National Symbols of India: Complete List

India has 18 official national symbols, such as the national flag, an emblem, an anthem, and so on, which were adopted at various periods. These symbols serve as a medium of inspiring pride, hope, and aspirations in the mind of the people thereby invoking patriotism in them.

Let us look at the importance and history of the India's national symbols in short below for various competitive examinations including Kerala PSC, SSC, RRB, IBPS and other Govt. exams.

National Symbols of India

  • National Flag: Tiranga/Tricolor Flag
  • National Emblem: National Emblem of India
  • National Anthem: Jana-Gana-Mana
  • National Song: Vande Mataram
  • National Pledge / Oath of Allegiance: “India Is My Country…”
  • National Currency: Rupee
  • National Language: Hindi
  • National Motto/Sentence: Satyamev Jayate
  • National Animal: Royal Bengal Tiger
  • National Aquatic Animal: Dolphin
  • National Heritage Animal: Elephant
    • National Heritage Mammal – Gray Langur
    • National Heritage Bird – Brahminy Kite or Indian Eagle
  • National Bird: Indian Peacock
    • National Land Bird – Indian Bustard
    • National Aquatic Bird – Kingfisher
  • National Reptile: King Cobra
    • National Aquatic Reptile – Gharial
  • National Amphibian: Purple Frog
  • National Flower: Lotus
  • National Fruit: Mango
  • National Tree: Banyan Tree
  • National Vegetable: Pumpkin
  • National Calendar: Saka Calendar
  • National Foreign Policy: Non-Alignment
  • National Information Letter: White Letter
  • National River: Ganga
  • National Mountain: Nanda Devi
  • National Festivals:
    • Republic Day (26th January)
    • Independence Day (15th August)
    • Gandhi Jayanti (2nd October)
  • National Sport: Field Hockey
  • National Epic: Mahabharatha
  • National Book: Gita
  • National Microbe: Lactobacillus delbrueckii
  • Father of the Nation: Mahatma Gandhi

List of National Symbols of India: in depth

The section below delves into the National Identity Elements of India, which are useful in preparing for various competitive exams.


National Flag of India:

Indian Flag

The National Flag is a horizontal tricolor of deep saffron (Kesari) representing sacrifice and patriotism at the top, white in the middle represents peace, the dark green at the bottom is for life and prosperity and at the center is the navy blue wheel (Asoka Chakra) with 24 equally spaced pokes.
  • Adopted on – 22nd July 1947.
  • Adopted by – Constituent Assembly.
  • Designer – Pingali Venkaiah.
  • Length: Breadth – 3:2.
  • Only institution authorized to manufacture and supply the national flag of India – Karnataka Khadi Gramodyoga Samyuktha Sangha (Hubli, Karnataka).
  • The tallest national flag in India is situated at – Belgaum (361 ft, Karnataka).

Flag Code of India

The Flag Code of India was initially adopted in 1968 to prohibit inappropriate usage of the national flag.

The flag code was modified on January 26, 2002, by integrating the existing provisions of the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950, and the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971.
 
It was amended again in 2005.

National Emblem of India:

State Emblem of India

The National Emblem of India is an adaptation of the Buddhist Lion Capital of Asoka at Sarnath (representing motto "Satyameva Jayate: Truth Alone Triumphs"), near Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. 

The Emblem has four Asiatic lions (symbolising courage, confidence, and strength) mounted with sculptures at the top, and an elephant, a galloping horse, a bull, and a lion divided by intervening Dharma Chakra wheels above a bell-shaped lotus at the bottom.

  • Adopted on – 26th January 1950.
  • Designer – Dinanath Bhargava.
  • 'Satyameva Jayate' is taken from  Mundaka Upanishad of Atharva Veda.
    • written at the bottom of the national symbol in Devanagari script.
  • Total no. of animals Found on the Emblem – 8.
  • Animals Found on the Emblem – Lion, Elephant, Horse, Bull.
  • Total no. of Lions found on the national emblem  5 (4 on the top and 1 on the base).

 All Indian currency is embedded with the national emblem and the words 'Satyameva Jayate' on one side.


National Anthem of India:

Jana-Gana-Mana.. in its Hindi version is our National Anthem.  'Jana Gana Mana' is the first stanza of the Bengali hymn 'Bharoto Bhagyo Bidhata' and it has 13 lines and 55 syllables. The song is divided into five stanzas.

जनगणमन अधिनायक जय हे, भारतभाग्यविधाता। 
पंजाब सिंध गुजरात मराठा, द्राविड़ उत्कल बंग।
विंध्य हिमाचल यमुना गंगा, उच्छल जलधि तरंग।
तव शुभ नामे जागे, तव शुभ आशिष मागे।
गाहे तव जयगाथा।
जनगणमंगलदायक जय हे, भारतभाग्यविधाता।
जय हे, जय हे, जय हे, जय जय जय जय हे॥


  • Adopted on – 24th January 1950.
  • Adopted by – Constituent Assembly.
  • Language of Origin – Bengali (Sadhu bhasha).
  • Written by – Rabindranath Tagore (1911).
  • Composed by – Captain Ram Singh Thakur.
  • Raga – Gaud Sarang (equivalent to carnatic raga Sankarabharanam).**
  • Duration – 52 seconds (Short version – 20 seconds).
  • First Recited on – Calcutta Session of the Indian National Congress (27 December 1911).
    • INC President – Bishan Narayan Dhar.
  • First Recited by – Rabindranath Tagore.
  • First Published in – Tattwabodhini Patrika (1912).
    • under the name 'Bharoto Bhagyo Bidhata.'
  • Article related to the National Anthem – 51 A(a).
  • Most repeated word in our national anthem – Jai Hai.
  • No. of times the word Jai Hai repeats in our national anthem – 6 times.
  • First state to be mentioned in our National Anthem – Punjab.
  • The word 'Utkala' in our national anthem denotes  Odisha.
  • The mountains and rivers mentioned in our National Anthem – 
    • Mountains – Vindhya & Himalaya.
    • Rivers – Ganga & Yamuna.
Subhash Chandra Bose's Indian National Army adopted a slightly altered version of the song as the national anthem in 1941, calling it 'Shubh Sukh Chain.' Captain Abid Ali of INA created this version and Captain Ram Singh Thakur gave music to it.

It was included in the 1945 film 'Hamrahi,' for the first time and in 1935 it was accepted as a school song at The Doon School in Dehradun.

Our National Anthem was translated into a variety of languages. It was first translated to English by Rabindranath Tagore as 'Morning Song of India.'  and its musical notations were set by Margaret, wife of poet James H. Cousins.

It was Captain Abid Ali who translated Jana Gana Mana into Hindi and Urdu. The Malayalam translation was done by Kuttipurath Kesavan Nair (കുറ്റിപ്പുറത്തു കേശവന്‍ നായര്‍).

National Song of India:

The song Vande Mataram, composed in Sanskrit by Bankimchandra Chatterji, is our National song.

वन्दे मातरम्।
सुजलाम् सुफलाम्
मलयज शीतलाम्
सस्यश्यामलाम्
मातरम्।
वन्दे मातरम्।
शुभ्रज्योत्स्नाम्
पुलकितयामिनीम्
फुल्लकुसुमित
द्रुमदलशोभिनीम्
सुहासिनीम्
सुमधुर भाषिणीम्
सुखदाम् वरदाम्
मातरम्।।
वन्दे मातरम्।

  • Adopted on – 24th January 1950 (by Dr. Rajendra Prasad).
  • Language of Origin – Bengali.
  • Written by – Bankim Chandra Chatterjee (Novel – ‘Anand Math’, 1882).
    • Theme of  Anandamath – Sanyasi / Fakir Rebellion.
    • The poem is a homage to Goddess Durga, who represents India.
  • Composed by – Jadunath Bhattacharya.
  • Raga – Desh.
  • Duration – 65 seconds.
  • First Recited by – Rabindranath Tagore.
  • First Recited on – 1896, 12th Annual Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress.
    • INC President – Rahimtullah M. Sayani.

During the partition of Bengal in 1950, Lord Curzon banned the singing of this song and other similar slogan.

Nares Chandra Sen-Gupta was the first to translate Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay's work Anandamath, which included the poem Vande Mataram, into English (The Abbey of Bliss, 1906)

The first two stanzas of the prose translated by Aurobindo Ghosh, which published in Karmayogin on November 20, 1909, were accepted by the Government of India's national portal.

Vande Mataram was then translated into a number of Indian languages. 

It was translated into Tamil by Subramania Bharati and Arif Mohammad Khan, the current Governor of Kerala, was the man who translated Vande Mataram into Urdu.

 Vande Mataram from the film 'Anand Math' ranked second in the 2002 international poll (from 7000 songs worldwide) conducted by BBC World Service to determine the top ten most renowned songs of all time.


National Pledge of India:

“India is my country…” , the National Pledge is an oath of allegiance recited in schools during the Independence Day and Republic Day celebrations.

भारत मेरा देश है।
सब भारतवासी मेरे भाई-बहन हैं।
मैं अपने देश से प्रेम करता हैं।
इसकी समृद्ध एवं विविध संस्कृति पर मुझे गर्व है।
मैं सदा इसका सुयोग्य अधिकारी बनने का प्रयत्न करता रहूँगा।
मैं अपने माता-पिता, शिक्षको एवं गुरुजनो का सम्मान करूँगा और प्रत्येक के साथ विनीत रहूँगा।
मैं अपने देश और देशवाशियों के प्रति सत्यनिष्ठा की प्रतिज्ञा करता हूँ।
इनके कल्याण एवं समृद्धि में ही मेरा सुख निहित है।

  • Written by – Pydimarri Venkata Subba Rao (1962).
  • Language of Origin – Telugu.
  • The chairman of the committee which decided to swear National pledge in schools – M. C. Chagla (1965).

In 1963, the national pledge was read out for the first time in a school in Visakhapatnam. 

Since Republic Day, January 26, 1965, the National Pledge has been required to be said in schools every day, and it is additionally articulated amid school assemblies, on Independence Day, Republic Day, and at other customary or authorised celebrations.


National Currency of India:

Rupee

 
The official currency of the country is Indian Rupee.
  • Issued & Controlled by – RBI.
  • Subunit – Paisa.
  • Symbol ₹.
    • Designed by – Udaya Kumar Dharmalingam (2010).
    • Derived from – Devanagari consonant "र" (ra).
    • The coins with the rupee symbol were issued from 2011.

 

National Language of India:

  • Article 343 (1) – The article that declares Hindi as the official language of India.
  • Adopted on – September 14, 1949.
  • Hindi Diwas – September 14.

National Calendar of India:

The Saka calendar based on the Saka Era with Chaitra as its first month is the national calendar of India. The normal year of 12 months and 365 days was adopted from 22nd March 1957. Vikram Samvat is also used in certain parts of India. 
 
The months of Saka Calendar are as follows:

चैत्र
वैशाख
ज्येष्ठ(जेठ)
आषाढ़
श्रावण(सावन)
भाद्रपद(भादों)
अश्विन(क्वार)
कार्तिक
अग्रहायण(अगहन)
पौष
माघ
फाल्गुन
About Saka Calendar:
  1. Founded by – King Shalivanhana of Shatavahana dynasty.
  2. Begins on – AD 78.
  3. First month of the Saka Samvat – Chaitra.
    • begins on March 22 & if leap year begins on March 21.
  4. Last month of the Saka Samvat – Phalguna.
  5. Also known as Shalivahana Saka era or Mahasakkarat Era.
  6. Chairman of the Calendar Reform Committee which decided to adopt Saka Calendar – Meghnad Saha.

National River of India:

Ganga was declared as the national river of Indian in November 2008. For Hindus, the River Ganges, as symbolised by the goddess Ganga, is sacred and cherished.
  • Length – 2525 KM.
  • Longest river in India.
  • Home to endangered species, Ganges river dolphins.

National Animal of India:

Royal Bengal Tiger

The Royal Bengal Tiger symbolizing India's wealth of wildlife is the National Animal of India.
  • Tiger was declared as the national animal of India in 1972.
  • Scientific name – Panthera tigris.
  • Before the tiger, the lion was the national animal of India.

Read More about the Tiger Reserves of India


National Aquatic Animal of India:

Ganges Dolphin

The Ganges River Dolphin is the National Animal of India.
  • Scientific Name – Platanista gangetica.
  • Ganges River Dolphin was declared as the National Aquatic Animal in 2009, October.

 

National Heritage Animal of India:

Asian Elephant

 The Asian Elephant is the National Heritage Animal of India.
  • Scientific Name – Elephas Maximus indicus
  • The elephant was declared as the National Heritage Animal in October 2010.
  • It is declared as one of the endangered animals by IUCN

National Bird of India: The Indian Peacock/Indian Pea Fowl (scientific name: Pavo cristatus) was declared as the National Bird of India on February 1, 1963.


National Reptile of India: King Cobra is the national reptile of India. It is the world's longest venomous snake (18.8 ft).

National Flower of India: Lotus (scientific name: Nelumbo nucifera gaertn) is the National Flower of India.


National Fruit of India: The Mango (scientific name: Mangifera Indica) is the National Fruit. India is home to more than 100 varieties of mangoes and It has been cultivated since time immemorial.


National Tree of India: The National Tree of India is the Indian Banyan Tree (scientific name: Ficus bengalensis) which is only found in the Indian subcontinent. Thimmamma Marrimanu located in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, spread over 7 acres is the world’s largest single tree canopy.


National Sport of India: Field Hockey is considered unofficially as the National Sport. Home Ministry has clarified that officially, no sport has been accorded to hold the status of national Sport. 


National Microbe of India: India's former Minister of State for Environment and Forests, Jayanthi Natarajan, on October 18, 2012, declared 'Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus' as the National Microbe of India.


National Fish of India: Indian mackerel (scientific name: Rastrelliger kanagurta) found in the Arabian, Indian and West Pacific oceans, and their surrounding seas is unofficially the national fish of India. 

📝SideNotes:
  • Study of Flags – Vexillology.
  • Study of National Anthem – Anthematology (invented by David Kendall, Canada in 2003). 
  • Tattwabodhini Patrika was a journal of – Tattwabodhini Sabha.
  • Tattwabodhini Patrika was established by – Debendranath Tagore (August 16, 1843).
  • ഗ്രാമീണ കന്യക (കവിത) കുറ്റിപ്പുറത്തു കേശവന്‍നായര്‍.
  • Vikram Samvat – Official Calendar of Nepal.
  • First woman who recited the National Anthem, 'Jana Gana Mana' – Sarala Devi Chowdhurani ( Tagore’s niece).
  • Hockey –
    • Total players in a Hockey team – 11.
    • The total time duration of a Hockey game – 70 minutes.
    • Hockey Wizard – Dhyanchand.
  • Leader of Sanyasi / Fakir Rebellion of the 18th century – Pandit Bhabani Charan Pathak.

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