Indians have begun voting in the biggest day of the country's general election, with a quarter of the country's 815 million voters' todays heading the polls.

The main day of the world's largest democratic election will see almost 200 million people cast their ballots in 12 states, including Karnataka, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Kashmir.

The election has turned into a face-off between Rahul Gandhi, from the politically influential Nehru-Gandhi family, and Narendra Modi, a Hindu-nationalist has been lauded by Indian corporate leaders and foreign companies for his business-friendly policies.

The nine-phase election began on 7 April and will conclude on 12 May, with results being announced on 16 May.