Opting to bat first, Australia rode on Warner's 10th Test century and were cruising along comfortably before India struck three vital blows at the fag end of the day to reduce the hosts to 354 for six at the Adelaide Oval.
The home team was comfortably placed at 258 for two when Warner became debutant spinner Karn Sharma's maiden victim, which triggered a collapse of sorts with Mitchell Marsh (41), night-watchman Nathan Lyon (3) and Brad Haddin (0) falling in quick succession to help India stage a fightback.
Steven Smith was unbeaten on 72 when stumps were drawn for the day with four balls still to be bowled. Earlier, the stadium witnessed a gamut of emotions before the commencement of the match as spectators clapped for exactly 63 seconds as a mark of respect for Hughes. Both teams wore black arm bands while the Australians had Hughes' Test cap No 408 inscribed on their jerseys.
But nothing was more poignant than Warner, who was at his attacking best, but at the same time was finding it difficult to keep his emotions under check. When he reached a personal score of 63, he raised his bat and looked heavenward as a tribute to his mate.
On reaching his century, Warner again broke down and skipper Michael Clarke, batting at the other end, came over and gave him a hug.
Australia had a cause for concern as Clarke retired hurt on 60 due to a recurring back spasms, after having added 118 runs for the third wicket with Warner. Clarke faced 84 balls hitting nine fours in the process.
Warner was finally out after facing 163 balls and striking 19 boundaries. He holed out in the deep mid-wicket region where Ishant Sharma took a catch off Karn's bowling.