18,000 ft. Minus 30 degrees. ITBP keeps the tricolour flying high on Republic Day in Ladakh


The white band of India’s tricolour seemed to blend into the clear sky as the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) jawan held it aloft on Republic Day.

Thirteen others stood in a perfect line behind him, their arms by their sides, on the bare, snowy slope.

They were at a height of 18,000 feet — even Everest is just around 3 km taller — and temperature was well below zero degrees Celsius.

This magnificent tableau of grit and patriotism was photographed in Ladakh as India celebrated the day on which its supreme law — the Constitution — came into effect on January 26, 1950.

Now watch this video of ITBP personnel carrying the tricolour as they walk through knee-deep snow at the India-China border in Uttarakhand.

“This enlightened and far-reaching document laid the foundations of our Republic,” President Ram Nath Kovind said of the Constitution. “It was the work of men and women of principle and patriotism — the members of the Constituent Assembly. In particular, we recall the role of Babasaheb Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar, who chaired the Drafting Committee.”


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