Republic Day - the day when India became Republic
Every year on the 26th of January India celebrates her Republic Day. It is on this day in 1950 India was declared a Sovereign Socialist Democratic Republic. After India gained independence on August 15 1947 from the prolonged British Rule, the Constitution of India was officially enforced by replacing the Govt of India Act, 1935 as the governing document of India. The day January 26 was chosen as a mark of honor to Declaration of Independence of 1930 which is also known by the name Poorna Swaraj and this was held on January 26 1930.
Hence the day has great National importance in the Indian history and January 26 is declared as a National holiday besides the other two National holidays which include the Independence Day that is celebrated on August 15 and the other being Gandhi Jayanti - the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi which falls on 2nd October.
The entire Nation and its citizens celebrate Republic Day with much enthusiasm and with high spirits of patriotism. In every nook and corner of the country the National Tricolor Flag flies high and in everywhere the National Anthem Jana Gana Mana is sung. Most of the educational institutions hold speech competitions for its students on this day and one can find festive mood through out the length and breadth of the Nation. However the height of celebrations is the Parade at New Delhi which is worth watching. People across the country place themselves in front of their TVs sets and anxiously wait for the Parade to start.
Republic Day Parade at New Delhi - the grandest event
If not on your TV sets, you can even watch this grandest event of the day online and enjoy the parade. The parade is the most colorful and attractive event of not only of the day but of the entire year. The parade sets out from Raisina Hall near Rashtrapati Bhawan which is the official house of the President of India and it walks through Rajpath along a five kilometer stretch, passes the India Gate and moves on to Red Fort. If you happen to be at Delhi and wish to watch the parade live, then you need to be at the venue at least four hours prior to the commencement of the parade.
All the dignitaries, ministers, VIPs, Military and other VIPs are seated in their reserved seats and wait eagerly for the arrival of the President of India and the Chief Guest of the day. The events of the day begin after the Prime Minister of India along with the three Chiefs of the military force, lay a wrath at Amar Jawan Jyothi at India Gate as a mark of respect and pay homage to the martyrs or amar jawans who laid down their lives for the sake of their nation. He then walks to the central closure and waits for the arrival of the President of India (the Head of the State) along with the Chief Guest of the day. The celebrations are kick started when the President of India arrives at around 9.30 a.m in his official vehicle escorted by bodyguards on horses and then arrives the Chief Guest of the day who are taken to the fully protected central closure to watch the grandest event of the day. Every year it is customary to invite a Chief Guest from one of the friendly countries. This year the Chief Guest is Qaboos bin Said Al Said - the Sultan of Oman.
On the arrival of the Chief Guest, the President of India hoists the National Flag and salutes the Tricolor flag when the National Anthem Jana Gana Mana is played by the band. And immediately there is a 21-gun shot salute. This event marks the opening of the ceremony. The President of India presents the Gallantry Awards including the highest Gallantry Award - Param Vir Chakra and other bravery awards to the soldiers of the Armed Forces. As this small investure ceremony comes to an end, audience start looking up into the sky when four helicopters from the armed forces fly passing the parade area and showering rose petals on the audience which is much rejoiced by the audience. Each of these copter will be carrying a flag - the first one carries the Indian National Tricolor flag while the other three carry the flags of the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and the Indian Air Force. This event is much rejoiced by the audience and thus the entire area is left with a spread a patriotic feeling in the atmosphere.
Thus begins the grandest event of the Republic Day Parade at New Delhi immediately after these copters fly off. The President of India as the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces takes the salute at the parade. The procession starts with the Gallantry awardees of the previous years who pass in open jeeps saluting the President of India which is followed by the showcasing of strengths by the three Indian Armed Forces viz. Army, Navy and Air Force. The beautiful parade of these three forces is worth watching. Next the Indian Defence Services showcase their strength by the display of its arms and ammunition which include the parade of missiles, radars, fighter tanks and the recent acquisition of arms as well. The President of India takes the salute of these mechanized mounted marching contingents of the three forces, the Police Force and the National Cadet Corps as well.
And then arrives the most awaited event of the day which is a colorful and cultural extravaganza of floats representing the different states of India and also several govt ministries and departments which exhibiting the progress and development in the state / department through the year. These tableaux represent the diverse culture of the Indian sub-continent which still remains united despite of such a wide cultural diversity. Audience belonging to each state will be much excited to see the tableau of their own state and give a huge applause. The floating tableaux of different states of the country exhibit the scenes of various activities of the people of the particular state which is mostly accompanied by the popular music and dance of the state. The gorgeous and colorful exhibits of the tableaux display the rich cultural diversity of India and brings about a feeling of festivity and patriotism in the air.
In fact Indians feel proud to see such a great ethnicity in their land as no other country in the world has such a great varied cultural heritage. As soon as the tableaux representing different states pass off the parade, the entire place reverberates with the songs and music when the school children from across the country participate in cultural programs like dance dramas, folk dances and the like. Thousands of school children from different parts of the country participate in this event and the high level of perfection with which these young school children perform the art is worth watching and applauding as well. And the entire show of cultural program by the school children, the children from all over the country who are presented the bravery awards pass off the parade mounted on bedecked elephants waving their hands to the spectators.
The parade reaches its culmination with the most awaited part of the day i.e. the dare devils act. This is the highlight of the entire show when the skillful and highly trained military personnel - the Dare Devils - come riding on the bikes and performing various skillful feats on the motor bikes which is much thrilling to the audience and is much applauded. And this marks the end of the grandest event of the day - the Republic Day.
Outlets for Republic Day parade tickets at New Delhi
Republic Day parade at New Delhi is a ticketed event and you need to book tickets in advance from various outlets in New Delhi. If you wish you have a front row viewing, you can obtain passes for the same if you happen to know any VIPs in Delhi. You can buy tickets from various outlets which will be usually on sale from January 10 to January 25 every year. Following are the outlets where from you can make a purchase of the tickets:
- Travel Counter of India Tourism Development Corporation (ITOC) at Ashok Hotel on a working day.
- ITDC travel counter at Janpath Hotel on any working day.
- Delhi Tourism Development Corporation (DTDC) counter at Coffee Home in Baba Kharag Singh Marg.
- DTDC counter at Food and Craft Bazaar in Dilli Haat which is opposite INA Market.
- Sri Gandhi Ashram in Chandni Chowk on any working day.
- Departmental Sale Counter at North Block roundabout.
- Departmental Sale Counter at South Block roundabout.
- Departmental Sale counter at Pragati Maidan - Gate Mo.1, Bhairon Road.
- Departmental Sale Counter at Jantar Mantar Main Gate.
- Departmental Sale Counter at Shastri Bhawan near Gate No.1.
- Departmental Sale Counter at India Gate near Jamnagar House.
- Department Sale Counter at Red Fort near Police picket. Tickets at all these Departmental Sale Counter are sold from 10 a.m till 5.30 p.m daily.
- Parliament House Reception Office from 11 a.m till 4 p.m and this will be closed on Saturdays and Sundays and on public holidays.
- Govt of India Tourist Office at 88 Janpat which is closed on Sundays
The price of the tickets vary in range which is 300 INR and 150 INR for reserved seats. And 50 INR and 10 INR for unreserved seats.
If you wish you can even purchase tickets from all the above mentioned outlets for Full Dress Rehearsal of Beating the Retreat Ceremony which costs 50 INR and 20 INR and all seats are unreserved. Beating the Retreat ceremony is held on January 29 every year in the afternoon which last till evening and culminates with the grand illumination of the Rashtrapati Bhavan - the Official Residence of the President of India.
Precautionary measures while attending the parade
As the entire event takes place outdoors you need to take certain safety tips while attending this grandest event and enjoy it the maximum. Following are few safety tips:
- The first thing to be kept in mind is not to carry any electronic devices, mobile phones, cameras, i pads and the like as there will be a strict security check. Use of such devices are strictly prohibited. So make sure that no mobile phones are in your pockets or bags
- Try to arrive at the venue well in advance. If you are late you can see the entire area heavily crowded and you will find it very difficult to make your way through. In particular when the VIPs start arriving the place. So reach the place as early as possible to be on the safe side. Moreover keep in mind that all the entrances will be closed before the Flag hoisting and National Anthem
- If you arrive at the venue early, this would help you in selecting the place in case of unreserved seats. You can select the place near the stage and car parking for a better view of the parade.
- As the event is celebrated in January, the weather in New Delhi at this time would be too cold and chilly with much of fog all around. So get your thermal ware / woolen clothes or leather jackets and compulsorily get your caps as well to protect yourself from the foggy weather.
In this way if you take the safety tips, you can enjoy the parade to the fullest. Hope you all enjoyed reading the grandest event of India - the Republic Day Parade at Delhi.
Happy Republic Day to all my countrymen!
Article by Kalyani
Kalyani is basically an educationist and presently a home-maker who is fruitfully utilizing her free time in freelancing, online content writing and above all blogging. She is an active editor at IndiaStudyChannel.com for over 2 years and is a passionate writer. She is an environmentalist who strives to protect the environment through the revival of age-old eco-friendly practices. She also strives to preserve the rich cultural heritage of India.
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