Bihar: Devotees pray to rising sun to mark end of Chhath puja

Patna: Rivers and ponds in Bihar came alive with bursting of crackers and holy songs reverberated in the air as lakhs of devotees offered 'arghyas' (obeisance) to the rising Sun on the concluding day of the four-day Chhath festival celebrations.

The 'bratis' (who keep fast) took a holy dip into the water on ghats prepared along the rivers and ponds at dawn and performed the rituals till the Sun God came up.

The traditional 'thekuas' cooked in pure ghee and made with sugar, raisins and flour were offered to 'Chhati Mata' along with coconuts, fruits and sugarcanes.

The popular Chhath songs seeking blessings of 'Chhati Mata' for the prosperity of family members reverberated in the air as children burst crackers and women in colourful sarees applied vermillion on each other's forehead.

The Chhath puja is the biggest festival in Bihar and draws family members from all over the country together on the occasion.

In the state capital, elaborate arrangements were made at ghats along river Ganga and ponds elsewhere for the celebrations and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel, local divers with boats, doctors and ambulances were kept ready in case of any emergency.

"The celebrations remained peaceful amid tight security arrangements in place," Additional Director General of Police (Headquarters) Neelmani said.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar along with his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi personally kept close watch on the situation and visited most of the ghats in the state capital and exchanged greetings with the devotees and others who were present.

RJD chief Lalu Prasad's wife Rabri Devi performed the chhath at her official residence here.

Bureau Report