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

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

This picture -- a tableau of courage and patriotism -- is a magnificent tribute to India on Republic Day. India's Constitution came into effect on January 26, 1950.

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.

Minus 30, to be precise.

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."

"The values that shaped Indian independence and that continue to shape our Republic -- the values inculcated in our democracy and our Constitution -- are also the values that uphold the supremacy of the people of India," President Kovind said.

The ITBP is a specialised mountain force -- most of whose officers and men are trained mountaineers and skiers -- and guards the border from Ladakh's Karakoram Pass to Jachep La in Arunachal Pradesh.

We salute our jawans for keeping the national flag flying high!