National Symbols of India?
Nations around the world have specific symbols and elements that convey their identity. There are a number of different symbols that represent the identity of India. These symbols include:
- The national anthem
- The national emblem
- The national animal, which is the tiger
- The national flower, which is the lotus
- The national tree, which is the banyan
- The national bird, which is the peacock
- The national fruits, which is the mango
The National Anthem of India
The title of India’s national anthem is ‘Jana Gana Mana’, and it was originally composed in 1911. The anthem was composed in Bengali, which is one of the official languages of India, by the poet and polymath, Rabindranath Tagore. ‘Jana Gana Mana’ has its roots in ‘Bharoto Bhagyo Bidhata’, which is a Brahmo hymn. Only the first verse of this hymn has been adapted as India’s current national anthem, which makes it super short. In fact, it takes just 52 seconds to sing the entirety of ‘Jana Gana Mana’. This song was officially adopted as the national anthem of India on the 24th of January, 1950.
At the essence of India’s national anthem is a sense of pluralism, which is central to the country’s identity and cultural heritage. Throughout India’s history of struggling for freedom, the national anthem has been used to inspire the people.
The National Emblem of India
The national emblem of India is the Lion Capital of Ashoka at Sarnath. It consists of four lions, all of which are standing back to back on a circular abacus. On the abacus, you can see sculptures of an elephant, a horse, a bull, and a lion. These sculptures are separated by wheels. The emblem stands upon an inverted lotus flower in full bloom.
The emblem has been used throughout history as a symbol of power, courage, pride, and confidence.
The National Bird of India: Peacock
The national bird of India is the peacock, which is commonly known as the Indian peafowl. The peacock was officially announced as the national bird of India in 1963 as it plays such a huge role in Indian custom and culture.
In terms of its symbolism, the peacock is meant to represent grace and beauty. The peacock is also just inherently Indian, which is one of the main reasons why it was chosen as the country’s national bird. Anywhere you go in India, you are likely to run into a peacock. Adopting the peacock as its national bird was also a unique move for India to make, as no other country had it as its national bird.
The National Animal of India: Bengal Tiger
The national animal of India is the tiger, specifically the Bengal tiger. The tiger, which is known as the Lord of the Jungle, was selected as India’s national animal as it was seen to symbolise the country’s rich wildlife. The main characteristics associated with the tiger are strength, agility, and power, which also makes it an attractive choice for the country’s national animal.
The Bengal tiger was officially announced as the national animal of India in April 1973. This announcement coincided with the initiation of Project tiger, which was a campaign to protect the tiger population of India. Before this project was announced, the lion was actually the national animal of India.
National Flower of India: Lotus
The national flower of India is the lotus flower. This flower was not just chosen for its beauty; the lotus flower actually plays a very important role in Indian mythology. This is because the lotus is the flower of the goddess Laxmi. The flower is symbolic of wealth, prosperity, and fertility. What’s more, the lotus flower is unique because, as it grows in dirty water, but its long stalk reaches far above the surface, displaying a beautiful, untouched flower on top. This process of growth has led to the lotus being a symbol of purity, achievement, longevity, and good fortune.
National Fruit of India: Mango
The national fruit of India is the mango. The mango is synonymous with Indian culture, as the fruit is native to India and widely eaten throughout the country. Growing mangoes is embedded within Indian history, and has been practised since the country’s. For instance, the Great Mughal Emperor Akbar, reigned from 1556 to 1605 was famously obsessed with mangoes. Emperor Akbar, who is renowned as the greatest of the Mughal emperors of India, ordered for around 1,00,000 mango trees to be planted in Lakhi Bagh in Darbhanga.
The National Flag of India: Tricolour
The national flag of India is a beautiful tricolour flag with three stripes of saffron, white, and green. At the centre of the flag is Ashoka chakra, which is drawn in navy blue against a white background. The Ashoka chakra is a symbol of the charkha, which is a type of Indian spinning wheel referenced in the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. The charkha was in the pre-independence version of the Indian national flag. The charkha represents the fact that there is life in movement and, therefore, death in lack of movement. Within Indian culture, it is a representation of the dynamic nature of peaceful change that is so heavily integrated into Indian history.
The Indian tricolour was adopted as the country’s national flag on the 22nd of July, 1947. The flag was designed by Pingali Venkayya, who was an Indian freedom fighter.
The National Game of India: Hockey
The national game of India is hockey. At the time when it was elected as the national game of India, hockey was extremely popular. Whilst the sport is still popular in India today, the game was at its most popular between the years 1928 and 1956. It was during this time period that India won 6 consecutive gold medals in the Olympic Games for hockey.
Hockey was appointed as the national game of India because of the country’s immense success in the sport. At the time at which hockey was made the country’s national game, India had played 24 Olympic hockey matches and won every single one of them.
The National Tree of India: Banyan
The national tree of India is the Banyan. The Banyan tree is symbolic of eternal life in Indian culture due to its constantly expanding branches. Another important aspect of the Banyan tree is its symbolic ties with the unity of India through its towering structure and deep roots. The Banyan tree is also known as the Kalpavriksha, which means ‘the wish fulfilling tree’. The Banyan tree also possesses incredible medicinal properties, and it heavily associated with longevity.
The National River of India: Ganga
The national river of India is the Ganga, also known as the Ganges. Hindus regard the Ganga river as the most sacred river on Earth. To show their reverence for this river, Hindus perform a range of rituals on the bank of the Ganga. There are a few Indian cities that are famous for the Ganga river: Varanasi, Allahabad, and Haridwar. The Ganga is a huge river, stretching over 2510 km of mountains plains, and valleys. It is the longest river in all of India.
The National Currency of India: Indian Rupee
The national currency of India is the Indian rupee. The symbol of the Indian rupee, which is ‘₹’, derives from the Devanagari consonant “र”, the phonetic pronunciation of which is ‘ra’. The name of the Indian rupee comes from a silver coin called Rupiya.
The Indian rupee was first issued in the 16th century by the Sultan, Sher Shah Suri, and it was continued by the Mughal Empire.
The National Heritage Animal of India: Elephant
In addition to having a national animal of India, there is also a national heritage animal of India, which is the elephant. The Indian elephant is a subspecies of the Asian elephant, which can be found in mainland Asia. There are four different regions throughout India where you can find Indian elephants.
Unfortunately, the Indian elephant is an endangered species.
The National Aquatic Animal of India: River Dolphin
The national aquatic animal of India is the River Dolphin, which also goes by the name of the Ganges river dolphin. The River Dolphin used to reside in a number of different rivers across India, Bangladesh, and Nepal, including the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna, Kamaphuli, and Sangu. However, the River Dolphin can no longer be found in these regions.