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Changing of the Guard, Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi

6 years ago1.9K views

Not quite Buckingham Palace, but our own version that's fast developing...

The Change of Guard is a military tradition the origins of which are deeply rooted in the past. From time immemorial, guards and sentries at palaces, forts and defence establishments have been changed at regular intervals to enable a fresh body of troops take charge.

A ceremonial change of guard is held at the official place of residence of the President of India or The Rashtrapati Bhavan. The old and fresh guard consists of troops from the President's Body Guard or the PBG) and another squad from one of the numerous regiments of the Indian Army. A military band is also present and performs at the event.
The change of Guard ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan was first opened to the public in the year 2007. After the assumption of office by the current President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, the ceremony has been reconditioned and relocated to make it more visually appealing and people friendly. A horse-riding display by the Presidents' Body Guard has been added to the ceremony and the venue has been shifted to the Forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, to grant easier access to the public.

The equestrian or horse riding display presents the horse and man in ceremonial regalia, performing in harmony with the music of a military brass band. The 30 minute ceremony commences with the PBG troops, astride their caparisoned, sleekly muscled, powerful and well groomed horses advancing from behind the Jaipur column to the tune of 'Maa Tujhe Salaam' played by the Army Brass Band. The Army Guard contingent then marches in and the new guard replaces the old guard.

Once the New Guard has formed between the Dominion columns of the North Block, sentries are nominated and the respective guards are inspected by their officers as the band plays 'Sammaan Guard' or The Honour Guard.

The New Guard forms up along with the Old Guard and awaits the formal salutation of "Salami Shastra" or Presentation of Arms by the latter to the former to formally signify readiness for the change-over. Accompanied by music, the handing over of keys is performed by the Junior Commissioned Officers of the Old and New Guard patrol, symbolizing transfer of responsibility of commanders during this changeover.

The men of the President's Bodyguard consist of the old warrior classes of the Rajputs, Sikhs and the Jats. Recruitment standards are strict and the minimum height requirement for the troops is six feet.

The sentries of the Old Guard and the Junior Commissioned Officers return to their posts. The Old Guard marches off to the tune "Saare Jahan Se Achcha". The New Guard assumes charge and the rest of the of the troops march off while the band plays "Amar Jawan" or Immortal Soldier.

The day's ceremony ends with an equestrian display by the PBG before they ride away towards the Rashtrapati Bhavan to the tune of the National Anthem.

The Change of the Guard at the Rashtrapati Bhavan is a colourful and regal spectacle which involves great pageantry. The ceremony lasts for about 30 minutes and has been popular with visitors to New Delhi. This ceremony is something that every proud Indian as well as a person from any other nationality who wants to see a regal and awe-inspiring India truly must experience at least once in a lifetime.

This footage is part of the professionally-shot broadcast stock footage archive of Wilderness Films India Ltd., the largest collection of HD imagery from South Asia. The Wilderness Films India collection comprises of tens of thousands of hours of high quality broadcast imagery, mostly shot on HDCAM 1080i High Definition, HDV and XDCAM. Write to us for licensing this footage on a broadcast format, for use in your production! We are happy to be commissioned to film for you or else provide you with broadcast crewing and production solutions across South Asia. We pride ourselves in bringing the best of India and South Asia to the world... Reach us at wfi @ vsnl.com and admin@wildfilmsindia.com.

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