For more than 6,000 years, Indian civilizations have flourished and have been one of the richest countries in the world. An ancient country with rich history, rich heritage, advanced culture, advanced ancient techniques and scientifically well-off. The contributions by India to the world is surprising and unbelievable.
Interesting Facts about Ancient India
The first Indian coins were minted in the 6th-century BCE by the Mahajanapadas which was ‘The Oligarchic Republics of Ancient India’. The origin of the word ‘Rupee’ is from the Sanskrit word ‘Rupya’ which means shaped coins.
Takshashila is said to be the first university in the world; it started around 700 BC. More than 10,500 students from all over the world studied more than 60 subjects.
Varanasi, also known as Benaras is one of the oldest, continuously inhabited cities in the world. It was called “the Ancient City” when Lord Buddha visited around 500 BC.
Bhaskaracharya, the great astronomer, and mathematician of ancient India was the first person to calculate the time taken by the earth to orbit the sun. He is also the first person to define Gravity 1200 years before Newton.
Acharya Aryabhatt was the first person to calculate the motion of planets and time of eclipses, and also the person who proclaimed that earth is round that rotates on its axis and orbits the sun. This was 1000 years before Copernicus published the heliocentric theory.
Here are some of the most interesting facts about ancient India
- The English word ‘God’ has no translation in most Indian languages. Or probably is a confusing mix of the terms as used in India. In India (northern) we talk about ‘Deva (देव)’, ‘Bhagwan (भगवान्)’ and ‘Eeshwar (ईश्वर)’ and none are the translation of God
- The system of dividing a day into 24 Hour (Hora in German) originates from ‘Hora’ (होरा) of Jyotish (celestial calculation part of Astrology/astronomy in English is the closest match to ‘Jyotish’, for those who do not understand word ‘Jyotish’)
- Mahabharata describes a catastrophic event caused by Ocean, right after the death of Krishna, over 5000 years ago. Eventually, all old cultures in the world have mention of such event 3000–5000 years ago, but no one realizes that all are talking about the single event.
- Vaimanik Shashtra (वैमानिक शास्त्र, the old Indian book of aviation) mentions about methods to view and listen to what’s going on other planes. It also mentions planes that can leave a planet, material to be used for such planes, diet plan for passengers, fuel type and positioning of the pilot cabin in such planes.
- The known oldest reference to the making of artificial ice goes back to the 7th century where king ‘Harshvardhan (हर्षवर्धन)’ made ice to treat his daughter’s high fever.
This is the largest empire in the History of India
The Mauryan Empire was the largest empire in India, ruled by the Maurya Dynasty from 322–185 BCE. Chandragupta Maurya founded the empire and his grandson, Ashoka occupied an area of approximately 5,000,000 square kilometers.
That time Vasco da Gama had the biggest ship available in Europe. Then he met a Gujarati named Kanha, he was a trader who had ship 12 times the ship of Vasco da Gama. The story is mentioned in Vasco da Gama’s own journal, which is in Lisbon today.
The practice of surgery has been recorded in India since ancient times of 800 B.C. Specifically, these advances were in the areas of plastic surgery, extraction of cataracts, dental surgery, etc. Sushruta was one of the first to study human anatomy and in the Shusruta Samahita, he has described the study of anatomy in detail, with the aid of a dead body. The oldest treatise dealing with surgery is the Sushruta-Samhita (Sushruta’s compendium).
The art of Navigation was developed in India almost 6,000 years back. The first known art of navigation was developed in the River Indus by the Indus Valley Civilization people. In fact, the word ‘navigation’ is a derivation of the Sanskrit word, ‘Navgatih’. The Harappan civilization knew how to navigate in water, hence, there are many evidences that the Indus Valley Civilization had a big trading tie with the ancient Egyptian civilizations with the Sumerians acting as intermediaries. Rig Veda makes several references to ships used to cross the ‘Samudra’ or ocean.
India was world-master in metallurgy and the people of Indus Valley Civilization knew the process of zinc extraction by distillation from zinc ore as early as 10th century BC. India could remove zinc from zinc-core for 4 thousand years. They knew ways to extract zinc using the distillation process. The production of this interesting metal led to the innovation of utensils. Zinc mines were existent and active at Zawar, Rajasthan going back to 6th Century BC. This is evidence that the people of India knew zinc from very early on. For 4 thousand years, Indians were successful in keeping the secrete over here. All the World’s Zinc was made only by India and nobody else made it. However, it is believed that eventually one Chinese person stole it and later another British person stole it from Chinese.