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National symbols of India

National flower Lotus

Lotus (Nelumbo Nucifera Gaertn) is the National Flower of India. It is a sacred flower and occupies a unique position in the art and mythology of ancient India and has been an auspicious symbol of Indian culture since time immemorial.

India is rich in flora. Currently available data place India in the tenth position in the world and fourth in Asia in plant diversity. From about 70 per cent geographical area surveyed so far, 47,000 species of plants have been described by the Botanical Survey of India (BSI).

National Flag

The National Flag is a horizontal tricolour of India saffron (kesaria) at the top, white in the middle and India green at the bottom in equal proportion. 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 represents the chakra.

The top saffron colour, indicates the strength and courage of the country. The white middle band indicates peace and truth with Dharma Chakra. The green shows the fertility, growth and auspiciousness of the land.

Its design is that of the wheel which appears on the abacus of the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka. Its diameter approximates to the width of the white band and it has 24 spokes. The design of the National Flag was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India on 22 July 1947.

National Bird

The Indian peacock, Pavo cristatus, the national bird of India, is a colourful, swan-sized bird, with a fan-shaped crest of feathers, a white patch under the eye and a long, slender neck. The male of the species is more colourful than the female, with a glistening blue breast and neck and a spectacular bronze-green tail of around 200 elongated feathers. The female is brownish, slightly smaller than the male and lacks the tail. The elaborate courtship dance of the male, fanning out the tail and preening its feathers is a gorgeous sight.

National Tree

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 Anthem

The “National Anthem of India” is played or song on various occasions. Instructions have been issued from time to time about the correct versions of the Anthem, the occasions on which these are to be played or sung, and about the need for paying respect to the anthem by observance of proper decorum on such occasions. The substance of these instructions has been embodied in this information sheet for general information and guidance.

National Calendar

The national calendar based on the Saka Era, with Chaitra as its first month and a normal year of 365 days was adopted from 22 March 1957 along with the Gregorian calendar for the following official purposes:
  1. Gazette of India.
  2. News broadcast by All India Radio.
  3. Calendars issued by the Government of India.
  4. Government communications addressed to the members of the public.

Dates of the national calendar have a permanent correspondence with dates of the Gregorian calendar, 1 Chaitra falling on 22 March normally and on 21 March in leap year.

National Animal

The magnificent tiger, Panthera tigris is a striped animal. It has a thick yellow coat of fur with dark stripes. The combination of grace, strength, agility and enormous power has earned the tiger its pride of place as the national animal of India. Out of eight races of the species known, the Indian race, the Royal Bengal Tiger, is found throughout the country except in the north-western region and also in the neighbouring countries, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. To check the dwindling population of tigers in India, ‘Project Tiger’ was launched in April 1973. So far, 27 tiger reserves have been established in the country under this project, covering an area of 37,761 sq km.

National Song

The 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.

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