India – a country full of contrasts

20 shocking facts about India that you didn’t know before

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20 amazing facts about India that you didn't know before

Without a doubt India is considered one of the most beautiful and interesting countries in the world. It still remains a mystery to most, despite the fact that everyone knows about it itself, its traditions, cooking, history. Everyone knows that it is a country of contrasts. And yet in India, a country with democracy, cell phones, a developed pharmaceutical industry, and Bollywood, there are many strange and incomprehensible phenomena.

20. It is the largest democracy in the world.

India is the largest democracy in the world.

India is known to have more than a billion people, it is the largest democratic country in the world. It is hard to imagine such huge public support for the government, but the public in turn makes the government work hard. Well, or so it seems! India still has a caste system, which indicates to each member of society his or her place.

19. India has 6 seasons.

India has 6 seasons

Most of the world has only 4 seasons, there are countries that have even less. For example, countries located on the equator are warm all year round, and vice versa, countries beyond the Arctic Circle are always cold. In India we have 6 seasons, according to the calendar of Hinduism, the main religion of the country: summer, monsoon season, fall, winter, pre-spring, and spring.

18. National currency

Unfortunately India’s national currency, the rupee, is not allowed out of the country. This news will upset tourists, but it excludes speculation with the currency. Although locals are trying to export currency and speculate with neighboring Bangladesh, it’s all happening on a small scale. More and more people in India are starting to use cards.

17. More than 25% of India’s population is illiterate.

 More than 25% of India's population is illiterate

India is a country of contrasts. The rich and the poor, the literate and those who can’t read or write live side by side in a country where a grand building like the Taj Mahal stands next to shanty towns. Only 65 percent of the country’s population is literate. Among women 45% are literate, and among men 75% are literate. Despite the relatively high level of literacy in India there is a high level of poverty.

16. India is sprawling.

India is sprawling

The country’s population continues to grow. It is said that India will catch up with China by 2028. Already today it exceeds the total population of Western Europe.

15. India was once an island

India was once an island

At the time of Pangea, all the continents were one big piece of land. Thanks to tectonic processes, the vast parts began to separate. This is when India began to travel separately from the other parts. Later it came upon a piece of what is now Asia and stopped.

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14. India has more than 1,000 languages

India has over 1,000 languages

In India, people speak 1,000 different languages and dialects. A phrasebook will not help the traveler either, as many of the local dialects and languages are drastically different. True, most people know Hindi.

13. India has a high death rate

India has a high death rate

India has the highest death rate in the world. The main cause of this phenomenon is traffic accidents. Traffic in India, especially in cities, is extremely heavy and unregulated. It takes talent to maneuver safely between cars, motorcycles, rickshaws, animals, and pedestrians. People die under the wheels of cars or by asphyxiation in crowded buses. Deaths of newborns and pregnant women due to inadequate medical care also contribute to the high death rate. In addition, infidelity and dowry are still being murdered.

12. The film industry is booming in India.

India's movie industry is booming.

When we talk about movies, everyone thinks of Hollywood. But India makes about 1,100 films a year, twice as many as the United States. Believe it or not, most Indian films are not made in Bollywood. Although many people like the colorful, emotional, expressive films of Bollywood stars, they are only a small part of all Indian film production.

11. india’s breaking records

 India breaks records

 India breaks records

The Indians’ passion for records is a strange one. The Guinness Book of World Records has the world’s largest crochet quilt. In India, they erected the world’s largest peacock made of metal. The record for the largest mass performance of the national anthem was recorded.

10. The city of Mumbai

The city of Mumbai

Everyone knows the problem that occurs in multimillion-dollar megacities around the world is air pollution from car exhaust, which manifests itself visually in the presence of smog, and physically in breathing difficulties. China is most famous for this, but in Mumbai the situation is even worse. A day in Mumbai or Delhi is equivalent to smoking 100 cigarettes. According to the World Health Organization, 1.5 million people die of lung cancer and asthma each year in these cities.

9. India has the highest number of vegetarians

India has highest number of vegetarians

Although most people in India eat plant-based foods, there are some very tasty chicken, goat, and lamb dishes in Indian cuisine. But India has the largest number of vegetarians. At the Indian Golden Temple, several thousand vegetarian meals are distributed free of charge every day to the poor and homeless. You must try paneer, naan, and biryani, dishes made from vegetables and rice.

8. 53% of homes with no running water or sewage

One cell phone per family

You see people dying in the cities of India because of cars, air pollution, and unsanitary conditions; 53% of the houses have no running water or sewage system.

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7. A girl is killed every hour for her dowry in India.

A girl is killed every hour for her dowry in India

Dowry is an ancient Indian tradition. When a guy and a girl are about to get married (very often their parents make the choice for them) the bride and her family give a large sum of money to the groom’s family. These are especially large sums when they are going to improve their social and caste position through marriage. Unfortunately, one girl is killed hourly in India because of this money.

6. 70% of the world spice market belongs to India

70% of the global spice market belongs to India

You can find turmeric, coriander, mustard, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom and chili pepper in almost every spoonful of Indian food. Not surprisingly, 70 percent of the world’s spice supply is of Indian origin. If you want to try an authentic Indian dish, you better go visit any Indian family. They spend several hours on the preparation of the dish, a huge variety of spices – this art is difficult to learn.

5. Slavery in India

Slavery in India

Unfortunately, slavery still exists in India today. The number of slaves reaches 14 million. For a long time this topic was silenced and ignored. People in many countries of the world could not even think that there is slavery in India, which exists due to imperfect legislation and corrupt local authorities. Most of the slaves are poor illiterate women and children who are forced into hard labor and prostitution.

4. India has a high percentage of poverty

India has high poverty rate

In addition to slaves, there are many poor people in India. Large numbers of families with children live on the streets, collecting handouts. In India the average person has to work 14-16 hours to earn a little money. The average person earns up to $1.25 a day. The government is trying to give allowances to the poor, to stimulate the development of agricultural areas, and to motivate the poor to take up farming, but so far to no avail.

3. women in India

Women in India

There are a number of developed nations in the world where the rights of men and women are equally respected. In India, however, some families deliberately kill newborn girls because they will not be able to continue their line. Between 100,000 and 500,000 girls are murdered each year in India simply because of their gender. Selective abortions, which were officially banned back in 1994, are practiced here. Those girls who manage to survive are often humiliated for life by the male population. When it comes to medicine, more attention and respect, speaking of vaccinations and treatments, is shown to boys and men.

2. In India they celebrate the day of death.

Day of death is celebrated in India

According to the traditions of Hinduism, which is very common in India, the day of the funeral of the deceased is celebrated and remembered by relatives. Most often in India corpses are burned and no alcohol or meat products are allowed at the funeral, this rule also applies for the next 12 days. The eldest son in the family pours the ashes of the deceased in the water of any body of water nearby, it can be the ocean, sea, river or lake. Relatives and friends of the family celebrate the death of the deceased, wishing him a happy afterlife.

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1. Milk shake with marijuana

Milkshake with Marijuana

In ancient centuries in India, marijuana was used for a variety of purposes. Today it is completely legal, marijuana is used in many different forms, although there are some restrictions due to religion and tradition. For example, it is added to dishes and made into milkshakes. It is one of the five sacred plants that have been mentioned since the ancient Hindu texts. Marijuana is also used for the treatment of various diseases and during religious ceremonies. Hindus believe that Shiva also used marijuana. No less strange facts hide behind the big and successful China.

India – a country of contrasts

India is an incredibly beautiful, friendly and open country. Benefiting from some of the achievements of Western civilization, it has consistently honored its traditions for centuries. But why is India called a country of contrasts? Let’s read the important stuff first, and there’s a video at the end of the article.

India is a country of contrasts

Indian culture is something else. The incredible color of the local people, their identity, the colorful colors along with a certain drabness, the atmosphere of celebration next to the depressing poverty. This is just some of what can be said about this extraordinary state.

Celebrating Holi festival in India

Holi Festival Celebrations in India

You can learn more about these festivals in the articles Holi Festival and Diwali Festival in India.

The “cradle” of human civilization

Compared to Europeans, Indians have very different ideas about etiquette, personal space and other things. Nevertheless, every tourist will notice that people in India are very cheerful and friendly even though their living conditions are often not easy at all. They are happy in their own way, because they know how to enjoy the simple things. For a Westerner, who is used to the comforts of a comfortable life, this is sometimes not so easy to understand. Learn about table etiquette in this article .

The Joy and Gentleness of India's Poor

The joy and good naturedness of the Indian poor

In the VII-VI millennia BC the primitive tribes settled on the territory of modern India and became engaged in cattle breeding and agriculture. And already in the III millennium BC there was a highly developed Harappan culture.

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The ancient cities had well-developed systems of sewage and water supply, and the planning of settlements amazes with its thought-outness. Thousands of years later this culture came to an end. Tribes gradually mingled, moved from place to place and created new communities.

Indeed, we can say that India is a country of contrasts . It manifests itself in everything: multinationality, diversity of languages and religions. And what to say about the rich flora and fauna! High mountain meadows alternate with dense tropical bushes and endless fields. The valleys of the Ganges, Indus, and Brahmaputra rivers are teeming with fresh greenery.

Kerala's Indian Nature

Nature in Kerala

And what an amazing array of beasts you won’t find here! Different kinds of birds and cats, elephants, rhinoceroses, primates, snakes, reptiles. A little away from the densely populated Indian cities, you can see all this splendor with their own eyes. The main thing is to be careful and do not climb in places where it may be dangerous. Wildlife, after all.

“The colorful people of India.

The Indian diversity can be seen even in the appearance of the locals. In different parts of the country, the color of people’s skin can vary greatly. For example, closer to the far south you will often meet people with very dark, almost black skin. But residents of the northwest have light skin, which makes them somewhat similar to Europeans.

Dark-skinned girls from southern India

Dark-skinned girls from southern India

This can be explained by the territorial and historical settlement of people on the territory of India. Most of the population of the modern state of India are the descendants of settlers from Southeast Europe and anterior and anterior Asia. The inhabitants of South India are for the most part of the Dravidian race, and the northeast and foothills of the Himalayas are of the Mongoloid race. Did you know that some of the common people are world-famous? Read the article about Dashratha Manjhi, the man of the mountain.

Plurality of Languages, Religions, and Nationalities

India is a multinational country and welcomes many different religions and languages. English and Hindi are constitutionally the official languages and another 18 languages have “registered” status. Indeed, it is an incredibly “mixed” population, no matter which way you look at it. Again, this diversity can be explained by the historical mixing of nationalities and natural migration processes. Read more about this fact.

The Indo-Aryan languages (Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Urdu, etc.) are spoken by about 70% of the population. The other part of the population is incredibly diverse: Telugu, Tamil, Kashmiri, Sanskrit and many others.

But the largest group are the languages of local settlements. These are the so-called “unregistered” languages, of which there are about 500. There are also several hundred dialects.

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India's most widespread religions

The Most Widespread Religions of India

There is an impressive diversity in the written language as well. In India books and newspapers are printed and television and radio programs are broadcast in 24 officially registered languages, except Sanskrit. However, there is no disputing the fact that a very large percentage of illiterate people remain in this country.

Indians are very tolerant people also in terms of religion. Although Hinduism is the most common religion in India, there are followers of Buddhism, Christianity, Jainism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism and other religions.

India is the most multireligious country

India is the most multireligious country.

A dual travel experience

Let’s say you are going to take a trip to India and are morally prepared for the fact that the countryside is very different from the neat and tidy environment of many European countries. But, as practice shows, even this readiness does not guarantee that the foreign tourist will not experience a shock in the first days after arrival.

The variety of smells (not always the most pleasant), the bustle of the locals, the constant traffic, the continuous hum, the slums and palaces – all this at first can begin to make you dizzy. But over time, as you get used to this crazy rhythm of life, you begin to take a closer look at the amazing things that fill this extraordinary country.

Datta Fuj, 32-year-old millionaire from India, a true lover of gold

Datta Fuj, 32-year-old millionaire from India, is a true lover of gold.

One of the advantages is the low prices. For a foreigner it is surprising how cheap it is to eat lunch, take a ride in a car or rent a hotel room.

It is relatively convenient to travel in India by train. Thanks to the British, who once built an excellent railroad, you can travel about 600 kilometers in one night. In addition, it will also be inexpensive, especially if you choose economy class.

Next to the rich you can see the lower castes of untouchables

Next to the rich you can see the lower castes of untouchables.

Accommodation in cheap hotels also costs ridiculous money, however, you need to be prepared for the fact that the environment and service can be a test of strength for tourists. And even the climate in India is incredibly varied.

For the south and center of the country, the best time to visit would be November to mid-February. This is the dry season, which is most favorable to the tourist.


Only in contrast can you fully experience the different sides and facets of life, to redefine it. Only in comparison one begins to appreciate small joys and understand that one doesn’t need so much to be happy… India will give you many incredible emotions, will reward you with bright impressions and will definitely turn your consciousness upside down.

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