National Symbols of India & their meanings

8 Aug 2023  Read 1506 Views

India's National Symbols stand tall as pillars of our culture and pride, representing the essence of our nation with absolute power and authority. At the forefront is the National Emblem, a masterpiece crafted by Dinanath Bhargava.

While there are 16 official National Symbols, you may come across the belief of 17 National Symbols, with the 17th one being the National Game of India, Hockey but India had no official national game by far. 

So, let’s delve into the list of these national symbols of India, as this topic also holds significance in competitive exams.

Is hockey a national game of India?

No official sport has been designated as India's national sport by the Indian government. Hockey is often called the unofficial national game of India due to its historical importance and popularity. So, this has led to some confusion.  The Indian men's field hockey team won several Olympic gold medals in the early 20th century, building a great reputation for this sport.

National Symbols of India

Here’s a complete List of 16 National Symbols of India:



National Symbol


1.  National Flag



The national flag of India is made of three colours having 3 stripes of equal length with:

  1. Saffron at the top

  2. White in the middle 

  3. Green at the bottom.

  4. Ashok chakra, which is navy blue with 24 spokes depicting 24 hours. 

Pingali Venkayya designed it. 

2.  National Emblem

National Emblem of India

The lion capital of Ashoka at Sarnath was adopted as the national emblem of India on 26th January 1950. The motto inscribed below the national emblem is Satyamev Jayate in Devnagri script which means truth alone triumphs.

3.  National Currency

Indian Rupees

The national currency of India is the rupee or INR. The circulation of currency is monitored by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI established in 1935). Udayakumar Dharmalingam created the Indian rupee.

4.  National Calendar

Saka Calendar

The national calendar of India is known as Shalivahana Shaka Calendar, used with the Gregorian calendar by the Gazette of India. All India Radio and calendars issued by the GOI also follow the national calendar of India.

5.  Oath of Allegiance

National Pledge

The oath of an allegiance of India is the national pledge. Indians recite it, at public events or in schools or during Independence Day and Republic Day celebrations. 

6.  National River


The national river of India is the Ganga. Ganga is worshipped as the goddess Ganga in India under Hinduism having immense significance in Indian history.

7.  National Heritage Animal

Indian Elephant

The national heritage animal of India is the elephant. The Indian elephant is also listed as an endangered animal by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

8.  National Animal

Royal Bengal Tiger

The subspecies of tigers are called Royal Bengal tigers. In 1973, the Royal Bengal tiger was declared India’s national animal & Nagpur is known as the tiger capital of India. 

Tigers are added to the red list by the IUCN. 

9.  National Bird

Indian Peacock

The national bird of India is the Indian peacock as declared in 1963 by the GOI. It is an indigenous bird found in the subcontinents representing the unity of various colours & cultures found in India. 

10.   National Tree

Indian Banyan

The national tree of India is Banyan. The tree has roots hanging from the branches and these trees grow over large areas. The branches of this tree’s root symbolise longevity, and this tree is considered immortal.

11.   National Song

Vande Mataram

The national song of India is Vande Mataram which is a poem written by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee. Rabindranath first sang this poem in 1896 at the session of the Indian National Congress. This song was adopted as the national song of India on 24th January 1950, 

12.   National Anthem

Jana Gana Mana

The National anthem of India is Jana Gana Mana originally composed as Bharata Bhagyo Bidhata in Bengali by Rabindranath Tagore. On 24th January 1950, the Bharoto Bhagyo Bidhata was adopted as the National anthem of India.

13.   National Aquatic Animal

Ganges River Dolphin

The national aquatic animal of India is the Ganges River dolphin. It is an endangered freshwater dolphin divided into two subspecies:

1. The Ganges River dolphin 

2. The Indus River dolphin.

14.   National Vegetable


The national vegetable of India is the pumpkin. A winter squash that is round with smooth and ribbed skin, which is yellow. It grows throughout India and doesn’t have many soil requirements to grow. 

15.   National Fruit


The national fruit of India is mango (King of fruits) generally found in the summer seasons in India. More than 100 varieties of mangoes are found in India.

16.   National Flower


The national flower of India is Lotus which occupies a unique position in the field of art and mythology of India. it is recognised as an auspicious symbol of Indian culture and heritage



India's National Symbols stand as iconic representations of our rich heritage and values, symbolising the very essence of our nation. Each symbol holds a profound meaning and significance, carefully chosen to reflect India's diversity and unity. From the Bengal Tiger to the serene Lotus, these emblems resonate with the spirit of the Indian people. Together, these symbols unite us under the tricolour flag. 

About the Author: Kakoli Nath | 230 Post(s)

Kakoli Nath is a legal Content Manager at Finology Legal who pursued BBA.LL.B (5 years integrated course). She is a patent analyst & had also done advanced certification in Forensics Psychology and Criminal Profiling from IFS, Pune.

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