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Updated: December 9, 2013 15:37 IST
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Treasure trove of information

RACHNA CHHABRIA
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Incredible India in 160 pages making it easy to discover.

When you hear the word general knowledge, do you let out a groan of dismay because you are sure that you will be blasted with a whole lot of boring facts that is sure to put you to sleep. But, India- A to Z, An Alphabetical Tour of Incredible India is different. It takes us on an amazing journey with its reader friendly style of explanations. This book is a cornucopia of knowledge about our country and everything that makes India truly incredible.

Written in the format of a dictionary this bumper infopedia is packed with amazing facts and terrific trivia which the authors: Veena Seshadri and Vidya Mani have gathered from various sources. The illustrations by Sony Bhaskaran and cartoons by Greystroke add colour to the pages.

Well explained

A book of ideas when it comes to choosing topics for projects or working on tedious assignments and daily homework. You will meet Aryabhata, a pioneering Mathematician, who gave the world the concept of Zero, as well as visit the Golden Temple and find out how Amritsar got its name. You will also come to know about two unique railway stations: one with the longest name Sri Venkatanarasimharajuvariapeta in Tamil Nadu and the other with the shortest name, Ib in Orissa.

The book describes our traditional greeting of Namaste which has its origins in Sanskrit and means “I bow to you”. This greeting acknowledges that everyone is equal and worthy of being saluted. The joining of the palms symbolically says “May our minds meet”.

Heard about gompas or thukpas? Just turn the pages of the book and you will find out what they are. Gompas are Buddhist Monastries and thukpa is noodle soup. Both can be found in Ladakh (also known as little Tibet) a hilly place in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Monsters can be scary, so it’s better that you meet mythical monsters, especially the terrible three: Bakasura, Mahishasura and Raktabija in the pages of this book.

From titbits like the city of Mumbai getting its name from Goddess Mumbadevi, Maths being Jawaharlal Nehru’s bugbear, J.R.D. Tata being credited with starting the eight-hour workday for employees of Tata Steel, the sacred mango tree in the ancient Ekambareswarar Temple in Kanchipuram which bears four different types of mangos on one tree, the importance of lakes in the environment, how India’s currency came to be called the ‘rupee’ and what completes an Indian meal, this book holds all this information and more.

India A TO Z- An Alphabetical Tour Of Incredible India, by Penguin, Rs 325.

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