India celebrated its 74th Republic Day with a colourful parade displaying military might and cultural diversity. The public holiday marks the anniversary of India officially adopting its constitution, making it a sovereign republic.

Its highlight is a parade which is held in capital city Delhi and telecast live across the country. Every year, the country also invites a foreign dignitary as the chief guest to the parade - this year, Egypt's president Abdul Fattah al-Sisi was the guest of honour.


Hundreds of people braved the January chill to watch the parade, which passes through the newly renovated Kartavya Path (formerly Rajpath). Soldiers from India's military regiments marched as India's president, prime minister and other guests watched.

A contingent of 144 soldiers from the Egyptian armed forces also took part in the parade. Several marching contingents, including those of the navy, featured women. An all-women contingent of the Central Reserve Police Force was one of the highlights of this year's parade.

The Naval contingent featured six Agniveers - soldiers from the Indian army's new hiring scheme. The parade also showcased India's emphasis on manufacturing indigenous weapons. The British-era 25-pounder guns usually used for the traditional 21-gun salute to the President were replaced with 105mm field guns made in India.

Indian-made defence equipment and military systems were on display. Some regiments came astride camels and horses, which were also decked up in colourful finery. There was an aerial show, with fleets of aircraft streaking across the sky in dazzling formations.

The spectacle then made way for elaborate floats or tableaux representing different Indian states. These are usually based on cultural or historical milestones the states want to highlight. The mood was celebratory as performers dance and wave their way through the crowds.

Different states and districts also conducted their own, smaller parades and cultural programmes. Several government departments also had their own tableaux showcasing India's achievements in the fields of agriculture and science and technology.