Thousands of devotees celebrating chhath puja flock to ghats in Delhi

Thousands of devotees celebrating Chhath Puja flocked on Tuesday to the ghats in the national capital.

New Delhi: Thousands of devotees celebrating Chhath Puja flocked on Tuesday to the ghats in the national capital from early afternoon to offer prayers to the Sun God.

Crowds of devotees had gathered on the banks of the Yamuna river and at lakes and canals to offer prayers to the setting Sun on the third day of the festival.

Married women observing over 38-hour fast stood in knee-deep water and prayed for the well-being and prosperity of their families.

The observances today as part of the four-day festival saw people offering prayers at more than 50 major sites across the national capital.

Thousands of devotees thronged to Soor Ghat, Geeta Ghat near ISBT, Purvi Ghat, Hathi Ghat, Kudesiya Ghat, Shyam Ghat, Yamuna Ghat and Kalindi Kunj Ghat, among others, to take part in the Chhath ceremonies.

Delhi government and municipal corporations had worked in tandem to ready the river banks including making safety arrangements for people thronging the ghats.

Makeshift pandals, sandbanks, floodlights and barricades were put up across the ghats' premises.

Meanwhile, traffic congestion was reported in several parts of Delhi including like ITO, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, outer ring road, Dabri Marg in South East Delhi, among others.

Delhi Police also used helicopter to monitor the traffic situation around ghats.

The age-old tradition, which pays obeisance to the sun god, is observed mainly by people from Bihar and eastern UP.

The national capital has a sizeable population of people hailing from the two states.

The puja starts with the ritual of 'Nahai-Khai', in which devotees prepare traditional food after bathing.

On second day before Chhath puja is Kharna, in which devotees observe a day-long fast which ends after sunset. Devotees cook 'kheer' and share it with family and relatives.

On the third day those observing Chhath puja stand in water and offer 'arghya' to the setting Sun amid chanting of mantras and hymns.

And on the final day of the puja, devotees and their friends and relatives assemble at the river bank before sunrise and offer 'arghya' to the rising Sun.

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