New Year prayers at temples, churches

Hyderabad: Thousands of people thronged temples and churches in the twin cities on Sunday on the occasion of New Year Day. The New Year ushered in amidst colorful celebrations and exchange of greetings since Saturday night.

Special prayers were held in the churches on Saturday midnight to welcome the New Year. Special programmes were held on Sunday morning and the people wished each other ‘Happy New Year’.

The pilgrim centers in both Telugu States witnessed huge crowds. Special arrangements were made in Tirumala, Srikalahasti, Vijayawada, Vemulawada and Yadagirigutta shrines for the pilgrims to have darshan of Lord Venkateswara, Goddess Kanaka Durga, Raja Rajeswara Swamy and Narasimha Swamy respectively. In Srikalahasti, devotees started pouring in at the Vayu Lingeshwara Swamy temple since early morning for darshan. In Vijayawada, hundreds of devotees visited the temple of Bramaramba and Sri Mallikharjuna Swamy atop Indrakeeladri and offered special prayers.

In twin cities, devotees in large numbers visited Birla Mandir and other temples and offered prayers. The temples were specially decorated for the occasion. Saibaba temples at Dilsukhnagar, Chaderghat, Punjagutta and other localities, Ganesh temple in Secunderabad, Shankar Mutt at Nallakunta,  the temples in Filmnagar, Jagannath temple in Banjara Hills, Peddamma temple in Jubilee Hills, Chilkur Balaji Temple, Balaji Bhavan (Sri Venkateswara Swamy temple) at Himayathnagar and temples in various localities and colonies were jam-packed with devotees.

Hassle-free darshan at Tirumala

Thousands of pilgrims, who thronged the abode of Lord Venkateswara for his darshan on New Year Day, expressed happiness when they had a hassle-free darshan and thanked the TTD authorities for the elaborate arrangements. The darshan for pilgrims begn well before the scheduled time at 2.40 am on Sunday.

The Annaprasadam and Health Departments also made arrangements for free food and water at regular intervals for the waiting pilgrims. The sectoral officers, who were deployed for crowd management, also maintained pilgrim queue lines in a systematic manner with the assistance of Srivari Seva volunteers and scouts besides TTD security personnel without causing any inconvenience to the pilgrims. –NSS

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