Home / News / India /  Biggest drone show, classical music to grace Beating Retreat ceremony. Here's how, when to watch

The Beating Retreat Ceremony, which marks the official and formal ending of Republic Day celebrations is slated to be held tomorrow, 29 January. An official statement from the government said that tunes based on Indian classical music will be the flavour of the Beating Retreat ceremony which will also include the country's "biggest drone show" comprising 3,500 indigenous drones. 

For the first time, a 3-D anamorphic projection will be done on the facade of North Block and South Block during the grand event at Vijay Chowk on Sunday, the Defence Ministry said in a statement.

"Tunes based on Indian classical ragas will be the flavour of Beating the Retreat ceremony this year," the ministry said.

The ceremony will be graced by President Droupadi Murmu. The president is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. The ceremony will also be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

"As many as 29 captivating and foot-tapping Indian tunes will be played by the music bands of the Army, the Navy, the Air Force and the State Police and Central Armed Police Force (CAPF)," the statement said

It will also witness the country's biggest drone show, comprising 3,500 indigenous drones, the statement added.

"The magnificent drone show will light up the evening sky over the Raisina Hill, weaving myriad forms of national figures, events through smooth synchronisation.

"It will depict the success of start-up ecosystem, technological prowess of the country's youth and pave the way for future path-breaking trends," it said.

The ceremony will begin with the massed band's "Agniveer" tune which will be followed by the enthralling tunes like "Almora", "Kedar Nath", "Sangam Dur", "Queen of Satpura", "Bhagirathi", "Konkan Sundari" by pipes and drums band, the defence ministry statement said.

Indian Air Force's band will play "Aprajey Arjun", "Charkha", "Vayu Shakti", "Swadeshi", while fascinating "Ekla Cholo Re", "Hum Taiyyar Hai", and "Jai Bharati" will be played by the band of Indian Navy.

The Indian Army’s band will play "Shankhnaad", "Sher-e-Jawan", "Bhupal", "Agranee Bharat", "Young India", "Kadam Kadam Badhaye Ja", "Drummers Call", and "Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon", it said.

The event will come to a close with the ever-popular tune "Sare Jahan se Accha".

The Buglers will perform under the leadership of Naib Subedar Santosh Kumar Pandey, and pipes and drums band will play under the instructions of Subedar Major Baswaraj Vagge.

Why Beating retreat ceremony is held?

The august ceremony has emerged as an event of national pride when the Colours and Standards are paraded.

"The ceremony traces its origins to the early 1950s when Major Roberts of the Indian Army indigenously developed the unique ceremony of display by the massed bands.

"It marks a centuries-old military tradition, when the troops ceased fighting, sheathed their arms and withdrew from the battlefield and returned to the camps at sunset at the sounding of the Retreat," the Defence Ministry statement said.

Colours and Standards are cased and flags lowered. The ceremony creates nostalgia for the times gone by, it added.

Where to watch?

The ceremony will be held at Vijay Chowk. While the tickets are free, they have to be booked in advance online. It is advisable to reach a little earlier than the start of the ceremony. The nearest Metro stations are Shivaji Stadium, Janpath and Udyog Bhawan.

The Beating Retreat will be live telecast on Doordarshan and viewers can also watch it on Doordarshan's official YouTube channel on Sunday.

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