The Beating Retreat ceremony at the Vijay Chowk officially today marked the closure of the 70th Republic Day celebrations. The ceremony traces its origins to the early 1950s when Major Roberts of the Indian Army developed the unique ceremony of display by the massed bands.
''Beating Retreat'' 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 ceremony begins with the arrival of the President, Ram Nath Kovind guarded by his well decorated bodyguards.
The ceremony witnesses the spectacular performances by the bands of the Indian Armed Forces which includes tunes like "Abide with me", "Sare Jahan se Achha", "Kadam Kadam Badhaye Jaa" etc including various other tunes wrapped with the patriotic fervour.
Defence forces who come to the capital as a part of Republic Day celebrations are sent back to their barracks by the President, which is what Beating Retreat Ceremony is all about.
Indian compositions dominated the Beating Retreat ceremony this year as 19 of the 27 tunes played at the event today were from local musicians. As many as 27 performances on the historic Vijay Chowk enthralled the spectators with captivating music of the bands from the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the state police and Central Armed Police Force.
Out of the 27 performances, 19 tunes had been composed by Indian musicians, which were 'Indian Star', 'Paharon ki Rani', 'Kumaoni Geet', 'Jai Janam Bhumi', 'Queen of Satpura', 'Marooni', 'Vijay', 'Soldier-My Valentine', 'Bhupal', 'Vijay Bharat', 'Aakash Ganga', 'Gangotri', 'Namaste India', 'Samudrika, Jai Bharat', 'Young India', 'Veerta Ki Misal', 'Amar Senani', 'Bhumiputra'.
The eight western tunes played include 'Fanfare by Buglers', 'Sound Barrier', 'Emblazoned', 'Twilight', 'Alert' (Post Horn Gallop) 'Space Flight', 'Drummers Call' and 'Abide With Me.'
The event came to a close with the ever-popular tune of 'Sare Jahan Se Acha'.
This year, 15 Military Bands, 15 Pipes and drum bands from Regimental Centres and Battalions participated in the ceremony. One band each from the Navy and the Air Force were also part of the event.
Another band of the State Police and CAPF comprising the Central Industrial Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force and Delhi Police is also taking part in the ceremony.