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India celebrates 60th Republic Day

Last updated on: January 26, 2010 12:34 IST

India celebrates 60th Republic Day

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India's vibrant cultural heritage, its impressive achievements and military might were on a majestic display on Tuesday as the country celebrated the 60th Republic Day.

Marching down from the Raisina Hills, the Republic Day parade showcased the country's 'unity in diversity' as well as the armed forces in full battle regalia.

Click on NEXT to see more photographs from Rajpath


Image: The Multiple Launch Rocket System passes through Rajpath
Photographs: Press Information Bureau
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Despite the heavy fog, well turned out and synchronised military contingents marched proudly through the Rajpath where President and Supreme Commander of armed forces Pratibha Patil took the salute.

The march-past was watched by the Republic Day chief guest South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Defence Minister A K Antony and the country's top political and military brass, including UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

Patil and her South Korean counterpart arrived at the Rajpath escorted by the President's 46 bodyguards riding well-trained, impeccably-bedecked horses.


Image: The ICV BMP II K Sarath passes through Rajpath

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Minutes before the parade began, Singh, Dr Antony and chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force laid wreaths at 'Amar Jawan Jyoti', the British-era World War-I memorial at India Gate, where an eternal flame burns in memory of those who laid down their lives while defending the nation's frontiers.

A heavy security blanket was thrown around New Delhi for the Republic Day celebrations in the backdrop of intelligence inputs about terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Tayiba acquiring over 50 para-gliding equipment, which could be used to launch an air-borne suicide attack.


Image: The Agni-III passes through Rajpath

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After the President unfurled the tricolour and a customary 21-gun salute, the parade led by Major General KJS Oberoi, General Officer Commanding of Delhi Area of the Army, started.

The fog played spoilsport as four Mi-17 helicopters, which were scheduled to shower flower petals on the spectators, failed to do so due to the weather conditions.

The first to walk were the winners of the Param Vir Chakra and Ashok Chakra followed by mounted columns of 61 Cavalry.


Image: The MBT Arjun Tanks passes through Rajpath

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The Army then showcased its impressive armoury before the nation, which included the indigenous MBT Arjun, SMERCH Multiple Launch Rocket System and Armoured Engineer Recce Vehicle and Sarvatra Bridge.

The army also brought its state-of-the-art ICV Communication Vehicle besides Samyukta Electronic Warfare System, Infantry Fighting Vehicle 'Sarath' and Ambulance Tracked to the parade.


Image: The Rohini Radar DRDO passes through Rajpath

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The army contingent included personnel from Madras Regiment, Jat Regimentry, Sikh Regiment, Dogra Regiment, Garhwal Regiment, Bihar Regiment, Gorkha Regiment and Territorial Army.

They marched to the tunes Pragati, Sam Bahadur, Hanste Lushai and General Tappy played by several bands drawn from various regiments of the Army.

Smartly dressed 148 Navy personnel then marched to the tunes of 'Jai Bharati' along with a tableau of INS Shivalik, which will be inducted shortly into the Indian Navy.


Image: National Bravery Award winning children passing through Rajpath

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The Air Force contingent followed the Navy men marching to the tunes of 'Space Flight' played by its band. A tableau of 'The Air Warrior' was also displayed.

DRDO's Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, Agni-III missile, surface-to-surface Shourya missile and Rohini Radar were also displayed.

Other marching contingents included camel-mounted BSF, Assam Rifles, Coast Guard, CRPF, ITBP, CISF, SSB, RPF, Delhi Police, NCC and NSS.


Image: The tableau of Ministry of Culture

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Following the country's armed and police forces came the country's rich cultural diversity in full display in 21 tableaux -- 13 from states and eight from ministries.

Rajasthan came out with the Jantar Mantar astronomical observatory in Jaipur displaying sophisticated instruments while Manipur came up with Hiyang Tanaba -- the traditional boat race of Meiteis tribe.

The lovely silk from Bhagalpur was what Bihar brought to the parade. Bihar's 'Bhagalpur Ki Lok Sanskriti: Resham Udyog' tableau displayed the sleek and lustrous silk made by Bhagalpur weavers.


Image: The tableau of Meghalaya

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One of the eye-catchers was Maharashtra's float 'Dabbawala', a common sight in Mumbai, which showcases the life of Mumbai's signature office tiffin suppliers. Dabbawala in CST railway station and an MBA student learning the working skills from the Dabbawala are some of themes in the tableau.

Karnataka showcased 'Pattada Kal', a world heritage site which is a fine example of temple architecture while Meghalaya's tableau showed its ingenious system of tapping of stream and spring water by using bamboo pipes.

The Youth Affairs and Sports ministry showcased the Commonwealth Games 2010, the first 'Green Games'. A bevy of sportspersons, including legendary athletes Milkha Singh and P T Usha, former hockey captain player Zafar Iqbal, Badminton player Gopichand Pullela and shooter Samresh Jung were the stars accompanying the tableau.

Children, who won the national bravery awards, then walked in to a huge applause. Twenty-one children have been selected for this year's award.


Image: The tableau of Jammu and Kashmir

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India's melody maestro S D Burman was Tripura's theme eulogising the musician's contributions to the world of music while Jammu and Kashmir came up with a tableau depicting its handicraft, wood carving, willow-work and carpet weaving.

Goa chose to showcase the international film festival in its tableau while 2,500-million-years-old stalagmite caves in Kotumsar was showcased by Chhattisgarh.

Six-hundred school children also performed during the parade. A dance form from Karnataka 'Dolukunitha', Rajasthani folk dance, aerobics and Tamang dance included in the students' performance.


Image: The tableau of Karnataka

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Padayani, a ritualistic festival of central Kerala dedicated to Goddess Kali Padayani was Kerala's theme. A combination of music, dance, painting and satire, the folk form had its origin in the ancient Dravidian concept of God.

Mizoram's tableau was about its handicrafts. Uttarakhand has 'samudra-manthan' or the churning of the divine sea, Har-ki-Pauri and Kumbh Mela as its theme.

Culture Ministry and Sangeet Natak Akademi showcased the rich tradition of Indian music through musical instruments veena, shankha, dhumsa etc.


Image: The tableau of Mizoram

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Rural Development depicted Indira Awaas Yojana through Gujarati style house under construction besides low cost homes from various parts of the country while Railways displayed its glorious past and triumph of new era through its steam locos and the latest Duronto Express trains.

Central Public Works Department highlighted the concerns about global warming through its tableau while Power Ministry focussed on Green energy through its tableau.

Agriculture Ministry had traditional ploughing to modern farm implements in its tableau while Tribal Affairs Ministry had come up with a float on Forest Rights Act, 2006 and empowerment of tribal people.


Image: The tableau of Ministry of Agriculture

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Agriculture Ministry had traditional ploughing to modern farm implements in its tableau while Tribal Affairs Ministry had come up with a float on Forest Rights Act, 2006 and empowerment of tribal people.

BSF motorcycle team 'Janbaz' performed a dare-devil display of their talents.

They performed back riding, border man salute and ladder balancing.


Image: Rajpath comes alive with the dare devil stunts of mobike riders

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The spectacular parade ended with a flypast involving an IL-78, two AN-32 and two Dorniers in big boy formation, one AWACS and two SU-3- MKI in sentry formation and five Jaguars in arrowhead formation.

The flypast also had five Jaguars and five MiG29 in arrowhead formation and three SU-30 MKI in Trishul formation.


Image: Three planes in formation fly over Rajpath

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