People in the Telugu states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana thronged temples to seek divine blessings on Monday to mark the beginning of 2018.
Temples in Andhra Pradesh largely followed the direction of the authorities not to decorate the temples as celebrating New Year is not part of ‘Indian Vedic culture’.
Thousands queued up at the famous Lord Venkateswara temple at Tirumala in Andhra Pradesh on New Year. The Kanaka Durga temple (Vijayawada) and Lord Mallikarjuna Swamy temple (Srisailam) also witnessed huge rush.
Men, women and children lined up since early morning at temples in Chittoor, Kurnool, Visakhapatnam, Vijayanagaram and other places.
Yadadri, Vemulawada and other major temples in Telangana also witnessed huge throng of devotees.
The priests conducted special prayers on the occasion to bless the devotees.
The Endowment Department of Andhra Pradesh had asked temples not to celebrate New Year saying it was not part of Indian Vedic culture.
In a circular sent to all temples, the department had asked the temples not to have specially decorate the temples. The temples were directed not to create festive atmosphere.
It voiced concern that lakhs of rupees were being spent on decorating temples ignoring Indian culture.
However, some temples still went ahead decorating their premises with flowers.
A group of priests from Tirumala temple blessed Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on New Year at his residence in Vijayawada. Chanting Vedic hymns, the priests prayed for his well being and success in 2018.
Naidu’s cabinet colleagues, leaders of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and officials met Naidu and greeted him.
In Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan and his wife Vimala Narasimhan received greetings from people at Raj Bhavan.
Senior officials, prominent citizens, students and people from various walks of life met the couple and conveyed New Year greetings.
Prominent personalities and senior civil and police officials met Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and conveyed their wishes.
Source- IANS Agency