India Country Symbols
According to Topschoolsintheusa, the State Emblem of India is an adapted image of the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka. In the original, at the top of the capital are four lions standing back to back; the frieze depicts an elephant, a galloping horse, a bull and a lion, separated by wheels and standing on a lotus. This capital, made of a single block of polished sandstone, is crowned with the wheel of the law (dharma-chakra).
On the state emblem, adopted by the government of India on January 26, 1950, only three lions are depicted, since the fourth is on the back of the capital. The wheel is in the center of the upper part of the capital, a bull is depicted to the right of it, and a horse to the left. The contours of the wheels are visible to the right and left. The lotus was not included in the coat of arms. Under the capital, in Devanagari script, are the words “Satyameva Jayate” from the Mundaka Upanishad, meaning “Only the truth will conquer.”
On January 24, 1950, the Constituent Assembly approved Rabindranath Tagore’s song “Jana-gana-mana”, originally written in Bengali, translated into Hindi, as the national anthem. The anthem was first sung on December 27, 1911 at the Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress. The full version of the song consists of five stanzas. The national anthem includes the first stanza.
|Jana-gana-mana-adhinayaka, jaya he
Tava subha name jage,
Tava subha asisa mage,
Gahe tava jaya gatha,
Jana-gana-mangala-dayaka jaya he
Jaya heh, jaya heh, jaya heh
Jaya jaya jaya, jaya heh!
|Glory to you – the ruler of the thoughts of all peoples,
Arbiter of the fate of India,
Inspiring the hearts of Punjab, Sindh,
Gujarat and Maharashtra, the
Land of the Dravidians, Orissa and Bengal,
Your name echoes in the Vindya mountains and in the Himalayas,
It merges with the music of the Yamuna and the Ganges, They pick
it up waves of the Indian Ocean,
Asking for your blessing and glorifying you,
Glory to you, who guides all peoples to happiness,
Arbiter of the fate of India!
Glory, glory, glory!
The execution time of the full version of the anthem is about 52 seconds. Sometimes an abbreviated version is executed, which consists of the first and last lines (execution time is about 20 seconds).
The song “Vande Mataram”, written in Sanskrit by Bonkimchandra Chatterjee, inspired Indians to fight for independence. It has the same status as “Jana-gana-mana”. This song was first performed in 1896 at a session of the Indian National Congress. First stanza of the song:
Sujalam, suphalam, Malayaja sheetalam,
Phullakusumita drtsmadala shobhinim,
Suhasinim sumadhura bhashinim,
Sukhadam varadam, Mataram!
|Translation based on Sri Aurobindo’s English translation:
I bow to Thee, O Mother, Full-flowing
Blown by the cool south winds,
Dark from the abundance of bread,
Her nights fill the heart with joy in the radiance of the moonlight,
Her lands are beautiful in the decoration of flowering trees,
Her laughter is beautiful, and her speech is beautiful,
O Mother, giving goodness, giving bliss.
The national calendar is based on the Shaka calendar. The first month is Chaitra, there are 365 days in a year. The calendar was adopted on March 22, 1957, along with the Gregorian calendar, and is officially used in the Government Gazette, All India Radio news, calendars issued by the Government of India, and government addresses. The dates of the national calendar correlate with the dates of the Gregorian calendar: 1 Chaitra falls on March 22, and in a leap year – on March 21.
The national animal of India is the mighty tiger, panthera tigris (Linnaeus). It has thick red fur with dark stripes. The combination of grace, agility and great power made the tiger the national pride of India. The Royal Bengal Tiger is one of the eight known species of tigers, found throughout the country, except for the northwestern regions, and in the neighboring countries of Nepal, Bhutan and Bangaldesh. In order to control the number of tigers, which are becoming less and less, in April 1973, the Tiger Project was organized. As part of this project, 27 tiger reserves have been established in India, covering an area of 37,761 km2.
The national bird of India is the Indian peacock, pavo cristatus (Linnaeus). It is a brightly colored swan-sized bird with a fan-shaped tuft of feathers on its head, white spots under the eyes, and a long, thin neck. Males are more brightly colored. The chest and neck are covered with brilliant blue feathers, and the magnificent tail consists of long bronze-green feathers, of which there are about 200. The females are rufous in color, slightly smaller than the males and do not have such a bushy tail. The complex love dance of the peacocks, when the males open their tails and clean their feathers, is a magnificent sight.
The peacock is found throughout the Indian subcontinent: south and east of the Indus River, in Jammu and Kashmir, eastern Assam, southern Mizoram and throughout the peninsula. People protect peacocks for religious and sentimental reasons. The peacock is protected by the Wildlife Conservation Act of 1972.
The national flower of India is the lotus (nelumbo nucifere). This sacred flower has a unique place in the art and mythology of ancient India. Since time immemorial, it has been considered a happy symbol of Indian culture.