Three days after the nation witnessed the historic 69th Republic Day parade, the streets of the national capital are once again lit up on Monday for the glorious ‘Beating Retreat’ ceremony at Vijay Chowk.
Bands from the army, navy, air force, state police and Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) participated in the ceremony.
'Beating Retreat' ceremony is held here every year on 29 January, marking the culmination of the four-day-long Republic Day celebrations.
The function began with President Ram Nath Kovind arriving at the venue, his first appearance as Head of State during a Beating Retreat ceremony.
As many as 26 performances by the army, navy, air force, state police and the CAPF bands took turns to enthral the audience.
Twenty five tunes were performed by musicians, including Indian Soldiers, Herana Heran, Mushkoh Valley, Tejas, The Great Marshal, and Namaste India, among others.
The only western tune was Abide With Me and the event came to a close with the ever-popular Sare Jahan Se Acha.
At the Beating Retreat ceremony, 18 military bands, 15 pipes and drums bands from regimental centres and battalions participated. Major Ashok Kumar was the principal conductor of the ceremony.
The army band conductor was Subedar Major SK Sharma and the navy and air force band conductors were Master Chief Petty Officer (Musician-I) Ramesh Chand and Junior Warrant Officer Ashok Kumar.
The conductor of the state police and CAPF bands was Constable Bhim Singh.
Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and other dignitaries along with chiefs of the Army, Navy and the Air Force were present on the occasion.
The ceremony traces its origins to the early 1950s when Major Roberts of the Indian Army developed the unique ceremony of display by the massed bands.
The 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.
(With inputs from PTI and ANI)