Eid al-Fitr, Teej celebrations in midst of downpour in Agra

A heavy downpour brought cheer in some quarters but also concern, as water-logging and overflowing of drains were reported.

Agra: A heavy downpour on Friday morning brought cheer in some quarters but also concern, as water-logging and overflowing of drains were reported, making mobility cumbersome on the day of Eid al-Fitr in this historical Uttar Pradesh city.

Hariyali Teej festivities, on which many Hindus mark the third day after the new moon at the time of the monsoon, are also taking place on Friday.

"People usually dress up in new clothes and look forward to venturing out to greet friends and relatives. I hope the rains stop soon," said Sameer Qureshi of Mantola.

The city municipal corporation has deputed teams to pump out water before prayers. This year, Eid is special as it also falls on a Friday.

In just the past five days, Agra has received as much rain as it does each year on average -- around 650 mm.

"We still have about 50 days of the monsoon left. This means the average rainfall would be exceeded this year. The met department has forecast more rain in the coming days in the western parts of the state," Ravi Singh, a progressive farmer, told a news agency.

"On Thursday, there was 42 mm of rain in just a couple of hours. The temperature too has gone down by two to three degrees (Celsius)," Subhash, who works in an NGO, said.

The Yamuna River is flowing at full capacity, and the district administration says there are heavy discharges from upstream barrages. The Gokul barrage in Mathura has opened its gates after the water level in the river rose, following the release from Okhla and Hathnikund upstream.

Village ponds are full to the brim, and demand-pressure on power supply has been drastically reduced, Singh said, hoping for a bumper Kharif crop (sown in the rainy season) this year.

Teej celebrations in the city have been affected by the heavy showers.

"Teej fairs are held in several localities of the city, and we were all looking forward to a great day out. But the rains have dampened the excitement and the sky continues to remain overcast, threatening us with more rain," home-maker Padmini said.

"Luckily its a holiday today (Friday). Otherwise, students would have had a tough time going to school in the morning as the sudden downpour caught us unawares," said Vijay Nagar colony resident Sudhir Gupta.

Meanwhile, Hariyali Teej celebrations picked up momentum in Vrindavan. The presiding deity of the holy town, Bankey Bihari, will give "darshan" in the "golden hindola," (decorative swing) in a once-in-a-year spectacle.

Anticipating the rush of pilgrims, local police have made elaborate security and traffic arrangements. In Mathura too, the Dwarkadheesh temple will hold special "darshan" in gold and silver "hindolas" on Friday evening.