There are distinct National Symbols of India, for example, the National Anthem, Song, Bird, Animal, Flower, Emblem, Fruit, Sport, Tree, Flag, Currency and so on. All of such symbols represent the rich heritage and unique identity of the country. Hence, every Indian citizen takes pride in it and feel highly obliged to be a part of such a diverse and cultural country. Each and every symbol has a deeper meaning and significance to it.
So, if you wish to explore the distinct characteristics of India, you must check out the following national symbols that will depict the real India to you –
1- National Animal of India:
The Royal Bengal Tiger is the national animal of India, since April 1973. The tiger represents agility, strength, power and wildlife wealth of India. Hence, it was declared to be the national animal. Also, the designation of tiger as the national animal aims at protecting tigers, as a part of Project Tiger.
2- National Bird of India:
The Indian peafowl or peacock is the national bird of India. It was declared so, in 1963, as the bird was completely a part of the culture and customs of India. Apart from this, the bird was designated as the national symbol, because of its huge presence all over the country. It symbolizes beauty, love, joy and grace.
3- National Heritage Animal of India:
Elephant is referred to as the national heritage animal of India. The Indian elephant is one of the endangered animals, according to IUCN. It is believed to be the subspecies of the Asian elephant and could be easily found at four different regions in India.
4- The National Song of India:
Composed by Bankimchandra Chatterjee, ‘Vande Mataram’ was declared as the national song of India. It is believed that the song was an inspiration for the freedom fighters, struggling for freedom. Earlier, it was the national anthem of India. But, some non-Hindu communities felt that the song was biased. They felt that the song represented the whole nation by ‘Maa Durga’. Therefore, ‘Jana Gana Mana’ was declared to be the national anthem after independence.
5- The National Anthem of India:
Jana Gana Mana is the national anthem of India. Originally, it was composed by Rabindranath Tagore in Bengali. However, on 24 January 1950, the Hindi version of the anthem got adopted as the national anthem. It is said that ‘Vande Mataram’ was opposed by the non-Hindu segments of society. Therefore, Jana Gana Mana was declared as the India’s national anthem.
6- The National Pledge of India:
The national pledge or the Oath of allegiance was composed by a bureaucrat and noted Telugu author, named as Pydimarri Venkata Subba Rao. The pledge is commonly recited during Republic Day and Independence Day ceremonies, in daily school assemblies and at public events in India.
7- The National Currency of India:
The official or national currency of India is the Indian Rupee (INR). The currency can only be issues by the Reserve Bank of India. It was in 2010, when the sign of Indian rupee was adopted by the Indian government. The symbol was designed by Udaya Kumar, a post graduate from IIT Bombay.
8- The National Flag of India:
The national flag is a tricolor flag, designed by Pingali Venkayya. It is rectangular in shape and consists of horizontal strips in three colors, viz. deep saffron, white and dark green. The white colored strip consists of Ashoka chakra at the centre. It was adopted as the national flag on 22nd of July, 1947.
9- The National Flower of India:
Lotus is popularly known as the flower of goddess Laxmi. Therefore, it holds a major role in Indian mythology. It symbolizes prosperity, wealth and fertility. The flower grows in dirty water, but remains untouched from it, due to its long stalk that stays far above the water. Therefore, the flower is also the symbol of purity, long life, achievement and good fate.
10- The National Tree of India:
Owing to its ever-expanding branches, the banyan tree depicts an eternal life. This national tree also symbolizes the unity of the country through its deep roots and huge structure. Kalpavriksha or banyan tree is also popular for its medicinal properties and is therefore associated with longevity. Additionally, it is the source of shelter for many birds and animals which symbolizes Indian citizens from different castes, culture and religious background.
11- The National Fruit of India:
Being truly India, mango is referred to as the National Fruit of India. The fruit is cultivated in India, since time immemorial. Also, it is so delicious and tempting that many renowned poets have described the fruit in their art work. Akbar, the great Mughal emperor planted nearly 1,00,000 mango trees in Darbhanga (Lakhi Bagh).
12- The National Emblem of India:
The Lion Capital of Ashoka is the national emblem of India. The emblem consists of a circular abacus, on which the four Asiatic Lions are standing back to back. On the circular abacus, you will find sculptures of a horse, an elephant, a lion and a bull, which are separated by wheels in between. Adopted on 26 January 1950, the motto of the emblem is “Satyameva Jayate”. This means ‘Truth Alone Triumphs’.
13- National River of India:
The Ganga or Ganges is the most sacred river, as per the Hindus. Therefore, it is considered to be the national river of India and several rituals are performed on the river bank. It is the country’s longest river and flows over 2510 km of plains, mountains and valleys. Allahabad, Varanasi and Haridwar are very popular Indian cities for this river.
14- The National Reptile of India:
The national reptile of India is the King Cobra, which is a venomous snake. It is found in Indian forests through Southeast Asia and has cultural significance associated with it. Many Hindus are found to worship this reptile.
15- The National Aquatic Animal of India:
The Ganges River Dolphin is the national aquatic animal of India. It used to live in the Brahmaputra, the Ganges, Kamaphuli, Meghna and Sangu rivers of India, Nepal and Bangladesh. However, they cannot be found in their early distribution ranges, now. They live only in freshwater.
16- The National Calendar of India:
Saka calendar is the National Calendar of India. As a part of the Nautical Almanac and Indian Ephemeris, this calendar was introduced in 1957 by the Calendar Committee. Apart from India, It is also used in Bali and Java among the Indonesian Hindus.
Role of national symbols
By now, you must have understood that India has a multi-faceted culture; therefore appropriate representation is very necessary to depict the importance of various facets of our heritage. In addition to this, these symbols play a major role that should be understood well by both the Indian citizens as well as the tourists who visit India. They play the following role:
• Popularize or promote the chosen object.
• The symbols connect to the core of the country and represent the rich cultural fiber.
• Ignite the feeling of pride among the Indian citizens.
• Deserves special preservation efforts.
• Portray a unique quality or characteristic that is exclusive to India and its citizens.
In simple words, these symbols are the prominent elements that depict the peculiarity of India and its citizens. So, make sure you respect them and keep track of such information which makes India different from others.
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