Dressed in a dark blue suit, Obama was given a ceremonial inter-services Guard of Honour at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan after being received by President Pranab Mukherjee.

The 53-year old Obama will be the first US President to be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day ceremony here on Monday.

"Its a great honour and we are so grateful for your extraordinary hospitality," Obama said after the ceremony during which he preferred to say "Namaste" with folded hands to the waiting dignitaries.

Earlier, the US National Security Council on Sunday tweeted "Jai Hind", saying that President Barack Obama is "honoured" to be back in India.

"President Obama is honoured to be back in India to celebrate Republic Day and to begin a new chapter in the US-India partnership. Jai Hind!" a tweet from the account of NSC Press, which is run by Obama's National Security Council (NSC).

The NSC is the principal forum used by the US president for considering national security and foreign policy matters. The tweet was also retweeted by the Twitter handle of the White House.

US National Security Advisor Susan Rice, who is accompanying Obama to India, also posted a tweet saying "Jai Hind"."Excited to be with President Obama in India to celebrate Republic Day - Jai Hind!" said her tweet. "Jai Hind" is a slogan or battle cry dating back to India's freedom struggle.

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