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Symbols of India
SYMBOLS OF INDIA
The National flag is a horizontal tricolour
of deep saffron (kesari) at the top, white in the middle and dark
green at the bottom in equal proportion. The saffron stands for
courage, sacrifice and the spirit of renunciation; the white
stands for purity and truth and the green for faith and fertility.
The ratio of width of the
flag to its length is two to three. In the centre of the white
band is a navy blue wheel which has 24 spokes. Its diameter
approximates the width of the white band.
Its design is taken from that of the wheel which appears on
the abacus of the Lion Capital of Ashoka at Sarnath. The design of
the national flag was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India
on 22 July 1947.
The state emblem depicts four lions,
standing back to back. It is an adaptation from the Sarnath Lion
Capital of Ashoka, near Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. Carved out of a single block of polished
sandstone, the capital is crowned by the Wheel of the Law (Dharma
Chakra). 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 affirmation of its ancient commitment to world peace and
In the State emblem, adopted by the Government of India
on 26 January 1950, only three lions are visible, the fourth being
hidden from view. The four lions symbolizing power, courage and
confidence, rest on a circular abacus. The abacus is girdled 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 words
Satyameva Jayate (meaning 'truth alone tirumphs') from
are inscribed below the
Jana-gana-mana, composed originally
in Bengali by Rabindranath Tagore, was adopted in its Hindi
version by the Constituent Assembly as the national anthem of
India on Tuesday, 24 January 1950. Rabindranath Tagore wrote it at
the request of his intimate friend Ashutosh Chaudhari, a judge of
the Calcutta High Court, for singing at the 26th session of the
Indian National Congress on 27 December 1911 at
the Calcutta Session of the Indian National Congress.
of the full version of the National Anthem is approximately 52
Jana Gana Mana was first
published under the title "Bharat Vidhata" in the
Patrika, the official organ of Maharishi Debenranath Tagore's
Samaj in January 1912. The song was sub-titled
However, the English translation of the original in Bengali was
published earlier, on December 28, 1911, in the
Much later, it was included in Tagore's
Dharma Sangeet, a
collection of religious hymns.
song consists of the following five stanzas:
Tava shubha name jage,
Tava shubha asisa mage,
Gahe tava jaya gatha,
Jaya he, jaya he, jaya he,
Jaya jaya jaya, jaya he!
Tagore rendered the National
Anthem into English as follows:
Thou art the ruler of the
minds of all people,
dispenser of India's destiny.
Thy name rouses the hearts of Punjab, Sind,
Gujarat and Maratha,
Of the Dravida and Orissa and Bengal;
it echoes in the hills of the Vindhyas and Himalayas,
mingles in the music of Jamuna and Ganges and is
chanted by the waves of the Indian Sea.
They pray for thy blessings and sing thy praise.
The saving of all people waits in thy hand,
thou dispenser of India's destiny.
Victory, victory, victory to thee.
The song Vande Mataram, composed in Sanskrit
by Bankimchandra Chatterji, was incorporated in his famous novel
Math (1882). It has an equal status with the National Anthem.
Later the song was set to tune by Rabindranath Tagore and sung for
the first time before the gathering at the 12th annual
session of the Indian National Congress held in 1896 in Calcutta.
It was declared as the National Song in 1937 through a
The National Calendar is based on the Saka
its first month.
It consists of 365 days in a normal year.
was adopted from 22nd March 1957 along with the
Gregorian calendar for the following official purposes : Gazette
of India; news broadcast by All India Radio; calendars issued by
Government of India; and, Government communications addressed to
the members of the public. Dates of the
National Calendar correspond with those of the Greogrian Calendar.
Thus, the first day of
always corresponds to 22nd March in a normal year.
magnificent Tiger Panthera tigris (linnaeus), the national animal
of India, is a rich-colored
well-striped animal with a short coat. The combination of grace,
strength, power has earned the tiger great respect and high
esteem. Indian tigers are famous all over the world and one of the
main attractions for the lovers of wild life. They are the
crowning glory and the light of the Indian wild life.
Tough, muscular, majestic tigers roam about the Sunderbans of
Bengal "burning bright in the darkness of the night."
The natives of the forest worship the tiger as the deity that
gives them honey and wax. The Sunderbans are their main habitat
for their thick forests of Sunder trees. They feed on fish, cattle
and sometimes human beings. The man-eaters are the most dreaded of
all wild beasts. It is a common belief that a tiger does not harm
anyone who has offered prayers to him. Tigers are fast runners,
excellent swimmers and their eyesight is strong.
The Indian Peacock ~
Lotus or waterlily is an acquatic plant of
Nymphaea with broad flaoting leaves and bright fragrant flowers
that grow only in shallow waters.
Mangoes have been cultivated in India
from time immemorial. The poet Kalidasa sang of its praises.
Alexander savoured its taste, as did the Chinese pilgrim Hieun
Tsang. Akbar planted 100,000 mango trees in Darbhanga, known as
Ficus bengalensis, the
Indian Fig tree