(news.yahoo.com) - Two of India's biggest cinema stars - Abhishek Bachchan and former Miss World Aishwarya Rai -- got engaged at a private ceremony, ending fevered speculation about their relationship, their families said on Monday.
The hush-hush romance of Rai and Bachchan, the son of legendary Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan, had transfixed the Mumbai-based Hindi film industry, Bollywood, but both had denied sharing anything more than a healthy friendship.
On Sunday evening -- one of the most auspicious days in the Hindu calendar -- they were engaged after a small ceremony in which Bachchan reportedly placed a diamond ring on the actress' finger.
"No date for marriage has been fixed yet," the senior Bachchan told reporters. Indian television channels, however, said the marriage could take place as early as next month.
As news of the engagement spread, large crowds of people gathered outside the actor's house in a northern Mumbai suburb and they sang and danced through Sunday night.
Several Bollywood actors, top industrialists and politicians arrived at Bachchan's home to congratulate the couple into the early hours of Monday.
Rai, 33, and Bachchan, 30, have worked together on at least five films, and both have been in the past romantically linked to other Bollywood stars. Bachchan was even engaged to Bollywood star Karisma Kapoor in 2002, but the marriage was called off.
Speculation of a romance gained ground after their families visited several temples over the past few months to pray for the two lovers whose stars were reportedly not in harmony, a key ingredient to any engagement in astrology-mad India.
Bachchan's father told reporters that his son proposed to Rai in New York last week after the world premier of their latest film together "Guru," the rags-to-riches story of an Indian villager.
"She said yes, and we are very happy for them," the 64-year-old actor said.
Rai, who has acted in over 40 films, was crowned Miss World in 1994. Bachchan too has acted in about 40 films.