9 Curiosities about the History of India that even the most Educated can Ignore

India, a country full of tradition, religion and spirituality, also has hundreds of peculiarities and curious customs that are quite unheard of for most Western travelers.

Let’s embark together on a journey into the past, where you will witness some of the fascinating episodes in the history of the Asian country. 

Did you know that people have practiced advanced surgery in India since ancient times?

If you think that plastic surgery is a modern convenience, you are in for a big surprise. Indians have been practicing it for more than 2,500 years, specifically since the 6th century B.C. At that time, an outstanding physician named Sushruta was living there. He is one of the fathers of surgery for a good reason: his book “Sushruta Samhita” is a real gem covering over 1100 diseases, all kinds of medicinal plants, and dozens of surgical procedures. But what is probably the most fantastic thing about the book is that he described the surgical reconstruction of the nose that we practice today.

They mark children’s faces

It is common to see Indian babies and children with drawings on their faces and eyes painted black. This tradition is intended to protect them from the evil eye and evil spirits, making them lose their perfection and innocence and stop attracting evil spirits.

The first civilizations as we know them today were born there

Civilized urban life as we know it emerged 5,000 years ago in India. 

 Of course, they didn’t have Wi-Fi, but the Indus Valley Culture was one of the most advanced in the ancient world. 

The Encyclopedia of Ancient History explains that by 2600 B.C., dozens of developed towns and cities belonged to that civilization. Houses had baths and wells, and each town had a drainage system. Social conditions were also better than those of other civilizations of the time. In addition, they had a mysterious writing system yet to be deciphered by scientists. 

In ancient India women were highly respected

Between 1500 and 500 BC, Indian society was probably the most egalitarian in the known world. 

Although patriarchal, women were highly respected, could become sages and seers, received an education equal to men, and enjoyed full rights. Even political debates were rarely held without women giving speeches. Moreover, the men who heard them were considered wise. Nor were there arranged marriages, which is a later invention.

They invented one of the most important numbers

We would be in trouble without this number, even though it means nothing. It means nothing because we are talking about the number zero. The ancient Indians came up with zero and the rules for its use around the 7th century A.D. Before that, the idea of “nothing” had not even been treated as a number. It was nothing more than a space between the “real” numbers.

We owe them our clean hair

Has it ever occurred to you that the word “shampoo” might come from an Asian word? The word “shampoo” derives from the Hindi word “champo”, which means “to massage” or “to knead.” The first mention of this “head massage” was made by the Greek historian Strabo in the 4th century B.C. However, only for Indians was it familiar to shampoo the head: they massaged it with various herbs and extracts and then rinsed it to keep the hair clean. The practice of shampooing did not reach Europe until a thousand years later, in the early 19th century.

Indians gave us a genius in mathematics and astrology

In ancient India, mathematics and astronomy were two major disciplines from 1,500 B.C., and arguably one of India’s most remarkable minds lived in the 5th century A.D., wrote a treatise on astronomy that became the basis for many later studies. Although he believed that the sun and moon revolved around the Earth, Aryabhata presented many ideas in his work that are still in use today. For example, he found the value of 3.14 for the number Pi, and explained that the moon and planets shine due to sunlight reflecting off them.

India is a board games Guru

The great-great-grandfather of chess was invented in India. It was called “Chaturanga” and appeared around the 6th century A.D. No one knows the exact rules of the game, but judging by its appearance, we can assume that it had a lot in common with chess, even with the Japanese game “Shōgi”. 

About other board game, called “Snakes and Ladders”, we don’t know where and when it first appeared, but most say it comes from the 13th-century Indian game called “Mokshapat”. The idea was to teach children about vice, in the form of snakes, and virtue, ladders.

Indians have always been into gaming. Also, gambling in India has been a favorite pastime for centuries. But regulation of Indian gambling varies from state to state. In other words, Indian states can formulate their customized gambling laws.

But if you’re looking to play at an online casino in India, go ahead because no law prohibits online gambling in any of its states: The Public Gaming Act of 1867 is too old to cover online gambling activities.

Many specialized websites help you with online sports betting by providing a list of the best online bookmakers so that you can bet on the sports you love with no issues.

So, if, for example, you are in India and you wonder how to bet on cricket games, on these kinds of websites, many experts will give you their exclusive tips and strategies on how to win. 

Did you know it was an island before being part of the Asian continent? 

In the age of the dinosaurs, more than 100 million years ago, India was an island. It had broken off from a super continent and traveled slowly but steadily northward, arriving at its present location some 50 million years later. Then, the giant Indian island collided with Asia in a colossal continental slam. The impact was so strong that the Himalayas formed almost instantly. 

India, now a subcontinent, continues to push northward, causing Everest to grow larger slowly.

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.