We asked you five quick trivia questions about India. Here are the answers:
- The oldest school of medicine known to mankind was developed in India. What is it called?
Ayurveda or Ayurvedic medicine, from the Sanskrit words āyus meaning long life and veda meaning study or science.
- What is the national bird of India?
The Indian peacock, Pavo cristatus. The original Peacock Throne on which the rulers of Persia sat was made for Shah Jehan (builder of the Taj Mahal) in the 17th century but was captured by Nader Shah and taken to Persia in 1739, where it disappeared after Nader Shah was assassinated in 1747.
- Which Indian city is the centre of Sikhism?
Amritsar, home of the Harimandir Sahib (more commonly known in English as the Golden Temple). It was founded by Guru Ram Das (the fourth of Sikhism’s ten gurus) as Guru Da Chakk and was briefly called Ramdaspur after him until taking on its present name.
- The oldest steam locomotive in the world still in regular operational main line use runs between Delhi Cantonment and Alwar. What is the name of the train?
The Fairy Queen, built in 1855 by Kitson, Thompson & Hewitson for the East Indian Railways, taken out of service in 1908 and revived in 1997. (Dave and I went on it in 2001 – you can read about it here.)
- How many official languages does India have?
This depends on the definition you choose to apply!
Strictly speaking, nationally there are just two: Standard Hindi and (as a secondary official language) English. However, the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution currently (June 2011) recognises a further 21 languages as official regional languages, 15 of which can be seen on the back of Indian banknotes – so arguably there are 23 in total.
How did you get on? Why not let us know?
If you enjoyed this quick trivia quiz and would like to read more facts, the Indian government has a page of interesting facts about India.