India being one of the oldest civilizations of the world, has contributed greatly to the world. Be it science, technology, art, innovations or great inventions, India has made its mark in all fields. We have picked a list of 7 inventions made by Indians that you possibly did not know about.

1. Buttons


Contrary to popular belief, the button was actually first used as an ornament rather than a bridge between the two sides of a shirt. Tracing its roots to the Indus Valley Civilation (2000 BC), buttons were originally painted or decorated seashells with piercings to allow fastening to cloth. The earliest version of the modern day button was found at an excavation site in Mohenjodaro. Dated 5000 years old, this ‘button’ was made of curved seashells.

2. Ruler


A boon to architecture and civil engineering students worldwide, the ruler is the standard piece of measurement instrumentation in use presently. The beginnings of this tool can also be traced back to 2500 BC to the Indus Valley Civilization. Recent excavations at a site at Lothal uncovered a ruler calibrated to 1/16th of an inch. This not only enlightens us on the tool making skills of the Indus tribes, but also reflects on their mathematical skills. If you think about it, how could they have known the calibration if theirs was the first ruler ever made? Were they decided arbitrarily? We’d sure love to see the math.

3. Radio


Before you can think, “Okay please, we know Marconi isn’t Indian”, know that it was Jagadish Chandra Bose that first demonstrated the use of the radio in Calcutta in 1895. This was two years before Marconi’s demonstration in England. Was it Plagiarism? No one knows till date.

4. Shampoo


Shampoo not only derives the name from India (chāmpo), but even the amazing substance you lather your hair up with every morning goes all the way back to the Mughal Empire in general, and the Nawab of Bengal specifically. Usually primitive shampoo was a mixture of various oils and fragrances with an alkali base. Sake Dean Mohamed, a renowned trader and traveler at the time, is said to have introduced the shampoo to the Nawab.

5. Cotton Cultivation


Another baby of the Indus Valley Civilization, cotton was introduced to the world between the 5th and 4th BC. Cotton was spun and manufactured with the same techniques right up until the industrial civilization introduced mechanistic ways of doing the same. Before the Common Era, this fabric had been exported to the Mediterranean.

6. Plastic Surgery


Please do not stand in disbelief. This isn’t the face changing plastic surgery we’re talking about. Some of our own home grown plastic surgeons started around 2000 BC. Ironically, it was more of a requirement than a luxury, since the laws at the time included deforming a person’s face as a form of punishment. Sushruta was one of the main contributors to this field. The Branca family in Sicily familiarized themselves with the works and techniques of Sushruta.

7. Diamond Mining

Round cut diamonds on black

Didn’t the word “Africa” just pop up in your head? It is indeed India where this practice first started, Central India to be specific. Estimated to about 5000 years ago, India was a major reserve for diamonds and probably the only exporter and source of diamonds to the world until Brazil came along with its own reserves. The Arthashatra of Kautilya, an ancient text, claimed to have. Chinese imported diamonds from India, but used them as a jade cutting knife rather than an ornament.


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