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Hundreds of schoolchildren, folk dancers, and police and military battalions march through Delhi

Hundreds of school children, folk dancers and military battalions marched through New Delhi in a spectacular parade as India celebrated Republic Day.

Enormous crowds lined Rajpath, the ceremonial boulevard, to watch a display of the country’s military power and cultural diversity amid tight security on Saturday. 

Men, women and children in colorful clothes performed traditional dances and acrobatics on the sun-bathed boulevard, drawing applause from the crowd.

A military hardware display of M777 Howitzer artillery guns, T-90 main battle tanks, locally made nuclear-capable missile systems and infantry combat vehicles then paraded past thousands in the capital. 

The spectacle ended with Indian air force planes whizzing past the saluting base. Millions of Indians watched the 90-minute event from their homes across the country.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was the chief guest at the Republic Day parade, which celebrates the anniversary of the adoption of India’s Constitution in 1950. India had first invited President Donald Trump but U.S. officials declined, citing a scheduling issue. 

The theme of the parade was the 150th birthday of India’s independence leader, Mohandas Gandhi.

The Central Reserve Police Force contingent, in royal blue headdresses, march during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi

Indian Paramilitary soldiers march past Rajpath, the ceremonial boulevard, as thousands of onlookers watch on Saturday

Indian Paramilitary soldiers march past Rajpath, the ceremonial boulevard, as thousands of onlookers watch on Saturday

An perfectly-presented Indian army contingent march in uniform during the spectacular parade in India's capital today

An perfectly-presented Indian army contingent march in uniform during the spectacular parade in India’s capital today

Another Indian army contingent is followed by two marching bands - one dressed in red and gold and another in orange

Another Indian army contingent is followed by two marching bands – one dressed in red and gold and another in orange

An Indian officer of the all-women Assam Rifles contingent leads for the first time their contingent during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi

An Indian officer of the all-women Assam Rifles contingent leads for the first time their contingent during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi

Indian school children dressed in bright orange robes with matching yellow trousers and headdresses perform during the 70th annual Republic Day parade

Indian school children dressed in bright orange robes with matching yellow trousers and headdresses perform during the 70th annual Republic Day parade

Indian artists with stunning gold headdresses and brightly-coloured jewelry perform along the tableau of Sikkim state

Indian artists with stunning gold headdresses and brightly-coloured jewelry perform along the tableau of Sikkim state

Indian Air Force Jaguars, part of the Deep Penetration Strike Aircraft program, fly past Rajpath, the ceremonial boulevard

Indian Air Force Jaguars, part of the Deep Penetration Strike Aircraft program, fly past Rajpath, the ceremonial boulevard

The theme of the parade was the 150th birthday of India's independence leader, Mohandas Gandhi (Pictured, an Indian Army Sikh Contingent)

The theme of the parade was the 150th birthday of India’s independence leader, Mohandas Gandhi (Pictured, an Indian Army Sikh Contingent)

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was the chief guest at the Republic Day parade, which celebrates the anniversary of the adoption of India's Constitution in 1950 (pictured, Indian school girls dance in traditional outfits)

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was the chief guest at the Republic Day parade, which celebrates the anniversary of the adoption of India’s Constitution in 1950 (pictured, Indian school girls dance in traditional outfits)

The parade also featured displays of battle tanks, missile systems and infantry combat vehicles in a show of military prowess 

The parade also featured displays of battle tanks, missile systems and infantry combat vehicles in a show of military prowess 

Assamese girls in traditional attire perform the Bihu dance during the parade, which featured dozens of groups of dancers and acrobats 

Assamese girls in traditional attire perform the Bihu dance during the parade, which featured dozens of groups of dancers and acrobats 

An Indian Navy contingent were also present at the march, which celebrates the anniversary of the adoption of India's Constitution in 1950

An Indian Navy contingent were also present at the march, which celebrates the anniversary of the adoption of India’s Constitution in 1950

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi (pictured right) greets crowds at the celebration in the country's capital as he arrives

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi (pictured right) greets crowds at the celebration in the country’s capital as he arrives

The parade also featured a series of colourful tableaus, including one float depicting the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir

The parade also featured a series of colourful tableaus, including one float depicting the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir

Young girls in bright pink and blue outfits perform during the celebration, which welcomed South African President Cyril Ramaphosa as its  chief guest

Young girls in bright pink and blue outfits perform during the celebration, which welcomed South African President Cyril Ramaphosa as its chief guest

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (pictured second from left), President Ram Nath Kovind (pictured fourth from left) and President of South Africa Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa (pictured third from left) at the event

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (pictured second from left), President Ram Nath Kovind (pictured fourth from left) and President of South Africa Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa (pictured third from left) at the event

Daredevils from the Indian Army Corps of Signals travel along the crowd-lined Rajpath in an impressive motorcycle formation

Daredevils from the Indian Army Corps of Signals travel along the crowd-lined Rajpath in an impressive motorcycle formation

Hundeds of onlookers watch from the sidelines as a float depicting the Central Public Works Department of India passes by

Hundeds of onlookers watch from the sidelines as a float depicting the Central Public Works Department of India passes by

This white and gold tableau, flanked by two men dressed in black, depicts the Indian state of Delhi on Republic Day

This white and gold tableau, flanked by two men dressed in black, depicts the Indian state of Delhi on Republic Day

Indian soldiers of the President's Bodyguard stand guard on their horses during the busy parade day on Saturday morning

Indian soldiers of the President’s Bodyguard stand guard on their horses during the busy parade day on Saturday morning

Indian army K9 Vajra-T tanks were among the military vehicles displayed to thousands of onlookers on the Rajpath in New Delhi

Indian army K9 Vajra-T tanks were among the military vehicles displayed to thousands of onlookers on the Rajpath in New Delhi

An Indian Army musician kicks into the air as his band perform on top of a path of bright orange, yellow and pink petals 

An Indian Army musician kicks into the air as his band perform on top of a path of bright orange, yellow and pink petals 

Indian paramilitary soldiers march past Rajpath, the ceremonial boulevard, at the end of the Republic Day parade in New Delhi, India

Indian paramilitary soldiers march past Rajpath, the ceremonial boulevard, at the end of the Republic Day parade in New Delhi, India

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