Giant effigies of the demon king Ravan along with his son Meghnad and brother Kumbhkaran went up in flames as Delhiites on Sunday celebrated Dusshera in all its colour symbolising the triumph of good over evil.
The culmination of Navratri marks the beginning of the 20-day-long wait for Diwali, festival of lights, to celebrate the return of Lord Ram to Ayodhya after killing the demon king.
Dressed in their festive best, people attended Ramlilas across the city where artistes enacted the final battle episode of Ramayana where Lord Ram kills Ravana and brings back Sita to Ayodhya.
Dusshera symbolises the victory of good over evil by celebrating the victory of Lord Ram. The festivities culminated after nine auspicious days of navratri, during which Ramlila is enacted to depict the life of Lord Ram.
President Pratibha Patil, Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi joined thousands of Delhiites to celebrate the festival and attended Ramlilas at Ramlila Ground and Red Fort which witnessed a massive turnout of people.
Singh, Sonia and Rahul shot the arrows at the effigy of Ravana at the function in Ramlila Grounds.
As the effigies were set ablaze amid chants in praise of Lord Ram, people witnessed spectacular fireworks which illuminated the sky leaving many in awe. Singh applied tilak on the forehead of the artistes who played the role of Lord Ram and Lakshman.
Other dignitaries who attended the function at Parade Ground included Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit. Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi was also present at the celebrations in Ramlila Grounds.
People also visited friends and relatives and exchanged gifts on the culmination of nine days of prayers and fasting to mark the victory of Lord Ram over Ravan in Lanka.
A large number of people were seen bursting crackers to mark the festivities while others went to market places on a shopping spree.
Elaborate security arrangements were made to ensure that the festivities go without any untoward incident. Police kept a tight vigil over the city, a senior official said.
There was utter chaos outside the Red Fort as security personnel prevented people from entering the premises due to VVIP movement.
Most of the entry gates were closed for the public and were opened only after the dignitaries left the Red Fort premises.