Cultural heritage, army grandeur in store for R-Day parade
New Delhi, Jan 23 (PTI) Breath-taking manoeuvres of Sukhoi, colourful display of India''s cultural heritage and march past by armed forces today gave a preview of what is in store for this year''s Republic Day parade.
But the full dress rehearsal also resulted in traffic jams in several parts.
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.
There were restrictions on vehicular movement and this led to traffic jams in south and east Delhi localities.
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.
The grand show on Rajpath also consisted of various tableaux from different states and ministries.
School children also displayed various dance forms and entertained the audience.
The spectacle began with four army helicopters flying above Rajpath carrying the national flag and the three flags of the Army, Navy and Air Force.
The country showed its military strength with the MBT Arjun Tank, Armoured Ambulance Tracked Vehicle, BrahMos missiles and 214 mm Pinaka rockets, 15 Metre Sarvatra Bridging System.
The Radio Trunk System was also part of the parade under the command of lady officer Ankita Darve of the 24 Infantry.
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) displayed Agni V missile which draw much curiosity amongst audience along with an Armoured Amphibious Dozer and tableaux displaying the working of Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AWACS) and the use of Naval Sonar in Anti Submarine Warfare.
Contingent of the security personnel and band mounted on beautifully decorated Camels attracted much fan fare among the spectators.
This was followed by 19 tableaux from various states and ministries. The first tableau to roll out was that of West Bengal which pays tributes to the "ethereal thinker- patriot-saint" Swami Vivekananda, whose 150th birth anniversary will be celebrated this year.
The high point was the Cinema Mayur Pankhi celebrating 100 years of Indian cinema, making of Kashmir''s famed pashmina shawls and Noori, the first cloned goat, ''Braj ki Holi'' by Uttar Pradesh, the Kinnal craft of Karnataka, and others.
Mind-bogling stunts by a group of Tornado bikers under Major SS Rathore forced the parade watchers to rise on their feet as 135 officers drove by on bikes. This was followed by stuntsmen in double ladder, human pyramid, bouquet and Chakra formations as the crowds watched in amazement.
After all this spectacular display, a breathtaking display of air manoeuvres and complex formations by Air Force jets set the pulses racing.
All these aircraft had took off different Air Force bases like Hindaun, Bikaner, Jaisalmer and Jodhpur to come together on the skies of New Delhi.
Large army planes like C-130 Hercules and IL-78MK refuelling tanker aircraft to modern fighter jets such as Jaguars and Sukhoi 30 MKI took part in the fly past.
Five Jaguars which came from Bikaner flew in the arrow head formation. Three Sukhoi 30 MKI aircraft flying at a very high speed formed ''Trishul'' on the clear skies of Rajpath.
But the icing on the cake was, when a single Sukhoi 30 MKI flying did a vertical hammerhead i.e. the aircraft went straight up and disappeared into the sky leaving a loud thunder and a cheering crowd on the ground spellbound.