22 tableaux of states and central departments were showcased during the 90-minute parade.
India's 70th Republic Day celebrations began today amidst tight security in the national capital, with the traditional grand military parade on Rajpath. Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti memorial at India Gate and along with the three chiefs of the armed forces paid homage to soldiers who lost their lives in combat.
President Ram Nath Kovind, the first lady and the South African President Cyril Ramaphosa who is the chief guest this year, arrived in a cavalcade escorted by 46 President's Bodyguards. The open buggy traditionally used to escort the chief guest was done away this year owing to security concerns, news agency ANI reported.
Fifty-eight tribal guests from various parts of the country, 22 tableaux of states and central government departments and performance by school children are part of the 90-minute Republic Day parade .
For the first time in the history of the paramilitary, an all-women contingent from the Assam Rifles participated in the parade.
Here are the highlights on Republic Day celebrations:
Over 500 Indians, people of Indian origin and Russians, attended the 70th Republic Day celebrations organised by the Indian Embassy in Moscow.
The Indian diaspora in China attended Republic Day celebrations in the Indian embassy at China as well.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the family of Lance Naik Nazir Ahmed who posthumously received the Ashok Chakra today
In Gujarat's Palanpur, six children and a woman constable riding a stunt motorcycle were injured when the two-wheeler slipped at a state-level Republic Day parade.
The stunt-motorcycle slipped after it lost balance and hit a group of children who were part of the audience, police told news agency PTI
Bihar Governor Lalji Tandon, addressing a Republic Day fnction at the historic Gandhi Maidan in Patna, said the state government was committed to upholding the rule of law and had zero tolerance for corruption
Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke security cordon to walk up to the crowds lining Delhi's Rajpath and greet them at the end of the parade. Amid chants of "Modi, Modi", the Prime Minister - dressed in traditional kurta, pajama and jacket and sporting a yellow and red turban -- walked the length of the VIP enclosure, waving to the crowds at the last big state function before the general elections due by May.
Followed by his securitymen, PM Modi started his walk after seeing off the Chief Guest, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, and President Ram Nath Kovind.
Many rushed to the makeshift barricades to greet him, others captured the moment on their cellphones.
This was not the first time the Prime Minister has broken security cordon to greet the people. After last year's Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort, he had walked over to meet school children who had come for the occasion.
Tableau of Delhi showcases Mahatma Gandhi's association with Birla House
Mahatma Gandhi's 720-day stay in Delhi's Birla House was on display on national capital's tableau at the parade. During his stay at Birla House, Mahatma Gandhi held daily prayer meeting which was attended by people from every section of society. Mahatma Gandhi stayed at Birla House between 1915 and 1948.
The tableau showcased Gandhi Smriti, formerly known as Birla House, where the father of the nation spent his last 144 days.
The Delhi tableau made a comeback at the parade after an year's gap.
During the 2013 parade, it portrayed Delhi''s diverse culture and inhabitants from different backgrounds and regions and its status as the country''s hub for performing and fine arts.
Woman power was on a remarkable display at the Republic Day celebrations today with contingents of the Navy, Army Services Corps and unit of Corps of Signals led by women officers. Lieutenant Bhavana Kasturi created history to become the first woman to lead an all-men contingency at the parade.
The all-women Assam Rifles contingent participated for the first time in a Republic Day parade. Major Khushboo Kanwar, a 30-year-old mother, lead the contingent of the Assam Rifles, the oldest paramilitary force in the country.
"Leading an all-women contingent of the Assam Rifles is a matter of great honour and pride for me. We have practiced very hard...I am a daughter of a bus conductor from Rajasthan and if I can accomplish this, then any girl can fulfil her dream," she told PTI, brimming with pride, after the dress rehearsals on January 23.
Shortly after the event, PM Modi went to the stands to greet the crowd. The prime minister spent nearly 10 minutes as he went to either sides of the stand and waved to the crowd.
President Kovind and his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa have left the parade ground.
Sukhois, MiG fighter jets flew over the crowd at the Republic Day parade. The Indian Air Force flypast ceremony will include aircraft flying on biofuel extracted from jatropha plant seeds.
Army's daredevil motorcycle team displays stunts at Republic Day parade.
School children perform at 70th Republic Day celebrations.
Tableau of Delhi showcases Mahatama Gandhiji's association with Delhi and Birla House.
Tableau of Karnataka rolls down Rajpath. The Karnataka tableau is based on the 39th session of the Indian National Congress held in Belagavi in 1924, which was presided over by Mahatma Gandhi.
Punjab tableau rolls down Rajpath as part of the Rapublic Day parade. The Jallianwala Bagh massacre, that took place on Baisakhi day in 1919, is the theme of the Punjab tableau. It will be the third time in a row that Punjab is participating in the Republic Day parade.
Sikkim tableau is the first of any state at the event. According to information, the tableau has been selected for participation based on Mahatma Gandhi. The government has instructed that all tableaus should be related to Mahatma Gandhi.
The overall theme for the Republic Day celebrations this year is the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and tableaux of many states, themed on the iconic freedom fighter, are lined up for the occasion.
The Veterans tableau-2019, it showcases the theme, 'Veterans: Accelerators in Nation's Growth'.
Visuals of the K-9 Vajra-T, a self-propelled howitzer, commanded by Captain Devansh Bhutani. The K9 Vajra, which is making its debut at the parade, has a range of 38 kilometres, has been supplied by L&T in partnership with a South Korean firm.
Visuals of the T-90 (Bhishma), the main battle tank of the Indian Army, commanded by Captain Navneet Eric of 45 Cavalry
Demonstration of India's military might on display at Rajpath.
Family of Lance Naik Nazir Wani receives Ashok Chakra from President Kovind. Lance Naik Wani died in an anti-terror operation in Shopian on n November 25. 38-year-old Wani lost his life in a counter-terror operation against six terrorists in Hirapur village near Batgund, in Shopian.
Under intense firing from the terrorists, he eliminated the "district commander" of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and one foreign terrorist in a daring display of raw courage, officials said.
PM Modi receives President Ram Nath Kovind and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa at Rajpath.
PM Modi greets former prime minister Manmohan Singh.
PM Narendra Modi places wreath at Amar Jawan Jyoti. Shortly afterwards, the PM met the service chiefs.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman meets service chiefs at Amar Jawan Jyoti
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath present at Republic Day celebrations in Lucknow.
The Indian Air force will fly maiden IAF An-32 aircraft using blended bio-jet fuel.
"The IAF carried out extensive engine tests on the ground. This is now followed by flight trials using 10 per cent bio-jet blended ATF. This fuel is made from Jatropha oil sourced from Chattisgarh Biodiesel Development Authority (CBDA) and then processed at CSIR-IIP, Dehradun," the IAF said in a statement.
For the first time in history, an all women contingent, of Assam Rifles will march down the Rajpath.
The parade will begin with the laying of a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Sand sculptor Sudarshan Pattnaik created a sand sculpture on the eve of 70th Republic day with message "I Love my India" at Puri beach in Odisha on Friday evening.
BJP President Amit Shah unfurls the national flag at party office.
Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal present at Republic Day celebrations in Bhubaneswar. (ANI)
Congress' message on Republic Day
Anti-aircraft guns, SWAT women commandos, snipers have been deployed in Delhi for security on Republic Day.
Andhra Pradesh Governor ESL Narasimhan hoists tricolour in Vijayawada. (ANI)
Crowds gather for the parade at Rajpath in Delhi. (ANI)
Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit unfurls the national flag in Chennai. Chief Minister E Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam also present. (ANI)
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus illuminated in tricolour on the eve of Republic Day, in Mumbai, Friday, Jan. 25, 2019. (PTI)
This year's Republic Day will see several firsts, including participation from veterans of Subhas Chandra Bose's Indian National Army (INA). The Railways will showcase its state-of-the-art indigenous Train 18, India's fastest train that can runs at 180 kmph. The artillery gun system M777 American Ultra Light Howitzers, recently acquired from the US will also be part of the parade.
Pranab Mukherjee was on Friday awarded the Bharat Ratna, the country's highest civilian honour. Along with Mr Mukherjee, social activist and one of the BJP's senior-most leaders Nanji Deshmukh and music maestro from Assam, Bhupen Hazarika, have been awarded posthumously.
Mr Mukherjee, reacting to the honour, said he has always received more from the people of the country than he has given them. "It is with a deep sense of humility and gratitude to the people of India that I accept this great honour #BharatRatna bestowed upon me. I have always said and I repeat, that I have got more from the people of our great country than I have given to them. #CitizenMukherjee (sic)" he tweeted.
The parade will start at 9: 50 AM from Vijay Chowk and proceed for Red Fort Grounds.
Delhi Police Issues Traffic Advisory For Republic Day
The Delhi Traffic police has made elaborate arrangements in wake of the Republic Day parade and has closed C Hexagon- India Gate for traffic movement from 2 am till parade crosses Tilak Marg.
Commuters have been advised to plan their journeys in advance to avoid delays and avoid the route of Republic Day parade between Vijay Chowk and Red Fort grounds.
Union Minister Arun Jaitley, who is in the United States for medical treatment, has extended his greetings to the nation.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is the chief guest for the event. This will be Mr Ramaphosa's first India tour as the head of the state. Fifty-eight tribal guests from various parts of the country are also in the national capital for the celebrations.
All You Need To Know About India's 70th Republic Day
- The 70th Republic Day parade will be a dazzling display of 'Nari Shakti', led by the Assam Rifles contingent, besides a lone woman officer exhibiting bike stunts on Rajpath as part of the iconic daredevil team. Contingents of the Navy, Army Services Corps and a unit of Corps of Signals will all be led by women officers.
- The Jallianwala Bagh massacre, that took place on 1919, will be the official theme of Punjab for the Republic Day Parade. It will be the third time in a row that Punjab''s tableau will appear during the Republic Day Parade.
- Four veterans of the Indian National Army (INA), aged over 90 years, will also take part in the Republic Day parade for the first time. "These veterans are aged between 90-100 years. INA soldiers had links with the British Indian Army, so they also have links with our legacy," Major General Rajpal Punia said.
- At the parade to celebrate the 70th Republic Day, the artillery gun system M777 American Ultra Light Howitzers will be displayed. Also on display would be the Main Battle Tank (MBT) T-90. The made-in-India Akash Weapon System will also be on display.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets nation. "Happy Republic Day to all fellow Indians," he tweeted this morning.
Security has been stepped up across the country. Following the arrests of two suspected Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists on Thursday in Delhi, several-layer security network comprising 25,000 policemen has been spread across the city.
Mobile hit teams, anti-aircraft guns and sharpshooters have also been deployed to keep a watch on the eight-km-long parade route from Rajpath to the Red Fort, besides the nearby localities, police said.