Homosexuality is illegal in India
Hundreds of gay rights supporters have marched in the Indian capital, Delhi, for the first time.
Gays, lesbians and transgender people gathered in the central Connaught Place area in what was the country's largest ever display of gay pride.
Activists also marched in the cities of Calcutta, which has seen similar events in the past, and Bangalore.
The marchers were demanding an end to discrimination in a society where homosexuality is still illegal.
The gay pride marches are a global event held in the last week of June every year.
They commemorate the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York which broke out after police raided a gay bar.
Marchers in Delhi on Sunday shouted "long live queer movement" and danced merrily and waved the rainbow flag, revered by sexual minorities around the world.
Scenes from the gay rights protest in Delhi
"This is for the first time Delhi is organising a pride festival to celebrate sexuality and people of all sexualities," student Mario Depeno was quoted by news agency Reuters as saying.
"Gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender and even straight are coming together here to talk and to celebrate, it's a party, to celebrate themselves," he said.
In the eastern city of Calcutta, thousands of people gathered to watch the march which has now become an annual event.
"This is a space, this is a public space, this is a space for reclaiming," Reuters quoted one participant, Anindya, as saying.
"This is a rally to reclaim our space, the right to live without violence, without coercion, the right to live freely with equality and with dignity," he said.
Homosexuality is illegal in India and various groups are lobbying the government and the courts for a change in the law, which has been in place for more than 145 years.
Brought in under British rule, the legal system recognises gay and lesbian relationships "as an unnatural offence".
In some Indian states people have taken their own lives because they have found the law unbearable.
The US-based group Human Rights Watch has also expressed concern about India's colonial-era law.