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New 'Change of Guard' ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan every saturday

Posted on Dec 08, 08:31PM | UNI

There will be a new 'Change of Guard' ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan every Saturday, a Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson said today.

The new 'change of guard' ceremony, which was unveiled at the Rashtrapati Bhavan today, will be held every Saturday at 1000 hours and will be open to the public who will only have to produce a photo ID at the place of entry to Rashtrapati Bhavan from Gate No. 2 near Prime Minister's Office.

Change of Guard is a military tradition whose origins are lost in antiquity. From time immemorial, guards and sentries at palaces, forts and defence establishments change periodically to enable a fresh body of troops take charge.

The change of Guard ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan was first opened to the public in 2007. After the assumption of office by President Pranab Mukherjee, the ceremony has been revamped and relocated to make it more visually appealing and public friendly.

An equestrian display by the Presidents' Body Guard (PBG) in their ceremonial regalia has been added and the venue has been shifted to the Forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan, with easier public access.

The equestrian display presents the horse and man in ceremonial regalia 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 steeds 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.

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

While the PBG is permanently based in the President's Estate, the Army Guard Battalion currently the 28th Battalion of The Madras Regiment is selected from among the elite infantry regiments of the Army and is turned over every three years.