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From Siachen to S China Sea, Indian armed forces celebrate Yoga Day

india Updated: Jun 21, 2015 20:02 IST


From ice-capped Siachen to the warships in the contentious South China Sea, Indian armed forces on Sunday celebrated the International Yoga Day.

Top defence officers led by army chief Dalbir Singh, air chief Marshal Arup Raha and navy's admiral RK Dhowan were present at the Rajpath doing yoga where Prime Minister Narendra Modi led a mega event to mark the day.

In a first, the Union defence minister and home minister led the country’s army and central paramilitary forces to mark the celebrations. While home minister Rajnath Singh was in Lucknow, defence minister Manohar Parrikar kicked off an event in Meerut.

Army chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag and air chief Marshal Arup Raha perform yoga at Rajpath in New Delhi. (Arvind Yadav/HT Photo)

The show-stopper, however, were the soldiers doing yoga in full gear on the Siachen glacier at a height of 18,800 feet above sea level. Siachen is the highest battlefield in the world.

Dressed in their special weather clothing, the soldiers practised yoga while sitting on mats placed over the snow when the temperature was -4 degree celsius. Yoga sessions were also carried out by the army in various units across the country including Kargil.

The Indian Navy held yoga sessions across its installations and on navy ships deployed overseas in the South China Sea.

INS Ranvir, Satpura, Kamorta and Shakti celebrated the International Yoga Day in the South China region with the theme 'Across the Oceans'.

Indian Air Force too carried out yoga sessions across the country.

Army personnel perform yoga at Siachen glacier. (PTI Photo)

Millions across India woke up early on Sunday to join the first International Yoga Day celebrations as Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke of the beginning of a new era of peace and goodwill as he led thousands in a mega event at Delhi's Rajpath.

Modi went through several ‘asanas’ (postures) of the ancient Indian practice at the event that organisers are hoping will set a new world record for the largest yoga class at a single venue.

The Yoga Day initiative will see events in India and in 192 other countries. The UN declared June 21 as the Yoga Day after Modi's strong pitch for it at the UN General Assembly last September.

Read:How India celebrated Yoga Day as PM Modi and his ministers led the way

'Yoga is for tension-free world': Modi's message from Rajpath event

In pics: How the world celebrated International Yoga Day

Full Coverage:International Yoga Day