Delhi dazzles

Balancing act Indian Border Security Force motorcycle specialists perform during the parade

At 9.9 deg C, it was the coldest Republic Day that India's capital had witnessed in a decade. But, the feverish enthusiasm among the thousands of spectators made India's 65th Republic Day celebrations on Rajpath a zestful affair for the young and old alike on Jan 26.

Not deterred by the fog, which enveloped the city in the morning, thousands made their way to Rajpath to get a good seat to watch the parade.

"I have especially come here from Chandigarh to watch the Republic Day parade. This is the first time I am going to watch it, and I am extremely excited," 17-year-old Simer Singh told Indo-Asian News Service before the parade.

On the reviewing stand, Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe and India's president Pranab Mukherjee sat side-by-side.

The military parade included flyovers by the Indian air force's Russian-made Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets and a US-made C-130J Super Hercules transport plane.

India's rich cultural heritage was on show as the different states of India showcased their culture in the form of colourful floats.

Among military hardware on show were missiles, an unmanned aerial vehicle, a multi-launcher rocket system and the indigenously developed Tejas light combat aircraft.

The children who won National Awards for Bravery were welcomed with loud applause with many spectators giving them a standing ovation.

"You should also grow up to be a brave boy," a mother was heard telling her son, who reassuringly smiled back.

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