The past few weeks of negative publicity that had dogged the nearly Rs 70,000 crore mega-event was quickly forgotten as the glittering opening ceremony, which encapsulated a fascinating mix of culture and modernity, kept the spectators enthralled for more than two hours.
The ceremony, which set the stage for 12 days of intense competition will see over 7000 athletes from 71 countries vying for honours.
The aerostat, a giant helium balloon was dramatically lifted to its full height amid the sounds of Nagada drums.
In Image: (L/R)Indian President Pratibha Patil, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, his wife Gursharan Kaur and Commonwealth Games Organising Committee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi stand for the playing of the Indian national anthem at the start of the opening ceremony of the XIX Commonwealth Games at The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on October 3, 2010.
Coverage: Commonwealth Games 2010