Congratulations ! Commonwealth Games begin in New Delhi on 3 October 2010, originally uploaded by South Asian Foreign Relations.
The huge helium filled aerostat balloon was a major attraction at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games 2010 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi. As at seven in the evening, spell-binding fireworks lit up the sky heralding the opening ceremony, the aerostat lifted up from the centre of the stadium with huge puppets hanging from the balloon that remained suspended above the main stage at a height of 25 meters above the ground.
During the entire ceremony that lasted over three hours, revolving images of the action on the ground was projected on the helium balloon while the special light effects continuously change its colors. The lights were programmed to bounce off mirrors on the aerostat while sound effects of the magnitude of 500,000 watts was used to make it more spectacular and spell-binding, to the amazement of over 60,000 spectators.
The aerostat, manufactured by Per Lindstrandt and designed by Merk Fsher, is the biggest helium balloon in the world used for the first time for an event like this. The balloon is of the diameter 40 meters x 80 meters x 12 meters approximately and is reported to cost Indian Rs 70 crore (earlier NDTV reported its lease as Rs 40 crores).