• Hinduism is the religion of the majority of people in India and Nepal. It also exists among significant populations outside of the sub continent and has over 900 million adherents worldwide.
  • About 80% of the Indian population regard themselves as Hindu.
  • The 2001 census recorded 559,000 Hindus in Britain, around 1% of the population.
  • Hindus celebrate many holy days, but the Festival of Lights, Diwali is the best known.
  • In a strict sense there was no ‘Hinduism’ before modern times, although the sources of Hindu traditions are very ancient.  Hinduism is not a single religion but embraces many traditions.
  • In some ways Hinduism is the oldest living religion in the world, or at least elements within it stretch back many thousands of years.
  • The term ‘Hindu’ itself probably does not go back before the 15th and 16th centuries when it was used by people to differentiate themselves from followers of other traditions, especially the Muslims (Yavannas), in Kashmir and Bengal.