Home / Nation / India celebrates Republic Day; Barack Obama witnesses India’s cultural heritage, military might

India celebrates Republic Day; Barack Obama witnesses India’s cultural heritage, military might

NEW DELHI(WEB TEAM): US President Barack Obama watched a dazzling parade of India’s military might and cultural diversity on Monday, the second day of a visit trumpeted as a chance to establish a robust strategic partnership between the world’s two largest democracies. Obama, who visited India in 2010, is also be the first US president to visit the country twice while in office.

Multi-hued images of India’s rich cultural diversity and military might as well as achievements in diverse fields unfolded on Monday at the 66th Republic Day parade which had a US President Barack Obama as the Chief Guest for the first time.

The unfurling of the tricolour by the President and playing of the national anthem were followed by a customary 21-gun salute.

As the nearly two-hour-long parade, showcasing the country’s ‘unity in diversity’ marched down the Rajpath in drizzle and overcast skies, thousands of spectators gathered along the route and cheered in joy.

The national capital was wrapped in unprecedented security blanket as thousands of security personnel kept a hawk’s vigil in and around the Rajpath area.

ALSO READ: India’s cultural heritage, military might on display on Republic Day

Obama was seated next to Modi, donning a multicoloured ‘bandhej safa'(turban), as the two leaders chatted and enjoyed the annual spectacle. A smiling US President was seen nodding in appreciation on several occasions.

The Make in India tableau stole the show at the Republic Day parade. The float, which displayed a working model of the ‘Make in India’ lion, invited manufacturers and investors to participate in the initiative.

As part of the seven-layered security, around 45,000 security personnel were deployed across the city while the commandos of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police and Delhi Police kept a hawk-eye vigil at important locations.

Live updates:

12:11 IST Monday, 26 January 2015

The grand finale of the parade – A spectacular flypast by the IAF jets and aircraft

The flypast commenced with ‘Chakra’ formation, comprising three Mi-35 helicopters in ‘Vic’ formation, followed by the ‘Hercules’ formation comprising three C-130J super Hercules aircraft.

Trailing them was a ‘Poseidon’ formation comprising one P-8I aircraft flanked by two MiG-29Ks and the ‘Globe’ formation comprising one C-17 Globemaster flanked by two Su-30s.

Next five Jaguars flew in Arrowhead formation and the five MiG-29 fighters, called the ‘Tridents’, flew in ‘Fulcrum’ style.

Three Sukhoi (Su-30 MkI) fighter jets then made the “Trishul” formation by flying over the Rajpath, and once in front of the saluting dais, the three aircraft split upwards, making a ‘Trishul’ in the sky.

The flypast concluded with another Su-30 MkI carrying out a “Vertical Charlie” manoeuvre over the saluting dais.

11:55 IST Monday, 26 January 2015

Tableaux of Gujarat’s float featuring Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

Gujarat presented the tableau on the theme of Statue of Unity – Sardar Sarovar project. It relates to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan to build a giant statue of country’s first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in the state.

The highlight of the celebration was Mass P-T display, mass dance and songs by children from different educational institutions.

11:45 IST Monday, 26 January 2015

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Obama watching the Republic Day dances

11:32 IST Monday, 26 January 2015

The Make in India tableau stole the show at the Republic Day parade. The float, which displayed a working model of the ‘Make in India’ lion, invited manufacturers and investors to participate in the initiative.

Tableaux from 16 States and nine central ministries and departments are presenting the varied historical, architectural and cultural heritage of the country.

10:57 IST Monday, 26 January 2015
Camel-mounted band of BSF on display

The marching contingents of paramilitary and other forces included those from BSF, Assam Rifles, Coast Guard, CRPF, Indo -Tibetan Border Police, CISF, Sashastra Seema Bal, Railway Protection Force, Delhi Police, National Cadet Corps and National Service Scheme.The camel-mounted band of BSF and the ex-servicemen marching contingent too added to the attraction.

RepublicDay : the only camel mounted band in the world, of the BSF pic.twitter.com/VjVgjkx2Yu

10:40 IST Monday, 26 January 2015
The main attraction of the annual extravaganza is the arching contingents of all-women officers of the three Services. India witnessed the first march by women army, navy and air force personnel.

India showcasing Its military might and cultural diversity with a splendid display of land and naval weaponry, fighter and reconnaissance aircraft before the chief guest US President Barack Obama and the world.

10:34 IST Monday, 26 January 2015
The Mobile Autonomous Launcher of BRAHMOS missile system, three dimensional tactical control radar on display.

10:25 IST Monday, 26 January 2015

The Republic day parade begins. The Air Force contingent comprising 144 men, led by Squadron Leader Manvender Singh, salutes President.

10:24 IST Monday, 26 January 2015

Major Mukund Varadarajan and Naik Neeraj Kumar Singh, the two army personnel who laid down their lives combating militants in Kashmir Valley, were today awarded posthumously the highest peacetime military honour, the Ashok Chakra, by President Pranab Mukherjee.

The families of Major Varadarajan and Naik Singh, who showed exemplary courage in tackling terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir, were honoured by the President at the Republic Day parade.The awards were received by their wives at the 66th Republic Day celebrations, which was graced by US President Barack Obama.

10:22 IST Monday, 26 January 2015

10:21 IST Monday, 26 January 2015

The National Flag unfurled at Rajpath.

10:10 IST Monday, 26 January 2015

President Pranab Mukherjee arrives at Rajpath, greeted by PM Narendra Modi.

10:07 IST Monday, 26 January 2015

Chief Guest US President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama arrives at Rajpath. In a departure from tradition, the Chief Guest at the Republic Day parade, today arrived in his own highly-secured bomb-proof vehicle, ‘The Beast,’ at Rajpath. The Republic Day Chief Guest normally travels with the President of India in his car from Rashtrapati Bhawan.

9:50 IST Monday, 26 January 2015

Prime Minister Modi paid tribute at the ‘Amar Jawan Jyoti’, the memorial dedicated to martyrs who sacrificed their lives in service of the nation.

7:31 IST Monday, 26 January 2015

Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets nation on the occasion of Republic Day

Live: Republic Day Parade

Also read: All you need to know about the security cover for Barack Obama

The police in New Delhi have cordoned off a large area around the presidential palace in preparation for the parade. A no-fly zone with a radius of 400 kilometres will be implemented during the parade, covering Jaipur and Agra and extending to the border with Pakistan.

A seven-layer security ring have be thrown around the VVIP enclosure on Rajpath for the Republic Day parade, which is being witnessed by US President Barack Obama and the airspace over the area is being monitored by a radar to be specially set up.

A multi-agency control room is monitoring the surveillance operations in every area of the national capital which has been put on the highest alert because of the visit of the US President.

At least 10,000 paramilitary troops have been deployed along with the 80,000-strong Delhi Police to ensure fool-proof security in and around Rajpath – the main venue.

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