Varanasi /Amritsar / Visakhapatnam / Ujjain, Jan 01 (ANI): People on Thursday kick started the New Year celebrations by visiting shrines to offer prayers. Long queues of faithful could be seen outside major Hindu and Sikh shrines across India. The faithful believe visits to temples on the New Year day bring prosperity, good health and peace in the family. The northern temple town of Varanasi, nestled on the banks of the holy river Ganga, woke up to holy chants by priests. Foreign tourists, who regularly visit this temple town for solace, were spellbound by the elaborate rituals. In Amritsar, devotees were seen thronging the Golden Temple, the holiest shrine of the Sikhs, since early morning. Many took a holy dip before taking part in the prayers.