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Prayers, fasting follow New Year’s revelry

Bengaluru, January 1: After thousands of revellers boisterously ushered in the New Year in the early hours of Thursday, lakhs of people across Kartaka also observed Vaikuntha Ekadeshi, considered an auspicious day to worship Hindu god Vishnu and observe fast. As the New Year dawned, devout Hindus, including young and old, men and women woke up early and visited temples of Vishnu and his incartions like Lord Rama and Lord Krish to offer special prayers, conduct rituals, and began day–long fast. The fast is to propitiate Vishnu and secure one’s salvation in this birth and and direct passage to his abode in heaven.

In the state capital Bengaluru, hundreds of devotees thronged prominent temples across the city, including that of Lord Krish built by the Intertiol Society for Krish Consciousness (Iskon) in northwest suburb, braving morning chill and drizzle. “With Ekadashi (11th day of the Hindu lur calendar) coinciding with the New Year day, people turned up in large numbers to seek Lord Vishnu’s blessings for reaching his abode directly, as heaven open up its doors on this pious day,” an Iskon priest told IANS.

Though the New Year revelry was incident–free, security remained tight, with police keeping heightened vigil in public places, markets, malls, airport, bus termils and railway stations across the city to ensure peace and maintain law and order. In view of the city being on high alert following a bomb blast Dec 28 at an eatery on Church Street in downtown, police dispersed early thousands of revellers who flocked to the upscale M.G. Road, fashioble Brigade Road and the bustling Commercial Street to herald the New Year. “The New Year fest has been peaceful though noisy. No untoward incident was reported from anywhere in the city. People dispersed orderly after partying without fear from public venues,” Additiol Police Commissioner Alok Kumar told IANS later.

Braving wintry chill and overlooking restrictions imposed by police to maintain law and order, young techies, college students, professiols and boys and girls jostled for space to do a jig, dance to rock music or swing to lilting filmy songs. “We extended closure timing of pubs, bars, eateries and hotels to 1 a.m. from 11:30 p.m. Wednesday so as to allow people enjoy the New Year fest. It’s a great relief all agreed to abide by the order,” Kumar asserted. About 3,000 police personnel, including contingents from the city armed constabulary, the rapid action force and the state reserve force were deployed in the central business district to ensure peaceful celebration of the New Year.  (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita

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