Swine flu scare and tight Independence Day security arrangements notwithstanding, many Delhiites thronged various temples across the Capital on the occasion of Janmashtami on Friday.

The birthday of Lord Krishna, Janmashtami saw elaborate pujas complete with devotional songs and a wide variety of sweets being prepared at homes and distributed in temples.

At the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) temple, a special delicacy was prepared in bulk using khoya, butter, raisins and cardamom.

Decked with flowers and illuminated with lights at night, people thronged the temple around midnight when Lord Krishna is believed to have been born.

Outside the Lakshmi Narayan Mandir, popularly called Birla Mandir, tents were set up to cater to devotees queuing up and food stalls were in place.

However, given the swine flu scare gripping the city, quite a few people decided to give the crowded temples a miss and performed puja at home or visited the temples early in the day to avoid the crowds for fear of getting infected.

Banker Neelima Arora said: “Last year I visited the ISKCON temple with my family. But this year we organised a simple puja at home in the evening to avoid the crowds. We also got an idol of Lord Krishna and placed it in a cradle, symbolising his birth.”

Many temples had elaborate security arrangements in place and devotees were frisked.

A strict vigil was maintained outside.

Keywords: DelhiJanmashtami

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