The Nehru Stadium was turned into a golden hue as the Rs 44 crore aerostat lifted into the skies and a bevy of puppets danced and over 800 drummers heralded the event.
"I have much pleasure in declaring the 19th Commonwealth Games open", the Prince Charles said reading out a message from the British monarch.
This was followed by the address of President Patil, who concluded by saying " the 2010 CWG in Delhi are now open. Let the Games begin."
Hariharan sang Swagatam, as a thousand students from Delhi's schools celebrated. The performance was followed by the march of 6,700 athletes and officials from the 71 countries.
The 619 Indian contingent, which had Olympic gold medallist shooter Abhinav Bindra as the flag-bearer, drew the loudest cheers as it walked into the stadium.
In the segment called Yoga, India's 5,000 years of learning was presented by school children even as mantras and sacred shlokas cast everybody in their trance-like spell.
The final segment was a celebration of the great Indian journey that showcased the seasons through the various classical dance forms of India like Odissi, Bharatnatyam, Kathak, and many other.
The opening ceremony reached the crescendo with A R Rehman singing the theme song- Jiyo Utho Badho Jeeto.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former President APJ Abdul Kalam, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, General Secretary Rahul Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Maldives President Mohammed Nashid, Prince of Monaco Albert II, Commonwealth Games Federation President Mike Fennell, Organising Committee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi, and many other dignitaries were present at the ceremony.
However, no Bollywood stars were present. Finally, India managed to showcase its rich history, culture and higher learning to the entire world.