Chhath observed in Bihar

Patna: A sea of humanity today thronged banks of rivers, canals and ponds in Bihar and offered 'arghyas' to the setting sun on the third day of the four-day Chhath festival.

Devotees fasted without drinking water and prepared puja offerings -- thekua, coconut, banana and seasonal fruits in bamboo trays.

This was followed by 'kosi' celebrated in the courtyard of the house after evening offerings.

Lighted earthen lamps flickered beneath five sugarcane sticks or 24 sticks, as per local custom, with pujas held seeking blessings for the family.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi surveyed ghats in Patna and greeted devotees.

Some close relatives of Kumar also performed Chhath puja.

Boats of the National Disaster Response Force, divers, medical teams and ambulances were present near ghats to tackle any emergency.

"The celebrations were peaceful amid tight security arrangements," Director General of Police Abhyanand said.

Reports from Bhagalpur, Buxar, Aurangabad and Gaya, besides high security Beur jail, said hundreds of prisoners fasted for the entire day and offered arghas to the setting sun in ponds dug inside prisons.

Jail authorities made full arrangements for the pooja.