"Despite the bad publicity, all the Commonwealth nations stood by India as Delhi becomes the largest ever in the history of the Commonwealth Games," he said.
"We are prepared to deliver a great Games," he concluded. In his brief address, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, "Welcome to India. Welcome to the Games. Millions are waiting eagerly to watch the Games unfold".
The formalities, with the march past forming the major chunk, were followed by a 40-minute cultural display in which classical Indian dances, a fine yoga display and a Bollywood-style show.
The Indian railway train was pulled by the age-old steam engine to the strains of the Rahman-hit 'Chayya Chayya' from the film 'Dil Se'.
A giant figure of Lord Buddha was created and rose up from the centre stage to rise up to the canopy.
Instrumental rendering of Mahatma Gandhi's favourite song 'Vaishnavo Janato' was done with a figure of the Father of the nation also created through technology in the middle of the stage.
In Image: The aerostat is seen lit up with designs as dancers perform below at the start of the XIX Commonwealth Games opening ceremony at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on October 3, 2010.
Coverage: Commonwealth Games 2010