Telangana is one today, and week-long festivities to celebrate India's youngest state began with a bang this morning.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who too completes one year in office, started the day with a tribute at the Martyrs Memorial at the Gun Park in Hyderabad. Later, he unfurled the national flag and took a salute from a colourful parade at the main official function, held at the city's Parade Grounds.
After nearly five decades of demand, campaign, politicking and protests, Telangana was formed on June 2 last year. India's 29th state was carved out of Andhra Pradesh, triggering massive protests in the residual Seemandhra region.
Over the last one year, the new state had to cope law and order issues, controversies over the government's household survey and ban on a few television channels, the challenge of finding space for a new capital city, and lately, the spate of deaths in heat wave.
This morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent greetings through a tweet: "My best wishes to the people of Telangana on the occasion of their Statehood Day. My best wishes for the State's development journey."
Principal Secretary, Tourism and Culture, BP Acharya said 3D illuminating mapping is set up at three places in Hyderabad, the capital that Telangana shares for now with Andhra Pradesh, the Secunderabad Clock Tower, Buddha statue in Hussain Sagar and Kacheguda Railway Station.
The state secretariat, assembly building, Raj Bhavan, the Chief Minister's official residence, government buildings and historic monuments will be illuminated this evening.
Celebrations have been planned on a grand scale across the 10 districts of the state that will include a host of events to showcase its culture and the struggle for statehood. People who have rendered significant service in their respective fields would be honoured.
Celebrations are also being held at Telangana Bhavan, the headquarters of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi. The party is also celebrating the win of five seats in Monday's legislative council elections.
"The story of Telangana has been a very symbolic and heroic one. With its first year anniversary, we are all geared up for this seven day carnival. The idea is to create a mood of festivity... everywhere we want people to celebrate," Mr Acharya said.