Eid-ul-Fitr, marking the culmination of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, was Wednesday celebrated with religious fervour and gaiety across Andhra Pradesh.
Thousands of men and children clad in new attire and wearing skull caps offered Namaz-e-Eid in Eidgahs or open grounds and hundreds of mosques in Hyderabad, Warangal, Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Adilabad, Kadapa, Kurnool and other districts.
The biggest congregation here was held at the historic Mir Alam Eidgah, where over 300,000 offered prayers. Moulana Abdullah Qureshi Al-Azhari led the prayers.
Huge congregations were also seen at the historic Mecca Masjid, Public Garden mosque and in grounds like Eidgah Hockey Ground, Eidgah Madannapet, Military Grounds in Mehdipatnam and Secunderabad Eidgah.
Hyderabad Police Commissioner A.K. Khan was among those who offered namaz at Mir Alam. He and other senior police officials were seen exchanging greetings with the public.
"The holy Koran is not merely for recitation but for the implementation in our daily lives," said Sheikh Imaduddin Madani, who led the prayers at Masjid-e-Azizia, one of the biggest mosques in Hyderabad.
He said Ramadan was a month-long training for Muslims to introspect and lead the lives in accordance with Koran and Sunnah, the holy life of Prophet Mohammed.
Muslims constitute 40 percent of nearly eight million population in Greater Hyderabad and about 10 percent of the state's 77 million people.
Police had made elaborate arrangements for the smooth conduct of the Eid prayers by imposing traffic restrictions.
After month-long fasting, Muslims began the celebrations with prayers and greeted each other and people from other communities.
Before offering prayers, every Muslim family paid Fitra or charity (fixed at Rs.60 this year) on behalf of each member as per the Islamic rules so that the poor can also celebrate the festival.
After the prayers, Muslims visited the houses of relatives and friends to offer greetings.
Guests were treated to sheer khorma (special sweet made of vermicelli, milk and dry fruits) and other dishes.