The rich Telugu traditions came alive at the Ugadi celebrations organised by the District Cultural Council at Dr. Y.V.S. Murthy Auditorium on the premises of Andhra University College of Engineering (AUCE) here on Thursday.

The guests were served Ugadi patchadi and ‘prasadam’ at the entrance of the auditorium and after they had their fill and went inside the aesthetically designed air-conditioned auditorium, they were treated to a rich cultural fare but only after nearly a two-hour wait for the arrival of the VIPs.

Nanduri Prabhakar Rao, who holds the Limca Record for 72-hour non-stop telling of jokes, enthralled the audience with his jokes. Girls presented the traditional welcome dance but had to cut short their performance due to paucity of time. The audience were all ears as Pandit Asleshachari read out from the almanac the prospects in the New Year. He predicted good rains in the State and a rosy future for the Congress Party in the State and the Centre. Ministers Pasupuleti Balaraju and Ganta Srinivasa Rao, Rajya Sabha Member T. Subbarami Reddy and Government Whip Dronamraju Srinivasa Rao were all smiles as he read out their prospects in the year ahead.

Noted scholar Madugula Naga Phani Sarma spoke on the richness of Indian culture and traditions. He recalled that our Vedas had written about various continents even before they were formed.

While Mr. Balaraju underlined the importance of protecting and upholding Telugu traditions and culture, Mr. Ganta Srinivasa Rao expressed happiness that the year ahead augurs well for the district. Mr. Subbarami Reddy claimed that his only aim was developing Visakhapatnam as the number one city in the country. He spoke of his efforts in the greening of the city with 40 lakh saplings and a super speciality block for King George Hospital.

MLA Chintalapudi Venkataramaiah, District Collector V. Seshadri, Zilla Parishad CEO Venkata Reddy, Visakhapatnam Air Traveller’s Association (VATA) president Cheruvu Ramakotaiah and Dr. Y. Venkata Rao, son of YVS Murthy on whose name the auditorium was constructed, were present.

Madugula Naga Phani Sarma, who conducted an ashtaavadanam, was felicitated on the occasion.

Noted story writer and senior journalist Chintakindi Srinivasa Rao, poet Moka Ratan Raju, writers Bandi Satyanarayana and Dwibashyam Rajeswara Rao were among those who were felicitated by Mr. Balaraju, the District Collector and Mr. Naga Phani Sarma.

More In: Visakhapatnam