India will celebrate her 65th Republic Day on January 26, 2014, after gaining independence from British rule and adopting a republic constitution. The highlight is the Republic Day Parade, which happens in Delhi each year.
In Mumbai, Republic Day festivities usually take place on a much smaller scale at the city's Shivaji Park. However, this year, the Maharashtra state government has decided to shift the venue to Marine Drive and organize a grand parade, much like the famous one in Delhi.
It's been announced the parade will start at 8.30 a.m. near the National Center for Performing Arts (NCPA) and proceed through Rajani Patel Chowk opposite the Air India office at Nariman Point, where governor K Sankaranarayanan will accept the salute of the military and paramilitary forces. The flag will also be raised there. A five kilometer long viewing gallery will be set up for the public to view the parade as it proceeds along Marine Drive.
The Indian Army, Navy and Air Force will all actively participate in the parade for the first time in Mumbai, with the main attraction being the sailors' hornpipe dance. The Indian Army and Police will perform motorcycle maneuvering, there will be a demonstration of Maharashtra's martial arts, cultural display by 2,000 artists, and a presentation of colorful floats. A vintage car rally is also being organized. The parade won't be as grand as originally hoped though. Apparently, the planned boat show has been canceled by the Indian Navy because the water at the parade location is too shallow to anchor ships. The Indian Air Force also has commitments at the Delhi Republic Day parade and won't be able to put on an air show.
Another attraction that's scheduled to be inaugurated in time for Republic Day is the special illumination of Mumbai's iconic monument, the Gateway of India. According to this news report, Philips India has donated a computerized LED lighting system that's worth around 2 crore rupees ($350,000) and has 16 million shades of light. It will be turned on in the evening of January 24, 2014. Philips has also lit up the Eiffel Tower in Paris and India Gate in Delhi. The lighting at the Gateway of India will be especially elaborate on important days such as Independence Day, Republic Day and Diwali. Expect a laser show at the Gateway of India this Republic Day as well, along with fireworks over Nariman Point.
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