Telangana, Andhra celebrate ‘Ugadi’ with gaiety

Hyderabad, April 8 (IANS) Telugu New Year ‘Ugadi’ was celebrated in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh with traditional fanfare and enthusiasm on Friday.

The chief ministers of the two Telugu-speaking states attended the main official celebrations in their respective states, where ‘agma’ pundits read ‘panchangnam’ or the forecast of the coming year.

Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao attended the official function in Hyderabad. His Andhra Pradesh counterpart Chandrababu Naidu started the celebrations by lighting a lamp at the main function held in Vijayawada.

The two leaders hoped that the New Year brings peace and prosperity for Telugu-speaking people living across the world. They felicitated and presented awards to artists, writers and other personalities.

People in the two states offered special prayers, decorated entrances to their houses and shops with strings of mango leaves, tasted the traditional festival food and heard ‘panchangnam’ to usher in the New Year.

Devotees thronged temples to pray for the happiness and prosperity of their families. Special prayers were held at Tirumala, Srisailam, Vijayawada and Bhadrachalam temples.

People attended special functions where pundits (priests) read out the religious almanac of the coming year. Literary discussions, poetry recitations, recognition of authors through awards and cultural programmes marked the day.

Women prepared ‘Ugadi pacchadi’, a mixture of neem buds, raw mango, tamarind juice, pepper, jaggery and salt, which is a necessary part of the celebratory dishes. The mixture symbolises the great variety of experiences one goes through in life.

The main function in Hyderabad was held at Ravindra Bharati auditorium where an ‘agma’ pundit read out the religious almanac for the coming year. He forecast that Telangana will receive good rains and prosper under the leadership of Chandrasekhar Rao.

Union minister Bandaru Dattatraya, state ministers, assembly speaker, legislative council chairman and senior officials attended the ceremony.

Chandrasekhar Rao said the government was working to find a permanent solution to the problem of drought. The state will be free from drought in four to five years with the completion of major irrigation projects, he said.

KCR, as Rao is popularly known, said the state would soon sign a final agreement with Maharashtra to pave the way for taking up irrigation projects on the Godavari river.

“We are working to ensure a prosperous and golden Telangana where no farmer has to commit suicide,” he said.

He claimed that the 15 percent growth in revenues achieved during the last financial year was an extraordinary achievement which no other state could emulate.

At the celebrations held in Vijayawada, Chandrababu Naidu observed that ‘Ugadi pacchadi’, with a mixture of all tastes, symbolised human life with its varied experiences.

The building of the state capital Amaravati will be a historic development, he said. Andhra Pradesh will become the number one state in the country by 2029, claimed Naidu.

‘Ugadi’ celebrations were also held at the offices of all political parties.

E.S.L. Narasimhan, who is the governor of both the states, had organised ‘Ugadi’ celebrations at Raj Bhavan on Thursday night.

The function was attended by both the chief ministers, their cabinet colleagues and leaders of various parties and eminent personalities from various walks of life.

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