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Republic Day festivities end with Beating Retreat, Indian tunes enthrall crowd

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New Delhi, Jan 29: The Republic Day festivities officially came to an end with the Beating Retreat ceremony at Vijay Chowk on Tuesday evening. Indian tunes were the flavour of the Beating Retreat ceremony at Vijay Chowk on Tuesday with 26 performances by the bands of the armed forces and central and state police contingents which marked the culmination of the Republic Day celebrations.

Members of the audience wave their mobile phones to add light to the illuminated Raisina Hills

Members of the audience wave their mobile phones to add light to the illuminated Raisina Hills

The function began with President Ram Nath Kovind arriving at the venue in his ceremonial motorcade. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, Air Force Chief B S Dhanoa and Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba were present on the occasion.

The national flag is unfurled as President Ram Nath Kovind and tri-services chiefs pay their salute during the Beating Retreat ceremony

The national flag is unfurled as President Ram Nath Kovind and tri-services chiefs pay their salute during the Beating Retreat ceremony

The Army, Navy, Air Force, state police and Central Armed Police Force bands performed over two dozen tunes. There were 25 tunes composed by Indian musicians, including 'Indian Soldiers', 'Herana Heran', 'Mushkoh Valley', 'Tejas', 'The Great Marshal', 'Namaste India'. The only western tune played at the event was 'Abide with me'. The event will come to a close with the ever-popular tune 'Sare Jahan se Acha'.

[Republic Day 2019: Tableaux showcase India's diverse cultural heritage]

Illuminated Raisina Hill

Illuminated Raisina Hill

This year, 18 military bands, 15 pipes and drums bands from regimental centres and battalions participated in the ceremony. As the bugle was sounded for the retreat, the Raisina Hill complex lit up in a riot of colours, the illumination provided by LEDs rather than the traditional incandescent bulbs. Neighbouring buildings, like the Rail Bhawan and the Udyog Bhawan, however, had incandescent bulb lighting. After the event, Prime Minister Modi ventured out into a stand, leaving behind his VVIP security cover, and shook hands with people.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomes President Ram Nath Kovind for the Beating Retreat ceremony

Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomes President Ram Nath Kovind for the Beating Retreat ceremony

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan were also present at the event. The principal conductor of Beating the Retreat ceremony was Cdr Vijay D'Cruz while Army Military bands conductor was Subedar Parwinder Singh. The Navy and Air Force band conductors were Master Chief Petty Officer Vincent Johnson and Junior Warrant Officer Ashok Kumar respectively. The ceremony held on January 29 every year marks the culmination of the four-day-long Republic Day celebrations.

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Beating Retreat marks a centuries-old military tradition. At the sounding of retreat, the troops ceased fighting, sheathed their arms and withdrew from the battlefield, returning to their camps at sunset.

OneIndia News with PTI inputs

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