercy.

Indra Sabha was based on a play written by Sayed Aga Hasan Amanat. The film had two singers Master Nissar and Jehanara Kajjan. The other cast of the film included Abdul Rehman Kabuli and Mukhtar Begum.

First Colour Film Made in India was Kisan Kanya in the year 1937, although the trend of colour films began very late. The film was produced by Imperial Film Co and was directed by Moti B. Gidwani. The music of the film was composed by Ram Gopal Pandey.

The film had 10 songs, which were released by Gramophone Records. The storyline of the film featured an exploitative landlord and a good peasant Ramu who is accused of murdering the landlord. The film was colored using the Cinecolour process imported by Imperial Film Co. Kisan Kanya had a run time of 137 minutes and its main starcast included Padmadevi, Jillo, Ghulam Mohammed, Nissar, Syed Ahmed, and Gani.

Chota Chetan was the first Indian 3D Movie. The film was made under the banner of Navodaya Films in 1984. Chota Chetan was a huge box office success and earned around Rs 60 crore during 1984-85. The film also won the President's Gold Medal.

The movie was re-released with additional footage and digital sound upgrade during 1998 and amassed Rs 50 crore during that period. The film's starcast included Dalip Tahil, Suresh Mukesh, Sonia Sahni, and Arvind. Lyrics were written by Javed Akhtar, Anand Bakshi, and Sameer. Music was given by Anu Malik, and the director of the film was Jijo. The version that was released in 1998 also included Urmila Matondkar.

First Indian cinemascope film was Kaagaz ke Phool, produced and directed by Guru Dutt in 1959. The film's starcast included Guru Dutt, Veena, Waheeda Rehman, Johnny Walker, Minoo Mumtaz and Baby Naaz. Kaagaz ke Phool is considered as Guru Dutt's finest film. But the film was a box office disaster and Guru Dutt never directed a movie again. The film is a technical masterpiece.

The camerawork with its use of light and shadows is magical. The frames have been beautifully composed keeping in mind the cinemascope format. The plot of the film is often seen as Guru Dutt's autobiography, and to some extent derives its astonishing power Guru Dutt's extraordinary impersonation of the tragic hero. The film is renowned for its superb song picturisation, particularly Dekhi Zamaane ki Yaari and Waqt ne Kiya Kya Haseen Situm.

Raja Harishchandra was the first full-length Indian feature film. The film was directed by Dhundiraj Govind Phalke (better known as Dadasaheb Phalke). The film was based on the legend of Harishchandra. Dadasaheb Phalke was greatly influenced by the style of painter Raja Ravi Verma in the making of Raja Harishchandra.

The film was shown to a select audience on April 21, 1913 and was formally released on May 3 the same year at the Coronation Theatre in Bombay, where it ran for 23 days. Raja Harishchandra tells the tale of a virtuous monarch who donates his kingdom and sells himself into penury. The film was adapted from a successful stage production. It had subtitles in Hindi and English and featured male actors in the female roles.

Bhanu Athaiya was the First Indian to Get an Oscar. She won the award for the Best Costume Designer for Richard Attenborough's film Gandhi in 1982. Bhanu Athaiya has been associated with the Hindi Film Industry for more than 50 years.

She was born as Bhanumati Annasaheb Rajopadhye in Kolhapur in Maharashtra. She married Satyendra Athaiya, a poet and lyricist for Hindi. The marriage ended in separation and Bhanu never remarried.

Jaddan Bai, mother of famous actress Nargis, was the first woman music director in Indian film industry. Jaddan Bai made a film Talash-e-Haq in the year 1935 and composed the music for it herself. In the same year Saraswati Devi scored the music for Mumbai Talkies' Jawaani Ki Diwani.

Jaddan Bai was a struggling artiste in Calcutta. It was the legendary singer K.L. Saigal who noticed her talent and encouraged her. So, from a gramophone singer, Jaddan Bai became an actress, music director and film producer.

India's first talkie film was Alam Ara (Light of the Universe). The film was released on March 14, 1931 at Majestic Cinema in Bombay. Alam Ara was made under the banner of Imperial Movietone. It was produced and directed by Ardeshir Marwan Irani. The film was based on a successful Parsi play of the same name, written by Joseph David. The star cast of Alam Ara included some of the popular stars of the silent era like Prithviraj Kapoor, L.V. Prasad, W.M. Khan, Master Vithal and Zubeida.

Alam Ara exploited the technological wonder of sound to the full. It had opulent sets and made rich use of music, song, and dance. Alam Ara had seven songs. The film took two months to complete. There were several technical hitches in sound recording. At that time there were no sound proof stages and most of the film was shot indoors and during night. Since the film was shot close to a railway track, the unit had to wait till the trains ceased to operate to begin the shoot.

The song Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyon in the film by the same name is the longest Hindi film song. The length of the song is 20 minutes and the song is featured in three installments in the film. The song is sung by Sonu Nigam, Udit Narayan, and Kailash Kher and is written by Sameer. The music of the song is composed by Anu Malik.

The movie Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyon is directed by Anil Sharma and the star cast of the film includes Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Bobby Deol, and Divya Khosla. Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyon belongs to the genre of patriotism and the basic plot of the film revolves around the theme of fight against terrorism.

Indian defence force is the third largest defence force in the world after USA and China. Indian armed forces defend the vast land, water and aerial borders of India and are renowned for their courage and valour. Indian defence forces have shown their in India as well as abroad. Indian armed forces have raised the country's honour in UN Peacekeeping Missions and have impressed everyone with their professionalism and discipline. Here are some interesting facts about Indian defence.

Air Marshal Sir Thomas Walker Elmhirst was the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Air Force. He was Air Chief from 15 August 1947 to 21 February 1950. It was Air Marshal Elmhirst, who insisted that the Indian Air Force be an independent service under no control of the Army. Before independence of India, the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army exercised control over the Air Force too. Thus, it was Air Marshal Thomas Walker Elmhirst's foresight that led to the independent status of IAF. Air Marshal Elmhirst was also instrumental in turning an incomplete air force into a cohesive fighting machine.

Thomas Elmhirst was born in 1895, the fourth son of a Priest. He enrolled into the Royal Navy and took part in World War I. In 1919, Elmhirst transferred to the Royal Air Force. During World War II, Elmhirst commanded a Bomber Wing, and as an Air Commodore, was on the staff of Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain in September 1940. In 1947, Elmhirst was posted to India as the Chief of Inter Service Administration on the staff of the Commander-in-Chief in India. He became Air Chief at the time of India's independence and laid down the office in February 1950. Sir Thomas Elmhirst died on 6 November 1982.

General Sir Francis Robert Roy Bucher was the first Commander-in-Chief of Indian Army. He was Commander-in-Chief of Indian Army from 1 January 1948 to 14 January 1949.

General Roy Bucher was born on 31 August 1895. He was commissioned in the British Indian Army on 15 August 1914. He held various appointments including Assistant Adjutant General from Jan 1941 to June 1941 and Additional Quartermaster General, in Iraq, from June 1941 to March 1942. General Bucher was appointed as General Officer Commanding Bengal and Assam Area in 1946 and was latter General Officer Commanding - in - Chief, Eastern Command, from 1946 to 1947. Later, he took over as Chief of Staff, Army Headquarters, and was appointed Commander in Chief. General Roy Bucher died in 1980.

Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw, popularly known as Sam Bahadur, was the first Field Marshal of Indian Army. He was appointed Field Marshal on 1 January 1973. He is the first of only two Indian military officers to hold the highest rank of Field Marshal of the Indian Army. The other was Field Marshal K M Cariappa. He was conferred the rank of Field Marshal in 1986.

Sam Manekshaw was born on April 3, 1914. He belonged to the first batch of 40 cadets to be selected for the Indian Military Academy and was commissioned into the 12 FF Rifles on 4 February 1934. He was awarded Military Cross (MC) for his gallantry and leadership on the Burma Front. On 4 December 1963, then Lt General Manekshaw became the first Indian Commissioned Officer to become an Army Commander and became the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Command before taking over as the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Command in November 1964. Field Marshal Manekshaw was appointed the Chief of the Army Staff on 8 June 1969. His able military leadership helped India defeat Pakistan in the 1971 war.

Air Marshal Subroto Mukherjee was the first Indian Chief of Air Staff of Indian Air Force. He was Air Chief from 1 April 1954 to 8 November 1960. He was one of the six recruits selected for training at RAF Cranwell, when the decision to give commissions in the RAF to Indians was taken. He was inducted in the Indian Air Force as pilot in 1933, when the first Indian Air Force Squadron was formed. In July 1938,he was put in command of 'B' flight of the No.1 IAF Squadron in the rank of Flying Officer. Subroto Mukherjee became the first Indian Officer to command a Squadron when he took over No.1 on 16 March 1939.

On 15 August 1947, when India achieved Independence, Air Commodore Mukherjee was promoted to Air Vice Marshal and posted as the Deputy Chief of Air Staff at Air HQ. On 1 April 1954, Mukherjee took over from Air Marshal Gerald Gibbs as the Chief of Air Staff of the Indian Air Force. Subroto Mukherjee died on 8 November 1960 in a Tokyo restaurant, when he choked on the food which blocked his air passage.

Vice Admiral RD Katari was the first Indian Chief of Naval Staff. He was Naval Chief from 22 April 1958 to 4 June 1962. Vice Admiral Katari had many other "firsts" to his credit. He had the unique triple distinction of being the first cadet to join the Training Ship Dufferin, when this institution was founded in 1927, to be first winner of the Viceroy's Gold Medal and to become the first Member representative Ex-Cadets on the Governing Body of the Dufferin.

Vice Admiral Katari was born in Chinglenut (near Madras) and spent his childhood and youth in Hyderabad. After completing his studies, he joined the Training Ship Dufferin and stood first in the entrance examination. After World War II, Vice Admiral Katari held important sea commands and was responsible for clearing the mines that had been laid near the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. He was promoted to the rank of Captain in December 1948. In 1954, he took over as the Deputy Chief of Naval Staff and was promoted to the rank of Commodore. In March 1956 he was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral. He was promoted to the rank of Vice Admiral and Chief of Naval Staff in April 1958.

General (later Field Marshal) K.M. Cariappa was the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of Indian Army. He was Commander-in-Chief of Indian Army from 15 January 1949 to 31 March 1953.

Field Marshal K M Cariappa was born on 28 January 1900 in Mercara state, in present day Karnataka. He had his formal education in the Central High School at Madikeri, after which he pursued his higher education at Presidency College, Madras. After the end of First World War in 1918, Indian politicians of the time raised a demand to sanction Indians to the King's Commission. Cariappa received the King's Commission in 1919 with the first group of Indian cadets, and in 1933, was the first Indian officer to join Staff College, Quetta.

K M Cariappa won the award of OBE in 1945 while serving as the Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General with 26 Indian Division in the Arakans. In 1986, General K M Cariappa was honored with the rank of Field Marshal by the President of India. Field Marshal Cariappa passed away on 15 May 1993.

Major Som Nath Sharma was the first recipient of Param Vir Chakra (PVC). Param Vir Chakra is the highest Indian gallantry award. Major Somnath Sharma was awarded PVC for his bravery in Badgam, Kashmir in November 1947 while fighting Pakistani invaders.

Major Somnath Sharma, was born on 31 January 1923, in Himachal Pradesh. He was commissioned in the Kumaon Regiment on 22 February 1942. On 22 October 1947, Pakistan launched the tribal invasion of Jammu & Kashmir. The intention was to grab the Kashmir valley by force. To save the State from a tribal invasion, India dispatched troops to Srinagar.

On 3 November 1947, Major Somnath Sharma's company was ordered on a fighting patrol to Badgam Village in the Kashmir Valley. He was soon surrounded by the enemy from three sides and his company sustained heavy casualties from the ensuing artillery bombardment. He realized the importance of holding onto his position as both the city of Srinagar and the airport would be vulnerable if it were lost. Under heavy fire and outnumbered seven to one, Major Somnath Sharma and his troops fought till last blood and halted the advance of Pakistani invaders for a few crucial hours till Indian reinforcements arrived.

Padmavathy Bandopadhyay was the first woman Air Marshal of Indian Air Force. She was the Director General Medical Services (Air) at the Air Headquarters. Padmavathy Bandopadhyay joined the IAF in 1968. She had the distinction of being the first woman officer to become an aviation medicine specialist.

Padma Bandopadhyay was awarded the Visisht Seva Medal for her meritorious service during the 1971 Indo-Pak conflict. She is the first woman Fellow of the Aerospace Medical Society of India and the first Indian woman to have conducted scientific research at the North Pole. She is also the first woman officer to have completed the Defence Service Staff College course in 1978 and to command the IAF's Central Medical Establishment (CME). Padma Bandopadhyay was also the first woman officer of the Indian Air Force to be promoted to the rank of Air Vice Marshal.

Lt General (Mrs) Punita Arora of the Army's Medical Corps was the first woman Lt General of Indian Army. Lt Gen Punita Arora graduated from Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), Pune and joined Army Medical Corps in 1968. She did her Post-graduation in Gynae and Obst from AFMC and was awarded Gold Medal for standing first in Pune University. During her service she worked as Gynaecologist at various prestigious Armed Forces Hospitals like Prof & Head AFMC and Army Hospital (R & R).

Lt Gen Punita Arora was awarded Sena Medal by President of India for establishing Gynae Endoscopy and Oncology facilities in Armed Forces Hospitals. She was awarded Vishisht Seva Medal by President of India for the efficient and prompt treatment provided to the victims of Kalu Chak terrorist attack, under her leadership while commanding Military Hospital, Jammu. Lt Gen (Mrs) Punita Arora was appointed as Commandant, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune.

India has a very rich and diverse culture with a civilizational heritage of more than 5000 years. Variety is the hallmark of Indian culture. India's culture has been enriched by the successive waves of migration. The invaders brought with them their own culture which was amalgamated into Indian way of life and it gave birth to an eclectic mix which can be seen today. India's physical, religious and racial variety is reflected in its culture. This vast cultural diversity is manifested in the monuments - temple, mosques, churches, monasteries, gurudwara's etc. We have collected together some interesting facts on Indian culture.

Buland Darwaza is the highest gateway in India. Buland Darwaza was built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1601 A.D. at Fatehpur Sikri to commemorate his victory over Gujarat. Buland Darwaza is 53.63m high and 35 meters wide. The structure is approached by 42 steps.

Buland Darwaza is made of red and buff sandstone, decorated by carving and inlaying of white and black marble. The Buland Darwaza is semi octagonal in plan and is topped by pillars and chhatris. It is adorned with calligraphic inscriptions from the Quran. There are thirteen smaller domed kiosks on the roof, stylized battlement and small turrets and inlay work of white and black marble. An inscription on the central face of the Buland Darwaza displays Akbar's religious broad mindedness. It is attributed to Jesus Christ and reads, "The World is but a bridge, pass over but build no houses on it." A Persian inscription on eastern arch way of the Buland Darwaza records Akbar's conquest over Deccan in 1601 A.D.

Amarnath Cave in Jammu & Kashmir is the largest cave in India. The width of the cave is around 40 yard, its height is about 75 feet; and the cave slopes 80 feet deep down inside the mountain. Amarnath Cave is an important pilgrimage shrine for the Hindus. The cave is famous for the image of Shiva, in the form of a lingam that is formed naturally of an ice-stalagmite, and which waxes and wanes with the moon.

Amarnath Cave is situated at an altitude of 3888m and is 45 km from Pahalgam. The trek from Pahalgam to Amarnath cave is on an ancient peregrine route. The 45-km distance is covered in four days, with night halts at Chandanwari, Sheshnag and Panchtarni.

Ellora temples in Aurangabad, Maharashtra are the largest cave temples in India. Ellora cave temples are a perfect example of Indian rock cut architecture. Ellora is a World Heritage Site. It has 35 caves. These caves comprise of Buddhist, Hindu and Jain cave temples and monasteries, which were built between the 5th century and 10th century. There are 12 Buddhist caves, 17 Hindu caves, and 5 Jain caves.

The Buddhist caves were the earliest structures, created between the fifth and seventh centuries. These consist mostly of viharas or monasteries. The Hindu caves were constructed in the beginning of the 7th century. The Kailasanatha Temple in the Cave 16 is the main attraction of Ellora. The temple is designed to recall Mount Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva. The Jain temples reveal specific dimensions of Jain philosophy and tradition.

Se Cathedral in Old Goa is the largest church in India. The original building was constructed of mud and stones and straw and was erected in 1510 and was dedicated to St. Catherine. In 1538 the church status was elevated to that of a Cathedral with the establishment of the Diocese of Goa. The Cathedral as it stands today took 90 years to be completed. The Portuguese viceroy, Dom Francisco Coutinho, the Count of Redondo (1561-1564) commissioned its construction.

The building work began in 1562 and was completed in 1652. The height of Se Cathedral's front piece including the cross is 115 2/3 feet and its breadth is 100 4/3 feet. The total length of the Cathedral is 250 feet and it breadth id 181 1/3 feet. Externally, Se Cathedral is built in half Tuscan and half Doric style, and internally it is built in the Mosaic-Corinthian style.

Gol Gumbaz, situated in Bijapur district of Karnataka, is the largest dome in India. Gol Gumbaz has a diameter of 124 feet and is the second largest dome in the world, next only to St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. The dome was built by Muhammad Adil Shah in the year 1656. It has a floor area of 1700 m2 and a height of 51 m. The walls of the structure are 3 m. thick.

The dome contains tombs of Muhammad Adil Shah, his two wives, his mistress, his daughter and grandson. Gol Gumbaz is an architectural wonder as it stands unsupported by pillars. The most remarkable feature of Gol Gumbaz is its acoustical system. Even the faintest whisper around the dome echoes several times.

Golden Temple in Amritsar is the largest Gurudwara in India. In fact, Golden Temple is the largest Gurudwara in the world. Golden Temple is also known as Harminder Sahib and is considered to be the most sacred shrine of Sikhs. Golden Temple was built during the leadership of the fifth guru, Guru Arjan Dev (1581-1606). The temple construction was started in 1588 and was completed in 1601.

Golden Temple is surrounded by a small pond of water, known as the Sarovar which consists of Amrit (Holy Water). There temple has four entrances, signifying the importance of acceptance and openness. All devotees are expected to cover their heads as a sign of respect and wash their feet in the small pool of water as they enter the Golden Temple. Drinking alcohol, eating meat, and smoking cigarettes is prohibited in the temple premises.

Tawang Monastery in Arunachal Pradesh is the largest monastery in India. The monastery is 3 storey high and occupies an area of 140 sq m. It is enclosed by a 610 m long compound wall. Within the complex there are 65 residential buildings and 10 other structures.

Tawang Monastery is one of the most largest Monasteries of Mahayana sect in Asia. It was founded by the Mera Lama Lodre Gyasto in 17 century AD in accordance to the wishes of the 5th Dalai Lama, Nagwang Lobsang Gyatso. The Monastery is also known in Tibetan as Galden Namgey Lhatse, which means a true name within a celestial paradise in a clear night. The library of the monastery has valuable old scriptures mainly Kanjur and Tanjur numbering 850 bundles.

Jama Masjid in New Delhi, overlooking Chandni Chowk and the Red Fort, is the largest mosque in India. The mosque was built by Mughal emperor Shahjahan in 1656. It has typical Mughal architecture with three gateways, four towers and two minarets. The Jama Masjid is made up of red sandstone and white marble. About 25,000 people can pray here at a time.

The mosque has a vast paved rectangular courtyard, which is nearly 75 m by 66 m. The whole of the western chamber is a big hall standing on 260 pillars all carved from Hindu and Jain traditions. The central courtyard is accessible from the East. The Eastern side entrance leads to another enclosure containing the mausoleum of Sultan Ahmed Shah. It took fifteen years to build the mosque and more than five thousand artisans worked on it.

The corridor of Ramnathswamy Temple at Rameshwaram is the largest temple corridor in India. The temple has 1220 metres of magnificent corridors and has 1200 gigantic granite columns. Ramnathswamy temple was built in the 17th century. The temple is situated close to the sea on the eastern side of the island and has a 54 metre tall gopuram.

Rameshwaram is an island situated in the Gulf of Mannar at the tip of the Indian peninsula. Rameshwaram is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of India. Rameshwaram is an important pilgrimage destination for Hindus. According to the Hindu mythology, Lord Rama performed thanksgiving rituals at Rameshwaram after his triumph over the demon king Ravana. Therefore, Rameshwaram attracts Vaishnavites and Saivites.

St Thomas Church at Palyar in Trichur, Kerala is considered to be the oldest church in India. In 52 A.D. Thomas Didaemus, one of the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ. is believed to have landed at Musiris (Cranganore) in Kerala. He made his first converts both Jews and Hindus at Palayur a town now in Trichur district, Kerala.

There he built a small church with an altar, which he consecrated. The Palayur church still stands at the same site and is the oldest church in India. In the 17th century Reverend Fenichi enclosed the original church with a new outer building, as the wooden walls of the old church were destroyed with time. But the original altar consecrated by St. Thomas still remains at this site.

The statue of Gomateshwara at Sravanbelagola in Karnataka is the tallest statue in India. The statue is 17m (55 ft) high and is visible from a distance of 30km. The gigantic monolithic statue is carved out of a single block of granite and stands majestically on top of a hill. This statue of Lord Gomateshwara was created around 983 AD by Chamundraya, a minister of the Ganga King, Rajamalla.

Lord Gomateshwara was a Jain saint, hence the place is an important Jain pilgrimage center. The statue of Gomateswara shows the recluse completely nude, in the Jain custom. The neighboring areas have Jain bastis and several images of the Jain Thirthankaras. At Sravanbelgola the Mahamastakabhishekam festival is held once in 12 years, when the image of Gomateswara is bathed in milk, curd, ghee, saffron and gold coins.

Indian economy is the talk of the world. It is scaling new heights and is rapidly emerging as one of the drivers of global economy. But in our quest for GDP growth we sometimes overlook interesting facts regarding business and Industry in India. For example, which is the largest bank in India or which is the oldest stock exchange in India. We have collected together such interesting facts on Indian industry and business.

Kandla Special Economic Zone (KASEZ) in Gujarat was the first Indian SEZ. It was set up in 1965 and in fact KASEZ was the first SEZ to be set up in Asia. Kandla SEZ is also the largest multi-product SEZ in India, spread over 1.2 sq miles. Kandla SEZ is located just 9 km away from the modern-all-weather Indian port of Kandla.

India was one of the first countries in Asia to recognize the effectiveness of the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) model in promoting exports. To overcome the shortcomings experienced on account of the multiplicity of controls and clearances; absence of world-class infrastructure, and an unstable fiscal regime and with a view to attract larger foreign investments in India, the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) Policy was announced in April 2000.

Hindalco Industries Limited is India's leading aluminium and copper producer. Hindalco is part of the Aditya Birla Group and has a turnover of US$ 14 billion. Hindalco is the world's largest aluminium rolling company and one of the biggest producers of primary aluminium in Asia. Its copper smelter at Dahej in Gujarat is the world's largest single location custom copper smelter with 500,000 TPA capacity.

On May 15, 2007, Hindalco acquired the Canadian company Novelis for U$6 billion, making the combined entity the world's largest rolled-aluminium producer.

Hindalco is listed on the 2016 Forbes Global 2000 at the position 643

Tata Motors is India’s largest automobile company, with consolidated net profit of 9,274 crore (US$2.07 billion) in 2010–11. It is the leader in commercial vehicles and among the top three in passenger vehicles. The company is the world's fourth largest truck manufacturer, the world's second largest bus manufacturer, and employs 50,000 workers. Tata Motors has produced and sold over 4 million vehicles in India since 1954.

Tata Motors is a dual-listed company traded on both the Bombay Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange. In 2010, Tata Motors surpassed Reliance to win the coveted title of 'India's most valuable brand' in an annual survey conducted by Brand Finance and The Economic Times.

In 2008, Tata Motors acquired British Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), which includes the Daimler and Lanchester brand names. In 2010, Tata Motors acquired 80% stake in Italy-based design and engineering company Trilix for a consideration of €1.85 million. The acquisition is in line with the company’s objective to enhance its styling/design capabilities to global standards.

Genpact is India's Largest BPO Company. Genpact manages business processes for companies around the world, combining its process expertise, information technology and analytical capabilities.

Genpact started its operations in 1997 as the India-based business process services operation for GE Capital. In 2005, with equity investments from General Atlantic and Oak Hill Capital Partners, it became an independent company and was rebranded as Genpact. In August 2007, Genpact was listed on the NYSE under the symbol ‘G’. Since then the company has grown rapidly, expanding their range of services and diversifying their client base. Genpact has its network in more than 25 locations in nine countries. Its global delivery centers are located in India, China, Hungary, Mexico, the Philippines, the Netherlands, Romania, Spain and the United States.

Genpact provides a wide range of services, such as Finance & Accounting, Collections and Customer Service, Insurance, Supply Chain & Procurement, Analytics, Enterprise Application and IT Infrastructure.

Amul is India's largest selling Ice Cream. Amul Ice Cream has taken the top spot by replacing Kwality Walls. According to a survey Amul Ice creams are perceived as being superior on creaminess, taste and price. Amul is also considered to be a family brand offering a better price. Amul Ice Creams come in following flavours: Vanila, Strawberry, Pineapple, Orange, Rose, Mango, Chocolate, Honey-Dew-Melon, Tutti Frutti, Litchi, Kesar Pista, Kaju Draksh, Butterscotch, Chocochips, Rajbhog and Cashew Break.

Amul is the brand of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), India's largest food products marketing organization. It is a state level apex body of milk cooperatives in Gujarat which aims to provide remunerative returns to the farmers and also serve the interest of consumers by providing quality products which are good value for money.

Music World, part of the RPG group of enterprises, is India's largest music retail chain. The group has over 79 outlets across India. It provides consumers with an unparalleled range of music and movies, across International, Hindi and Regional repertoires.

Music World started its operations in November 1997 with its first store in Chennai. A year later it opened its second store in Cochin. Today, Music World has presence in 45 cities in India, commanding a market share of 20 - 25% in most markets where it is present. Its presence ranges from metros to tier II towns to rural markets like Vidisha & Sehore. More than 5 million consumers walk through Music World stores annually.

State Bank of India (SBI) is the largest bank in India. The bank has a vast domestic network of over 9000 branches (approximately 14% of all bank branches) and commands one-fifth of deposits and loans of all scheduled commercial banks in India. The Corporate Centre of SBI is in Mumbai. The bank has 14 Local Head Offices and 57 Zonal Offices which are located at important cities spread throughout the country. In addition, the State Bank of India has 52 foreign offices in 34 countries across the globe.

The State Bank Group includes a network of eight banking subsidiaries:

  • State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur (SBBJ)
  • State Bank of Hyderabad (SBH)
  • State Bank of India (SBI)
  • State Bank of Indore (SBIR)
  • State Bank of Mysore (SBM)
  • State Bank of Patiala (SBP)
  • State Bank of Saurashtra (SBS)
  • State Bank of Travancore (SBT)

Crossword, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Shoppers Stop Limited, is the largest bookstore chain in India. Crossword, with Eighty three stores, across Ahmedabad, Aurangabad, Amritsar, Bhopal, Bengalooru, Chennai, Delhi, Durgapur, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Kolkata, Kota, Lucknow, Mumbai, Nagpur, Nasik, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Thane, Udaipur, Vadodara, Vapi & Vijaywada is India’s fastest growing chain of bookstores.

Crossword came into existence on 15th October 1992. Since its inception, Crossword has won many honors and recognitions. These are listed below:

  • Ranked the 6th most admired retailer in India by Businessworld for the year 2006; it was the only book retailer in the top 10.
  • Won the Reid & Taylor Award for Best Retailer of the year - Leisure & Specialty at the India Retail Summit 2005.
  • Won the Retailer of the Year Award - Leisure (Books, Music and Gifts Category) at the Images Retail Awards 2005.
  • Received the Federation of Indian Publishers Award for excellence in Publishing for the year 2004

Crossword also launched the Crossword Book Award in 1998 to recognize and reward the best of Indian writing.

Bata India is the largest footwear retail chain in India. Bata India serves over 120, 000 customer’s everyday and has more than 6800 employees on its rolls. The company operates 1200 retail stores and runs 5 manufacturing facilities across India.

Bata set up its first factory in India in Konnagar in 1931 which was later on shifted to Batanagar. Its five production facilities are located at: Batanagar, West Bengal (1936); Bataganj, Bihar (1942); Faridabad, Haryana (1951); Peenya, Karnataka (1988); and Hosur, Tamil Nadu (1994). The company manufactures leather, rubber, canvas and PVC shoes. Bata India has an in-house tannery at Mokamehghat in Bihar, which is the second largest in Asia. Today, Bata India sells over 45 million pairs of footwear every year.

Rasna Private Limited is the largest soft drink concentrate producer in India. The 275 crore, Ahmedabad based company, has made Rasna, into one of the most recognized brands in India. Rasna single-handedly created the Indian soft drink concentrate market and is now the leader in this category with almost 93% market share.

Rasna has 6 regional offices and a strong distribution network including, 4, 00,000 direct retailers and 7, 00,000 in-direct retailers. It has 24 warehouses and 2000 stockists across the country. Apart from an extensive network in India, Rasna also has offices in USA, Dubai and Bangladesh and a manufacturing base in U.A.E and exports to more than 40 countries across the world.

Bombay Stock Exchange Limited is the oldest stock exchange in India as well as Asia. It was established as "The Native Share & Stock Brokers Association" in 1875. Bombay Stock Exchange, popularly known as BSE, is the first stock exchange in the country to obtain permanent recognition in 1956 from the Government of India under the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956.

Bombay Stock Exchange has played a vital role in the development of the Indian capital market. The Exchange has a pan-Indian reach with presence in 417 cities and towns of India. Bombay Stock Exchange provides an efficient and transparent market for trading in equity, debt instruments and derivatives. The BSE's On Line Trading System (BOLT) is a proprietary system of the Exchange and is BS 7799-2-2002 certified.