Modern Indian History-Events and Personalities

In news: National Emblem of India


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Ashokan Pillar

Mains level : Not Much

A day after the National Emblem cast on top of the under-construction Parliament unveiled, controversy has erupted over its aggressive posture.

National Emblem of India

  • On 26 January 1950, a representation of the Lion Capital of Ashoka placed above the motto, Satyameva Jayate, was adopted as the State Emblem of India.
  • The emblem is an adaptation of the Lion Capital of Ashoka, an ancient sculpture dating back to 280 BCE during the reign of the Maurya Empire.
  • It was originally made of Chunar sandstone.
  • The statue is a three-dimensional emblem showing four lions.

Features of the emblem

  • The actual Sarnath capital features four Asiatic lions standing back to back, symbolizing power, courage, confidence, and pride, mounted on a circular base.
  • At the bottom is a horse and a bull, and at its center is a Dharma chakra.
  • The abacus is girded with a frieze of sculptures in high relief of The Lion of the North,
  • The Horse of the West, The Bull of the South, and The Elephant of the East, separated by intervening wheels, over a lotus in full bloom, exemplify the fountainhead of life and creative inspiration.
  • Carved from a single block of sandstone, the polished capital is crowned by the Wheel of the Law.

Historical significance

  • One of the Buddha’s names is ‘Shakya Simha’, meaning ‘Lion of the Shakyas’.
  • The Buddha’s first sermon at Sarnath was known as the ‘Simhanada’ (Lion roar) of the Buddha.


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