India celebrated its 63rd Republic Day Thursday, displaying its military strength and rich cultural heritage.

The celebration began at around 10 a.m. in New Delhi, the capital city, with ceremonial parade when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh laid wreaths at the Amar Jawan Jyoti to pay tribute to the brave soldiers.

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People watch police contingents perform a salute during India's Republic Day celebrations in Srinagar January 26, 2012. (Reuters)

The guest of honor on the Republic Day was Thailand's first woman Prime Minister Yinluck Shinawatra.

The ceremony began with a grand parade on the Rajpath which was commanded by General Officer Commanding (Delhi) Lt Gen V K Pillai. The synchronized military with police formation marched past, shoulder-to-shoulder, saluting President Pratibha Devi Singh Patil, who is the commander-in chief of the Indian Armed Forces.

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(From L - R) Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, India's Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari, Thailand's Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and India's President Pratibha Patil stand behind a bullet-proof glass during India's national anthem at the Republic Day parade in New Delhi January 26. 2012. Yingluck is on a three-day state visit to India and is a chief guest at India's 63rd Republic Day celebrations on Thursday. (Reuters)

Along with President, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Thai Prime Minister Yinluck Shinawatra, India's Defence Minister A K Antony and top political and military brass watched the march-past.

After the unfolding of the national tricolor and 21-guns salute, President Patil awarded Ashok Chakra-the highest peacetime gallantry award- to Lieutenant Navdeep Singh who died foiling an infiltration attempt by Pakistan-based terrorists along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir, Economics Times reported.

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A contingent of the National Cadet Corps marches during celebrations for India's Republic Day in Srinagar January 26, 2012. (Reuters)

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Indian soldiers march during the Republic Day celebrations in Agartala, capital of India's northeastern state of Tripura January 26, 2012. India celebrated its 63rd Republic Day on Thursday. (Reuters)

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Indian Navy sailors march as they take part in a ceremonial parade during the Republic Day celebrations in the southern Indian city of Kochi January 26, 2012. India celebrated its 63rd Republic Day on Thursday. (Reuters)

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Indian Navy sailors are reflected in a puddle as they take part in a ceremonial parade during the Republic Day celebrations in the southern Indian city of Kochi January 26, 2012. India celebrated its 63rd Republic Day on Thursday. Image has been rotated 180 degrees. (Reuters)


Thailand's Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra (4th R) and India's President Pratibha Patil (3rd R) greet Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (in blue turban) upon their arrival at the Republic Day parade in New Delhi January 26. 2012. Shinawatra is on a three-day state visit to India and is a chief guest at India's 63rd Republic Day celebrations on Thursday. (Reuters)

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A police contingent holds their weapons during India's Republic Day celebrations in Srinagar January 26, 2012. India celebrated its Republic Day on Thursday. (Reuters)

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A contingent of India's Central Reserve Police Force stands at attention during India's Republic Day celebrations in Srinagar January 26, 2012. India celebrated its Republic Day on Thursday. (Reuters)

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Indian Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers take part in a full dress rehearsal for the Republic Day parade in Agartala, capital of India's northeastern state of Tripura January 24, 2012. (Reuters)

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Indian Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers ride their camels during the full dress rehearsal for the Republic Day parade in New Delhi January 23, 2012. (Reuters)

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Indian Army's multiple launch rocket system is displayed amid dense fog in front of India Gate during the full dress rehearsal for the Republic Day parade in New Delhi January 23, 2012. (Reuters)

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Indian soldiers march during the full dress rehearsal for the Republic Day parade in New Delhi January 23, 2012. (Reuters)