India's 64th Republic Day celebrations began Saturday with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh paying homage to the unknown soldier at the India Gate war memorial in the heart of the capital.
With the three service chiefs in attendance, Manmohan Singh was greeted on arrival at the World War I monument by Defence Minister A.K. Antony.
As the prime minister laid a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti eternal flame, an honour guard reversed arms and the buglers sounded the Last Post, after which two minutes silence was observed.
The Rouse was sounded and Manmohan Singh then signed the Visitor's Book before heading back to the saluting base on Rajpath to welcome Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk, chief guest at the Republic Day Parade, and other VIPs.