The festival of lights, Deepavali, was celebrated with gusto in the city as the two-day extended weekend gave a perfect getaway for denizens to enjoy the festivities. While the festive preparations were subdued owing to incessant rains that lashed the city till a few days ago, the celebrations picked up in the nick of time.

Saturday saw people rushing from shop to shop, for last-minute purchases, but roads wore a deserted look on Sunday as families huddled together for the festive pooja. Though the city witnessed subdued celebrations, with decibel levels remaining low, temples witnessed large turnouts.

A huge turnout of devotees was registered at the Bhagya Laxmi temple at Charminar, Devi Bagh at Bahadurpura and other major temples in the southern part of the city.

Traders at the popular Gulzar Houz jewellery market left no stone unturned to celebrate the festival of lights. They illuminated the shops with serial bulbs and the interiors with flowers. Festivities were a low-key affair in this area last year following the Bhagya Laxmi temple controversy.

There was hectic activity at the Osmangunj and Mahboobgunj markets, with people crowding fire cracker wholesale shops till late in the night. Even the skyrocketing prices failed to dampen the spirit. Petty shops that flourished in the colonies also did brisk business.

Police made elaborate arrangements to prevent untoward incidents. Additional pickets were posted across the city including the sensitive areas of south and west zone.

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