Marking the first big event on Indian soil for the 2010 Commonwealth Games (CWG) to be held in New Delhi in October, the Queen's baton for the event arrived on Friday at the Attari border between India and Pakistan.
Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Suresh Kalmadi, other dignitaries and leading sports personalities, including host city New Delhi's Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, were in attendance at the border outpost as the baton was handed over by Pakistan's Olympic Association officials led by Lt Gen Arif Hassan.
The Attari border checkpost, about 30 km from Amritsar in Punjab, wore a colourful and festive look despite tight security arrangements for the baton arrival event. Popular song "Chak de, India" was played at the checkpost since morning to welcome the baton.
Hundreds of people, officials and mediapersons gathered for the arrival of the baton.
The baton, after a colourful ceremony, begins its journey in India. It will be taken to Sikh holy city of Amritsar and remain there till Friday night.
The baton will travel through most states in India, covering 20,000 km, before reaching New Delhi for the 2010 CWG to be held October 3-14.
'Bhangra' and 'Gidda' dancers, performers from Rajasthan and other states, traditional music instruments and security bands added to the festive atmosphere at the border checkpost as the baton arrived in India.
Sufi singers Wadali brothers and popular singer, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, performed at the ceremony to mark its arrival.
The baton travelled nearly 170,000 km through nearly 70 Commonwealth countries before arriving in the host country for the 2010 Games.
The 2010-CWG is the biggest sporting event being hosted by India after the 1982 Asian Games held in New Delhi.