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Showing posts with label National Symbols. Show all posts
Showing posts with label National Symbols. Show all posts

Currency Symbol



The symbol of Indian Rupee typifies India's international identity for money transactions and economic strength. 

The Indian Rupee sign is an allegory of Indian ethos

The symbol is an amalgam of Devanagari "Ra" and the Roman Capital "R" with two parallel horizontal stripes running at the top representing the national flag and also the "equal to" sign. 

The Indian Rupee sign was adopted by the Government of India on 15th July, 2010.

On March 5, 2009 the Indian government announced a contest to create a symbol for the rupee. 

During the year 2010's Union Budget, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee mentioned that the proposed symbol would reflect and capture the Indian ethos and culture.

Five symbols were shortlisted. The symbol, conceptualised and designed by Udaya Kumar, a post graduate in Design from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, has been chosen from thousands of concept entries received by the Ministry of Finance through an open competition among resident Indian nationals. 


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National Aquatic Animal


River Dolphin is the National Aquatic Animal of India. 

This mammal is also said to represent the purity of the holy Ganga as it can only survive in pure and fresh water. 

Platanista gangetica has a long pointed snout and also have visible teeth in both the upper and lower jaws. 

Their eyes lack a lens and therefore function solely as a means of detecting the direction of light. 

Dolphins tend to swim with one fin trailing along the substrate while rooting around with their beak to catch shrimp and fish. 

Dolphins have a fairly thick body with light grey-brown skin often with a hue of pink. 

The fins are large and the dorsal fin is triangular and undeveloped. This mammal has a forehead that rises steeply and has very small eyes. 

River Dolphins are solitary creatures and females tend to be larger than males. 

They are locally known as susu, because of the noise it makes while breathing. 

This species inhabits parts of the Ganges, Meghna and Brahmaputra rivers in India, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh, and the Karnaphuli River in Bangladesh.

River dolphin is a critically endangered species in India and therefore, has been included in the Schedule I for the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. 

The main reasons for decline in population of the species are poaching and habitat degradation due to declining flow, heavy siltation, construction of barrages causing physical barrier for this migratory species.


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National Fruit



A 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.

Mango, popularly known as the 'King of Fruits'

Its juicy fruit is a rich source of Vitamins A, C and D.

In India there are over 100 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.

Mughal emperor Akbar planted 100,000 mango trees in Darbhanga, Bihar at a place now known as Lakhi Bagh.

Mangoes are available in different sizes, ranging from 10 to 25 cm in length and 7 to 12 cm in width. 

In terms of weight, a single mango can be as heavy as 2.5 kg. 

The fruit come in a wide variety of colors, such as green, yellow, red, and even various combinations of all these colors. 

Mango has a flat, oblong seed in the center, which is covered by the sweet pulp. 

Covering the pulp is a thin layer of skin, which is peeled off before eating the fruit. When ripe, the unpeeled fruit gives off a distinct, resinous sweet smell.

Varieties:
A large number of mango varieties can be found in India. The most popular ones include 'Alphonso' (also called 'Hapoos'), 'Amrapali', 'Bangalora', 'Banganapalli' (also known as 'Benishaan'), 'Bombay', 'Bombay Green', 'Chausa', 'Chinna Rasalu', 'Dashaheri' ('Daseri'), 'Fazli', 'Fernandian', 'Gulabkhas', 'Himayath' (a.k.a. 'Imam Pasand'), 'Himsagar', 'Jehangir', 'Kesar', 'Kishen Bhog', 'Lalbaug', 'Langda' ('Langra'), 'Mallika', 'Mankurad', 'Mulgoa', 'Neelam', 'Pairi', 'Pedda Rasalu', 'Rajapuri', 'Safeda', 'Suvarnarekha', 'Totapuri', 'Vanraj' and 'Zardalu'.

Cultivation:
Frost-free climate is best for the growth of Mangos. If temperatures drop below 40° F, even for a short period, the flowers and small fruits already grown on the tree can get killed. 

In other words, warm and dry weather is required for the cultivation of the fruit. This is it available in the summer season only. Mango can grow well in large containers and a greenhouse as well. 

Mango trees are shady in nature. They grow very fast and can reach a height of as much as 65 ft. 

The life of mango trees is generally very long and some specimens are known to be over 300 years old and still fruiting.


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National Flower


Lotus (Nelumbo Nucipera Gaertn) is the National Flower of India. 

It is a sacred flower and occupies a unique position in the art and mythology of ancient India and has been an auspicious symbol of Indian culture since time immemorial.

India is rich in flora. Currently available data place India in the tenth position in the world and fourth in Asia in plant diversity. 

From about 70 per cent geographical area surveyed so far, 47,000 species of plants have been described by the Botanical Survey of India (BSI).
  • Apart from India, Lotus is also the national flower of Vietnam.

  • In Egypt the Lotus Flowers are considered to auspicious because they are regarded as the symbol of Sun God.

  • Lotus seeds are medicinal in nature and are used for the treatment of kidney, spleen, and heart ailments. They are also considered beneficial in the treatment of Leucorrhea, palpitation and insomnia.

  • Lotus seeds are also used as antidotes in mushroom poisoning.

  • The seeds, leaves and tubers of the Lotus Flower are edible.


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National Tree


Banyan is the National tree of India. The mighty banyan tree commands a great presence in the rural setting of India. 

The very size of the banyan tree makes it a habitat for a large number of creatures

For centuries the banyan tree has been a central point for the village communities of India.

The banyan tree is massive not only from outside but it also sends new shoots from its roots, making the tree a tangle of branches, roots and trunks. 

The banyan tree towers magnificently over its neighbors and has the widest reaching roots of all known trees, covering several acres. The life of banyan tree is very long and is thought of as an immortal tree.

Because of its huge size, the banyan tree acts as a good shield and protects the rural folk from the hot sun. 

Even to this day the banyan tree has remained the focal point and gathering place village councils and meetings. 

It is due to these qualities, the banyan tree is considered sacred and honored.
  • The name 'banyan' is derived from Banias, who rested under the trees to discuss their strategies regarding business.
  • The widest tree in the world - the Great Banyan - is located in Kolkata. The tree is about 250 years old.
  • Historical records say that Alexander the Great camped under a banyan tree that was large enough to provide shelter to his army of 7000 men.
  • In many parts of the world, the wood and bark of the banyan tree are used for making paper.
  • People even make use of the roots of the tree to make ropes, in order to secure wood bundles.
  • The sap produced by banyan tree is often used to produce shellac, a strong adhesive. It can also be used to make surface-finisher.
  • Women in Nepal crush the root of the banyan tree with a paste to make a herbal product, which is used by them as a hair and skin conditioner.
  • In India and Pakistan, the twigs of banyan tree are sold as toothpicks in order to promote dental health. 
  • Banyan tree is well known for its medicinal uses. Its sap is a medicine for treating external skin inflammations and bruising, dysentery, toothaches and ulcers. Its bark and seeds are used to produce a herbal tonic that can cool the body. Diabetic patients are also treated by the tonic made from banyan tree.

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    National River



    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.

    The Ganga river basin is one of the most fertile and densely populated areas of the world and covers an area of 1,000,000 sq. kms.

    There are two dams on the river - one at Haridwar and the other at Farakka.

    The Ganges River Dolphin is an endangered animal that specifically habitats this river.

    The Ganga is revered by Hindus as the most sacred river on earth. Key religious ceremonies are held on the banks of the river at cities such as Varanasi, Haridwar and Allahabad.

    The Ganga widens out into the Ganges Delta in the Sunderbans swamp of Bangladesh, before it ends its journey by emptying into the Bay of Bengal.

    Gomukh - The Origin

    The river, about 2,510 km (1,560 mi) long, rises in a snowfield called THE GANGOTRI GLACIER, situated among three Himalayan mountains all more than 6,706 m (22,000 ft) high.

    It issues as the Bhagirathi River from an ice cave, 3,139 m (10,300 ft) above sea level, and falls 67 m per km (350 ft per mi).

    About 16 km (10 mi) from the source is Gangotri, the first temple on its banks and a traditional resort of pilgrims.

    At the village of Devaprayag, 214 km (133 mi) from the source, the Bhagirathi joins the Alaknanda to form the Ganges.

    The Ganges, after descending 2,827 m (9,276 ft), or an average of about 11 m per km (60 ft per mi), flows west to the border of the great plain of Hindustan at Haridwar, 253 km (157 mi) from its source and 312 m (1,024 ft) above sea level.

    From Haridwar it continues south and then south-east to Allahabad after a winding course of 785 km (488 mi), made un navigable by shoals and rapids.

    At Allahabad, the Ganges is joined by the Yamuna River from the south-west, and from that point the river flows east past Mirzapur, Varanasi, Ghazipur, Patna, Monghyr, and Bhagalpur, receiving on the south the Son River and on the north the Gumti, Ghaghara, Gandak, and Kosi rivers.

    Dams on the Ganga

    There are two major dams on the Ganga. One at Haridwar diverts much of the Himalayan snowmelt into the Upper Ganges Canal, built by the British in 1854 to irrigate the surrounding land. This caused severe deterioration to the water flow in the Ganga, and is a major cause for the decay of Ganga as an inland waterway.

    The other dam is a serious hydroelectric affair at Farakka, close to the point where the main flow of the river enters Bangladesh, and the tributary Hooghly (also known as Bhagirathi) continues in West Bengal past Calcutta.

    This barrage, which feeds the Hooghly branch of the river by a 26 mile long feeder canal, and its water flow management has been a long-lingering source of dispute with Bangladesh, which fortunately is likely to be resolved based on discussions held with the new Hasina government in Bangladesh in 1996 when I.K. Gujral was the Foreign Minister in India, Failure to resolve this has caused harm to both sides of the border for nearly two decades now.

    Bangladesh feels that the lack of flow in the summer months causes sedimentation and makes Bangladesh more prone to flood damages. At the same time, proposals for linking the Brahmaputra to the Ganges to improve the water flow in the Ganges is hanging fire. Also, the water management problem may actually involve a number of other riparian countries such as Nepal (where there has been tremendous deforestation, leading to greater silt content).

    It is likely that Ganga carried more water around the time of the Roman Empire, when Patna was the major port city of Pataliputra. Even in the eighteenth century the ships of the East India Company would come to call at the port city of Tehri, on the Bhagirathi, one of the main source river of Ganga.

    Another dam is proposed to be built on the upper reaches of a tributary of the Ganga, Mahakali, This Indo-Nepal project, the Pancheswar dam, proposes to be the highest dam in the world and will be built with US collaboration.

    The upper and lower Ganga canal, which is actually the backbone of a network of canals, runs from Haridwar to Allahabad, but maintenance has not been very good and my personal experience is that it probably trickles out into a small river a little beyond Kanpur.

    Ward's Lake, located in the heart of Shillong, offers you a most pleasant beauty spot. The lake with gradually undulating grounds, hemmed in by lush greens, has a charming winding walk-a-way in the midst of rolling flowerbeds and fairyland lighting. The 100-year-old lake has a strikingly beautiful arched bridge. Boats of all sizes and shapes are available while the cafeteria provides you with refreshments.

    Other notable breathtaking beauty spots are Lady Hydari Park, St. Paul's Cathedral, Crinoline swimming pool, Botanical Gardens, Shillong Peak with a 180-degree view of the city.


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    National Bird



    The Indian peacock, Pavo cristatus, the national bird of India, is a colourful, swan-sized bird, with a fan-shaped crest of feathers, a white patch under the eye and a long, slender neck. 

    The male of the species is more colourful than the female, with a glistening blue breast and neck and a spectacular bronze-green tail of around 200 elongated feathers. 

    The female is brownish, slightly smaller than the male and lacks the tail. The elaborate courtship dance of the male, fanning out the tail and preening its feathers is a gorgeous sight.

    The sacred bird of the India, the bird was once bred for food, but now hunting of peacocks is banned in India. It is protected not only by a religious sentiment, but also by parliamentary statute. 

    Peacocks have been given full protection under the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. Apart from India, it is also involved to the cultures prevalent in Far East, Ancient Persia, Greek and Christian. While the figure of peacock features in various Islamic religious buildings, the bird is symbolic to 'Resurrection of Christ' in Christianity.

    Coming back to Hinduism, peacock is portrayed as the image of the God of thunder, rains and war, Indra. People believe that, when a peacock extends its tail erect like fan for an enchanting and mesmerizing demonstration, it indicates that rainfall is on the cards. Though this might sound strange, but the fact is somewhat true. On seeing the dark clouds, peacock outspreads its tail and starts dancing in rhythmic fashion. Its dance movement has been incorporated in most of the Indian folklore, including Bharatha Natyam. In southern part of India, peacock is considered as a 'vahana' or vehilce of lord Muruga.

    Features Of Peacock:

    The male specie, peacock, is characterized with a 2.12 m (7.3 ft) length, in full breeding plumage, and weighs about 5 kg (11 lbs). 

    The female bird - peahen, on the other hand, is about 86 cm (34 in) long and weighs about 3.4 kg (7.4 lbs). 

    Adoring the glistening blue-green plumage, the Indian peacock has an extension of feathers on its back. Each feather is exemplified with an eye at its end. 

    The Indian peahen is a mixture of dull green, grey and iridescent blue, with the greenish-grey color outweighing. 

    The bird is mostly found in the dry semi-desert grasslands, scrub and deciduous forests and feeds on mainly seeds, but some also eat insects, fruits and reptiles. 


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    National Calender



    The national calendar based on the Saka Era, with Chaitra as its first month and a normal year of 365 days was adopted from 22 March 1957 along with the Gregorian calendar for the following official purposes:
    • 1. Gazette of India.
    • 2. News broadcast by All India Radio.
    • 3. Calendars issued by the Government of India.
    • 4. Government communications addressed to the members of the public.
    Dates of the national calendar have a permanent correspondence with dates of the Gregorian calendar, 1 Chaitra falling on 22 March normally and on 21 March in leap year.

    Formation of Saka Calendar

    In the Indian civil calendar, the initial period is the Saka Era. 

    The Calendar is said to have begun with King Salivahana's accession to the throne. 

    It is used as a reference for most astronomical works in Sanskrit literature written after 500 AD. 

    The calculation of ‘thitis’ i.e. dates in this Calendar are done in accordance with the actual positions of Sun and Moon in the universe. 

    In the Saka calendar, the year 2009 AD is 1932.

    Adoption of Saka Calendar as National Calendar

    The current national calendar of India i.e. the Saka Calendar was adopted as the National Calendar in 1957 by the Calendar Reform Committee which also made efforts to coincide the astronomical data and harmonize the usage of this calendar after rectification of some local errors. 

    It came into usage from March 22, 1957 according to the Gregorian calendar which was actually Saka Era, Chaitra 1, 1879 according to the Saka Samvat. 

    It was adopted as the National calendar in order to synchronize the usage of 30 different kinds of Calendar used in India at that time.

    An Overview of the Saka Calendar

    Saka Calendar is said to have begun from the vernal equinox of A.D. 79. 

    The usage of the Calendar began from aka Era 1879, Chaitra 1, which corresponds to A.D. 1957 March 22. 

    The Saka Calendar is similar to the Gregorian calendar on the terms that even the Saka calendar has a normal year of 365 days and a leap year has 366 days. 

    In a leap year, an intercalary day is added to the end of Chaitra month of the year. 

    There are 12 months in Saka Calendar which are named as Vaisakha ,Jyestha ,Asadha ,Sravana, Bhadrapada, Asvina , Kartika Margasirsa , Pausa , Magh, Phalgura ,Chaitra.



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    National Song



    The song Vande Mataram, composed in Sanskrit by Bankimchandra Chatterji, was a source of inspiration.


    Vande Mataram ("I bow to thee, Mother") is a poem from the famed novel Anandamath which was written by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay in 1882.


    It was written in Bengali and Sanskrit. It is a hymn to Goddess Durga, identified as the national personification of India


    The first political occasion when it was sung in the 1896 session of the Indian National Congress.


    The following is the text of its first stanza:

    Vande Mataram!
    Sujalam, suphalam, malayaja shitalam,
    Shasyashyamalam, Mataram!
    Vande Mataram!
    Shubhrajyotsna pulakitayaminim,
    Phullakusumita drumadala shobhinim,
    Suhasinim sumadhura bhashinim,
    Sukhadam varadam, Mataram!
    Vande Mataram, Vande Mataram!


    The English translation of the stanza rendered by Sri Aurobindo in prose 1 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 moonlight,
    her lands clothed beautifully with her trees in flowering bloom,
    sweet of laughter, sweet of speech,
    The Mother, giver of boons, giver of bliss.

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    National flag of India



    The National Flag of India was designed by Pingali Venkayya and adopted in its present form during the meeting of Constituent Assembly held on the 22 July 1947, a few days before India's independence from the British on 15 August, 1947. 

    It served as the national flag of the Dominion of India between 15 August 1947 and 26 January 1950 and that of the Republic of India thereafter. In India, the term "tricolour" refers to the Indian national flag.

    The top saffron colour, indicates the strength and courage of the country. The white middle band indicates peace and truth with Dharma Chakra. The green shows the fertility, growth and auspiciousness of the land.

    Its design is that of the wheel which appears on the abacus of the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka. Its diameter approximates to the width of the white band and it has 24 spokes.



    Evolution of the Tricolour :

    Some of the historical milestones in the evolution of our National Flag involve the following :

    The first national flag in India is said to have been hoisted on August 7, 1906, in the Parsee Bagan Square (Green Park) in Calcutta now Kolkata. The flag was composed of three horizontal strips of red, yellow and green.

    The second flag was hoisted in Paris by Madame Cama and her band of exiled revolutionaries in 1907 (according to some inl9OS). This was very similar to the first flag except that the top strip had only one lotus but seven stars denoting the Saptarishi. This flag was also exhibited at a socialist conference in Berlin.

    The third flag went up in 1917 when our political struggle had taken a definite turn. Dr. Annie Besant and Lokmanya Tilak hoisted it during the Home rule movement. This flag had five red and four green horizontal strips arranged alternately, with seven stars in the saptarishi configuration super-imposed on them. In the left-hand top corner (the pole end) was the Union Jack. There was also a white crescent and star in one corner.

    During the session of the All India Congress Committee which met at Bezwada in 1921 (now Vijayawada) an Andhra youth prepared a flag and took it to Gandhiji. It was made up of two colours-red and green-representing the two major communities i.e. Hindus and Muslims. Gandhiji suggested the addition of a white strip to represent the remaining communities of India and the spinning wheel to symbolise progress of the Nation.

    The year 1931 was a landmark in the history of the flag. A resolution was passed adopting a tricolor flag as our national flag. This flag, the forbear of the present one, was saffron, white and green with Mahatma Gandhi's spinning wheel at the center. It was, however, clearly stated that it bore no communal significance and was to be interpreted thus.



    Colours of the Flag :

    The top band is of Saffron colour, indicating the strength and courage of the country.

    The white middle band indicates peace and truth with Dharma Chakra.

    The last band is green in colour shows the fertility, growth and auspiciousness of the land.



    The Chakra :

    This Dharma Chakra depicted the "wheel of the law" in the Sarnath Lion Capital made by the 3rd-century BC Mauryan Emperor Ashoka.

    The chakra intends to show that there is life in movement and death in stagnation.



    Flag Code :

    On 26th January 2002, the Indian flag code was modified and after several years of independence, the citizens of India were finally allowed to hoist the Indian flag over their homes, offices and factories on any day and not just National days as was the case earlier.

    Now Indians can proudly display the national flag any where and any time, as long as the provisions of the Flag Code are strictly followed to avoid any disrespect to the tricolour.

    For the sake of convenience, Flag Code of India, 2002, has been divided into three parts :
    1.) Part I of the Code contains general description of the National Flag.
    2.) Part II of the Code is devoted to the display of the National Flag by members of public, private organizations, educational institutions, etc.
    3.) Part III of the Code relates to display of the National Flag by Central and State governments and their organisations and agencies.



    Do's and Don'ts of the Flag :

    There are some rules and regulations upon how to fly the flag, based on the 26 January 2002 legislation. These include the following:

    The Do's :
    • The National Flag may be hoisted in educational institutions (schools, colleges, sports camps, scout camps, etc.) to inspire respect for the Flag. An oath of allegiance has been included in the flag hoisting in schools. 
    • A member of public, a private organization or an educational institution may hoist/display the National Flag on all days and occasions, ceremonial or otherwise consistent with the dignity and honour of the National Flag.
    • Section 2 of the new code accepts the right of all private citizens to fly the flag on their premises. 
    The Don'ts :
    • The flag cannot be used for communal gains, drapery, or clothes. As far as possible, it should be flown from sunrise to sunset, irrespective of the weather.
    • The flag cannot be intentionally allowed to touch the ground or the floor or trail in water. It cannot be draped over the hood, top, and sides or back of vehicles, trains, boats or aircraft.
    • No other flag or bunting can be placed higher than the flag. Also, no object, including flowers or garlands or emblems can be placed on or above the flag. The tricolour cannot be used as a festoon, rosette or bunting.  


    Last updated on: 30/09/2019

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