Fans, who were glued to their television sets throughout the 3.5-hour game Monday, set off firecrackers, danced and hugged each other as Shanthakumaran Sreesanth took a catch at fine leg to account for the last Pakistani wicket.
People crowded outside television shops in New Delhi, the western financial city of Mumbai and the southern high-tech hub of Bangalore in order to catch each moment of the thrilling match, witnesses said.
"It's a great victory," said 20-year-old Soumitra Mitra, a resident of the eastern city of Kolkata, who kept a fast and offered prayers at the Hindu Kalighat temple earlier Monday before the match in South Africa.
Ajoy Mukherjee, the temple's priest, said scores of youths had stood in line in the driving rain to offer prayers before and during the match.
"Priests offered prayers as long as the match continued," he told AFP.
Office workers fled their desks and shops closed early so the country's millions of fans could catch the action.
"They played well and made us all proud," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh -- who watched the game with family members while recovering from prostate surgery -- was quoted as saying by his spokesman Sanjaya Baru.
Singh also complimented Pakistan for its fine play, Baru added.
The Indian team, restricted to 157-5 after electing to take first strike in good batting conditions, fought back to bowl out valiant Pakistan for 152 before a sell-out crowd of 32,000 at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.
Pakistan appeared out for the count when they were reduced to 104-7 after 16 overs, but Misbah-ul Haq gave the Indians a scare with a late charge of 43 off 38 balls.
In a congratulatory message to team captain Dhoni, President Pratibha Patil said: "The team played positive cricket and the victory is an inspiration for our youth."