National symbols of India create the entity which reflects the pride and prestige of the whole nation. These identifiable features enable India to stand apart from the rest of the world. The National Symbol of India has been depicted from the Sarnath Lion Capital of Emperor Ashoka. The original sculpture has four lions on a pillar with an elephant, horse, bull, and lion separated by a lotus on the base. Also carved into the stone is a Dharma Chakra (wheel of law).
It was adopted as national emblem on January 26, 1950 by the Indian Government. The official symbol represents three of the four lions with the Dharma Chakra in the center of the base and a bull and horse on either side. The base also has “Satyameva Jayate” engraved on representing a strong idea for the Indian people i.e. “Truth alone triumphs”.
Indian peacock (Pavo cristatus) is the national bird of India. Peacocks signify pride, beauty and grace. In Indian mythology and folk stories as well peacocks are used. This bird is about the size of a swan, with a long neck and a fan-shaped array of feathers. Male peacocks are bright colored, with green-bronze feathers and blue fronts. Peahen, the female is smaller and brown in color.
Tiger is the national animal of India, officially known as Panthera Tigris. It has a thick yellow coat of fur with dark stripes on it. Tiger is greatly respected for its incredible power, strength and grace. The Indian tiger is also called the Royal Bengal Tiger and can be found throughout the country except in north western region. The beautiful tiger is popularly killed for its skin. To protect tiger population, the government launched “Project Tiger” in 1973 which is also supported by the World Wildlife Federation.
The lotus (Nelumbo Nucipera Gaertn) is the official flower of India. It symbolizes long life, honor, and good fortune. It also signifies triumph; since the lotus is rooted in the mud and yet can successfully re- germinates for thousands of years. In spite of growing in mud, it remains pure and beautiful. The lotus holds great significance for Hindus and is often used in various religious practices.
The banyan tree is the National Tree of India, also officially known as Ficus bengalensis. The branches of this tree root themselves like new trees over a large area. The roots then give rise to more trunks and branches. This tree is considered immortal because of its long life and characteristics. Even today, it is the focal point of village life and the village council meets under this tree.
The mango is the national fruit. There are over 100 varieties of mangos and are available range of colors, sizes, and shapes. Mangoes are commonly found in the tropical part of the world. They are high in vitamin A, C, and D.
These national symbols of India have not only added to the pride but have given India a distinct identity. There are many symbols that collectively contribute to the national pride.