Giant effigies of ten-headed demon king Ravana, his son Meghnad and brother Kumbhakaran went up in flames marking the triumph of good over evil as fervour marked Dussehra festivities across the country on Sunday.
Crowds burst into cheers as the fire crackers-stuffed effigies, dotting grounds and open spaces, crackled in fiery splendour at sundown.
With police keeping a hawk-eye vigil, the festivities passed off peacefully in different parts of the country.
Celebrations, however, were low-key in the country's east coast where a cyclone, the country's worst in 14 years, wreaked havoc leaving a trail of destruction.
In Delhi, President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi were among a large number of dignitaries who saw the evil going up in smoke at Parade and Ramlila grounds.
Dussehra, which also marks the end of scorching summer and heralding of winter, is preceded by nine auspicious days of Navaratri during which devotees pray, fast and feast.
Ramlilas, vivid enactments from the life of Lord Rama, were staged in large parts of the country during the nine days preceding the festival.
A number of fairs were also held on the occasion of Dussehra which also symbolises the triumph of warrior Goddess Durga over buffalo demon Mahishasura.