Agra comes live on Basant Panchami

Agra, Jan 22 (IANS) Agra, home to the Taj Mahal, came alive on Monday on the occasion of Basant Panchami, with admirers flocking to the modest tomb of Urdu poet Mian Nazir Akbarabadi whose birthday falls on this day.

The morning bright sunshine and a slight cool breeze gladdened the hearts of thousands of tourists at the 17th century Taj.

A few hundred metres away, poetry lovers gathered at the tomb of Mian Nazir Akbarabadi to pay homage to a man who wove songs of love and the common man’s life.

Called the people’s poet, he wrote about ordinary things that touched the hearts of both Muslims and Hindus. He viewed at the follies of royalty with disdain but sang lyrically about Lord Krishna and poked fun at fundamentalists.

Some ten kilometres from the Taj Mahal, in the Dayal Bagh area, the Basant Panchami attracted many hundreds of the Radha Soami faith.

The entire area from the Soami Bagh to Adan Bagh turned yellow with decorations of the most exquisite kind by the Radhasoami followers whose faith was founded on this day more than a century ago.

The mausoleum of Huzur Maharaj Shiv Dayal Singh, the acknowledged founder of the Radha Soami faith in the mid-19th century, is nearing completion, having taken more than a century.

“The entire stretch around the mausoleum and the colony looks out of this world with so many flowers and ‘rangolis’,” said a devotee who came with his family from Andhra Pradesh.

Basant Panchmi in Braj Mandal has a special significance as the 50 day festivities climax in Holi.

Temples in Mathura and Vrindavan have been specially decorated.

“We have specially prepared sweets and saffron milk for our deities. Yellow rice packed with dry fruits and badam milk plus all kinds of burfies are offered to Sri Krishna,” Jagan Nath Poddar of Friends of Vrindavan told IANS.

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