A swarm of drones lit up the night sky over India Gate on Friday, showcasing the life and legacy of freedom fighter Subhas Chandra Bose and celebrating his newly unveiled statue. The drones took to air in phases and made eight different formations, including ‘Jai Hind’, Netaji’s portrait and ‘Grand statue of Netaji’.
Union Minister of State for Culture Meenakshi Lekhi also attended the show. “Witnessed a spellbinding drone show organized by @MinOfCultureGoI at the iconic India Gate. The magnificent aerial drone show paid tribute to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose & was accompanied by a cultural fest featuring over 500 folk & tribal artists from across India #AmritMahotsav,” Lekhi said in a tweet and shared a few pictures from the show.
She also asked people to witness the show.
“Do visit India Gate between 9-11th September to enjoy this captivating drone show on the life of Netaji Bose,” she said in another tweet.
Earlier, as dusk fell over the Central Vista skyline, a team of engineers and technicians was busy hooking up the connection in a grid of drones that was assembled in a lawn near India Gate.
“A total of 250 drones will be used, and the last formation will be of the new grand statue unveiled by the prime minister on Thursday. The drone show will depict the life and legacy of Netaji,” the senior official of the Culture Ministry told PTI shortly before the show began.
The show started around 8:35 pm and lasted 10 minutes. People tried to capture the dazzling show on their mobile phone cameras.
“The Netaji drone show was done by the same team of innovators which had run the 1,000-drone show at the Beating the Retreat ceremony early this year over Vijay Chowk,” the official said.
Netaji’s 28-ft-tall statue under the canopy facing India Gate was carved out of a monolith block of jet black granite stone sourced from a quarry in Telangana and a “makeshift road” had to be built to move it to a highway for transporting it to Delhi.
A team of sculptors spent 26,000 man-hours of “intense artistic endeavour” to carve the statue, according to the Ministry of Culture.