Devotees offer arghya to setting Sun on third day of Chhath puja

  • | Monday | 20th November, 2023

Varanasi: Lakhs of devotees offered arghya to the setting Sun at the ghats along the Ganga and the Varuna as well as other waterbodies on the third-day of Chhath festival on Sunday.Similar scene could be seen on banks of the rivers in neighbouring Chandauli, Mirzapur, Ghazipur, Jaunpur, Ballia, Azamgarh, Mau and other east UP districts.Since early afternoon the Chhath Vratis, along with their families and relatives had started flocking the ghats.Several women had started performing puja even before sunset.Men and women carrying cane baskets and soop containing seasonal fruits and vegetables and other devotional items on their heads thronged the river banks and ponds including Surya Sarovar at BLW and Shastri Ghat along river Varuna. Ghats were illuminated with earthen lamps floating on river water as devotees offered Arghya to the setting sun praying for the well-being of their families.In view of the huge rush at the ghats, the police had ensured traffic diversions on the city routes to avoid problem for the devotees. Meanwhile, the district administration and Varanasi Municipal Corporation (VMC) had also made arrangements for proper lights at the ghats and other areas near waterbodies for the convenience of the devotees. Heavy police force and PAC personnel were deployed for crowd regulation and security arrangements while NDRF also remained on alert mode. Divisional commissioner Kaushal Raj Sharma, commissioner of police Ashok Mutha Jain and district magistrate S Rajalingam along with a big band of senior officials stayed in field to monitor all the arrangements.Equal enthusiasm was evident on the opposite bank of the Ganga where thousands of women performed the Chhath rituals in Ramnagar. Many women performed the rituals by arranging artifial waterbodies at the roofs of their houses. The rituals of the four-day Chhath puja started with Nahay-Khay on November 17 with devotees preparing traditional food after taking bath. On Saturday, a day before Chhoti Chhath, the devotees observed a day-long fast and performed the ritual of Kharna by preparing kheer and sharing it with family, friends and relatives. The women, fasting since Saturday, will break the fast after offering arghya to the rising sun on Monday.Devotees, along with their family and relatives, will assemble at the riverbanks and other waterbodies again on the concluding day of the festival on Monday to offer arghya to the rising sun amid chanting of mantras and hymns. Officials said all arrangements for crowd regulation, traffic diversions and security would continue till the end of festivities.

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