The Men's Hockey World Cup opening ceremony got off to a scintillating start amidst stunning fireworks and captivating performances by Bollywood stars at the Kalinga Stadium here on Tuesday.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik declared the tournament open at the opening ceremony.
Some of the best known Bollywood stars like Shah Rukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit and music maestro A. R. Rahman descended here to signal the start of the world cup, which has gripped the entire state.
From the rendition of the hockey anthem 'Jai Hind India' by Rahman to Bollywood diva Madhuri Dixit's mesmerizing dance performance, the show was spellbounding.
The crowd erupted in joy when Shah Rukh was taken in a procession in a Rath in the ground.
On the other hand, Madhuri, along with over 1000 artists including 800 students, mesmerised the jampacked audience with a theatrical production and dance ballet titled 'The Earth Song'.
The Kalinga Stadium is also ready with flags of the participating countries already hoisted.
All banks, financial institutes, government offices and educational institutes across the state remained closed after 1. 30 p. m. in view of the opening ceremony.
In order to present the artistic side of the city to visitors, beautiful 3D murals have been created across the city.
From walls to flyovers to school boundaries, these have already been styled with street art.
During the world cup, a city fest will be organized from December 1 to 16.
Musicians and singers like Vishal and Shekhar, Shankar Ehsaan Loy, Farhan Akhtar, Shaan, Shreya Ghoshal, Sona Mohapatra, Rituraj Mohanty, Noorani Sisters and Krishna Beura will perform at IDCO Exhibition Ground over the course of the festival.
Moreover, audiences will also be entertained by popular stand - up comedian Biswa Kalyan Rath.