India celebrated its 66th Republic Day, a commemoration of the day the country formally became a republic in 1950, on Monday. It was a special one as many things happened for the first time in the history. Here are a few of them:
1. First time that a US President was Chief Guest for the Republic Day parade
Barack Obama became the first US president to attend the spectacular military and cultural display of India's Repblic Day celebrations, in a sign of the nations` growing closeness.
2. All-women contingents of the Army, Navy and Air Force march through Rajpath for the first time
For the first time in the history of India's Republic Day, women empowerment in the armed forces was showcased as an all-women contingent from the three forces- Army, Air Force and Navy- marched down the majestic Rajpath. While women officers have been participating in previous Republic Day parades, this was for the first time that an all-women contingent of the armed forces participated.
While the Army contingent was led by Capt Divya Ajith, the Navy was led by Lt Commander Sandhya Chauhan. The Air Force contingent was led by Squadron Leader Sneha Shekhawat.
The contingents had 148 personnel each drawn from the Army, Air Force and the Navy.
3. Chief Guest Barack Obama comes in his own car 'The Beast'
Barack Obama departed from the tradition of not accompanying President of India and preferred to be driven to the parade venue in his own multi-layered bulletproof car 'The Beast'. President Pranab Mukherjee arrived separately at the venue shortly after. The move is seen as a departure from tradition, as it's customary for chief guests at the event to arrive and depart with the Indian President in his car from Rashtrapati Bhavan.
4. CRPF shows off Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) used in anti-Naxal operations. CRPF's anti-naxal special forces Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) marched on the Rajpath for the first time.
5. The recently acquired long-range maritime surveillance and anti-submarine aircraft P-8I and the advanced air fighter MiG-29 K made their maiden appearance in the Republic day parade.
6. Telangana debuts at R-Day parade
Telangana made its debut at the Republic Day Parade this year, displaying the state's illustrious festival 'Bonalu' in the tableau.
Telangana, which came into existence in June 2014 as the 29th state of India, showcased Golkonda Fort in its tableau from where the festival starts.
Goddess Mahankali is celebrated during the Bonalu festival. As musicians played traditional tunes, women, who were attired in traditional dress showcased the culture of the newly carved-out state. Participants played musical instruments like Dappu, Kommu, Tasha and Pagadam.
(With inputs from agencies)