India! The country with amazing diversity and wonders has many champions. All these are real facts and real records. Most of them are certified by authentic record books like Guiness Book of Records & Limca Book of Records. I am trying to tabulate as many as I can. Please help me in my efforts by adding more facts and records.

Sunday, December 30, 2007


The Akshardham temple in New Delhi has been awarded the Guiness record for being the world's largest Hindu temple. The mammoth temple is spread over expansive lawns covering an area of 86,342 square feet. It is 356 feet long, 316 feet wide and 141 feet high. It was inaugurated by Pramukh Swami Maharaj of Bochasanwasi Shri Akshardham Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) on November 6, 2005.
The grand, ancient style, ornately hand-carved stone temple has been built without structural steel within five years by 11,000 artisans and volunteers.
The Sanstha also holds the world record for creating and consecrating the maximum number of Hindu temples in the world. An internationally revered spiritual leader and head of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, Pramukh Swami Maharaj has created the record for consecrating 713 Hindu temples, the largest number of temples consecrated ever by any individual. The temples are spread over five continents and have been created between April 1971 and November 2007. Earlier, the Guinness book had recognised the Pramukh’s record for sanctifying over 400 temples in 2001, the largest number of temples consecrated by anyone at the time.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Falcon species Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) found worldwide and historically also known as "Duck Hawk", Black Shaheen and Indian Shaheen is the world's fastest flying bird. Peregrines are large sized falcons, 13 – 19 in. (33 – 48 cm) long and grey above, with black-barred whitish underparts. About seventeen subspecies are recognized, which vary in appearance and range. They fly high and dive at tremendous speed (up to 175 mph, or 280 kph — the greatest speeds attained by any bird, and also any animal), striking with clenched talons and killing by impact. They usually nest in a scrape on a high cliff ledge near water, where bird prey is plentiful. Breeding programs have reintroduced the species into the wild and introduced it into urban areas, where it finds a cliff like habitat among skyscrapers and preys chiefly on the rock dove. Both the English and scientific names of this species mean "wandering falcon" and refer to the migratory habits of some populations of this widespread species.
The breeding range includes land regions from the Arctic tundra to the Tropics. Essentially, this species can be found everywhere on Earth, including India, except in the polar regions, on very high mountains, in deserts, and most tropical rain forests making it the world's most widespread falcon, and in fact the most widespread bird of prey. It feeds almost exclusively on medium-sized birds, but will occasionally hunt small mammals. It reaches sexual maturity at one year, and mates for life. The Peregrine Falcon became an endangered species due to the use of pesticides, especially DDT. Since the ban on DDT from the beginning of the 1970s onwards, the populations recovered, supported by large scale protection of nesting places and releases to the wild.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


The Bar Headed Goose (Anser indicus) is recorded to have flown to an amazing height of 10175 m (33,382 feet). Thus they can easily cross the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest which has an altitude of 8,848 m (29,028 feet).
This highest flier goose breeds in Central Asia in colonies of thousands near mountain lakes. It lays 3-8 eggs in a ground nest. During summer the bird grazes on short grass near high altitude lakes.
The Bar-headed Goose migrates over the Himalayas to spend the winter in the wetland bound plains of Northern India, Northern Burma and the wetlands of Pakistan. The winter habitat of the Bar-headed Goose is on cultivation, and the bird feeds on barley, rice and wheat. It has a slightly larger wing area for its weight than other geese. It is believed this helps the goose to fly so high.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


In November 2006, Kishan Srikanth was recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the youngest person to direct a professional feature film. He replaces Sydney Ling, who was thirteen in 1973 when he directed the Dutch film Lex the Wonderdog.

Kishan directed the film 'C/o Footpath' at the age of 9 and became the world's youngest director of a professionally made feature film. 'C/O Footpath' is the story of an orphan slum boy who is adopted by an elderly woman who finds him on a footpath. Kishan is already such a big name in the industry that he managed to convince Bollywood star Jackie Shroff, comedy actor Saurav Shukla and national award-winning Kannada actress Thaara to star in his film.

Latest News: Kishan won The Chamber of the Deputies award and The Children's Right award at the Giffoni International Film Festival on July 21, 2007, in Italy.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Kumaran Silks of Chennai, Tamil Nadu has created a 642.3 m (2,106 ft 10 in) long saree, which was acclaimed as the world's longest sari by the Guiness book of records in the year 2007. It was created exclusively for adorning the presiding deity of Parshwa Padmavathi Jain Temple of Krishnagiri. The Guiness record was awarded to His Holiness Sri Sri Sri Vasanth Gurudev Shakthipeetadhipath, founder of Sri Parshva Padmavathi Seva Trust in Chennai, India on 1 May 2007. The team from Kumaran Silks has claimed to have woven the world's longest saree in a non-stop 18-day effort, working 24 hours a day. Three experts were employed and the machine was made to run 24 hours a day, with each of them working in eight hour shifts.
Previous records of "world's longest sari" were held by 'Pothys', a firm in Chennai, for weaving a 1,276 ft saree and Kochi-based 'Seematti' for their 1,585 ft saree.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


The Sundarbans is the largest mangrove forest in the world. A UNESCO World Heritage Site (awarded in ’97) , Sundarban is a vast area covering 4262 square kms in India alone, with a larger portion in Bangladesh. 2585 sq. kms of the Indian Sundarban forms the largest Tiger Reserve and National Park in India. The total area of the Indian part of the Sundarban forest, lying within the latitude between 21°13’-22°40’ North and longitude 88°05’-89°06’ East, is about 4,262 sq km, of which 2,125 sq km is occupied by mangrove forest across 56 islands and the balance is under water. It lies at the mouth of the Ganges and is spread across areas of Bangladesh and West Bengal, India. The Sundarbans is intersected by a complex network of tidal waterways, mudflats and small islands of salt-tolerant mangrove forests, and presents an excellent example of ongoing ecological processes. The area is known for its wide range of fauna. The most famous among these are the maneating Royal Bengal Tigers, but numerous species of birds, spotted deer, crocodiles and snakes also inhabit it. It is estimated that there are now 400 Bengal tigers and about 30,000 spotted deer in the area.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


The Saltwater or Estuarine Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) is the largest of all living reptiles. It is found in suitable habitats throughout Southeast Asia and Northern Australia. The Bhitarkanika National Park on the Orissa coast, India has achieved the rare distinction of housing the world's largest estuarine or salt water crocodile, locally known as (Baula Kumbhira), measuring about 23 feet.
The largest crocodile of Bhitarkanika has found a place in the 2006 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records. The latest census carried out by the wildlife division indicated that the Bhitarkanika sanctuary has a total strength of 1462 crocodiles which included 203 adults.

Bhitarkanika has also emerged as the ideal habitat for the salt water crocodile in the country and also the largest concentration. Though Sundarbans sanctuary has a good mangrove forest, yet it houses a very small population of the salt water crocodiles. So is the case of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The saltwater crocodile is stated to be most dangerous species of crocodilians from a human stand point . In the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary (now a National Park) all the ingredients for human attack exists. Particularly, frequent human intrusion into the crocodile habitat illegally and a crocodile population in the Sanctuary containing a good number of very large males. But it has been observed that the adult crocodiles under normal circumstances never leave their territory to chase the human beings on land unlike terrestrial predatory animals like tigers, etc. Most of the human attack incidents occur when the victims enter into the crocodile habitat either for illegal fishing, poaching, collection of wood, honey, nalia grass etc. from the river or creek banks or while setting the traps or noose for trapping the deer, wild boars, etc. very close to river or creek banks.

A programme for conservation of estuarine crocodile and its habitat was started at the Bhitarkanika National Park in the year 1975 by Dr. H.R Bustard, the FAO/UNDP Consultant. As a result of this and other measures, now the status of this crocodile is of Least Concern (IUCN 2.3).

Latest update: As per the 2008 census report, carried out by the wildlife division, there has been a marginal but proportionate growth of these crocodiles with 1498 of them found inhabiting in and outside the Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary. The figure was 1482 last year. The outstanding feature of this year's census was that as many as ten adult and sub-adult white crocodiles were found inhabiting these water bodies.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


Himalayas - meaning: Abode of the Snows, is the greatest mountain range of the world. Together, the Himalaya mountain system is the planet's highest and home to the world's highest peaks, including Mount Everest. The Himalayan system has over 100 separate mountains exceeding 7,200 meters. No where on Earth are the mountains as dominant part of the landscape as the mountain range of the The Himalayas. The great mountain barrier is like a natural wall between the Indian subcontinent and the great landmass of Central Asia, which covers a distance of about 2,400 km. The width of the wall varies from 400 km in Kashmir to 150 km in Arunachal Pradesh. It stretches across six nations: Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

It is the source of three of the world's major river systems, the Indus Basin, the Ganga-Brahmaputra Basin and the Yangtze Basin. The Himalayas, being geologically very young, continue to rise at a relatively fast geologic rate. It is said to have risen out due to the collision of the tectonic plate of the Indian subcontinent with the Urasian plate.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


The Ganga (Ganges) and the Brahmaputra delta basin in West Bengal (India) and Bangladesh is the largest in the world. It covers an area of 75000 square kilometres. The enormous delta of the Ganges-Brahmaputra River is the lifeblood for one of the largest populations on Earth. The Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers are one of the largest river systems on the earth. The river channels drain some of the highest mountains present on the planet, the Himalayas. The Ganges originates from Gangotri glacier at Gomukh and river Brahmaputra originates from the Manas Sarovar lake of Tibet, China.

Monday, May 21, 2007


World's fastest and the deadliest cruise missile is the Brahmos. Developed by BrahMos Corporation, a joint venture between India and Russia, the cruise missile, has a range of about 280 km, and can attain a speed exceeding Mach 2 (twice the speed of sound), which is the fastest in the world. It can carry 200-300 kg payload of conventional warhead mass depending on the version. It can be launched both from sea and land. The missile was first test-fired on June 12, 2001. The first test fire was a successful one.

The missile is marginally over eight meters in length, 670 mm in diameter and weighs 3,000 kg. It combines the propulsion system and self-homing device of Russian's "Yakhont" or "Onyx" system with on-board computer equipment developed by Indian defence scientists.

News Update: 21st June 2007 : The Indian army today became the first force in the world to be armed with surface-to-surface supersonic cruise missile, with the induction of 290 km range Brahmos missile.

With all the four test firings of the missile, including two conducted by army personnel going flawless, the surface- to-surface version of the Brahmos, which would provide tactical battle edge to the army, is being inducted a year ahead of schedule.

The missile was formally handed over to Army Chief General J J Singh byPresident A P J Abdul Kalam, who is also the supreme commander of the Armed forces.

However, the actual delivery of the missile would commence next month, almost a year ahead of the scheduled induction fixed earlier for July, 2008, when two mobile batteries and mobile command post would be handed over to the army.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


The longest recorded moustache belongs to Bajansinh Juwansinh Gurjar of Ahmedabad, India. It had not been cut for 22 years and was recorded 12 feet 6 inches long in 2004, when he was aged 60 years.


The Bhut Jolokia chillie (Capsicum frutescens) from India has been named the world's hottest pepper by the Guinness Book of World Records, reaching to an astounding 1,001,304 Scoville heat units. Just to put that into perspective, the Jalapeno sits at a meager 10,000 SHU.

This particular chillie is native of the North Eastern states of India, Nagaland & Manipur. Such is the hotness of this chilli that it can drive away the ghost, and hence the name Bhut Jolokia.

The discovery of this fact by Paul Bosland, a Regents Professor in horticulture at New Mexico State University, was recognised by the Guinness World Records in a testimony earlier this month saying Bhut Jolokia, native to Assam, was the hottest of all spices.

Before Bhut Jolokia's entry, the world's hottest pepper recorded was the Red Savina chili, which registered at 577,000 SHU, but in April that changed to the Dorset Naga which tested between 876,000 and 970,000 SHU. When it gets that hot, I don't really know that the number really makes much of a difference!

The Scoville scale, developed by Wilbur Scoville in 1912, was created to measure the heat level in chillies and is used world-wide today. To give you an idea where some of your favorite peppers sit on the list:

0 - Bell Pepper
100-500 - Pepperoncini
1000-1500 - Poblano
2500-10,000 - Jalapenos and Chipolte
5000-23,000 - Serrano
30,000-50,000 - Cayenne
80,000 & up - Habenero, Scotch Bonnet

There is a blog dedicated to this Bhut Jolokia chillie.