Hyderabad/Vijayawada: Telugu New Year ‘Ugadi’ was celebrated with traditional fervour on Sunday across Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
A festive atmosphere prevailed in both the Telugu states as thousands thronged the temples, praying for prosperity. Special prayers were held at Tirumala, Srisailam, Vijayawada and Bhadrachalam temples.
The people offered special prayers, decorated the entrances of their houses and shops with strings of mango leaves, savoured traditional food and heard the ‘panchangam’ (Telugu almanac) to usher in the New Year.
Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu attended the Ugadi celebrations organised by the Swarna Bharat Trust in Hyderabad.
Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao attended the official function at Pragati Bhavan, his official residence in Hyderabad, while his Andhra Pradesh counterpart N. Chandrababu Naidu launched the celebrations in Vijayawada.
The leaders wished for peace and prosperity for the Telugu-speaking people living across the world. They honoured and presented awards to artists, writers and other personalities from various walks of life.
Rao said the ‘pandits’ (scholars) had forecast it would be a good year for Telangana with abundant rain and bumper crops. He said Telanagana would remain a revenue surplus state and continue all its model schemes for the welfare of all sections of people.
At the main official function in Vijayawada, Chandrababu Naidu said Ugadi was part of the culture and heritage of Telugus.
Literary discussions, poetry recitations, recognition of authors through awards and cultural programmes marked the day.
Women prepared ‘Ugadi pacchadi’, a concoction of neem flower, raw mango, tamarind juice, pepper, jaggery and salt, which is a necessary part of the celebratory dishes. The mixture symbolises various hues of life.
Ugadi celebrations were also held at the headquarters of political parties in Hyderabad.
The celebrations started on Saturday evening with E.S.L. Narasimhan, who is the Governor of both the states, hosting Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu, Telangana chief minister, party leaders and senior officials at the Raj Bhavan.