Bollywood sensation Abhishek Bachchan and beauty queen-turned actress Aishwarya Rai took part in pujas along with his family at the Kashi Viswanath and Sankat Mochan temples in Varanasi early this morning, capping a night of rumours that they were getting married.
Abhishek's father and Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan, mother Jaya, sister Shweta Nanda, uncle Ajitabh and his daughter Namrata and Samajwadi Party General Secretary Amar Singh took part in the 'Mangla Aarti' and 'Rudra Abhishek' rituals at the ancient temples in the city.
The family also offered prayers at Ram Janaki temple near Sankat Mochan temple and participated in an 'aarti' for Lord Hanuman there. The Bachchans and Aishwarya reached temples amidst heavy posse of police personnel and a battery of media persons.
Incidentally, today is the 99th birthday of Bachchan's father and noted Hindi poet Harivanshrai Bachchan.
"They performed the rituals with great zeal. Amitabh and Jaya offered the 'jalabhishek' (offering of water to the diety). I also requested Abishek and Aishwarya to do so," Kashi Viswanath temple priest Srikanth Tripathi said.
Asked what were the reasons for Bachchans conducting such pujas, Tripathi said he was not aware of the reasons why they wanted to do this and that there was no specific ritual performed to reduce the influence of Mars on the actors.
Astrologer Chandramouli Upadhyaya, who met the Bachchans in Varanasi last night, said there was no discussion on the marriage and they have come here to offer prayers at the temples to overcome a problem relating to the horoscope of Aishwarya.
There have been considerable speculation in the media about marriage between Abhishek and Aishwarya but neither family has confirmed it.