New Delhi: Light showers failed to dampen the festive spirits of Delhiites on Sunday who thronged various Dussehra venues here where the effigies of 10-headed demon king Ravana along with his son Meghnad and brother Kumbhkaran were set afire marking the triumph of good over evil.
Dussehra 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 Ravana.
Dressed in their festive best, people attended Ramlilas across city where artistes enacted the final battle episode of Ramayana where Lord Ram kills Ravan.
President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi her daughter Priyanka Gandhi and son-in-law Robert Vadra, Union Minister Kapil Sibal and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit attended Ramlila celebrations in Parade Ground at Red Fort.
Later, the Prime Minister, Sonia Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and Robert Vadra joined hundreds of Delhiites at Ramlila Maidan also to celebrate the festival.
External Affairs Minister of Scotland Humza Yousaf and his delegation were also present at the Parade Ground to witness the celebrations.
At Parade Grounds, Mukherjee greeted people on the occasion. "I send my greeting to everyone on the auspicious occasion of Dussehra. I am glad the festival is being celebrated today by Indians all across the globe. It symbolises victory of good over evil.
It encourages us face our troubles courageously...On this auspicious occasion let us resolve to maintain and unity of our nation," he said.
The dignitaries also released white pigeons and balloons of the tri-colour on the occasion.
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.
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 a chaos like situation outside the Red Fort as security personnel prevented people from entering the premises due to VVIP movement.