Founded by the famous Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, India is popularly known as the ‘Land of Spices’. Indian spices are well-known for their aroma, taste and flavour in domestic and international markets. The word India is derived from another word, Indus. Indus derived from an Old Persian word Hindu.
Not only this, India is fondly remembered as the land of discoveries and inventions. Some of the inventions are:
Rulers: Made of ivory, Rulers were first used by the Indus Valley Civilization prior to 1500 BCE. Slowly the weights and measures discovered in India reached Persia and Central Asia.
Zero: Indians were the first to use zero to perform arithmetic operations. Later in 500 AD, Aryabhata gave zero a new symbol.
Plastic surgery: Plastic surgery was carried out in India around 2000 BCE. An ancient Indian physician, Sushruta made significant contributions in the field of plastic and cataract surgery.
Cotton cultivation: Indians started cultivating cotton during the 5th – 4th millennium BCE in the Indus Valley Civilization. Eventually, other countries also started using cotton textiles.
All the different states in India have an extraordinary history and varied culture. Let us have a look at the top cities of India:
Varanasi: Varanasi is known as the oldest living city in the world. This city is considered holy and is known to be almost 3000 years old. The city is also known for its highest number of river banks in the world. This place is the largest seller of banarsi silk and muslin cloth. Thousands of tourists from all over the world visit the beautiful city each year to attain salvation. As per legends, Ayurveda and Yoga are said to have originated in this holy land. This is the only city where frogs are married to each other to please the Rain God. Varanasi also houses the largest university in Asia known as Banaras Hindu University.
Delhi: Known as Indraprastha in the Mahabharata Era, Delhi got its name from a king of Mauryan Dynasty, Raja Dhilu or Dilu. Out of the original 14 gates, 5 gates namely, the Lahori Gate that is facing Lahore in Pakistan, Ajmeri Gate that is facing Ajmer in Rajasthan, Kashmiri Gate that is pointing North to Kashmir, Delhi Gate and Turkman Gate are still functional. Delhi’s Lotus temple is well-known for its architectural design and ambience. The awe-inspiring Akshardham temple has distinguished the display of moral historic stories. Delhi is a paradise for shopaholics and foodies. Do not leave this city without tasting the scrumptious Dilli ki Chaat.
Rajasthan: Rajasthan can be called the rainbow state of India. Its capital Jaipur is called as the Pink city, Jaisalmer is known as the Golden city, Udaipur is India’s White city and Jodhpur is India’s Blue city. Recognized by UNESCO, the World’s Largest Sundial, Jantar Mantar is located in Jaipur. The 3600 ft. tall and 38km long Kumbhalgarh Fort in Rajasthan is second largest wall after The Great Wall of China. Located in the heart of Ajmer is the famous Dargah Sharif or Ajmer Sharif shrine. The sanctified shrine is visited by Muslims and Hindus from all over the world. Rajasthan is famous for its historical hill forts, palaces, Thar Desert, Ranthambore National Park and vibrant culture. Treat yourself by binging on tasty Dal Bati Churma and Laal Maas in Rajasthan.
Goa: The smallest state in India (in terms of area), Goa, is famous for its parties, casinos and beaches. When in Goa, one must buy Feni and Cashew nuts. Goan cuisine is full of local spices and flavours. The mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier at Basilica of Bom Jesus in old Goa are said to be 400 years old. Asia’s first printing press was set in St. Paul’s College in Goa in 1956. Caravela, in Panaji, is Asia’s only floating casino. After Orissa, Goa is also the home to world famous Olive Ridley turtles that flock to lay their eggs on the beaches.
Kerala: Known as the ‘Spice Coast of India’, Ancient Kerala had been a host to travellers from various part of the world including Greeks, Arabs, Romans, French, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch, and the British. In January 2016, Kerala was declared the first state to achieve the highest literacy rate. Kerala is the Land of the Ayurveda. Treatments like ‘Uzhichil’ and ‘Pizhichil’ are commonly used in Kerala to treat chronic diseases and for beauty massages. Kerala is known for the World’s oldest Teak plantation. The World’s only teak museum is situated in Nilambur. Handloom, coir, cashews and bamboo-based industries can be found in abundance in Kerala. Don’t leave this beautiful city without trying spicy south Indian dishes like Puttu and kadala curry, Sadhya and sea-food including fish, prawns, mussels, and crabs because of the state’s long coastline.