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Indian Rules

Best of The Rest

We take an in-depth look at this diverse nation’s most intriguing stats and symbols

The national animal of India is the Bengal tiger. In Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, the Bengal tiger Shere Khan is Mowgli’s greatest enemy

The Indian currency is the rupee. Each banknote has its worth written on it in 15 different languages

India has 22 officially recognised languages. Namaste is Hindi for ‘Hi’

The cow is a sacred animal in India and seen as a holy symbol of the earth because it gives milk and feeds the world, but asks for nothing in return

Mangos are the national fruit of India. They were first grown 5,000 years ago and India is now the largest producer in the world, growing more than 16 million tonnes a year

In 2011 ATM machines that dispensed gold were launched in Mumbai

Datta Phuge, or ‘The Gold man’, spent $250,000 on the world’s most expensive shirt. Made entirely of gold, it took 16 people 15 days to make

With 1 million workers, the Indian railway is the largest employer in the world

India has the most Post Offices in the world with more than 57,000

Illustrations by Damien Poulain