Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was conferred the Bharat Ratna, the country's highest civilian award, on Friday.
One of the tallest leaders of independent India, Vajpayee had a long and eventful career as a much loved politician and orator. The Bharatiya Janata Party he founded with colleagues from the erstwhile Jana Sangh rose to capture power at the centre several times during his life time. While controversy remains about his role during the Babri Masjid demolition episode, his enduring personal legacy is that of a mass leader and statesman who was a master consensus builder.
Here is a look at his life captured in photographs over the years.