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Queen’s Baton Relay – Highlights of Asia

Queen's Baton Relay Day 4 India Image

Over a period of 288 days, the Queen's Baton will visit 70 nations and territories, cover 190,000 kilometres, and involve a third of the world's population in a celebration of sport, diversity and peace.

The first leg of the baton's journey was Asia – an area of the world known for its spectacular energy and hospitality.

After bidding Scotland farewell, the baton travelled to India where its first moments on Indian soil were full of noise, colour, garlands of flowers and lots of smiles.

Over the next few days, the baton journeyed through fields, past villages with cows, monkeys and exotic birdlife, and into the teeming cities of Agra and New Delhi.

At the Taj Mahal, one of the world's most iconic landmarks, Indian steeplechase athlete Sudha Singh posed proudly with the baton as excited crowds looked on.

The baton's next stop was Bangladesh, where its arrival was celebrated with bagpipes and tartan. In Savar, the baton was carried by young people from Aparajeyo Bangla (which translates as Invincible Bengal) – an organisation supported by UNICEF, which helps street children turn their lives around and provides accommodation for them in sheltered housing.

In Pakistan, the baton visited the Badshahi Mosque, a 17th century Mughal architectural wonder. There it was held aloft by Pakistan's first international competition female swimmer Kiran Khan and by Commonwealth Games Gold medallist wrestler, Inam Butt.

In Sri Lanka, the baton was transported from Colombo to Kandy on the Viceroy Special steam train – a vintage locomotive that winds its way through the lush green Sri Lankan countryside. En route, the baton visited the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and met hundreds of school children, who welcomed the baton with music and dancing.

In the Maldives, enthusiastic young swimmers took turns holding the baton – among them there may be a Commonwealth Games star of the future!

The baton was transported through the humid streets of Singapore by rollerblades, bicycle, sailboat, metro, vintage sports car and white Hackney taxi.
In Malaysia, the baton witnessed the opening ceremony of the Asian Youth Para Games 2013 and met children from the UNICEF 'Disable2Enable' project.

Finally in Brunei Darussalam, the baton was carried by students from various schools and young people who had studied in Glasgow and felt a strong personal connection to Scotland and its values.

Shared values have been a recurring theme throughout the baton's time in Asia. Despite the cultural diversity, the Commonwealth and its citizens are connected by a shared set values, among them a strong sense of optimism – something that we can all look forward to with the Queen's Baton journey in Oceania!

Check out some of the spectacular images from the baton’s time in Asia below. You can view more images in the Queen's Baton Relay Galleries.

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