Bollywood celebrates Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's baby girl

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in October 2011
Image caption Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's baby has generated tremendous media interest

Members of India's hugely popular film industry and fans have been celebrating the birth of a baby girl to Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and husband actor Abhishek Bachchan.

The birth was announced on Wednesday morning on the micro-blogging site Twitter by Abhishek.

Father-in-law Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan tweeted he was "overwhelmed" by the congratulatory messages.

The baby - Aishwarya's first child - was born in the Indian city of Mumbai.

Abhishek's Twitter page has been inundated with congratulatory messages.

"How beautiful is this feeling. Allah bless you and Aishwarya. Dying to come and see the three of you..." superstar Shah Rukh Khan wrote to Abhishek.

"Congratulations... All the love and happiness... am sure she will be the prettiest girl ever!" tweeted director Karan Johar.

"Been smiling all day at the news. Big yay for this girl and all you amazing Indian women. We need many many more of you," tweeted fashion photographer Atul Kasbekar.

Amitabh Bachchan wrote on Twitter that he had been responding to messages on the site and also answering individually to more than 1,000 text messages he had received on his cell phone.

There has been tremendous interest in Aishwarya's pregnancy from the media and her fans ever since it was announced in June by Amitabh Bachchan.

"Aishwarya Rao and the Bachchan family is perhaps the closest we have to royalty in the Indian context," author Shobhaa De told a television channel.

"She [Aishwarya] is a former Miss World and India's bona fide, legitimate female superstar."

'Most-awaited baby'

Earlier Ms De tweeted: "Little Miss World has arrived! Jai ho! Big B [Amitabh Bachchan is popularly known as Big B] over the moon about Baby B. Someone sign up Ash as ambassador for girl child, please? Worthy cause."

Aishwarya's pregnancy and the birth of what many are calling India's "most-awaited baby" had generated a lot of interest but on Wednesday, the television channels were surprisingly restrained in their coverage of the birth.

This was in keeping with the Broadcast Editors' Association's announcement of a 10-point code of conduct to govern their coverage of the birth - a gesture that the Bachchan family praised.

"As I travel back from the hospital I need to thank the media for keeping their word of not intruding our privacy. Deeply obliged!," Amitabh Bachchan tweeted late Wednesday.

"We will give time to both electronic and print media... Have been up for more than 24 hours .. Need rest," he wrote.

The Bachchans are known as the "first family" of Bollywood and have millions of fans following their every move.

Often called the "queen of Bollywood", Aishwarya, 37, married Abhishek in 2007, forging the ultimate Bollywood dynasty.

She first charmed the nation at just 21, winning Miss World in 1994. She has acted in several Hollywood films too.

She was the first Indian actress to sit on the Cannes jury in 2003. She has also appeared on the cover of Time magazine as the global face of Indian cinema.

Because of her popularity in India and outside, she has long been the face of cosmetic giant Loreal and high-end Longines watches

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