Devotees across India offer prayers to herald auspicious 2010

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New Delhi / Varanasi / Amritsar / Puri, Jan 1 (ANI): To herald an auspicious start to the year 2010, devotees across the country offered prayers and sought the blessings of the Almighty on Friday.

People came out in large numbers to pray for a peaceful and prosperous new year.

Braving the winter chill, devotees at the holy city of Varanasi offered prayers to the rising sun, and took a dip in the holy River Ganges.

They offered prayers at Lord Vishwanath's temple to begin their new year.

"I came here at 4 in the morning and took bath in the Ganges. I sought the blessings of Baba Vishwanath and I pray to him that in the coming years, there are no terror attacks in Kashi and I hope the coming year brings prosperity to the whole of India," said Ramkrishna Tiwari, a devotee.

Devotees in northern Punjab's Amritsar city also took a dip in the pond outside the famous Golden Temple.

"I feel very lucky to have come here on the first day of the year, and to have sought the blessings of God. There are many people here and it's very lively. I wish everyone a very happy new year and hope this year brings luck to everyone," said Baldev Singh, a devotee.

In Orrissa devotees thronged Lord Jagannath temple at Puri and offered prayers for an auspicious start to the new year.

Visitors also thronged the Puri beach to catch the glimpse of the first sunrise of the year and were also seen enjoying themselves on the beach.

"There is a belief that we should start the new year with the blessings of the Almighty, so this new year, we are here at Lord Jagnnath's temple in Puri to start the year," noted Sourav, a devotee.

People in India believe that the blessings of the gods should be sought before beginning anything new, more so at the dawn of the new year. (ANI)

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