With your e-Tourist Visa in hand, you can visit the country in which a great many areas of modern life that we take for granted were originally invented or founded.
Math, ‘zero’ and the number system
Without ‘zero’ which the Hindu astronomer and mathematician, Aryabhatta, introduced in 458AD, the binary system, decimals, science, mathematics and arithmetic as we know it would be a non-entity. Talking of decimals, the decimal place-value and geometric constructive algebra saw its beginnings in India, too. Similarly, the Fibonacci patterns of numbers developed in the 1st century assisted in creating and solving complex algorithms and related functions globally.
Systematically organized education system
India’s ancient Taxila and Nalanda universities were the beginning of today’s systematic education system. “Gurukul,” or Ashram, also gave rise to boarding schools such as they are known today, where the pupils live close to the guru or teacher.
Ayurveda and Siddha are two alternative and ancient methods of treatment, still popularly used for holistic healing. Indians first identified leprosy, as well as founding many of its remedies in the Atharva Veda. The successful treatment of black fever was invented by Nobel prize nominee, Upendra Nath Bramhachari, a medical practitioner. Removing kidney stones through lithotripsy, using sound waves to diminish stones to a size more easily passed down the ureters into the bladder, was first introduced in India. The 8th-century scholar, Madhav, declared a means to immunize against smallpox. The ancient Indian physician, Sushruta, performed the first cataract surgery in the 6th century BC. His surgical works were translated into Arabic and spread throughout Europe. His procedure involved removing the cataract from the lens using a curved needle.
In 2500 BC, the India people of the Harappan civilization had water borne toilets in every house, linked with drains covered with clay bricks.
The Sport of Kings/Polo
Elephant polo was the original King of Sports, with its beginnings among the friends of Ngonda Lairen Pakhangba, who ascended the throne of Manipur in 33 AD. The foundation for modern polo was cast in India and popularized by Mughal emperor Babur in the 1400s. The Brits globalized the sport only much later.
Judo and karate
Martial Arts of this form has its roots in the Guru-Shishya tradition, present already in Ancient India. They quite possibly had their origins in the southern regions of India and were relayed through Japan, China, and Korea by Buddhist monks who would have engaged in this unarmed form of self-defense during their travels to spread the gospels of the religion.
Yoga was first developed more than 5000 years ago by the Indus-Sarasvati civilization in Northern India as a multidimensional practice incorporating meditative and spiritual elements. The reasons for the ‘art’ was to achieve harmony between the soul and the heart while pursuing divine enlightenment. Yoga was found to have the added benefits of healing and alleviating chronic pain and physical injuries and is credited with curing high blood pressure and diabetes.
As long ago as 1500 years, India enjoyed the ‘chaturanga,’ which was a precursor to modern chess popular in India in the 6th century. It was spread throughout the world by Persians and Arabians traveling to and from ancient India.
Snakes and Ladders
Going back to the 2nd century BC, a board game known as Mokshapat was being played in ancient India. In the 13th century, the poet Saint Gyandev used the game to teach children Hindu morals. The ups and downs of the game indicate how good deeds take one to heaven while bad deeds relegate one to cycles of rebirth. In 1892 the game arrived in England, renamed Snakes and Ladders, where it was played according to Victorian ideals.
Radio and Wireless Communication
Sir Jagdish Chandra Bose first demonstrated radio waves for communication to the public in 1895, which has become central to our modern wireless communication methods.
Alluvial diamonds were first discovered in India as far back as 5000 years ago, alongside the central Indian rivers, Krishna and Godavari, many years before discoveries were made elsewhere in the world in the 1700s.
Wool and cotton originated in India, and cotton and jute were cultivated in the Indus Valley Civilization back in 400 and 500 BC. Cotton spinning was invented, resulting in fabrics. In Kashmir, the cashmere wool industry was established in the 1400s, where weavers from Central Asia first weaved their magic to give birth to the now thriving industry.
The Indus valley civilization made buttons in Ancient India by piercing holes through seashells, creating unique designs by carving geometric patterns into them.
We understand the word champo to mean head massage in contemporary society, but few among us realize that ancient Indian champo was, in fact, the origin of modern-day shampoo. This Hindu word ‘champo’ means to massage or knead. Herbs and extracts were blended into a paste which was massaged into the head and hair, as a sweet-smelling cleanser. The colonialists spread the shampoo throughout Europe and Britain in latter years, where it is now commonly used. More recently, India also takes credit for introducing the world to sachet shampoo. Since large volumes of shampoo were too expensive for many, the Indian company Chik shampoo revolutionized smaller quantities in sachet form, allowing the shampoo to be accessible to the masses.
In and around 1780, ruler of the South Indian Kingdom of Mysore, Tipu Sultan, assisted by his father, Hyder Ali, used iron-cased and metal-cylinder rockets during the Anglo-Mysore Wars against the forces of the British East India Company. Sometimes martial arts needs a metal backup.
It is only natural that civilization as old and as populated as India would be responsible for a good many of today’s well-known products and much-appreciated inventions. From medical care to a girl’s best friend, we have many reasons to be grateful to India. All you need is an Indian e-Tourist Visa to experience the distinctiveness that is India.