[General Studies] National Symbols of India

National Animal of India: The Tiger

The tiger is the symbol of India's wealth of wildlife. The magnificent tiger, Panthera tigris, is a striped animal.

The tiger is the symbol of India's wealth of wildlife. The magnificent tiger, Panthera tigris (Linnaeus), is a striped animal. It has a thick yellow coat of fur with dark stripes. The combination of grace, strength, agility and enormous power has earned the tiger its pride of place as the national animal of India.

Out of eight races of the species known, the Indian race, the Royal Bengal Tiger, is found throughout the country except in the north-western region and also in the neighbouring countries, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh.
To check the dwindling population of tigers in India ‘Project Tiger’ was launched in April 1973. So far, 27 tiger reserves have been established in the country under this project, covering an area of 37,761 sq km. To check the dwindling population of tigers in India ‘Project Tiger’ was launched in April 1973.


National Anthem of India : Jana-gana-mana


The song Jana-gana-mana, composed originally in Bengali by Rabindranath Tagore, was adopted in its Hindi version.

The song Jana-gana-mana, composed originally in Bengali by Rabindranath Tagore, was adopted in its Hindi version by the Constituent Assembly as the national anthem of India on 24 January 1950. It was first sung on 27 December 1911 at the Calcutta Session of the Indian National Congress. The complete song consists of five stanzas. The first stanza contains the full version of the National Anthem :

Jana-gana-mana-adhinayaka, jaya he
Bharata-bhagya-vidhata.
Punjab-Sindh-Gujarat-Maratha
Dravida-Utkala-Banga
Vindhya-Himachala-Yamuna-Ganga
Uchchala-Jaladhi-taranga.
Tava shubha name jage,
Tava shubha asisa mange,
Gahe tava jaya gatha,
Jana-gana-mangala-dayaka jaya he
Bharata-bhagya-vidhata.
Jaya he, jaya he, jaya he,
Jaya jaya jaya, jaya he!


Playing time of the full version of the national anthem is approximately 52 seconds. A short version consisting of first and last lines of the stanza (playing time approximately 20 seconds) is also played on certain occasions.

The following is a translation of Rabindranath Tagore's rendering of the stanza:

"Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people,
dispenser of India's destiny.
The name rouses the hearts of Punjab, Sind, Gujarat and Maratha,
of the Dravid and Orissa and Bengal;
It echoes in the hills of the Vindhyas and Himalayas,
mingles in the music of the Yamuna and Ganga
and is chanted by the waves of the Indian Sea.
They pray for thy blessings and sing thy praise.
The salvation of all people is in thy hand,
thou dispenser of India's destiny.
Victory, victory, victory to thee."


National Bird of India : The Peacock

The Peacock, Pavo cristatus (Linnaeus), the national bird of India. It is symbolic of qualities like beauty, grace.

The Peacock, Pavo cristatus (Linnaeus), the national bird of India. It is symbolic of qualities like beauty, grace, pride and mysticism. Peacocok is a colourful, swan-sized bird, with a fan-shaped crest of feathers, a white patch under the eye and a long, slender neck.

The male of the species is more colourful than the female, with a glistening blue breast and neck and a spectacular bronze-green train of around 200 elongated feathers it is able to expand its tail erect like fan as ostentatious display. The female is brownish, slightly smaller than the male, and lacks the train. These birds do not sound as beautiful as they look they have a harsh call. The elaborate courtship dance of the male, fanning out the tail and preening its feathers is a beautiful sight. The peacock is widely found in the Indian sub-continent from the south and east of the Indus river, Jammu and Kashmir, east Assam, south Mizoram and the whole of the Indian peninsula. Found wild in India (and also domesticated in villages) they live in jungle lands near water. They were once bred for food but now hunting of peacocks is banned in India. It is fully protected under the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

National Calendar

The national calendar based on the Saka Era with Chaitra as its first month and a normal year of 365 days was adopted from 22 March 1957.


The national calendar based on the Saka Era with Chaitra as its first month and a normal year of 365 days was adopted from 22 March 1957 along with the Gregorian calendar for the following official purposes:

(i) Gazette of India,
(ii) News broadcast by All India Radio,
(iii) Calendars issued by the Government of India and
(iv) Government communications addressed to the members of the public.


Dates of the national calendar have a permanent correspondence with dates of the Gregorian calendar : 1 Chaitra falling on 22 March normally and on 21 March in leap year.


The national calendar is based on the Saka Era with Chaitra as its first month and a normal year of 365 days was adopted from 22 March 1957 along with the Gregorian calendar for the following official purposes:
(i) Gazette of India, 

(ii) news broadcast by All India Radio, 
(iii) calendars issued by the Government of India and 
(iv) Government communications addressed to the members of the public.


MONTHS OF THE NATIONAL CALENDAR:
(1) Chaitra, 

(2) Vaishakha, 
(3) Jaishtha, 
(4) Ashadha, 
(5) Shravan, 
(6) Bhadra, 
(7) Ashvina, 
(8) Kartika, 
(9) Margashirsha, 
(10) Pausha,
(11) Magha,
(12) Phalguna.

Dates of the national calendar have a permanent correspondence with dates of the Gregorian calendar :
(i) Chaitra falling on 22 March normally and on 21 March in leap year (ii)


National Flag of India

The National flag is a horizontal tricolor of deep saffron (kesari) at the top, white in the middle and dark green at the bottom.



The National flag is a horizontal tricolor of deep saffron (kesari) at the top, white in the middle and dark green at the bottom in equal proportion. The saffron color indicates the strength and courage of the country. The white middle band, indicates peace and truth with Dharma Chakra. The last band is green in colour shows the fertility , growth and auspiciousness of the land.


The ratio of width of the flag to its length is two to three. In the centre of the white band is a navy blue wheel which represents the chakra. Its design is that of the wheel which appears on the abacus of the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka. The chakra intends to show that there is life in movement and death in stagnation. Its diameter approximates to the width of the white band and it has 24 spokes. The design of the national flag was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India on 22 July 1947.

Flag Code:

On 26th January 2002, the flag code was changed. After 52 years, the citizens of India are free to fly the Indian flag over their homes, offices and factories on any day. Now Indians can proudly display the national flag any where and any time. There are some rules and regulations upon how to fly the flag, based on the 26 January 2002 legislation. These include the following:

The Do's:

1. The National Flag may be hoisted in educational institutions (schools, colleges, sports camps, scout camps, etc.) to inspire respect for the Flag. An oath of allegiance has been included in the flag hoisting in schools.
2. A member of public, a private organization or an educational institution may hoist/display the National Flag on all days and occasions, ceremonial or otherwise consistent with the dignity and honour of the National Flag.
3. Section 2 of the new code accepts the right of all private citizens to fly the flag on their premises.


The Don'ts:


1. The flag cannot be used for communal gains, drapery, or clothes. As far as possible, it should be flown from sunrise to sunset, irrespective of the weather.
2. The flag cannot be intentionally allowed to touch the ground or the floor or trail in water. It cannot be draped over the hood, top, and sides or back of vehicles, trains, boats or aircraft.
3. No other flag or bunting can be placed higher than the flag. Also, no object, including flowers or garlands or emblems can be placed on or above the flag. The tricolour cannot be used as a festoon, rosette or bunting.


National Flower of India : Lotus

Lotus scientifically known as Nelumbo Nucifera is the National Flower of India. It is a sacred flower and occupies.

Lotus scientifically known as Nelumbo Nucifera is the National Flower of India. It is a sacred flower and occupies a unique position in the art and mythology of ancient India and has been an auspicious symbol of Indian culture since time immemorial. The Lotus symbolises divinity, fertility, wealth, knowledge and not to forget enlightenment. Lending to its uniqueness, the flower grows in murky waters and rises on a long stalk above the surface to bloom glorious. It is also a symbol of triumph, since the lotus is rooted in the mud and can survive to regerminate for thousands of years. It represents long life, honor, and good fortune. Untouched by the impurity, lotus symbolises the purity of heart and mind. 


National Fruit of India : Mango

The Mango is the national fruit. It has been cultivated in India since time immemorial. There are over 100 varieties.

The Mango is the national fruit. It has been cultivated in India since time immemorial. There are over 100 varieties of mangos in India, in a range of colors, sizes, and shapes. Common in the tropical part of the world, mangos are savored for their sweet juice and bright colors. People in India eat mangos ripe, or prepare them green as pickles or chutneys. They are rich in vitamin A, C, and D.


National Song of India : Vande Mataram


The song Vande Mataram, composed in Sanskrit by Bankimchandra Chatterji, was a source of inspiration.

The song Vande Mataram, composed in Sanskrit by Bankimchandra Chatterji, was a source of inspiration to thi people in their struggle for freedom. It has an equal status with Jana-gana-mana. The first political occasion when it was sung lhras the 1896 session of the Indian National Congress. 


The following is the text of its first stanza:
The song Vande Mataram, composed in Sanskrit by Bankimchandra Chatterji, was a source of inspiration to the people in their struggle for freedom. It has an equal status with Jana-gana-mana. The first political occasion when it was sung was the 1896 session of the Indian National Congress. The following is the text of its first stanza :


Vande Mataram!
Sujalam, suphalam, malayaja shitajam,
Shasyashyamalam, Mataram
Shubhrajyothsna puiakitayaminim,
Phullakusumita drumadala shobhinim,
Suhasinim sumadhura bhashinim,
Sukhadam varadam, Mataram!


The English translation of the stanza rendered by Sri Aurobindo in prose' is:

I bow to thee, Mother,
richly-watered, richiy-fruited,
cool with the winds of the south,
dark with the crops of the harvests,
The Mother!
Her nights rejoicing in the glory of the moonlight,
her lands clothed beautifully with her trees in flowering bloom,
Sweet of laughter, sweet of speech,
The Mother, giver of boons, giver of bliss. 


National Tree of India : The Banyan Tree


The National Tree of India is The Banyan Tree. This huge tree towers over its neighbors and has the widest.

The National Tree of India is The Banyan Tree. This huge tree towers over its neighbors and has the widest reaching roots of all known trees, easily covering several acres. It sends off new shoots from its roots, so that one tree is really a tangle of branches, roots, and trunks. The banyan tree regenerates and lives for an incredible length of time--thus it is thought of as the immortal tree.

Its size and leafy shelter are valued in India as a place of rest and reflection, not to mention protection from the hot sun! It is still the focal point and gathering place for local councils and meetings. India has a long history of honoring this tree; it figures prominently in many of the oldest stories of the nation. 

National Emblem of India


The national emblem of India is an adaptation of the Buddhist Lion Capital of Asoka at Sarnath, near Banaras in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.




Pic : National Emblem

The national emblem of India is an adaptation of the Buddhist Lion Capital of Asoka at Sarnath, near Banaras in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The Lion Capital was erected in the third century BC by Emperor Ashoka to mark the spot where the Buddha first proclaimed his gospel of peace and emancipation. The national emblem is thus symbolic of contemporary India's reaffirmation of its ancient commitment to world peace and goodwill.


It has four lions, resting on a circular abacus. The fourth lion is on the rear and hence hidden from view. The emblem symbolizes power, courage and confidence. The abacus is girded by four smaller animals - guardians of the four directions: the lion of the north, the elephant of the east, the horse of the south and the bull of the west. The abacus rests on a nelumbo nucifera in full bloom, exemplifying the fountainhead of life. Usually inscribed below the abacus in Devanagari script is the motto Satyameva Jayate ("Truth Alone Triumphs"). This is a quote from Mundaka Upanishad, the concluding part of the sacred Hindu Vedas. The emblem forms a part of the official letterhead of the Government of India, and appears on all Indian currency as well. It also sometimes functions as the national emblem of India in many places and appears prominently on the diplomatic and national Passport of the Republic of India.

State emblem

The state emblem is an adaptation from the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka. In the original, there are four lions, standing back to back, mounted on an abacus with a frieze carrying sculptures in high relief of an elephant, a galloping horse, a bull and a lion separated by intervening wheels over a bell-shaped lotus. Carved out of a single block of polished sandstone, the capital is crowned by the Wheel of the Law (Dharma Chakra). In the State emblem, adopted by the Government of India on 26 January 1950. The wheel appears in relief in the centre of the abacus with a bull on right and a horse on left and the outlines of other wheels on extreme right and left. The words Satyameva Jayate from Mundaka Upanishad, meaning ‘Truth Alone Triumphs’, are inscribed below the abacus in Devanagari script.


National Sport of India : Hockey

Hockey, in which India has an impressive record with eight Olympic gold medals, is officially the national sport.


Hockey, in which India has an impressive record with eight Olympic gold medals, is officially the national sport. The Golden Era of hockey in India was the period from 1928 - 1956 when India won 6 consecutive gold medals in the Olympics. During the Golden Era, India played 24 Olympic matches, won all 24, scored 178 goals (at an average of 7.43 goals per match) and conceded only 7 goals. The two other gold medals for India came in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and the 1980 Moscow Olympics.


1 comment:

  1. National Sport of India : Hockey is de-facto national sports of India but not established by law...

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