Commonwealth - Open Ceremony

19th Commonwealth Games which begins today, started off with the opening ceremony last night at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in New Delhi. A near-capacity 60,000 crowd enjoyed the spectacle which, as its centrepiece, featured an illuminated ‘Aerostat’. Nagada drummers beat out the countdown to the opening accompanied by traditional Shankha trumpeters as the stadium lights were dimmed and the "Aerostat", a reportedly nine-million-dollar (400-million-rupee) white helium-filled balloon, rose 25 meters above ground level.Hundreds of thousands of residents of the Indian capital lined the streets, with a global television audience of more than a billion watching the two-and-a-half-hour event which heralds 11 days of competition.