The Indian icon, dubbed Bollywood's first superstar, passed away on Wednesday (18Jul12) at his home in the city following a bout of ill health. He was 69.
His funeral procession began the day after his death, in accordance with his Hindu religion, and hordes of mourning devotees took to the streets around his property to throw flowers as his body passed by in a glass coffin carried in an open truck.
Khanna's body was taken to the Pawan Hans crematorium, where his grandson, Aarav, lit the funeral pyre.
Bollywood stars Abhishek Bachchan, Karisma Kapoor, and Karan Johar were all present at the crematorium.
The actor, dubbed the Indian film industry's first superstar, passed away at his home in Mumbai on Wednesday (18Jul12) after a battle with ill health. The cause of his death was unclear as WENN went to press.
Khanna shot to fame playing romantic leads in a string of hit Bollywood movies in the 1960s and '70s, and went on to star in more than 160 films.
He won the Filmfare Best Actor Award three times, and was honoured with the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.
In the 1990s he moved into politics, serving as a Member of Parliament in New Delhi until 1996.
His son-in-law, actor Akshay Kumar told reporters outside Khanna's home, "He has gone to a very nice and heavenly place. We are very happy that he (has) gone there. I hope everybody there whoever is watching him can just say a little prayer for him."
Fellow Bollywood veteran Shabana Azmi paid tribute to her late peer, taking to Twitter.com to pay her respects, writing, "He was the SUPERSTAR like no other. Did 10 films with him. Met him last at Apsara awards. Pale shadow of himself but smile as winsome."
Rajesh Khanna, the first actor to achieve superstar status in Bollywood, has died at age 69. He leaves behind a wife and two daughters.
Khanna's enormous success made him a massive star in India with a career that spanned many decades and about 170 movies. At the height of his fame in romantic films, female fans would reportedly "marry" his photographs and write him letters in their blood.
Kaka, as he was widely known, became one of the highest paid actors of his time. And like so many Hollywood actors, he even dabbled in politics, becoming Congress MP from the New Delhi constituency from 1991 to 1996.
Today, fans mourn his loss.
PM Manmohan Singh led the tributes with his tweet: "I convey my heartfelt condolences to the members of the bereaved family and countless fans and admirers of Rajesh Khanna." "Rajesh Khanna was always a symbol of romance," says West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. "His smiling face and the ability to connect with people at ease had made him popular."
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