New Delhi: The four-day Republic Day celebrations culminated on Friday evening with Beating the Retreat ceremony at Vijay Chowk here.
This year, 15 Military Bands, 18 Pipes and Drums Bands from Regimental Centres and Battalions participated in the ceremony. Besides, one each of Indian Navy and Indian Air Force band also took part in the event.
For the first time bands from Delhi Police and Central Armed Police Forces participated at the ceremony.
More than thousand bandsmen played music and marched in a synchronised manner at the ceremony.
The melodious sound of the ceremony was quite different this year as 20 tunes out of the 26 were by Indian composers.
The bands comprising BSF and ITBP and Delhi Police played the tunes Samvidhan, Abhinandan and Carriappa. The Tri-Services Military Band, Indian classical instruments Sinfonietta and Jazz Symphonic Orchestra played a Rhapsody.
Indian Classical Instruments Sinfonietta played the tune Bharat Humko Jaan Se Pyara Hai, which added a different flavour to the ceremony.
Other Indian tunes were ‘Kadam Kadam Badhaye Ja’, ‘Senani’, ‘Jai Bharati’, ‘Sam Bahadur’, ‘Taqat Watan Ki Hamse Hai’. In the international tunes, ‘Lounden’s Bonnie Woods’ and ‘Braes’, ‘the High Road to Linton’, ‘Grandeur’, ‘Redetzky’, ‘Galaxy Raiders’, ‘Inspirato’, ‘Air Born’, ‘Admirals Ensignia-II’ and’ Marching Through Georgia’ were played.
The event ended with the ever-popular ‘Sare Jahan Se Acha’.
The principal conductor of the ceremony was Cdr V.C. D’Cruz. After the ceremony the whole central vista in the Raisina Hill was illuminated.
The function presided over by President Pranab Mukherjee, who was attended by Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, three services Chiefs, several Union Ministers, senior BJP leader L.K. Advani, Congress president Sonia Gandhi among others. (ANI)