Colours ruled the streets today as people of all ages with faces and clothes smeared in myriad of hues celebrated Holi, a harvest festival which marks the onset of spring season.
From youngsters and the elderly to the widows of Vrindavan, the 'gulal' spared none as revellers danced to the accompaniment of drums. People exchanged sweets as a mark of bonhomie.
The festival is celebrated to commemorate the Hindu mythological tale of Prahlada emerging unscathed from the flames despite being drawn into the fire by demoness Holika. The Hindu month of 'Phagun' ended yesterday with 'Holika Dahan' and 'Chaita' starting today.
A relatively warm day paved way for a perfect Holi, as coloured water drenched people inside and outside homes, bidding adieu to winter.
President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have greeted people on the occasion of Holi, saying the festival provided an opportunity to strengthen the bonds of unity and friendship.
The Prime Minister yesterday celebrated the festival with his staff for the first time during his tenure in UPA-II.
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi joined the celebrations at her residence here.
Tight security arrangements were also put in place and hospitals made arrangements to deal with any extra rush of people.
In Rajasthan, the festival was celebrated peacefully and no untoward incident took place. Pink city Jaipur erupted in a rainbow of colours as enthusiastic revellers thronged streets. Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje joined the festivities with her family members in Delhi.
In Patna, political bigwigs including Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD president Lalu Prasad kept away from the celebrations. Their official residences at 1, Anne Marg and 10, Circular Road, respectively wore a deserted look.
In the national capital, police personnel were deployed across the city. Police had issued warning against hooliganism in the guise of revelry. Commuters faced inconvenience in the morning as a handful of buses plied and Metro service resumed only after 2 PM.
In an audio message which has been put on his official website, BJP's prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi said, "The country has been submerged into the colour of elections. Election is the festival of Holi for the democracy. Let's celebrate this festival of democracy to change the fate of India."
In the national capital, police made elaborate arrangements to ensure a safe and joyous holi. Police personnel were deployed across the city. Police had issued warning against hooliganism in the guise of revelries.
In Jaipur, nearly 200 people were injured in holi-related