INDIAN NATIONAL SYMBOLS
National Anthem:The National Anthem Jana Gana Mana’ was first sung at the Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress (INC)on December, 1911.It was adopted by the Indian constitution on 24 January 1950.The song was originally composed in Bengali by Rabindranath Tagore, the National Anthem is its Hindi version.The complete song consists of five stanzas. The first stanza contains the full version of the National Anthem.The playing time for the full version of the song is 52 seconds
National Emblem:The National Emblem is an adaptation from the Buddhist Lion Capital of Ashoka at Sarnath. The Emblem symbolises power, courage and confidence.It has four lions resting on a circular abacus. The abacus is girded by four small animals at the bottomguardians 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 National Emblem was adopted by the Government of India on 26 January 1950.Satyameva Jayate, which means Truth alone Triumphs, was taken from the Mundaka Upanishad.
National Song:The National Song “Vande Mataram’ has been taken from Bankim Chandra Chatterji’s Ananda Math.It was sung at the 1896 session of the INC.Its English rendering has been given by Shri Aurobindo Ghosh.
National River:The Ganga (Ganges) is the National River of India. It is the longest river of India flowing over 2,510 kms. It originates in the snow fields of the Gangotri Glacier in the Himalayas as the Bhagirathi River. It is revered by Hindus as the most sacred river on the earth. The main religious ceremonies are held on the banks of the river at cities such as Varanasi, Haridwar and Allahabad.
National Game:Hockey is the National Game of India. The nation has an impressive record in the game with eight Olympic gold medals. The Golden Era of hockey in India was the period from 1928-1956 when India won six consecutive gold medals in the Olympics.
National Aquatic Animal: In October 2009, the Ganges River Dolphin was declared as the national aquatic animal of India. It is found in the Ganges,Brahmaputra, Meghna rivers in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. It is locally known as ‘Susu’ in Ganges and’Hihu’ in Brahmaputra. It is very different in shape, size and characteristics from the sea dolphins. The Gangetic Dolphin is a highly endangered species in India and therefore, has been included in the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. Its estimated total population is around 2,000.
National Currency Symbol: In July 2010, the Government of India adopted a symbol for the Indian Rupee. The Symbol is an amalgam of the Devanagiri”Ra” and the Roman capital “R” without the stem and with two parallel lines running at the top. The parallel lines symbolize the “equal to” sign. The symbol of Indian Rupee typifies India’s international identity for money transactions and is an indicator of economic strength.
National Heritage Animal:October 2010, the elephant was declared the national heritage animal of India. In its local name, the elephant is called “gajah”. There are over 29,000 elephants in the country, including 3,500 in zoos and temples. India is home to sixty percent of elephants in Asia.The Elephant Task Force recommended the special status for elephants, saying the move will help in protecting Asia’s largest mammal. It said that declaring elephant the National Heritage Animal will give it due place as emblem of ecological sensitivity.It will also mark recognition for its centrality in our plural cultures, traditions and oral lore.
National Monument:The India Gate is the national monument of India. Situated in the heart of New Delhi, it was built in 1931. It was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and is 42-metre tall. Originally, the India Gate was known as All India War Memorial. It was built in the memory 90,000 soldiers of the erstwhile British Indian Army who lost their lives fighting for the British Indian Empire in World War I and the third Anglo-Afghan War of 1919. After India got its independence, another memorial called Amar Jawan Jyoti (the flame of the immortal soldier) was added.