India 1615
Photo by: Kailash K Soni

Republic of India

Bharat Ganarajya

CAPITAL : New Delhi

FLAG : The national flag, adopted in 1947, is a tricolor of deep saffron, white, and green horizontal stripes. In the center of the white stripe is a blue wheel representing the wheel (chakra) that appears on the abacus of Asoka's lion capital (c.250 BC ) at Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh.

ANTHEM : Jana gana mana (Thou Art the Ruler of the Minds of All People ). A national song of equal status is Vande Mataram (I Bow to Thee, Mother).

MONETARY UNIT : The rupee ( R ) is a paper currency of 100 paise. There are coins of 5, 10, 20, 25, and 50 paise, and 1, 2, and 5 rupees, and notes of 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 500 rupees. R 1 = 0.02129 (or $1 = R 46.97) as of May 2003.

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES : Metric weights and measures, introduced in 1958, replaced the British and local systems. Indian numerical units still in use include the lakh (equal to 100,000) and the crore (equal to 10 million).

HOLIDAYS : Republic Day, 26 January; Independence Day, 15 August; Gandhi Jayanti, 2 October. Annual events—some national, others purely local, and each associated with one or more religious communities—number in the hundreds. The more important include Shivarati in February; and Raksha Bandhan in August. Movable religious holidays include Holi, Ganesh Chaturthi, Durga Puja, Dussehra, 'Id al-Fitr, Dewali; and Christmas, 25 December.

TIME : 5:30 PM = noon GMT.


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