New Delhi, Mar 30 (UNI) People all over the country celebrated the Hindu New Year with traditional gaiety and fervour.
The nine-day Chaitra Navratra mela began at Shri Mata Mansa Devi Shrine Complex at Panchkula in Northern India. A large number of devotees had queued since morning to pay their obeisance at the shrine complex. Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Education Minister Phool Chand Mullana performed yajna on the occasion of the first Navratra.
Similarly, at Maa Vindhyavasini Devi in Mirzapur, an estimated 1.5 lakh devotees congregated for the 'darshan'.
In Goa, ''Gudi Padwa'' was celebrated marking the begining of the Spring season. Upturned brass pots (kalash) decked with a silk cloth hung onto a pole (Gudi) in front of the houses are decorated with marigold flowers, coconuts and mango leaves and it is worshipped by offering sandalwood paste, turmeric and vermillion.
Later in the day, the youth form a pyramid and the one on top breaks the coconut hung on to the kalash, as part of the festival celebrations in the region.
In Karnataka the occasion is celebrated as ''Ugadi,'' marking the beginning of the New Year in Kannada calender ''Vyaya''. They celebrate the auspicious event by distributing chutney made of tender neem leaves, jaggery, pieces of sour mango and pepper powder as ''prasad'' to neighbours.
Wearing new clothes on this auspicious occasion, people decorate their house fronts with colourful rangolis.
In Tamil Nadu, hundreds of devotees congregated at the historic Sri Jambukeswarar-Ahilandeswari temple in Tiruvanaikovil to participate in the annual " Panguni Therottam" (Car festival).
The processional deity "Lord Jambukeswarar", his consert "goddess Akhilandeswari" and "Lord Chandikeswarar" were mounted on three separate decorated temple cars and taken around the four praharam of the temple, amidst chanting of Vedic hymns by the Sivacharyas (priests) this morning.
Hundreds of devotees, braving the scorching sun, pulled the temple cars with religious fervour. The unique feature of this ancient temple was that it has five prakarams, representing five principles, Prithvi (earth), Appu (water), Theyu (fire), Vayu (air) and Akasa (sky).
In Andhra Pradesh, the Tirupati Urban Development Authority(TUDA) also conducted a cultural programme on the occasion.
UNI TEAM SHB DB2029