India holds the title of being the most populous democratic nation in the world. A former British colony, it boasts of a fast-growing economy powered by information technology systems and a rising middle class. India does not only have a diverse ecology, as the subcontinent’s genetic variations remain unparalleled as well.
1. India is home to roughly 1.37 billion people.
India’s numerous citizens make the country the second-most populous nation after China. With a growth rate of 1.09%, it is projected that the Indians would overtake the Chinese citizens by 2024.
While India is a relatively large country, it only corresponds to 2.4% of the earth’s surface. With that being said, it plays home to more than 17% of the world’s inhabitants.
More than 63% of the country belong to the 15-59 age demographic. A little under 27% are aged 0-14 years old. The elderly – aged 60 and above – make for 10% of the Indian population.
2. It is one of the largest countries in the world.
India is the seventh-biggest nation on the planet. It lands and waters amount cover roughly 3.9 million square miles. This makes India the largest country in South Asia, and the third-largest territory in Asia, a fun India fact.
3. India was formerly known as Barat and Hindustan.
India’s present name was derived from the same-named Latin word. In ancient times, India pertained to a country in South Asia and its territories in the east. This was said to be obtained from the Indus River, the banks of which became the site for early Indian civilization.
Formerly, India was known as Bharat. The name may have been inspired by any two of the famous Bharata characters, one of which is the character in the epic Mahabharata, and the other one being a Jain emperor.
The Middle Easterners also previously called the country Hindustan. In the early days, Hindustan referred to India and some nearby areas of Pakistan.
4. It was part of the British Empire.
India’s colonization started with the British East India Company occupying the coast of Bengal. Its access to the region’s riches allowed it to occupy the whole of India by the 1820s.
Under the leadership of Lord Dalhousie, technological advancements such as railways and the telegraph were introduced to the colony. Although this helped in the country’s development, a lot were unhappy with company rule. Such brought about the Indian Rebellion of 1857, however, the insurgents were subdued the following year. An interesting fact about India is that this insurrection eventually led to Britain itself directly governing India.
After World War I, the Indians suffered from the repressive legislation practices of the British. This sparked a nonviolent movement, led by the iconic Mahatma Gandhi. Granted that India and Pakistan separations were a big setback, the country eventually received its independence in January 1950.
5. India’s latest GDP is $2.94 trillion.
The service industry accounts for 60% of India’s GDP. Apart from this, the middle-class sector, high saving rates, and little dependence on exports helped India generate the 5th largest GDP in the world.
Its GDP is poised to rise even more, with its growth rate of 7.5% and counting. Although its high number of people has lowered the GDP per capita to $2,170, India is still seen as one of the world’s fastest-rising economies.
6. It is home to a wide array of species.
India is a megadiverse country that plays home to some of the world’s animal and plant species. Its diversity can be attributed to its forests that cover more than 270,000 square miles – about 21% of the country’s total landmass.
More than 13% of the world’s birds can be seen in the exotic subcontinent. An interesting fact about India is that you can also find 12.2% of fish species, 8.6% of mammals, 7.9% reptiles, and 6% of Amphibians and flowering species in the different regions.
Its indigenous plants include the Indian lilac, popularly known as the neem tree, and the sacred fig, also known as the bodhi tree.
7. India is the birthplace of the Vedas.
The Vedas, or the oldest Hindu scriptures in the world, were said to be written during the Iron Age. It is believed to be penned by Brahma, the creator god. As such, devout Hindus believe the Vedas to be apauruṣeya – authorless, borne of superhuman beginnings.
The Vedas make use of the Vedic Sanskrit language and are considered to be some of the oldest forms of Sanskrit literature, a fun India fact. Historians believe that these scriptures were records of what sages encountered after deep meditation.
There are four kinds of Vedas, namely: the Rigveda, which contains hymns; the Yajurveda, which has worship rituals; the Samaveda, which has chants and melodies; and the Atharvaveda, which bears the manuals for daily life.
8. It is home to the beautiful Taj Mahal.
The imposing ivory white structure along the Yamuna river bank is known to many as the Taj Mahal. Commissioned by the Emperor Shah Jahan in 1652, it was initially constructed to serve as the final resting place of Mumtaz Mahal, his favorite wife. It was eventually completed in 1643 and thus became the mausoleum to the emperor himself.
The 42-acre UNESCO World Heritage Site has a mosque and a guesthouse, with the tombs being the centerpiece of it all. When it was built in the mid-16th century, the emperor shelled an estimated 32 million rupees (which is $287 million today) to complete its construction.
9. The Indian military is the second largest in the world.
With military personnel reaching up to 1.45 million, India is again second to China when it comes to uniformed personnel, an interesting India fact. It has a high number of reserve military members at 1.15 million, with paramilitary staff clocking at 2.52 million.
Its officers serve any of the four major branches, namely the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard.
In 2018, the budget for the Indian Military was a whopping $53 billion. Apart from artillery purchase, much of the expenditures go to border defense with the Pakistanis. Some are devoted to the safeguarding of the Indian Ocean against Chinese presence.
A big country with a high GDP and an even higher population – these are just some of the few things that describe the exotic subcontinent that is India. With its high rate of economic growth, India is most likely to be the second-largest world market by the year 2030.
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