New Delhi: At exactly 6 pm today the buglers sounded the retreat, the National Flag was lowered, and the echoes of the National Anthem reverberated through the by lanes of Vijay Chowk, bringing a formal end to the Republic Day celebrations.
Beating The Retreat which officially denotes the end of Republic Day festivities is conducted on the evening of January 29, the third day after the Republic Day.
The ceremony today as it happens every year began
with 35 bands from the three services playing
solemn military tunes.
A total of 35 bands from Army, Navy and Air Force are
performing at the ceremony. Out of these, 20 are military bands
while 15 are of pipes and drums.
Navy and Air Force contributed four bands each,
while the rest 27 bands were from the Army.
President Pratibha Patil was the chief guest of the
function. Her arrival was sounded by trumpeters, 38
buglers and 38 echo buglers followed by playing of National
Anthem and a tune `Sam Bahadur` composed by L B Gurung, named
after 1971 war hero Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw.
Army`s 15 Massed Pipes and Drums Bands played a total
of six tunes -- `Surya`, a quick march tune, `Sky Boat Song`,
a slow march tune, `Pipers Cave`, a quick march tune, `The
Marques of Huntley`, a strathspey tune, `Jock Wilsons`, a reel
tune and `Highland Laddie`, a quick march tune.
The military bands of Air Force and Navy followed
Massed Pipes and Drums Bands of the Army. They will play five
tunes -- `Ocean`s Splendour`, `Bhartiya Nau Sena Sky Hawks`,
`Swantatra Bharat ake Shaan`, `Nocturnal Cry` and `Subroto`.
This was followed by the massed military bands of
the Indian Army playing `Hanste Lushai`, `Gangotri`,
`Abhinandan`, `Dhola re Dhola` and `Giuri Raj Song`.
All the massed military bands then played the
`Gulmarg` and `Abide with me`. `Sare Jahan se Achha` was
the final rendition.
Elaborate security and traffic arrangements had been
made for the grand ceremony.
Vijay Chowk will remain closed for traffic between 4 pm
and 9:30 pm while DTC and Blueline buses which pass
through there in their normal routes will be diverted.