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India

National Symbols

Title

Symbol

Facts

National flag

Flag of India

Adoption

22 July 1947

Shape

Horizontal rectangular tricolor flag.

History

The flag is based on the Swaraj flag designed by Pingali Venkayya.

Design

    1. The length of the flag is 1.5 times that of the width i.e. a ratio of two by three.
    2. All three stripes equal in width and length; Saffron at the top, white in the middle and India green at the bottom.
    3. The size of Ashoka Chakra is not defined but it must have 24 spokes and is to be printed on both sides of the flag in navy blue colour.

National emblem

National Emblem of India

Adoption

26 January 1950. Adopted from the Lion Capital of Ashoka at Sarnath.

Design

Adopted into the present form by Madhav Sawhney.

History

The capital was erected by Ashoka to mark the spot where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma and where the Buddhist Sangha was founded.

Features

Three lions are visible. There is a dharma chakra at the centre. A bull and a horse is visible in the abacus.

A Motto is inscribed below the abacus in Devanagari script: "Satyameva jayate" taken from Mundaka Upanishad.

Usage

Emblem is regulated and restricted under State Emblem of India (Prohibition of Improper Use) Act, 2005.


Actual emblem:

Four Asiatic lions standing back to back  symbolizes the power, courage, pride, and confidence.

The abacus is girded with a frieze of sculptures in high relief of an elephant (of the east), a bull (of the west), a horse (of the south), and a lion (of the north), separated by intervening wheels, over a lotus in full bloom, exemplifying the fountainhead of life and creative inspiration. At its centre it has a beautiful wheel (Dharma chakra).

Carved out of a single block of polished sandstone, the capital is crowned by the Wheel of the Law (Dharma Chakra).

Difference between Actual and Adopted emblem:

Actual emblem

Adopted emblem

   

Four Asiatic lions stand back to back

Only three lions are visible, the fourth being hidden from view.

At the bottom it has an elephant, a bull, a horse and a lion.

Only the horse and bull are visible while the other two being hidden from view.

There is a bell shaped lotus beneath the abacus

Bell-shaped lotus beneath the abacus is absent.

National calendar

Saka calendar

Adoption

Chaitra 1, 1879, Saka Era, or March 22, 1957.

History

The calendar was developed by the Calendar Reform Committee in 1957.

Facts

The names of the months are derived from ancient Hindu lunisolar calendar.

In leap years, Chaitra has 31 days and starts on March 21 instead.

To determine leap years, add 78 days to the Saka year.

Calendar structure:

Sl. No.

Month (Sanskrit)

Length

Start date (Gregorian)

Tropical zodiac

1

Chaitra

30/31

March 22

Aries

2

Vaishākha

31

April 21

Taurus

3

Jyēshtha

31

May 22

Gemini

4

Āshādha

31

June 22

Cancer

5

Shrāvana

31

July 23

Leo

6

Bhaadra

31

August 23

Virgo

7

Āshwin

30

September 23

Libra

8

Kārtika

30

October 23

Scorpio

9

Agrahayana

30

November 22

Sagittarius

10

Pausha

30

December 22

Capricorn

11

Māgha

30

January 21

Aquarius

12

Phalguna

30

February 20

Pisces

National anthem

Jana Gana Mana

Adoption

24 January 1950.

Composer

Rabindranath Tagore.

Lyrics

Originally written in Sanskritised (Tatsama) Bengali.

Hindi Translation

Translated into Hindi-Urdu by Abid Ali.

English translation

Translated into English by Rabindranath Tagore.

Formal rendition of the national anthem

52 seconds.

Shortened version of rendition of the national anthem

20 seconds.

National song

Vande Mataram

Adoption

24 January 1950

Composer

Bankim Chandra Chatterjee(In his 1882 novel Anandamath).

Song

The original Vande Mataram consists of six stanzas.

Lyrics

Originally written in Bengali.

Translation

Aurobindo Ghose(first appeared in Karmayogin, 20 November 1909).

History

It was first sung in a political context by Rabindranath Tagore at the 1896 session of the Indian National Congress.

In 1950 (after India's independence), the song's first two verses were given the official status of the "national song" of the Republic of India.

Oath of allegiance

National Pledge

Adoption

26 January 1965

Composer

P. V. Subba Rao in 1962.

History

Initially composed in Telugu language. It was first read out in a school in Visakhapatnam in 1963.

National river

Ganga

Fact: Ganga is the longest river of India with the most heavily populated river basin in the world. The river is revered by Hindus as the most sacred river on earth.

National animal

Royal Bengal Tiger

Scientific name: Panthera tigris

Fact: It is the largest carnivore is found only in the Indian subcontinent and can be found in most regions of the country.

National aquatic animal

River Dolphin

Name: Gangetic dolphin

Scientific name: Platanista gangetica

Fact: It is said to represent the purity of the holy Ganga Riveras it can only survive in pure and fresh water.

National bird

Indian Peacock

Scientific name: Pavo cristatus

Fact: It is indigenous to India. Peacock represents the unity of vivid colors and finds references in Indian culture.

National flower

Indian lotus

Scientific name: Nelumbo nucifera

Fact: 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.

National fruit

Mango

Scientific name: Mangifera indica

Fact: Originated in India and the country is home to more than 100 varieties of the fruit.

National tree

Indian Banyan

Scientific name: Ficus bengalensis

Fact: They root themselves to form new trees and grow over large areas. Because of this characteristic and its longevity, this tree is considered immortal and is an integral part of the myths and legends of India.