Lakhs of devotees offer prayers on Chhath
Patna: Lakhs of devotees, majority of them women, offered 'Arghya' to the Sun God on Monday in various water bodies across Bihar on the third day of the Chhath festival.
In Patna, fasting men and women thronged the ghats on the bank of Ganga and stood in waist-deep water to offer prayers to the setting Sun to seek blessings for their families.
Family members and relatives were seen assisting the 'Vratis' - those offering Arghya to the diety with home-made 'thekua', fruits, sugarcane and coconuts.
Many worshippers were seen standing on the terraces and rooftops offering prayers to the Sun God, while firecrackers were burst to mark the festive occasion.
Elaborate arrangements were made by the municipal authorities and ghats and roads enroute to the river were spruced up. The ghats were barricaded to enable the worshippers and their families offer prayers in an orderly manner, official sources said.
National Disaster Response Force teams were posted at the ghats with boats and other equipment for rescue and relief operations if needed. Large number of police personnel and medical teams with ambulances were also deployed, they said.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar accompanied by his ministers and senior officials rode a motorboat in the Ganga and sought the blessings of the 'Vratis' for the well being of the state and its people.
Devotees in the districts offered 'Arghya' on the banks of various rivers, ponds and other water bodies, reports said.
Inmates of various prisons too participated in the Chhath festival and offered prayers standing in ponds dug for the occasion.