Kevin Pietersen scored a magnificent, unbeaten 202 to swing the match in England's favour despite India's Praveen Kumar taking five wickets.
England started the day on 127-2 with Pietersen at the crease with Jonathan Trott.
Trott has been one of England's most reliable batsman of late but Pietersen loves the big occasion and, after Trott fell LBW to Kumar, 'KP' took centre stage.
It wasn't quite the flowing, aggressive innings of old but Pietersen was delighted with his patient, determined century - leaping into the air and punching the sky as he sealed his fifth century at Lord's with a wonderfully driven four.
India on the back foot
India started the day on the back foot with key bowler Zaheer Khan missing with a strained hamstring. News came that captain and wicket-keeper MS Dhoni was readying himself as a bowler with Rahul Dravid set to take the gloves.
Dhoni started with the gloves firmly on but after Pietersen and Bell steered England to Lunch he came out after the break to have a bowl. He almost had Pietersen caught behind in his first over - but a review overturned the umpire's mistaken opinion.
Without Zaheer Dhoni was forced to delay taking the new ball whilst giving his only remaining frontline seamers, Kumar and Ishant Sharma, a rest.
Kumar and Sharma eventually got the new ball and slowed England's run-rate but not before Pietersen sealed his ton.
Right-armer Kumar was getting the new ball to swing though and it was enough to account for Bell and then Eoin Morgan - both given out caught behind by Dhoni. Morgan walked, having thought he'd hit it but replays showed he hit his own pad, not the ball.
Pietersen was unmoved by his team-mates' toils and when Matt Prior joined him at the crease for a sixth time in Tests, they scored their fourth Test partnership of 100 runs or more.
Prior notched an aggressive 71 before he became Kumar's fourth victim as he chased a wide delivery edging it to Dhoni.
Once again Kumar took two wickets in quick succession as Stuart Broad was out first ball - again caught by Dhoni.
As the ball aged Pietersen upped the pace, cracking boundaries around the Ground as he galloped past 150.
After Graeme Swann scored a rapid 24 - before being bowled by Suresh Raina - Chris Tremlett came out to bat with a message for Pietersen, the jist of which was: 'Get your double century, we want to declare.'
Pietersen duly obliged, flaying the India attack to all corners of the ground, smashing a straight drive off Raina's bowling into the Pavilion sightscreen for six.
Moments later he clipped a boundary four through cover to reach his double century.
The Lord's crowd was, once again, on it's feet for Pietersen as England walked off at 474-8, leaving the extra half hour to have a dart at India's openers.
India's openers, Gautam Gambhir and 21-year-old Abhinav Mukund batted sensibly though to see it to the close at 17-0 - trailing by 457 runs ahead of what should be a thrilling third day.