Bengaluru: Thousands of revellers, including women and teens heralded the New Year on Tuesday in this cosmopolitan tech hub in grand style, dancing, cheering, screaming, greeting each other and partying hard well past midnight.
Undeterred by the presence of hundreds of stern policemen and women constables, drone cameras, giant screens and watch towers, revellers flocked to the city's downtown by 9:00 pm to say goodbye to 2018 and usher in 2019, wishing all a happy New Year.
With vehicular traffic and parking banned in the central business district (CBD), revellers invaded the illuminated MG Road, Brigade Road, Church Street, Lavell Road, St Mark's Road, Richmond Road, Residence Road and Commercial Street to make merry and dance their way into the New Year on a cool night.
Those who could not go it to the CBD, thronged other localities across the city, including upscale Indiranagar, posh Koramangala, Jayanagar, Whitefield, Basavangudi, Malleshwaram, Rajajinagar and Majestic to name a few.
Star hotels, restaurants, eateries, cafes, food joints, bars, pubs and clubs were crowded cheek-by-jowl with revellers to ring out the old and ring in the New Year, drinking and eating to their heart's content.
As the clock struck midnight, fire crackers were burst in several areas that lit up the night sky and disrupted the deafening sound of rock music by several bands in open areas, hotels, restaurants, pubs and clubs.
Though about 12,000 police personnel were deployed across the city to ensure peace celebrations of the New Year eve, many of them had tough time in dispersing the revellers from the downtown well after the New Year unfolded in the wee hours.
"The celebrations were peaceful as no untoward incident was reported during the New Year eve and after midnight, as the security was tightened and vigil heightened to prevent mischief or trouble making," Bengaluru Additional Commissioner of Police P Harishekaran told reporters at the city centre.
Flyovers and elevated roads across the city were shut from 9:00 pm to 6:00 am to prevent drunken driving and vehicular mishaps as a result.
State Home Minister MB Patil went around the CBD on Monday night to check the security arrangements and deployment of police personnel for the safety of the people, especially women and children.
According to reports from across Karnataka, people have celebrated the advent of New Year with joy and gaiety in cities and towns, including Mysuru, Mangaluru, Hassan, Hubballi, Belagavi, Bidar and Kalaburgi.