India is a land that has many marvels and wonders. It has the second-largest population in the world and is a melting pot of a variety of different cultures. This country is home to a large number of religions, languages, and cultures. It is not an exaggeration to say that India is one of the most diverse countries in the world.

“India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grand mother of tradition. Our most valuable and most artistic materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only!”

– Mark Twain (Writer, America)

Scholars have estimated that humans first came to India over 55,000 years ago. In fact, one of the first civilizations in the world, the Indus Valley civilization, was found in India. From the days of the Indus Valley civilization till now, India has flourished into one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Ancient India was one of the most advanced civilizations in the world at the time. In this list we’ll take a small glimpse at what India has given the world, so read on to find out 10 things India has taught the world:

10. Yoga

Today yoga is practiced all over the world. It is used by a great number of individuals to relax their minds and bodies. Yoga can be extremely effective as a form of relaxation and exercise as well. There is a reason that this ancient practice has survived for hundreds of years.

Yoga is one of the philosophical schools of Hinduism. Initially, yoga was used as a method to develop a person’s inner spirit. It was mainly based on philosophy. However, over the years it’s developed into an exercise form that helps people to combine relaxation with exercise. This has helped people all over the world.

9. Ayurveda

Medicine is an integral part of human civilization. Ever since the dawn of time, humans have been trying to use their intelligence to cure illnesses. However before modern medicine was a thing, there were many ancient medical systems that propped up all over the world and one of the most prominent was Ayurveda.

Ayurveda is a branch of alternative medicine that primarily uses herbal methods to cure illnesses. This branch of medicine appears to have originated around 8,000 years ago. This makes it one of the oldest medical practices in the world. Although modern medicine has advanced far past the days of Ayurveda, some herbal ayurvedic medicines are still used to alleviate certain mild symptoms of illnesses.

8. The Number Zero

Its common knowledge that India was the country where the number zero originated from. However, most people don’t realize how important this discovery was. Many other ancient civilizations that developed complex numerical systems often left a blank in place of a zero. Indians were thought to be the first to place a numerical value in that null spot. This allowed Indians to expand upon their mathematical concepts further. Ancient Indian scholars were also responsible for many advancements in algebra and maths that are still used today.

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7. Board Games

You’ve probably played a game of chess or maybe even some snakes and ladders many times before. That’s not surprising because of the fact that both of these are two of the most popular board games in the world. What you might not be aware of is the fact that both of these games originated in ancient India.

People that lived in ancient times used to get bored occasionally. This is one of the ways in which they were similar to us. These board games were a great way for them to pass some time. Games like Ludo, Snakes and Ladders, Chess, and many others all began in ancient India. Although these games used handcrafted wooden pieces instead of the plastic colourful sets we grew up with, these games were still extremely similar to their modern counterparts. So the next time you pick up one of these games just remember that there were people playing this game in ancient India.

6. Dentistry

The ancient Indus valley civilization is known for many things like its coins and its complex sewage system. But you might not be aware of the fact that evidence of ancient dentistry was also found in this civilization. Dentistry is a study that deals with fixing certain ailments related to teeth. This might not seem very important but dentistry was a crucial step towards a more advanced civilization. If a person’s teeth decay then they wouldn’t be able to eat food which would eventually lead to malnourishment. The fact that this ancient civilization was able to practice dentistry is a massive feat.

5. Plastic Surgery

Nowadays plastic surgery has evolved into a science that deals primarily with cosmetics. However plastic surgery is also very useful for essential procedures such as facial reconstruction surgery and so on. Sushruta was one of the first surgical doctors in the world who is known as the ‘Father of Surgery’. He created one of the first detailed texts on medicine. This text details many different ayurvedic medicines that defined Ayurveda.

Sushruta also detailed many surgical procedures that used skin grafts for plastic surgery. He described in detail how a rhinoplasty or a surgery that reforms the nose is done by using skin. This procedure is still practiced today which goes to show how revolutionary these procedures were.

4. Musical notations

Music has always been a part of human civilization and it will probably always be a part of it. We use music as a way to express ourselves. Music is a form of art that adds to our lives. In order to write down music so that it could be passed on to other people, you need to come up with a system of musical notation. The Samaveda text contains musical notations that detail certain forms of music from 1000 BC. There have also been texts that show musical notations from around the 8th century BC.

3. Diamond Cutting

The act of cutting and polishing gemstones from their rough form is an incredibly skillful art. It requires precision, dedication, and years of experience as even one wrong move could cause the entire gemstone to be ruined. Although many different cultures came up with their own processes for ‘diamond cutting’ India was perhaps one of the first to begin this extraordinary practice. The Ratnapariksha is a detailed process that notes down all the various intricate aspects of gemstone cutting. This has been traced back to around the 6th century, approximately 500 BC. However, evidence indicates that the science of gemstones was well known before this technique and people in India have been practicing it as far back as the 12th century. We also know that Indians started using diamond-tipped drills around this time.

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2. Spinning Wheel

The spinning wheel or the chakra is a tool that is used to wind fibers into threads which can be used to make fabric. In the days before the industrial revolution, this tool was one of the best ways that humans had to make thread. Fibers were taken from a plant, like a cotton plant, and wound together to make thread. The fabric that was produced with this method was durable and easy to make into clothes. This chakra eventually became a symbol for the Indian freedom movement and even made it onto the flag of India.

1. Cotton Cultivation

Although the Chakra was crucial to the development of modern India, you cant make fabric without plant fiber. India is an agricultural nation that thrives off its farmers. In fact one of the main reasons why the British colonized India was because of the massive amount of resources that India had due to their agricultural trade. There is evidence that cotton cultivation was used by the Indus Valley civilization to produce fabrics around 7000 years ago. Cotton cloth is airy and easy to transform into clothes which makes it perfect for countries with warm climates. Cotton cultivation is still widely used today. A significant portion of the clothes we wear contains cotton. This goes to show how revolutionary this discovery was.

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