If you want to understand how to become better allies to people with disabilities, then join us at Embracing All Abilities: Including People with Disabilities at Work.

‘Changing Of Guards’ At Rashtrapati Bhavan

It is a ceremony to mark the handover of responsibilities from the outgoing guards to the incoming guards who will now take over the next shift for guarding the state residence.

Having grown up in a fauji household, I have always been fascinated by the military ceremonies and in particular the parade and the ‘Changing of Guards’ ceremonies. ‘Changing of Guards’ ceremony is a centuries-old tradition that has been prevalent from the times of raja-maharajas. It is a ceremony to mark the handover of responsibilities from the outgoing guards (once their shift is over) to the incoming guards who will now take over the next shift for guarding the state residence.

Being fed on novels and comics by British authors, I had read and also seen on TV the ‘Changing of Guards’ ceremony at the Buckingham Palace. In fact, till recently I regretted not being able to witness the ceremony in person while I was there. That was before I got to know that ceremonial change of guards also takes place at our very own Rashtrapati Bhavan (President’s House).

Hoping to capitalize on this opportunity, I quickly figured out the details of the ceremony and one Sunday afternoon, the ladies of my family and I went to the Rashtrapati Bhavan to witness the ‘Changing of Guards’ ceremony in person. This ceremony was totally worth our time and effort. It is an experience to enjoy, a pleasant break from the normal routine and mundane things we do daily.

The ceremony is very well managed right from having an online pre-booking (free of charge) to parking inside the Rashtrapati Bhavan and seating arrangements for about 200 people. It takes place every Saturday(morning) and Sunday(evening) with different timings in summer and winters. It is always better to check the ceremony schedule beforehand. You can check the same online at https://presidentofindia.gov.in/rbvisit/rbvisit_cog.aspx and also pre-book there. Once registered, you will receive confirmation details along with ‘how to reach the venue’ details. Typically the vehicles are allowed inside 30 mins before the ceremony starts. A valid photo ID is a must for gaining entry inside the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Both cameras and mobile phones are allowed. Another option to attend this ceremony is to book a tour with the Delhi hop on-hop off bus that has included the ‘Changing of Guards’ ceremony as part of their package.

The ceremony takes place in the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan grounds facing the Vijay Path and lasts for 30 mins. The ceremony kick-starts with the military band playing the ceremonial tunes. At this time, President’s Body Guards also known as PBG attired in their ceremonial dress and riding their horses arrive from behind the Jaipur column. The President’s Bodyguards is the oldest and the only mounted unit in the Indian Army. They are also the senior most regiment.

Once the PBG take up their position, the parade commander marches in and takes up his position. This is followed by an outgoing and incoming platoon of soldiers dressed in their ceremonial regalia, marching in harmony from the two ends of the ground and taking up their positions (The platoon of soldiers is part of the Indian Army’s regiment that is currently serving in Rashtrapati Bhavan as part of their rotational posting). Post this, the officers of the respective platoon perform an inspection of their soldiers as the band plays the tune of Samman Guard. Thereafter the symbolic change of duties takes place between the two platoons to mark the exchange of responsibilities. Both platoons of soldiers then march off to the tunes of the military band.

The ceremony is commemorated with an equestrian display by the President’s Body followed by the playing of the National Anthem by the military band.

Never miss real stories from India's women.

Register Now

An enthralling experience!


Image via Rashtrapatisachivalaya.gov.in


About the Author

1 Posts | 821 Views

Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!

Women Leaders in Communications Discuss The Responsible 5G Revolution We Need

All Categories