New Delhi: A spectacular and colourful panorama of floats, immaculate marching contingents and dancing children unfolded before US President Barack Obama, who became the first American President to grace the Republic Day celebrations.
Obama is also the first American President to visit India twice.
Barack and Michelle Obama were received at the VVIP dais of the ceremonial boulevard Rajpath by Vice President Hamid Ansari and his wife Salma, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
Dressed in a dark suit, Obama was seated next to Modi and the two leaders were seen having a conversation with each other during the course of the nearly two hour-long parade.
The American First lady was seated alongside Ansari’s wife Salma.
In a departure from tradition, Obama and Michelle arrived in the Presidential armoured limousine, ‘The Beast’. The Chief Guest of the Republic Day usually comes to the venue with the President, the Head of the State.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was the Chief Guest at the last Republic Day parade.