Home General Knowledge INDIA : NATIONAL SYMBOLS
Friday, 02 March 2012 10:43



  • The State emblem of India is an adaptation from the Sarnath Lion, capital of Ashoka the Emperor as preserved in the Sarnath Museum.
  • The Government adopted the emblem on 26th January, 1950, the day when India became a republic.
  • In the original of Sarnath Capital, there are four lions, standing back to back, mounted on an abacus with a frieze carrying sculpture in high relief of an elephant, a galloping horse, a bull and a lion separated by intervening wheels (chakras) over a bell-shaped lotus. Carved out of a single block of polished sandstone, the Capital is crowned by the Wheel of the Law (Dharma Chakra).
  • In the state emblem adopted by the Government only three lions are visible, the fourth being hidden from view.The wheel appears in relief in the centre of the abacus with a bull on the right and a horse on the left and the   outlines of the other wheels on the extreme right and left.
  • The words, Satyameva Jayate from the Mundaka Upanishad meaning “Truth alone triumphs’, are inscribed below the abacus in Devanagari script.


  • The National Flag is a horizontal tri-colour of deep saffron (Kesari) at the top, white in the middle and dark green at the bottom in equal proportion.
  • The ratio of the width of the flag to its length is two to three.
  • In the centre of white band is a wheel, in navy blue. Its design is that of the wheel (Chakra) which appears on the abacus of the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka. Its diameter approximates the width of the white band. It has 24 spokes.
  • The design of the National Flag was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India on 22nd July, 1947. Its use and display are regulated by a code.


  • Rabindranath Tagore’s song Jana-gana mana was adopted by the Constituent Assembly as the National Anthem of India on 24th Jan., 1950 and gave Vande Mataram – the national song equal honour.
  • It was first sung on 27th Dec., 1911 at the Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress.
  • The first stanza (out of 5 stanzas) of the song forms the National Anthem. Playing time of the full version of the national anthem is approximately 52 seconds. A shorter version consisting of the first and last lines of the stanza takes 20 seconds to play and it is played only on certain occasions.

Jana-gana-mana-adhinayaka jaya he





Tava Subha name jage,

Tava Subha asisa mange,

Gahe tava jaya-gatha.

Jana-gana-mangala-dayaka, jaya he


Jaya he, Jaya he, Jaya he,

Jaya jaya jaya, jaya he.

The following is Tagore’s English rendering of the stanza:

Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people,

Dispenser of India’s destiny

Thy name rouses the hearts of the Punjab,

Sindh, Gujarat and Maratha,

Of the Dravid and Odisha and Bengal.

It echoes in the hills of the Vindhyas and Himalayas, mingles in the music of the Jamuna and the Ganges and is chanted by the waves of the Indian Sea.

They pray for the blessings and sing thy praise,

The saving of all people waits in thy hands,

Thou dispenser of Indians destiny, Victory, victory, victory to thee.


  • The song Vande Mataram composed by Bankim-Chandra Chatterji has an equal status with Jana-gana-mana.
  • The first political occasion when it was sung was the 1896 session of the INC.

Vande Mataram,

Sujalam, Suphalam, malayaja shitalam,

Shasyashyamalam, Mataram!

Shubhrajyothsna pulakitayaminim,

Phullakusumita drumadala shobhinim,

Suhasinim sumadhura bhashinim,

Sukadam varadam, Mataram!

  • English translation of the stanza rendered by Shri Aurobindo (in Sri Aurobindo Birth Centenary Library Popular Edition 1972, vol. 8), is

I bow to thee, Mother,

richly-watered, richly-fruited;

cool with the winds of the south,

dark with the crops of the harvests,

The Mother!

Her nights rejoicing in the glory of the


Her lands clothed beautifully with her

trees in flowering bloom, sweet of

laughter, sweet speech,

The Mother, giver of boons, giver of bliss.


  • At the time of independence, the Govt. of India followed the Gregorian calendar based on the Christian era.
  • The National Government adopted the recommendation of the Calendar Reform Committee that the Saka era be adopted as the basis of the National Calendar.
  • The Saka year has the normal 365 days and begins with Chaitra as its first month.
  • The National Calendar commenced on Chaitra 1 Saka, 1879 corresponding to March 22, 1957 A.D.
  • The months of the National Calendar, with their days and the dates of the Gregorian Calendar corresponding to the first day of the Saka month are given below:



1 Chaitra 30/31 days

March 22/21

1 Vaishaka 31

April 21

1 Jyastha 31

May 22

1 Asadha 31

June 22

1 Sravana 31

July 23

1 Bhadra 31

Aug. 23

1 Asvina 30

Sept. 23

1 Kartika 30

Oct. 23

1 Margastra 30

Nov. 22

1 Pausa 30

Dec. 22

1 Magha 30

Jan. 21

1 Phalguna 30

Feb. 20


  • Lotus (Nelumbo Nucipera Gaertn) is the National Flower of India.
  • From about 70 percent geographical area surveyed so far, 47,000 species of plants have been described by the Botanical Survey of India (BSI).


  • The combination of grace, strength, agility and enormous power has earned the tiger, Panthera tigris, its pride of place as the national animal of India.
  • 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.


The Ganga or Ganges is the longest river of India flowing over 2,510 kms of mountains, valleys and plains. It originates in the snowfields of the Gangotri Glacier in the Himalayas as the Bhagirathi River. It is later joined by other rivers such as the Alaknanda, Yamuna, Son, Gumti, Kosi and Ghagra.


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.