Puntalk

Five facts about India you probably don’t know

India is our country and we love our country for sure, but do we know our country? We might probably know much about its current geography, its recent history and about the different customs, traditions and cultures flourishing here, but there is much more about India which probably you might not know. For instance, did you know that India got its name from the river Indus? Well if you already knew that, here are some facts which you might not know:

1. Formation of the Indian Sub continent

indian-and-eurasian-platesSome 100 million years ago, a triangular piece of land broke off from Africa and began to flow eastward. This journey took 40 million years after which this huge chunk of land was attached to the Asian land mass. The impact of the joining of these land masses caused an upheaval in the tectonic plates which in several million years gave birth to the one of the greatest mountain ranges of the world- The Himalayas. A triangular portion of land at the bottom remained surrounded by water from three sides, which is called the Indian peninsula. Thus, the land separated from Asia by the Himalayas and surrounded by water from three sides became our Indian subcontinent.

2. Kashmir was once a lake  

Dal-LakeAnd it was called ‘Satisara’, which means ‘lake of Sati’. According to Hindu legends, Lord Shiva- the husband of Sati resides in the Mt. Kailash of the Himalayas and that there was a lake called ‘Satisara’ which was later drained out when Lord Vishnu took the form of a boar and struck a mountain which created an opening for the water to flow out. The city Baramulla (Varahmulah), is named after this legend where ‘Varah’ means boar and mullah mean root. However, keeping mythological legends aside, there is one thing which certain geological evidence suggest too, and it is that there indeed was indeed a vast lake which flooded the valley of Kashmir. In fact, the etymology of Kashmir itself suggests its history where ‘Ka = water’ and ‘shimeera = desiccated or dried’. So the name means a ‘dried land.’ Whether it was dried or the water was flown out, we don’t know but Kashmir was the vast lake.

3. The Indo-Gangetic plain was uninhabitable

Indo-Gangetic_PlainThe lifeline of the Indian economy, and the most fertile region, the Indo-Gangetic plain was once so marshy that it was uninhabitable. The region which is just 18 percent of the total land mass of the country became suitable for human habitation only six thousand years ago. It is now one of the world’s largest, deepest and most fertile stretches of alluvium in the world and also has been the theatre of most of the historic actions of the country. But all that it is now, it took millions of years for this region to fill up and dry out become the fertile.

4. There were no humans

Jungle-scene-BelumToday the second most populous country in the world, it is hard to imagine that there was a time when there were no humans in this land. Though many living species of plant and animals were carried along with the land mass when it broke off from Africa, humans migrated in this country much later. India has been the habitat of migrants since eons. In fact, there was never a native race purely belonging to India. We know that evolution of man took place in Africa where probably he also learned to use fire and make stone-tools. These clever men started migrating for ‘greener pastures’. However, he was still not present in India. It is assumed that it was only in the Glacial Periods, when the oceans froze and much of the Europe and Asia was covered with ice, that the primitive man came here as the Himalayas were protected it from cold. The man then settled in the peninsular India.

5. There is no pure race

LA_IndiaRain06-1India has witnessed many communal conflicts throughout the history. It is still struggling with communal problems, and much of these communal differences are caste with political motives. But sadly for those who propagate or believe in racial supremacy or any such hate theories, the facts are rather surprising for them. India doesn’t have any pure race. Actually if we collect DNA samples from every caste, religion, and race in India we will find that we all are genetically interlinked. The only pure racial types in India are some tribes living in deep jungles and the island of Andaman.

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