Rare Discoveries and Inventions from India

Indian inventions and discoveries are instrumental in shaping current modern world. In this post we have mentioned 20 interesting inventions that originated in India.

So let’s begin:

1. Buttons

ancient button

Buttons were first used in Harappan civilization around 2000 BCE. They were primarily used for ornamental purpose instead of fastening clothes.

2. Ruler scale

Ruler Scale

Rulers made of ivory were used by the Indus Valley Civilization prior to 1500 BCE. The rulers found during excavations shows an astonishing accuracy in the decimal sub-divisions marked on them.

3. World’s First University

World's first University

Around 700 B.C.E., World’s first university was founded at  Takshashila, located in northwest region of India. It had 300 lecture halls, laboratories, a library and a towering observatory for astronomical research. Chinese travel Hien Tsang wrote in his book that it had 10,000 students and 200 professors.

4. Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery in ancient times

Sushruta an ancient Indian physician (6th century BCE) had the knowledge of performing cataract surgery. Greek scientists would come to India to get operations done and to learn the basics it.

5. Snakes and Ladders

Snakes and ladder game of ancient times

The game of Snakes & Ladders originated in ancient India. Back then it was known as ‘Mokshapat’ or ‘Moksha Patamu’. It is not exactly known when this game was played in ancient times but it is believed that the game was played around 2nd century BCE.  

6. First mention of leprosy and cure of Lithiasis

First mention of Leprosy cure

First mention of leprosy was in the ancient Indian literature work  – ‘Atharva-Veda’.

Lithiasis refers to the formation of stones in the body, and India was the first country to treat this disease using a treatment described in the Sushruta Samhita (6th century BCE), a textbook on ancient surgery.

7. Shampoo

Ancient shampoo

The word ‘Shampoo’ is derived from ‘champo’. It was initially used as a fragrant head massage oil for the Nawabs of Bengal during the Mughal Empire around 1762.

8. Cotton cultivation

Cotton Cultivation

Indians were the first one to start cultivating cotton during the 5th millennium BCE in Indus Valley Civilization. During this period the Greeks used to wear animal skins and were not aware of what is cotton.

9. Suits game(card game)

The first card game originated in India & was known as Krida-patram which literally means ‘painted rags for playing’.

10. Dimond mining

About 5000 years ago diamonds were recognized and mined in central India. India was also the solo producer of diamonds till 18th century. (In 18th century diamond mines were discovered in Brazil).

11. Ink

Many ancient civilizations independently discovered and prepared ink for writing purposes. But the practice of writing with ink and a sharp pointed needle like tool was common in South India since 4th century BCE.

12. Plastic Surgery.

Plastic Surgery

Indians were pioneers in Plastic Surgery . The first plastic surgery was carried out in India in early 2000 BCE.

13. Quadratic System.

Quadratic Equations

In 7th century CE the first general formula to solve quadratic equation was found by Brahmagupta.


14. Chess


Chess developed out of Ashtapada (an ancient strategy board game developed during the Gupta Period around the 6th century AD).

15. Lunar Water


In 2008, ISRO’s Chandrayaan-I made the surprising discovery of water on moon. Until 2008, lunar surface was considered to be dry.

16. Demonstration of wireless communication

In 1895, Sir J. C. Bose gave his first public demonstration of electromagnetic waves. Sir J.C.Bose also discovered the Mercury Coheror which was used by G.Marconi to receive radio signals in his first radio communication in December 1909.

Jagadish Chandra Bose was also the first scientist to use a crystal to detect radio waves, in his experiments with microwaves in 1894 using a detector made of galena crystal.

17.  The USB

The USB (Universal Serial Bus) is part of our daily lives. This small storage device was co-invented by an Indian-American computer architect Ajay Bhatt.

18. Complex Hydraulic Engineering

During the period of Indus Valley civilization i.e. over 5,000 years ago, Indians showed advanced hydraulic engineering skills. The sewage systems of these settlements were so advanced that they were designed to automatically self-clear systems blockages, as well as account for smell and odour. The world’s first flush toilets were also in use in India over 3,000 years ago

19. Carburized Steel


Ancient Indians were known pioneers in metallurgy, and had mastered the production of high quality steel more than two thousand years before the process was finally discovered in Britain and Europe.

20. Rocket Missiles

Tipu Sultan

Yes, the first use of rocket missiles was done in India. It was used by Tipu Sultan the ruler of Mysore and his father Hyder Ali in 1780 in a battle against the British army.



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