Thousands of devotees thronged the bank of Yamuna and lakes across the capital to offer prayers on the occassion of Chhat puja on Monday. Devotees and the family members congregated at the ghats on the river bank to pay obeisance (Ardhya) to the setting Sun.
Devotees began to gather at the ghats since afternoon. Unperturbed by the 'black' water of river Yamuna, the devotees waded through the knee-deep water and paid oblations to Sun God. The festival would end with offering of prayers to the rising sun on Tuesday evening. Ghats on the banks of the Yamuna River have been spruced up and illuminated for the occasion.
“Earlier we used to go home for puja as our parents use to stay back, Now they have retired and have started living with us in. So we have started celebrating Chhat here itself,” said Surest Propagate, a resident of Mandawali in east, celebrating Chhat at the IP state ghat near ITO.
The participants also reasoned the arrangements available in Delhi of late to be one of the prime reason for more and more number of people choosing to celebrate Chhat in the capital.
However, for some, unavailability of reserved berths in railways during the festive season also became one of the reasons for celebrating the festival in the capital. “It’s a Herculean task to get tickets for the entire family. With the facilities for Chhat improving in the city, we decided to stay back this time,” said Kumar Bibhu, a resident of Hajipur in Bihar.
The festival has gained prominence in the capital with the rising population of Poorvanchalis. The festival has, over the years, also gained political significance as various political parties have been wooing Poorvanchalis that form a major chunk of electorates in the Capital. Politicians across party line visited different ghats to mark their presence.
Delhi Police have been asked to install CCTV cameras at all the ghats to beef up the security.
In addition to this, police have been asked to deploy adequate number of personnel including divers and boats to avoid any untoward incident. They said besides refurbishing the ghats, government will put up tents, chairs, toilets and medical facilities.