What is the National Symbols of India?

Nations around the world have specific symbols and elements that convey their identity. Several different symbols represent the identity of India. These symbols include:

  • The national anthem
  • The national emblem
  • The national animal is the tiger
  • The national flower is the lotus
  • The national tree, which is the banyan
  • The national bird, which is the peacock
  • The national fruit is the mango
  • And more!

Each of these symbols has been carefully chosen to represent an element of Indian culture.

The National Anthem of India

The title of India’s national anthem is ‘Jana Gana Mana,’ initially composed in 1911. The poet and polymath Rabindranath Tagore wrote the anthem in Bengali, one of India’s official languages. ‘Jana Gana Mana’ has its roots in ‘Bharoto Bhagyo Bidhata,’ a Brahmo hymn. Only the first verse of this hymn has been adapted as India’s current national anthem, which makes it super short. It takes 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.

India’s national anthem is a sense of pluralism, which is central to the country’s identity and cultural heritage. Throughout India’s struggle 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. Wheels separate these sculptures. The emblem stands upon an inverted lotus flower in full bloom.

The emblem has been used throughout history to symbolize power, courage, pride, and confidence.

The National Bird of India: Peacock

The national bird of India is the peacock, 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 customs and culture.

In terms of its symbolism, the peacock represents grace and beauty. The peacock is also inherently Indian, one of the main reasons it was chosen as the country’s national bird. Anywhere you go in India, you will likely run into a peacock. Adopting the peacock as its national bird was also a unique move for India, 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, known as the Lord of the Jungle, was selected as India’s national animal as it symbolized its rich wildlife. In addition, the main characteristics associated with the tiger are strength, agility, and power, which also make 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, a campaign to protect the tiger population of India. Before this project was announced, the lion was 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 plays a vital 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. Moreover, the lotus flower is unique because, as it grows in dirty water, its long stalk reaches far above the surface, displaying a beautiful, untouched flower on top. This growth process has led to the lotus symbolizing 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 are embedded within Indian history and have been practiced since the country. For instance, the Great Mughal Emperor Akbar, who reigned from 1556 to 1605, was famously obsessed with mangoes. Emperor Akbar, renowned as the greatest of the Mughal emperors of India, ordered 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 tricolor flag with three stripes of saffron, white, and green. The flag’s center is Ashoka chakra, drawn in navy blue against a white background. The Ashoka chakra is a symbol of the charkha, 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 life in movement and, therefore, death in lack of exercise. Within Indian culture, it is a representation of the dynamic nature of peaceful change that is so heavily integrated into Indian history.

The Indian tricolor was adopted as the country’s national flag on the 22nd of July, 1947. Pingali Venkayya, an Indian freedom fighter, designed the flag.

The National Game of India: Hockey

The national game of India is hockey. When it was elected as the national game of India, hockey was extremely popular. While the sport is still prevalent in India today, the game was most popular between 1928 and 1956. During this time, India won 6 consecutive gold medals in the Olympic Games hockey.

Hockey was appointed as the national game of India because of the country’s immense success in the sport. When hockey was made the country’s national game, India played 24 Olympic hockey matches and won every single one.

The National Tree of India: Banyan

The national tree of India is the Banyan. The Banyan tree symbolizes eternal life in Indian culture due to its constantly expanding branches. Another critical 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 is heavily associated with longevity.

Due to its vast, expansive structure, the Banyan tree provides shelter for many different animals and birds. This is seen as symbolic of the country of India and the melting pot of races, religions, and castes that exist within it.

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. Therefore, Hindus perform a range of rituals on the bank of the Ganga to show their reverence for this river. There are a few Indian cities that are famous for the Ganga river: Varanasi, Allahabad, and Haridwar. The Ganga is a vast 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 Rupees

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 the Mughal Empire continued it.

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, 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 several 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.

The River Dolphin lives exclusively in freshwater and is almost entirely blind.

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