India is an amazing country that is a melting pot of diverse of cultures, traditions, customs, languages and religions. The name INDIA owes its origin to the River Sindhu popularly known as Indus. The country also goes by the ancient name of BHARAT after the famous emperor who ruled the Indian subcontinent.
The world’s largest democracy India is the 6th largest country and one of the most ancient civilizations that once covered the present day Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Turkmenistan, North-west Tibet, Nepal and Bangladesh.
India has made numerous path-breaking contributions in various fields. The numerical system popularly known as Arabic was actually invented in India. Aryabhatta the great mathematician-astronomers from India invented the digit zero. Algebra, Trigonometry and Calculus find its origin in India. Bhaskaracharya made a significant contribution to mathematical and astronomical knowledge in the 12th century. His work on calculus predates Newton and Leibniz by over half a millennium. The country has also made significant contribution in the field of medicine and astronomy. Knowledge of medicine and dentistry was known to India since circa 3300 BCE, Sushruta (circa 900 CE) who is also known as "Father of Surgery".
India’s contribution also extends to the field of language, education, culture and arts. Sanskrit is considered as the mother of all higher languages. According to Forbes magazine in 1987, Sanskrit is the most suitable and precise language for programming.
Takshashila is the world’s first known university where not only Indians but also students from as far as Babylonia, Greece, Syria, Arabia, Phoenicia and China came to study. Nalanda the ancient university town of India dates back to the Sixth Century B.C.
An Engineering marvel, Brihadeswara temple at Tanjavur, Tamil Nadu is the World's first granite temple. The shikhara or dome of this temple is made from a single '80-tonne' piece of granite and does not cast its shadow anywhere in the ground. There are numerous such examples across the country like the Konark Sun temple etc.
India is the home to games like chess and snakes & ladders. Chess is believed to have originated in India during the Gupta empire in the 6th century and was known as Chaturaṅga . The game Snakes and ladders known as 'Mokshapat' was devised by the 13th century saint Gnyandev.
The modern day India is far cry from its ancient glorious past. Considered to be one of the richest countries in the world most of its treasures were plundered by successive foreign rulers over centuries.
In the past several decades there has been tremendous advancement in the field of Science and Technology in India. It is one of the few nations with nuclear capabilities. India has developed and deployed several of its own satellites for education and research. This year (2014) India successfully launched its mission to Mars; the first Asian country to do so. Today India is considered to be an emerging superpower of the world.