NEW DELHI -- Mortal remains of former President APJ Abdul Kalam were today flown to his hometown Rameswaram from New Delhi in a special aircraft, as people in the national capital bid an emotional adieu to the country's 'missile man'.
The special aircraft took off from the Palam airport at around 8:15 a.m. after all three forces gave a sendoff to the former head of the state.
Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and senior BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain were present at the airport.
The aircraft will fly to Madurai from where the mortal remains will be flown in to Rameswaram by an IAF helicopter.
Wrapped in a tri-colour, Kalam's body was taken to the airport in a gun carriage from his 10 Rajaji Marg residence here at 7 AM, as officials and commoners bid farewell to the man, whose life inspired countless Indians.
Naidu and Parrikar are accompanying the mortal remains of Kalam to Rameswaram. Minister of State for Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan, who is from Tamil Nadu will also join the two union ministers.
The funeral of the former President will be held in Rameswaram, his birth place in Tamil Nadu, on Thursday with full military honours.
A seven-day state mourning has been declared by the government in honour of Kalam.