The mortal remains of the thespian Akkineni Nageswara Rao, who died in the early hours of Wednesday, were consigned to flames at the Annapurna Studios here on Thursday afternoon, with full police honours amid a 21-gun salute as thousands of fans, friends and relatives bid a tearful adieu.
The final journey of legendary ANR came to an end slightly after 3.30 p.m. at the Studios.
His sons Venkat and Nagarjuna and grandchildren Sumanth, Naga Chaitanya, Akhil and Sushant carried the body to the pyre.
Prominent among those who attended the funeral were Union Minister of State for Tourism K. Chiranjeevi, former Union Ministers T. Subbarami Reddy, Dasari Narayana Rao and U.V. Krishnam Raju, producers D. Rama Naidu and Allu Arvind, directors K. Raghavendra Rao, Gunnam Gangaraju, Madhura Sridhar, actress-turned MLA Jayasudha, actresses Sridevi, Tabu, Anushka Shetty, Maheswari, Jeevitha, Ramaprabha, actors Kaikala Satyanarayana, Venkatesh, junior NTR, Muralimohan, Tarak, Dr. Rajasekhar, and Adivi Sesh.
The State government was represented by Ministers D. Nagender and Kasu Venkatakrishna Reddy, apart from the chairman of the Andhra Pradesh Official Languages Commission Mandali Buddha Prasad.
Amidst a solemn mood, thousands gathered on the sprawling campus of the Studios in Banjara Hills to pay last respects to the departed soul. Mr. Nagarjuna broke down as the pyre was lit and was consoled by those present.
Earlier in the day, his body was moved to the A.P. Film Chamber of Commerce and kept there to enable fans and well-wishers to pay their last respects. From there, it was taken to the Studios in a procession. A heavy police bandobust was provided by the State government to keep the surging crowds in check.