Camels in camouflage join military parade to mark India's Republic Day

Watch: India's armed Border Security Force ride camels on Republic Day parade.

Camels dressed in camouflage and carrying 81mm mortar systems, guns and other weapons formed part of a parade of India's armed forces to mark the country's 74th Republic Day.

Members of India's armed Border Security Force (BSF) rode dozens of Dromedary camels through the streets of Kartavya Path in Delhi on Thursday, joining armed forces, paramilitary units, police and bands of military pipes and drums.

Many of the camels carried weapons as part of the annual parade celebrations to mark the date that the Constitution of India came into effect on 26 January 1950 following the country's independence from the UK three years earlier.

The colourful grand parade was joined by artists, street dancers, a motorcycle display team and a display by the country's Ministry of Culture to celebrate India's diverse cultural and artistic heritage.

Female riders of the BSF joined the parade for the first time with 12 women joining the procession on the backs of camels.

The camel section of the BSF comprises about 90 camels, which carry soldiers, weaponry and musical equipment for the BSF band.

The BSF is one of the few forces in the world to still deploy camels for both operations as well as ceremonial duties – long after the British Army had its own Imperial Camel Corps during the First World War.

India's security force also holds a Beating the Retreat ceremony each year at the end of January.

While the BSF is technically more of an armed police force, which mostly patrols the country's borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh, it consists of about 192 military-style battalions including an air wing, marine wing and an artillery regiment, as well as special forces units.

Watch Forces News video explainers

Related topics

Join Our Newsletter


Prince William thanks UK troops for 'defending our freedoms'

Iraq War: Hearts and Minds - a very British tactic

LIVE Army v Navy Inter Services men’s football