Republic Day Parade, Delhi 2019
Republic Day honors the date of 26th January 1949 when the Constitution of India came into force as the governing document of the country. It marks India’s identity as a republic nation. The Republic Day Parade refers to the ceremonious parade on Rajpath, New Delhi, held every year on the same date. The parade showcases India's Defence Capability, Cultural and Social Heritage.
When is the Republic Day Parade held?
The Republic Day Parade is held every year on 26th January. A three hour program, it starts sharp at 9:30 a.m. after flag hoisting.
Where is the Republic Day Parade held?
The Republic Day Parade takes places along Rajpath, in Delhi. Its route is more than five kilometers long. The parade sets out from Raisina Hill near Rashtrapati Bhavan (President's Palace) and follows Rajpath past India Gate to the Red Fort.
What happens at the Republic Day Parade?
The Republic Day Parade starts off with the arrival of the President of India, escorted by a pose of bodyguards on horses. The Prime Minister of India lays a wreath at Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate to pay homage to those who lost their lives in wars. The President hosts the National flag as the National Anthem is played and a 21-gun salute is given. Next, important awards like the Paramvir Chakra, Vir Chakra, Ashok Chakra, Kirti Chakra and Children's National Bravery Award are given away by President.
The grand Republic Day Parade is led by the three divisions of the Indian Armed Forces. Nine to twelve different regiments of the Indian Army in addition to the Navy, and Air Force with their bands march past in their uniforms and official decorations. The President of India is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces, takes the salute. Twelve contingents of various para-military forces of India and other civil forces also take part. Each Indian state and Union Territory is represented by a different float that highlights an aspect of its culture. Almost 25 marching and mounted contingents, various military vehicles, 20 military bands, 30 cultural displays and 30 aircrafts in addition to cultural performers and 1200 schoolchildren are in attendance. India's Republic Day Parade in New Delhi is the most spectacular regular parade in the world.
India Republic Day Parades in other cities
Not only Delhi, other cities of India also organize parades.
- Mumbai organizes a glamorous program at Shivaji Park or the Marine Drive.
- In Bangalore, a parade and cultural fair is held at the Field Marshal Manekshaw Parade Ground.
- In Kolkata, the Republic Day parade takes place along Red Road near the Maidan.
- In Chennai, Kamaraj Salai and Marina Beach are the venues for Republic Day celebrations.
Beating the Retreat Ceremony
The Republic Day Parade is followed up with a Beating the Retreat ceremony on January 29. It symbolizes retreat after a day on the battlefield and features performances by bands of the three wings of the Indian military; the Army, Navy and Air Force.
Where to Get Tickets for the Republic Day Parade
The Republic Day Parade tickets are available from January 10th to 25th. Front row passes are available to VIPs.
Locations to get tickets are:
- India Tourism Development Corporation (IDTC) Travel Counters at Ashok and Janpath Hotels. (Working days only).
- Delhi Tourism Development Corporation (DTDC) Counters at Coffee Home, Baba Kharag Singh Marg and Food and Craft Bazar, Dilli Haat, opposite INA Market and Shri Gandhi Ashram, Chandni Chowk. (Working days only).
- Departmental Sale Counters at North Block roundabout, South Block roundabout, Pragati Maidan (Gate No. 1, Bhairon Road), Jantar Mantar (Main Gate), Shastri Bhawan (near Gate No. 1), India Gate (near Jamnagar House), Red Fort. (10 a.m. until 5.30 p.m. daily).
- Parliament House Reception Office. (11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday/Sunday/Holiday closed).
- Government of India Tourist Office, Janpath. (Closed Sunday).
- Republic Day Parade costs 300 rupees and 150 rupees for reserved seats. 50 rupees and 10 rupees for unreserved seats.
- Beating Retreat ceremony (Full Dress Rehearsal) costs 50 rupees and 20 rupees. All seats are unreserved.
Tips for attending the Indian Republic Day Parade
- Mobile phones, Laptop, Camera/Video Camera, Transistor, Digital Diary, and Remote controlled Car-keys, etc are not allowed.
- Try to arrive as early as possible as the area gets very congested.
- The morning weather in Delhi will be cold, so bring a warm jacket.
How to Reach the Republic Day Parade Venue
The Republic Day Parade is a high security affair. From Vijay Chowk to Red Fort, the 5 kilometers distance is kept traffic free. Common people should be prepared for a long, early walk to get to their seats on time. Driving to the venue is not an option for the majority of the crowd. Nor is getting there by metro as stations near Rajpath are closed for the duration of the parade. Special invitees display a “Park & Ride” label on their vehicle to get entry into one of the many designated parking lots. Shuttle services are run till the seating venue.