Balu Mahendra
Balu MahendraWikipedia/Jaffar Theekkathir

Acclaimed filmmaker and cinematographer Balu Mahendra, who passed away on Thursday, was cremated on Friday.

The veteran director died of heart attack at Vijaya Hospitals, Chennai on 13 February. His body was shifted to his acting school "Cinema Pattarai" located in Arunachalam road, Chennai.

Several members of the film fraternity including Suriya, Vijay, Dhanush, Kamal Haasan, Sasikumar, Kushoo, director Bharathiraja, Balachander, Samuthirakani, Vikraman, Vasanth, SP Jhananathan, Parthipan, PC Sreeram, Cheran, Bala, Vishal, Karthi, AR Murugadoss, Sathyaraj, KV Anand, Vijay Sethupathi, Bhagyraraj, Vairamuthu, KS Ravi Kumar, Pandiyarajan, Prasanna, Nassar, Vivek, RK Selvamani, Rekha, Soori, Seeman, Devi Sri Prasad, Radharavi, Mansoor Ali Khan, Ramesh Khanna and Ilayaraja among others, paid their tributes to the veteran director. [To look at the pictures, click HERE]

As the crowd gathered to pay their last respects for Mahendra, the Saligramam police had to shut down the traffic on Arunachalam road, reported The New Indian Express. "There were too many people and vehicles and most of them are VIPs it seems, so we thought it better to stop them 500 metres away and ask them to walk," a police official on duty told the daily.

As a mark of respect to the ace filmmaker, the film industry did not work on Friday (14 February). Mahendra's body was taken in a procession atop a vehicle decorated as a chariot. Several filmmakers, actors, technicians and the general public joined the procession which began at around 11 a.m. from Saligramam. His body was moved to Porur Crematorium, where he was cremated.

Mahendra, who made his directorial debut with the 1977- Kannada release "Kokila", has many critically-acclaimed and commercial successful films to his credit. The veteran has won several prestigious awards including the National Film Award in a career that spanned over four decades.