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'Beating Retreat': Military bands regale audience with India tunes

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
Last updated on: January 29, 2024 21:45 IST
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From massed band's 'Shankhnaad' to Navy's lilting 'Mission Chandrayaan', mellifluous tunes reverberated across the Raisina Hill in the heart of Delhi as India's rich heritage and towering accomplishments were celebrated during the Beating Retreat ceremony on Monday.

Photographs: Shrikant Singh/ANI Photo

The grand event hosted at the Vijay Chowk marks the culmination of the Republic Day celebrations.

President and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces Droupadi Murmu, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and other union ministers attended the event.

Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan, the three service chiefs -- General Manoj Pande, Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari and Admiral R Hari Kumar -- Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud, senior officials, and the general public also attended the mega event.


With sunshine in the daytime, the temperature was bearable during the event which started around 5:15 pm.

President Murmu arrived at the venue in the traditional 'buggy', adding to the old-world charm of the ceremony that traces its origins to the early 1950s.

The splendid ceremony began with the massed band's 'Shankhnaad' setting the tone for the event as the sound of captivating and foot-tapping Indian tunes played by military and paramilitary bands filled the air over the majestic Raisina Hill with the grand Rashtrapati Bhavan as its centrepiece.

This was followed by tunes belted out by pipes and drums bands such as 'Veer Bharat', 'Sangam Dur', 'Kesariya Bana' and 'Deshon ka Sartaj Bharat'. They also made formations of 'Chakravyuh' and 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam'.

The Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) bands played 'Bharat Ke Jawan' and 'Vijay Bharat' among other tunes.

The spectators, consisting of both young and old people, cheered as the bands performed, and many also chanted 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' at the end of the ceremony.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) band then regaled the audience with tunes such as 'Swadeshi', 'Rejoice in Raisina' and 'Tiger Hill'.

The IAF band members made formations such as 'diamond brigade', 'diamond', 'Apache' much to the delight of the crowd.

Some of the members carried instruments decorated with lights which at times glowed in tricolour theme.

Tunes of classic 'Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram' touched an immediate chord with the audience.

The crowd was then treated to rich tunes played by the Indian Navy band such as 'INS Vikrant', 'Ekla Chalo Re', 'Samudra Darshak', 'Mission Chandrayaan', 'Jai Bharati' and 'Hum Tayyar Hain'.

'Mission Chandrayaan' was an ode to India's successful lunar mission last year, and they also played in 'Vikram Lander' formation.

This was followed by the Indian Army band playing 'Faulad Ka Jigar', 'Agniveer', 'Kargil 1999' and 'Taqat Watan' among other tunes.

The 'Agranee Bharat' tune led by a flautist was heart-touching, and another tune that followed also enthralled the crowd.

Some of the members of this band also carried instruments which were decorated with lights, and the band which arrived at Vijay Chowk in multiple 'Arrow' formations, also made a formation on 'Army's insignia', 'Bharat' (in Hindi), and one marking the victory in 1999 Kargil war.

They followed it up with 'Agniveer' and 'Kargil 1999' tunes.

The massed bands then played the tunes 'Kadam Kadam Badhaye Ja', 'Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon' and 'Drummers Call'.

The event came to a close with the ever-popular tune of 'Sare Jahan se Acha' as dusk made way to the inky night sky while the Raisina Hills complex dazzled with lights of vibrant colours.

The President returned to Rashtrapati Bhavan in the traditional 'buggy', which made a comeback on the Kartavya Path during this Republic Day parade, after a gap of 40 years.

The principal conductor of the Beating Retreat ceremony on Monday was Lt Col Vimal Joshi.

The Beating Retreat ceremony traces its origins to the early 1950s when Major Roberts of the Indian Army indigenously developed the unique ceremony of display by the massed bands.

It marks a centuries-old military tradition, when the troops ceased fighting, sheathed their arms, withdrew from the battlefield and returned to the camps at sunset at the sounding of the retreat.

Colours and Standards are cased and flags are lowered. The ceremony creates nostalgia for the times gone by.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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