Beating the retreat ceremony


Beating Retreat can be traced back to the late 17th century when it would mean military troops disengaging from battle at sunset.


As per the Royal Irish Virtual Military Gallery, orders from James II’s army on 18 June 1690 told drums to beat a retreat at night.

Later in 1694, William III’s army gave similar orders: “The Drum Major and Drummers of the Regiment which gives a Captain of the Main Guard are to beat the Retreat through the large street, or as may be ordered.


“‘Beating Retreat’ marks a centuries old military tradition, when the troops ceased fighting, sheathed their arms and withdrew from the battlefield and returned to the camps at sunset at the sounding of the Retreat. Colours and Standards are cased and flags lowered. The ceremony creates nostalgia for the times gone by,” it said.


History of Beating Retreat in India


The ceremony traces its origins to the early 1950s when Major Roberts of the Indian Army indigenously developed the unique ceremony of display by the massed bands.

Since then, each year on 29 January the Indian Armed Forces conduct the Beating Retreat ceremony in the presence of the President as the Supreme Commander of the armed forces.


With the illuminated Rashtrapati Bhavan and Parliament House buildings in its backdrop, the Beating Retreat ceremony is held at Vijay Chowk.


Military Bands, Pipe and Drum Bands, Buglers and Trumpeters from various army regiments besides bands from the Navy and Air Force play an array of tunes, generally with a patriotic fervour.


What is new in this year

The decades-old Republic Day tradition will be slightly different this year as the country also celebrates 75 years of Independence.


The massed bands of the Indian Armed Forces will include 44 buglers, 75 drummers, and 16 trumpeters who will fill the air with 26 energetic tunes.


While the classic ‘Abide With Me’ has been dropped this year, a number of new tunes including ‘Kerala’, ‘Hind ki Sena’, and ‘Ae mere Watan Ke Logon’ have been included.


Abide With Me was one of Mahatma Gandhi's favorite tune which was first removed in 2020 then implemented in 2021 and once again removed in 2022


Another new attraction will engage the audience this year. A drone show has been organised by a startup ‘Botlab Dynamics’ and supported by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi and Department of Science & Technology.


The show would be of 10 minutes duration involving around 1,000 drones fabricated through indigenous technology. Synchronised background music will also be played during the drone show.


The Beginning of the Beating the Retreat Ceremony will be the "Fanfare by buglers"



Siki a mole

Hind ki sena


Swarn Jayanti

INS India


Jai bharati

Air force:-

Amar chattan

Golden Arrow


More performance will be done by the massed band,


And finally the Beating the Retreat ceremony will end with a fine tune of Saare Jahan Se