Saturday, November 23, 2013

"Interesting Facts about India"

Whether you are from India looking for some Interesting Facts about India or a foreigner travelling to India and looking to know some facts about India, these 101 Facts about India will blow your mind away.

1. Population: With over 1.2 billion people, India is second only to China and will likely overtake China if current growth continues.
2. Land size: In order to accommodate the huge population, India does have the seventh largest land area in the world.
3. One quarter of the work force: It’s estimated that in the next two to three years, 25% of people entering the workforce will be Indian.
4. Millions: There are over a million Indian millionaires. However, the gap between the rich and poor is still very big, with many living on a poverty level.
5. Language: India has no National Language. Hindi is an official language used in many regions, English is also commonly used in many regions. There are many popular regional languages like Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada and Marathi spoken and officially used in their respective regions.
6. Value of PI: Baudhayana, an Indian mathematician first calculated the value of PI. He is also said to have discovered other mathematical theorems still in use.
7. University: The first university is said to have been started in Takshila in 700 B.C. Thousands of students from all over the world studied a variety of subjects.
8. Largest postal system: India still uses the postal system and it shows. They still have the largest postal system in the world.
9. Trains: India has the world’s second largest train network, and it is the largest civilian employer.
10. Varanasi: Having been visited by Buddha in 500 B.C. Varanasi is the oldest continuously habituated city in the world.
11. Wonder: The Taj Mahal is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife.
12. Food: Cooking and eating are a large part of Indian culture and tradition. It’s not uncommon for meals to require hours of preparation time and most festivals and gatherings center around food.
13. Roads: The world’s largest road network is in India—over 1.9 million miles of roads cover the country.
14. Chess: Chaturanga—Sanskrit, meaning “four members of an army” was invented in India. Now known all over the world, chess had its beginnings in India.
15. Name: The official Sanskrit name for India is Bharat Ganarajya. Even today, it is often called Bharat by young and old.
16. Origin of India name: The name “India” comes from the Indus River, which is where earliest settlers made their homes. The Indus valley is one of the world’s earliest urban civilizations.
17. British rule: The British ruled India from 1858-1947, although their presence and trade had been going on for some time before then.
18. Independence: On August 15, 1947, India gained independence from the British, after a successful nearly non-violent independence movement.
19. Government: India is governed under a parliamentary system and is a federal constitutional republic. There are 28 states and 7 union territories in India.
20. Capital: The capital city of India is New Delhi. It is the center of government and is also home to 2 UNESCO heritage sites.
21. Diamonds: Until 1986, the only place where diamonds had been officially found was in India.
22. Multi-lingual: There are 1,652 dialects and languages spoken in India. It is not at all unusual for an Indian to speak at least two and often more languages well.
23. Recognized languages: There are currently 22 recognized languages in India, with Standard Hindi and English being the standard languages.
24. English speakers: Because so many Indians speak English, India now has the largest population of English speakers in the world.
25. Borders: India shares land borders with Pakistan, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma and Bangladesh. Sri Lanka and the Maldives are neighboring ocean countries.
26. Exports: Going back thousands of years, India has long exported textiles. Current exports include steel, agricultural goods, and many services, such as in the tech or medical industries.
27. Beauties: India has won two Miss Universe and five Miss World titles so far. Many Indian beauty queens are also Bollywood actresses or models.
28. Age demographic: More than 50% of India is younger than 25 and more than 65% are 35 or younger. The average Indian age is much younger than most other nations.
29. Old civilization: Some of the oldest and most long-lasting civilizations can be traced to India, or areas that used to belong to India. Early empires were larger than other neighboring empires of the time, including Egypt and Mesopotamia.
30. Peace loving: India has never invaded any country. It was invaded by other countries and rulers, including Alexander the Great.
31. Movies: No list featuring facts about India would be complete without this tidbit: India has the largest movie industry in the world. Most Indian movies come from Bollywood, but there are many studios around the country who contribute as well.
32. Holy Writings: The Vedic Scriptures date to 2000-500 BC and were composed in the Punjab region.
33. Invented zero: A commonly known, but not to be neglected India fact is that the number and concept of zero was invented and documented first by Indians.
34. Ancient buildings: All over India, ancient buildings and structures can be found. Sculptures and paintings on the buildings often tell stories or describe life at that time period.
35. IT: The Pentium chip and Hotmail were created by Indians—Vinod Dahm and Sabeer Bhatia respectively. The Indian IT population is growing and is highly sought after all over the world.
36. School: The world’s largest Montessori school is in India. It has over 26,000 students!
37. National fruit: While India may not be the biggest mango exporter, over 12 million tons of mangoes are grown each year. That’s the equivalent of over 2,400 Asian Elephants!
38. Cotton: Indian cotton was well known; some of the earliest cotton came from India. Roman and Mongol royalty wore Indian cotton, known for being light and airy.
39. Beans: India produces more dried beans than any other nation on earth. This includes a variety of legumes such as the kidney bean and chick peas as well as a variety of lentils.
40. Bananas: Another top export from India is bananas. No other country exports as many bananas, not even Brazil, which is second.
41. Producer of milk: Because India’s pastoral community is heavily dependent on milk, India has become the largest producer of milk in the world.
42. National drink: Chai, or tea is drunk widely in India. They produce more tea than any other country, exporting to countries all over the world.
43. Spices: While Saffron has its roots in neighboring countries, India uses the most expensive spice in several sweets and other dishes.
44. Staples: The main food staples in India are rice in the south, wheat in the north, and dhal or lentils.
45. Lucky color: Red is the color of good luck and is usually worn for weddings and other celebrations and festivals.
46. Vegetarian: India has the largest amount of vegetarians in the world.
47. Finger food: Most Indian food is still traditionally eaten without silverware. Rotis or chapattis aid with this.
48. Time: All of India — despite the large land-space is on one time zone. This is, however, half-an-hour different to neighboring countries, making for a complicated time zone.
49. Cherrapunji is the wettest spot on earth. It receives at least 425 inches of rain every year, which is over 5 times more than the tropical rain forests of South America!
50. Highest peaks: The Himalaya includes the highest peak in the world—Everest. The mountain range stretches about 1,500 miles long and is over 23,600 ft at its highest.
51. Sacred River: The Ganga is the longest river in India and is considered sacred by Hindus. It has the most populated river basin in the world.
52. Coastline: The actual coastline on the main land is 3,400 miles, but if you include the islands that belong to India, the coastline is closer to 4,700 miles.
53. Mangrove: The Sundarbans is the largest single block of tidal halophytic mangroves in the world. 1/3 of the Sundarbans is in India. This is also the reserve for the Bengal Tiger.
54. Jungle: Less than 12% of the Indian landmass is covered in jungle. However, the country has a large variety of plant and animal life including 13.7% of all avian creatures.
55. Protected: India has worked hard to preserve endangered species and their shrinking wild-life. There are more than 500 wildlife sanctuaries and 13 reserves.
56. Heritage: There are 27 UNESCO heritage sites in India. These protected areas help to protect the long culture and history of the country.
57. Diversity: India has a lot of geographical diversity, including sand beaches, mountain ranges, desert, rock beaches, and large planes.
58. Climate: The four main climate groups in India are: tropical wet, tropical dry, subtropical humid, and mountain. The four seasons are: winter, summer, monsoon, and post monsoon.
59. Vishnu Temple: This temple in Tirupathi is the most visited pilgrimage destination in the world, even more than Mecca or the Vatican.
60. Lotus Temple: Made from white marble, this temple has 27 free-standing “petals”. The structure is widely recognized for its artistic value as well as a Baha’i place of worship.
61. Humayun’s tomb: A little known fact about India is that the first garden-tomb in the world was built in India. It was built as a tomb for Emperor Humayun, but also houses the graves of his wife and other Mughals.
62. Religious gathering: Every twelve years, the Maha Kumbh Mela happens in Allahabad. This is the largest religious gathering in the world.
63. Brihadeeswara Temple: India’s largest temple which houses the statue of Nandi—carved out of a single 13ft rock. The entire temple is made out of granite and is over 1000 years old.
64. High ground: The world’s highest cricket ground is in Himachal Pradesh. It was built after a hill was leveled at over 2,400 meter above sea level.
65. Largest democracy: India is a democracy and has one of the highest voter turn-outs in the world. Election expenses grow from election to election as well.
66. Flag with meaning: The Indian flag is ‘tri colored’. Saffron—courage and sacrifice; white—truth, peace, and purity; green—prosperity. The Ashok Chakra—righteousness.
67. National Emblem: The Sarnath Lion depicts four lions back to back from which the national emblem stems. It symbolizes courage, confidence, and strength.
68. National animal: The national animal is the Bengal Tiger. Nearly extinct, it enjoys a national reserve where it is protected.
69. National bird: The peacock is the national bird of India and can be seen in many parks, even in the cities.
70. Ganges River Dolphin: Another little known fact about India is this species of dolphin, which includes 2 subspecies and is the only blind dolphin in the world. Both subspecies are in danger of extinction and as such are protected.
71. National flower: The beautiful and fragile lotus is the national flower of India. It’s very common in many bodies of water.
72. National tree: The national tree of India is the bunyan or fig tree. It’s featured in many stories and legends.
73. Gold: India is still the largest buyer of gold in the world. Gold is an important part of Indian culture, including gifts for weddings and other major events or festivals.
74. Largest city: Mumbai is the largest city in India, with over 15 million people.
75. Melting pot: India is home to every major religion in the world. Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism all started in India.
76. Hindus: The majority of Indians are Hindus. Most of the religious festivals and holidays are Hindu.
77. Mosques: Home to more mosques than any other country in the world; India has a large Islamic population, the second largest in the country.
78. Cows: The cow is considered a sacred animal and is allowed to roam free in most cities and villages. They often wear a tilak as a symbol of good fortune.
79. Snakes and Ladders: The game of Snakes and Ladders also originated in India, with the lesson being of virtue vs. vices.
80. Music: As diverse as the country itself, music is an integral part of Indian culture, along with dance. There are dozens of local dances, music styles, and theater throughout the country.
81. Cricket: Although the English brought cricket to India, it is still the most popular game in the country. Games are played in parks and official games are watched and cheered by many.
82. National game: The national game of India is field hockey, India has won several gold medals over the years.
83. Mathematics: Indians made noteworthy contributions to trigonometry, calculus, and algebra. In 100 B.C. the decimal system was invented here.
84. Navigation: The word navigation comes from a Sanskrit word as the first navigators made their way along the Sindh River about 6000 years ago.
85. Medical advances: Surgeries were done in India over 2,600 years ago by Sushruta. He also developed Ayurveda and made records of several complicated surgeries and operations.
86. Big business: Vinod Khosla co-founded Sun Microsystems and Rajiv Gupta is the GM of Hewlett-Packard. Many other big international companies are founded or run by or with Indians.
87. Outsourcing: Half of the outsourced IT services in the world come from India. This is a large industry and big part of the current Indian economy.
88. Software: One of the largest exporters of software, India exports to over 60 countries right now.
89. White: Tradition in India holds that white be worn for funerals, in contrast to other countries, where black is more common.
90. Family: The extended family is an important part of Indian life and culture. Many families still live together in extended or ‘joined’ family units.
91. Festivals: Most Indian festivals are religious in origin. The most popular and widely known are Diwali, Holi, Durga Puja, and Ganesh Chaturthi. Festivities can go on for days.
92. Diwali: The festival of lights is celebrated for five days and includes a variety of festivities and traditions, usually done at home with family. Firecrackers and lights are a big part of this festival.
93. Holi: The festival of colors is a bright and colorful festival where playing with colors and water is enjoyed with home-made sweets.
94. Durga Puja: This five day festival is celebrated mostly in the eastern states, though it is celebrated in one form or other all over the country.
95. Ganesh Chaturthi: During the ten-day festival, Hindus remember the Lord Ganesh with decorations, prayers, and celebrations.
96. Rakhi: On this festival, sisters tie a rakhi or holy thread—often a colorful band—on their brother’s wrist while the brothers vow to look after their sisters while presenting them with gifts.
97. Yoga: One of the more known India facts is yoga. Originating in India, yoga is now a world-wide form of exercise and relaxation. Meditation and stretches are an integral part of yoga.
98. Martial arts: Many martial arts have their origins in India. There were said to have been spread throughout Asia by traveling monks.
99. Raziya Sultana: The only woman ruler of both the Mughal period and Sultanate. She dressed as a man and was an efficient and qualified ruler.
100. Dress: Most Indian women prefer ethnic dress, most commonly the sari or salwar kameez. However, for festivals and other events, there are other dresses, some specific for certain occasions.
101. Men’s wear: Men in general wear western clothing, though they often don ethnic wear for festivals, holidays, and occasions. In rural areas, local dress is more common.
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Friday, November 15, 2013

Amazing Buildings of the World

"Amazing Buildings of the World"

Though it looks like some sort of painting by a drunk painter. But this is a real house located in Rezydent Shopping Center in Sopot, Poland. It is claimed to be the most photographed building in Poland. It is spread to an area of 4,000 square meters. Designed by Architect: Szotynscy Zaleski
1. The Crooked House

2. Forest Spiral - Hundertwasser Building
Architect: Heinz M. Springmann
This is a residential building complex located in Darmstadt, Germany. The building has a unique façade which doesn’t follow a regular grid pattern and the windows appear as if they are dancing out of line and appear out of order.  It was designed by Viennese artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser and finally planned and implemented by architect Heinz M. Springmann. It contains 105 apartments, an inner courtyard, a small artificial lake and also a playground for children. The building has 12 floors.
3. The Torre Galatea Figueras (Spain)
The first things you notice are the giant egg sculptures along the roofline. Then it hits you that the Salvador Dali Theater Museum in Figueras, Spain, is no ordinary building. The museum’s tower, Torre Galatea, was named for the surrealist artist’s deceased wife, and Dali himself lived there until his death in 1989. Interestingly, the museum sits next to the parish church where Dali was baptized in 1904; he is buried in an unmarked crypt in the museum’s main exhibition hall.
4. The Basket Building (Ohio, United States)
This may look like a picnic basket kept in the park. But this actually is a 7-story building which is Longaberger's Home Office located in Newark, Ohio. This monument is in-fact world’s largest basket. Its 192 ft. long by 126 ft. wide at the bottom, spreads to 208-ft. long by 142-ft. wide at the roofline.
5. Kansas City Public Library (Missouri, United States)
This installation is permanent, on a much larger scale, and is designed to conceal the library’s car park. Here the public were asked to nominate books that they felt represented Kansas City. The library was founded in 1873 A.D, and is the oldest and the third largest public library in Kansas City area.
6. Ferdinand Cheval Palace a.k.a Ideal Palace (France)
Cheval began the building in April 1879. He claimed that he had tripped on a stone and was inspired by its shape. He returned to the same spot the next day and started collecting stones.
For the next 33 years, during his daily mail route, Cheval carried stones from his delivery rounds and at home used them to build his Palais idéal, the Ideal Palace. First he carried the stones in his pockets, then a basket and eventually a wheelbarrow. He often worked at night, by the light of an oil lamp.
7. Wonderworks (Pigeon Forge, TN, United States)
8. Habitat 67 (Montreal, Canada)
Architect: Moshe Safdie
  • Habitat 67 is a one-of-a-kind housing complex located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
  • The building was realized as the main pavilion and thematic emblem for the International World Exposition and its theme, Man and His World, held in Montreal in 1967.
  • It is built as a part of Expo-67.
  • It was designed to integrate the variety and diversity of scattered private homes with the economics and density of a modern apartment building.
  • The project was designed to create affordable housing with close but private quarters, each equipped with a garden.
  • The building was believed to illustrate the new lifestyle people would live in increasingly crowded cities around the world.
9. Cubic Houses (Rotterdam, Netherlands)
Architect: Piet Blom
This is a housing designed on top of a pedestrian bridge. The main idea behind this is to create a forest of cubes (abstract trees) as each cube represents an abstract tree.
The cubes are tilted and sit on hexagon-shaped pole structures. The cubes contain the living areas, which are split into three levels. The triangle-shaped lower level contains the living area.
10. Hang Nga Guesthouse (Crazy House), Vietnam
  • This fantastical place is like a journey into the world of Alice and Wonderland. Designed by a woman artist who hangs around the grounds, it is one of wonder.
  • The house is owned by the daughter of the ex-president of Vietnam, who studied architecture in Moscow.
  • It does not comply with any convention about house building, has unexpected twists and turns, roofs and rooms. It looks like a fairy tale castle, it has enormous “animals” like a giraffe and a spider, no window is rectangular or round, and it can be visited like a museum.
11. Chapel in the Rock (Arizona, United States)
This beautiful Roman Catholic church is literally built into the rock. The views from outside are unbelievable but the serenity inside is awesome.
12. Dancing Building (Prague, Czech Republic)
Designed byArchitect Vlado Milunić in co-operation with Canadian architect Frank Gehry on a vacant riverfront plot.
  • The building was designed in 1992 and completed in 1996.
  • A modern, glass building surrounded by historic architecture.
  • The top floor of Dancing House is home to one of the city's leading restaurants, Celeste Restaurant.
  • Diners can enjoy delightful cuisine and magnificent views over the river and up to Prague Castle.
13. Calakmul Building Or La Lavadora (The Washing Machine), Mexico
14. Kettle House, Texas, United States
 15. Manchester Civil Justice Centre, United Kingdom
16. Nakagin Capsule Tower, Tokyo, Japan
17. Mind House (Barcelona, Spain)
18. Stone House, Guimarães, Portugal
This fake looking awesome stone house is located in Fafe, Guimarães (Portugal).
19. Shoe House, Pennsylvania, United States
20. Weird House in Alps
21. The Ufo House, Sanjhih, Taiwan
22. The Hole House, Texas, United States
23. Ryugyong Hotel, Pyongyang, North Korea
24. The National Library, Minsk, Belarus
25. Grand Lisboa, Macao
26. Wall House, Groningen, Netherlands
27. Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain
28. Bahá’í House of Worship (Lotus Temple), Delhi, India
29. Container City, London, United Kingdom
30. Erwin Wurm: House Attack, Viena, Austria
31. Wooden Gagster House, Archangelsk, Russia
32. Air Force Academy Chapel, Colorado, United States
33. Solar Furnace, Odeillo, France
34. Dome House, Florida, United States
35. Beijing National Stadium, Beijing, China
36. Fashion Show Mall,Las Vegas, United States
37. Luxor Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, United States
38. Zenith Europe, Strasbourg, France
39. Civic Center, Santa Monica
40. Mammy’s Cupboard, Natchez, MS, USA
41. Pickle Barrel House, Grand Marais, Michigan, USA
42. The Egg, Empire State Plaza, New York, USA
43. The Gherkin Building, London, UK
44. Nord LB building, Hannover, Germany
45. Lloyd’s building, London, UK
46. Druzhba Holiday Center Hall, Yalta, Ukraine
47. Fuji television building, Tokyo, Japan
48. UCSD Geisel Library, San Diego, California, USA
49. Ripley’s Building, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
50. The Bank of Asia (Robot Building), Bangkok, Thailand

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