My India — Beating the Retreat Ceremony
The Festival of Beating the Retreat Ceremony in Delhi is observed keeping in mind the age old tradition, according to which, soldiers called a close down to the war at sunset. This call was the sound of the bugles vibrated across the battlefield calling a halt to the fighting.
The Beating the Retreat Ceremony is conducted in the capital city of Delhi in India on the evening of January 29, the third day after the Republic Day, and marks the culmination of the Republic Day festivities.
The annual musical extravaganza is performed by the bands of the three wings of the military, the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force. The venue is the imposing Vijay Chowk square at the foot of the Raisina Hill on which the British-built Rashtrapati Bhawan stands.
The Chief Guest of the function is the President of India who arrives escorted by the President’s Bodyguards (PBG), a cavalry unit.
The ceremony was started in the early 1950s, when Major Roberts of the Indian Army developed a display by the massed bands in which Military Bands – Pipes and Drum Bands, Buglers and Trumpeters – from various Army Regiments along with bands from the Navy and Air Force take part.They play popular tunes like Abide With Me, Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite Hymn, and Saare Jahan Se Achcha.
At 6 o’clock in the evening the bugles call for Retreat, and the National flag is lowered. The band master then marches to the President and requests permission to take the bands away, and informs that the closing ceremony is now complete. The bands march back playing a popular martial tune Saare Jahan Se Achcha.
As soon as the bands cross Raisina Hills a spectacular illumination display is set up. The Rashtrapati Bhavan, the Parliament House, the North and South Blocks and other official buildings in and around Raisina Hill are splendidly lit up.
On the Eve of Beating the Retreat Ceremony
Images: AP Photo
Republic Day of India 2016
Wishing you all a very Happy Republic Day of India 2016.
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