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 7, 2008


Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, India has once again entered the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest guitar ensemble in 2007 after its successful entry for the largest drum ensemble in 2006. A record number of 1730 guitarists strummed persistently for five minutes to Bob Dylan’s classic "Knocking on Heaven’s door". They broke the previous record set by 1721 guitarists from Kansas City, USA who strummed Deep Purple’s "Smoke on the water" in September 2006.

Even though none of the representatives from the Guinness Book of World Records was present, State Director General of Police (DGP) BK Dey Sawian and Dr Lapynshai Syiem, NEHU (North Eastern Hill University) music lecturer were the adjudicators as per the laid norms of the Guinness Record book.

The guitarists of all ages and skills strummed in unison to perform the classic composition of Bob Dylan to start a month-long Autumn Festival in state capital Shillong.

State authorities said they were trying to promote India's north- eastern region through such events. 'We are trying to promote the region through music ... last year it was the drum circle and this time it was the guitar ensemble and maybe next year something different,' state education minister RG Lyngdoh told to reporters.

Friday, November 14, 2008


The price of this wood is comparable with that of silver, which is a costly metal used in jewellery. No doubt, this is the worl'd costliest wood. Santalum album, or Indian sandalwood, is currently endangered and consequently very expensive.

Although all sandalwood trees in India and Nepal are government-owned and their harvest is strictly controlled, many trees are illegally cut down and smuggled out of the country. Sandalwood essential oil prices have risen up to $1000-1500 per kg in the last 5 years. Some countries regard the sandal oil trade as ecologically harmful because it encourages the overharvesting of sandalwood trees. Sandalwood from Mysore region of Karnataka, Southern India is widely considered to be of the highest quality available. New plantations have been set up with international aid in Tamilnadu in order to facilitate the economic benefits of sandalwood. Today, in Kununurra in Western Australia, Indian sandalwood (Santalum album) is being grown on a very large scale. Huge plantations surround this picturesque little town.
Sandalwood Prices, 1900-1990

Year Rs/Ton

1900 365
1933 1,000
1965 6,000
1970 10,000
1980 31,000
1987 78,000
1990 160,000

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Meghalaya Tourism Development Forum (MTDF) organised the largest drum ensemble with 7,951 drums playing simultaneously at Jawaharlal Nehru Open Stadium, Shillong on Oct 28, 2006. The music piece titled 'Positive Vibrations'was an opening act for the Autumn Festival (Oct 28-Nov 5, 2006) at Shillong, capital of Meghalaya and lasted for 10 minutes.
Thus the city had entered the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest drum ensemble. From schoolchildren to professionals, all available types drummers from across the northeast were mobilized to perform in the event. The drummers, mostly tribes people, schoolchildren and members of the police, performed the orchestrated piece called ‘Positive Vibrations’ composed by a local musician, Rudy Wallang.

Meghalaya’s Tourism Minister R G Lyngdoh said: “This is a historic moment for us. People across the world would now know that Meghalaya is a vibrant place and a tourist destination.” Mr. Lyngdoh played an important part in organising the record breaking performance.

“The 7,951 drummers have created a new Guinness world record with their scintillating performance Saturday,” Michael Sean Whitty, an adjudicator from the Guinness Book of World Records, said on Sunday. Some 25,000 people chanted “hoi kiw, hoi kiw”, a local victory cry as Whitty announced the creation of the new world record, handing organisers a certificate to confirm the achievement. In the absence of any permanent adjudicator, Whitty had to fly here from Britain to oversee the world’s largest drum ensemble. Whitty added that a growing number of entries from India making it to the Guinness Book of World Records, its officials are contemplating the appointment of a permanent adjudicator for the country. “We have one in China. We are now thinking of one for India,” he said.

The previous Guiness world record for "largest drum ensemble" was set in 2004 by Grammy award winner Mickey Hart who assembled 4,374 drummers at the Global Festival for Peace in Laytonville, California.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Among the rarefied air at the stupendous height of  13890 ft, but still not out of touch! The world's highest Vsat based video-conferencing studio is at Nyoma in Leh district of Kashmir, India, at an altitude of 13890 ft (exact location and altitude verified from Google Earth). It is located at 33 degree North 78 degree East. The Vsat based video-conferencing studio was established by the National Informatics Centre (NIC). The video conferencing studio has three DAMA Vsats - One at the SDM Office Nyoma, One at the DC Office, Leh and the third at the Hill Council Secretariat, Leh. It can accommodate 50 people. It was inaugurated in January 2002.

Nyoma is the one of the block headquarters of district Leh. This whole area is a cold and arid high altitude desert having 100mm average rainfall. In summer maximum temperature goes up to 30 Degree Centigrade and in winter minimum upto –40 degree centigrade. Humidity 6 to 24 %, Solar radiation 6 to 7 Kwh/mm with 300 days of clear sky and sunshine.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


The largest display of different types of dishes was held at Krishnagiri, Tamil Nadu on March 3, 2007. Marking the year 2007 celebrations, Sree Parshwa Padmavathi Seva Trust of India inspired by His Holliness Sri Vasantha Kumar Keval Chand has organised this spectacular event. There were 2007 dishes(in reference to the year), prepared by 500 cooks assisted by 100 others. The preparation started at 7.00 a.m on march 2, 2007 and finished at 6.45 a.m. on the next day. Significantly, all the dishes were vegetarian. All sweets were made in pure ghee and without egg.

The significance of this event is celebrating the Holi festival in India. Holi is the most colourful festival of the Hindus and falls on the Full moon day in the month of March. It is an ancient festival of myriad colours, of gaiety, of friendships and re-unions all over the country. It is celebrated very grandly with colours, offering of sweets and praying for peace, happiness and prosperity.

Monday, October 20, 2008


The Siachen glacier is the highest battleground on earth, where India and Pakistan have fought intermittently since April 13, 1984. Both countries maintain permanent military personnel in the region at a height of over 6,000 metres (20,000 ft). The site is a prime example of mountain warfare.

The Siachen Glacier, which stretches across Ladakh and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, lies south of the great watershed that separates China from the Indian subcontinent in the extensively glaciated portion of the Karakoram. It is located in the eastern Karakoram range (actually between Saltoro Ridge and Karakoram Range) in the Himalaya Mountains along the disputed India-Pakistan border at approximately 35°30'N 77°00'E . It is the longest glacier in the Karakoram and second longest in the world's non-polar areas. It ranges from an altitude of 5,753 m (18,875 ft) above sea level at its source at Indira Col (pass) on the China border to its snout at 3,620 m (11,875 ft).

The glacier's melting waters are the main source of the Nubra River, which drains into the Shyok River. The Shyok in turn joins the Indus River, thus the glacier is a major source of the river Indus. Global warming has had one of its worst impacts here in the Himalayas with the glaciers melting at an unprecedented rate and monsoon rains now appearing north of the mountains. The volume of the glacier has been reduced by 35 percent over the last twenty years and military activity since 1984 has also been blamed for much of the degradation of the glacier.

Both sides have been wishing to disengage from the costly military outposts but after the Kargil War in 1999, India has backed off from withdrawing in Siachen, wary that the Kargil scenario could play out again if they vacate their Siachen Glacier posts without any official confirmation of their positions.

During her tenure as Prime Minister of Pakistan, Ms Benazir Bhutto, visited the area west of Gyong La, making her the first premier from either side to get to the Siachen region. On June 12, 2005, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the area, calling for a peaceful resolution of the problem. The President of India, Abdul Kalam became the first head of state to visit the area.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Anandita Dutta Tamuly from Titabor village, 325 km east of Guwahati, Assam, India, has a pecuiliar fiery habit - gobbling red-hot chillies without batting an eyelid or shedding a tear.

She is like any other woman of her age - except for her preference for the local chilli variety called the Naga Jolokia or Bhut Jolokia (Capsicum frutescens). She can easily chew down 60 of the fiery peppers in two minutes. She can even break the chilli and splash it on her eyes without any apparent discomfort. She gave a stunning performance of her abilities in a TV show named "Shabaash India".

The Naga Jolokia is claimed by scientists and also recognised by the Guiness book of records as the world's fieriest. The hotness of the Naga Jolokia chilli, measured in Scoville units, was 1,001,304 units compared to the Mexican chilli's 577 units, they said. Tamuly hails from the state of Assam, where the pepper occurs as a natural hybrid. The local variety of the chilli is grown mostly in the hilly terrain and is considered a staple menu in every meal among the northeastern people.

'I have been eating Naga Jolokia since my childhood and never realised the hotness in my mouth,' she said.

She started munching chillies when she was just five years old. 'I had a sore tongue and my mother applied chilli paste to cure the infection when I was five years old. Since then I developed a penchant for chillis,' Tamuly said.

Tamuly claims her chilli eating habit has had no adverse effect on her health.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


The mathematical constant e is one of the most important numbers in mathematics, along with the constant π(pi), and the imaginary unit i. The mathematical constant e is the unique real number such that the function e to the power of x has the same value as the slope of the tangent line, for all values of x. The number e is sometimes called Euler's number after the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler.

Since e is transcendental, and therefore irrational, its value cannot be given exactly as a finite or eventually repeating decimal. The numerical value of e truncated to 20 decimal places is:

2.71828 18284 59045 23536...

Bhaskar Karmakar of India created world record by reciting e to an astonishing 5,002 decimal places. He performed his world record breaking feat on 25 November 2007, taking a time of just 1 hour 29 minutes 52 seconds. He also recited the value backwards to 5002 decimal places in 1 hr 48 min 45 seconds.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


India has the most post offices in the world! According to Guiness book of records, India thrives with well over 150,000 post offices. The number of post offices in India is more than double of its nearest competitor China.

World's Top 10 Countries With Most Post Office Country Total NO. Of Post Office (2001)
India 154,919
China 57,135
Russia 41,052
USA 38,123
Japan 24,760
Indonesia 19,881
UK 17,633
France 17,067
Ukraine 14,963
Italy 13,788

Established by the British colonial rulers for the smooth running of their administration, the Indian postal system has evolved into a multi-technology and multi-service organisation which is present throughout the length and breadth of the country. Even in th age of SMS and e-mail, the Indian postal system is thriving with its fascinating ability to act as the life blood of written communication.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Setting a world record, India launched on April 28 2008, a rocket PSLV-C9 carrying 10 artificial satellites, a record number for the country's space program, national television reported. It is for the first time in the world that ten satellites were launched in a single mission. Russia had earlier launched eight satellites together. This was the PSLV's twelfth successful flight (one was unsuccessful). This is the third time, the PSLV has been launched in the core alone version, without the six solid propellant first stage strap-on motors.

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) carried out the launch from the Sriharikota island in the Bay of Bengal. At the end of the 52-hour countdown, the PSLV-C9, with a lift-off mass of 230 tonne, blasted off from the launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre and soared into the clear sky in a textbook launch. Fourteen minutes after lift off, the fourth stage of the ISRO's workhorse launch vehicle, in its 13th flight, injected the ten satellites, into the 635 km polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO).

PSLV-C9, in its thirteenth flight, delivered into polar sun-synchronous orbit two domestic satellites and eight foreign spacecraft, including nanosatellites belonging to Canada, Germany, Denmark, Japan and the Netherlands. The total payload was of 824 kgs .

India's 690-kg Cartosat-2A remote sensing satellite carried the latest panchromatic camera that can record images with spatial resolution of around one meter. The satellite can be maneuvered in orbit to facilitate the operation of the camera.

PSLV-C9 blasting its way
The second Indian spacecraft, an experimental 83-kg Mini Satellite (IMS-1) will be used for testing advanced technology in future launches. Eight nanosatellites were built by foreign universities and research institutions specifically for the PSLV-C9 launch under a commercial agreement with Antrix Corporation. They weigh from 3 to 16 kilograms with a total weight of about 50 kg.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


The Leaf Muntjac (Muntiacus putaoensis), just discovered in 1997, is the smallest deer known in the world. An adult deer measuring just 20 inches at the shoulder and weighing no more than 25 pounds has been confirmed through DNA testing as a new species, making it the world's smallest deer, according to a recent study led by the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

The "leaf deer" or "leaf muntjac," which lives in remote mountain regions of Southeast Asia, was first seen by WCS biologist Alan Rabinowitz in 1997 during field surveys in northern Myanmar (Burma). After obtaining specimens from local hunters, Rabinowitz brought samples to New York for DNA analysis. The results of the genetic work, published in the recent issue of the journal Animal Conservation, confirmed the leaf deer as unique. The study, a collaborative effort between WCS and the American Museum of Natural History's Molecular Systematics Laboratory, represents a relatively new approach to conservation biology, where molecular genetics dovetails with classic field biology to catalog unique wildlife living in some of the world's most remote areas. "Through DNA sequencing, we were able to determine that this particular species of mutjac was clearly distinct," said the study's lead author, Dr. George Amato, director for conservation genetics for WCS. "It's a very exciting discovery."

The leaf muntjac is found in dense forests of Myanmar, in the Hukawng Valley region to the Northeast of Putao, hence its scientific name, and to the south of the Nam Tamai branch of the Mai Hka River. It is found at an altitude of 450 to 600 m — the transition zone between tropical forests and temperate ones. In 2002, it was discovered also to exist in Namdapha Tiger Reserve in eastern Arunachal Pradesh, India (see Current Science, vol. 84, p. 454).

Muntjacs are also known as "barking deer" because they make a deep, barklike sound as a warning if they sense a predator nearby. Leaf Muntjac males have unbranched antlers that are about 1 inch in height. Other than this, the male and female deer are identical. This species is unusual among other deer because their offspring do not bear any spots. It also differs from other muntjacs because both the male and female have pronounced canine tusks.The leaf muntjac eats mostly fruit (Rabinowitz 1998).

Monday, August 18, 2008


Habib Mian of Jaipur, blind for the last 55 years is the oldest living man on earth. He was born at Rajgarh in Rajasthan's Alwar district. But there is some controversy regarding his actual age. He claims his date of birth to be 28th May 1870. That makes his age 138. But according to his pension documents his date of birth is 28th May 1878. So there is a difference of eight years.

A Trumpet and clarionet player in the erstwhile royal band of the ruler of Jaipur, Sawai Madho Singh, he retired from service in 1938. Habib Miyan has been drawing pension money since his retirement. His pension at the time of his retirement after 20 years of service was fixed at 1 rupee and 86 paise a month. He now gets about Rs. 2,000 a month and an ex-gratia from the erstwhile royal family. He also holds the distinction of being the oldest Haj pilgrim — he went to Mecca for Haj in 2004 — and the longest beneficiary of pension benefits since 1938, first from the Jaipur Riyasat, and later from the State Government after Independence.

Habib Mian is once again sprouting his third set of teeth and now even eats meat!.

Latest Update: News of great grief. Grand old Habib Mian, who had fever and a bout of dysentery, expired at 3 am on 19th August 2008, at an age of 139.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


The world's highest cricket ground is in Chail, Himachal Pradesh. Built in 1893 after levelling a hilltop, this cricket pitch is 2444 meters (7,500 feet) above sea level. The ground itself is located three km from the village of Chail. The Maharaja of Patiala Bhupinder Singh was a cricket enthusiast and had a vast stretch of land flattened in the Himalayan terrain for cricket. The Maharaja used to play friendly matches with the Britishers.

History says that in 1891, Maharaj Bhupinder Singh of Patiala incurred the wrath of Lord Kitchener. It led to the restriction of his entry into the summer capital of India, Shimla. This incensed the Maharaja and he vowed to build a new summer capital for himself. So he rebuilt the place (Chail) as per his requirements.

For many years, the cricket ground merited a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records. Though the record has not been broken, Guinness Book has decided to delete the documentation because no competitive cricket is being conducted there. Today, local youth use the venue for inter-school matches and units of the Indian Army located nearby hold their sports meets and march-pasts. The sprawling grounds are well-kept with manicured lawns. The cricket ground, and also the whole village of Chail is surrounded by the forests of Chir Pine and giant Deodars trees.

Despite its unique location, Chail cricket ground is today starved of first class matches. Since long no international cricket have been played there. However many world class players of India still come to practice there and HP cricket association has plans so as to bring international cricket to Chail soon.
You can enjoy an amazing view of Sutlej Valley, Shimla and Kasauli at night from here. On the other side of the town are situated the massive Himalayan ranges spectacularly gleaming in the sun and snow- covered every thing under it.

Local youth believe that the ground despite so much neglect can still be restored. It can also promote tourism in the region. They want the ground to be properly developed as a cricket ground.

Himachal Pradesh government is also interested in building a cricket stadium at this highest ground. "This cricket ground is under the possession of the Army. We are planning to request them to hand over the land to us for the purpose of making a stadium. Whether it is Chail''s cricket ground or Anne Dale Ground at Shimla, we are ready to give a compensatory land to the army people. We will speak to the State Cricket Association and will make good cricket stadiums at Chail and Shimla," said Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh.

See the bird's eye view from Wikimapia here.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


With over a billion people, the Republic of India is the world's largest democracy. With a population nearly four times that of the United States, India modeled its government on the British parliamentary system, with thoughtful influences from the United States and the rest of the world. Though China is the most populous country in the world, it is not governed by a democratic system. People of India acquire voting rights at the age of 18. India is the 6th largest country in the world in terms of area. It is one of the most ancient and living civilizations (at least 10, 000 years old).

India is run by a parliament made up of two houses. These two houses are called the LOK SABHA, or "House of the People," and the RAJYA SABHA, or "Council of States." Of the two, the Lok Sabha holds more power, but the two houses work together to make the laws of the country. The parliament is located in India's capital, New Delhi.

Unlike Great Britain, another parliamentary democracy, on which the Indian system is primarily based, India does have a president. This president, a person elected to office for five years by members of both houses and important government officials from all over the country, serves mostly as a figurehead. The president's responsibilities include "officially" appointing ministers — even though someone else actually chooses those ministers. Most of the time, the president's job is simply ceremonial.

In a state of emergency, though, the president can take executive action that a large legislative body like the parliament might not be able to do quickly enough. If India faces a military threat, the president can declare a state of emergency and become the single governing authority in the country. Likewise, if an Indian state fails to function effectively, the president can step in and rule the state directly. Most of the time, however, the prime minister holds the most political power in India.

Monday, August 11, 2008


Asiatic reticulated python (Python reticulatus) is the world's longest snake with adults growing to a maximum length of more than 32 feet (9.75 m) . However, they are relatively slim for their length and are certainly not the most heavily built. The anaconda (Eunectes murinus), are heavier. The reticulated python is a non-venomous python species found in Southeast Asia. Normally not considered dangerous to man, even though large specimens are powerful enough to kill an adult and attacks are occasionally reported.The largest reticulated python ever found in the wild was reported in 1912 from the island of Celebes (now known as Sulawesi) in Indonesia. This snake measured almost thirty-three feet.

An excellent swimmer, it has even been reported far out at sea and has consequently colonized many small islands within its range. The specific name is Latin meaning net-like, or reticulated, and is a reference to the complex color pattern. No subspecies are currently recognized.

The color pattern is a complex geometric pattern that incorporates numerous different colors. The back typically has a series of irregular diamond shapes which are flanked by smaller markings with light centers. In this species' wide range, much variation of size, color, and markings commonly occurs.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


The Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) is the most widespread species of the flamingo family. It is found in parts of Africa, southwest Asia (including Turkey), southern Asia (coastal regions of India) and southern Europe (including Spain, Sardinia, Greece, Cyprus, Portugal, and the Camargue region of France). Some populations are short distance migrants. Greater flamingo is the state bird of Gujarat, India.

This is a large species, averaging 120-140cm tall. Most of the plumage is pinkish-white, but the wing coverts are red and the primary and secondary flight feathers are black. The bill is pink with a restricted black tip, and the legs are entirely pink. The call is a goose-like honking. Like all flamingos, this species lays a single chalky-white egg on a mud mound.

This species has a large range, with an estimated global extent of occurrence of 100,000–1,000,000 km². According to IUCN, the global population size has not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population size criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e., less than 10,000 mature individuals).

Monday, August 4, 2008


Orthopaedically handicapped, Masadur Rahman Baidya of Kolkata, West Bengal, India, conqueror of the English Channel, has become the first handicapped swimmer in the world as a double amputee below the knee to cross the strait of Gibraltar in the year 2001. The 32-year old Baidya took four hours 20 minutes to emerge victorious in his battle against waves in the difficult strait of Gibraltar on tuesday. "Masadur plunged into the water from a boat located at Tarifa Island in Spain at 8.20 a.m. and touched the finishing line at a natural point on the Morroccan coast at 12.40 p.m. covering the distance of about 22 km" Nishith Ganguli, manager of the ace swimmer said. For the last 12 days, baidya has been preparing and waiting for the weather to clear for the swim. He has won many long distance open swimming tournaments all over India including the 80 Kilometres river swimming competition in the Ganges and crossed the unpredictable english channel in 1997. Ganguli said "the Gibraltar strait differs because of its specific characteristics where the swimming starts from a boat located at Tarifa island. normally a swimmer takes about five to five and a half hours to cross the straight but Masadur has done it in a record time."

Masadur lost both his legs from the knee after a train accident in his childhood. He is out to create waves in the world of long-distance swimming: He has a target of conquering as many as 12 channels all over the world.

Friday, August 1, 2008


The leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) is the largest of all living turtles. It is the only living species in the genus Dermochelys. As a sea turtle, the leatherback is the largest and heaviest. It can easily be differentiated from other modern sea turtles by its lack of a bony shell (carapace). Instead, the carapace of the leatherback turtle is covered by skin and the turtle's oily flesh. Hence the name "leatherback". Dermochelys coriacea is the only extant member of the family Dermochelyidae.

The front flippers of a leatherback are longer than in the other marine turtles, even when you take the leatherback's size into account. They can reach 270 cm in adult leatherbacks. Leatherback hatchlings look mostly black when you are glancing down on them, and their flippers are margined in white. Rows of white scales give hatchling leatherbacks the white striping that runs down the length of their backs.

The largest leatherback on record was a male stranded on the West Coast of Wales in 1988. He weighed 916 kg.

The leatherback turtle is a species with a cosmopolitan global range. Of all the existing sea turtle species, D. coriacea has the widest distribution, reaching as far north as Alaska and Norway and as far south as the Cape of Good Hope in Africa and the southernmost tip of New Zealand. The leatherback is found in all tropical and subtropical oceans, and its range has been known to extend well into the Arctic Circle. Globally, there are three major, genetically-distinct populations. The Atlantic Dermochelys population is separate from the ones in the Eastern and Western Pacific, which are also distinct from each other. A third possible Pacific subpopulation has been proposed, specifically the leatherback turtles nesting in Malaysia. This subpopulation however, has almost been eradicated. While specific nesting beaches have been identified in the region, leatherback populations in the Indian Ocean remain generally unassessed and unevaluated. Recent estimates of global nesting populations indicate 26,000 to 43,000 nesting females annually, which is a dramatic decline from the 115,000 estimated in 1980. These declining numbers have contributed to conservation efforts to stabilize the leatherback sea turtles and move their species away from the current status of critically endangered.
While there are few researches that have been done on Dermochelys populations in the Indian Ocean, nesting populations are known from Sri Lanka, the Nicobar Islands and the east cost of India. They come in large numbers to lay eggs on the coast of Orissa in India. It is proposed that these turtles form a separate, genetically distinct Indian Ocean subpopulation.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


The Chundan Vallam (Beaked Boat) known to outside world as Kerala snake boats has the record as "the biggest water vessel used for sports purpose". Chundan Vallam is one of the icons of Kerala culture used in Vallamkali (boat race). Constructed according to specifications taken from the Sthap Athya Veda, an ancient treatise for the building of wooden boats. These boats are about 100 to 138 ft in length, with the rear portion towering to a height of about 20 ft. and a long tapering front portion. It resembles a snake with its hood raised. Its hull is built of planks precisely 83 feet in length and six inches wide. The boats float low in the water and have a long curving stern. The prow is pointed in shape or may have a decorative knob at the end. The prow rides low in the water with the length of the Snake Boat extending behind it.

The 'Snake Boat' Nadubhagom 41.1 m 135 ft long From Kerala, southern India has a crew of 109 rowers and nine 'encouagers'. The 100-138 feet long canoes made of a forest wood locally called "Aanjili thadi" carrying 90- 110 rowers which moves like a snake through the channels (hence the name), is an eye catching sight for any tourist.

Aries Punnamada Chundan, an initiative of the Aries Group of Companies, is widely acclaimed to be the longest Snake Boat with a length of 144 ft. It is also the first Snake Boat to be constructed in steel. This `chundan' has found place in the Limca Book of Records for the longest snake boat made of steel. K Surendrababu from Kainakari was the chief architect of this 'chundan'. 'Aries Chundan', the first ever snake boat made of steel, is all set to enter the Guinness Book of World Records for accommodating the largest canoe crew of 141.

Snake Boat races festivals are held in many venues in Kerala, India, but the races in Alappuzha held just before the Onam festival are the best known. Teams of rowers compete for the Nehru Trophy. The rowers pull with all their might, sitting two in row along the length of the Snake Boat. Apart from rowers, the Snake boat carries a cox, and leaders who maintain the rhythm of rowing through chants, songs and exclamations.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


The coconut crab (Birgus latro) is the largest terrestrial crab and also the largest land-living arthropod in the world. It is a highly apomorphic hermit crab and is known for its ability to crack coconuts with its strong pincers in order to eat the contents. It is the only species of the genus Birgus. It is also called the robber crab or palm thief, because some coconut crabs are rumored to steal shiny items such as pots and silverware from houses and tents.

Reports about the size of Birgus latro vary, but most references give a weight of up to 4 kg (8.8 lb), a body length of up to 40 cm (16 in), and a leg span of around 20 cm (0.66 ft), with males generally being larger than females. It is believed that this is near the theoretical limit for a terrestrial arthropod. They can reach an age of up to 30–60 years (references vary). In India, they are found in large numbers on the Sentinel island of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands archipelago.

The body of the coconut crab is, like that of all decapods, divided into a front section (cephalothorax), which has 10 legs, and an abdomen. The front-most pair of legs has large claws used to open coconuts, and these claws (chelae) can lift objects up to 29 kg (64 lb) in weight. The next two pairs, as with other hermit crabs, are large, powerful walking legs which allow coconut crabs to climb vertically up trees (often coconut palms) up to 6 m high. The fourth pair of legs is smaller with tweezer-like chelae at the end, allowing young crabs to grip the inside of a shell or coconut husk to carry for protection; adults use this pair for walking and climbing. The last pair of legs is very small and serves only to clean the breathing organs. These legs are usually held inside the carapace, in the cavity containing the breathing organs. There is some difference in colour between the animals found on different islands, ranging from light violet through deep purple to brown.

Although Birgus latro is a derived type of hermit crab, only the juveniles use salvaged snail shells to protect their soft abdomens, and adolescents sometimes use broken coconut shells to protect their abdomens. Unlike other hermit crabs, the adult coconut crabs do not carry shells, but instead harden their abdominal armor by depositing chitin and chalk. They also bend their tails underneath their bodies for protection, as do most true crabs. The hardened abdomen protects the coconut crab and reduces water loss on land, but has to be moulted at periodic intervals. Moulting takes about 30 days, during which the animal's body is soft and vulnerable, and it stays hidden for protection.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Pilgrims to the Tirupathi Temple in Andhra Pradesh, India, which attracts an average of 30,000 visitors per day, donate their hair as a form of sacrifice. They have their hair shaved off and offer it to the deity in the hope that their troubles will disappear along with their hair. This has for long been a tradition at the temple (and has also led to a booming business in hair export for wigs etc.).The 600 barbers employed by the temple shave the pilgrims' heads 24 hours a day and more than $2.2 million (1.4 million pounds) a year is raised through the auction of the hair.

Tonsuring, the act of shaving your head to propitiate God - is a long standing ritual associated with Tirumala. As per the Vaishavite tradition, devotees offer their hair to the Lord which symbolizes effacing of the ego. Tonsuring used to be done at cottages itself in the past where a barber could be summoned, but new addition is a centralized system which has been put in place at Kalyana Katta, a huge building near the temple. Now, all the barbers sit there in along side each other once you enter the complex. The devotees can pay as per their discretion to the barbers after tonsuring.
The historic shrine of Sri Venkateswara is located on a hill at Tirumala, Chittor district. The temple attracts pilgrims from across the world who are known to stand in serpentine queues for long hours to get a glimpse of the chief deity.

Women devotees who come to Tirupati to tonsure their hair - there are around 4,000 out of the 50,000 who visit the temple every day - had been demanding female barbers for a long time. Women devotees felt uncomfortable sitting close to male barbers. The male barbers, around 400 of them, have been appointed by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) board, which runs the temple. Some women even complained that male barbers touched them (sometimes in the face) or misbehaved with them while shaving their hair off.

The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) will soon leverage the power of the Internet to sell hair collected from tonsured devotees. TTD has sought the help of online auctioneer Matex Net Pvt Ltd to sell 80 tonne of hair worth Rs 60 crore, accumulated between May and October this year. After Tirupati, other temple boards including those of Samayapuram and Palani. with a similar tradition of tonsuring, have also shown an interest in using the online platform to sell collected hair, a company official said. According to the TTD website, on an average, at least 50,000 devotees visit the main temple. The hair collected from the tonsuring centre is reportedly separated into five different varieties. Exporters say hair from men is usually used for coat linings and to extract L-Cystein, a protein used as raw material for a range of products including baby food and doughnuts.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Meghalaya enjoys the distinction of having two of the world's wettest places: Cherrapunji and Mawsynram. These two places are only 16 kilometres apart.
Cherrapunji (also spelled as Cherrapunjee), is located at 25.30° N 91.70° E. It has an average elevation of 1484 metres (4872 feet). It is a town in East Khasi Hills district in the Indian state of Meghalaya. It holds the world records of being the wettest place on Earth.
Mawsynram is located at 25º 18' N, 91º 35' E in the state of Meghalaya. Its altitude is about 1400 m. It is about 16 km west of Cherrapunji.
Cherrapunji's current yearly rainfall average stands at 11,430 mm (450 in). This figure places it behind only nearby Mawsynram, Meghalaya, whose average is 11,873 mm (467 in) and Mount Waialeale on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, whose average is 11,684 mm (460 in).
Cherrapunji holds two Guinness world records:
* For receiving the maximum amount of rainfall in a single year: 22,987 mm (904.9 inches) of rainfall between August 1860 and July 1861
* For receiving the maximum amount of rainfall in a single month: 9299.96 mm (366.14 inches) in July 1861.
But these records are carried forward from an era almost 150 years back. Compare these figures with the present situation of 11,873 mm (467 in) at Mawsynram and 11,430 mm (450 in) at Cherrapunji. Thus we see that the wettest places are drying up.
Cherrapunji sits on the southern tip of a plateau that looms over Bangladesh. The cliffs of Cherrapunji are the first place hit by the moisture filled clouds that forms over the Bay of Bengal. All the rain lands on arid, deforested, ground. As there is no reservoir to store the rain water, it rapidly runs down the hill towards the plains of Bangladesh, forming massive waterfalls such as the Seven sisters and Nokalikai. Cherrapunjee receives rains from the Bay of Bengal arm of the Indian Summer Monsoon. The monsoon clouds fly unhindered over the plains of Bangladesh for about 400 km. Thereafter, they hit Khasi hills which abruptly erupt out of the plains to reach a height of about 1370 m within a short distance of 2 to 5 km. The orography of the hills with many deep valleys channels the low flying (150-300 m) moisture laden clouds from a wide area to converge over Cherrapunjee which falls in the middle of the path of this stream. The winds push the rain clouds through these gorges and up the steep slopes. The rapid ascendance of the clouds into the upper atmosphere hastens the cooling and helps vapours to condense. Most of Cherrapunjee's rain is the consequence of air being lifted as a large body of water vapour. Extremely large amount of rainfall at Cherrapunjee is perhaps the most well known feature of orographic rain in northeast India.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Omkari Panwar, at the age of 70, gave birth to twins at Muzaffarnagar District, Uttar Pradesh, India, becoming the world's oldest mother. She gave birth to twins on June 27, 2008 by emergency Caesarean section after undergoing in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment at a hospital in Muzaffarnagar.
Panwar's doctor Nisha Mallik, who delivered the twins, explained some of the details of Panwar's pregnancy. "Omkari is a 70-year-old patient who has conceived through IVF fertilisation with a pre-term of 32 weeks. Due to some complications, we had to start with the caesarian section. She has delivered twins," explained Panwar.

The father of the twins, Charan Singh, who himself is 76-years-old, said he was happy to finally have a boy who could look after his daughters and the family's business after his death. "I always wished to have a boy who would protect and take care of my daughters. After my death he would take care of my property and carry forward my family," he said. Charan Singh, a retired farmer, told how he had mortgaged his land, sold his buffaloes, spent his life savings and taken out a credit-card loan to fund the IVF treatment, which cost 350,000 rupees (£4,375).
Mrs Panwar, who has no birth certificate and does not know the day she was born, uses the date of India's independence in 1947 to gauge her age. She remembers being nine when the British Raj left India - meaning she is now 70.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


The largest integrated film production complex is the Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad which opened in 1996 with 47 sound stages. Spread over an picturesque 2,500 acres and studded with hills, woods, lakes and striking architecture, it provides camera equipment, set construction, properties, costumes, audio post production, digital post-production / SFX and film processing. Guinness World Records certifies Ramoji Film City as the World's Largest Film Studio Complex. Film producer Ramoji Rao, head of the Ramoji Group, opened the facility in 1996.
It is also a popular tourist attraction as there are top class facilities to promote tourism. A Japanese garden, the ETV planet (a multi-purpose editing suit), a pool, artificial waterfalls, breathtakingly accurate airport terminal, hospital set, railway station, churches, mosques and temples, shopping plazas, palace interiors, chateaus, rural complexes, urban dwellings, and a winding highway are some other places for tourists to visit. The Film City even has honeymoon packages for the newly married couples who are on the lookout for a getaway destination. It caters to the corporate world by offering banquet halls.
For shopping enthusiasts, there are nice handicrafts, pottery and other decorative articles for purchase. Magadha, Meena Bazaar, Frontierland or Black Cat Warehouse are a few avenues from where the visitors can carry home souvenirs of their visit.


Saturday, July 5, 2008


The world's largest ever wedding banquet was hosted and paid for by Jayalalitha Jayaram, a movie star and former chief minister of Tamil Nadu, India. The luncheon was attended by over 150,000 guests at the wedding of her foster son, V.N.Sudhakaran to N.Sathyalakshmi. The banquet was served by the coast in the state capital, Chennai, on 7 Sept 1995.
Jayalalithaa’s detractors draw attention to the wedding of her adopted son as an example of her extravagant show of wealth. Guinness Book of Records certifies the ensuing wedding banquet as the largest ever. TIME magazine, and many other newspapers in India observed that the ceremony was “a vulgar display of wealth”.
The politician, Jayalalitha Jayaram, is a former movie star who succeeded her companion, a still bigger star named M. G. Ramachandran, after he died as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu State.
She has set new benchmarks for outlandishness in a country that has never lacked color in its politicians, building a personality cult and, her opponents say, a vast personal wealth.
That many in Tamil Nadu disagree was evident from the turnout for the wedding, which drew more than 150,000 people, many of them Jayalalitha supporters who were bused in from villages all across the state, some journeying a dozen or more hours. In a state where the per capita income is less than $400 a year, and 40 per cent of the population is illiterate, some of the poorest of the wedding guests seemed to be the least concerned about its cost.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


The longest railway platform in the world (1,072 metres, or 3,538 feet) is at Kharagpur, West Bengal (India).

The platform was originally 716m long. It's length was extended twice, once to 833m and then to its present length. Excluding subway platforms (the Chicago subway has the longest one), Kharagpur has the longest railway platform in the world. Kharagpur is located in the Midnapore West district of the state of West Bengal. It is famous as the place where the first Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) was established.
Kharagpur also has one of the biggest railway workshops in India. Kharagpur station lies on the busy and important rail route connecting Howrah with the southern states of India.

Monday, June 30, 2008


Sherpa Tenzing Norgay of Darjeeling, India, along with Sir Edmund Hillary of New Zealand became the first human being to set foot on the coveted peak of Mount Everest (8843.4 metres or 29029 feet), the highest peak on earth.

No one knew if the top of Everest could ever be reached until May 29, 1953 when Tenzing and Hillary plodded their way to the summit from their high camp at 28,000 feet. It was the ninth British expedition for Mount Everest, led by John Hunt. This was the expedition's camp #9, 1,000 feet from the summit and situated some 2,000 feet higher than today's highest camp for climbers on the same route. Today, climbers set up only 4 camps on the mountain, because Base Camp is positioned much higher than it was in the early days.

Over a period of nearly twenty years, he had made himself a part of every expedition that set out to put a man on the top of Mt. Everest. He had climbed as a lowly porter and as a respected member of the climbing team. He had accompanied large, confident armies (such as the 1936 and 1953 British Everest Expeditions) on their way to the summit, but he had also gone to the mountain with a solitary climber, Earl Denman, in 1947, on the chance that even this might give him an opportunity to get to the top. By 1953, he had probably spent more time on Mt. Everest than any other human being - and had come closer to its summit. Only months before his successful climb with Edmund Hillary, he and Raymond Lambert of the 1952 Swiss expedition, had come within 1,000 feet of the summit -- the highest point that anyone had reached until then. Unlike most of his fellow Sherpas of the time for whom, by and large, climbing was just a challenging way of making a living, Tenzing desperately wanted to get to the summit of Mt. Everest and devoted most of his life to this goal. "For in my heart," he once said, "I needed to go . . . the pull of Everest was stronger for me than any force on earth."

Tenzing's victory over mount Everest was also a symbolic recognisation for the emerging identity a country which has acquired freedom just a few years back after centuries of domination by foreign rulers.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


This is to mark the quarter century, i.e. the twenty fifth post of my popular blog, Indian World Records. Wow! So many records from India! Many more to come. Here you can find the links of all the previous 24 posts about the world records from India.


The Bhut Jolokia Chillie from India has been named the world's hottest pepper by the Guinness Book of World Records, reaching to an astounding ......... MORE


The longest recorded moustache belongs to Bajansinh Juwansinh Gurjar of Ahmedabad, India. It had not been cut .............. MORE


World's fastest and the deadliest cruise missile is the Brahmos. Developed by BrahMos Corporation, a joint venture between India and Russia ........... MORE


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 ............. MORE


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 .......... MORE


Shakuntala Devi is a calculating prodigy who was born on November 4, 1939 in Bangalore, India. Shakuntala Devi is popularly known as a 'Human Computer' because of her extraordinary talents in solving complex mathematical problems without any mechanical aid. Manifested with an extraordinary ......... MORE


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 Park on the Orissa coast, India has achieved the rare distinction of housing the world's largest estuarine or salt water crocodile ......... MORE


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 ........ MORE


Kumaran Silks of Chennai, Tamil Nadu has created a 2007 feet (685 metres) 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 ......... MORE


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 ........... MORE


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 ......... MORE


Falcon species Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) found worldwide and historically also known as "Duck Hawk", Black Shaheen and Indian Shaheen. 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 ........ MORE


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) ........ MORE


Hero Honda's Splendor is the world's largest selling motorcycle. Its 2 plants are in Dharuhera and Gurgaon, both in India. Third plant at Haridwar, Uttranchal is also under commissioning stage & will start production by April, 2008.
Hero Honda Motors Limited, based in Delhi, India, is the world's largest manufacturer of motorcycles1. It sold 3 million bikes in the year 2005-2006 ........ MORE


Radhakant Bajpai of Naya Ganj, Uttar Pradesh, India, has been recognized by Guinness World Records as having the world’s longest ear hair.The tufts coming out of the man’s ears measured an incredible 13.2 cm (5.19 in) ........ MORE


About 20% Indians are strict vegetarians. With a population of more than 100 crore (10 billion) the vegetarian population is more than 20 crore (2 billion). There are 744 vegetarian communities. There are 744 vegetarian communities comprising 16% of the population, prominent among them being, Jains and Vaishnavas. Large parts of population ........ MORE


The Atlas moth (Attacus atlas) is a large saturniid moth found in the tropical and
subtropical forests of Southeast Asia, southern China, India, the Malay archipelago, Thailand to Indonesia.
These moths are considered the largest in the world in terms of total wing surface area (upwards of 400 square cm. or 65 square inches). Their wingspans are also ........ MORE


The King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) is the world's longest venomous snake, growing to a length of 5.7 m (18.5 ft) and a weight of up to 9 kg (20 lbs). This species is quite widespread, ranging throughout south-eastern Asia and into India. In India, it is mainly found near the foothills of the Himalayas. Its genus name ........ MORE


The fastest swimming fish on earth are the sailfish, reaching speeds of up to 110 km/h (68 mph), which is the highest speed reliably reported in a fish.Sailfish are two species of fishes in the genus Istiophorus, living in warmer sections of all the oceans of the world, including the seas of India. They are blue to gray ........ MORE


The pygmy hog (Porcula salvania) is the world’s smallest wild pig standing about 25-30 cm from the ground, and was once common across India, Nepal and Bhutan. However, by the 1960s, this mammal was believed to be extinct.
This pig was ........ MORE


The largest squirrel in the world is the Indian giant squirrel (ratufa indica) sometimes known as the Malabar giant squirrel, it can grow to three feet in length, with only the tail measuring up to 2ft. in length. This species is found in southeast Asia, and parts of Nepal.The species is endemic to deciduous, mixed deciduous, and moist evergreen forests of peninsular India, reaching as far north as the Satpura hill range of Madhya ........ MORE


Shridhar Chillal from Pune, near Bombay, holds the world record for the longest fingernails on a single hand. On 8 July 1998 the nails on his left hand were measured on the television show Guinness World Records ........ MORE


The world's deadliest human killer is the mosquito. No, mosquito does not kill humans directly, but act as a vector agent that carries disease-causing viruses and parasites from person to person without catching the disease themselves. Female mosquitoes ........ MORE


Indian Railways (abbreviated as IR) is the world's largest commercial or utility employer,
with more than 1.6 million employees.
The railways traverse the length and breadth of the country; the routes cover a total length
of 63,465 km with more than 7,000 stations. As of 2005, IR owned a total of ........ MORE


This is to mark the silver jubilee, i.e. the twenty fifth post of my popular blog ........ (This is the same post you are reading now.)

Friday, June 27, 2008


Indian Railways (abbreviated as IR) is the world's largest commercial or utility employer,
with more than 1.6 million employees.

The railways traverse the length and breadth of the country; the routes cover a total length
of 63,465 km with more than 7,000 stations. As of 2005, IR owned a total of 222,379 wagons,
42,125 coaches and 7910 locomotives and ran a total of 14,444 trains daily, including about 8,702 passenger trains. All these make it the world's largest railway network. There are more than five billion passenger journeys on the railways each year.

Railways were first introduced to India in 1853 by the British colonial rulers. In modern India, Indian Railways is a Department of the Government of India, under the Ministry of Railways, and is tasked with operating the rail network in India. The Ministry is headed by a cabinet rank Railways Minister, while the Department is managed by the Railway Board. Indian Railways is not a private corporate body; however, of late IR has adopted a corporate management style.