Patna: Lakhs of devotees on Thursday took a holy dip in rivers and prayed to Sun god marking the beginning of the `Chhath festival`, the most popular festival in Bihar.
The devotees with their family members thronged nearby rivers and ponds early this morning and took bath for offering prayers to the rising sun.
They later returned home, cleaned up houses and utensils and cooked vegetarian meal while singing traditional songs for the `Nahai Khai (bath and eat).
During the four-day festival, several devotes would fast
and would not drink a drop of water for 36 hours.
In Patna, thousands of devotees, male and female,
assembled on the bank of river Ganges and took a holy dip.
Most of the ghats across the state have been cleaned and
spruced up with decoration of lights, official sources said,
adding all roads leading to the ghats to be visited by
devotees on Saturday evening and Sunday morning have been
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has directed the authorities
to make full-proof arrangements for security and safety of the
devotees in their respective areas.
They have been asked to keep close watch on the situation and crowds which assembled at ghats where rivers have swift
current and deep beds, the sources said.
Special arrangements have been made for Patna where
helicopters would fly over the ghats to closely monitor the
crowds on the bank of river Ganga and launch rescue in the
event of any disaster, sources said.
"There are 52 ghats in some areas along Ganga in the
state capital which have been declared dangerous," they said.
Several ponds have been dug by the administration to
regulate the rush of devotees due to strong current seen in
river Ganga, the sources added.