The People's President's body, draped in the Indian tricolour was brought to the burial site at Pei Karumbu in a flower-bedecked gun carriage, escorted by columns of the three armed services.

A gun salute was accorded to the former supreme commander of the Armed forces and a military band played the haunting Last Post.

Modi, who arrived here today morning, paid his last respects to the country's youth icon and most popular President by laying a wreath.

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Tamil Nadu Governor K Rosaiah, Union Ministers M Venkaiah Naidu, Manohar Parrikar and Pon Radhakrishnan, Tamil Nadu Ministers like O Panneerselvam, Natham R Viswanathan and others also paid their last respects to Kalam.

Kerala Governor P Sathasivam, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy were also present, as was Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.  

Earlier, the mortal remains of Kalam were taken to the family mosque for prayers. His family members also reached here.

The Tamil Nadu government declared a public holiday today under the Negotiable Instruments Act. Banks, insurance companies, schools and colleges are closed throughout the state.

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The government has also ordered closure of liquor shops and bars throughout the state. Around 30,000 jewellery shops would also remain closed, while petrol bunks stopped sales for an hour between 10-11 am as a mark of respect for Kalam.

Movie-theatre owners too have decided to shut down for the day while fishermen have decided not to venture into the sea. Political parties like the DMK and the AIADMK have cancelled their functions.

Born in Rameswaram on October 15, 1931, Kalam, as a boy, hawked newspapers to supplement his family's income. His father owned a boat and his mother constantly struggled to keep the family sufficiently fed and clothed. His sister pawned jewellery with a moneylender so that the studious Kalam could carry Rs 600 when he left Rameswaram to join the Madras Institute of Technology.

In pics: People gather at Rameswaram to pay last respects to Kalam!

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