New Delhi: Delhiites were on Wednesday soaked in festive mood as they enthusiastically celebrated Dusshera by setting afire `Ravan` along with his son Meghnad and brother Kumbhkaran, marking the triump of good over evil.
Today`s burning of Ravana`s effigies marks the end of navaratra and the beginning of 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 city where artistes enacted the final battle episode of Ramayana where Lord Ram kills Ravana and brings back his wife Sita to Ayodhya on `Vijaydashmi`.
President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia attended Ramlila celebrations in Parade Ground at Red Fort. Singh, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi joined hunderds of Delhiites at Ramlila Maidan also to celebrate the festival.
At the Parade Grounds, Mukherjee wished people on the occasion of the festival. "Happy Dusshera to all. May this festival bring prosperity to the country," he said. The dignitaries also released pigeons.
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.
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 Asura king Ravana 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 in 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.