A colourful parade to mark India's 68th Republic Day was held at Rajpath in the national capital on Thursday. The parade started from Rajpath and ended at Red Fort in Delhi.
Three-day celebrations, which are held to honour the day Constitution of India came into force in the year 1950, will conclude on January 29 with the Beating Retreat ceremony.
Here are some interesting facts about Republic Day parade:
1. Republic Day 2017's chief guest was Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. He is the first chief guest from any middle east country.
2. A total of 23 tableax participated in this year's parade, including those from 17 states and 6 ministries.
3. Elite combat force, the National Security Guard, made its debut in this year's parade. NSG's anti-hijacking van 'Sherpa' also made its debut this year.
4. Republic Day 2017's theme was Beti Bachao Beti Padhao.
5. Indigenously developed Dhanush artillery gun made its debut at the Republic Day parade of 2017.
6. A contingent from UAE Presidential Guards led the parade, making it the second foreign contingent to march down Rajpath. France's contingent was the first foreign contingent to march in 2016.
7. The first Republic Day parade at Rajpath was held in 1955.
8. From 1950 and 1954, the venues of the Republic Day parade were the Red Fort, National Stadium, Kingsway Camp and the Ramlila ground. It was only in 1955 that Rajpath was chosen as the regular venue.
9. Republic Day celebrations conclude with Mahatma Gandhi's favourite hymn 'Abide by Me', played during the Beating Retreat.
10. A 21 gun salute is given every Republic Day when the President of India unfurls the national flag. The gun salute is accompanied by playing of the National Anthem.