New Delhi, Nov 9 (UNI) Diwali, the festival of lights, was today celebrated across the city with religious fervour and enthusiasm.
As the day came to a close, people were seen arranging traditional earthern lamps 'diyas' outside their houses especially the entrances with 'torans' on the doors and 'Rangoli' on the floor.
Fire works illuminated the moonlight sky and a wave of festive spirit swept across the city as people greeted each other and exchanged sweets and gifts.
'Though the market is now flooded with a variety of multicoloured electrical lamps the traditional diyas still enjoys a special place and fears no competition,'' said a shopkeeper in Mayur Vihar.
Lakshmi Puja was performed in the evening to seek divine blessings of Goddess of Wealth with gifts exchanging hands.
President Pratibha Devisingh Patil celebrated the festival meeting thousands of people from different walks of life at the Rastrapati Bhawan. There were a number of people from the rural areas among her visitors on the occassion. she also distributed gifts to school children who called on her.
Clad in new clothes, people exchanged greetings and sweets with their brethren.
People also flocked the decked up main markets to enjoy the occasion-- a propitious festival- also considered auspicious for setting up new businesses, commencing new projects and housewarming.
As the wave of festivity spread across the city people were seen flocking to parks like India Gate which was choc-o-block with vehicles.
Adding gaiety to the revellers was the realese of two of Bollywood's biggest blockbusters competing for box office glory. The release of 'Saawariya' and 'Om Shanti Om' came as a Diwali bumper for the cine lovers.
The Delhi Police also ramped up security with dog squads, bomb squads and commandos registering their presence at all vital points of the city.
''We are taking no chances and making sure that no untoward incident takes place in the festival season and our personnel are also keeping a close watch on every suspicious movement of people,'' Delhi Police spokesman Rajan Bhagat told UNI.
Fire tenders have also been deployed in seventeen fire prone areas of the city in addition to the 42 fire stations, equipped with wireless facility, Fire Department said, adding it will keep vigil till midnight.