For the military bands, the Republic Day Parade is just a cameo appearance. Their moment of glory comes three days later—at the Beating The Retreat ceremony held every year at Vijay Chowk. 

And this year, the ceremonial show was packed with surprises and musical treats for the spectators. The ceremony featured 15 military bands, and 18 pipes and drums bands from regimental centres and battalions.

But it were the drummers from the Navy Band who won the hearts of the spectators and are now going viral, with their swag, moves and mean rhythms 

Check it out

One of the major surprises was that Indian instruments were included for the first time. The sitar, santoor and flute made their debut, and even Bollywood got a step in with ‘Bharat Humko Jaan Se Pyara Hai’ from the movie Roja being one of the tunes played.

It was also the first time for bands from the Border Security Force, Indo-Tibet Border Police and Delhi Police, who played the tunes ‘Samvidhan’, ‘Abhinandan’ and ‘Carriappa’.

As many as 20 of the 26 performances were composed by Indian musicians. Other tunes that were played were ‘Kadam Kadam Badhaye Ja’, ‘Senani’, ‘Galaxy Raiders’, ‘Air Born’, ‘Jai Bharati’, ‘Sam Bahadur’, ‘Dhola Re Dhola’, ‘Taqat Watan Ki Hamse Hai’, ‘Abide With Me’ and the ever-popular ‘Saare Jahan Se Acha’.

The most stunning moment, as always, was the culmination of the show with the lighting up of Rashtrapati Bhavan and the Parliament House, a sight that continues to inspire awe.