New Delhi: Colourful display of India`s cultural heritage, manoeuvres by fighter aircraft and march past by armed forces on Thursday gave a preview of what is in store for this year`s Republic Day parade.
But the full dress rehearsal at Rajpath also created traffic snarls in central Delhi, particularly in areas nearby India Gate. A large crowd gathered on the Rajpath to view the rehearsal when military and police forces marched down from Raisina Hills and headed to Red Fort.
The parade preview began with four army helicopters flying above Rajpath with the tricolour and the flags of Army, Air Force and Navy.
India`s military might was on display as Tejas, the country`s first indigenous Light Combat Aircraft, T-90 Bhishma tank and MBT Arjun MK II were showed.
Along with modern weaponry systems, contingents from armed forces, paramilitary forces and NCC cadets marched to the beat of the bands preceding them in perfect unison.
What also caught spectators` attention were the security personnel and musical band mounted on bedecked camels.
The grand show on Rajpath also consisted of tableaux from different states and ministries displaying a "mini-India" in itself.
Thirteen tableaux from the states and five from various ministries and departments provided a kaleidoscopic view of the country`s economic strength, cultural heritage and development of science and technology.
The first tableau to roll out was from Uttar Pradesh, titled `Subah-e-Banaras`. It celebrated the rich cultural heritage of the holy city of Benaras.
For the first time, the Ministry of Railways showcased the construction of Pir Panjal Tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir, the longest transportation tunnel in the country. It was commissioned by Indian Railways in 2013.
Besides the Railway Ministry, other ministries to showcase their tableaux include Ministry of Earth Sciences and Ministries of Agriculture and Tribal Affairs.
Among the states that will participate in this year`s parade here include Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Meghalaya, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and the Union Territory Chandigarh.
Twenty-five students who were awarded the National Bravery awards also participated in the march.
School children enticed the audience by performing folk dance forms of Nagaland, Chhattisgarh and Arunachal Pradesh.
Jaw-dropping stunts had the parade-watchers cheer as SSB officers drove past them on motorbikes with `double ladder`, `human pyramid`, `bouquet` and `Chakra` formations.
The end of the dress rehearsal was marked by number of IAF aircraft making various manoeuvres, leaving the cheering crowd spellbound.