29/07/2015 10:29 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Abdul Kalam: Mortal Remains Flown To Rameswaram

PRAKASH SINGH via Getty Images
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pays his last respects at the body of former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam at Palam Airforce Station in New Delhi on July 28, 2915, after its arrival from Guwahati. India's former president and top scientist A. P. J. Kalam, who played a lead role in the country's nuclear weapons tests, died July 28, a hospital official said. He was 83. Kalam collapsed during a lecture at a management institute in the northeastern Indian city of Shillong, and was declared dead on arrival by doctors at Bethany hospital. AFP PHOTO / PRAKASH SINGH (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)

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.

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