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Indian History and Culture

National Insignia

National Emblem

National emblemThe National Emblem of India is a replica of the Lion of Sarnath, near Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. The Lion Capital was erected in the third century BC by Emperor Ashoka to mark the spot where Buddha first proclaimed his gospel of peace and emancipation to the four quarters of the universe.The National emblem is thus symbolic of contemporary India's reaffirmation of its ancient commitment to world peace and goodwill.

The four lions (one hidden from view) - symbolising power, courage and confidence - rest on a circular abacus. The abacus is girded by four smaller animals - guardians 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 abacus rests on a lotus in full bloom, exemplifying the fountainhead of life and creative inspiration. The motto 'Satyameva Jayate' inscribed below the emblem in Devanagari script means 'truth alone triumphs'.


National Flag

National flagThe Indian flag was designed as a symbol of freedom. The late Prime Minister Nehru called it a flag not only of freedom for ourselves, but a symbol of freedom to all people.

The flag is a horizontal tricolour in equal proportion of deep saffron on the top, white in the middle and dark green at the bottom. The ratio of the width to the length of the flag is two to three. In the centre of the white band, there is a wheel in navy blue to indicate the Dharma Chakra, the wheel of law in the Sarnath Lion Capital. Its diameter approximates the width of the white band and it has 24 spokes. The saffron stands for courage, sacrifice and the spirit of renunciation; the white, for purity, peace and truth; the green for faith and fertility.


National Anthem - jan-gan-man

jan-gan-man-addhinaayak, jay he

bhaaratt bhaagy-viddhaattaa




uchchhal-jaladdhi ttira.nagaa

ttav shubh naame jaage

ttav shubh aashish maa.nage

gaahe ttav jay gaatthaa

jan-gan-ma.nagal-ddaayak, jay he

bhaaratt bhaagy-viddhaattaa

jay he, jay he, jay he,

jay jay jay, jay he.

जन-गन-मन-अद्धिनायक जय हे

भारत भाग्य-विधाता

पंजाब-सिंधु-गुजरात्-मराठा -



उच्छल-जलद्धि तिरंगा

तव शुभ नामे जागे

तव शुभ आशिश मांगे

गाहे तव जय गाथा

जन-गन-मन-दायक जय हे

भारत भाग्य-विधाता

जय हे जय हे जय हे

जय जय जय जय हे


Play National Anthem

Music Score

The following is a translation of Rabindranath Tagore's rendering of the stanza:

Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people,
dispenser of India's destiny.
The name rouses the hearts of Punjab, Sind, Gujarat and Maratha,
of the Dravid and Orissa and Bengal;
it echoes in the hills of the Vindhyas and Himalayas,
mingles in the music of the Yamuna and Ganga
and is chanted by the waves of the Indian Sea.
They pray for thy blessings and sing thy praise.
The salvation of all people is in thy hand,
thou dispenser of India's destiny.

Victory, victory, victory to thee.


National Song - vandde maattaram.h  

वन्दे मातरमः

सुजलां सुफलां मलयजशीतलामः

शस्य श्यामलां मातरं।

शुभ्र ज्योत्स्न पुलकित यामिनीम्

फुल्ल कुसुमित द्रुमदलशोभिनीमः

सुहासिनीं सुमधुर भाषिनीमः

सुखदां वरदां मातरमः

वन्दे मातरमः

vandde maattaram.h
sujalaa.n suphalaa.n malayajasheettalaam.h
shasya shyaamalaa.n maattara.n .
shubhra jyottsna pulakitta yaamineem
phulla kusumitta ddrumaddalashobhineem.h,
suhaasinee.n sumaddhura bhaashhineem.h .
sukhaddaa.n varaddaa.n maattaram.h ..
vandde maattaram.h

सप्तः कोटि कण्ठ कलकल निनद कराले

निसप्तः कोटि भुजैध्रुति खरकरवाले

के बोले मा तुमे अबले

बहुबल धारिणीं नमामि तारिणमः

रिपुदलवारिणीं मातरमः

वन्द्दे मातरमः

saptta koti kantha kalakal ninaadd karaale
nisaptta koti bhujaiddhrutta kharakaravaale
ke bole maa ttumee abale
bahubala ddhaarinee.n namaami ttaarineem.h
ripuddalavaarinee.n maattaram.h ..
vandde maattaram.h

तुमि विद्या तुमि धर्म तुमि ह्रिदय तुमि मर्म

त्वं हि प्राणः शरीरे

बाहुते तुमि मा शक्ति

ह्रिदये तुमि मा भक्त्ति

तोमारै प्रतिमा गर्धि मंदिरे मंदिरे

वंदे मातरमः

ttumi viddyaa ttumi ddharm, ttumi hriddi ttumi marm
ttva.n hi praanah shareere
baahutte ttumi maa shakttee,
hriddaye ttumi maa bhaktti,
ttomaarai prattimaa gardhi ma.nddire ma.nddire ..
vandde maattaram.h

त्वं हि दुर्गा दशप्रहर्द्नधारिणी

कमला कमलदल विहारिणी

वाणी विद्यादायिनी नमामि त्वामः

नमामि कमलां अमलां अतुलामः

सुजलां सुफलां मातरमः

वन्दे मातरमः


श्यामलां सरलां सुस्मितां भुषितामः

धरनीं भरनीं मातरमः

वन्दे मातरमः

ttva.n hi ddurgaa ddashaprahardnaddhaarinee
kamalaa kamalddala vihaarinee
vaanee viddyaaddaayinee, namaami ttvaam.h
namaami kamalaa.n amalaa.n attulaam.h
sujalaa.n suphalaa.n maattaram.h ..
vandde maattaram.h

shyaamalaa.n saralaa.n susmittaa.n bhushhittaam.h
ddharanee.n bharanee.n maattaram.h ..
vandde maattaram.h

Play National Song

National Animal

National animal - the tigerLarge Asiatic carnivorous feline quadruped, Panthera Tigris, maneless, of tawny yellow colour with blackish transverse stripes and white belly, proverbial for its power and its magnificence.

There are very few tigers left in the world today. A decade ago the tiger population in India had dwindled to a few hundreds. The Government of India, under its Project Tiger programme, started a massive effort to preserve the tiger population. Today, thanks to Project Tiger, India's population of tigers has considerably increased.


National Bird

National bird - PeacockMale bird of species P. cristatus, is a native of India, with striking plumage and upper tail converts marked with iridescent ocelli, able to expand its tail erect like fan as ostentatious display. Peacocks are related to pheasants.

Found wild in India (and also domesticated in villages) they live in jungle lands near water. They were once bred for food but now hunting of peacocks is banned in India. The peahen has no plumage. These birds do not sound as beautiful as they look - they have a harsh call.


National Flower

National flower - the lotusThe Lotus or waterlily is an aquatic plant of Nymphaea with broad floating leaves and bright fragrant flowers that grow only in shallow waters. The leaves and flowers float and have long stems that contain air spaces. The big attractive flowers have many petals overlapping in a symmetrical pattern. The root functions are carried out by rhizomes that fan out horizontally through the mud below the water. Lotuses, prized for their serene beauty, are delightful to behold as their blossoms open on the surface of a pond. In India the sacred lotus is legendary and much folklore and religious mythology is woven around it.


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 Fruit

National fruit - the mangoA fleshy fruit, eaten ripe or used green for pickles etc., of the tree Mangifera indica, the mango is one of the most important and widely cultivated fruits of the tropical world. Its juicy fruit is a rich source of Vitamins A, C and D. In India there are over100 varieties of mangoes, in different sizes, shapes and colours. Mangoes, have been cultivated in India from time immemorial. The poet Kalidasa sang its praises. Alexander savoured its taste, as did the Chinese pilgrim Hieun Tsang. Akbar planted 100,000 mango trees in Darbhanga, known as Lakhi Bagh.


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