IN PICTURES

On Monday, Obama will watch a Soviet-style display of weaponry (and camels) in India

Quartz india
Quartz india

On Jan. 26, 1950, India celebrated its first Republic Day, as a few thousand members of the nation’s armed forces marched down Irwin amphitheater, now Delhi’s National Stadium, before a crowd of some 15,000.

Since then, the parade—the highlight of Republic Day—is held at Rajpath, a boulevard in central Delhi, every year. It includes colorful tableaux, motorbike stunts and India’s finest weapons.

The parade begins at the Raisina Hill, near India’s presidential palace, and passes along the Rajpath before finally concluding at the ramparts of the Red Fort. This year, it is expected to last about an hour-and-fifty-minutes.

More than half the world’s leaders have attended the celebrations as the guest of honor. This year, US president Barack Obama will be watching the troops march down, making him the first American president to attend the event.

As India gears up for its 66th Republic Day, Quartz brings you some of the best pictures from its preparations.

Soldiers march down Rajpath, a ceremonial boulevard that runs from Indian President's palace to war memorial India Gate, during a full dress rehearsal ahead of Republic Day parade in New Delhi, India, Friday, Jan. 23, 2015. U.S. President Barack Obama will be the chief guest during this year's parade which will be held on Jan. 26. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)
Soldiers march down Rajpath during a full dress rehearsal. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)
India's Border Security Force (BSF) "Daredevils" motorcycle riders take part in a full dress rehearsal for the Republic Day parade in New Delhi January 23, 2015. India's capital will turn into a virtual fortress for U.S. President Barack Obama's visit this weekend, with heightened security measures, including an extended no-fly zone, to protect the world's most powerful leader. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Obama and other dignitaries from the world's two largest democracies will attend India's Republic Day celebrations on January 26, which include a military parade and display of Indian weaponry. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
Members of the Border Security Force perform stunts on motorbikes. (Reuters/Adnan Abidi)
Indian students perform a dance in colorful masks during the full-dress rehearsal of Republic Day parade in New Delhi, India, Friday, Jan. 23, 2015. U.S. President Barack Obama will be the "chief guest" during this year's parade which will be held on Jan. 26. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)
Children perform a dance wearing colourful masks during the Republic Day drill. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)
Indian tricolor is unfurled during a practice session ahead of Republic Day parade in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015. U.S. President Barack Obama will be the "chief guest" at this year's parade, marked annually on Jan. 26. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)
Soldiers unfurl the Indian national flag during a practice session. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)
Indian Air Force soldiers rehearse for the Republic Day parade on a cold and foggy winter morning in New Delhi December 30, 2014. India will celebrate its annual Republic Day on January 26. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood
Indian Air Force personnel march during Republic Day practice. (Reuters/Ahmad Masood)
Indian students perform a dance in colorful costumes during the full-dress rehearsal of Republic Day parade in New Delhi, India, Friday, Jan. 23, 2015. U.S. President Barack Obama will be the "chief guest" during this year's parade which will be held on Jan. 26. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)
Children perform a dance in colorful costumes during the full-dress rehearsal ahead of the Republic Day. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)
Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighters fly past during the full-dress rehearsal ahead of Republic Day parade in New Delhi, India, Friday, Jan. 23, 2015. U.S. President Barack Obama will be the "chief guest" during this year's parade which will be held on Jan. 26. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)
Three Sukhoi Su-30MKI leave a vapour trail while rehearsing ahead of the Republic Day. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)
Indian army band performs during rehearsals for the upcoming Republic Day parade in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. U.S. President Barack Obama will be the "chief guest" in this year's Republic Day parade, marked annually on Jan. 26. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)
Indian army band rehearsed for the Republic Day. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)
Indian Army's BrahMos weapon systems are displayed during a full dress rehearsal for the Republic Day parade in New Delhi January 23, 2015. India's capital will turn into a virtual fortress for U.S. President Barack Obama's visit this weekend, with heightened security measures, including an extended no-fly zone, to protect the world's most powerful leader. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Obama and other dignitaries from the world's two largest democracies will attend India's Republic Day celebrations on January 26, which include a military parade and display of Indian weaponry. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
Indian Army’s BrahMos weapon system at the practice. (Reuters/Adnan Abidi)
Camel mounted Indian Border Security Force soldiers ride during rehearsals for the upcoming Republic Day parade in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. U.S. President Barack Obama will be the "chief guest" in this year's Republic Day parade, marked annually on Jan. 26. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)
Members of India’s Border Security Force ride camels during the rehearsals. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)
Indian soldiers practice ahead of Republic Day parade in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015. U.S. President Barack Obama will be the "chief guest" at this year's parade, marked annually on Jan. 26. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)
A military band practicing during the Republic Day preparations in New Delhi. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)
Indian Army's T-90 Bhishma tanks take part in a full dress rehearsal for the Republic Day parade in New Delhi January 23, 2015. India's capital will turn into a virtual fortress for U.S. President Barack Obama's visit this weekend, with heightened security measures, including an extended no-fly zone, to protect the world's most powerful leader. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Obama and other dignitaries from the world's two largest democracies will attend India's Republic Day celebrations on January 26, which include a military parade and display of Indian weaponry. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
Indian Army’s T-90 Bhishma tanks at the Republic Day practice. (Reuters/Adnan Abidi)
Indian soldiers practice a march ahead of Republic Day parade in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015. U.S. President Barack Obama will be the "chief guest" at this year's parade, marked annually on Jan. 26. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)
Soldiers march during the rehearsals. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)
Indian workers decorate North Block, that houses several ministries, with lights ahead of Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi, India, Friday, Jan. 23, 2015. India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has invited U.S. President Barack Obama to be the first American president to attend India’s annual Republic Day festivities marked on Jan. 26. A U.S. flag and an Indian flag is seen in the foreground. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)
An American flag on North Block. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)
Indian Army's Pinaka multi barrel rocket launcher systems are displayed during a full dress rehearsal for the Republic Day parade in New Delhi January 23, 2015. India's capital will turn into a virtual fortress for U.S. President Barack Obama's visit this weekend, with heightened security measures, including an extended no-fly zone, to protect the world's most powerful leader. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Obama and other dignitaries from the world's two largest democracies will attend India's Republic Day celebrations on January 26, which include a military parade and display of Indian weaponry. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
Indian Army’s Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launcher systems at the practice. (Reuters/Adnan Abidi)
Indian soldiers dance as they wait for a practice session to begin ahead of Republic Day parade in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015. U.S. President Barack Obama will be the "chief guest" at this year's parade, marked annually on Jan. 26. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)
Indian soldiers dance as they wait for the practice session to begin ahead of the Republic Day. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)
Members of the Indian Navy band rehearse for the upcoming Beating Retreat ceremony at Raisina Hill, which houses India's most important ministries and the presidential palace, in New Delhi, India, Monday, Jan. 19, 2015. The ceremony performed every year on the evening of January 29 by the three wings of the Indian military marks the end of Republic Day festivities. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)
Members of the Indian Navy band practice for the Beating Retreat ceremony at Raisina Hill. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)
home our picks popular latest obsessions search