India @ 70: A floating post office, a human calculator and 8 other amazing facts | more lifestyle

On August 15, 2017, India shall celebrate its 70th Independence Day. The seventh largest country in the world and the second-most populated country, India is a land of incredible diversity. Whether it is the soaring icy peaks of the northern mountains or the beaches on the southern coast, India’s topography is truly spectacular.

On the special occasion of India’s Independence Day, we tell you about some of the most amazing facts about the country:

1. India not only has the maximum number of post offices in the world but it also has a floating post office. The post office is located on the beautiful Dal Lake, Srinagar and was inaugurated in August 2011 by the then chief minister Omar Abdullah.

The floating post office on a wooden boat at Dal Lake, Srinagar.

2. The length of steel wires used to construct the Bandra-Worli Sealink, Mumbai, is equal to the earth’s circumference. It cost Rs 1,600 crore to build and its weight is equal to 50,000 African elephants.

Bandra-Worli Sea Link, Mumbai.

3. As far as cricket goes, not only do we have Sachin Tendulkar, but also the world’s highest cricket ground in Chail, Himachal Pradesh. It is 2,144 m above sea level.

Chail, Himachal Pradesh.

4. Using data collected by India’s Chandrayaan mission which used its Moon Mineralogy Mapper, we discovered magmatic water on the Moon.

5. Science Day in Switzerland is dedicated to the late Indian President, APJ Abdul Kalam. It is celebrated on May 26 every year since 2005.

6. ‘The human calculator’ is what Indian Shakuntla Devi was named after she calculated the product of two 13-digit numbers- 7,686,369,774,870 × 2,465,099,745,779. She gave the correct answer in 28 seconds.

7. Major Dhyan Chand, the wizard of hockey, was offered German citizenship by Adolf Hitler after India defeated Germany 8-1 in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. He was also offered a senior post in the German military and a place in the German national team. Dhyan Chand declined the offer.

An Indian stamp showing Dhyan Chand.

8. Previously known as Moksha Patamu, the game ‘snakes and ladders’ originated in India. It was intended to teach children about the law of karma.

Snake and Ladders boardgame.

9. The world’s largest family is from India. Ziona Chana from Mizoram has 39 wives, 94 children, and 33 grandchildren- they all stay together in the same house!

Ziona Chana and his family.

10. The world’s highest motorable pass is Khardung La, in Ladakh, which is situated at a height of 5600 metres.

Khardung La pass.

Khardung La pass.

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