Published on August 11th, 2017 | by Geckos Tales Team
11 awesome facts about India
Read time: a bit over 2 minutes
Travel in India is like nowhere else on earth.
It’s mind-blowing, mind-expanding, mind-boggling and anything but mind-numbing. And with over 1.3 billion people sharing the space, there’s probably just as many experiences to be had. In fact almost any experience you can have on the planet can be found here. That includes epic hikes, keeping your eyes peeled for rhinos in Chitwan National Park, cruising along the Ganges at sunrise, and partaking in an all-night chai-athon while you wait for a cow to finish its nap on the train tracks.
In the north you can ride a camel through the Thar Desert, high-five the hippies of Jodphur, and sip lassis like they’re going out of style. Then there’s that little place called the Taj Mahal – go on, snap a selfie (you know you want to). In the south it’s all about the go-slow. There are canals to cruise (in Kerala), beaches to kick back on (in Goa) and bikes to ride around on (in Varkala).
India is also home to a great number of facts (our favourite things!). Here are 11:
1. BIG COW COUNTRY
There are more cows in India (280 million) than cars in the USA (230 million). And in West Bengal, cows must have a Photo ID card. It’s tipped that around 88 million cows across India will have their own ID cards – which will be used to track vaccinations and breeding cycles – by the end of 2017.
2. PLASTIC (NOT) FANTASTIC
At the start of 2017, India’s capital Delhi introduced a ban on all disposable plastic – cutlery, bags, cups, etc – after reports people were BURNING them at local rubbish dumps. Yuck.
3. ANIMAL WATCH
There are 47 critically endangered animal species in India including the Sociable lapwing, the Elvira rat, the Sushil’s bullfrog and the Pygmy hog.
4. HIPSTER HEAVEN
Half of the population is under 25. And up to 50% of households have a bicycle. You do the hipster math.
5. MAD FOR VEG
India has the lowest rate of meat consumption in the world. Look for ‘Non-Vegetarian’ restaurants if you’ve got a craving. Pizza Hut have a sole vegetarian restaurant in India, and KFC and McDonalds both have vegetarian menus.
6. CLAY CHAI
Chai – a sweet, milky ginger tea – is India’s official drink, and is sold from local carts (aka chai wallahs) all across the country. Many chai wallahs sell their drinks in unglazed clay cups. They get thrown on the ground when done and wash back into the earth. EXTRA FACT: traditionally, chai (masala chai, as its often known) in India has only five ingredients: water, black tea, milk, sugar and ginger.
7. JUST A SMALL GATHERING
The Kumbh Mela can attract over 100 million pilgrims from around India, making it the largest gathering on Earth.
8. INDIAN INGENUITY
Buttons, shampoo, chess, the number system, Snakes & Ladders and flush toilets were all invented in India.
9. MONEY, MONEY, MONEY
India was one of the richest countries in the world until the British colonized it. Good one, guys. Also, it’s illegal for foreigners to take Indian currency out of India, which is really a great excuse to order another daal bhat.
10. SIX SEASONS IN ONE DAY
Well, not exactly, but India’s Hindu calendar has six seasons: spring, summer, monsoon, autumn, winter and prevernal, that period late in winter when the trees and flowers start to bud.
11. RING RING
India has more mobile phones than toilets. Hmm…
Uncover more awesome facts – and have a great time to boot – on an epic small group adventure in India with Geckos.