Facts of India

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Facts of India

  1. 1. Facts of India©Ramakrishna Kongalla
  2. 2. Geography• Indian Geography• Indian geography is a showcase ofdiversity. Indias landscape variesfrom snow-capped peaks to deserts,plains, rainforests, hills, and plateaus.India has a vast coastline of over7000km, and is home to some of thehighest mountains of the world. Indiahas number of rivers that haveresulted in a number of fertile deltasand on the other hand it is also hometo the barren Thar Desert. India hasthe second coldest place on the earthand at the same time it has placesthat witness temperature over 50oCin summers• Easternmost Point of India• Kibithu is the easternmost point of India.Kibithu is a tiny village located at analtitude of 11,000 feet in ArunachalPradeshs Lohit District, bordering ChinasTibet region. Kibithoo is nestled on theright bank of the mighty Lohit River. It isthe first settlement along the banks ofLohit River in Arunachal Pradesh after theriver enters the Indian Territory fromChina. The climate of Kibithu is cool andsalubrious. The whispering pineforests, wild rash berries, beautiful flowersand majestic waterfalls set against tallblue hills add to the abundant naturalbeauty of Kibithu.Kibithu witnessed some of the fiercestfights by Indian Soldiers against theChinese in 1962. But with the passage oftime, after Nathu La, Kibithu is fastemerging to be a new melting point ofIndo-China friendship. It offers relativelyeasy travel up to Chinese side.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 2
  3. 3. • Geographical Area of India• India has an area of 3,287,240 sq. km. Itis the seventh largest country of theworld 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 ofthe total surface area of the world.India is nearly twenty times as large asGreat Britain. Many of the Indian statesare larger than several countries of theworld.• Highest Mountain Peak in India• Kanchenjunga is the highest mountainpeak in India. Kanchenjunga has analtitude of 8,586 metres (28,169 feet). Itis engirdled by three territories: Sikkimin the south and east, Nepal in thewest, and Tibet in the north. The nameKanchenjunga is derived from theTibetan words, Kanchen andDzonga, meaning Five Treasuries ofthe Great Snow, as it contains fivepeaks. The treasures represent the fiverepositories of god, which aregold, silver, gems, grain, and holy books.The five ridges are named according totheir respective directions withreference to the main peak to whichthey 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: 7,903mRtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 3
  4. 4. • Largest Alluvial Plain of the World• The Great Plain of North India alsoknown as Indo-Gangetic-BrahmaputraPlain is the largest alluvial plain of theworld. This arcuate plain extends for alength of 3200 km from the mouth ofthe Indus to the mouth of the Ganga.The plain lies partly in Pakistan andpartly in India. The length of the plain inIndia is around 2400 km. The averagewidth of the plain varies from 150 to300 km. It is widest in the west where itstretches for about 500 km. Its widthdecreases in the east. It is about 280 kmwide near Allahabad and 160 km nearRajmahal Hills. The plain widens toabout 460 km in Bengal but narrowsdown in Assam where it is only 60-100km wide. The plain covers a total areaof 7.8 lakh sq km. The northernboundary of the plain is well defined bythe foothills of the Shiwaliks but itssouthern boundary is a wavy irregularline along the northern edge of thePeninsular India.• Largest Delta in India• Sundarban is the largest delta in India.The Sundarbans are a part of theworlds largest delta formed by therivers Ganges, Brahmaputra andMeghna. They are vast tract of forestand saltwater swamp forming the lowerpart of the Ganges Delta, extendingabout 260 km along the Bay of Bengalfrom the Hooghly River Estuary in Indiato the Meghna River Estuary inBangladesh. Sunderban covers an areaof 4262 sq. km in India.Sunderban is a unique ecosystemdominated by mangrove forests andgets its name from the Sundari trees.Sunderban is spread over 54 islands andtwo countries. It is one of the lastpreserves of the Bengal tiger and thesite of a tiger preservation project.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 4
  5. 5. • Largest District in India• Kachchh (also spelled as Kutch) inGujarat, with an area of 45,652 sq km isthe largest District in India. Theadministrative headquarters of Kachchhis in Bhuj. The districts five main townsare Gandhidham, Bhuj, Anjaar, Mandaviand Mundra. There are 966 smallervillages in the area.Kachchh literally means somethingwhich intermittently becomes wet anddry. Rann of Kachchh, a significantregion of Kachchh district is shallowwet-land which submerges in waterduring the rainy season and becomesdry during other seasons. Kachchhi andGujarati are the dominant languages ofthe area. Kachchhi draws heavily fromits neighbouring language groups:Sindhi, Punjabi and Gujarati.• Largest Glacier in India• Siachen Glacier is the largest glacier inIndia. In fact, it has the distinction ofbeing the largest glacier outside thepolar and the sub-polar regions.Siachen glacier is 75.6 km long and 2.8km wide. It is the source for the 80km-long Nubra River, a tributary of theShyok, which is part of the Indus Riversystem.The Siachen Glacier lies south of thegreat watershed that separates Chinafrom the Indian subcontinent in theextensively glaciated portion of theKarakoram. The word Siachen means"the place of wild roses". Siachen alsohas the dubious distinction of being thehighest battleground on earth. Indiaand Pakistan have fought intermittentlysince April 13, 1984. The volume of theglacier has been reduced by 35 percentover the last twenty years. Globalwarming and military activity have beencited as the main reasons for thereceding of the glacier.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 5
  6. 6. • Largest Physiographic Unit of India• India is divided into fivephysiographic divisions. These are:• The Himalayan Mountains• The Great Plains of North India• The Peninsular Plateau• The Coastal Plains• The Islands• Among these five physiographicunits, The Peninsular Plateau is thelargest physiographic unit of India.The entire plateau measures about1,600 km in the north-south and1400 km in east-west direction. Itcovers a total area of about 16 lakhsq km which is about half of thetotal land area of the country. ThePeninsular Plateau is roughlytriangular in shape with basecoinciding with the southern edgeof the great plain of North India andits apex is formed by Kanyakumariin the southern extremity.• Largest River Island in India• Majuli Island in Assam is the largestriver Island in India. Majuli is in theBrahmaputra River, and is about200 kilometres east fromGuwahati, the capital of Assam.Majuli was formed due to coursechanges by the river Brahmaputraand its tributaries, mainly the Lohit.The total area of the island was1250 sq.km but due to erosion itspresent area is 557 sq km.Majuli is inhabited mainly by tribals.Major tribes are:Mishing, Deori, and SonowalKacharis. Major languages spoken inMajuli are Assamese, Mishing, andDeori. The island has twenty-threevillages with a population of150,000 and a density of 300persons per square km.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 6
  7. 7. • Largest State in India• Rajasthan with an area of 342,239 sq kmis the largest state in India. Before theformation of Chattisgarh as a separatestate in the year 2000, Madhya Pradeshwas the largest Indian state in terms ofarea. Rajasthan is located in the westernpart of India and has two distinctgeographical regions with desert on oneside and thick forest on the other. Aravallithe oldest mountain chain is the dividingline between the two climatic zones ofthe State. Western Rajasthanencompasses most of the area of theGreat Indian Desert (also known as TharDesert). The eastern region of the Statehas thick vegetation ofSal, Axlewood, Dhak and Mesquite.• Largest Union Territory in India• Andaman & Nicobar Islands with anarea of 8,249 sq km is the largest unionterritory in India. The Andaman &Nicobar Islands are situated between6o and 14o North Latitude and 92o and94o East Longitude. The group of 572islands / islets is located in the Bay ofBengal, 1,255 km from Kolkata and1190 km from Chennai. The entire chainof island consists of two distinct groupsof islands. The Great Andaman group ofislands in the north is separated by theTen Degree Channel from the Nicobargroup in the south. The Andaman groupof islands is divided into three maingroups viz., North Andaman, MiddleAndaman and South Andaman. LittleAndaman is separated from the GreatAndamans by 50 km wide DuncanPassage. The Nicobar group of islandsconsists of 7 big and 12 small islandstogether with several tiny islands. TheGreat Nicobar is the largest of all theislands.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 7
  8. 8. • Length of Coastline of India• Length of coastline of India includingthe coastlines of Andaman andNicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengaland Lakshwadweep Islands in theArabian Sea is 7517 km. Length ofCoastline of Indian mainland is 6100km. Coastline of Indian mainland issurrounded by Arabian Sea in thewest, Bay of Bengal in the east, andIndian Ocean in the south. length oftotal coastline of India. The longcoast line of India is dotted withseveral major ports such asKandla, Mumbai, Navasheva, Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Tuticorin, Vishakapatnam, and Paradip. For theeffective defence of IndianCoastline, a separate force known asIndian Coast Guard was formed onFebruary 1, 1977.• Longest River of India• Ganga is the longest river of India. The totallength of the Ganga river from its source to itsmouth (measured along the Hughli) is 2525km of which 1450 km is in the UttarPradesh, 445 km in Bihar and 520 km in WestBengal. The remaining 110 km stretch of theGanga forms the boundary between UttarPradesh and Bihar.The Ganga originates as Bhagirathi from theGangotri glacier in Uttar Kashi District. It isjoined by the Alaknanda at Devaprayag andthe combined flow of the Bhagirathi and theAlaknanda is known as Ganga. After traveling280 km from its source, Ganga enters plains atHaridwar. At Allahabad, about 770 km south-east of Haridwar, Ganga is joined byYamuna, which is its most important tributary.After Farraka in West Bengal, the river ceasesto be known as the Ganga. It bifurcates itselfinto Bhagirathi-Hughli in West Bengal andPadma-Meghna in Bangladesh. Aftertraversing 220 km further down inBangladesh, the Brahmaputra joins it atGoalundo and after meeting Meghna 100 kmdownstream the Ganga joins the Bay ofBengal.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 8
  9. 9. • Longitudinal & Latitudinal Extentsof India• India lies wholly in the northern andeastern hemispheres. The mainland of India extends from 8o 4 28"N to 37o 17 53" N latitudes andfrom 68o 7 53" E to 97o 24 47" Elongitudes. The latitudinal andlongitudinal extent of India isapproximately the same i.e. 30o.The Andaman and Nicobar Islandsextend further southwards and addto the latitudinal extent of India.The southernmost point known asthe Indira Point in the GreatNicobar Island is at 6o 45 N. Thelatitudinal extent of India fromKashmir in the north toKanyakumari in the south is 3,214km. Indias longitudinal extent fromthe Rann of Kutch in the west toArunachal Pradesh in the east is2,933 km.• Northernmost Point of India• Northernmost Point of India isdisputed. The Siachen Glacier in theState of Jammu & Kashmir is thenorthern most point under Indiancontrol. India claims the entire stateof Jammu and Kashmir on the basisof Instrument of Accession signed in1947, which inter alia includesGilgit, Baltistan, and Kanjut.Gilgit, Baltistan, and Kanjut arepresently under the control ofPakistan. The northern most point ifwe take the whole state of J&K inconsideration is Dafdar in theTaghdumbash Pamir near Beyik Passin Kanjut.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 9
  10. 10. • Smallest District in India• Mahe is the smallest district inIndia. It has an area of 9 sq. km.Mahe is geographically locatedin the state of Kerala, where asadministratively it comes underthe control of Union Territory ofPondicherry. Mahe has theofficial name of Mayyazhi in thelocal Malayalam language.Mahe has a population of about36,000 according to the 2001census. The population densityof the town is 4091 per sq. km.Males constitute 47% of thepopulation and females 53%.Mahe has an average literacyrate of 85%. Mahe has twomembers in the PondicherryLegislative Assembly,representing Mahe and Palloor.• Smallest State in India• Goa with an area of 3702 sq. kmis the smallest State in India.Goa was a Portuguese colonyand was liberated fromPortuguese rule on December19, 1961. After its independenceGoa along with Daman & Diuwas accorded the status ofUnion Territory. On May30, 1987, the Union Territorywas split, and Goa was elevatedas Indias 25th state, withDaman and Diu remaining UnionTerritories. Goa is one of themost developed states of India.Tourism is the mainstay of Goa.Panaji is the capital of Goa andVasco is its largest town. Themain language of Goa is Konkani.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 10
  11. 11. • Smallest Union Territory in India• Lakshadweep with an area of 32sq km is the smallest UnionTerritory in India. Lakshadweepislands lie in the Arabian Sea andextend from 8o N to 12o 20 Nand 71o 45 E to 74o E. Theislands north of 11o N are knownas Amindivi Islands while thosesouth of this latitude are calledCannanore Islands. In theextreme south is the MinicoyIsland. The Laccadives, Minicoyand Amindivi group of islandswere renamed as Lakshadweepin 1973. All the islands are ofcoral origin. The islands consistof 12 atolls, three reefs andsubmerged sand banks. Of the27 islands, only 11 are inhabited.• Southernmost Point of India• Indira Point, the southernmosttip of the Great Nicobar island isthe southernmost point of landin the territory of India. It is at6o 45 N latitude. Indira Pointwas formerly known asPygmalion Point and it was sonamed by the late Rajiv Gandhiafter his mother on a visit to theAndaman and Nicobar Islands. Alarge part of the Indira point wassubmerged under the sea due tothe tsunami generated by the2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.The sea is now slowly retreatingback to its original position.Indira Point is also a favouritenesting site for exotic seaanimals.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 11
  12. 12. • Southernmost Point of India• Indira Point, the southernmosttip of the Great Nicobar island isthe southernmost point of landin the territory of India. It is at6o 45 N latitude. Indira Pointwas formerly known asPygmalion Point and it was sonamed by the late Rajiv Gandhiafter his mother on a visit to theAndaman and Nicobar Islands. Alarge part of the Indira point wassubmerged under the sea due tothe tsunami generated by the2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.The sea is now slowly retreatingback to its original position.Indira Point is also a favouritenesting site for exotic seaanimals.• Westernmost Point of India• West of Ghuar Mota in Gujarat isthe westernmost point of India.Its Latitude/Longitide is 23.67 N/68.52 E. Ghuar Mota is in theKutch region of Gujarat. Othercities located near Ghuar Motaare:Koteshwar, Mudia, Panadra, Pipar, Ber Mota, Ber, Lakhpat, andLakhpal.Kutch was one of the princelystates of India during the Britishrule. During the monsoonseason the region becomesvirtually an island resembling atortoise "Katchua", surroundedby seawater. Kutch has anextreme climate and thetemperature ranges from 20o Cin winter to 45o C in summers.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 12
  13. 13. • Wettest Place in India• Wettest Place in India is Cherrapunji. Infact, Cherrapunji is the wettest place onthe earth. The place receives an annualrainfall of over 1200 cm. Cherrapunji issituated at 56 kms from Shillong, thecapital of Meghalaya, in one of theheaviest rain-belts in the world.However, off late, a ding-dong battlehas been on between Cherrapunji andthe neighbouring village of Mawsynramfor the crown of "Wettest Place in theWorld". Sometimes, it is Cherrapunjiwhich records highest annual rainfall inthe world and sometimes it isMawsynram. However, meteorologistsquestion the genuineness of the dataobtained from Mawsynram. UnlikeCherrapunji, there is no meteorologicaloffice at Mawsynram and the readingsthere are taken by a peon of theMeghalaya Public Works Departmentposted there.•• State with Least Number of Districts inIndia• Goa is the state with least number ofdistricts in India. It has two districts:North Goa & South Goa.The North Goa District has an area of1736 sq. Km. Geographical position ofGoa is marked by 15o 48 00" N to 14o 5354" N latitudes and 73o E to 75o Elongitudes. North Goa shares itsboundaries with the Sawantwadi &Dodamarg, of Ratnagiri District andKolhapur District of Maharastra state andwith South Goa District shares thesouthern boundary.South Goa is situated between thelatitudinal paralles of 15o 29 32" N and14o 53 57" N and longitudinal parallels of73o 46 21" E and 74o 20 11" E. ArabianSea is to the west of district, North Goadistrict to the North and Uttar Kannadadistrict of Karnataka in the East andSouth. The total geographical area of thedistrict is 1966 sq km.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 13
  14. 14. • State with Maximum Numberof Districts in India• Uttar Pradesh is the state withmaximum number of districts inIndia. It has a total of 70districts. Uttar Pradesh is themost populous and fifth largeststate of India. Only five countriesof the world, China, the UnitedStates, Indonesia, Brazil andIndia itself have populationslarger than that of UttarPradesh. Kanpur is the largestcity of Uttar Pradesh and as perthe 2001 census six cities ofUttar Pradesh, namely, Agra,Allahabad, Kanpur, Lucknow,Meerut, and Varanasi havepopulation of over million.• Coldest place in India• Drass in western Ladakh is thecoldest place in India. It is alsothe second coldest place in theworld after Siberia.Temperatures drop down toabout -40 degrees Celsius inwinters. However, summers inDrass are balmy and manytrekkers and campers visit Drassduring the summer time. Drasshas an altitude of 3230 m andlies 60 km west of Kargil on theroad to Srinagar. The Drass valleystarts from the base of the Zojilapass, the Himalayan gateway toLadakh. Drass is a convenientbase camp for treks to Suruvalley. Inhabitants of Drass are ofDard descent, an Indo-Aryanrace believed to have originallymigrated to Ladakh from CentralAsia.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 14
  15. 15. Culture• India Culture Facts• India has a very rich and diverseculture with a civilizational heritageof more than 5000 years. Variety isthe hallmark of Indian culture. Indiasculture has been enriched by thesuccessive waves of migration. Theinvaders brought with them theirown culture which was amalgamatedinto Indian way of life and it gavebirth to an eclectic mix which can beseen today. Indias physical, religiousand racial variety is reflected in itsculture. This vast cultural diversity ismanifested in the monuments -temple, mosques, churches, monasteries, gurudwaras etc.• Highest Gateway in India• Buland Darwaza is the highest gateway in India.Buland Darwaza was built by the MughalEmperor Akbar in 1601 A.D. at Fatehpur Sikri tocommemorate his victory over Gujarat. BulandDarwaza is 53.63m high and 35 meters wide.The structure is approached by 42 steps.Buland Darwaza is made of red and buffsandstone, decorated by carving and inlaying ofwhite and black marble. The Buland Darwaza issemi octagonal in plan and is topped by pillarsand chhatris. It is adorned with calligraphicinscriptions from the Quran. There are thirteensmaller domed kiosks on the roof, stylizedbattlement and small turrets and inlay work ofwhite and black marble. An inscription on thecentral face of the Buland Darwaza displaysAkbars religious broad mindedness. It isattributed to Jesus Christ and reads, "The Worldis but a bridge, pass over but build no houses onit." A Persian inscription on eastern arch way ofthe Buland Darwaza records Akbars conquestover Deccan in 1601 A.D.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 15
  16. 16. • Largest Cave in India• Amarnath Cave in Jammu & Kashmir isthe largest cave in India. The width ofthe cave is around 40 yard, its height isabout 75 feet; and the cave slopes 80feet deep down inside the mountain.Amarnath Cave is an importantpilgrimage shrine for the Hindus. Thecave is famous for the image of Shiva, inthe form of a lingam that is formednaturally of an ice-stalagmite, andwhich waxes and wanes with themoon.Amarnath Cave is situated at an altitudeof 3888m and is 45 km from Pahalgam.The trek from Pahalgam to Amarnathcave is on an ancient peregrine route.The 45-km distance is covered in fourdays, with night halts atChandanwari, Sheshnag and Panchtarni.• Largest Cave Temple in India• Ellora temples inAurangabad, Maharashtra are thelargest cave temples in India. Ellora cavetemples are a perfect example of Indianrock cut architecture. Ellora is a WorldHeritage Site. It has 35 caves. Thesecaves comprise of Buddhist, Hindu andJain cave temples andmonasteries, which were built betweenthe 5th century and 10th century. Thereare 12 Buddhist caves, 17 Hinducaves, and 5 Jain caves. The Buddhistcaves were the earlieststructures, created between the fifthand seventh centuries. These consistmostly of viharas or monasteries. TheHindu caves were constructed in thebeginning of the 7th century. TheKailasanatha Temple in the Cave 16 isthe main attraction of Ellora. Thetemple is designed to recall MountKailash, the abode of Lord Shiva. TheJain temples reveal specific dimensionsof Jain philosophy and tradition.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 16
  17. 17. • Largest Dome in India• Gol Gumbaz, situated in Bijapur districtof Karnataka, is the largest dome inIndia. Gol Gumbaz has a diameter of124 feet and is the second largest domein the world, next only to St. PetersBasilica in Rome. The dome was built byMuhammad Adil Shah in the year 1656.It has a floor area of 1700 m2 and aheight of 51 m. The walls of thestructure are 3 m. thick. The domecontains tombs of Muhammad AdilShah, his two wives, his mistress, hisdaughter and grandson. Gol Gumbaz isan architectural wonder as it standsunsupported by pillars. The mostremarkable feature of Gol Gumbaz is itsacoustical system. Even the faintestwhisper around the dome echoesseveral times• Largest Gurudwara in India• Golden Temple in Amritsar is the largestGurudwara in India. In fact, GoldenTemple is the largest Gurudwara in theworld. Golden Temple is also known asHarminder Sahib and is considered tobe the most sacred shrine of Sikhs.Golden Temple was built during theleadership of the fifth guru, Guru ArjanDev (1581-1606). The templeconstruction was started in 1588 andwas completed in 1601. Golden Templeis surrounded by a small pond ofwater, known as the Sarovar whichconsists of Amrit (Holy Water). Theretemple has four entrances, signifyingthe importance of acceptance andopenness. All devotees are expected tocover their heads as a sign of respectand wash their feet in the small pool ofwater as they enter the Golden Temple.Drinking alcohol, eating meat, andsmoking cigarettes is prohibited in thetemple premises.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 17
  18. 18. • Largest Monastery in India• Tawang Monastery in ArunachalPradesh is the largest monastery inIndia. The monastery is 3 storeyhigh and occupies an area of 140 sqm. It is enclosed by a 610 m longcompound wall. Within the complexthere are 65 residential buildingsand 10 other structures.Tawang Monastery is one of themost largest Monasteries ofMahayana sect in Asia. It wasfounded by the Mera Lama LodreGyasto in 17 century AD inaccordance to the wishes of the 5thDalai Lama, Nagwang LobsangGyatso. The Monastery is alsoknown in Tibetan as GaldenNamgey Lhatse, which means a truename within a celestial paradise in aclear night. The library of themonastery has valuable oldscriptures mainly Kanjur and Tanjurnumbering 850 bundles.• Largest Mosque in India• Jama Masjid in NewDelhi, overlooking Chandni Chowkand the Red Fort, is the largestmosque in India. The mosque wasbuilt by Mughal emperor Shahjahanin 1656. It has typical Mughalarchitecture with threegateways, four towers and twominarets. The Jama Masjid is madeup of red sandstone and whitemarble. About 25,000 people canpray here at a time. The mosquehas a vast paved rectangularcourtyard, which is nearly 75 m by66 m. The whole of the westernchamber is a big hall standing on260 pillars all carved from Hinduand Jain traditions. The centralcourtyard is accessible from theEast. The Eastern side entranceleads to another enclosurecontaining the mausoleum of SultanAhmed Shah. It took fifteen years tobuild the mosque and more thanfive thousand artisans worked on it.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 18
  19. 19. • Largest Temple Corridor in India• The corridor of Ramnathswamy Templeat Rameshwaram is the largest templecorridor in India. The temple has 1220metres of magnificent corridors and has1200 gigantic granite columns.Ramnathswamy temple was built in the17th century. The temple is situatedclose to the sea on the eastern side ofthe island and has a 54 metre tallgopuram.Rameshwaram is an island situated inthe Gulf of Mannar at the tip of theIndian peninsula. Rameshwaram is oneof the twelve Jyotirlingas of India.Rameshwaram is an importantpilgrimage destination for Hindus.According to the Hindu mythology, LordRama performed thanksgiving rituals atRameshwaram after his triumph overthe demon king Ravana.Therefore, Rameshwaram attractsVaishnavites and Saivites• Oldest Church in India• St Thomas Church at Palyar inTrichur, Kerala is considered to be theoldest church in India. In 52 A.D.Thomas Didaemus, one of the 12apostles of Jesus Christ. is believed tohave landed at Musiris (Cranganore) inKerala. He made his first converts bothJews and Hindus at Palayur a town nowin Trichur district, Kerala. There he builta small church with an altar, which heconsecrated. The Palayur church stillstands at the same site and is the oldestchurch in India. In the 17th centuryReverend Fenichi enclosed the originalchurch with a new outer building, asthe wooden walls of the old churchwere destroyed with time. But theoriginal altar consecrated by St. Thomasstill remains at this site.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 19
  20. 20. • Tallest Statue in India• The statue of Gomateshwara at Sravanbelagola in Karnatakais the tallest statue in India. The statue is 17m (55 ft) highand is visible from a distance of 30km. The giganticmonolithic statue is carved out of a single block of graniteand stands majestically on top of a hill. This statue of LordGomateshwara was created around 983 AD byChamundraya, a minister of the Ganga King, Rajamalla. LordGomateshwara was a Jain saint, hence the place is animportant Jain pilgrimage center. The statue ofGomateswara shows the recluse completely nude, in theJain custom. The neighboring areas have Jain bastis andseveral images of the Jain Thirthankaras. At Sravanbelgolathe Mahamastakabhishekam festival is held once in 12years, when the image of Gomateswara is bathed inmilk, curd, ghee, saffron and gold coinsRtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 20
  21. 21. Sports• First Indian Athlete to Reach Olympic Finals• Milkha Singh was the first Indian athlete toreach Olympic finals. Milkha Singh reached thefinals of 400 m at the 1960 Rome Olympics. Hefinished fourth in the finals and clocked a timingof 45.6 seconds. Mlkha Singh missed the bronzemedal by just a difference of 0.1 second.Milkha Singh is nicknamed The Flying Sikh. Hewas born in Lyallpur (now in Pakistan) on 8October 1935. He lost his parents duringpartition. Milkha Singh also worked in theIndian Army for a short time. He came intolimelight during the National Games at Patiala in1956. In 1958, Milkha Singh set 200 and 400meters record in the National games at Cuttack.The same year he established new records inthe 200 and 400 meters in the Asian games atTokyo. Milkha Singh also won the gold medal inthe 1958 Commonwealth Games at Cardiff.Milkha Singh was conferred with Padma Shri in1958.• First Indian Athlete to Win a medal in WorldAthletics Championship• Anju Bobby George is the first Indian athlete towin a medal in World Athletics Championship.Anju entered record books when she won thebronze medal in Long Jump at the 2003 WorldChampionships in Athletics in Paris. Anju BobbyGeorge won the medal with a jump of 6.70 m inthe penultimate round.Anju started her athletics career withHeptathlon and later on moved to Long Jumpand Triple Jump. In 1999 Anju set the nationalrecord for triple jump in the BangaloreFederation Cup. In 2001 Anju broke her ownrecord in Long Jump with an effort of 6.74 m inthe National Circuit Meet atThiruvananthapuram. She won the bronzemedal at the 2002 Commonwealth Games atManchester and gold medal at the Asian Gamesin Busan. Anju Bobby George finished sixth atthe 2004 Athens Olympics but achieved apersonal best of 6.83 m.Anju has won many awards and honours. She isthe recipient of Indias highest sportingaward, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna for the year2003. She was honoured with Padma Shri in2004, and with Arjuna Award in the year 2002.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 21
  22. 22. • First Indian to Take Part in Olympic Games• Norman G Pritchard, an Anglo-Indian athletefrom Calcutta, was the first Indian to take part inOlympic Games. Norman G Pritchard was notthe official representative of India. He washolidaying in Paris and participated on his ownat the 1900 Paris Olympic Games and competedin four events - 100m, 200m, 110m hurdles and200m hurdles. He bagged two silvermedals, one each in 200m and 200m hurdles.He won his first medal on July 16, 1900 when hefinished second only to the American athleteAlvin Kraenzlein in 200m hurdles. The event hasbeen discontinued since. Pritchard won hissecond medal on July 22, 1900 in the 200m.India made its official debut in the AntwerpOlympics in Belgium in 1920.Some other Indians who performed creditablyat the Olympics are:• Hennery Rebello qualified for the final of theTriple Jump in 1948 London Olympics.• Sprinter Lavy Pinto reached the semi finals of100 m and 200 m events at Helsinki in 1952.Sohan Singh also performed the same feat in800 m at Helsinki Olympics.• PT Usha became first Indian lady to enter thefinals of any Olympic event. She entered thefinals of 400 m Hurdles at 1984 Los AngelesOlympics.• Anju Bobby George entered the finals ofWomen Long Jump at 2004 Athens Olympics.• First Indian to Win All England BadmintonChampionship• Prakash Padukone is the first Indian to win AllEngland Badminton Championship. He won thecoveted All England Open title in 1980 with avictory over Liem Swie King of Indonesia.Prakash Padukone was born on 10 June 1955. Hewas initiated into badminton by his father RameshPadukone who was the Secretary of the MysoreBadminton Association. He won the NationalJunior Title and Senior Title in the year 1972 andthereafter he won the National Title consecutivelyfor the next seven years, until 1979. PrakashPadukone won his first major international title in1979 at the Commonwealth games. He also wonthe London Masters Open, the Danish Open andthe Swedish Open.Prakash Padukone was awarded with Arjunaaward in 1972 and the Padma Shri in 1982.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 22
  23. 23. • First Indian to Win Junior US Open Title• Leander Paes was the first Indian to Win JuniorUS Open Title. Leander Paes won the US Openchampionship in 1991 by defeating Karim Alamiof Morocco 6-4, 6-4.Leander Peas is one of the few sportsmen ofIndia who are known for their killer instinct andnever-say-die spirit. Born on June17, 1973, Leander Paes shot into limelight whenhe won the 1990 Wimbledon Junior title andattained top rank in the junior world-rankings.Though there is nothing much to write about hisinternational career as a singles player, heteamed up with Mahesh Bhupathi to form aformidable doubles player. The two have won anumber of Grand Slam titles.Leander has also scripted some memorablevictories in the Davis Cup over his more fanciedrivals. He won a bronze medal for India at the1996 Atlanta Olympics.• First Indian to Win Wimbledon Junior SinglesTitle• Ramanathan Krishnan, one of the legends ofIndian tennis, is the first Indian to winWimbledon Junior Singles title. RamanathanKrishnan achieved this feat in 1954 by beatingAshley Cooper in the finals. In the process, healso became the first Asian to do so.Ramanathan Krishnan was born on April11, 1937. He honed his tennis skills under thewatchful eyes of his father T.K. Ramanathan.Krishnan won the national senior title for eightconsecutive years. Ramanathan Krishnanestablished himself as an international tennisstar and was rated among the top ten in theworld on five different occasions. He wasseeded 4 in the Wimbledon of 1962. In1960, Krishnan reached the semifinals of theWimbledon but lost to the eventual championFraser. He again reached the semifinals nextyear, but champion Rod Laver got the better ofhim. He was also a member of the Indian teamwhich reached the final of the Davis Cup in theyear 1966.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 23
  24. 24. • First Indian Woman to Reach Olympic Finals• P.T. Usha was the first Indian woman to reachOlympic finals. She reached the finals of the 400metres hurdles in the 1984 Los AngelesOlympics. Usha lost the bronze by 1/100th of asecond.P.T. Usha was born on May 20, 1964 in thevillage of Payyoli, in Kozhikode District in Kerala.Nicknamed as Payyoli Express, P.T. Usha passedout from the Sports School for Women startedby Kerala Government. Renowned coach O.M.Nambiar noticed Ushas talent during theNational School Games in 1979 and took herunder his wings. She made her debut in 1980Moscow Olympics. In 1982, Delhi AsianGames, P.T. Usha won silver medals in 100 mand 200 m. Usha came into her own at theAsian Track and Field Championship at Kuwait in1983, where she took gold in the 400 m and seta new Asian record. In 1986 Seoul AsianGames, P.T. Usha won 4 gold and 1 silver medalin the track and field events and created newAsian Games records in all the events sheparticipated. For her achievements, P.T. Ushawas conferred with the Padma Shri and theArjuna Award in the year 1985.• First Olympic Gold Medal Won by India• First Olympic Gold Medal Won by India was in1928 Olympics in hockey. India defeated thehost country Holland 3-0 in the finals.Legendary Dhyan Chand scored two goals in thefinal. Indian goalkeeper Richard Allen had theunique distinction of not conceding a single goalthroughout the tournament. The gold medalwon by the Indian hockey team in 1928 was thefirst Olympic gold medal won by Asia in themodern Olympics. India has won a total of eightgold medals in hockey at Olympics. From 1928Amsterdam Olympics to 1956 MelbourneOlympics India won six consecutive gold medalsat hockey. The two other gold medals for Indiacame in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and the 1980Moscow Olympics.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 24
  25. 25. • Indias First Grandmaster• Viswanathan Anand is Indias firstGrandmaster. He became Grandmaster(GM) in 1988 at the age of eighteen.Viswanathan Anand was born onDecember 11, 1969. He won theNational Sub-Junior Chess Championshipwith a score of 9/9 in 1983 at the age offourteen. Anand became the youngestIndian to win the International MasterTitle at the age of fifteen, in 1984. Hewon National Championship at the ageof sixteen. In 1987, Anand became thefirst Indian to win the World JuniorChess Championship. Anand won theFIDE World Chess Championship in 2000after defeating Alexei Shirov 3.5 - 0.5 inthe finals at Teheran, and became thefirst Indian to do so. He is one of onlyfour players in history to break the 2800mark on the FIDE rating list.Viswanathan Anand has won manyawards and honours. He won ArjunaAward in 1985, Padma Shri in 1987, RajivGandhi Khel Ratna Award in 1991, andPadma Bhushan in the year 2000.• Youngest Grandmaster in India• Parimarjan Negi is the youngestGrandmaster (GM) in India. Born on 9February 1993, Parimarjan Negi becameGM at the age of 13 years and 142 dayson July 1, 2006. He is second youngestGM in the history of the game and theyoungest of all the GMs currently in thegame.Parimarjan Negi also holds the recordfor being the worlds youngestInternational Master (IM). He becameIM at the age of 12 years, 10 monthsand 19 days. He is also the youngest tohold four IM norms. He was 10 yearsand 10 months at the time.Parimarjan Negi is the youngest Indianto hold a GM norm in the HastingsInternational Chess Congress in 2006 atthe age of 12 years and 330 days. He isalso the youngest Indian to beat aGrandmaster when he scored overSwitzerlands Ivan Nemet in the BielMasters in 2004 at the age of 11 yearsfive months.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 25
  26. 26. Literature• Indian Literature Facts• Indian literature is considered as theoldest literature in the world. TheVedas, Ramayana, and Mahabharata areconsidered to be nearly 5000 years old.Similarly other examples of ancientIndian literature are Sangam Poetrywhich dates back to 1st centuryBC, Arthashastra, and Kamasutra. Apartfrom being the oldest, Indian literatureis also very rich. There are 22 officiallyrecognized languages in India and eachone has a huge variety of literature.Among modern Indian literature, thefirst name that comes to mind is that ofRabindranath Tagore - Indias first Nobellaureate. Munshi Premchand is also notfar behind. In recent times severalIndian writers such as ArundhatiRoy, Vikram Seth, Jhumpa Lahiri andKiran Desai have done India proud.• Childrens Magazine with LargestCirculation in India• Childrens magazine with largestcirculation in India is Tinkle. Tinkle is amonthly magazine published by IndiaBook House Pvt Ltd Mumbai. Themagazine was launched on November14, 1980 and is edited by Anant Pai.Tinkle has a monthly readership ofaround 12 lakh.Tinkle is a fun-to-read 72-page monthlycomics magazine, designed for the 8-14age group. It contains stories, regularcartoon fearures, a fascinating scienceor general knowledge feature, a do-it-yourself craft idea, puzzles, gags, a bookreview and first hand accounts ofvarious experiences our young readershave had.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 26
  27. 27. • Earliest Anthology of India• Therigatha, the ninth book of theKhuddaka Nikaya, is the earliestanthology of India. It is a Buddhistscripture, a collection of shortpoems supposedly recited by earlymembers of the Buddhist sangha.Therigatha consists of 73poems, organized into 16chapters, and has 522 stanzas in all.In these poems, the bhikshus(monks) and bhikshunis (nuns)describe how their lives weretransformed by the teachings of theBuddha. The verses by the bhikshusin the Therigatha are often spiritualand meditative, with may beautifulpassages on nature while thebhikshunis strike a more personalnote and sing to the joys, sorrowsand complexities of life. Therigathais a very significant document in thestudy of early Buddhism. It containsa number of passages that re-affirmthe view that women equal to menin terms of religious attainment.• Largest Bookstore Chain in India• AH Wheeler & Co (P) Ltd, is thelargest bookstore chain in India. Thechain was founded by EmileMoreau, a French author, and T KBannerjee, an Indian businessmanin Allahabad. AH Wheeler borrowedits name from the then-successfulLondon bookstore, Arthur HenryWheelers. AH Wheeler opened itsfirst oulet at Allahabad RailwayStation in 1877. It later spread tohave its book stalls in many smalland big railway stations in India,especially in the north. AH Wheelerwas the one that published RudyardKipling in 1888. In 1950, Bannerjeetook over the company and sincethen he along with his grandsonAmit Bannerjee have been runningthe company. After 125 years of itscompletion, AH Wheeler had achain of 378 bookstalls at 258railway stations in the country.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 27
  28. 28. • Longest Epic in the World• Mahabharata is the longest epic inthe world. Mahabharata has morethan 74,000 verses, long prosepassages, and about 1.8 millionwords in total. Mahabharata waswritten by Ved Vyasa in Sanskrit. Itsorigin dates back to the late Vedicperiod and it probably reached itsfinal form in the early Gupta period.Mahabharata is the story of theBharata Dyanasty. It includesaspects of Hindu mythology, storiesof the gods and goddesses, andexplanations of Hindu philosophy.One of the main aims ofMahabharata is to elucidate thefour goals of life: dharma(duty), artha (wealth), kama(pleasure), and moksha (liberation).The narrative culminates inmoksha, believed by Hindus to bethe ultimate goal of human beings.• Longest Indian Novel• Longest Indian Novelis Avakasikal, written by MK Menonin Malayalam under the penname"Vilasini". The novel runs into 3,958pages in four volumes and took tenyears to complete. MK Menonspent the best part of his lifeabroad as a journalist. At an earlystage in his literary career he set hismind on writing long novels. MKMenon received Sahitya AkademiAward for Avakasikal in 1981 andVayalar Award in 1983. SahityaAkademi is an independentorganistion, supported byGovernment of India, and dedicatedto the promotion of literature in thelanguages of India. Vayalar Award isgiven for the best literary work inMalayalam. Other famous novels ofMK Menon include "Oonjal" and"Agnisaakshi".Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 28
  29. 29. • Longest Running Children Magazine• Chandamama is the longest runningchildren magazine in India. Themagazine was launched in July, 1947 inTelugu. Chakrapani was the founder-editor of Chandamama. B ViswanathaReddy has been the publisher ofChandamama for the last 40 years.Owing to labour disputes, the magazineceased publication in 1998. However, itwas relaunched a year later andcontinues to be published till date.Chandamama is currently published in13 languages including English. The13th edition was launched in 2004 inSanthali making it the first and onlychildrens magazine in a triballanguages. Other languages in whichChandamama is published are:Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Bangla, Assamese, Oriya, Malayalam, Kannada, andSanskrit. Gurmukhi and Sinhaleseeditions were also brought out for ashort while. For several years till 1998, aBraille edition was published too.• Most Expensive Indian Book• Most Expensive Indian Book is "Firefly -A Fairytale", written by famous fashiondesigner Ritu Beri. The book is priced atRs 1 lakh and is published by Ritu Beriherself. Famous publisher Penguin hadearlier commissioned Ritu Beri to writethe book but abandoned the projectafter hearing the price for the book shehad in mind.The book deals with topics likearchitecture, history, women and theirbeauty. It also talks about Ritu Berisexperiences in Paris which wereimportant in shaping her career.Francois Lesage, the guru ofembroidery, has written the forewordto the book. Firefly - A Fairytale willhave limited edition. Only 100 copieswill be sold in India through Ritu Berisstore in Delhi and the book is alsoavailable at the new Louis Vuittonflagship store near Champs Elysee inParis.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 29
  30. 30. • Most Translated Literary Work of India• Most translated literary work isBhagavad Gita, an integral part of theMahabharata. It was first translated intoEnglish in 1785 by Charles Wilkeinson.Since then, Bhagavad Gita has beentranslated into 55 languages.Bhagavad Gita is considered as apractical, self-contained guide to life. Itis a conversation between Krishna andArjuna which took place on thebattlefield of Kurukshetra just prior tothe start of a climactic war. Respondingto Arjunas confusion and moraldilemma, Krishna explains to Arjuna hisduties as a warrior and Prince andelaborates on a number of differentYogic[ and Vedantic philosophies, withexamples and analogies.• Oldest Living Language of India• Tamil is the oldest living language ofIndia and the world. It belongs to theDravidian group of languages. Tamil isthe official language of the state ofTamil Nadu, and also has official statusin Sri Lanka and Singapore. Tamil ranks17th amongst the top twenty of theworlds most spoken languages. Tamilhas a literary tradition of over twothousand years. Tolkappiyam, the oldestknown literary work in Tamil, has beendated variously between secondcentury BC and fifth century AD. Tamilwas declared a classical language ofIndia by the Government of India in2004 and was the first Indian languageto have been accorded the status. TheTamil script consists of 12 vowels, 18consonants and one specialcharacter, the aytam. The vowels andconsonants combine to form 216compound characters, making a total of247 characters.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 30
  31. 31. • Oldest Surviving Indian Book• The oldest surviving Indian book is the Tamilwork, Christiya Vanakkam, revised edition of theoriginal Doctrina Christa. The book was publishedfrom Quilon (located in present day Kerala) onOctober 20, 1578. The Harvard University librarypossesses a surviving copy of this book. The secondpage of the book mentions that it was printed onOctober 20, 1578 at the press of the Saviour.Christiya Vanakkam is a translation of St. FrancisXaviers work in Portuguese, translated by Fr.Henrique and Father Manual de San Pedro. DoctrinaChrista was first published by Portuguese Jesuitpriests in 1560 in Goa, followed by its Tamil version in1564.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 31
  32. 32. History• History of India• The history of India dates back to morethan 5000 years. From HarrapanCivilization to present times, India hascovered a long journey. The remindersof this long journey are distributed allover India. Indian has witnessed a seriesof invasions. From Alexander toTurks, Mughals, Dutch, French andBritish, Indian History is replete withinstances of Invasion. Modern IndianHistory, which starts with the Indianfreedom movement gave a newdirection and inspiration to freedommovements all over the world.• First Governor General of India• Warren Hastings was the first GovernorGeneral of India. He occupied thisposition from 1773 to 1784. Hastingswas born at Churchill, Oxfordshire. Hejoined the British East India Company in1750 as a clerk. In 1757, WarrenHastings became the British Resident ofMurshidabad and in 1761 he wasappointed to the Calcutta council.Warren Hastings went back to Englandin 1764. He returned to India in 1769 asa member of the Madras council andwas made Governor of Bengal in 1772.In 1773, Hastings was appointed thefirst Governor-General of India.Warren Hastings extended andconsolidated the control of East IndiaCompany established by Robert Clive.He was a patron of Indian learning andtook a keen interest in Indian literatureand philosophy. Warren Hastings wasinstrumental in the translation ofBhagvad Gita into English.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 32
  33. 33. • First Indian to Join Indian Civil Services• Satyendranath Tagore was the firstIndian to join the Indian Civil Service.He was the elder brother of Guru DevRabindranath Tagore. Before 1861, onlyBritish officers were appointed to allcovenanted posts. The ICS Act of 1861established the Indian Civil Service. Butit was not an easy task for the Indians togo to England and compete with theBritish for a position. SatyendranathTagore went to England in 1862 toprepare for and compete in the civilservice examinations. Satyendranathwas selected for the Indian Civil Servicein June, 1863. He completed hisprobationary training and returned toIndia in November 1864. His firstposting was at Bombay Presidency.During the course of hisservice, Satyendranath Tagore traveledthroughout the country. His postingoutside Bengal helped him to learnseveral Indian languages. SatyendranathTagore took keen interest in theactivities of Brahmo Samaj andPrarthana Samaj. He retired from ICS in1897.• First President of Indian NationalCongress• Womesh Chandra Banerjee was the firstPresident of Indian National Congress(INC). Indian National Congress wasfounded in 1885 by educated Indianelite. The first session of the IndianNational Congress was held in Bombay inDecember 1885. Retired British ICSofficer AO Hume played a key role in theformation of INC. The formation ofIndian National Congress initially had theblessings of the British Government. Thegovernment welcomed theestablishment of an organisation by thewestern educated upper class Indians tofunction as a safety valve for the escapeof growing resentment of Indians againstBritish rule. The birth of INC heraldedthe entry of new educated middle-classinto politics and transformed the Indianpolitical horizon.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 33
  34. 34. • First Viceroy of India• Lord Canning was the first Viceroy of India. Thetitle of Viceroy was created in 1858 after themutiny of 1857. Before 1858, East India Companywas ruling large parts of India and the head ofadministration of the East India Company wascalled Governor General. This office was createdin 1773. The title Governor General hadadministrative control over the British Provincesof India(Punjab, Bengal, Bombay, Madras, UnitedProvinces etc.). After the mutiny of 1857, theBritish Government took control of theadministration from East India Company. Toreflect the Governor Generals role asrepresentative from the monarch, the termViceroy of India was applied to him. The titleremained in existence from 1858 till 1947. LordCaning was Governor General of India from 1856to 1858 and Viceroy of India from 1858 to 1862.• First Woman President of Indian NationalCongress• Annie Besant was the first woman President ofIndian National Congress. She presided over the1917 Calcutta session of the Indian NationalCongress. Annie Besant was of Irish origin andwas one of the few foreigners who played asignificant role in the Indian freedommovement.Annie Besant was born as Annie Woods inLondon on October 1, 1847. In 1867 Anniemarried Frank Besant, a clergymen, and theyhad two children. However, Annie and Frankwere legally separated in 1873. Annie Besantbecame interested in Theosophy, a religiousmovement founded in 1875 and based on Hinduideas of karma and reincarnation. She later onbecame leader of Theosophical society.Annie Besant first visited India in 1893 and latersettled here. She became involved in the Indianfreedom movement. In 1916 she establishedthe Indian Home Rule League, which demandedself-rule for India. Annie Besant died in India on20 September 1933.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 34
  35. 35. • Last Governor General of India• C. Rajagopalachari, popularly known asRajaji, was the last Governor General of India. C.Rajagopalachari succeeded Lord Mountbattenand was Governor General of India from 1948 to1950. After C. Rajagopalachari, the title ofGovernor General was abolished and wasreplaced by President of India. C.Rajagopalachari also has the distinction of beingthe first Indian Governor General of India.C. Rajagopalachari was born on December10, 1878 into a Tamil Brahmin family in a smallvillage called Thorapalli of the then SalemDistrict. He was one of the first recipients ofIndias highest civilian award Bharat Ratna (in1954). Rajaji occupied several importantpositions during his public life. He became thePremier of Madras Presidency in 1937. He wasagain the Chief Minister of Madras State from10 April 1952 to 13 April 1954. Rajaji succeededSardar Patel as the Home Minister of India.Mahatama Gandhi used to call Rajaji as "thekeeper of my conscience". Rajaji died onDecember 25, 1972.• Last Viceroy of India• Lord Mountbatten was the last Viceroy of India.Mountbatten was appointed Viceroy of India in1947 and he oversaw the creation of theindependent states of India and Pakistan. AfterIndias independence on 15 August 1947, thetitle of Viceroy was abolished and was convertedinto Governor General. Thus Lord Mountbattenbecame the first Governor General ofindependent India.Lord Mountbatten was born in Windsor, England,on 25th June, 1900. His father, Prince Louis ofBattenberg, had been born in Austria. As a resultof the anti-German feelings in Britain during theFirst World War the family changed its namefrom Battenberg to Mountbatten. LordMountbatten joined Royal Navy and in theSecond World War he commanded the 5thDestroyer Flotilla. After his term in India,Mountbatten returned to service at sea and asFourth sea Lord was commander of theMediterranean Fleet (1952-55). He was also FirstSea Lord (1955-59) and Chief of Defence Staff(1959-65). Lord Mountbatten was murdered byan IRA bomb while sailing near his holiday homein County Sligo, Ireland, on 27th August, 1979.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 35
  36. 36. Science and Technology• Science & Technology in India• India is one of the leading nations in theworld in terms of science andtechnology. India has the second largestpool of scientists and engineers in theworld. In terms of technologicaladvancements and scientificachievements India is second to none.India belongs to the select group ofcountries who have developedindigenous nuclear technology. India isamong the few countries which havedeveloped ballistic missiles. In the fieldof space science India is among the fewcountries which have the capability tolaunch GSLV satellite. Indiasachievements in the field of IT andsoftware are acknowledged all over theworld.• First Indian Scientist to Win Nobel Prize• Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman (C.V.Raman) was the first Indian scientist to winNobel Prize. C.V. Raman was awarded the1930 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work onthe scattering of light and for the discoveryof the Raman effect, which is named afterhim. Raman effect relates to the inelasticscattering of a photon. When light isscattered from an atom or molecule, mostphotons are elastically scattered (Rayleighscattering). The scattered photons have thesame energy (frequency)and, therefore, wavelength, as the incidentphotons. However, a small fraction ofscattered light (approximately 1 in 10million photons) is scattered fromexcitations with optical frequenciesdifferent from, and usually lower than, thefrequency of the incident photons. Ramaneffect is helpful in analyzing thecomposition of liquids, gases, and solidsRtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 36
  37. 37. • First Nuclear Power Plant in India• Tarapur Atomic Power Station (T.AP.S.)was the first nuclear power plant inIndia. The construction of the plant wasstarted in 1962 and the plant wentoperational in 1969. The 320 MWTarapur nuclear power station housedtwo 160 MW boiling water reactors(BWRs), the first in Asia. The TarapurPlant was originally constructed by theAmerican companies Bechtel andGE, under a 1963 123 Agreementbetween India, the United States, andthe IAEA. The Tarapur Atomic PowerStation is under the control of NuclearPower Corporation of India Limited.Recently, two 540 MW pressurisedheavy water reactors (PHWRs) wereoperationalised at Tarapur. The newreactors were constructed by L & T andGammon India. Tarapur Nuclear PowerStation is the largest PHWR-basedpower station in India.• First Satellite Launched by India• Aryabhatta was the first satellitelaunched by India. It was named afterthe great Indian astronomer of thesame name. Aryabhatta weighed 360kgand was launched by the Soviet Unionon April 19, 1975 from Kapustin Yarusing a Cosmos-3M launch vehicle.The satellite had following objectives:• To indigenously design and fabricate aspace-worthy satellite system andevaluate its perfromance in orbit.• To evolve the methodology ofconducting a series of complexoperations on the satellite in its orbitalphase.• To set up ground-based receiving,transmitting and tracking systems.• To establish infrastructure for thefabrication of spacecraft systems.• Aryabhatta carried experiments relatedto X-Ray Astronomy, Solar Physics andAeronomy. The satellite re-entered theEarths atmosphere on 11 February1992.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 37
  38. 38. • Indias First Indigenous Satellite LaunchVehicle• SLV-3 was Indias first indigenoussatellite launch vehicle. The vehicle waslaunched by Indian Space ResearchOrganisation (ISRO) on July 18, 1980.President A P J Abdul Kalam was theProject Director of SLV-3 The SLV-3weighed 17 tonne and had a payload of40 kg. The SLV-3 put 35 kg RohiniSatellite into the orbit. The launch ofSLV-3 was a historic landmark for theIndian space programme. It gave ISRO aninsight into theconceptualisation, design, developmentand management of a technicallycomplex multi-disciplinary project. Withthe launch of SLV-3, India joined a selectband of five nations that had thiscapability. The other five countries areUSSR, USA, France, China and Japan.• Indias First Indigenously Built Satellite• Insat 2A was Indias first indigenously builtsatellite. The satellite was launched on 9July 1992 from Kourou, French Guyana.The satellite had a dry mass of 916kg andit weighed 1906 kg with propellants. Thesatellite had following payload:Communication Transponders: 12 C-band, 6 ext. C-band (for FSS), 2 S-band (forBSS), 1 Data relay, 1 search and rescue.Meteorology: Very High ResolutionRadiometer (VHRR) with 2 km resolutionin visible and 8 km in Infrared band.The Insat 2 program was started in 1983.Its objective was to develop an indigenousmulti-purpose Geo spacecraft. In1985, the basic spacecraft configurationwas adopted. The configuration called foran on-station dry mass of 860 kg whichlater rose to 910 kg. The communicationspayload was increased with six additional7/5 GHz transponders for a total of18, plus two S-band transponders. TheInsat 2 series consisted of Insat2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, and 2E satellites.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 38
  39. 39. • Indias First Nuclear Reactor• Indias First Nuclear Reactor wasApsara. It was also the first nuclearreactor in Asia. Apsara went critical atBhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC),Trombay on August 4, 1956. It heraldedthe arrival of Indias nuclear energyprogramme. Dr. Homi Bhabha himselfconceptualised the design of thereactor and the reactor was builtentirely by Indian engineers in a recordtime of about 15 months.Apsara is a swimming-pool-type reactorloaded with enriched uranium as fuel.The fuel core is suspended from amovable trolley in a pool filled withwater. The pool water serves as coolant,moderator and reflector, besidesproviding the shielding.• Indias First Supercomputer• Indias First Supercomputer was PARAM8000. PARAM stood for ParallelMachine. The computer was developedby the government run Center forDevelopment of Advanced Computing(C-DAC) in 1991. The PARAM 8000 wasintroduced in 1991 with a rating of 1Gigaflop (billion floating pointoperations per second).All the chips and other elements thatwere used in making of PARAM werebought from the open domestic market.The various components developed andused in the PARAM series were SunUltraSPARC II, later IBM POWER 4processors, Ethernet, and the AIXOperating System. The majorapplications of PARAM Supercomputerare in long-range weatherforecasting, remote sensing, drugdesign and molecular modelling.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 39
  40. 40. Infrastructure• India Infrastructure• India is making huge investments ininfrastructure.Highways, dams, powerplants, railwaynetworks, telecommunicationnetworks, and airports are beingbuilt at feverish pace. In the earlydays after independence Indiamade some big tickets investmentin infrastructure which stand out fortheir grandeur and served as a basefor industrialization. Prominentamong these were Bhakra NangalDam, Hirakud Dam, TaraporeAtomic Plant etc.• Busiest Bridge in India• Howrah Bridge (also known asRabindra Setu) on the Hooghly Riverin West Bengal is the busiest bridgein India. Howrah Bridge is a famouslandmark of Kolkata. It bears theweight of a daily traffic of approx150,000 vehicles, and 4,000,000pedestrians. Howrah bridge is acantilever truss bridge, constructedentirely by riveting, without nuts orbolts. The construction of theHowrah Bridge was started in 1937and the bridge was opened totraffic on February 1943. The bridgehas a central span of 1500 ftbetween centers of main towers. Ithas an anchor arm of 325ft eachand a cantilever arm of 468ft each.The suspended span of the bridge is564ftRtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 40
  41. 41. • Highest Airport in India• Leh airport is the highest airport inIndia. In fact it is the highestcommercial airport in the world.Leh airport is situated at an altitudeof about 3000 meter. The airporthas been renamed after KoshakBakola, a spiritual leader of theLadakh region. Koshak Bakola alsoserved as Indias Ambassador toMangolia.Leh is a district located in theLadakh region of the state ofJammu & Kashmir. Its averageelevation is 3650 metres. Thetemperatures 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-Buddhistculture and is dotted withnumerous colorful gompas.• Highest Dam in India• Tehri Dam on Bhagirathi River is thehighest dam in India. With a heightof 261 meters, Tehri Dam is thesixth highest dam in the world.Tehri dam is the main dam of theTehri Hydro Project, a major powerproject located in the state ofUttarakhand. The dams projectedcapabilities include an powergeneration capacity of 2400MW, stabilise irrigation to an areaof 6,000 km² and a supply of 270million gallons of drinking water toDelhi and cities in Uttar Pradeshand Uttarakhand. Tehri Dam wasapproved in 1972 and itsconstruction was started in 1978.The dam was in the controversy dueto environmental reasons. The maindam will produce 2000 MW ofelectricity when completed. Thereis another smaller dam 14 kmdownstream at Koteshwar that willproduce 400 MW of electricity.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 41
  42. 42. • Largest Canal in India• Indira Gandhi Canal is the largestcanal in India. The canal is 650 kmlong and starts from the HarikeBarrage, a few kilometers below theconfluence of the Sutlej and Beasrivers in Punjab. It flows throughPunjab, Haryana, andRajasthan, with the major length ofthe canal flowing throughRajasthan. The canal terminatesnear Jaisalmer in Rajasthan.The construction of Indira GandhiCanal was started in 1958. The mainobjective behind building the canalis to convert the part of Thar desertfrom wasteland to agriculturallyproductive area. The canal wasearlier known as Rajasthan Canaland its name was changed in 1984.Indira Gandhi Canal uses waterreleased from Pong dam.• Largest Reservoir in India• Indira Sagar Dam on the riverNarmada has the largest reservoirin India with a full submergence of913 sq. km. The dam is proposed tobe 92 m high and 653 m long with aslightly curved alignment of 880 mradius across river Narmada nearvillage Narmada Nagar ofDevelopment Block Punasa of theKhandwa district in MadhyaPradesh. Indira Sagar Dam will havea gross storage of 12.22 Bm3 and alive storage of 9.75 Bm3. IndiraSagar dam will have an installedcapacity of 1000 MW and annualirrigation of 2.65 Lakh Ha. on a CCAof 1.23 Lakh Ha. The total drainagearea at the proposed dam site ofIndira Sagar Project is 61642 sq. km.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 42
  43. 43. • Longest Dam in India• Hirakud Dam built on MahanadiRiver is the longest dam in India.The overall length of the main damis 4.8 km, and the total length is25.8km with dam and dykes takentogether. The dam is about 15 kmupstream of Sambalpur town inState of Orissa and was the firstpost independence majormultipurpose river valley project inIndia. The dam irrigates 436000 haof CCA in Mahanadi delta and hasan installed capacity of 307.5 MW.Hirakud Dam is a compositestructure of Earth, Concrete andMasonry. Hirakud Dam intercepts83400 sq. km (32200 sq miles) ofMahanadi catchments. It has areservoir spread of 743 sq km at fullreservoir level and the reservoir hasa storage of 5818 M. Cum withgross of 8136 M Cum.• Longest Railway Bridge in India• Nehru Setu Bridge near Dehri on theriver Sone is the longest railwaybridge in India. The bridge is nearSasaram on Kolkata-Delhi Line. It is3.065km long and has 93 spans of30.5m each. Next to Nehru Setu is theNarnarayan Setu bridge over theBrahmaputra. The bridge linksJogighopa to Pancharatna (in Assam).It has a total length of 2.3km and has18 spans, each about 120m, with 2spans of 30.5m. The bridge overGanga near Patna is 2km long.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 43
  44. 44. • Longest Railway Platform in India• The platform of Kharagpur RailwayStation is the longest railwayplatform in India. The length of theKharagpur Railway platform is1072.5m. The platform wasoriginally 716m long. Its length wasextended twice, once to 833m andthen to its present length. Excludingsubway platforms (the Chicagosubway has the longestone), Kharagpur has the longestrailway platform in the world.Kharagpur is located in theMidnapore West district of the stateof West Bengal. It is famous as theplace where the first IndianInstitute of Technology wasestablished. Kharagpur also has oneof the biggest railway workshops inIndia.• Longest River Bridge in India• The Mahatma Gandhi Setu bridgeover the river Ganga in Patna is theworlds longest river bridge. Thebridge spans over 5.575 km fromHajipur at the north end to Patna atthe south end. Patna is located onthe south bank of the river Ganga.Patna has a very long riverline, andit is surrounded on three sides byrivers Ganga, Sone, and Punpun.Just to the north of Patna across theriver Ganga flows the river Gandak.Patna is a historic city and animportant pilgrimage center forSikhs, Buddhists, and Jains. Patnahouses one of the five Sikh Takhats -Takhat Patna Sahib. The Buddhistand Jain pilgrim centres ofVaishali, Rajgir orRajgriha, Nalanda, Bodhgaya andPawapuri are all nearby. It is theideal gateway for all the places onthis circuit.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 44
  45. 45. • Longest Sea Bridge in India• Pamban Bridge also known as AnnaiIndira Gandhi Bridge is the longestsea bridge in India. The 2.3 km longbridge on the Palk Strait connectsRameswaram island to mainlandIndia. The railway bridge is notedfor its unique opening to let theships pass through the sea. Thebridge was opened for traffic in1914. Bridge contains vertical liftsection, which is still functioningwell. It carries meter gauge trainson it. However, the Indian Railwaysis upgrading it to carry broad gaugetrains. The scenery around thebridge is breathtaking. The view ofthe distant sea and the string ofislands on the left of Pamban islandis simply awesome.• Longest Span Cantilever Bridge inIndia• Jadukata Bridge, located at Ranikorin West Khasi Hills District inMeghalaya, built across JadukataRiver is the longest span cantileverbridge in India. The bridge has acentral span of 140m. Jadukatabridge on Mawsynram BalatMaheshkhola Road is labout 130km away from Shillong, the capitalof Meghalaya. Jadukata Bridge isnear the Indo-Bangladesh borderand forms a vital link on animportant road in this border state.The bridge was built by GamonIndia Limited, Mumbai. The totalcost of the bridge was around Rs10 crore. Jadukata Bridge also wonthe ICI MC Bauchemie Award forOutstanding Concrete Structures.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 45
  46. 46. • Tallest Bridge in India• The Panvalnadi bridge on the Panval river in Ratnagiri District ofMaharashtra is presently the tallest bridge in India. The tallest pier ofthe bridge is 64m above bed level and the length of the bridge is424m. The bridge was built for Konkan Railway and was the firstbridge built in India using the incremental launching technique. Thebridge superstructure is a single-cell continuous prestressed concretebox girder with nine intermediate 40m spans and two end spans of30m each. The substructure consists of hollow octagonal reinforcedconcrete piers resting on open foundations. In 1995, the bridgereceived the Most Outstanding Concrete Structure in India Awardfrom the American Concrete Institute.However, soon the bridge will lose its coveted title of being thetallest bridge in India. Konkan Railway is currently laying downrailway line between Katra and Laole in Jammu & Kashmir. Therailway line will have two bridges that would be taller than thePanvalnadi bridge. One will be over River Chenab with a height of359m while the other will be over Anji Khad at a height of 189m.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 46
  47. 47. People• Indian People• India is a country with huge racial andethnic diversity. Indian people can bedivided into six main ethnic groups.These include Negrito, ProtoAustraloids, Mongoloid, Mediterranean,Western Brachycephals and NordicAryans. Apart from the wide ethnicdiversity there is also huge variation inthe spatial distribution of population.While some districts have a populationdensity of over 1000 others havedensity of less than 100. There is hugevariation in literacy rates and sex ratiostoo across India.• District with Highest Population inIndia• Greater Bombay is the district withhighest population in India. GreaterBombay came into existence in April1950 with the merger of Bombaysuburban & Bombay city for thepurpose of Municipal administration. Atthat time it had an area of 235.1 sq. kmand population of 23.39 lakhs(according to 1951 census). It consistedof the Bombay Island proper with thecoverage from Colaba point in the southof Mahim on the Western Railway sideand Sion on the Central Railway side.Suburban areas from Bandra toJogeshwari on the Western Railway sideand Kurla to Bhandup includingChembur and Chembur Camp on theCentral Railway side. In February 1957the limits of Greater Bombay wereextended up to Dahisar on the WesternRailway side and Mulund on the CentralRailway side covering in all an area of437.7 sq. km.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 47
  48. 48. • District with Highest PopulationDensity in India• North East Delhi is the district withthe Highest Population Density inIndia. According to 2001census, North East Delhi district hasa population density of 29,468persons/sq km. It is one of the ninedistricts of NCT of Delhi which cameinto existence from January 1997when Delhi was divided into Ninerevenue Districts. Total populationof the district is 17,63,710 out ofwhich 9,53,070 are male 8,10,640females. The district ispredominantly rural but also has asizeable urban area. There are 27villages in the district with allcharacteristics of rural India.Administratively, North East Delhi isdivided into three subdivisions:Seelampur, Shahdara, and SeemaPuri• District with Lowest Population inIndia• Yanam is the district with lowestpopulation in India. Yanam is a partof the Union Territory of Pondicherryand has a population of 31,394(according to 2001 census). Yanamhas an area of 30 km2.Geographically, Yanam is located onthe east coast of India and isbounded on all sides by the EastGodavari District of Andhra PradeshState. Yanam has a latitude of 16°42N and longitude of 82°11 E. Yanamlies in the delta of Godavari River.The town is situated where the rivermeets its tributary Coringa River, 9kilometres from the Bay of Bengal inthe Coromandel coast. Yanam wasearlier under French rule and wastransferred to India in 1954.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 48
  49. 49. • District with Lowest PopulationDensity in India• Lahaul & Spiti District in HimachalPradesh is the district with thelowest population density in India.As per the 2001 census, thepopulation density of Lahaul & Spitiis 2 persons per sq. km. Totalpopulation of the district is 33,224and its area is 13,835 sq km. Sexratio of Lahaul & Spiti District is 804females per 1000 males. There is notown in the district and entirepopulation is rural. No. of villages =521 (Inhabited =265, Uninhabited=256). No of Panachayats = 41(Lahaul =20, Udaipur=8, Spiti=13).Panchayat Samitis = 2 (one inLahaul and one in Spiti). MaleLiteracy Rate is 82.76%, and FemaleLiteracy Rate is 60.94%. Altitude ofLahaul & Spiti is 10,050 feet.• Most Populous City of India• Mumbai is the most populous city ofIndia. The estimated population ofMumbai is about 18 million (as of2006). Mumbai has a populationdensity of about 29,000 persons persquare kilometer. The sex ratio ofGreater Bombay district, in whichthe city of Mumbai falls, has reducedfrom 791 in 1991 to 774 in 2001. Theoverall literacy rate of the Mumbai isabove 86%, which is higher than thenational average. The religiouscomposition of the city include:Hindus (68%), Muslims(17%), Christians (4%), and Jains(4%). The remainder section of thepopulation comprises ofParsis, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jews andatheists.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 49
  50. 50. • State with Highest Population inIndia• State with highest population inIndia is Uttar Pradesh. According tothe 2001 census, Uttar Pradesh hada population of 166,052,859. Nearlyone-sixth of Indias populationresides in Uttar Pradesh. The statehas a population exceeding that ofFrance, Germany, and theNetherlands combined. Had UttarPradesh been an independentcountry it would have been thesixth most populous country of theworld after China, India, theUSA, Indonesia, and Brazil.According to the 2001census, Hindus constitute 81%population of Uttar Pradesh whileMuslims at 18% are the secondlargest religious group. Sikhpopulation is mainly concentratedin and around Lakhimpur Khiri.• State with Highest PopulationDensity in India• West Bengal is the state withhighest population density in India.According to the 2001 census, WestBengal has a population density of903. Total population of WestBengal (as per 2001 census) is8,01,76,197 and its area is 88,752sq km. In 1991, the population ofWest Bengal was 68,077,965 and itspopulation density was 767. Theland frontiers of West Bengal touchBangladesh in the east, Bhutan inthe north-east, and Sikkim on thenorth. On the west are the states ofBihar, Jharkhand, while in the southlies Orissa, and the Bay of Bengalwashes its southern frontiers.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 50
  51. 51. • State with Lowest Population in India• Sikkim with a population of 540,851(according to 2001 census) is the statewith lowest population in India. Sikkimis also the second-smallest state in areaafter Goa. Till 1975, Sikkim was anindependent state ruled by theNamgyal Chogyals. In 1975, Sikkim wasmerged with India following areferendum in which the people ofSikkim chose union with India. Gangtokis the capital and the largest town ofSikkim. The official languages of SikkimareEnglish, Bhutia, Nepali, Lepcha, Limbuand Hindi. Hinduism and VajrayanaBuddhism are the predominantreligions of Sikkim. The majority ofSikkims residents are of Nepali ethnic-national origin who came to theprovince in the 19th century. The nativeSikkimese consist of the Bhutias, whomigrated from the Kham district ofTibet in the 14th century, and theLepchas who are believed to havemigrated from the far east.• State with Lowest Population Densityin India• Arunachal Pradesh is the state withlowest population density in India.According to 2001 census, ArunachalPradesh has a population density of 13.Total population of Arunachal Pradesh(as per 2001 census) is 10,97,968 andits area is 83, 743 sq km. In1991, population of Arunachal Pradeshwas 864, 558 and its population densitywas 10.Before 1962, the State of ArunachalPradesh was popularly known as theNorth East Frontier Agency (NEFA), andwas constitutionally a part of Assam. In1972, it was constituted as a UnionTerritory and renamed ArunachalPradesh. On 20 February 1987, itbecame the 24th state of India.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 51
  52. 52. • UT with Highest Population in India• Delhi is the UT with HighestPopulation in India. According to2001 census, Delhi has a populationof 13,850,507. Out of the totalpopulation, the male population is7,607,234 and the femalepopulation is 6,243,273. In1991, Delhi had a population of9,420,644 (Male -5,155,512, Female - 4,265,132).Between 1991 and 2001, Delhiobserved a decadal populationgrowth rate of 47.02%. According to2001 census, Delhi has a literacyrate of 81.67% (Male Literacy rate -87.33, Female Literacy Rate -74.71). Sex Ratio of Delhi is 821.Delhi became a Union Territory in1956 and with the enactment of theNational Capital TerritoryAct, 1991, Delhi got a LegislativeAssembly.• UT with Highest Population Densityin India• Delhi is the UT with highestpopulation density. According to2001 census, Delhi has a populationdensity of 9340 persons/sq km.Total population of Delhi (as per2001 census) is 13.80 million and itsarea is 1483 sq km. In 1991, totalpopulation of Delhi was 9,420,644and its population density was6,352.Delhi was made the capital ofIndian in 1911. It was made a UnionTerritory in 1956. Delhi issurrounded by Haryana on all sidesexcept the east where it borderswith Uttar Pradesh. Under the 69thConstitutional amendment Delhigot a Legislative Assembly with theenactment of a National CapitalTerritory Act, 1991.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 52
  53. 53. • UT with Lowest Population in India• Lakshadweep is the UT with lowestpopulation in India. According to 2001census, Lakshadweep has a populationof 60,650. Out of the total population,the male population is 31,131 and thefemale population is 29,519. In 1991,Lakshadweep had a population of51,707 (Male - 26,618, Female -25,089). Between 1991 and 2001,Lakshadweep observed a decadalpopulation growth rate of 17.30%.According to 2001 census, Lakshadweephas a literacy rate of 86.66% (MaleLiteracy rate - 92.53, Female LiteracyRate - 80.47). Sex Ratio of Lakshadweepis 947. Capital of Lakshadweep isKavaratti. Principal languages ofLakshadweep are Jeseri (DweepBhasha) and Mahal.• UT with Lowest Population Density inIndia• Andaman & Nicobar Islands is the UTwith lowest population density in India.According to 2001 census, thepopulation density of Andaman &Nicobar Islands is 43. The totalpopulation of Andaman & NicobarIslands (as per 2001 census) is 3,56,152and its area is 8,249 sq km. In 1991, thepopulation of Andaman & NicobarIslands was 280,661 and its populationdensity was 34.Andaman & Nicobar Islands are a groupof 572 islands lying in the Bay of Bengal.The original inhabitants of the islandslived in the forests on hunting andfishing. There are four Negritotribes, viz, the GreatAndamanese, Onge, Jarawa andSentinalese in the Andaman group ofislands and two Mongoloidtribes, viz, Nicobarese and Shompens inthe Nicobar group of islands.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 53
  54. 54. Adventure• Adventurous Feats By Indians• Indians have been quite adventurous by nature.There are many instances throughout thehistory of Indian civilization which corroboratethis fact. In ancient days Indian merchants usedto travel to different corners of world. In recenttimes too, Indians have performed severaladventurous feats. An Indian was amongst thefirst persons to conquer Mount Everest. SantoshYadav, is amongst the few women in the worldto have scaled Mount Everest twice. There arenumerous such awe-inspiring feats by Indians.• First Indian Man to Swim English Channel• Mihir Sen was the first Indian man to swimEnglish Channel. He achieved this feat onSeptember 27, 1958, when he crossed theChannel in 14 hours and 45 minutes. In theprocess, Mihir Sen also became the first Asianto swim the English Channel.Mihir Sen was born on November 16, 1930, inPurulia, West Bengal. His father was a doctor inCuttack. He went to England to study law butwas attracted towards swimming. Afterachieving the feat of swimming across EnglishChannel, Mihir Sen went on to achieve severalother milestones. In the year 1966, Mihir Senswam across the seven seas of the fivecontinents. In April 1966, braving high tides andshark-infested waters, he swam across the PalkStraits, the sea between India and Sri Lanka. InAugust, he crossed the Straits of Gibraltarbetween Spain and Morocco and one monthlater became the worlds first man to swim theStraits of Dardanelles. In the same year MihirSen also swam across the Bosphorus and thePanama Canal.Mihir Sen was awarded the Padma Shri in 1959and Padma Bhushan in 1967.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 54
  55. 55. • First Indian Woman to Climb MountEverest• Bachendri Pal is the first Indian womanto climb Mount Everest. She achievedthis feat on 23rd May 1984. BachendriPal was part of the fourthexpedition, named Everest 84. She wasone of the members of the elite group ofsix Indian women and eleven men whowere part of the group. Bachendri Palwas the only woman in the group toreach the summit.Bachendri Pal was born in 1954 in Nakurivillage, Garhwal. Her first exposure tomountaineering was at the age of12, when during a picnic she along withseveral schoolmates climbed a 13,123feet high peak. After completing herstudies, she joined the Nehru Institute ofMountaineering (NIM). In 1982, while atNIM, she climbed Gangotri (21,900 ft)and Rudugaria (19,091 ft). In1985, Bachendri Pal led an Indo-Nepalese Everest Expedition teamcomprising of only women. Theexpedition created seven world recordsand set benchmarks for Indianmountaineering.• First Indian Woman to Swim AcrossEnglish Channel• Arati Saha was the first Indian woman toswim across English Channel. Sheachieved this feat on 29 September1959. Arati Saha swam from Cape GrisNez, France to Sandgate, England. Sheswam the 42 miles in 16 hours 20minutes, and hoisted the flag of India atSandgate. For her achievement AratiSaha was awarded Padmashri in the year1960. Arati Saha was also the first Asianwoman to swim across English Channel.Later, Anita Sood became the fastestAsian woman to cross English Channel.Arati Saha was born on 24 September1940 in Kolkata, West Bengal. Right fromher childhood, she was interested inswimming. From 1945 to 1951 she won22 State competitions including an all-India record in 1949. She also took partin the Helsinki Olympics in 1952. AratiSaha died of jaundice on 23 August1994. In 1998, Indian government issueda stamp in her memory.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 55
  56. 56. • First Man to Climb Mount EverestWithout Oxygen• Phu Dorji was the first man to climbMount Everest without oxygen. Hereached the Summit of Everest on May9, 1984 via the standard South EastRidge route on the expedition fromIndia led by Darshan Kumar Khullar. PhuDorji was also part of the 3rd Everestexpedition under the leadership ofCapt. M.S. Kohli in 1965. Before the1965 expedition, there were twoEverest expeditions in 1960 and1962, but both the expeditions faileddue to adverse weather in the Everestregion. Phu Dorji along with Maj.Bhahuguna, Harish Rawat, and HPSAhluwalia reached the summit on 29May 1965. Phu Dorji died in May 1987in the Kanchanjunga Expedition ofAssam Rifles.• First Man to Climb Mount EverestTwice• Nawang Gombu is the first man to climbMount Everest twice. He reached thesummit of Everest with the Americanexpedition in 1963 and with the Indianexpedition in 1965. Nawang Gombu isthe nephew of the legendary TenzingNorgay, the first man to reach Everest in1953.Nawang Gombu was part of theAmerican Expedition in 1963, led byNorman Dyhrenfurth. The expeditionwas supported by the NationalGeographic Society. Nawang Gombureached Everest on May 1, 1963 at 1 PMalong with Jim Whittaker. In theprocess, Whittaker became the firstAmerican to reach Everest. NawangGombu conquered Everest second timein 1965 as part of the Third IndianExpedition, with Captain M.S Kohli asleader. He reached the summit on May20, 1965 along with A.S. Cheema.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 56
  57. 57. Miscellaneous• Miscellaneous• There are several interestingfacts about India whichcannot be classified into aparticular category. Forexample, which is the largestlibrary in India, which is thelargest auditorium in India orwhich is the largest museumin India.• Largest Auditorium in India• Sri Shanmukhananda Hall in Mumbai is thelargest auditorium in India. The hall has aninteresting history. In 1943, a few musicoriented minds of Mumbai such as Dr.Iyengar, Rao Saheb, Anantha Iyer, P RSundaraja Iyengar, Srinivasa Iyer, S Seshadriand others joined hands to form a culturalorganization called Krishna Gana Sabha. TheSabha used to organize regular music anddance festivals in Mumbai. In 1951, the lateprime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehruwhile addressing one such gathering atMetro theatre, lamented at the lack of alarge hall in Mumbai. In response toPanditjis call, a number of prominent musiclovers came together and their effortsculminated in the birth of ShanmukhanandaFine Arts & Sangeetha Sabha in September1952 at the Podar College Hall. In 1964 whenthe gigantic Shanmukhananda hall came upin Kings Circle (Matunga), Pandit Nehruacclaimed the hall as the biggest in the eastof Suez.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 57
  58. 58. • Largest Botanical Garden of India• Indian Botanical Garden situated inShibpur, Howrah near Kolkata is thelargest botanical garden of India.The gardens exhibit a wide variety ofrare plants and have a collection ofover 12,000 specimens spread over109 hectares. The garden isrenowned for The Great Banyan anenormous banyan tree (Ficusbengalhensis) that is considered tobe the largest tree in the world. Ithas a circumference of more than330 metres. The gardens are alsofamous for their rich collection oforchids, bamboos, palms, and plantsof the screw pine genus. IndianBotanical Gardens were previouslyknown as Royal Botanic Gardens andwere founded in 1786 by the BritishEast India Company.• Largest Library in India• The National Library in Kolkata is the largestlibrary in India. It is an institution of Nationalimportance under the Department ofCulture, Ministry of Tourism & Culture,Government of India. National Library issituated on a scenic 30 acres BelvedereEstate, in Kolkata. The library is designated tocollect, disseminate and preserve the printedmaterial produced in the country.The origins of the National Library can betraced back to 1836 when the Calcutta PublicLibrary was established. The then GovernorGeneral, Lord Metcalf transferred 4,675volumes from the library of the College ofFort William to the Calcutta Public Library. In1891, the Imperial Library was formed bycombining a number of Secretariat libraries.Lord Curzon, the then Governor General ofIndia, conceived the idea of opening a libraryfor the use of the public. He amalgamatedCalcutta Public Library with the ImperialLibrary. The library was formally opened tothe public on 30th January 1903 at MetcalfHall, Kolkata. After independence, the librarywas renamed as the National Library.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 58
  59. 59. • Largest Museum in India• Indian Museum in Kolkata is the largestmuseum in India. It is the ninth oldestregular museum of the world andoldest institution of its kind in AsiaPacific region. Indian Museum is amultipurpose and multi disciplinaryinstitution of national importance. Themuseum was established at the AsiaticSociety, the earliest learned body in thecountry on 2nd February 1814. Dr.Nathaniel Wallich, a Danishbotanist, was the founder curator of themuseum. Indian Museum wastransferred to the present building in1878 with two galleries. Today, themuseum has over sixty galleries ofArt, Archaeology, Anthropology, Geology, Zoology and Botanysections, spreading over ten thousandsquare feet area. Many rare specimensof both Indian and Trans-Indian originrelating to Humanities and NaturalScience are preserved and displayed inmuseum.• Largest Planetarium in India• The M. P. Birla Planetarium in Kolkata isthe largest planetarium in India. Theplanetarium started functioning fromSeptember 29, 1962 as aneducational, scientific and researchinstitution and was formallyinaugurated on July 2, 1963 by the firstPrime Minister of India PanditJawaharlal Nehru. M. P. BirlaPlanetarium is established on an acre ofland leased by the West BengalGovernment.Since its inception, M. P. BirlaPlanetarium has designed andpresented more than 350 astronomicalprojects dealing with many facets ofastronomy, astro-physics, CelestialMechanics, Space Science, History ofastronomy, Centenaries of famousastronomers as well as mythologyconcerning stars and planets. ThePlanetarium owns an astronomicalobservatory equipped with a CelestronC-14 Telescope with accessories such asST6 CCD Camera, Solar Filter etc.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 59
  60. 60. • Largest Prison in India• Tihar Jail Complex in New Delhi is thelargest prison complex in India. Itcomprises of nine prisons in the TiharComplex with a sanction capacity of4800 prisoners and one District Jail atRohini with a sanction capacity of 1050prisoners. Before 1958, the Jail waslocated at Delhi Gate area of Delhi. In1958, the prison was transferred fromDelhi Gate to its present site in TiharVillage in western part of New Delhi. Inthe beginning, only one Central Jail wascommissioned with the lodging capacityof 1267 prisoners. Till 1966, theadministrative control of the Jail waswith the Government of Punjab. In1966, the control of Tihar Jail wastransferred to the DelhiAdministration, Delhi in 1966.• Largest Zoo in India• The Zoological Garden in Kolkata is thelargest Zoo in India. It is spread over anarea of about 100 acres. The Zoo islocated on Belvedre road in Kolkata andwas established in 1876. The zoo is hometo a rich variety of birds, animals, andreptiles.The origins of the Zoo can be traced backto 1873, when, the then Governor SirRichard Temple proposed the formationof a zoo in Calcutta. Sir C.L. Lendalcorroborated it. Finally, the Governmentallotted land for this purpose respondingto the joint petition of the Asiatic Societyand Agri-Horticultural Society. The zoowas inaugurated on the January 1, 1876by King Edward VII.Zoological Garden, Kolkata is creditedwith bringing back the rare Manipur BrowAntlered Deer from near extinction. Thezoo was first to have bred Giraffes andhas produced Tigions, and Litigons as across breeding experiment. The artificiallake of the zoo attracts a large number ofmigratory birds every year.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 60
  61. 61. Government• Indian Government• India has a federal form of government.The federal structure consists ofindividual State Governments and aUnion Government which is commonlyreferred as Central Government. TheCentral Government is headed PrimeMinister and State Governments areheaded by Chief Ministers. The CentralGovernment exercises its broadadministrative powers in the name ofthe President of India, who is the Headof State. The President acts on theadvice of the Prime Minister and hiscouncil of Ministers.• First Female Indian Cabinet Minister• Rajkumari Amrit Kaur was the firstfemale Indian Cabinet Minister. She waspart of Jawaharlal Nehrus first Cabinet.She was assigned the Ministry of Healthand continued to be the Health Ministerof India until 1957. As the HealthMinister, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur was themoving force behind theconceptualization and building of theAll India Institute of Medical Sciences inNew Delhi.Rajkumari Amrit Kaur was born on 2ndFebruary 1889 in the princely family ofKapurthala. She received her highereducation in England. On her return toIndia she came in touch with GopalKrishna Gokhale and later withMahatma Gandhi. Rajkumari Amrit Kauractively participated in freedomstruggle. She was also the first womanmember of Hindustani Talimi Sangh.Rajkumari Amrit Kaur died on 2ndOctober 1964.Rtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 61
  62. 62. • First Indian President to Die in Office• Dr. Zakir Hussain, was the first Indian Presidentto die in office before completing his term. Hewas the Third President of the India. On 9 May1967, Zakir Hussain was declared elected as theHead of the State and was formally sworn in asthe President of the Indian Republic four dayslater. He breathed his last on the morning of 3May 1969.Zakir Hussain was born on February 8, 1897 in aPathan family at Qaimganj in the District ofFarrukhabad, Uttar Pradesh. He wasinstrumental in the establishment of JamiaMillia Islamia in 1920. Zakir Hussain later wentto the University of Berlin in Germany for higherstudies in 1923 and did doctorate in Economics.He later on became Vice-Chancellor of JamiaMillia. In 1948, Dr. Zakir Hussain was appointedVice-Chancellor of the Aligarh MuslimUniversity. He served as Governor of Bihar from1957 to 1962. He was awarded Padma Vibushanin 1954 and Bharat Ratna in 1963. Zakir Hussainwas sworn in, as the second Vice-President on13May 1962.• First Indian Prime Minister to Lose an Election• Indira Gandhi was the first Indian Prime Minister tolose an election. She was defeated by Raj Narain, acandidate of Janata Party, in 1977 Lok Sabhaelections from Rai Bareli constituency. Raj Narainwas earlier defeated by Indira Gandhi in 1971elections. He had accused Indira Gandhi of corruptelectoral practices and filed election petitionagainst her. The Allahabad High Court on 12 June1975 upheld the accusations and set aside electionof Indira Gandhi and also disqualified her tocontest Lok Sabha election for next 6 years. Inresponse to the verdict, Indira Gandhi imposedEmergency. The Emergency was lifted in 1977 andin the subsequent Lok Sabha elections, IndiraGandhi lostRtist@Tourism,Pondicherry University 62

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