Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Thousands of devotees singing traditional Chhath songs gathered at ghats in the city to offer arghya to the setting sun on Sunday. It was part of the third day of four-day Chhath Puja celebrations, which began on November 17.
The Sheetaldas ki Bagiya ghat on Upper Lake had men, women and children dressed in new clothes. A red carpet was laid for vratis (those who observed fast). The embankment was decorated in saffron theme, which gave it a festive look.
Men carried bamboo baskets filled with prasad including seasonal fruits and thekua, a sweet made of wheat flour and jaggery, with fasting women walking alongside. Devotees began arriving at ghat by 3pm almost three hours before sunset. As the sun moved towards horizon, the vratis entered the water and offered arghya to the setting sun.
Sixty-year-old Kunti Devi who lives in Chhola visited ghat with her daughter-in-law Pranita Singh (36) and other family members. “Earlier, my mother-in-law used to fast.
When it became difficult for her to keep fast, she passed on the family tradition to me and I passed it to my daughter-in-law,” Kunti said.
Mohan Singh (60) who hails from Baliya (UP) and lives in Banganga said that he had been visiting ghat since 2006 for Chhath puja. At that time, very few people used to come.
Twelve-year-old Dhananjay Prajapati from Idgah Hills said Chhath puja was his favourite festival. “We get a chance to meet a lot of friends. We have a lot of fun,” he said.
Sonia Talreja visited ghat for the first time for the puja on the invitation of one of her friends. “It is amazing. Important part of the puja is that we all are from different communities but worship together,” she said.
Police constable Bhupendra Singh (23) who was busy watching Cricket World Cup Final on his mobile phone said that he had been to Khatlapura Ghat for two years. “I am from Sagar but live in Bhopal. I love UP and Bihar culture,” he said, adding, “Puja and World Cup are important. So, I managed both.”
President of Bhojpuri Ekta Manch Kunwar Prasad said 2,100 earthen lamps were lit at Sheetal Das ki Bagiya ghat and firecrackers were burst. ADG Anuradha Shankar was chief guest. She spoke on importance of Chhath puja.