India celebrated its 69th republic day on Friday, January 26, 2018, in style. In a grand ceremony at the Rajpath in New Delhi, India showed its military capabilities and rich cultural heritage. For the first time, ten heads of state participated in the ceremony.

More than 58,000 security personnel were deployed in Delhi to ensure peace.

The ceremony started 9:00 AM

9:20 AM: The Indian Armed Forces started the Parade carrying the ASEAN flags. The ceremony also involved ministers from various states across the country and ministries of the Union Cabinet.

9.30 AM: Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached Rajpath and lit the lamp to pay tribute at Amar Jawan Jyoti.

The internal flame burn to remember the sacrifices made by our armed troops. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitaraman and three army chiefs were also present.

President and other dignitaries arrive

9.40 AM: President of India Ram Nath Kovind reached along with his 46 bodyguards. Trained in 1773, the President's bodyguards are the oldest and are from the senior-most corps of the Indian Army.

10.00 AM: The Indian National flag was hoisted in the presence of the dignitaries of all the countries.

Family members of commando Jyoti Nirala, who died confronting militants in the Kashmir valley received the country's highest peacetime gallantry award, Ashok Chakra. It is the third Ashok Chakra given to any IAF, and it was the first for ground battle.

10:05 AM: Commander Lt Asit Mistry led another republic day show with the Indian Navy.

10.10 AM: The first contingent, came on horses, the 61st Cavalry, was led by captain Dipanshu Shioran. Their motto was 'Horsepower is Forever Supreme.'

10.20 AM: Akash Weapon System of 27 Air Defence Regiment slides at Rajpath.

Weapon locating radar Swati was also part of the parade.

10.30 AM: LT. Tusshar Gautam led Indian Navy's contingent.

10.40 AM: The National Cadet Corps (NCC) showed their expertise at Rajpath, New Delhi. NCC Boys' Band and the NCC Senior Division Boys Marching Contingent were also part of the performance.

Different states showcased their themes

Punjab displayed a Gurdwara which was a spiritual theme.

Karnataka displayed its wildlife diversity.

Himachal Pradesh displayed Tibetan theme with a Buddha statue and monks.

11:05 AM: The Ministry of Youth Affairs came on the stage with 'Khelo India' theme. Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore was also present in the parade.

11.20 AM: 18 children were given the National Bravery Award.

11.30 AM: BSF India's women motorcycle team with 106 riders rode on 26 motorcycles. This was led by sub-inspectors Stanzin Noryang who saluted the President.

11.45 AM: The lone SU- MKI split the sky flying at 900 km per hour with Rudra Formation, Hercules Formation, Netra Formation and many more that amazed everyone present at the celebration.

11:50 a.m: The grand celebration concluded with lots of memory to cherish.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter and thanked all the ASEAN members for accepting the invite and joining the Republic Day celebrations.

Rahul Gandhi was sitting in the sixth row!

A dispute broke out between the Congress members and BJP over Rahul Gandhi occupying a sixth-row seat at the ceremony. But the ruling BJP argues that they were just following the protocol set by the previous UPA government.

In fact, Rahul and a few other had occupied the seats in the fourth-row, but at the last minute, he was asked to move back two rows behind. SPG protectees and security was cited as the reason. The government's spokesperson later clarified that no other meaning should be read into it.