New Delhi, Aug 16 (IANS) Citizens desirous of watching the ceremonial ‘Change of Guard’ at the Rashtrapati Bhavan every Saturday will now have to reach the venue at 9 a.m., official sources said Thursday.
According to a release from the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the new timings for the ceremony, from 9 a.m. to 9.40 a.m., was officially operative from Aug 15 to Nov 14, 2012. Earlier, the timings were 8 a.m. to 8.40 a.m.
During the ceremony, troopers of the President’s Body Guard and infantry soldiers of the Army guards, change guard with clock-work precision at North and South Block Square and inside Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The exercise involves inspection of the New Guard, nomination of sentries, a formal march to take post and exchange of compliments by the guards. The ‘Change of Guard’ is a military ritual steeped in tradition.
The President’s Body Guard was raised in 1773 at Benares (now Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh) by the then Governor General, Warren Hastings.
Christened as ‘The Guard of Moguls’ in 1773, it came to be known as “The President’s Body Guard” when India became a Republic on January 26, 1950.
The spectacle is accompanied by the playing of an impressive band and is open to public every Saturday.
The Daily News Post India (tdnpost)