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.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


The highest-scoring batting partnership in a one-day international is 331, by Sachin Tendulkar ( 186 not out ) and Rahul Dravid ( 153 ) for India v New Zealand at Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium, Hyderabad, India, on 8 November 1999. They scored in the second wicket. The one day international match was against New Zealand, in the season of 1999.

The second highest batting partnership in a one-day international (318 runs) is also held by Rahul Dravid along with Saurav Ganguly.

Monday, July 8, 2013



An Indian man has entered the record books after making a rail journey to Delhi on a 26-year-old ticket.

On 19th Jan 2000 Fakhruddin Takulla ( India ) travelled from Mumbai ( Bombay ) to New Delhi, both India, using a ticket he had purchased on 15 July 1973 – 26 years 6 months earlier. Takulla used the unlimited booking service offered by the Indian Railway Authority so that he could attend the celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of Indian Independence.

Shri Fakhruddin Takulla, resident of Bombay, shocked the reservation clerk on duty at Western Railway's reservation office some time in 1973 when he approached him to book an AC Chair Car ticket to travel from Bombay Central to New Delhi by the Rajdhani Express 27 years later in January, 2000! Such bookings were then allowed under Railway Board's experimental scheme to permit would-be passengers to book their reservations in all trains without any time cap. Initially the clerk was reluctant for he had no calendar for 2000 to know whether the train would run on the specified date 27 years later for the Rajdhani then (in 1973) used to run only thrice a week. Further it was also too much of an 'unnecessary' hassle for the clerk to keep records, etc., safely for the next millennium. But the enterprising Shri Takulla would not give up as he produced a manual calendar, which he had drawn up himself, to let the clerk know the exact day and date of date of his journey! Finally, thus, he got his precious ticket for Rs 120/-.

Later Shri Takulla indeed took the journey to New Delhi by the Rajdhani Express to arrive there well in time to see the Golden Jubilee Republic Day celebrations in January 2000. He was grateful to Allah for keeping him alive to see the destined day 27 years later.

Indian Railways played the good Samaritan for they exchanged his ticket gratis for AC 3-tier class as by 2000 the AC Chair Car class had vanished from the Rajdhani. They also gave him a VIP treatment by deputing a railway official to receive him at New Delhi station on arrival and arranged for his lodging in New Delhi at a railway guesthouse for 8 days, and also arranged for his return journey at no cost to him. Shri Takulla was also given a place in the VIP gallery to watch the Republic Day celebrations. 'We felt that a person who could think of doing this 27 years ago obviously had tremendous faith in the reliability of the Indian railway network and we felt that we needed to acknowledge that and respond to it adequately,' said Shri Shanti Narain, member of the Railway Board.

At 61, Fakruddin Takulla now wants to book a ticket for 2038 - when he will be 100.His dream now is to go to his ancestral home in Kaparwaj, in the western state of Gujarat.

Saturday, July 6, 2013


Majuli is the largest riverine island in the world and is located within the Brahmaputra River, in the Indian state of Assam.

All of the above the river, its tributaries, the wet lands and the chaporis along with the island of Majuli make it the largest mid river delta system in the world. It is a pollution free fresh water island. Total area of the island was 1250, now it is about 577, having lost significant area due to erosion by the river Brahmaputra. Its length from east to west is about 90 km. & width from north to south is avg. 16 km. Majuli is a natural & cultural heritage site. With water bodies covering most of the areas , Majuli attracts plenty of birds both local & migratory. The island was formed due to course changes by the river Brahmaputra and its tributaries, mainly the Lohit.

The island is about 200 kilometres east from the state’s largest city — Guwahati, and is accessible by ferries from the town of Jorhat. It is located 20 km. off Jorhat town. Majuli is a civil sub-division of Jorhat District.

Majoli is also the abode of the Assamese neo-Vaisnavite culture. About 25—26 Satras are remaining now in Majuli of which the Satras of Kamalabari, Auniati & Garmur are worth mentioning. These Satras are propagating the religious ideology of great Assamese medieval Vaisnavite Saint Sankardeva & Madhavdeva, preaching Satria culture.

A wetland, Mājuli is a hotspot for flora and fauna, harbouring many rare and endangered avifauna species including migratory birds that arrive in the winter season. Among the birds seen here are: the Greater Adjutant Stork, Pelican, Siberian Crane and the Whistling Teal. After dark wild geese and ducks fly in flocks to distant destinations. The island is almost pollution free owing to the lack of polluting industries and factories and also the chronic rainfall.

The dwellers of Mājuli are mostly tribal folk. These tribal are the Mising tribes from Arunachal Pradesh and who immigrated here centuries ago. Apart from them, the inhabitants are also from the Deori and Sonowal Kacharis tribes. Languages spoken here are Mising, Assamese, Deori. The island has one hundred and forty four villages with a population of over 150,000 and a density of 300 individuals per square km. The only mode of association to the outside world is through a ferry service which operates only twice a day. Despite inherent drawbacks faced, modernism has touched this island, with the setting up of medical centers and educational institutions. Housing too, has segued from traditional bamboo and mud construction to ones
made of concrete.

The heart of all villages is the Namghar, where villagers episodically gather to sing and pray. It is the most important public place for the villagers. After the rituals are complete, villagers decide here on issues concerning the village such as auctioning of fishing rights, what to do with money raised, and other topics of significance to the community as a whole.

The inhabitants are expert navigators by boat; their expertise is most visible during the monsoon season when they navigate the turbulent waters of the Brahmaputra.

Thursday, July 4, 2013


The tiger (Panthera tigris) is the largest cat species, reaching a total body length of up to 3.3 m (11 ft) and weighing up to 306 kg (670 lb). It is the third largest land carnivore (behind only the polar bear and the brown bear).

There are 9 subspecies of tiger, three of which are extinct. The Bengal tiger (P. t. tigris), The Indochinese tiger (P. t. corbetti), The Malayan tiger (P. t. jacksoni), The Sumatran tiger (P. t. sumatrae), The Siberian tiger (P. t. altaica), The South China tiger (P. t. amoyensis)

Extinct subspecies: The Bali tiger (P. t. balica), The Caspian tiger (P. t. virgata), The Javan tiger (P. t. sondaica)

The Bengal tiger (P. t. tigris), also called the Indian tiger or the Royal Bengal Tiger, lives in India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh, and is the most common subspecies, with populations estimated at less than 2,500 adult individuals. In 2011, the total population of adult tigers was estimated at 1,520–1,909 in India, 440 in Bangladesh, 155 in Nepal and 75 in Bhutan. It lives in alluvial grasslands, subtropical and tropical rainforests, scrub forests, wet and dry deciduous forests, and mangroves. Male Bengal tigers have a total length, including the tail, of 270 to 310 cm (110 to 120 in), while females range from 240 to 265 cm (94 to 104 in). The weight of males range from 180 to 260 kg (400 to 570 lb), while that of the females range from 100 to 160 kg (220 to 350 lb). In northern India and Nepal, tigers tend to be of larger size. Males often average 235 kilograms (520 lb), while females average 141 kilograms (310 lb). In 1972, Project Tiger was founded in India aiming at ensuring a viable population of tigers in the country and preserving areas of biological importance as a natural heritage for the people. But the illicit demand for bones and body parts from wild tigers for use in traditional Chinese medicine is the reason for the unrelenting poaching pressure on tigers on the Indian subcontinent. Between 1994 and 2009, the Wildlife Protection Society of India has documented 893 cases of tigers killed in India, which is just a fraction of the actual poaching and illegal trade in tiger parts during those years. An area of special conservation interest lies in the Terai Arc Landscape in the Himalayan foothills of northern India and southern Nepal, where 11 protected areas comprising dry forest foothills and tall grass savannas harbor tigers in a landscape of 49,000 square kilometres (19,000 sq mi). The goals are to manage tigers as a single metapopulation, the dispersal of which between core refuges can help maintain genetic, demographic, and ecological integrity, and to ensure that species and habitat conservation becomes mainstreamed into the rural development agenda. In Nepal, a community-based tourism model has been developed with a strong emphasis on sharing benefits with local people and on the regeneration of degraded forests. The approach has been successful in reducing poaching, restoring habitats, and creating a local constituency for conservation.

Tigers range in size from the diminutive Sumatrans—females weigh between 165 and 242 pounds, and males weigh between 220 and 310 pounds—to the largest mainland tigers, such as Indians—females weigh between 220 and 352 pounds, and males weigh between 396 and 670 pounds. Total length ranges from seven to 11 feet.

The tiger's current distribution is a patchwork across Asia, from India to the Russian Far East. Tigers require large areas with forest cover, water, and suitable large ungulate prey such as deer and swine. With these three essentials, tigers can live from the tropical rainforests of Sumatra and Indochina to the temperate oak forest of the Amur River Valley in the Russian Far East.

Tigers prey primarily on wild boar (Sus scrofa) and other swine, and medium to large deer such as chital (Axis axis), red deer (Cervus elaphus), and sambar (C. unicolor). Where they occur together, tigers also hunt gaur (Bos frontalis), a huge wild cattle. Tigers also kill domestic animals such as cows and goats, and occasionally kill people.

The tiger hunts alone, primarily between dusk and dawn, traveling six to 20 miles in a night in search of prey. A typical predatory sequence includes a slow, silent stalk until the tiger is 30 to 35 feet from the selected prey animal followed by a lightening fast rush to close the gap. The tiger grabs the animal in its forepaws, brings it to the ground, and finally kills the animal with a bite to the neck or throat. After dragging the carcass to a secluded spot, the tiger eats. A tiger eats 33 to 40 pounds of meat in an average night, and must kill about once per week. Catching a meal is not easy; a tiger is successful only once in ten to 20 hunts.

Sunday, June 30, 2013


Jammu and Kashmir, once only known for its picturesque beauty, continues to have a mention in the Guinness Book of  World Records as the most militarised zone and the longest pending dispute on the planet earth. The book says that occupied Kashmir has made its place in the facts book for four reasons and all the reasons are linked to the pending dispute.

Ever since the independence of India & Pakistan from the colonial rule of the British, they have locked horns over the occupation of Kashmir. Since the partition of sub continent, Kashmir which was a princely state, became a bone of contention between India and Pakistan. Both the nuclear-armed countries claim the territory but rule it in parts since 1947. India and Pakistan have fought two wars over the territory, and are usually at loggerheads over everything related to Kashmir.
Guinness says up to 1 million troops stare at each other across the Line of Control which separates Indian administered and Pakistani administered parts of Jammu and Kashmir state.

According to the CIA world book, the dispute between China, India and Pakistan over the issue of Kashmir has made it the largest and the most militarized territorial dispute in the world. In 1989, armed insurgency in Kashmir began and India & Pakistan has since deployed an estimated 1 million troops in the region. The Guinness book of records adds that at any one time, up to 1 million troops confront each other across the Line of Control.

Experts say the silence of international community over the sufferings of Kashmiri people has resulted into more repression. Kashmir has made its place in the facts book for four reasons and all the reasons are linked to the pending dispute , the book says, Kashmir is the World’s highest battle field and largest militarized zone . It has also the highest number of military bases in the world and finally the lengthiest speech in the United Nations was given over the dispute of Kashmir. It lasted for 8 hours.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


A private business house in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India, had attempted to create a new world record with over 100,000 of its employees singing the country's national anthem together at one point in one uniform on Monday, 6th May 2013.

As a special and commemorative gift to the Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, as 1,21,653 staff and workers of Sahara India Pariwar recited the National Anthem 'Jana Gana Mana' in unison at a place, eclipsing the current Guinness record of 42,813 persons held by Pakistan. The occasion was to attempt a place in the Guinness World Record. The patriotic fervour did not stop here, as more than one million staff at 4,512 offices of Sahara also sang the National Anthem together.

Chairman of the Sahara Group, Subrata Roy, while addressing the gathering at a stadium in Lucknow, expressed his delight as his company's attempt to create a new world record.Roy says he espouses a philosophy of "collective materialism" and according to Sahara's website, the group shares its profits between staff, its internal fund and social development activities and has never declared a dividend.

Written in Sanskritised Bangla, 'Jana Gana Mana' was first sung at the Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress on December 27, 1911. It was officially adopted by the Constituent Assembly as the National Anthem of India on January 24, 1950.

There were hundreds of onlookers -- men, women and youngsters from various cities of the state - who had congregated at Ramabai Ambedkar Rally Sthal, giving it a look of mini-Kumbh, as they settled down to take their final position for the record breaking attempt. Another interesting aspect of the event was the use of air-borne camera to capture the images of the participants, and helping the third party auditors in the counting and verification process.

When asked what prompted them to undertake this activity, Subrata Roy, managing worker and chairman, Sahara India Pariwar, said, "When I first came to know that Pakistan is holding the current world record, I thought that it should be India, which must have it. And with a dedicated team, we faced no challenges in accomplishing this goal."

Before the start of the event, Subrata Roy motivated the participants. During the event, the participants paid tributes to the martyrs, who laid down their lives for the country, by observing a two-minute silence. The male workers of Sahara were wearing a uniform of white shirt, black pants and black ties, while the women sported red saris (traditional wear).

Speaking to reporters before the event started, adjudicator Pravin Patel of Guinness World Records said, "For every 50 members of the crowd, a third-party auditor is on the job to come out with the accurate number of participants." After the record was officially confirmed, Patel said that it is one of the most disciplined performances he has seen so far.

Saturday, June 22, 2013


Kumar Sanu is one of the most popular playback singers of Bollywood. He holds the Guinness Book world record since 1993 for recording the maximum number of songs in a day, which are 28. He was born on 23rd September, 1957 in Kolkata and was named Kedernath Bhattacharjee. His father, Pashupati Bhattacharjee was a renowned classical singer and composer who noticed his son's talent at a very young age. When he was still very young, his father trained him to sing classical music and play the tabla. Given here is a small list of achievements which captures the life history of Kumar Sanu. 

Awards won:
He is a recipient of the Padma Shri award in 2009, India's 4th highest civilian honour given by Government of India. He won the Filmfare Best Male Playback Award for 5 consecutive years.

Filmfare Best Male Playback Award

    1990; Ab tere bin jeelenge hum - Aashiqui
    1991: Mera Dil Bhi Kitna Pagal Hai - Saajan
    1992: Sochenge Tumhe Pyaar - Deewana
    1993: Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhen - Baazigar
    1994: Ek Ladki Ko Dekha - 1942: A Love Story

    1994: Ek Ladki Ko Dekha - 1942: A Love Story - Star Screen Award
    2000: Ankhoon ki gustakiyan - Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam - IIFA

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


In 2011, Guinness officially acknowledged Asha Bhosle as the most recorded artist in music history, surpassing her sister, Lata Mangeshkar. In 1991, Lata Mangeshkar was cited by the Guinness Book of World Records for having sung more than 30,000 solo, duet and chorus-backed song recordings, more than any other singer in the world.

 This was an honour that belonged to her beloved didi Lata Mangeshkar from 1974 to 1991, but now the baton has passed on to her younger sister Asha Bhosle who’s set a new record for recording the maximum number of songs in the world. The Guinness officials conferred on the title on her officially on Thursday.

For 10 years, there has been a constant demand from a section of her fans that Asha be the true heir of the title as she has recorded the maximum number of songs. The demand has now been fulfilled.

“Asha Bhosle enters the Guinness World Records and was awarded a certificate for the most studio recordings (singles) for recording up to 11,000 solo, duet and chorus-backed songs and in over 20 Indian languages since 1947. She was conferred with this honour at the Asian awards function held in London,” said a statement released on the occasion.

Asha was elated with the achievement and thanked her friend Vishwas Nerulkar for painfully documenting all her songs and letting the Guinness authorities know.

“I am truly feeling that I am being recognised by the whole world. I always knew that I had sung the most number of songs among all other singers, but I decided to keep quiet about it (she kept quiet when the title was given to Lata Mangeshkar). I am thankful to Vishwas Nerulkar for tabulating all my songs correctly and providing the correct information to the Guiness authorities,” says Asha.

The singer also left a message for her fans thanking them for their unflinching support. “I want to tell all my fans that I am thankful to them for loving me and my songs. I want them to continue loving me and my songs. I also want  them to love my acting as well as I have made my debut as an actor in the film Maaee. I want all your blessings,” Asha added.

Monday, June 17, 2013


Situated at a height at of 13,025 from the sea level, Yak Golf Course in Kupup in East Sikkim do features in Guinness Book of World Records as the Highest Golf Course in the World on 10 October, 2006.
The 'Yak Golf Course' was started on 19 Sep 1972 at Kupup East Sikkim, India. The spot is very close to Jelep-La, a high mountain pass to China, which is part of the ancient Silk Route. The course was re-designed in 1979 by Brig JM Singh, Cdr 164 Mtn Bde and since then it has been developed into one of the finest by Avid Golf Lovers. As on date under the guidance of Brig Ranbir Singh, Cdr 63 Mtn Bde and Col T K Murali, Dy Cdr 63 Mtn Bde the course is been redesigned and expanded to 18 holes. The first tournament held was the Saragarhi Cup on 09 Sep 1979.

The Yak Golf Course managed by the Indian Army is Affiliated to the Indian Golfers Union since 1992. Our IGU Membership No is 0245 (E). The course is open to golfers round the year subject to snow conditions. However, it is generally playable from May to Dec. The course has challenging fairways meandering across mountain streams in their full flow and teasing browns which test the golfing skills of one and all. A golfer unless acclimatized to these majestic heights needs to move slowly on the course. At this high altitude YAKS are used as golf carts to carry players - especially the older players to avoid high altitude sickness.

The club is open seven days a week, round the year subject to snow conditions. During winter, the golf course remains active with ‘Ice Hockey’, ‘Ice Skating’ and ‘Skiing’ being the main attractions. Besides these there is a Croquet Course and facility to play Baseball within the club. The Golf Course is spread over 4,978 yards with 18 holes on 18 browns and numerous bunkers. The fairways are lush green with natural streams and ponds as hazards, which makes the game interesting and challenging. Due to the natural lay of the ground, preferred lie is permitted to avoid damage to the clubs as well as to complete the course within the given score of 72.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Jyoti Amge (born December 16, 1993), a resident of Nagpur, India, is the world's smallest living woman according to the Limca Book of Records and Guinness Book of Records.

A documentary featuring Amge was broadcast in the United Kingdom on Channel 4 on June 11, 2009 at 21:00 called BodyShock: Two Foot High Teen.

She was a guest participant at Bigg Boss 6 - a winner-take-all television show in India where participants are required to live together in a large house engaging in a variety of 'tasks' as part of the game-show.

As of December 16, 2011, on her 18th birthday, Guinness World Records representatives measured Jyoti Amge at 62.8 centimetres (24.7 inches) tall, making her 2.76 inches (seven centimetres) shorter than Bridgette Jordan, the 22-year-old American who had held the title since September 2008. She has been officially declared the world's smallest woman by Guinness Book of Records with a height of 62.8 centimetres (24.7 inches). Her restricted height is due to a growth anomaly called achondroplasia.

In 2012, she met the world’s shortest man, Chandra Bahadur Dangi of Nepal. The pair posed together for the 57th edition of the Guinness World Records 2013.


A flexible five-year-old from Maharastra in Indian has whizzed her way into the record books after setting a new benchmark for the farthest distance limbo skating under cars.

Kindergarten student Shreeya Rakesh Deshpande skated under 27 cars, covering a whopping distance of 48.2 metres (158ft 2in) during a successful world record attempt last week in Kolhapur.

Nikhil Shukla , representative of Guinness World Records was present there and he confirmed that a new record had been set and presented Shreeya with her well-earned certificate for breaking the previous record of 38.68 metres which was set by Rohan Ajit Kokane (also an Indian who set this in last February during a TV show “Ab India Todega” n Mumbai)

An event celebrating Shreeya's achievement was organised later the same day in her hometown, with well-wishers once again treated to a demonstration of her amazing talent for limbo skating.

The event was organized at the Shahu Janmabhoomi in Kolhapur on 31 May 2012, saw Shreeya limbo skating under 26 vehicles and creating a new world record for covering 158.2 ft in mere 23 seconds. She also got the achievement for the farthest distance in Limbo Skating.

Proud that a student of his school has created a new world record, VIBGYOR High Principal Mr T. Balan said: “It’s always a pleasure to see our students excelling in the field of their interest and reach new heights of success. Shreeya has created history. This indeed is one of the biggest achievements for our school and has also made our country proud. VIBGYOR High has always encouraged its students to explore their interests and helped them in nurturing their talents.”

The record breaker’s father Mr. Rakesh Deshpande said: “We have always supported Shreeya in every decision she takes. The school has also shown great trust in her talents. She has achieved too much at a very young age. We only pray that she continues to be successful in everything she does and create more world records.”

The achievement marked a memorable accomplishment for the city of Kolhapur as its name was added in the annals of the Guinness World Records. The event was witnessed by noted personalities of Kolhapur who were present to encourage the young achiever.

Friday, June 7, 2013


Nathu-La, the centuries-old mountain pass on the Silk Route, has now a modern-day landmark added to it: the world’s highest ATM counter at 14,300 ft in Kupup. It was opened on 6th April 2007.

Union Bank of India, which beat other banks some years ago, setting up an ATM on the Indian Navy’s INS Vikrant, the first on a warship, launched the Nathu-La facility on Friday, beating Axis Bank, which is a private bank, which has its counter in Thegu in the same area but at 13, 200 ft.

Meant primarily for army personnel along the Sino-India border, the ATM will also service tourists. Inaugurating the setup, Union Bank MD cum chairman M.V. Nair said, “The area remains snow-bound for much of the year. Our attempt is to provide facilities of instant banking to our soldiers as also to thousands of tourists who flock here everyday”.

“This counter will help us a lot,” Colonel Sanjay, commanding officer of then Indian army’s Nathu-La battalion said.
The ATM, however, will function only during daytime and would receive power supply from a generator. Care has been taken to make sure it functions even in subzero temperatures.

Thursday, May 30, 2013


Towards the Southeast of Patna, the Capital City of Bihar State in India, is a village called the 'Bada Gaon', in the vicinity of which, are the world famous ruins of Nalanda University, world's oldest residential university. The site is located about 88 kilometres south east of Patna, and was a religious center of learning from the fifth century CE to 1197 CE.

    Founded in the 5th Century A.D., Nalanda is known as the ancient seat of learning. In its heyday, 2,000 Teachers and 10,000 Students from all over the Buddhist world lived and studied at Nalanda, the first Residential International University of the World. It had dormitories for students. The famous Chinese traveller and scholar,Hieun-Tsang stayed here and has given a detailed description of the situations prevailing at that time. Careful excavation of the place has revealed many stupas, monasteries,hostels,stair cases,meditation halls, lecture halls and many other structures which speak of the splendour and grandeur this place enjoyed,when the place was a centre of serious study.

  Nalanda flourished between the reign of the Sakraditya (whose identity is uncertain and who might have been either Kumara Gupta I or Kumara Gupta II) and 1197 CE, supported by patronage from the Hindu Gupta rulers as well as Buddhist emperors like Harsha and later emperors from the Pala Empire.

  It is also one of the most famous universities.  The university was considered an architectural masterpiece, and was marked by a lofty wall and one gate. Nalanda had eight separate compounds and ten temples, along with many other meditation halls and classrooms. On the grounds were lakes and parks. The library was located in a nine storied building where meticulous copies of texts were produced. The subjects taught at Nalanda University covered every field of learning, and it attracted pupils and scholars from Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Persia and Turkey. During the period of Harsha, the monastery is reported to have owned 200 villages given as grants.

Structure The library at Nalanda University was an immense complex. Called the Dharmaganja, or Piety Mart, it was separated into three large buildings: the Ratnasagara, the Ratnadadhi, and the Ratnaranjaka. The Ratnadadhi, meaning the Ocean of Gems, was nine stories high and housed the most sacred manuscripts including the Prajnaparamita Sutra and the Samajguhya. The towers were supposedly immense, bejewelled and gilded to reflect the rays of the sun. According to the Bhaskara Samhita, an ancient text on organizational practices, the library was to be built in a “finely built stone building” and each manuscript would have been placed on iron shelves or stack and covered with cloth and tied up. Furthermore, the librarian in charge, according to the text, was not only responsible for maintaining the materials but also for guiding readers in their studies. The exact number of volumes of the Nalanda University Library is not known but it is estimated to have been in the hundreds of thousands. The library not only collected religious manuscripts but also had texts on such subjects as grammar, logic, literature, astrology, astronomy, and medicine.

Monday, May 27, 2013


The Bombay Suburban Railway has the highest passenger density of any urban railway system in the world. The system carries more than 7.24 million commuters daily. It is a suburban rail system serving the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. It is operated by Indian Railways' two zones, Western Railways (WR) and Central Railways (CR). The trains plying on its routes are commonly referred to as local trains or simply as locals. Spread over 465 km, the suburban railway operates on 1500 V DC / 25000 V AC power supply from overhead catenary lines. The suburban services are run by electric multiple units (EMUs). 191 rakes (train sets) of 9-car, 12-car & 15-car composition are utilised to run 2342 train services, carrying 6.94 million passengers per day. If annual ridership (2.64 billion) is taken into account, the Suburban rail would be the second busiest rapid transit system in the world.

Due to the geographical spread of the population and location of business areas, the rail network is the principal mode of mass transport in Mumbai. As Mumbai's population swelled, frequent overcrowding has become a serious issue, and numerous safety concerns have been raised over the years. Due to its extensive reach across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, and its intensive use by the local urban population, the Mumbai Suburban Railway suffers from some of the most severe overcrowding in the world. Over 4,500 passengers are packed into a 9-car rake during peak hours, as against the rated carrying capacity of  1,700. This has resulted in what is known as Super-Dense Crush Load of 14 to 16 standing passengers per square metre of floor space. Trains on the suburban line are on average more than 4 minutes apart, contributing to the problem of overcrowding. The impending introduction of new higher speed rakes may help address the issue.

Sunday, May 26, 2013


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 love for numbers at the age of 3, she became an expert in complex mental arithmetic at the age of five. By age six she demonstrated her calculation and memorization abilities at the University of Mysore. At the age of eight she had success at Annamalai University by doing the same. In 1977 she extracted the 23rd root of a 201-digit number mentally. On June 18, 1980 she demonstrated the multiplication of two 13-digit numbers 7,686,369,774,870 x 2,465,099,745,779 picked at random by the Computer Department of Imperial College, London. She answered the question in 28 seconds. Her correct answer was 18,947,668,177,995,426,462,773,730. She also found her place in the Guinness book of records as a result of her extraordinary talents.

She has authored many books especially the world famous Figuring: the Joy of Numbers where she shares some of the methods of mental calculations. Puzzles to puzzle you, More Puzzles to Puzzle you, The Book of Numbers, Mathability: The Math Genius in Your Child, Astrology for you, Perfect Murder and Awaken the Genius in Your Child are some of the books authored by her. In 2006 she has released a new book called In the Wonderland of Numbers with Orient Paperbacks which talks about a girl Neha and her fascination for numbers.

 Update: Shakuntala Devi passed away at Bangalore on Apr 21, 2013 after brief illness. She was 83 and is survived by a daughter.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


By a strict definition of individuality, and using contending measures of size, , the giant banyan trees of India, Ficus benghalensis, are the largest trees in the world. In these trees, a network of interconnected stems and branches has grown entirely by vegetative, "branching" propagation. One individual, Thimmamma Marrimanu, in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh, India,  covers 19,107 square metres (4 acres), making it the largest single tree by two-dimensional canopy coverage area. This tree is also the world's largest known tree by a related measure, perimeter length, with a distance of 846 metres required to walk around the edge of the canopy. Thimmama Marrimanu is likely also the world's largest tree by three dimensional canopy volume. It is present in the Indian Botanical Gardens and is more than 200 years old. Its branches spreads over 8 acres, and hence was recorded as the biggest tree in the Guinness Book of World Records in 1989. A small temple dedicated to Thimmamma lies under the tree. An account of this lady in Telugu kept at the shrine reveals that she was the daughter of a Setti Balija couple Sennakka Venkatappa and Mangamma, born in AD 1394. She was married to a Bala Veerayya who died in 1434, and Thimmamma committed Sati. The banyan tree is believed to have sprouted at the place where she ascended the funeral pyre.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Sailendra Nath Roy was an Indian man from Siliguri, West Bengal, who registered his name in the Guinness Book of World Records for the farthest distance travelled on a zip wire using hair. He created the record at Neemrana Fort Palace, Neemrana, Rajasthan, India, on 1 March 2011. Sailendra zip lined the entire 82.5 m attached to the zip wire only by his hair, which he tied in a looped ponytail. Again in September 2012 he pulled a Darjeeling Himalayan Railway locomotive with his ponytail in north Bengal for 2.5 metres (8.2 feet) in the town of Siliguri, West Bengal. He worked as a home guard under West Bengal Police.

Roy died on 28 April 2013, while trying to beat his own record of farthest distance travelled on a zip wire using hair. Roy died due to heart failure during his record try at Teesta River. After completing about 40 per cent of the distance, which started from a point close to the Sevak Coronation Bridge, he got stuck on the wire and was unable to move. He was left hanging in midair for about 25 minutes. He died while struggling to free himself as helpless spectators looked on. He was 49 years old.

Saturday, May 18, 2013


The Jantar Mantar, situated at Jaipur, Indua is the world's largest sundial. It is a collection of architectural astronomical instruments, built by Sawai Jai Singh who was a Mughal Commander and served Emperor Aurangzeb and later Mughals. He had constructed a total of five such facilities at different locations, including the ones at Delhi and Jaipur. The Jaipur observatory is the largest and best preserved of these. It has been inscribed on the World Heritage List as "an expression of the astronomical skills and cosmological concepts of the court of a scholarly prince at the end of the Mughal period". Early restoration work was undertaken under the supervision of Major Arthur Garrett, a keen amateur astronomer, during his appointment as Assistant State Engineer for the Jaipur District.

The name is derived from jantar("instrument/machine"), and Mantar ("formula", or in this context "calculation"). Therefore jantar mantar means literally 'calculation instrument'. This observatory has religious significance, since ancient Indian astronomers were also Jyotisa masters.

The observatory consists of fourteen major geometric devices for measuring time, predicting eclipses, tracking stars' location as the earth orbits around the sun, ascertaining the declinations of planets, and determining the celestial altitudes and related ephemerides. Each is a fixed and 'focused' tool. The Samrat Yantra, the largest instrument, is 90 feet (27 m) high, its shadow carefully plotted to tell the time of day. Its face is angled at 27 degrees, the latitude of Jaipur. The Hindu chhatri (small cupola) on top is used as a platform for announcing eclipses and the arrival of monsoons.

Built from local stone and marble, each instrument carries an astronomical scale, generally marked on the marble inner lining. Bronze tablets, all extraordinarily accurate, were also employed. Thoroughly restored in 1901, the Jantar Mantar was declared a national monument in 1948.

The instruments are in most cases huge structures. The scale to which they have been built has been alleged to increase their accuracy. However, the penumbra of the sun can be as wide as 30 mm, making the 1mm increments of the Samrat Yantra sundial devoid of any practical significance. Additionally, the masons constructing the instruments had insufficient experience with construction of this scale, and subsidence of the foundations has subsequently misaligned them. The samrat yantra, for instance, which is a sundial, can be used to tell the time to an accuracy of about two seconds in Jaipur local time.[3] The Giant Sundial, known as the Samrat Yantra (The Supreme Instrument) is the world's largest sundial, standing 27 meters tall. Its shadow moves visibly at 1 mm per second, or roughly a hand's breadth (6 cm) every minute, which can be a profound experience.

Today the observatory is a popular tourist attraction. However, local astronomers still use it to predict the weather for farmers, although their authority is becoming increasingly questionable. Students of astronomy and Vedic astrology are required to take some of their lessons at the observatory, and it can be said that the observatory is the single most representative work of Vedic thought that still survives, apart from the texts. Many of the smaller instruments display remarkable innovation in architectural design and its relation to function, for instance - the Ram Yantra.

Sunday, April 28, 2013


An estimated 30 million people visited the Maha Kumbh Mela on 10 February 2013 and an estimated 100 million are expected to visit the place during the festival spread over 55 days. Both (in a single day and over a specific period) are the largest peaceful human assemblies in the world. According to estimates, around 70 million people participated in the 45-day Ardh Kumbh Mela at Prayag in 2007. The Purna Kumbh Mela held in 2001 in Prayag was estimated to have attracted between 30 and 70 million people.

The Maha Kumbh Mela, or Grand Pitcher Festival, takes place every 12 years in Northern India and sees millions of devotees bathe in the Ganges to purify their sins. The Kumbh is held at the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers, where Hindu scriptures say the gods spilt a drop of the elixir of immortality.

Kumbh Mela takes place every twelve years at one of four places: Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nashik. The Mela in its different forms alternates between Prayag, Nashik, Ujjain and Haridwar every third year. The Ardh (half) Kumbh Mela is celebrated every six years at only two places, Haridwar and Prayag.

    Kumbha Mela: Held at all four places.
    Ardha Kumbha Mela: Held at Haridwar and Prayag, every 6 years.
    Purna Kumbha Mela: Held only at Prayag every 12 years.
    Maha Kumbha Mela: Held only at Prayag, every 144 years.