NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday paid homage to the fallen soldiers by laying a wreath at the newly-built National War Memorial (NWM) at India Gate here ahead of the 71st Republic Day celebrations.
The Prime Minister was received at the war memorial by the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, the first-ever Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, Army Chief Gen Naravane, Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh, Air Force Chief Air Marshal RKS Bhaduria.
The NWM, which was inaugurated in February last year by PM Modi, has been built in memory of the soldiers who laid down their lives for the country post-independence.
After the Prime Minister laid the wreath, the Guard Commander gave Salami Shastra.
Modi also wrote his message in the visitor's book at the War Memorial.
He also extended his warm wishes to Indians on the occasion of India's 71st Republic Day.
Prime minister took to Twitter to convey his greetings: Wishing everyone a happy Republic Day. Greetings to all Indians on this occasion. Jai Hind!"
Continuing his tradition of donning colourful turbans on Republic Day and Independence Day celebrations, Modi also sported a saffron 'bandhej' headgear with a tail for the 71st Republic Day on Sunday.
Bandhej is a print developed using tie and dye method practiced mainly in states of Rajasthan and Gujarat.
Turbans have been a highlight of the prime minister's sartorial choices at Independence Day and Republic Day events.
Modi had sported a multi-coloured turban when he gave his sixth Independence Day speech from the rampants of the Red Fort last year after securing a second term.
For his maiden Independence Day address as the prime minister in 2014, Modi had opted for a Jodhpuri bandhej turban in bright red colour with green at the tail.
A yellow turban covered with criss-crossed lines in different shades of the same colour, along with a few in red and deep green, marked his 2015 look, and he chose a tie and dye turban in hues of pink and yellow for his appearance at the Red Fort in 2016.
The prime minister's turban for 2017 was a mix of bright red and yellow with crisscrossed golden lines all over it followed by a saffron turban the previous year.
From bright red bandhni turban from Kutch to mustard Rajasthani 'safa', the prime minister has sported varied turbans at his Republic Day appearances too.
In 2019, he had worn a yellowish-orange headgear with a red tail on the Republic Day.
Earlier on Saturday, President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu greeted the nation. While Kovind invoked Mahatma Gandhi, Naidu reminded Indians of discharging Indians their conditional duties.
"It should be part of our daily routine to introspect on Gandhiji's message of truth and non-violence, which has become all the more necessary in our times," said Kovind while addressing the nation.
Meanwhile, Naidu asserted, "Let us pledge to faithfully discharge our constitutionally mandated Fundamental Duties and be responsible citizens who will be proactive partners in the nation's development."
President Kovind also unfurled the National Flag and received the customary 21-gun salute.
The salute was presented by 2233 Field Battery under the command of Lieutenant Colonel C Sandeep. The gun position officer was Naib Subedar Anil Chand.
The 21 Gun Salute is presented during the Republic Day, Independence Day and during visits of foreign heads of state.
As per the tradition, the National Flag was unfurled followed by the national anthem with a booming 21-Gun Salute.
That is performed by the firing of cannons or artillery as a military honor. 21 cannons are fired at the interval of 2.25 seconds, precisely, to cover entire National Anthem of 52 seconds in 3 successive rounds of 7 cannons each.
The spectacular parade commenced with President Kovind taking the salute.
Chief Guest of this year's Republic Day Brazilian President Jair Messias Bolsonaro.
Earlier Kovind and the Bolsonaro were escorted by the President's Bodyguard - the oldest surviving mounted unit with a 245-year legacy. The regiment earned their first Battle Honour 'Java' in 1811
India is celebrating its 71st Republic Day today, honouring the historic date when the country completed its transition towards becoming an independent republic after its constitution came into effect.
The President was accompanied by his Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro on Sunday at Rajpath to take part in the Republic Day parade.
Bolsonaro is the chief guest of this year's Republic celebration.
At the paradeIndia's military might, cultural diversity, social and economic progress is being displayed during the Republic Day celebrations.
The parade for the Republic Day began at Rajpath with President Ram Nath Kovind unfurling the national flag and receiving a 21-gun salute.
For the first time, a contingent of women bikers of CRPF will perform daredevil stunts. The Dhanush artillery will also be displayed for the first time during the Republic Day parade.
(With Inputs from Agencies)