Ugadi was celebrated here at the Hindu Temple of Atlanta HTA, Riverdale and North America Shirdi Sai temple of Atlanta (NASTA) amidst cultural fervor on Monday, March 19.
Deities at Hindu temple and Shirdi Sai at NASTA were well decorated on the occasion. After abhishekam and archana to Lord Balaji and Siva at the Hindu temple, Panchanga sravanam, rendering of religious almanac of the coming year was held in Telugu and English. Temple priest Rangachari read out 'panchangam' in Telugu and priest Kesava Murty read the panchangam in English. They read out the results of the coming year and cautioned that Kuja/Mars being the King and Sani as minister we should be careful and do more religious practices to mitigate negative aspects. A new panchangam based on Atlanta timings was released at the temple on the occasion. The day Monday, March 19 also marked the beginning of the New Year to Kannada and Marathi people, besides Parsis. In the two temples 'Ugadi pachhadi', a mixture of neem buds, jaggery, raw mango and tamarind juice, was prepared and distributed to devotees. The dish symbolizes that life is a mixture of pleasure and pain, which should be accepted with equanimity.
Monday, March 19 also marked the beginning of Vasanta navaratri, a nine-day festival dedicated to Lord Rama. The nine-day celebrations concluded on March 26th with Sitarama Kalyanam and Srirama Pattabhishekam. This year the Hindu temple of Atlanta is celebrating Vasanta Navaratri with a unique fete of rare recitation of 24,000 shlokas of Sri Valmiki Ramayana. A great scholar from India and versatile pundit in both Sanskrit and Telugu languages, Vedavadhani Dr. K. Kodanda Ramacharyulu recited the Sri Valmiki Ramayana that started on 19th and consists of six kandas, 537 sargas with 24,000 shlokas. The scholar started the parayana early in the morning and also delivered a discourse in the evening on various aspects of Ramayana in relation to our day-to-day life. This parayana of 24,000 shlokas will be concluded on 26th with Sitarama Kalyanam and the coronation of lord Sri