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Maharaj Ghat,Patna City

 

Alok Mishra

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“chhath at rooftop” -Photo by Aditya Jha

Patna: A sea of humanity gathered at different ghats in Patna to offer arghya to astachalgami Sun God on Sunday evening. The four day Chhath Puja in which devotees offer Argya setting and rising Sun started with `nahai khai’ on November 4. It was followed by `kharna,’ the next day, where the devotees prepare khir with milk and gud and roti (bread) and offer puja. The Prasad is later distributed among the family members and neighbours.

Patna district administration had made elaborate arrangements for the safety of the devotees at different ghats. img-20161106-wa0076Barricades were erected at all the ghats urging the devotees not to go beyond the barricades. Even appeal was made not to take selfie as it might prove dangerous. About 70 boats of NDRF were deployed with NDRF personnel, who kept patrolling in the river to prevent any untoward incident. Eight NDRF teams were deployed at Patna. Towers besides CCTV cameras were placed at different ghats to monitor the movement of the devotees along with their family members.img_20161106_170448542

Even Bihar Chief Minister (CM) Nitish Kumar, after offering arghya at his house, with deputy CM Tejaswi Yadav and JD (U) national general secretary KC Tyagi and senior officials moved on steamer and took stock of the situation at different ghats. The CM also gave instructions to the officials while moving on steamer. He also congratulated the officials for making a good arrangements at different ghats. He, however, asked the officials to remain alert during morning arghya.The devotees mostly in yellow cotton saris along with their family members attired in their best dresses reached different ghats of Patna. They took a holy dip in river Ganga. Melodious Chhath songs—“suni na arjiya hamar ye Chhathi Mai, Darshan dihi na apar,” “u je kelwa je phar la ghawad se upar suga merarai.” It was like festival for the tiny tots at the ghats. Least worried about the worldly affairs, they enjoyed their time at ghats with their elders.

At many ghats, the devotees had to walk some distance to reach the bank of river Ganga. Though the district administration had made elaborate arrangements, local organizations too had made arrangements for lighting and cleaned the entire stretch of road leading to the ghats. Some of the volunteers were also on roads rubbing shoulders with the cops in handling the huge traffic rush.

As the Sun God went down on the horizon, the devotees offered arghya with different fruits in soops made of bamboo sticks. Some had soops made of bronze. After offering arghya, the devotees with their family members returned to their houses to offer arghya to the rising Sun November 7.

While many devotees reached different ghats, several families offered arghya on the rooftop of their houses. The female members, who did not observe Chhath Puja, cleaned the rooftop.

 

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