5 Interesting Facts About India Tourists Should Know Before Visiting
I first visited India as a broke backpacker in 2007. I’ve been back 4 times since. India has always been a fascinating country to visit. Mysterious and full of contradictions. It has been the protagonist in so many great stories and legends. There are so many curiosities and interesting facts about India that we can marvel at, but let’s choose the top 5 first.
Those who go to India for the first time never know what they’ve got themselves in for! They say that you can never truly be ready to visit. You can expect Indians to befriend you, to welcome you, and some to scam you! All the while chaos reigns supreme. But there are also many things which make India worth your while. And all of it will create a particular blend that gives India a special place in your heart. It’s an assault on the senses (Holi festival in India in particular!), but it’s a place you’ll never forget.
Here we will share five interesting facts about India that every tourist should know before visiting:
Time Zone: Half-hour More
The time zone in India is one of the few places that hop just 30 minutes (considering the Greenwich Meridian). During the Washington Conference, in 1884, many principles were set up. This included the birth of the meridians. India in that historical period was under the Anglo-Indian empire. Better known as the British Raj. It was in the middle of the meridian of 5 and 6 hours compared to Greenwich. The British, for their convenience, decided to introduce an extra half hour.
There were no digital clocks in the 800s. Only analogue. If we have a look at one of them right now if for example, in New Delhi is 1 pm and 5 minutes, in London it will be 7 am and 35 minutes. For the comfort of the English people, it was enough to turn the clock upside down to know the time in their country, without doing any calculations. Easy right?
Cricket: The National Sport
Cricket is certainly the most popular sport in India. Followed by practically everyone. Each important match can trigger massive enthusiasm in the crowd. You can see most of them placing a bet on their favourite team across the country. The Indian cricket team took part in all the editions of the Cricket World Cup and managed to win the trophy in the 1983 and 2011 editions.
More Than 1000 Languages
In India, people speak more than 1000 languages. In 1961, according to a census, these were precisely 1652. That is including official languages, dialects, and languages in danger of extinction. The six most spoken languages are Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, and Urdu. These are used by more than 50 million people (each!). Each region has its official language. And then of course we have English, the official language of the central government along with Hindi.
One Of The Seven Wonders Of The World
The Taj Mahal was built between 1632 and 1648. A mausoleum commissioned for the wife of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Considered the perfect specimen of Muslim art in India, the white marble structure represents several architectural styles, including Persian, Islamic, Turkish and Indian. The Taj Mahal also encompasses formal gardens of raised pathways, sunken flower beds and a long reflecting pool. Check out the places with the best views of the Taj Mahal here.
Their Mourning Colour Is White
Unlike the rest of the world, grief in India is represented in white. Not black. A widowed woman will continue wearing a white saree after her husband’s death. While a widowed man will wear a white turban. A valid reason for this colouring is because white has always represented peace. So when a person passes away, Indians think that he/she reaches exactly that: Absolute peace.
Final thoughts on Traveling to India?
The first time I visited India, I left via Nepal. “I.N.D.I.A. I’ll. Never. Do. It. Again”. A guy on the border said that to me. He could see how tired I was! India can beat you down. BUT it gets inside you. Under your skin. I thought I wouldn’t be back, but I’ve been back 5 times. It’s beautiful and filthy. Warm but frustrating. Easy to travel, but oh so big. It’s a country of contrasts. But you can’t say you’ve travelled until you’ve see India. A wonderful country. I’ll be back again.
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