The Change of Guard Ceremony

The President's Bodyguard (PBG), raised in 1773, is the senior most Regiment of the Indian Army. It is a Regiment carrying out ceremonial duties for the President of India. The PBG personnel are excellent horsemen, capable tank men and paratroopers.

The Change of Guard ceremony is a military tradition whose origins are lost in antiquity. From time immemorial, guards and sentries at palaces, forts and defense establishments change periodically to enable a fresh body of troops to take charge. At Rashtrapati Bhavan the Ceremonial Army Guard battalion is responsible for providing ceremonial guards and sentries for the President of India.

The ceremony has been revamped and relocated to make it more visually appealing and public friendly. An equestrian display by the Presidents' Bodyguard in their ceremonial regalia has been added and the venue has been shifted to the Forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan, with easier public access. The thirty minute ceremony commences with the PBG troops, astride their caparisoned, powerful and well groomed steeds advancing from behind the Jaipur Column to the tunes played by the Army Brass Band. Thereafter the Parade Commander marches in, on whose ‘word of command’ the guard of 8th Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (Siachen), marches in. After inspection, the new guard takes position along the old guard and both the guards exchange the national salute. Thereafter the new guard takes over the duties of guards and sentries. The ceremony ends with an equestrian display by the PBG and playing of the National Anthem. The Change of Guard Ceremony is held every Saturday for the public. Only a valid photo ID card is required at the place of entry to Rashtrapati Bhavan (Gate No. 2).

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