india… १ what you already know – but what we shall tell you about anyways! २ what you probably don’t know ३ a dozen reasons for wanderlust chalo! (lets go!)
facts and figuresRepublic of IndiaIndia, Bharat, HindustanWorld’s largest democracy23 officially recognized languagesNew Delhi is the capital with 15MM peopleBombay is the powerhouse with 18MM people2nd most populous country after China (1.12 BN)4th in GDP (PPP) rankings after US, China and Japan ($3.8 Trillion)7th largest state in area (3.16 MM sq km)31st most dense state (336/ sq km)118th in per capita income PPP ($3800)First war of independence against UK in 1857Partition with Pakistan on 14 August 1947Declared independence on 15 August 1947Republic on 26 January 1950Currency: Indian RupeeTime zone: IST (GMT +5:30)
a land of history…A Brief History of IndiaStone Age 70000-3300 BCMehrgarh CultureIndus Valley Civilization 3300-1300 BCHarappan CultureVedic Period 1500-500 BCMahavira, Gautam BuddhaMauryan Empire, Ashoka the greatMiddle Kingdoms 200 BC-1200 ADGolden age of Gupta EmpireIslamic Sultanates 1200-1600 ADArrival of IslamGolden age of Mughal Empire, Akbar the greatColonial Era 1750-1947 ADBritish EmpireModern State 1947 AD
a land of people (a lot of us around, no?) Home to one-fifth of humanity on this planet!
907 MM hindusIt is the worlds oldestexistent religion, and hasapproximately a billionadherents. A very absorbingreligion or philosophy,Hinduism is a diversesystem of thought withbeliefs spanningmonotheism, polytheism,pantheism, monism andeven atheism.Hindu religion is oftenlabeled as a religion of 330million gods. But the keyTrinity comprises thoseresponsible for three tasks:creation – Lord Brahma,preservation – Lord Vishnu,and destruction and rebirth –Lord Shiva.
152 MM muslimsIslam came to India withTurko-Muslim invasions in8th century. Today, India hasmore Muslims than …IraqSaudi ArabiaAfghanistanIranEgyptJordanSyriaCOMBINED
26 MM christians Christian faith in south India is much older than in Europe and America. Kerala Christians are called Nasranis or Syrian Christians and have a tradition of more than 2000 years. Later, Portugese catholic missionaries reached Malabar coast in 15th century. Protestant missionaries began to work throughout India in 18th century.
21 MM sikhs Sikhism began in 15th century in northern India with the teachings of Guru Nanak. ‘Sikh’ comes from Sanskrit root sisya meaning desciple or learner. The term ‘guru’ comes from the Sanskrit gurū, meaning teacher, guide or mentor. Baptised Sikhs are bound to wear the Five Ks - The 5 items are: kēs (uncut hair), kaṅ ghā (small comb), kaṛ ā (circular heavy metal bracelet), kirpān (ceremonial short sword), and kacchā (special undergarment). Sikhism is the 5th largest organised religion in the world (after Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism).
12 MM buddhists Buddhism is another dharmic religion founded in India around 5th century BC by Siddhartha Gautama. Prince Siddhartha, after the enlightenment, was known as Buddha. ‘Four Noble Truths’ and ‘Noble Eight Fold Path’ are among Buddhism’s teachings. Today, Buddhism is a world religion with a following of about 350MM.
5 MM jains Jainism is a dharmic religion originating in ancient india. Jains follow the teachings of ‘tirthankaras’. Lord Mahavira, the 24th tirthankara of Jains lived in 6th century BC. The Jains are the best educated religious community in India, and the Jain libraries are Indias oldest.
diwaliDiwali or the ‘Festival ofLights’, is a major Indianfestival with greatsignificance in Hinduism,Sikhism and Jainism. The 5day celebrations (in Oct /Nov) focus on lights andlamps, particularlytraditional dipa or deeya(earthen lamp) andfireworks.It symbolizes the return ofLord Rama to his kingdomafter vanquishing DemonRavana.
eidEid-ul-Fitr is an Islamicholiday that marks the end ofRamadan, the month offasting. Worshippers greetand embrace each other in aspirit of peace aftercongregational prayers.People also distribute Zakat,the obligatory tax on one’swealth, to the needy.One of the special dishes inIndia is savayya, a dish oftoasted, sweetenedvermicelli noodles.
holiHoli or the ‘Festival ofColors’ is a popular springfestival. Bonfires are lit onthe eve of Holi. On the dayitself, known as dhulandi,people spend the daythrowing colored powderand water at each other.A special drink calledthandai is prepared,sometimes containing bhang(cannabis).
dusseraDussera or ‘Vijayadashami’is a festival celebrated in themonth of Sep / Oct. Dusseramarks the day when LordRama killed Demon Ravana.Present celebrationscommemorate the event byburning effigies of Ravanaand his henchmen.
and of course… bollywood!!Bollywood produces about 1000feature films in an year.Approximately 3 billion movietickets are sold in India every yearand is a $3 billion industry.
and followed, in a burst of creativity, by …tollywood, mollywood, kollywood, lollywood! Will you marry me? Only if you watch me dance Where did you Where did you get that shirt? get those moves?
cricket maniaIndia is a cricket crazy nation. The kids will playanywhere – roads, roof tops or railway tracks. Some willworship the cricketers. Others will burn down theirhouses if they fail to perform.Legendary rival? Pakistan. And India has never lost amatch to Pakistan in World Cup.
cricket mania er y where! cricket ev i n p eak s of him al ayason the ghats of varanasi d taj behin rbed the r i ve on the beach on
foodMughlai Cuisine – Seekh kabab, Boti South Indian Cuisine – Idli, Dosa, Chicken Tikka Masala was created inkabab, Shami kabab, Biryani Wada, Uttappa UK. Vindaloo is a Portugese dish!Chat – Samosa, Bhelpuri, Panipuri – Chai – Largest consumed beverage Alphonso mangoes were goodfound street side in the world (3 Bn cups/ day in India enough to pull off the Indo-US nuke alone)! Sorry, no wines with food. deal
and some food for thought… Somehow, in spite of the Gods... …we run along!! Illiteracy Oldest, continuous civilization “IIT/IIM” talks hide the poor primary education 5,000 years and going strong infrastructure Tradition, culture and ancient wisdom Young population Yes, but how to get the best of Attained independence through non- them violence Poverty and Inequality Perhaps one of the very few to do so Grinding, multi-generational poverty And the one that heralded the breakup of the Co-existing with sheer inequality of resource British Empire distribution Largest Democracy Corruption However imperfect, chaotic, exasperating, India is NOT a poor country unpredictable, frustrating or unreal! And yet, 85% of all development funds And Churchill thought we would fail …..vanish! Services Superpower Under-developed Infrastructure IT, BPO, R&D… 12 hour power failures And an unconventional route to stardom 2 hours of running water Secularism and Tolerance Poor government health care… Every single religion of the world has found a Internal Disturbances home here Kashmir… Including all ‘invaders’ and those who were Naxalites… thrown out of their own homeland, welcomed The North East… with open arms to this already crowded land!
india१ what you already know२ what you probably don’t know – the new, quirky, contradictory, difficult to pin-down India३ a dozen reasons for wanderlust
railways … the british import PALACE ON WHEELS A luxury train operated by Indian railways – departs from New Delhi for an 8 day tour of Rajasthan, Agra and includes visits to Hawa Mahal, Taj Mahal, Jaisalmer, Ranthambore National Park and many other places. Prices are about $500 per night.INDIAN RAILWAYSAnd yet as the life blood of the transport it isalso … ALL ABOARD!The Mumbai Metro is the densest, largestcarrier in the world.
getting around…Raju goes to school… Ummm… I This sucks. think I’ll try the Life will get train tomorrow better when I grow up and start working Perfect! Sigh… I hate public transport
a bit too prudish?In the land of Khajuraho and the Kamasutra… … a light kiss in public … Richard Gere! Shilpa Shetty! … is not taken lightly!
need we say more!What is this??? An abandoned plane…Disappears the next day!
perhaps we will say a bit more!I have the power! The path to God The toughest defender in the worldUnderage Drinking? International Brands?
jobs india hasn’t yet exportedTruck Painter Traveling Knife Sharpener Ear CleanerRoadside Dentist Train Waiter And you thought it was tough explaining YOUR job?
india१ what you already know२ what you probably don’t know३ a dozen reasons for wanderlust
Roof of the world. Ten 8000-ders reside in this range. Home of Yeti.himalayashome to mount everest
Ladakh means "Land of High Passes‘. It is India’s highest plateau with much of it being over 3,000 m.out of this world ladakh
kashmir heaven on earthHistorically the term Kashmirwas used to refer to the valleylying between the GreatHimalayas and the Pir Panjalrange. Often dubbed “Paradiseon Earth”, Kashmirsmountainous landscape hasattracted tourists for centuries.
The city is known as the "Sun City" for the bright, sunny weather it enjoys all year. It is also referred as the Blue city, due to the indigo tinge of the whitewashed houses.aquamarine blue cityjodhpur
Also known as the Great Indian Desert, its a desert located in western India and southeastern Pakistan. the golden sand dunes ofthar desert, rajasthan
varanasi the holy town on gangesIts a famous Hindu holy citysituated on the banks of theriver Ganges in the Indianstate of Uttar Pradesh. Hindusbelieve that bathing in the riverGanges will remit sins and thatdying in the holy city of Kashi(Varanasi) circumvents rebirth.
calcuttalost in timeNow known as Kolkata, itserved as the capital of Indiaduring the British Raj until1911. This vibrant city, with adistinct socio-political culture,is considered by many as theCultural capital of India.
ajanta ellora cities carved in stoneEllora caves are rock-cut cavemonuments dating back to thesecond century BC.Famous for its paintings,Ajanta caves is a WorldHeritage Site.
bombay stuff dreams are made ofMonsoon. Locals. Mills. Crime.Crowd. Streets. Chawls. Cars.Carts. Underworld. Business.Bollywood. Bomb blasts. StockMarket. CHAOS. Theatre.Shopping Malls. Flats. Slums.Expressways. Fights. Fervour.Passion. Fear. Fever. Bombayis made of the stuff dreams aremade of.
Known as ‘Rome of the East’, ‘Tourist Paradise’ and ‘Pearl of the Orient’, the state of Goa is located on the western coast of India. Goas carnival-like nightlife has been known to lure many into a psychedelic trance.goasome martini, some sun, a little water, some sand
dubare national park At Dubare elephant sanctuary in south India (and several other national parks), you can see these giants troll in the wild. Come evening, you can feed them jaggery laddoos with your hands and pat their trunks. Suggested tip to the keeper: $ 0.50
This little country famous for food in banana leaves, ayurvedic massages, communism, 100% literacy is the backwaters of India. It’s also the place where Thomas the Apostle landed in 1st century.keralaBeautiful Backwaters
And they say, men of the world are divided into two …those who have seen it and those who haven’t