by Desmond Kelly “the Star of eLanka”
I have written many “articles”, on Ceylon (as I always prefer to remember her), many poems, many “stories”, many songs, and even my own brief version of her history, which has been read and enjoyed by the readers.of eLanka, our major website for all Lankans & Lankan-Aussies, plus Lanka Times, the newspaper for all our older readers ( I suppose), who have only heard about “mosquito & fishing nets” and, as such, have no time for the “Internet”.
Yes, many are the “comments” I have made, on this tiny Island, so it would be remiss of me to “forget” the huge Land that is our closest neighbour, India.
I will now rectify this “delay” and give my readers 20 amazing facts about the Country bred unassuming but uncanny people like the ” Mahatma Ghandi” and Saint Theresa amoung others. Here we go again.
1. Ceylon was once a part of “Mother India”. After separation, my lovely Island home was also known as “The tear-drop of MOTHER INDIA”
2. India produces about a THOUSAND varieties of MANGOES. Each of these varities is named after various colours, places, shapes, tastes, flavours, precious stones & even Royalty.
3. India experiences 6 Seasons every year These are Spring, Summer, Summer (Monsoon), Autumn, Winter, Winter (Monsoon), followed by Winter.
4. India has the most number of MOSQUES in the World. It has approximately 400000, far exceeding even the Mosques in Muslim Countries of the World.
5. COTTON was first spun & woven in India. Mughal referred to the fabric as “Cloth of running water” or “morning few”
6. The game “Snakes & Ladders” was known as “Mokshapat”. Indian Saint Gyandev invented the board-game Snakes & Ladders in the 13th Century. He named it “Mokshapat” in which the “Ladders” symbolized “virtues” & the “Snakes”, vices, of course.
7 There is NO LAND between the “Somnath-Shiva” Temple in India and the SOUTH POLE (believe it or not) The Abadhit Samudra Marg “Tirsthambh” (arrow) indicates the unobstructed Sea-route to the South Pole.
8. The World’s FIRST UNIVERSITY was established in India. Takshila University, now, in Pakistan, established in 700 BC, taught about 60 “Subjects” to more than 10.000 students from all around the World.
9. The beautiful “Peacock” was bred in India for food. Yes, the Indian “National Bird” was initially bred for food.
10. The “Rameshwaram Temple” has the longest corridor in the World. It is 4000 feet in length and boasts 985 richly carved pillars on both sides.
11. There is a crater on the moon named after ARIYABHATTA. This famous Indian mathematician who invented the term “Zero”, also has his name carved on the very first Satellite launched by India.
12. Sanscrit is the perfect language gor developing “Computer-Software”.It is the ONLY LANGUAGE that has precise syntax & grammar.
13.. The first successful EYE-TRANSPLANT was performed in India. This was done by a British Army Surgeon who restored his pet antelope’s vision by using the cornea of another recently killed antelope.
14. Arabic numerals were not invented in Arabia. Strangely enough, they were invented in India.
15. India has never “invaded” another Country. She, herself has been involved in many invasions and multiple conquests but has never invaded a single other Country to date.
16. Artists of the “Kangra School of Art” in India, painted with BLOOD. These artists used strange substances in order to paint. VERY STRANGE substances like blood & crushed beetles.
17. The “Father of Medicine” & the “Father of Surgery” were both INDIAN GENTLEMEN. One of the earliest schools of medicine known to mankind was & is AYURVEDA. It was consolidated by CHARAKA nearly 2500 years ago. SUSHRUTA.,the Father of Surgery performed complicated surgery procedures 2600 years ago WITHOUT any of the sophisticated surgical instruments of today.
18. PADMANABHASWAMY is the World’s richest Temple. The untold riches of Thiruvananthapuram’s Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple which was only discovered about five years ago, is, by far the wealthiest Institution & place of worship of any kind in the recorded history of the World.
19. INDIA has the largest postal network in the World. It boasts over 150.000 Post- Offices
20. Diamonds were first discovered in India. It was the only source of diamonds in the World until 1896. Now we know why the British went there.
INDIA is a truly fascinating Country.
“Star of eLanka”.