Hyderabad: Confluence of 3 festivals
Telangana witness peak of religious harmony
Hyderabad: It was a rare event on Friday when Christians celebrated Christmas, Hindus Vaikuntha Ekadasi and Muslims offered prayers in masjids exhibiting the Ganga Jamuni Tehzeeb. All these celebrations were held practicing most of the health protocols except social distancing. A large number of people were seen gathering at religious places. While midnight mass was conducted on Thursday in all churches across Telangana, in Hyderabad, the oldest Lutheran Church at Lakdikapul, St Mary's Church in Secunderabad, Wesley church at Clock Tower and St Joseph's church at Abids were aesthetically decorated and special prayers were conducted.
Cakes were distributed and goodies were exchanged among each other in the glittering night. In view of Covid threat, some churches permitted limited people during the prayers but in some places overcrowding of devotees was seen. Those offering prayers inside the churches were allowed entry only if they had masks and after sanitising their hands but once inside most of them had pulled the masks down. At many churches huge LED screens were installed so that those who were outside in the lawns could see the prayers taking place inside. All those who were outside the church were also seen ignoring wearing masks and taking selfies and greeting friends and social distancing had gone for a toss.
Traffic police had a tough time regulating the traffic at many places. Traffic jams were witnessed at many places.
The famous temple of Lord Venkateswara at Liberty junction reverberated with Vedic hymns and slokas all through the day on the Ekadashi. The temple was thrown open in the early hours for devotees and special pujas were performed on the occasion of Vaikuntha Ekadasi.
Public address system was arranged to create awareness among the visiting devotees on the need for following safety norms. A large number of devotees bearing the chill weather visited Venkateswara Perumal temple for Uttara Dwara Darshanam.
"Hare Krishna Movement – Hyderabad" (HKM) also celebrated Ekadasi in a grand manner at Swayambhu Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Golden Temple in Banjara Hills to mark the auspicious occasion of Lord Sri Vishnu coming personally to the Vaikunta dwara to receive his devotee Sri Namma Alwar. The celebrations were concluded by a Grand Maha Arati and Pushpanjali Seva to the Lord in the evening.
Being Friday, Muslims performed special Friday prayers at the famous Mecca Masjid in the Old City. Special security measures were taken in the sensitive areas where the temples and masjids were located nearby during the prayers. Despite corona restrictions, many masjids in the city received huge gatherings to offer prayers and the police were on tenterhooks to maintain the law and order.