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
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
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 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
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)
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
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
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
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
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
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
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