India is the 7th largest country in the world, it takes up an area of 3,287,263 sq km (1,269,219 sq mi) and is one of the oldest civilizations in history, rich not only in culture and tradition but also in the breathtaking scenery.
In order to introduce India a little better, here we present you with 18 interesting facts about India, the colourful country, its wilderness and mountain areas and include links to further information, including books and guidebooks to the Himalayas as well a list of adventures for you to sign up to and more information on specific mountains.
1. More than 100 million years ago India was actually a giant island floating in the ocean, when eventually, around 50 million years ago, it collided with Asia creating the Himalayas due to an impact.
2. India has seven major mountain ranges: the 8,586 m (28,169 ft) high Indian Himalaya Range in the north; the 2,157 m (7,077 ft) high Purvanchal Range in the north-east; the 1048 m (3,438 ft) high Vindhya Range and the 1,350 m (4,429 ft) high Satpura Range in central India; the 1,722 m (5,650 ft) high Aravalli Range in the north-west; the 2,695 m (8,842 ft) high Western Ghats in the west and the 1,680 metres (5,512 ft) high Eastern Ghats in the east.
3. India is a home for the world’s third largest crater. Approximately 50 000 years ago a meteorite hit the Earth, creating a 1,13 sq km (0,44 sq mi) crater. Later on, the crater filled with water becoming a now called the Lonar Crater Lake.
4. The highest mountain of India and the 3rd highest mountain in the world - Kangchenjunga - 8,586 m (28,169 ft), is located just on the India-Nepal border. It has five peaks and it is the eastern-most mountain that has an elevation higher than 8,000 m (26, 250 ft).
5. To ones who believe that nature is the greatest artist, the Elephant Point in India is a proof of such statement. Located just next to Kate’s Point, there stands a natural rock formation which resembles the elephant’s trunk.
6. One of the most challenging climbing routes the Shark’s Finn is located in India. The route is located on a 6,310 m (20,700 ft) high central peak of Mount Meru and has only been conquered once by Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturk, in 2011.
7. Belum Caves is the second largest cave system in the Indian subcontinent. It is at least 3,229 m (10,600 ft) long and is famous for the formations of stalactites and stalagmites. It formed due to a continuous flow of underground water, which resulted in lengthy passages and spacious chambers with the streams of fresh water.
8. The hills in the Purvanchal Range are known as the wettest place on Earth as it gets the highest annual rainfall (11,871 mm) in the planet.
9. The Narmanda River has carved a 3 km (2 mi) long spectacular gorge, which features Marble Rocks of an exquisite beauty. Its actual name is Bandar Kudni, meaning Monkey's jumping place, which originated from the fact that the rocks used to be so close to each other that monkeys would be able to jump from one to another.
10. Kangchenjunga was first conquered in 1955 by Joe Brown and George Band. Although, as the summit is considered to be sacred the mountaineers stopped just below it in order not to defile it by human feet. For a fact, most of climbers respect this tradition and keep themselves from going all the way up to the top.
11. Banni Grasslands Reserve in Rann of Kutch is famous for a phenomenon where pear-shaped lights dance around and even change colour. For long years it has been associated with UFOs, ghosts, and spirits, but nowadays scientists have come to a bottom of the phenomenon stating that the lights appear due to oxidation of methane that is issued by the marshes.
12. The only floating lake in the world – the Loktak Lake is found in India in a region of Manipur. It is famous for the formations called phumdis that consist of masses of vegetation, soil, and decomposing organic material. Phumdis float on the surface of the lake and cover the majority of its area.
13. There are over 1,000 different languages spoken in India! The most spread languages are Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil and Urdu, which are each spoken by approximately 50 million people, but due to language diversity, there is no national language in India. On the other hand, more that 50 % of the population speak Hindi either as a first, second or a third language, but what is really surprising, the second most spoken language in India is English (12 %).
14. One of the most amazing natural wonders on Earth is Columnar Basaltic Lava formations which only occur in the specific set of conditions. You can find such formations in Coconut and St. Mary’s islands, in India. Here basaltic columns appeared 60 million years ago after the explosion of the volcano.
15. Gurudongmar Lake is located at an altitude of 5,012 m (17,100 ft) and is considered to be one of the highest lakes on Earth. The lake was named after the founder of Tibetan Buddhism Guru Nanak, who visited the lake in the 8th century.
16. Hoggenakal Falls is often called the Niagara of India. It is located in South India on the river Kaveri and it features carbonatite rocks, which are considered to be one of the oldest rocks in the world.
17. The Barren Island of Andaman is the only active volcano of South Asia! It has an elevation of only 305 m (1,000 ft) above sea level but when you measure from the bottom of the ocean it is at least 2,000 m (6,500 ft) taller. The volcano has erupted more than ten times since 1787 when the first eruption was recorded. The latest eruption was recorded in 2010 and continued for almost 4 months.
18. India is also a place where you can find the largest salt desert in the world – the Great Rann of Kutch. It takes up the space of 7,505 sq km (2,300 sq mi). Every year the Government hosts 3-month long festival where visitors are given a chance to experience an amazing view of a full moon light reflecting off the salt, familiarize with local culture and cuisine and live in a city of tents.
ADVENTURES IN India
MOUNTAINs & RANGES