New Year prayers at Golden Temple

Thousands of people converged at the Harmandar Sahib, popularly known as the Golden Temple, in Amritsar to offer prayers on Thursday on the first day of the New Year.

“Everyone in our family got up early today and we went to offer prayers at the Golden Temple on the first day of the New Year. For the children, the experience was of a different kind,” said Hariqbal Singh, a resident of Amritsar.

People could also be seen offering prayers at other shrines – gurdwaras, temples and churches – across Punjab and Haryana to mark the New Year.

For the youngsters and socialites, the New Year parties started on Wednesday evening and were on till early Thursday.

While most of the celebrations in Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Patiala, Panipat and Ambala were in clubs, discotheques, night clubs, hotels and restaurants, private parties at homes and in farmhouses were also held.

In Chandigarh, the Sector 17 Plaza, the city’s main commercial hub, swarmed with New Year revellers.

“There was hardly any space to move around last night. There were so many people in Sector 17. My son insisted on seeing the revelry but the crowd put him off,” said Sanjay Singh, an entrepreneur. Chandigarh Police had a hard time controlling the revellers who created nuisance and police resorted to a mild cane charge in Sector 17.

Thousands throng Puri
Thousands of devotees on Thursday thronged the Jagannath Temple in Puri, Odisha, to seek blessings from the lord on New Year’s day, reports IANS from Bhubaneswar.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik with Culture and Tourism Minister Ashok Panda and other MLAs also sought the blessing from the lord.

Every year, thousands of devotees visit this temple to seek blessings from the lord for a healthy and bountiful New Year. In the view of a large gathering, the district administration and temple authority have made elaborate arrangements, erecting barricades to avoid a stampede-like situation.

“We have made elaborate security arrangements to avoid any untoward incident, while barricades have been erected to have smooth passage for the devotees,” said temple chief administrator Bikash Chandra Mohapatra.

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