Telangana Hindus’ rush at temples on New Year to continue

Andhra Pradesh says no to special prayers

Hyderabad: Continuing the tradition of last few years, the devotees were likely to ignore the directions of the pontiffs and throng the temples across Telangana on the New Year day in Telangana.

However, the Hindu endowments department in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh was going out of the way to discourage the devotees from offering special prayers on the day pointing out that the New Year day had no significance in the Hindu religious calendar.

Despite several Hindu religious organisations and figures expressing their disapproval, Hindu worshippers have been making a beeline at temples on every New Year Day seeking blessings of deities to make the new year good for them. In Telangana big crowds were seen at the big and famous temples including Yadadri and Bhadradari temples.

However in Andhra Pradesh the Tirumala Tirupati Devstahanam, the governing body of Tirumala and many other temples has come out this year with a categorical advisory that there will be no special puja on the New Year Day at any temple in the state.

TTD Executive Officer Anil Kumar told the reporters at Tirumala that the TTD has never celebrated New Year Day with any special puja and the Tirumala temple was also not decorated for the occasion. “We are carrying the same decoration of the Lord, which was done for Vaikunta Ekadasi which falls before the New Year”, he said.

Hindu Dharma Parirakshana Trust has issued an internal circular to all the temples through the Endowments Department of Andhra Pradesh stopping celebration of New Year at all the temples pointing out that it marks the beginning of a New Year of Christian calendar.

Interestingly, the Telangana government has not issued any such circular or advisory. “Visiting temple and offering worship is an individual’s right and it is left to his discretion. We can’t dictate when they should visit a temple. It is an issue of people’s sentiment if they feel like visiting temple on New Year Day”, a senior official of Telangana Endowments department said when asked whether any steps were being taken to stop the devotees from offering special prayers on New Year Day on Monday next.

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