India is a faraway land that has grabbed many of us, and there are plenty of unique things you’ll only find in the country.
Have you ever wondered why India earned its name? It turns out that it was all thanks to the River Indus. People first settled in the valley around the longest river in Asia before it grew to become the vast nation we know today. This means the civilization is thought to be the largest continuous civilization to have survived all these years.
It turns out India is also the largest English-speaking language in the world as well as being the largest milk-producer on the planet. It seems as though India has more to it than many of us have ever realized. The best bit? There are also plenty of things that you can only see in India. Yes, this wonderland is filled with weird and wonderful sights that might have you wondering why you’re yet to cross it off your bucket list.
Bridges made from roots
Living root bridges were once a vital part of communities. Many areas of India prone to flooding, meaning people had to find a way to make bridges that would withstand the falling rain and unforgiving currents of water.
That’s where living bridges were born. However, they didn’t form overnight. Two trees were planted on either side of the gorge and left to grow. As they continued to expand, people would link their roots together with temporary bamboo scaffolding until the roots started to grow along and form as one mass.
They might have taken up to 30 years to develop fully, but some of these impressive bridges now stretch up to 250 feet long and can take up to 35 people at once. The continual foot traffic has helped to pack down the soil and make them even more sturdy.
Magnetic Hill of Ladakh
Magnetic Hill, also known as Cyclops Hill, is a place that has blown many people’s minds over the years. People park their cars at the bottom of the hill, take their foot off the brake, and watch in wonder as their vehicle seems to start driving up the hill all on its own.
There have been many tales of Magnetic Hill over the years. Locals say that it’s the road to heaven, and only people who are worthy enough can make it to the top while others never reach the summit.
Scientists believe that there is a strong magnetic field in the hill that is pulling cars towards the center. There is also a third theory that states it’s an optical illusion, and the cars look as though they are traveling up the hill when they are really going downhill.
Some of us long for our dream sports car. Others daydream about the day we have a muscle car waiting for us on our drive. So what about when you’re in India, and you need a new way to get around? It won’t be long before camels are featuring in showrooms across the world.
After all, you just need a little camel food and somewhere to keep them warm and dry at night, and you have an all-terrain vehicle that has been designed by Mother Nature herself. Could it get any better?
We’re starting to wonder why we have never thought of this ourselves. As if that wasn’t enough already, it looks like these people are using their camel to collect gas. We thought that having camel transport was supposed to save on gas money?
Some storylines have had us on the edge of our seats. What would happen when Ross said “Rachel” at his wedding to Emily? Would Buffy ever come back to life? What happened when Jesse pulled the trigger?
Sometimes, we have to wait months if not years to find out the answer while other times we never get to learn what really happened after all. It looks as though people across India had to wait to see what would ever happen with the spoon.
Roli has been holding onto it, but now it’s dropped and on show for the world to see. Will Jhanvi spot it in time? These aren’t the questions we thought we would be asking ourselves, but all of a sudden, we really do want to know what happened to the spoon after all.
Also known as the largest gathering of people on the planet, Kumbh Mela is unlike anything most of us have ever seen. The gathering only takes place once every 12 years and can see up to 30 million people arrive each day.
However, the festival runs for a month, meaning up to 120 million people could come to take part. The land surrounding Sagnam turns into a sea of tents as people camp out before they bathe in the Yamuna, Ganges, and the mythical Saraswati rivers.
Here, Hindus believe they can wash away their sins as well as attaining moksha. This means they are set free from the cycle of birth and passing. The dates of Kumbh Mela are determined by astrology, and the crowds get so large that the festival can be seen from space.
Many small towns across the nation have a secret or two beneath the surface. However, Kerala might just take the cake. This is home to the Padmanabhaswamy Temple. It was built back in 500 CE and has stood ever since.
Many kings have added to the structure over the years. Padmanabhaswamy Temple represents some of the most important figures in Hindu belief, and many believe the Royal Family of the time were descendants of the gods.
It wasn’t until a committee started looking into the stock within the temple, they learned there were six huge, hidden cells inside. Every one other than vault B was opened where people learned there were billions of dollars worth of gems and diamonds. It’s thought the sealed vault could be linked to God Padmanabhaswamy.
A huge film industry
Would you believe that Bollywood produces more films every year than any other area of the world? That’s more than Hollywood and Nollywood as Bollywood averagely releases more than 1,000 movies a year.
Some of the productions have been known to rake in millions of dollars, while actors and actresses are prominent figures across the nation. However, they have also set plenty of benchmarks along the way.
The movie ‘Karma’ featured Devika Rani and her real-life husband locking lips for four minutes, which is still the longest kiss in Bollywood history. Would you believe that many people in India don’t even watch the movies? The figures show that Bollywood productions should be able to reach up to 300 million viewers. In reality, they only get to around 45 million instead.
Unique ways to cool down
Have you ever had one of those days where you’re so hot that you would do just about anything to cool down? It might be time to take a leaf out of this group’s book as they seem to have the right idea when it comes to battling the heat.
Air conditioning units can be expensive and noisy. Plus, when you have to spend so much of your time outside, they can feel a little bit useless. Humans changed the world when they invented fire. Now, the time has come for ice to take the lead instead.
There’s nothing quite like gathering around the ice block and sharing stories or singing ice block tunes. It might not be the same as roasting s’mores, but it sure is one way to beat the Indian heat.
Did you know that traffic jams in India could cost major cities up to $22 billion a year? Driving here makes a trip across Los Angeles in rush hour seem like a walk in the park. As if that wasn’t enough, more than 14,000 miles are four to six lanes wide, meaning the entire road is usually wall to wall with traffic.
It might not be such a surprise that there are very few rules when it comes to driving in India. The larger the vehicle, the more priority you have on the road. Trucks and busses regularly roar up to junctions and don’t stop at give ways.
Plus, it’s common to see entire families all traveling on one motorbike. Driving here is about convenience rather than sticking to the rules
Have you ever wondered where cosmetic surgery came from? It turns out that it might not be the modern invention that many of us believe. In fact, it’s been used in India for thousands of years. One of the earliest text examples of someone using cosmetic surgery is found in the Sushruta Samhita that is dated from the 6th century BCE.
The surgeon from the time wrote about performing a rhinoplasty on someone. However, the technique wasn’t quite the same as the one used today.
They used a leaf to measure out the amount of skin they needed for the nose before using the same leaf to determine how much to take from someone’s cheek. They also used plant tubes to get the right shape of the nose. Thankfully, things have come a long way over the years.
A diverse culture
Hinduism is the leading religion across India as it’s believed that more than 80% of people across the nation practice the faith. The Rig Vida, an ancient book, is thought to be the oldest in the world as it dates back to 1500 BCE.
This means that it’s likely Hinduism is the oldest religion on the planet. It has now grown to become the third-largest religion across the world. Hindu beliefs state there is an eternal energy that lives in everyone and can take the form of many gods.
In fact, some people say there are up to 330 million gods in the religion. While many of us think of time as a straight line, Hindu teachings say that time is circular instead. That means that life is never-ending, so when one life ends, another begins.
A street dentist
Street dentists were once found all across India. Although their numbers are declining, many still use this profession as a way to help others and pay the bills. Street dentists can often offer up work – including surgery – at rock-bottom prices compared to dentists using a clinic.
Believe it or not, but street dentistry was made illegal back in the 1940s. That didn’t stop people from still heading to these professionals, and the career has continued to thrive. Sadly, there is a small price to pay when using a street dentist.
There are no hygiene rules to follow, such as wearing gloves, washing hands, or even sterilizing tools. Plus, extractions are performed without anesthetic. Thankfully, these street dentists say they do buy new teeth from big brands and that everything they use is the real deal.
If you want to head to Kottayam, then good luck. It looks as though you’ll need it. Trying to get to some cities in India seems to be as easy as navigating your way through Wonderland with arrows telling you to head every way other than up.
All we want to know is how to get to Kottayam. Is that really too much to ask? As if driving across India wasn’t confusing and terrifying enough already, we now have to worry about trying to find our way somewhere in the first place.
Many people seem to think their cars run on the horn rather than gas, so if you find yourself sat staring at any of these road signs, the chances are you will have a chorus of horns behind you all willing you to move forward.
Skeleton Lake of Roopkund
Skeleton Lake earned its name for a good reason: researchers found the remains of hundreds of people at the edge of the water. That’s only the beginning. The lake is located in the Himalayas, where scientists learned that people have passed away in the area over the course of 1,000 years.
It was once thought that everyone lost their lives in the lake at the same time in the 9th century, but further tests showed they were all from different time periods. Although the lake is in India, it seems as though the remains might have come from the Mediterranean instead.
Researchers have never been able to figure out why people came to the lake in the first place. All they do know is that some people lost their lives thanks to blows to the back of the head.
As soon as the harvest season comes to an end, people in the state of Kerala in India have something to look forward to: bull surfing. People come together to celebrate the harvest before they head to the rice fields to have some fun.
Here, bulls run around a flooded rice field that’s around the size of a soccer pitch while people chase them down and grab onto their tails or harnesses. Some people start by holding the rope, but only the bravest of competitors make it all the way onto the bulls.
It’s almost like a kind of chariot racing, only this is through a field of mud and has a lack of chariots. This is a fantastic way for people to come together and celebrate the season before winter settles in.
If you’ve ever seen an Indian wedding, then the chances are you’ve spotted the bride wearing her solah shringar. These are 16 steps that brides-to-be to take to adorn themselves with jewels and trinkets on the morning of their big day.
This is a special moment for many families as they all help the bride to get ready. It traditionally starts with washing the hair in oil before drying it off and twisting it into an intricate braid with flowers or accessories.
Women then follow all sixteen steps before they are ready for their big day. However, some women also enjoy adorning solah shringar for important ceremonies or festivals, too. The practice is to help women resemble Goddess Lakshmi, who is believed to be the goddess of beauty, fertility, and prosperity.
While many of us are used to seeing traffic cops at the edge of the road, it’s not every day that you see a dog trying to keep on top of it all, right? Noida Traffic Police are in charge of vehicles across India, and their new recruit looks ready and raring to go.
It turns out that dogs are a huge part of law enforcement in India. The nation has recently upped the number of sniffer dogs at its disposal to try and get a grip on the illegal fur and tusk trade.
We’re not quite sure if this little one has the qualifications they need to be in charge of the traffic, but we’re sure they keep everyone in line. After all, most of us would slow down to take a look at their puppy dog eyes.
Some delivery drivers like to play a game of ding-dong-ditch as they launch our parcels over the fence or leave them in the middle of the porch where anyone could steal our things. Others don’t even stop to hand us our things. So what about when you need something in India?
Have no fear; super delivery man and his trusty sidekick are there to make sure everyone gets their things. We sure hope those bottles are empty or that could be one heavy cart.
However, it looks as though this man and his steed have had plenty of practice at balancing all those containers over the years. You might just have to be careful not to hit a bump in the road if you want things to stay stacked that high.
Glow in the dark cows
If you’re brave enough to drive in India, then be sure to look out for any stray animals that might wander in front of your vehicle. The nation has an issue with stray cows who wander through cities as they please.
Thankfully, local law enforcement officers have come up with the perfect way to keep them safe. The answer? They have started to attach glow in the dark rings to their horns so that people can see the cows easier when it’s dark. That’s not all.
Police want farmers to invest in the rings to keep their pet cows safe from traffic. Although it has worked so far, the police have noticed the rings only seem to last a few weeks. Now, they are looking for permanent glow in the dark paint instead.
Unique post offices
If there’s one thing that’s grabbed many people’s attention over the years, it’s the unique post offices that are found across the nation. Dal Lake in Srinagar is home to the floating post office. It first took to the water in 2011 and has become a significant tourist attraction ever since.
The floating post office is also a museum that has a vast collection of stamps in addition to a gift shop. India has the largest postal service in the world and is home to the highest post office on the planet.
It’s found in the Himalayas, where it is one of the highest inhabited buildings. Amazingly, two postal workers walk nearly 29 miles a day to deliver mail to five villages. These villages have no internet, while one has just 13 houses and a school with five students.
Prahlad Jani is someone who has been keeping people guessing for decades. Why? He claims that he hasn’t eaten or drunk anything for almost 80 years. That’s right; Prahlad is a breatharian monk who says that the goddess Amba gives him everything that he needs.
Amba is the goddess of war who fights off evils and demons. It turns out that she might be able to fight off the need for food and water, too. Prahlad says that he went through a spiritual experience when he was just 12 years old and immediately started to follow Amba.
Now, he chooses to dress like the goddess. Since the 1970s, Prahlad has lived in a cave in the rainforest where he wakes up at 4am every day and spends most of his time meditating.
There’s modifying your car, and then there’s going to extremes to make sure your car never blends in with the crowd. We think that it’s safe to say this man has nailed his vehicle. However, we’ve been left with a few questions.
Why did he choose a stiletto and not a flip flop or a wedge? Does he still get his heel stuck in a grate every time he has to drive over one of the things? What happened to the other half of the pair?
While we may never have all the answers, we can sleep tight at night knowing that someone out there is whizzing around the city in a shoe that even Lady Gaga would be proud of. Move over the woman who lived in a shoe. It’s time for the man that drove one to take center stage.
There are many mysteries that keep us up at night. Are we alone in the universe, or is someone else out there, too? What is the meaning of life? Will we ever find what it means to be truly happy? We might never have the answers.
If there’s one thing that many of us probably haven’t thought of before, it’s a cup of tea. Sure, tea has been there for many of us over the years, but it’s just a great tasting beverage, right?
Some teas help our immune systems, while others give us an energy boost, and some are all the warmth we need on a cold winter’s day. However, we can’t help but think about what people in India have been consuming all this time. Did they have some kind of chewy tea instead?
The Great Banyan Tree
Although the Great Banyan Tree looks as though it’s a part of a forest, this is actually one tree. That’s right; it’s actually made up of 3,600 aerial roots that cover 3.5 acres, making this tree the wildest in the world. The Great Banyan Tree didn’t grow overnight.
No, it has been standing for the last 250 years where it has dominated the land. Sadly, back in the 19th century, two cyclones meant that the tree caught a fungus. This meant the 52-foot-wide trunk had to be removed, and it almost marked the end for the Great Banyan Tree.
Thankfully, it has been standing strong ever since. A road was built around the tree so that visitors could take it all in. However, the Great Banyan Tree has continued to expand and consume the road.
India is filled with animals that you won’t see in the wild anywhere else in the world. The Asiatic lion is just one of the many. There are only a few hundred that live in the wild, meaning they are an endangered species.
They live in a small forest in India that is around the size of New York City. Male lions have a lot shorter manes than those on the African lion that many of us are so used to seeing. Sadly, living alongside humans teamed with illnesses and poachers means the Asiatic lion numbers are on the decline.
Purple frogs are another animal that only lives in India. It is a pretty round frog. However, it’s the frog’s small head and long snout that makes it so unusual looking compared to other species.
Statue of Unity
There are many famous statues. However, the Statue of Unity stands higher than the rest as it’s the tallest statue on the planet. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was known as the Ironman of India as he fought for the nation’s independence and unity of the states.
This was named the Union of India and was the first time the country had become one in modern history, meaning that people could freely travel across the land. It took five years to finish the statue and is thought to have cost up to $45 million.
To put the Statue of Unity into perspective, it’s twice the size of the Statue of Liberty. Yes, it really is that big. The base of the statue alone is made from 129 tons of scrap iron that were donated from 100 million farmers across the nation.
If you feel a little claustrophobic, then it might be time to look away now. While many of us have to face delays and crowded trains on our commute, the chances are that they are nothing like the journies people in India have to tackle every day.
23 million people board trains across the nation every day. This is topped by the fact that India has the second-largest rail network across any country in the world. This is run by 1.4 million people who are all employed by Indian Railways.
Catching the train has become a massive tradition across the country. Sadly, it turns out that people don’t have time to wait for the next train. When they need to go, they grab a spot on any part of the train and head off.
Sometimes, we have to trust other people and hope they won’t take our things. The beach is the perfect example. After all, we might want to take a dip in the sea. How are we supposed to keep watch over our things?
We just have to hope that no one with sticky fingers gets their hands on it all before we run back to our towel and frantically check that everything is still there. Many of us have built up a trust system over the years.
Sadly, it looks as though someone has had to see their favorite pair of flip flops go missing one too many times. They were left with no choice but to take drastic matters to keep their shoes safe. Well played, flip flop owner. That’s thinking outside the box.
Some of us love to live life on the edge. However, we’re not sure the impending doom that an electricity cable might fall onto your head and electrify the entire street was quite what anyone meant. No worry; India offers a taste of the fast lane just in case you change your mind.
It’s common to see a spaghetti of electricity cables dangling across streets, especially in crowded cities where everyone needs power. What started as one wire has soon got out of control. Stealing electricity is common in the area, meaning blackouts are a regular occurrence.
Plus, monsoons shake things up as wires are ripped down and fall into pools of water. This really is an electrician’s nightmare if ever we have seen one. Even with all these wires, a fifth of the nation is still without electricity.
Plenty of gold
There is a rich history behind why India loves gold so much. Brides often showcase so much gold that they are weighed down by the stuff while business tycoons are decorated in gold jewelry and jewelers have plenty in stock.
So what makes it so popular? It was once illegal to import anything into the country. This meant that gold bullions had to be smuggled into the country. By 2011, India imported more gold than anywhere else on the planet and had a fifth of all the gold in the world in their hands.
Now, gold is a massive part of any celebration – from weddings to festivals and everything in between. If you want to get your hands on some impressive gold jewelry, then it might be time to head to India.