New Delhi: Faithful thronged temples since
daybreak as special prayers and dips in sacred rivers marked Ram Navmi, the birthday of Lord Rama, celebrated across the
country on Tuesday with religious fervour and gaiety.
Amid blowing of conch shells and rendering of devotional
songs, devotees offered prayers at illuminated temples as huge
posse of policemen stood guard outside the shrines.
In holy city Haridwar in Uttarakhand, tens of thousands
of people took dips in surging waters of river Ganges and paid
obeisance at temples amid tight security.
The national capital saw devotees, carrying offerings
to deities, flocking to decorated temples since dawn to offer
In Ayodhya, pilgrims took dips in holy Saryu river and
thronged temples where special prayers were held at mid-day
when Lord Rama was supposed to have born.
Door-frame metal detectors were set up at some places
as authorities beefed up security in the city.
"There was no extremist threat. But we have made all
possible arrangements to ensure the safety of devotees," a
police officer said.
Setting a shining example of communal harmony,
Muslims came forward to help Hindu devotees who descended on
the town from different parts of the country.
"We arranged drinking water and first aid at various
places for devotees," said Raees Ahmad, a Muslim youth.
In Jammu, the city of temples, a large number of
people offered prayers at the famous Raghunath temple.
In neighbouring Srinagar, religious fervour and
traditional gaiety marked Ram Navmi`s celebrations.
Prayers were held in temples across the Valley with
devotees seeking blessings of Lord Rama and praying for return
of peace in the troubled region.
The President, the Vice-President, the Prime Minister
and a host of leaders greeted the people on the occasion of
In their messages, they hoped the festival would
strengthen people`s faith in the goodness of mankind and
inspire all to lead a virtuous life.