Easter, which commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion, was celebrated with fervour and gaiety across the country on Sunday.
Easter services were held in churches in the national capital, Kerala, Orissa and northeastern states like Mizoram and Meghalaya, marking the end of the Lent season of fasting and abstinence.
Senior prelates and bishops led the services and gave sermons in cathedrals and churches of different Christian denominations.
In the capital, the main Easter service was held at the Sacred Heart Cathedral where about 5,000 people attended a midnight mass. Union Labour Minister Oscar Fernandes, an adept musician, joined the church choir during the mass.
Arch Bishop of Delhi Vincent Concessao, who led the prayers, blessed the "new fire" which symbolises the risen Christ.
In Kochi, the head of the Syro Malankara Catholic Church, Catholicose Baselios Mar Cleemis, led the services in St Mary's Cathedral.
Archbishop M Susai Packyam led prayers in St Joseph's Cathedral.
Kerala's Governor R L Bhatia, Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan and Leader of Opposition Ommen Chandy greeted the people on the occasion.
In Meghalaya and Mizoram, sunrise prayer meetings in different churches marked the beginning of Easter as the states celebrated the festival with religious pomp and gaiety.
Christians sang, prayed and listened to easter messages from priests and pastors recalling that Christ, crucified on Friday, had risen from the dead on a Sunday morning by "conquering death".
Large crowds attended mass in Catholic churches in Shillong and Aizawl.