The Change of Guard ceremony scheduled for July 22 was cancelled as Rashtrapati Bhavan prepares to welcome its newly-elected incumbent, Ram Nath Kovind, an official statement said on Friday.
"The Change of Guard Ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan will not be held on Saturday due to full dress rehearsal for assumption of office of the President of India by the President-elect on July 25," a Rashtrapati Bhavan statement said.
The 30-minute military ceremony has been held every Saturday for the public since 2007. The ceremony commences with the President's Bodyguard (PBG) -- the senior-most regiment of the Indian Army -- astride their caparisoned and well-groomed steeds advancing from behind the Jaipur Column in the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhawan, some 500 feet from its massive main gate.
They trot to an army brass band playing "Maa Tujhe Salaam" (Mother, I salute you). The Army Guard contingent then marches in and the new guard replaces the old guard. The ceremony ends with an equestrian display by the PBG and the playing of the national anthem.