Bangalore, Jan 26 (IANS) Pomp and pageantry marked the 63rd Republic Day celebrations Thursday in Karnataka, with Governor Hans Raj Bhardwaj hoisting the tricolour and inspecting a guard of honour at an impressive parade in the heart of Bangalore.
Amid tight security on a sunny day with cool breeze wafting over the Field Marshal Manekshaw ground, the governor unfurled the national flag as rose petals were showered from a flying chopper, which had the crowds cheering and applauding.
Clad in dark blue suite and sporting a rose in the pocket, Bhardwaj took salute and inspected the guard of honour by going round the ground atop an open jeep in the presence of about 10,000 people.
The crowds stood in attention when the national anthem was played followed by rendering of state anthem and patriotic songs.
Contingents of the three services – army, navy and air force led the march past followed by battalions of the Karnataka State Reserve Police, Rapid Action Force and Central Industrial Security Force.
National Cadet Corps and boys and girls from Bharat Scouts & Guides also took part in the ceremonial parade.
Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda, some of his cabinet colleagues and senior officials were present on the occasion.
The two-hour function concluded with about 1,500 boys and girls from city schools showcasing Karnataka’s rich cultural heritage through folk dances. College students re-enacted historical battles waged by its rulers such as Tippu Sultan, Kittur Rani Chennamma and Sangolli Rayanna against British rulers.
One of the highlights of the colourful ceremony was the para motor gliding by two IAF personnel who descended on the ground smoothly amid excitement and fanfare.
About 1,500 police personnel were deployed in and around the ground to provide fool-proof security.
According to reports, Republic Day was celebrated in all district headquarters with flag-hoisting, ceremonial parades and cultural shows.