Hundreds bid tearful adieu to Telugu cinema icon Akkineni Nageswara Rao, whose last rites were performed in Hyderabad on Thursday with state honours. In the presence of eminent film personalities, politicians and fans, Rao's sons and grandsons together lit the funeral pyre amid chanting of vedic hymns by pundits and gun salute by the police at Annapurna Studios.
See: Akkineni Nageswara Rao's cremation photos
Rao's two sons, including popular actor Nagarjuna, three daughters and other family members broke down during the cremation. They were consoled by relatives and friends including top film personalities. A sense of gloom enveloped the sprawling Annapurna Studios as the funeral procession reached there.
As a mark of respect to the legendary actor, policemen reversed their arms and later fired three rounds in the air. The buglers sounded The Last Post. Actor-turned-politician Union Tourism Minister K Chiranjeevi, Sridevi, Tabu, Junior NTR, Venkatesh, Rajasekhar, famous filmmakers Dasari Narayana Rao and D Ramanaidu were among key film personalities who attended the last rites.
Earlier, mourners queued up at the office of Telugu Film Chamber, where his body was kept on Wednesday afternoon for the people to pay their last respects. Police and volunteers had a tough time in controlling the surging crowds. Men and women stood in long queue to have a last glimpse of the thespian, who died on Wednesday at the age of 89, plunging the Telugu film industry into gloom.
Earlier, similar scenes were witnessed at Annapurna Studios, where the body was kept. The body in a flower-bedecked vehicle was later taken from the studio to the office of the film chamber. The funeral procession, which started from the Film Chamber around 1 pm on Thursday, passed through Jubilee Hills and returned to Annapurna Studios. Movie Artists Association (MAA) president Murali Mohan and eminent film personalities besides a large number of fans joined the funeral procession.
Earlier, film personalities, politicians and eminent citizens from various walks of life paid their last respects to ANR, as the actor was popularly known. Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, several ministers and leaders of various parties also paid their tributes late Wednesday. On a call given by MAA, the Telugu film industry remained shut on Thursday as a mark of respect to the legendary actor. Continue to see ANR's funeral photos in the slideshow.
Nagarjuna Performing ANR Last Rites
Akkineni Nagarjuna is seen performing the last rites of his father Nageswara Rao at the Annapurna Studios on Thursday.
Venkat Performing ANR Last Rites
Akkineni Venkat, another son of Nageswara Rao is seen performing the last rites of his father at the Annapurna Studios on Thursday.
Nagarjuna Saddened By ANR's Death
Akkineni Nagarjuna is completely shattered by the death of his father Nageswara Rao and he could not stop crying as he performed last rites.
Nagarjuna Carefully Handling ANR's Mortal Remains
Nagarjuna is seen carefully laying his father's mortal remains on the fire place.
ANR's Mortal Remains
Akkineni Nageswara Rao's mortal remains are placed in the cremation ground for the last look of the family.
Jeevitha Having Last Look AT ANR
Along with her husband Dr Rajasekhar, actress Jeevitha attended the funeral ceremony of Akkineni Nageswara Rao. She is having a last look at the legendary actor.
Naga Chaitanya Performs ANR's Last Rites
Actor Naga Chaitanya, son of Akkineni Nagarjuna and grandson of Nageswara Rao is seen performing the last rites of his grandfather at the Annapurna Studios on Thursday.
Sushanth Performing ANR's Last Rituals
Akkineni Nagarjuna's nephew and Nageswara Rao's grandson Sushanth is performance rituals of his grandfather at the Annapurna Studios on Thursday.
Sumanth With Akkineni Nagarjuna
Along with his nephew, actor Sumanth, Akkineni Nagarjuna is seen taking part in the rituals, while pandits chanted the vedic mantras.
Nagarjuna's Pradakshina With Sister
Along with his sister, Akkineni Nagarjuna is seen taking pradakshina of his father's mortal remain, which is a part of last rites in Hindu culture.
ANR's Mortal Remains
Akkineni Nageswara Rao's body has been placed on cremation place.
Nagarjuna Perform Funeral Pyre
Sad Akkineni Nagarjuna is seen performing the traditional funeral pyre, an ancient ritual that goes back thousands of years in which devotees cremate bodies by burning firewood in an open ground.
Venkatesh, NTR And Kalyan
Venkatesh, Junior NTR and Kalyan Ram are witnessing the last rites of Akkineni Nageswara Rao.
ANR's Mortal Remains Engulfed In flames
Police personnel and fans are witnessing Akkineni Nageswara Rao's mortal remains engulfed in flames atop a massive pile of wood, the insatiable fire churning out ashes for hours.
Raghavendra Rao Consoling Nagarjuna
Ace director K Raghavendra Rao is seen consoling Akkineni Nagarjuna at the funeral ceremony.
ANR's Mortal Remains Put to Ashes
Akkineni Nageswara Rao's mortal remains are engulfed in flames atop a massive pile of wood, the insatiable fire churning out ashes for hours.
ANR's Sons And Daughter
Akkineni Nageswara Rao's sons Nagarjuna and Venkat and daughter are seen crying as his body engulfed in flames.
State Respect To ANR
Akkineni Nageswara Rao's cremation was performed with all state respect and the police personnel offered their last respect to the legendary actor.
Raghavendra At ANR's Funeral
Director K Raghavendra Rao attended the funeral ceremony of Akkineni Nageswara Rao
Sridevi At ANR's Funeral
Actress Sridevi attended the funeral ceremony of Akkineni Nageswara Rao.
Chiranjeevi At ANR's Funeral
Megastar Chiranjeevi attended the funeral ceremony of Akkineni Nageswara Rao.
Anushka, Suresh At ANR's Funeral
Actress Anushka Shetty and Suresh Babu attended the funeral ceremony of Akkineni Nageswara Rao.
Amala At ANR's Funeral
Akkineni Nagarjuna's wife Amala is seen attending the funeral ceremony of her father-in-law Akkineni Nageswara Rao.
Vehicle For ANR Last Yatra
This vehicle was used for the procession of mortal remains of Akkineni Nageswara Rao in Hyderabad.
Place For ANR's Funeral Ceremony
Akkineni family had made grand arrangement for funeral ceremony of Nageswara Rao and the place of his cremation was decorated with different types of flowers.