Approximately 50+ million years ago the mega scale Gotswanaland Island collided with Asia, giving birth to the youngest mountain ranges on Planet Earth 'The Himalayas' that were at the bottom of the ocean prior to this earthly event. You can still come across fossils as the living evidence of these prehistoric times in some valleys and slopes of the Himalayas. Being amongst the most significant ancient civilizations, India has changed the world with its inventions and discoveries which includes invention of zero, cotton cultivation, chess, binary code, yoga, meditation, human sciences and arts, ruler scale, wire-less communication and more.!. India is also the birth place of shampoo. In ancient times there were no shampoos, so people used natural herbs to massage their head and wash their hair. The word shampoo is derived from the sanskrit word champu which actually means to massage.
India is the center stage of Hinduism, with thousands of Gods and colorful puja ceremonies, mantras and religious scripts. It is also the land of multi religious society where other religions also flourish including Islam and Buddhism. Cows are considered holy in India, people pay great respect to Cows and Banyan Trees. Indians eat less meat per person than the rest of the world. Vegetarian food in India is total delight. It is fresh and contains all necessary vitamins and minerals. Some religions also encourage vegetarianism, however about 67% of Indian population eats meat occasionally, especially fish.
It has 2 official languages, Hindi and English, in which most of the administrative works are documented. Apart from this, it has 20 more officially accepted local languages specific to different areas including Telugu, Malayalam, Kannad, Kashmiri, Marathi, Bengali, Punjabi, Dogra, Gujarati, Sindi, Haryanavi, Bihari, Others. For the foreign visitor, it is always easier to use English, since nearly most of educated Indians can speak some amount of English. Even local villagers and farmers will proudly exchange with you some words of English, though main conversation usually takes place through the hearts and warm smiles.
The country flag is tricolor with the 'Ashoka Chakra' in the center. The saffron color symbolises courage and selflessness, the white colour represents peace, honesty and purity, and the green represents the fertility, harvest and prosperity. The Chakra (wheel) with 24 spokes symbolises 24 hours in one day and the infinite circle of life.
Wedding are a fantastic colorful feast where the groom can proudly ride a horse or elephant right in the center of the road, hundreds of people perform crazy dances (also in the center of the road). India still follows ancient tradition of contractual marriage. That means, parents usually choose a life partner for their child. Divorces are rare. Local people in India believe that marriage are arranged in heaven.
The country love festivities and celebrations. The most widespread festival of India is 'Diwali', the day of exchanging gifts and night of lamp lights, pujas, rituals, flowers, sprakling crackes and lights. It is celebrated as the day of victory over evil. Saraswati Puja marks beginning of the new school year when kids pray to Saraswati, the Goddess of intellect and arts.
Majority of Hindu Indians believe in the principal of Karma. This term is derived from the word 'karam' which means 'deed by human being'. It is this deep rooted mindset which dictates the day to day life and dynamics of the Hindus. It promotes the philosophy of always doing good deeds (good karma) in order ensure goodness of fate in return to oneself. Spiritual seekers call India, the land of instant karma which means you will get what you deserve.
India is Incredible, simply because there is no other country in the whole world with such a grand diversity of landscapes, peoples, cultures, cuisines, languages, costumes, festivals, beliefs, fine arts and handicrafts. Extraordinary hospitality prevails everywhere in India, if you smile to anybody in the street, you can be sure they will smile back at you with greatest warm. Local hospitality in India is a unique phenomena, no one in the world can ever match this hospitality. It is not only deeply genuine but extremely warm and generous.
Indian subcontinent has provided hospitable and highly nourishing habitats for human life. These enchanting habitats have witnessed rise and fall of civilizations. The earliest ruins of so called Harappan civilization preceding Indo Aryan civilization were found in Mohenjo Daro. This ancient city (now in Pakistan territory) reached its zenith around 2500 BC, it then went into decline by 1900 BC due to climatic crisis. It was followed by Vedic Civilization (Indo-Aryan Civilization), named after Vedas, the sacred texts that were composed by Indian scholars during this period. The social classification system based on the defined caste and communities also came into formation during this period. This deeply entrenched caste system still prevails in India to this day.
Do castes still matter in India?? well the current Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, was once a tea seller on a railway platform. He is the first Prime Minister who comes from a backward caste. Indian Government has officially over ruled the caste system and has been encouraging equality for all, but this caste system still remains in the minds of many people and dictates many important events including marriages, social divides and politics. Around 800 BCE to 400 BCE the first Upanishads were composed. These are early text that form the theoretical basis of Hinduism and are known as Vedanta.