Is India on your travel bucket list?
It’s definitely on mine! And, if you look at the travel stats, you can see that it is for millions of other people too…
Before the pandemic, for instance, a record 18 million tourists visited India to meet its people, tour its historical sites, and — of course — eat platefuls of delicious Indian food.
To help you get excited about a journey to this beautiful country, here are 45 unique and fun facts about India!
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Fun Facts About India
1. Varanasi Is (Really) Old
The famous holy city of Varanasi is among the oldest continually inhabited cities on Earth.
Archaeologists can trace its origins back at least 3,000 years, while Hindu legend states that Shiva established it over 5,000 years ago.
2. You Will Never Run Out of Temples to Explore
By some estimates, India is home to more than 2 million Hindu temples, with 23,000 temples in the city of Varanasi alone!
India’s also home to the world’s second-largest Muslim population, with over 300,000 mosques.
3. The True Length of British Rule
It’s a common misconception that the British Empire ruled over India for 200 years.
While the East India Company did have some control here in the 1700s, the colonial period of direct rule from the monarchy began in 1858 and ended in 1947 with the liberation of India and Pakistan.
4. The World’s Highest Mountain Range
The Himalayas dwarf all other mountain ranges on earth.
Nine of the world’s 10 highest mountains lie within the Himalayas, which stretch along the northern border of India and into neighbouring Nepal, China, and Pakistan.
The highest peak in India, Mount Kanchenjunga, soars to 8,598m (28,208 feet)!
5. New Delhi Really Is “New”
While the roots of Old Delhi go back at least 1,000 years, the city of New Delhi is very new — at least by Indian standards.
The thriving metropolis was founded in 1911 as the capital of British India and was only officially incorporated as a city in 1931.
6. Don’t Try to Visit North Sentinel Island
On this tiny island in the Bay of Bengal, the indigenous Sentinelese people willingly remain isolated from the rest of the world.
No one else on the planet speaks their language, and the fact that nearly every outsider who’s landed ashore in the past 200 years has been murdered sends a clear message: Stay away!
Amazing Facts About India
7. Outsourcing in India Is Big Business
India’s IT services exports recently topped $150 billion for the first time. Some experts estimate that India is responsible for 55% of the world’s outsourcing, especially for companies in the US, UK, and Europe.
8. The Wettest Inhabited Place on Earth Is in India
If you think England is rainy, think again!
The Guinness World Record for the wettest spot on the planet goes to the Indian town of Mawsynram, which receives an average annual rainfall of 11,873 millimetres or 467 inches.
Even crazier, most of the rain falls within the six-month monsoon period between April and October.
9. There Are No “White Weddings” in India
While it’s common for brides to wear white in western cultures, nearly every Indian bride dons a saffron red sari on her wedding day.
In Hindu culture, red is associated with the goddess Durga, who symbolises passion, prosperity, new beginnings, and feminine power.
10. India Boasts the World’s Highest Railway Bridge
If you’re afraid of heights, you might want to skip this one. At 1,178 feet above the Chenab River, the arch-shaped Chenab bridge between Jammu and Kashmir is the tallest rail bridge on earth.
The entire Eiffel Tower could fit beneath it with 35m to spare!
11. Bollywood Produces Over 1,000 Films Each Year
Hollywood gets more box office glory, but its Indian counterpart churns out more than double the number of films.
In one recent year, the US produced 476 films while India’s Bollywood released 1,602 different movies!
12. White Tigers Exist Only in India
You can search the world over, but you won’t find white tigers anywhere else except in India.
White tigers are not albino; in fact, they’re Bengal tigers that have a genetic variant in colour pigmentation. It’s also interesting to note that they’re often larger than their orange counterparts!
Interesting Facts About India
13. Cows Are Sacred Beings in India
Have you ever wondered why there are so many cows roaming through the streets, countryside, and even temples around India?
This is because the cow is venerated in the Hindu religion — it’s closely associated with the gods Krishna, Shiva, and Indra, as well as the priestly Brahman caste.
In fact, cows have their own Bill of Rights that makes it illegal to sell, harm, or slaughter a cow.
14. India Is a Land of Many Firsts
As one of the oldest cultures in the world, it’s no surprise that many things were discovered or invented in India.
Among them are: buttons, the game of chess, hair shampoo, diamond mining, and many mathematical concepts including zero, Pi, algebra, and trigonometry!
15. India’s First and Only Female Prime Minister Was Assassinated
The daughter of India’s first prime minister, Indira Gandhi served as India’s first female prime minister from 1966-1977.
Sadly, after being re-elected in 1980, she was assassinated in 1984 while still in office. (And no, there’s no relation to Mahatma Gandhi, despite sharing the same surname.)
16. The World’s Fastest Indian (Not the Motorcycle)
Born in Bangalore, Dr Benny Prasad is well-known for designing two guitars and performing music around the world.
Interestingly, he’s also been awarded the World Record for the fastest time to travel to 245 countries — six years, six months, and 22 days!
17. The Indian Railway System Is Massive
The state-owned railway network is a true marvel of engineering.
Over 12,000 trains operate daily on 40,000 miles of train tracks, connecting 23 million passengers each day to more than 7,100 stations.
It also employs over 1.3 million workers, making it the seventh-largest employer in the world.
18. The Taj Mahal Once Wore a Disguise
The British monarchy ruled India during World War II, and it comes as no surprise that they wanted to preserve one of its most valuable assets — the Taj Mahal.
To protect the famous landmark from overhead bombers, the entire palace was covered with bamboo scaffolding.
Apparently, it worked, as the monument emerged from the war unscathed!
India Funny Facts
19. You Can Defy Gravity in India
Would you like to experience “The Phenomenon That Defies Gravity?”
Book a trip to the far northern district of Leh, where you’ll encounter the mysterious Magnetic Hill.
Park your car in the designated spot, shift into neutral, and watch in amazement as your car moves forward at up to 20km an hour!
20. There’s a “Temple of Rats” in Rajasthan
Cows aren’t the only animals venerated in India. If you visit the Karni Mata Temple in Deshnoke, Rajasthan, you’ll share the space with more than 20,000 rat inhabitants. The temple is named for a 14th-century sage woman, Karni Mata, and the rats are believed to be reincarnations of 20,000 warriors who deserted a nearby battle.
21. There’s a Village in India With No Doors
If you visit the village of Shani Shingnapur in Maharashtra, you’ll notice something unusual about the buildings — there are no doors and no locks anywhere!
A 300-year-old legend states that Lord Shani is the guardian of the town, so the residents feel there’s no need for physical security in their homes or businesses.
22. Indians Celebrate a Lot of Holidays
With so many different religious groups coexisting in India, it’s no wonder that the holiday calendar is filled up each year.
Indians celebrate an average of 25 official government holidays, with countless regional and local celebrations throughout the year.
23. Cricket Is One of the Nation’s Most Important Sports
Indians love cricket, and they’re good at it. In fact, India is the only country that has won all three types of Cricket World Cups (20 overs, 50 overs, and 60 overs).
The now beloved sport was first introduced to India by the British in 1751.
24. You Can Be a Witness at a Frog Wedding
If you thought we were finished with unusual animal traditions, think again.
In certain regions of India, frog weddings are held in times of prolonged drought to appease the rain gods.
The Hindu ceremony is called ‘Mandooka Parinaya’ and includes traditional wedding garb for the frogs, along with prayers, chanting, and dancing for the human guests.
Bonus: 21 Quick & Unique India Facts
25. With more than 1.4 billion inhabitants, India boasts the second-highest population in the world (only slightly behind China).
26. With nearly 2 million miles of roads, India has the second-largest road network of any country, second only to the United States’ 4 million miles of roads.
27. India recently surpassed France and became the 6th largest economy in the world, with a real GDP valued at $2.66 trillion.
28. India not only boasts the world’s largest number of post offices but also the only floating post office — it’s located on a houseboat on Srinagar’s Dal Lake.
29. There are 22 official languages recognised within India — including Hindi and English — with thousands of other mother tongues and dialects spoken in various regions.
30. Contrary to popular belief, an estimated 80% of Indians eat meat, which means only about 20% of the population is strictly vegetarian.
31. Speaking of eating, you won’t find many utensils in India — it’s the norm to eat every meal with your hands, including rice, sauces, and curries.
32. The Jantar Mantar Observatory in Jaipur is home to the planet’s tallest sundial (90 feet high), which is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
33. There are more people living in India than in North America and South America combined.
34. Emperor Shah Jahan commissioned the Taj Mahal as a mausoleum in honour of his beloved wife, who died giving birth to their 13th child.
35. India is the world’s largest producer of spices, with some estimates claiming that the nation supplies 70% of spices to the rest of the world.
36. Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of Queen, identified as Indian Parsi — his father was born in India during the time of British rule.
37. Some of the world’s spiciest peppers — Naga Morich, Bhut Jolokia, Trinidad Scorpion, and Carolina Reaper — can trace their origins back to northeastern India.
38. Growers in India have been cultivating tea for thousands of years, with the first recorded mention of tea dating back to 750 BCE.
39. The name “India” comes from the Indus River, which flows over 3,000km from the Himalayas to the Indian Ocean.
40. In 1973, the Bengal tiger was declared the National Animal of India (before this, it was the lion).
41. An Indian man named Ziona, head of the Kalpa Kohhran Thar sect, was the head of the world’s largest known family — he had 39 wives and over 90 children.
42. India is the world’s largest producer of milk, accounting for 22% of global production.
43. The board game now known as “Snakes and Ladders” or “Chutes and Ladders” originated in ancient India to teach children lessons about morals and karma.
44. India’s first rocket, built in 1963, was so small that it was moved to the launch pad on the back of a bicycle.
45. There are over 10,000 Indian curry houses in London, which is supposedly more than in Delhi or Mumbai.
What’s Your Favourite Fact About India?
Hopefully, as you read this article, you learned many fun facts about India that you had never heard before!
Don’t forget to share these amazing India facts with your friends, family, and fellow travel lovers. After all, you can never learn too much about this incredible planet!
Are you planning a trip to India or somewhere else abroad? Looking for fresh inspiration for travelling, working, or daily living?
You’ll find all that and much more on my site, so keep browsing for other informative articles like this one. This post full of fun UK facts is a good place to start!