10 Interesting Facts About Ancient India

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Ancient_India1. The Game of Chess

India is the birthplace of the many popular and modern games and one of them is chess. Some historians claim that it began in China. The Indians could have adopted the use of the Chinese board game named “Go” but they actually developed the game of chess from this Chinese board game as basis only.

The Indians started playing chess as early as 600 A.D.. As it gained popularity, it it began to spread to the Islamic Empire and to Europe until it evolved into what it is today anywhere in the world.

2.Evolution of Buddhism

India is also where a major world religion was born, developed and evolved. Buddhism was practiced as early as 500 B.C. by a prince named Siddhartha Gautama also known as “Buddha”.  But surprisingly, even though it is where Buddhism evolved there is less than 1% of India’s population is Buddhist today.

3. The Yoga Exercise

Yoga likewise originated from India about 5000 years ago. It is good exercise to improve physical and mental health through correct posture and breathing. It also relieves stress and decreases blood pressure. According to studies, this exercise can also decrease body weight and also high blood sugar levels.

4. The World’s First Granite Temple

This is the Brihadeswara Temple located in Tanjavur, Tamil Nadu at. It took 5 long years (1004 A.D. to 1009 A.D.)  to build this temple. The shikhara or the structure above it is made up of a huge single piece of granite that weighs 80 tons.

 5. Snake & Ladders

A board game was also created in the 13th Century originally in India. The goal of this game is to reach the top through the use of dices and shells. Another name for this is the “Game of Chance” because it tests one’s luck. The ladder represents virtues and the snake represents vices. Nowadays, this game has lost its true meaning and has become only a child’s game.

6.The Value of Pi

Long before the arrival of European mathematicians, the value of Pi or x was first conceived by an Indian mathematician named Budhayana in the 6th century. He also established the Pythagorean Theorem. Both the π and the Pythagorean Theorem are widely used in the field of mathematics.

7. 365.25 Days a Year

Hundreds of years before the arrival of astronomers, the smart Bhaskaracharya from India, calculated the number of days it takes the earth to orbit the sun, which is approximately 365.25 days.

8. The World’s First University

The world’s first university was built and can be found at Takshila, India. It was constructed in 700B.C. It captured the attention of more than 10,500 students from all over the world and enrolled in 60 different subjects in this university.

9. Largest Religious Pilgrimage

Estimated to have been built in the 11th century the Vishnu Temple in Tirupathi, India is the world’s largest religious pilgrimage. It is even larger than the Muslim’s Mecca and the Roman Catholic’s Vatican. An average of 30,000 visitors daily donates up to $6 million (US). Lots of sculptures and symbols are placed in the side of this temple.

10. Contributions to Mathematics

Mathematics has its roots in India and recorded as such in the Vedic literature 4000 years ago. Indians invented the number system. The number Zero is from Aryabhatta. Algebra, Calculus, Trigonometry, the concept of square root and cube root, the technique of calculation called Algorithm and Astronomical calculations all of them all originated from India.

These are only among the many contributions of ancient India to the modern world.   

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