Patna: Lakhs of devotees on Tuesday congregated at various ghats of the Ganga River, including Adalatganj Ghat which witnessed a stampede that left 17 dead last evening, to offer prayers to the Sun God during the Chhath festival.
17 Chhath pilgrims, mostly women and children, died after a makeshift bridge caved in at Adalatganj Ghat.
This morning devotees thronged the ghats carrying wooden baskets and took their usual place there before the `Vratis` (persons fasting to offer `Arghya` to the Sun God) descended in the water upto waist level and stood there.
At the Adalatghat, the entire area was turned into a fortress by the authorities and around 300 policemen and women, besides a BMP Gorkha battalion, were deployed for smooth and peaceful conduct of Chhath festival this morning, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Amrit Raj said.
Besides deployment of elaborate security measures, the Adalatghat area was spruced up.
At Adalatganj, the municipal and district authorities had worked on warfooting and had the place cleaned up before the arrival of the devotees in the small hours.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and top civil and police officials monitored various arrangements, including law and order at the ghats in Patna, throughout last night and issued instructions to the officials to make various arrangements for the morning `Arghya`.
With worship of the Sun God over, the devotees exchanged pleasantries and distributed `prasadas` before making their way out from the ghats.
The women-folk were also seen applying `sindoor` to each other as a socio-religious ritual to bless each other.
Elsewhere in Patna, the `Vratis` were seen standing in various water bodies on the terraces and roofs of their house to offer `arghya` to the Sun God.
The Chhath festival was celebrated with usual fervours in other parts of the state.