India may not be the first choice of holiday destination for many people, the climate and poverty can be off-putting. However it is a very interesting culture, with a history going back many thousands of years, as well as being the biggest democracy in modern times with over a billion people. These are a few things you may not know about India to pique your interest.
The KumbhMela Festival is the world’s largest gathering of people
In 2013 roughhly 120 million people attended this festival. It is a religios Hindi celebration that happens roughly every three years and ios also known as the Grand Pitcher Festival. There are four locations, each hosting the festival every 12 years – The Ganges river in Haridwar, the Sarawati river in Allahabad, the Godavari river in Nashik and the Shipra river in Ujjain.
Indian housewives own over 11% of the worlds gold
Gold symbolizes properity, good furtune and purity in India, and is given as a gift at births festivals and weddings. It is estimated that there are at least 11 thousand tonnes of gold in India, more than there is in Germany, Switzerland, the US and the International Monetary Fund combined, and yet India produces no gold, it is all imported. For Indian women the gold they are gifted at their wedding is particularly important to them as they own it directly and can fall back on it in times of need such as if they are widowed.
Over 780 languages are spoken in India right now
A Tamil dialect is the oldest known language that has grammar, and even though 250 languages have disappeared over the last 50 years, there are still nearly 800 spoken somewhere in the country. The official languages of India are English and Hindi.
The roots of the Karma Sutra are in India
The Karma Sutra is not just about complex sexualpositions, it is a way of life and a guide to attracting and keeping a spouse, as well as how to achieve good karma. There were originally 845 temples of Khajuraho which dated back to between the 9th and 12th centuries but only 20 are still about today. These temples were decorated in art and sculptures depictiug the karma sutra.
Polygamy is allowed by law in India, and the largest family in the world lives here; a man who has 39 wives and 94 children.
India is home to the worlds largest cinema industry
Often known as Bollywood, the Indian cinema industry produces over 800 films each year and over three billion tickets are bought which is much more than any other country. However, as individual ticket process are low, the industry does not have the highest cinema revenue in the world.
There are many fascinating facts about India to be discovered, for example it is the birthplace of four major religions; Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism, and the seasons are spilt into six rather than four; there are two monsoon seasons as well as the standard spring summer autumn and winter. A visit to India is a great way to spend a holiday. Now go pack your bags.