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Change of Guard at Rashtrapati Bhavan
Published on 10 Oct. 2009 11:04 PM IST
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Over 1,000 people congregated on the lawns of the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Saturday to watch the traditional ‘’Changing of the Guard’’ ceremony. The ceremony was open for the general public to view two years ago in 2007 when Pratibha Patil became the new President. Now, the administration of the Rashtrapati Bhavan want to take the ‘’Changing of the Guard’’ ceremony one step further-to add it on the world tourism map. They want the ceremony to be on tourists’’ itinerary and thereby promote tourism in the country. “We are happy that about one thousand people came to see the ceremony. The aim programme is to show it from a tourism point of view. We want to include it in the tourism map,” said Christy Fernandes, Secretary to the President. The Rashtrapati Bhavan administration hopes that the ceremonial splendour will help in attracting tourists. Scores of people had gathered at the lawns to see the 15th Battalion of the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles replacing the 6th Battalion of the Assam Rifles, who have completed their duty as the Army guard at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. This tradition of ceremonial Changing of Guard dates back to the raising of the President’’s Bodyguards with 50 handpicked Horsemen in 1773, then called ‘’The Guards of Moguls’’, at Banaras by the then Governor, Warren Hastings.

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