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The first Republic Day celebration took place here, not on Rajpath; Maharaja had given a gift – India TV Hindi

Image Source : FILE
India’s first President Rajendra Prasad going to the venue of the ceremony sitting in a carriage.

New Delhi: India began its 75th Republic Day on Friday with a grand display of its women power and military might, which included elite marching contingents, missiles, warplanes, surveillance equipment and lethal weapon systems. But do you know that the first ceremony after India became a republic was not held on the Rajpath (now Duty Path)? Yes, the first Republic Day celebration took place in an amphitheater in the 1930s which was later converted into a stadium.

Maharaja of Bhavnagar had gifted the property

When India became a republic on January 26, 1950, the capital’s public buildings, parks and railway stations were dazzling with lights that night. On this historic day, Rajendra Prasad took oath as the first President of India and the first Republic Day ceremony was held at Irwin Stadium in Delhi. According to the Google Arts and Culture website, the stadium was built in 1933 as a gift to Delhi from the Maharaja of Bhavnagar. It was named after the former Viceroy of India, Lord Irwin, who during his tenure made New Delhi the new capital of British rule in February 1930.

Later it was named Major Dhyanchand Stadium

Robert Tor Russell, the architect of Connaught Place in central Delhi, designed the amphitheater, which was named the National Stadium just before the 1951 Asian Games. In the year 2002, it was named after hockey magician Major Dhyan Chand. Talking about today, like every year, in this parade too, glimpses of India’s military and cultural strength were seen by the whole world including the chief guest of the ceremony and French President Emmanuel Macron. For the first time, an all-women contingent from all three services of the Army marched on the duty path, reflecting the growing ‘women power’ of the country. (PTI)

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