New Delhi: The Beating Retreat ceremony that marks the culmination of the four-day Republic day celebrations was held at Raisina Hills, Vijay Chowk in Lutyen’s Delhi.

Thousands of people gathered and the ceremony began as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind arrived at the event. Flags were lowered, and a total of 14 military bands began their march across Vijay Chowk.

The ceremony was performed by three wings of the Indian Armed Forces – the Army, Navy, and Air Force.

Ahead of the closing ceremony, Delhi Police had issued a traffic advisory restricted movement of vehicles on Rafi Marg, Raisina Road, ara Shikoh Road, Krishna Menon Marg and Sunehri Masjid towards Vijay Chowk from 2:00 PM to 9:30 PM in view of the ceremony.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) had also restricted access to Central Secretariat and Udyog Bhavan metro stations from 2 PM to 6.30 PM. The stations will be accessible to commuters only from Gate no 1 between 2 PM and 4 PM. All the other gates will be closed.

The Beating Retreat ceremony marks an age-old military tradition that dates back to the 17th century. During the reign of King James II in England, at the end of the war when troops stopped fighting and left the battlefield, they would march back to their camps at sunset to the beat of drums as they would sound of the Retreat.

The ceremony is also held by Armed Forces in the UK, US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, among others.