India celebrated its 68th Republic Day on Monday to commemorate the day when the Constitution of the country came into force in 1950, completing its transition towards becoming an independent republic after overthrowing the British colonial government.
While the President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and union ministers graced the occasion like always, there were some new things that were showcased during this year's spectacular Republic Day parade which was held at the ceremonial road, called Rajpath (meaning "King's Way") in the country's capital city Delhi.
Here are top 7 highlights from the day:
1. For the first time, United Arab Emirates army marched in the parade. The contingent led the march for 2017 Republic Day celebration.
2. India invited the Crown Prince of United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan as the Chief Guest on the 68th Republic Day parade.
On 25 January, UAE's Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building lit up in tri-colours of the Indian flag to celebrate its Republic Day. "The visual expression of the tri-colors underlined the solidarity of the UAE and its people with India, with which the nation shares strong cultural and trade ties," said the Dubai-based real estate company, Emaar, according to the Times of India.
3. India's Light Combat Aircraft Tejas also made its debut during the spectacular flypast of 27 aircraft performed by The Indian Air Force.
4. Though tableaux are used in every parade, this year Delhi had its own tableau after 3 years, showing Model School, which signified the transformation of government schools and improvement in the quality of education.
5. The tableau of Lakshadweep also made its comeback after 23 years, showcasing the unexplored destinations for "adventure sport-nature tourism".
6. For entertainment, the Northeast states of Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura performed their Yak dance and tribal dance 'Hojagiri' respectively. The southern State of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu also display its folk dances.
7. The government's flagship Goods and Services Tax, which is the biggest tax reform initiative of Independent India, was also showcased during the parade.