Back of the Book
sifting through thousands of websites for school projects? Bored of flipping
through thick history books for an overview of a dynasty? Sick
of staring at maps to understand the land forms of the country? Going crazy
searching the newspaper archives to understand the Reservation Bill? Don’t
worry, help is at hand! Hachette India brings you a super compendium of
information: Indiapedia: The All-India Factfinder. This useful reference book will introduce you
to the different aspects of India, from history to economy, from geography to
flora and fauna, from sports to cinema - an absolute must-have for every
student to know more about their country and find detailed information for
homework, essays, quizzes and general knowledge enhancement
officially known the Republic of India ranks second in terms of population
worldwide and is the seventh-largest country in the world. India covers a total
area of 3,166,414 square kilometres. From north to south, India measures 3,214
km and from east to west she is 2,933 km wide.
Indian subcontinent is a site of immense historical value, it was home to the
famous Indus Valley Civilization which flourished and grew in the north western
part of India, said to be the first major civilization in South Asia dating
back to 3000 BCE.
rulers: India has been ruled by many famous dynasties-from
the Mauryas and the Guptas
to the Cholas, Pallavas and Pandyas.
She has been invaded several times by tribes from Central Asia and was finally
conquered and made an empire under the dominion of the Mughals.
The Mughal Empire suffered a decline in the late l8th
century and was thereafter brought under the iron fist of the British Rule,
which went on to last for over a hundred years. The story of how the Indian
people fought the British colonies and won back their country is also a long
and powerful one, full of tales of strength and valour but also greed and
cowardice. It is this ambiguity that makes up this great country-in it lies the
old and the new, the intensely traditional and the fiercely modern, beautiful
examples of art and architecture, breathtaking vistas of greenery and a diverse
combination, a melting pot of people, races and religions.
Insignia The Indian national emblem has been inspired by the Sarnath Lion, one of four such lions which cap the Ashoka Pillar, located in Emperor Ashoka’s
erstwhile capital city of Sarnath. The government
adopted this emblem the day India became a republic on 26 January 1950. The
original Lion Capital depicts four lions, standing back to back, placed on an
abacus, surrounded by a frieze of sculptures depicting an elephant, a galloping
horse, a bull and a lion separated by wheels (chakras) over a bell-shaped
lotus. It has been carved out of a single chunk of polished sandstone and is
crowned by the Dharma Chakra or the Wheel of the Law. The Dharma Chakra was
erected by Emperor Ashoka to mark the spot where
Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma and where the Buddhist Sangha was established.
emblem adopted by the Government has modified the original slightly. Only three
lions can be seen and the wheel appears in the centre, with a bull on the right
and a horse on the left. The outlines of the other wheels can be seen on the
extreme corners. The lotus has also been omitted and the words Satyameva Jayate from the Mundaka Upanishad, which means ‘Truth alone triumphs’, are
inscribed below the abacus in the Devanagari script.
emblem is the official insignia of all government letterheads and appears on
all Indian currency notes.
Flag The ‘Ashoka Chakra’ (the
wheel) from the base of our national emblem has been placed onto the centre of
our National Flag. It is a horizontal tri-colour of deep saffron which represents
courage and sacrifice on top, white, symbolizes peace and truth in the middle
and dark green for faith and chivalry at the bottom. The three colours are in
equal proportion. The ratio of the width of the flag to its length is two to
three. The navy blue wheel has 24 spokes.
design of the National Flag was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India on
22 July 1947 and its use and display are restricted. There is a Flag Code of
India which states that while there are no restrictions on the display of the
National Flag by members of general public, private organizations, educational
institutions among others, the restrictions specified by the Emblems and Names
(Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950 and the Prevention of Insults to
National Honour Act, 1971 and any other law on the subject have to be followed.
National Anthem ‘Jana Gana
Mana’ is the national anthem of India, written in
Bengali with a strong Sanskrit slant. It is the first of five stanzas of a Brahmo hymn composed and scored by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. First sung in the Calcutta Session of
the Indian National Congress on 27 December 1911, it was officially adopted by
the Constituent Assembly as the Indian National Anthem on 24 January 1950.
National Song Our national
song is ‘Vande Mataram’
composed by Bankimchandra Chatterjee
and is a poem from his book Anandamath. It is as
important as the national anthem and was sung for the first time at the 1896
session of the Indian National Congress by Rabindranath
Calendar At the time of independence, the Government of India
followed die Gregorian calendar which was based on the Christian era. The
Calendar Reform Committee recommended that the Saka
era be recognized as the source of the national calendar which made sense as
the Saka year too has 365 days and corresponds with
the dates of the Gregorian calendar.
Flower The lotus, (Nelumbo nucifera) is the national flower of India chosen as it
always found mention in the art and mythology of ancient India. It has always
been considered as an auspicious and sacred symbol and thus was the best choice
for the national flower.
Animal The combination of grace, agility and enormous power
has earned the tiger (Panthera tigris), its pride of place as the national animal of
India. Out of eight species known, the Royal Bengal Tiger,
is an endangered species. ‘Project Tiger’ was launched in April 1973 to try and
improve the dwindling number and so far, it has been successful with 27 tiger
reserves being established, covering an area of 37,761 sq km.
River The Ganga or Ganges is the
longest river of India. It flows over 2,510 kms of
mountains, valleys and plains. Its origin is in the Gangotri
Glacier in the Himalayas where it is known as the Bhagirathi River.
Fruit Our national fruit is the mango (Mangifera
indica). The mango tree is a very important and
widely cultivated tree and its fruit is a rich source of Vitamins A, C and D.
Tree Our national tree is the banyan tree, also called the
Indian fig tree, (Ficus bengalensis).
The far reaching roots of this tree give rise to more trunks and branches. This
tree is considered immortal because of its long life span and it enjoys an
important place in the myths and legends of India.
Bird The Indian peacock (Pavo cristatust), is the national bird of India. It is a
beautiful and colourful creature and in 1963, it was declared the national bird
of India because of its rich religious symbolism and its importance in old
Indian traditions. The female or peahen is less colourful than the male and the
male has a spectacular bronze-green tail of around numerous elongated feathers
and a silky blue colouring. The female is brownish and slightly smaller than
the male and lacks the vibrant tail.
Aquatic Animal Our national aquatic animal,
the South Asian river dolphin (Platanista gangetica) is an endangered species in India. Therefore, it
has been put in Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. Poaching,
degradation of its habitat, siltation, pollution and reduced flow of river
water are behind the dwindling population of this species.
Monument India Gate located in the middle of New Delhi, is the
national monument of India. It is a monument built in the memory of 90,000
soldiers who lost their lives fighting in the World War I and Afghan War on
behalf of the British.
and National Symbols
Indian Constitution and Government
States and Union Terriories
Languages, Tribes and Reservation in India
Extraordinary Things about India
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