Why does India mark Republic Day on Kartavya Path every year?

The centerpiece of the 2024 Republic Day festivities will be the grand Republic Day Parade held along the prominent Kartavya Path boulevard, formerly known as Rajpath, in New Delhi.

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India is gearing up to mark the 75th anniversary of Republic Day on 26 January, an important milestone in the nation's history. Republic Day commemorates the adoption of India's constitution, which came into effect on January 26,1950 transforming the country into a sovereign democratic republic.

The centrepiece of the celebrations is the spectacular Republic Day Parade held annually on the prominent Kartavya Path boulevard in New Delhi. The parade showcases India's military might, with marching contingents from the army, navy and air force, displays of defence equipment, and thrilling performances by motorcycle teams. This year, French President Emmanuel Macron has been invited to attend as a chief guest.

Kartavya Path holds deep historical significance

Kartavya Path, formerly called Rajpath, stretches from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate and played a key role in India's independence struggle. Originally named Kingsway, it was a central axis of New Delhi built when the British Raj shifted the capital from Calcutta in 1911. After independence, Kingsway was renamed Rajpath and the perpendicular Queensway became Janpath.

For over seven decades, Rajpath has witnessed the end of colonial rule and hosted annual Republic Day festivities, symbolising India's journey from imperial subject to democratic republic. Its renaming to Kartavya Path in September 2022 marked a shift from an icon of power to one of public empowerment, according to the government.

Republic Day parade schedule and venue

The parade will commence at 10:00 am on January 26 along Kartavya Path. It will start from Raisina Hill near Rashtrapati Bhavan and proceed along the 5km route past India Gate to the Red Fort. The parade viewing gallery can accommodate 77,000 spectators, with 42,000 seats for the general public. Gates open at 9:30 am for seating.