New Delhi: Stray violence during Holi left one person dead and 12, including two policemen, injured as unbridled enthusiasm and bonhomie marked the festival of fun, frolic and colours which was celebrated in many parts of the country today.
A 40-year-old man died and five were injured as the festivities turned violent at Khategaon in Madhya Pradesh`s Dewas district while seven were hurt in clashes in Karnataka.
A verbal duel between members of two communities during the celebrations near a place of worship spawned a clash at Gotak in Karnataka`s Belgaum district which left five injured.
In the same state, violence over beating of drums at Savanur in Haveri district left two policemen injured, police said.
Elsewhere in the country, the celebrations were peaceful as commoners and politicians mingled with each other on the occasion.
Revellers, dyed in hues of many colours, thronged thoroughfares singing and dancing to the accompaniment of drums as gusto marked the festivities.
Forgetting all rancour and old grievances, friends and foes exchanged embraces in lanes and alleyways wishing "Happy Holi" as unseen hands squirted them with a well-timed coloured water spray.
Water-filled balloons were hurtled down from rooftops and balconies as cries of "Holi hai" reverberated the streets which presented a riot of colours.
Musical soirees were held at many places to mark the festival which bids adieu to winter and heralds the spring season.
Colourful Rangoli patterns were drawn at the entrance of houses as the scent of sweet delicacies, cooked up on the occasion, wafted through the air.
The spirit of jollity reigned supreme in the national capital where UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi joined a group of school children in celebrating the festival.
In Andhra Pradesh, Chief Minister K Rosaiah`s residence wore a festive look as he played Holi with tribals.
Holy city Mathura was soaked in colours as tens of thousands of pilgrims descended on the land of Lord Krishna to celebrate Holi.
Children and the young and the old alike splashed colours on each other with religious songs in the background adding to the perfect ambience at many places.
In some towns, foreigners enthusiastically participated in the festivities which began last evening with lighting up of the bonfire known as "Holika Dahan".
Effigies of Holika, the sister of Hiranyakashyap, the demon king, were set ablaze at several places symbolising the destruction of evil.
Tragedy befell on Virar area in Maharasthra`s Thane district when three persons, enjoying the bonfire, were electrocuted last night.
The three died when they came in contact with a live wire dangling from an electric pole, police said.
President Pratibha Patil, Vice President M Hamid Ansari and a host of political leaders greeted the people on the occasion saying the festival aimed at strengthening the social fabric of the country.