India has a few national symbols which define the country and it’s ethnic culture. On this 72nd Independence day, familiarize yourself with these symbols, so you can proudly tell anyone from around the world about them!
India’s 13 national symbols
THE NATIONAL BIRD OF INDIA
The peacock, commonly known as the Indian peafowl, was declared the national bird of India in 1963 because it was entirely a part of Indian custom and culture.
A peacock is a symbol of grace and beauty
Another reason why the peacock is chosen as the national bird is because of its widespread presence across the country, so much so that even common people are familiar with the bird.
Moreover, no other country had the peacock as its national bird
The peacock fulfilled all these requirements and became the national bird of India
NATIONAL ANIMAL OF INDIA
The tiger is known as the lord of the jungle and displays India’s wildlife wealth
Also, strength, agility and power are the basic aspects of the tiger
The Bengal Tiger was declared as the national animal of India in April 1973, with the initiation of Project Tiger, to protect tigers in India.
Prior to this, the lion was the national animal of India
NATIONAL ANTHEM OF INDIA
The national anthem of India is the Hindi version of an anthem which was originally composed in Bengali by Rabindranath Tagore.
It was adopted as the national anthem of India on January 24, 1950.
Since the Bengali song ‘Vande Mataram’ faced opposition from non-Hindu segments of society, Jana Gana Mana was adopted as the national anthem of India.
THE NATIONAL FLOWER OF INDIA
The lotus has a very significant position in Indian mythology
It is known as the flower of goddess Laxmi and symbolises wealth, prosperity, and fertility
Also, it grows very uniquely in dirty water with its long stalk reaching far above the water, bearing the flower on the top
The lotus remains untouched from impurity
Hence, symbolises purity, achievement, long life, and good fate
NATIONAL FRUIT OF INDIA
Mangoes are native to India and thus, truly Indian
Since times immemorial, mangoes have been cultivated in India
In ancient times as well, deliciousness of mangoes has been defined by many renowned poets
The great Mughal emperor Akbar had planted about 1,00,000 mango trees in Lakhi Bagh in Darbhanga
NATIONAL SONG OF INDIA
India’s national song was composed in Sanskrit by Bankimchandra Chatterjee
It has inspired many freedom fighters during the freedom struggle
Initially, ‘Vande Mataram’ was the national anthem of India, but after independence, ‘Jana Gana Mana’ was adopted as the national anthem.
This was done because non-Hindu communities in India had considered Vande Mataram as biased
These communities felt that the nation was represented by ‘Maa Durga’ in the song
So, that is why it was made the national song of India and not the national anthem
THE NATIONAL FLAG OF INDIA
The national flag of India is horizontal-rectangular in shape and has three colours — deep saffron, white and green with Ashoka chakra (Wheel of Law) at its centre.
It was adopted on July 22, 1947 during a meeting of the Constituent Assembly
It is also known as tricolour
The flag was designed by Pingali Venkayya
NATIONAL GAME OF INDIA
In spite of cricket’s huge popularity in India, hockey is still the national game of the nation
When declared as the national game, hockey was very popular
The game has seen a golden era during 1928-1956, when India won six consecutive gold medals in the Olympics
Hockey was considered as the national game because of its unmatched distinction and incomparable talent at the time
At that time, India had played 24 Olympic matches and won all of them in Hockey
NATIONAL TREE OF INDIA
The Banyan tree represents eternal life, because of its ever-expanding branches
The country’s unity is symbolised by the tree’s huge structure and its deep roots
The tree is also known as Kalpavriksha, which means ‘wish-fulfilling tree’
The Banyan tree is called so, because it has immense medicinal properties and is associated with longevity
The Banyan tree also gives shelter to many different kinds of animals and birds, which represent India and its people from different races, religions and castes.
THE NATIONAL EMBLEM OF INDIA
The Lion Capital of Ashoka at Sarnath is the national emblem of India
It consists of four Asiatic Lions standing back to back on a circular abacus
The abacus has sculptures of an elephant, a horse, a bull and a lion
These are separated by wheels in between
The national emblem stands on a fully bloomed, inverted lotus flower
NATIONAL RIVER OF INDIA
The Ganges or Ganga is the national river of India
According to the Hindus, this is the most sacred river on the earth
In fact, they perform many rituals on the bank of this river
The Indian cities which are famous for being located on the banks of this river are Varanasi, Allahabad and Haridwar
Ganga flows over 2510 km of mountains, plains and valleys, and is the longest river in the country
THE NATIONAL CURRENCY OF INDIA
The Indian Rupee is the official currency of the Republic of India
The flow of this currency is controlled by the Reserve Bank of India
The symbol of Indian rupee is derived from the Devanagari consonant
The Indian rupee is named after the silver coin called ‘rupiya’
It was first issued by Sultan Sher Shah Suri in the 16th century and later the Mughal Empire continued using it.
NATIONAL AQUATIC ANIMAL OF INDIA
The national aquatic animal of India is the river dolphin, which is also called as the Ganges river dolphin
The mammal once used to live in the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna, Kamaphuli and Sangu rivers of India, Bangladesh and Nepal.
However, the species is no more found in its early distribution ranges
The river dolphin is essentially blind and lives only in freshwater