National Emblem - Four Lions
The National emblem of India is a replica of
the Lion of Sarnath, near Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. The Lion Capital was
erected in the third century BC by Emperor Ashoka to mark the spot where Buddha
first proclaimed his gospel of peace and emancipation to the four quarters of
the universe. The National emblem is thus symbolic of contemporary India's
reaffirmation of its ancient commitment to world peace and goodwill.
The four lions (one hidden from view)--symbolising
power, courage and confidence--rest on a circular abacus. 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 lotus in full bloom, exemplifying the fountainhead
of life and creative inspiration. The motto 'Satyameva Jayate' inscribed below
the emblem in Devanagari script means 'truth alone triumphs'.
The Indian flag was designed as a symbol of
freedom. The late Prime Minister Nehru called it a flag not only of freedom for
ourselves, but a symbol of freedom to all people.
The flag is a horizontal tricolour in equal proportion of deep saffron on the
top, white in the middle and dark green at the bottom. The ratio of the width to
the length of the flag is two is to three. In the centre of the white band,
there is a wheel in navy blue to indicate the Dharma Chakra, the wheel of law in
the Sarnath Lion Capital. Its diameter approximates the width of the white band
and it has 24 spokes. The saffron stands for courage, sacrifice and the spirit
of renunciation; the white, for purity and truth; the green for faith and
JAYA HE BHARATA-BHAGYA-VIDHATA
VINDHYA-HIMACHALA-YAMUNA-GANGA UCCHHALA-JALADHI TARANGA
TAVA SUBHA NAME JAHE TAVA SUBHA ASHISHA MAGE GAHE TAVA JAYA GATHA. ANA-GANA-MANGALA
DAYAKA, JAYA HE BHARATA-BHAGYA-VIDHATA,
JAYA HE, JAYA HE, JAYA HE, AYA JAYA JAYA, JAYA HE
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.
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
Sujalam, suphalam, malayaja shitalam,
Phullakusumita drumadala shobhinim,
Suhasinim sumadhura bhashinim,
Sukhadam varadam, Mataram!
The English translation of the stanza rendered by Sri Aurobindo is :
I bow to thee, Mother, richly-watered, richly-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 Animal - Tiger
Large Asiatic carnivorous feline quadruped,
Panthera Tigris, maneless, of tawny yellow colour with blackish transverse
stripes and white belly, proverbial for its power and its magnificence.
There are very few tigers left in the world today. A decade ago the tiger
population in India had dwindled to a few hundreds. The Government of India,
under its Project Tiger programme, started a massive effort to preserve the
tiger population. Today, thanks to Project Tiger, India's population of tigers
is in a comfortable position.
National Bird - Peacock
I Male Bird of species P. critatus, is a native
of India, with striking plumage and upper tail converts marked with iridescent
ocelli, able to expand its tail erect like fan as ostentatious display. Peacocks
are I related to pheasants.
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. The peahen has no plumage. These birds do not sound as
beautiful as they look-- they have a harsh call.
National Flower - Lotus
The Lotus or waterlily is an aquatic plant of
Nymphaea with I broad floating leaves; and bright fragrant flowers that grow
only in shallow waters. The leaves and flowers float and have long stems that
contain air spaces. The big attractive flowers have many petals overlapping in a
symmetrical pattern. The root functions are carried out by rhizomes that fan out
horizontally through the mud below the water. Lotuses, prized for their serene
beauty, are delightful to behold as their blossoms open on the surface of a
pond. In India the sacred lotus is legendary and much folklore and religious
mythology is woven around it.
National Tree - Banyan
Indian fig tree, Ficus bengalensis, whose
branches root themselves like new trees over a large area. The roots then give
rise to more trunks and branches. Because of this characteristic and its
longevity, this tree is considered immortal and is an integral part of the myths
and legends of India. Even today, the banyan tree is the focal point of village
life and the village council meets under the shade of this tree.
National Fruit - Mango
A fleshy fruit, eaten ripe or used green for
pickles etc., of the tree Mangifera indica, the mango is one of the most
important and widely cultivated fruits of the tropical world. Its juicy fruit is
a rich source of Vitamins A, C and D. In India there are over 100 varieties of
mangoes, in different sizes, shapes and colours. Mangoes, have been cultivated
in India from time immemorial. The poet Kalidasa sang its praises. Alexander
savoured its taste, as did the Chinese pilgrim Hieun Tsang. Akbar planted
100,000 mango trees in Darbhanga, known as Lakhi Bagh.