A kaleidoscopic view of the country's rich cultural heritage and military prowess were on display at the 64th Republic Day parade Saturday on the 8-km stretch from Rajpath to Red Fort.
An eager audience on both sides of the imposing Rajpath, the country's ceremonial boulevard facing the seat of power Raisina Hills, braved the winter chill and cheered loudly as the parade went past them portraying the rich and diverse culture of the country.
India Displayed defence might and cutural heritage in Republic Day 2013
Beating the Retreat' has emerged as an event of national pride when the Colours and Standards are paraded. The ceremony traces its origins to the early 1950s when Major Roberts of the Indian Army indigenously developed the unique ceremony of display by the massed bands.
Mukherjee, the chief guest of the function and supreme commander of the armed forces, came from the Rashtrapati Bhavan. His arrival was sounded by 14 trumpeters, 32 buglers and 14 echo buglers followed by playing of national anthem.
President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and several Union ministers watched in awe as the bands from several regiments of the armed forces played.
Most of the compositions played by military bands were based on Indian tunes. The new composition "Dhola Re Dhola" by Maj Gen K N Bhatt and Maj N Hussain was played in a mesmerising 'Echo'.