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Rajpath / Republic Day

The nation's military prowess, its rich culture and heritage, achievements in science and technology and other fields and also the aspirations of the people are reflected at the colorful parade held at Rajpath in New Delhi on the occasion of India's Republic Day. The parade, delving into the rich cultural past, depicting the prosperous present and visualising the promising future, represented the multi-faceted dimensions of India.

The Constitution of India was formally adopted by the Parliament, and India declared itself as a "Republic" on January 26, 1950, a date thereafter celebrated annually as Republic Day in India. To mark this occasion, a grand parade is held in New Delhi, the Capital of India, beginning from Raisina Hill near the Rashtrapati Bhavan (Presidential Palace), along the Rajpath, past India Gate and on to the historic Red Fort in the old quarter of the city. Different infantry, cavalry and mechanized regiments of the Indian Army, the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force march in formation, decked in all their finery and official decorations. The President of India, who is also the Commander in Chief of the Indian Armed Forces, takes the salute.

Raj Path is the broadest avenue in New Delhi planned by Sir Edwin Lutyens. Starting from India Gate this 2 mile long avenue leads to Raisana hill where Rastrapati Bhawan is located. The British Government had allocated lands to numerous princely states, which built small palaces in central areas. The area around India Gate what is now called India Gate hexagon, is at eastern end of Raj Path. Going clockwise on this hexagon prominent buildings are Hyderabad House(Venue for all official receptions) Baroda house( Housing Northern Railway Headquarters), Patiala House(presently housing courts) National Stadium, Jaipur House (now the National Gallery of Modern Art). Bikaner House and Jamnagar House. India gate hexagon has beautifully laid out gardens and fountains. An amusement park for children has been developed.

It was decided in the Delhi Durbar of 1911 that the capital of India would be shifted from Calcutta to Delhi. It was constructed to affirm the permanence of British rule in India. These buildings gave the impression, in the words of a critique, the setting of a perpetual Durbar. The buildings and their surroundings were supposed to be 'an empire in stone', 'exercising imperial sway' and containing in it, "the abode of a disinterested elite whose rule was imposed from above". That 'empire in stone' and the perpetual Durbar was transformed to be the permanent institution of democracy on 26th January 1950 when Dr. Rajendra Prasad became the first President of India, to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of India.

Modern New Delhi, or New Delhi as it is called, centers around the Rashtrapati Bhawan. It is architecturally a very impressive building standing at a height, flowing down as it were to India Gate. This stretch called the Rajpath is where the Republic Day parade is held. The imposing plan of this area conceived by Sir Edwin Lutyens does not fade in its charm with the numerous summers or winters that go past. For lovers of flowers and beauty, the annual spring opening of the glorious, meticulously tended Mughal Gardens at the stately Rashtrapati Bhawan is a bonanza topped by an amazing assembly of roses in perfect bloom - perhaps the best in the whole of India. Mughal Gardens is indeed a place to see.

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Page last modified: 09-07-2011 02:43:34 ZULU