Rameswaram (Tamil Nadu): Former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was laid to rest on Thursday here with full military honours in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several other leaders who paid tributes to the man who strengthened India's missile programme and played a key role in country's 1998 nuclear test -- making him a national hero.
The body of Kalam - warmly called the people's president - was draped in the Indian tricolour and brought to the burial site at Pei Karumbu here in a flower-bedecked gun carriage, escorted by columns of the three armed services.
People in large numbers lined up along the route to catch a last glimpse of Kalam, the rocket and missile scientist who was awarded the country's highest civilian honour - the Bharat Ratna - in 1997 and bid him a tearful final good-bye.
Many had climbed atop an under construction building and other buildings to see their illustrious son-of-the-soil.
People cutting across political, religious and other lines came in large numbers to Kalam's native town to participate in his last journey.
Many could scarcely believe that he would no longer return to his hometown.
Dignitaries waiting in line to pay homage during the funeral ceremony of former President APJ Abdul Kalam, at Rameswaram on Thursday.
Kalam had died on Monday in Shillong after suffering a massive heart attack during a lecture he was delivering to students of Indian Institute of Management.
A 21-gun salute was accorded to the former supreme commander of the armed forces and a military band played the haunting 'Last Post'.