Category "India"

13Dec2018

India first took part in the Olympic Games in the year 1900, at Paris. Of course, India was not an independent country at that time, it was under British rule. It sent just one representative – an athlete named Norman Pritchard. And he won two silver medals! […]

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12Dec2018

The Birla Planetarium in Kolkata is said to be the first planetarium established in India. Situated at Chowringhee Road (near the Victoria Memorial) in South Kolkata, it is the largest planetarium in Asia and the second largest planetarium in the world. Popularly known as ‘taramandal’, the planetarium was inaugurated on 2 July 1963 by Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India. […]

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11Dec2018

India ink (also known as Chinese ink) is a black or colored ink that was once widely used for writing and printing. It is now more commonly used for drawing and outlining, especially for comics. While the ink was actually invented in China (as early as the 3rd millennium BC), it was called ‘India ink’ by the British due to their trade links with India. […]

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10Dec2018

Also known as ‘The Flying Sikh,’ Milkha Singh is a former track and field sprinter, who was the first gold medallist from independent India at the Commonwealth Games. […]

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21Nov2018

There are 29 States in India. And 22 major languages are spoken in our country! Wow! These languages are listed in our Constitution, under what is known as Schedule 8. Therefore, they are also known as Scheduled Languages. They are, in alphabetical order, Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. […]

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20Nov2018

Everyone in India knows that Diwali, or Deepavali, as it is called in the South, is a festival of lights. But did you know that the reasons for celebration are different in different regions of India?

In the north, it marks the return of Lord Ram to Ayhodha after 14 years in exile. During that time he had killed many demons, including Ravana, the king of Lanka. The people of Ayodhya welcomed him with fireworks and lighted lamps, and that practice continues today. […]

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20Nov2018

The earliest known written record of surgical procedures done in India are found in a book named Sushruta Samhita, written more than 2,500 years ago! It is also probably the world’s oldest written detailed record of surgeries. The surgeries described include plastic surgery – the science of repairing and reconstructing damaged parts of the body.  Sushruta, the author of the book, was probably the first person to perform such operations. […]

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19Nov2018

If you answered ‘Jana gana mana’, you got it wrong. Jana gana mana is our national anthem. The national song is Vande Mataram written by Bankim Chandra Chatterji. In fact, earlier, it was more popular than Jana Gana Mana written by Rabindranath Tagore, and was almost chosen as the national anthem. […]

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19Nov2018

Ghum (also known as Ghoom) is a small hilly region in Darjeeling, West Bengal – and is home to the highest railway station in India at an altitude of 7,407 feet. The place is also the home of the Ghum Monastery and the Batasia Loop, a bend of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. Construction of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway started in 1879, and the railway track reached Ghum on April 4, 1881. Presently, after climbing from Siliguri to Ghum, the train starts descending about 1,000 feet to Darjeeling, whereby it first crosses the double loop at Batasia. […]

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17Nov2018

INS Vikrant (name drawn from ‘vikranta,’ which means ‘brave’ or ‘courageous’ in Sanskrit) was an aircraft carrier of the Indian navy. The ship was initially to be built as HMS Hercules for the British Royal Navy during World War II but the ship’s construction was put on hold when the war ended. India purchased the incomplete carrier in 1957, and finished building it in 1961. INS Vikrant was commissioned as the first aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy, and Captain Pritam Singh was the ship’s first commanding officer. On May 18, 1961, the first jet, piloted by Lieutenant Radhakrishna Hariram Tahiliani, landed on her deck. INS Vikrant formally joined the Indian Navy’s fleet in Mumbai (then Bombay) on November 3, 1961. […]

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16Nov2018

Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (September 5, 1888 to April 17, 1975) was independent India’s first Vice President, and second President. He was the recipient of several distinguished awards, including the Bharat Ratna (India’s highest civilian award), honorary membership of the British Royal Order of Merit and knighthood. Dr. Radhakrishnan was one of the most influential thinkers of modern India, and he stressed on the need for the “best minds in the country” to become teachers, so as to groom the upcoming generations. He was himself regarded by many in politics as a wise mentor, who put the country’s above his own at all times. It is said that, after Dr. Radhakrishnan became the President of India, a group of students wanted to celebrate his birthday as Radhakrishnan Jayanti. He gently refused and instead suggested that they think of a way to honour their teachers. What followed was that his birthday was marked as ‘Teachers’ Day’ in India, and has been celebrated as such since 1962. […]

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25Oct2018

Over five millennia ago thrived an advanced civilisation in the upper reaches of India along the banks of the river Indus. Its people were master engineers and builders, as shown by innumerable archaeological discoveries of the Indus sites. Among the achievements of these early Indians was the construction of a Tidal dock at Lothal, one of the most prominent cities of the ancient Indus Valley or Harappan Civilisation located in the modern state of Gujarat and dating from 2400 BCE. […]

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25Oct2018

India’s national emblem is reproduced from the very famous Lion Capital established by Emperor Ashola at Sarnath. It depicts four lions standing back to back upon a circular abacus. These lions possibly represent the four noble Truths of Buddhism. It may also signify constant vigilance. On the abacus are sculpted a horse, a bull, elephant and a lion with wheels placed in between. These represent the guardians of the four directions with the wheels indicating the passage of time. The words, ‘Satyameva Jayate,’ or “Truth Alone Triumphs’ are written below. […]

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24Oct2018

The Lakshadweep islands are a group of islands lying in the Arabian Sea, off the south-west coast of India. The word dweep means island and laksha means lakh or hundred-thousand. From the name, it would seem that there are a hundred-thousand islands in the archipelago, as a group of islands is called. But in reality, it has only 36 islands, scattered in the Arabian Sea. They form the smallest Union Territory in India. […]

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24Oct2018

When we in India meet someone, or when we greet guests, it is common to press our palms together, hold them close to the chest, fingers pointing up, and say Namaste. Depending on where in India we live, we may also say Namaskar, Namaskaram or Vanakkam. The gesture and the appropriate word are also often used in parting. This is a habit which we learn in childhood, and practice all through life. […]

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