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.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


The Jaivana cannon is the world's biggest wheeled cannon ever made. It is located at the Jaigarh Fort, Jaipur. It was cast in 1720, during the reign of Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II of Jaipur. Jaivan rests on a high 4 wheeled carriage. The front wheels are 2.74 m in diameter and the rear wheels are 1.37 m in diameter. The barrel is 6.147 m (20 feet 2 inches) long and weighs 50 tons. It rests on a 7.3 m long shaft. The tip of the barrel is 711 mm in dia., while the rear of the barrel is 906 mm dia. An 776 mm long elevating screw was used for raising and lowering the barrel. The barrel has floral design. An elephant rests on the tip of the barrel and a pair of peacocks are carved in the centre. A pair of ducks also decorates the rear of the barrel. Reportedly, it took four elephants to swivel it around on its axis. About 100 kg. (a quintal) of gun powder fired a shot ball weighing 50 kg.

Never used in battle, the Maharaja Jai Singh reportedly test-fired it once in 1720. The cannon ball is said to have landed at Chaksu about 40 km to the south. The impact formed a pond at the spot. Cannons always had a water tank beside them, for the gunner to jump into to avoid the massive shock wave. Jaivan's gunner is said to have died on the spot on firing the cannon, before he could jump into water. Eight people and one elephant were also reportedly killed by the shock wave and many houses collapsed in Jaipur.The two thick rings on the barrel were used for lifting it with the help of a crane which, though incomplete, is still lying in Jaigarh.

Jaigarh Fort was a center of artillery production for the Rajputs. The foundries provide fascinating information for the visitors. The manner in which they drew in blasts of air from the desert is most intriguing. The formidable strength of Jaivan's builder, the scientifically inclined warrior Sawai Jai Singh II, lay in the large number of artillery and copious supply of munitions which he maintained.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Khardung La (elevation 5602 m or 18 380 ft)in India’s Ladakh, in the state of Jammu & Kashmir is known as the world’s highest motorable mountain pass.

The pass on the Ladakh Range lies north of Leh and is the gateway to the Shyok and Nubra valleys. The Siachen Glacier lies partway up the latter valley. Built in 1976, it was opened to motor vehicles in 1988 and has since seen many automobile, motorbike and mountain biking expeditions. Maintained by the Border Roads Organisation, the pass is strategically important to India as it is used to carry essential supplies to the Siachen. Khardong La is historically important as it lies on the major caravan route from Leh to Kashgar in Chinese Central Asia. About 10,000 horses and camels used to take the route annually, and a small population of Bactrian camels can still be seen at Hundar, in the area north of the pass, mute witnesses to history. The camels can be hired for ride by tourists.

Khardung La is situated 37 km by road from Leh. The first 24 km, as far as the South Pullu check point, are paved. From there to the North Pullu check point about 15 km beyond the pass the roadway is primarily loose rock, dirt, and occasional rivulets of snow melt. However, this pass is in better repair than many of the surrounding passes (Tanglang La, for example). From North Pullu into the Nubra Valley, the road is very well maintained (except in a very few places where washouts or falling rock occur). Hired vehicles (2 and 4-wheel-drive), heavy trucks, and motorcycles regularly travel into the Nubra Valley, though special permits may need to be arranged for travellers to make the journey.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


India is the world's largest milk producer with an annual output of over 100 million tons.
India, being the country with the largest vegetarian population, milk has a special role to play for its many nutritional advantages as well as providing supplementary income to some 70 million farmers in over 500,000 remote villages. Milk also finds its place in many relegious activities. Here milk remains as the number one commodity product by India pushing wheat and rice behind. Country’s output now covers 100 million tonnes and is valued at nearly two lakh crore rupees.

Operation Flood
Operation Flood in India, a project of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) was the world's biggest dairy development programme which made India, a milk-deficient nation, the largest milk producer in the world, surpassing the USA in 1998, with about 17 percent of global output in 2010–11, which in 30 years doubled the milk available per person, and which made dairy farming India’s largest self-sustainable rural employment generator.

The annual rate of growth in milk production in India is above 4 per cent, against the world's 1 per cent. This surge of growth can be accredited to the establishment of dairy cooperatives under the Operation Flood program. Growing in this astounding rate, India overtook the U.S. In 1998 as the world's largest milk producer. In United States, where the milk production is anticipated to grow only marginally at 71 million tonnes, occupied the top slot till 1997. In the year 1997, India's milk production was on par with the U.S. at 71 million tonnes. The world milk production in 1998 at 557 million tonnes would continue the steady progress in recent years.

However, the growth rate of both production and consumption is same at around four per cent level. According to dairy expert R S Khanna, the milk consumption is expected to grow at seven per cent by 2020. If there is little change in these rates, the domestic demand of milk may surpass the production.

In spite of being the world’s largest milk producer, India’s milk processing industry is not very large. Only 12% of milk is delivered to dairies as against the world average of 70%.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Saffron, the world's most expensive spice by weight, has a history spanning millennia. Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of the saffron crocus (Crocus sativus), a species of crocus in the family Iridaceae. A C. sativus flower bears three stigmas, each the distal end of a carpel. Together with their styles—stalks connecting stigmas to their host plant—stigmas are dried and used in cooking as a seasoning and colouring agent.

The plant is sterile, incapable of producing seed, and must be propagated vegetatively year after year in order to be sustained. The flowers, which grow only a few centimetres above the ground, must be picked on blossoming and without damaging the leaves; the red stigmas are removed from the flowers and when dried constitute the spice of commerce. Among other places, it is native to Kashmir valley of India.

A pound of dry saffron requires 50,000–75,000 flowers, the equivalent of a football field's area of cultivation (110,000-170,000 flowers or two football fields for a kilogram).Some forty hours of labour are needed to pick 150,000 flowers. Stigmas are dried quickly upon extraction and (preferably) sealed in airtight containers. Saffron prices at wholesale and retail rates range from US$500 to US$5,000 per pound (US$1,100–11,000/kg)—equivalent to £250/€350 per pound or £5,500/€7,500 per kilogram. In Western countries, the average retail price is $1,000/£500/€700 per pound (US$2,200/£1,100/€1,550 per kilogram). A pound comprises between 70,000 and 200,000 threads. Vivid crimson colouring, slight moistness, elasticity, and lack of broken-off thread debris are all traits of fresh saffron.

Another is the Kashmiri "Mongra" or "Lacha" saffron (Crocus sativus 'Cashmirianus'), which is among the most difficult for consumers to obtain. Repeated droughts, blights, and crop failures in Kashmir, combined with an Indian export ban, contribute to its high prices.

Kashmiri saffron is recognisable by its extremely dark maroon-purple hue, among the world's darkest, hence the costliest, which suggests the saffron's strong flavour, aroma, and colourative effect.

Thus, high-grade Kashmiri saffron is often sold mixed with cheaper Iranian imports; these mixes are then marketed as pure Kashmiri saffron, a development that has cost Kashmiri growers much of their income.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


India is well-known for delicious food, and the kitchen is considered to be a sacred place in any Indian home. And now India has something else to be proud of: the world’s largest solar kitchen. The system has been installed as a collaboration between the Academy for a Better World and Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, with technology from Solare-Brücke, Germany. With 84 receivers and cooking at 650 degrees, the system can produce up to 38,500 meals a day when the sun is at its peak!

The solar kitchen has been set up at Taleti, near Mount Abu, situated at a height of 1219 m above sea level in Rajasthan. It boasts of a six-module solar steam cooking system and a total of 84 parabolic dish concentrators shell type receivers. Each oval parabolic concentrator has a reflective surface area of 9.2 square meters, and reflect sunlight on the receivers by special white glass pieces. Steam is collected in the header pipes, which is then directed via insulated pipes to cooking vessels in the kitchen.

The system generates temperatures of up to about 650 degrees, and 3500-4000 kg of steam per day. The food is cooked in 200-400 liters capacity cooking pots, producing an average of 20,000 meals a day, and up to 38,500 meals per day during periods of peak solar radiation maximum.

A total of $5 million has been spent on this endeavor. The Academy for a Better World is interested in renewable energy technologies and the program is part of a special demonstration project of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India.