12 Great Inventions you didn’t know were made in INDIA

Indian inventions and discoveries have been instrumental in shaping the face of the current modern world. I have picked 12 such interesting findings out of a whole bunch that will make you go, “I didn’t know that”.


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The word ‘Shampoo’ is derived from chāmpo (चाँपो). It was initially used as a head massage oil for the Nawabs of Bengal during the Mughal Empire around 1762. It evolved into shampoo over the years. Yes, you have India to thank for shampoo.


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Buttons were first used in Mohenjo-daro for ornamental purpose rather than for fastening. They were first used in the Indus Valley Civilization by 2000 BCE.

The Chess Game

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Chess developed out of Chaturanga, which is an ancient strategy board game developed during the Gupta Empire in India around the 6th century AD. Now you know why Vishwanathan Anand is such a pro. It is simply in our roots.

Ruler / Scale

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Rulers were first used by the Indus Valley Civilization prior to 1500 BCE. Made of ivory, the rulers found during excavation, reveal the amazing accuracy of decimal subdivisions on it.

Radio / Wire-less Communication

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We all know that Marconi received a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1909 for contribution to the development of wireless telegraphy. But the first public demonstration of radio waves for communication was made by Sir Jagdish Chandra Bose in 1895, two years prior to Marconi’s similar demonstration in England.

Sir Bose was posthumously credited (more than a century later) for his achievement. The fact remains that this discovery truly shaped the face of modern wireless communication.


Pin on Writing

Many ancient cultures and civilizations independently discovered and prepared ink for writing purposes. The source of carbon pigment used in Indian Ink (called musi) used in ancient India, was India. Since 4th century BC, the practice of writing with ink with a sharp pointed needle was common in South India.

Flush in Toilets

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Flush toilets were first used in the Indus Valley Civilization. These existed in most homes and were connected to a sophisticated sewage mechanism. The civilization was prominent in hydraulic engineering.

Diamond Mining


Worldwide, India was the only source of diamonds until the discovery of mines in Brazil in the 18th century. Almost 5000 years ago, diamonds were first recognized and mined in central India.

Cotton – so basically we clothed the World!

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The ancient Greeks used to wear animal skins and were not even aware of cotton. But Indians were sort of cool and started cultivating cotton during the 5th – 4th millennium BCE in the Indus Valley Civilization. The word spread to the Mediterranean and beyond and soon everyone was ordering one from Flipkart. Well, pretty much.

Steel and Metal Works

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Ancient Indians were pioneers in metallurgy. High quality steel was produced, almost two thousand years before it was understood by the West. One of the most remarkable feat in metallurgy: creating a seamless celestial globe, was invented in Kashmir. It was earlier considered impossible to create a metal globe without seams.

So thanks to India, Iron Man can wear his suit now.

Plastic Surgery & Cataract Surgery

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Yes, you heard it right. Indians were pioneers in Plastic Surgery and Cataract surgery, too. It was carried out in India as early as 2000 BCE by Rishi Sushruta also known as the father of surgery.

Snakes & Ladders

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The game, Snakes & Ladders,  was invented in India as a game of morals. Later it spread to England and eventually introduced in the USA by game pioneer Milton Bradley in 1943.

Being one of the oldest civilizations in the world, complete with a rich history and culture as well as a strong and long scientific and technological tradition, it comes as no surprise that many significant inventions have come out of INDIA.