5 surprising facts about India

Jessica Lone Summers

If you dream of being surrounded by beautiful scenery, scented spices and colourful culture, India is truly the only place to go. India is a country so bursting with wildlife and exciting experiences, anyone would be crazy not to jump at the opportunity that’s why Reader’s Digest guided tours are offering you the chance to go, and save an extra five percent off!

Here are some little known facts about India before you embark on an adventure of your own:

1. India was once an island

Over 100 million years ago India was actually its own continent. Back when dinosaurs were roaming the earth, it was originally attached to the ancient ‘supercontinent’ named Gondwanaland. It broke off 50 million years later forming it’s own land before colliding with Asia to sit where it is now. Palaeontologists discovered the evidence of this from fossilised sea shells which were located high in the mountains.

2. The Kumbh Mela

The Kumbh Mela (or Grand Pitcher Festival) is a mass Hindu pilgrimage of faith in which Hindus gather to bathe in a sacred or holy river every 12 years. In 2011 the gathering was so popular that 60 million people attended and it was in fact visible from space.

 

3. The original shampoo

The idea of shampoo was first created in India using herbs to cleanse the hair. The word ‘shampoo’ originated from the Sanskrit word champu which translates as ‘to massage’.

 

4. The lotus

The lotus is a sacred flower which is honoured by both Hindus and Buddhists and is seen throughout much of their architecture and art. The Bahá’í house of worship in Delhi, commonly known as the “Lotus Temple,” is shaped like the flower and boasts 27 enormous marble petals.

 

5. Voting freedom

India boasts the largest democracy in the world. In 2009 exactly 417,037,606 voters turned up to vote at the 830,866 polling stations that were available.

If you would like to find out more about the dazzling wonders of India, click here to find out about the amazing 14-day trip with Reader’s digest guided tours and get and extra 5% off when you book any Collette tour.