Artificial ponds, rooftop tubs: Devotees set to offer Chhath prayers on Sunday

Artificial ponds, rooftop tubs: Devotees set to offer Chhath prayers on Sunday

New Delhi, Nov 17 (PTI) From banks of Yamuna to temporary ghats and rooftop tubs, devotees across Delhi are set to offer evening prayers to the Sun God as part of Chhath festivities on Sunday.

The four-day festival, in which worshippers, both men and women, fast and pay obeisance to the deity on the last two days, began on Friday with 'nahai-khai' in which devotees usually bath at ghats and perform Chhath rituals.

On Saturday, the devotees observed 'kharna' and cooked 'kheer' which is eaten by the family members and others as 'prasad'. They will offer evening 'arghya' (prayers) to the Sun God on Sunday.

Delhi Revenue Minister Atishi on Saturday said the government has built over 1,000 Chhath ghats across Delhi so that anyone in the city can celebrate the festival here.

During an inspection of the temporary ghats constructed in Mayur Vihar Phase-3, the minister directed the district administration and police to ensure robust security arrangements at all Ghats so that devotees do not face any issues, officials said.

The government has constructed eight artificial ponds at the DDA ground in Mayur Vihar Phase-3 where thousands of devotees can perform their Chhath rituals together. Most of the preparations at this ghat have been completed, officials said. 'Chhath is a significant festival for the people of Delhi and our people from the Purvanchal region. Therefore, the city government organises a grand celebration for Chhath every year,' the revenue minister said.

Officials said temporary trenches have been dug up in Sonia Vihar too where a number of people hailing from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh reside.

'Two trenches have been dug and it has been covered with double-layer plastic sheets,' said Ramesh Singh, an official of the Irrigation and Flood Control department.

'The Delhi Jal Board is actively working to fill the makeshift ghats with water, the MCD has helped clean the area, and all the other departments are working effectively for the smooth conduct of Chhath festivities,' Singh added.

Rupesh Kumar, 20, a resident of Sonia Vihar and a Chhath devotee, said, 'We have been cleaning this place for the past 15 days and making arrangements for our family members who will be performing rituals here'.

Narayan Kumar, 27, another resident of the area said, 'Lights and tents have been installed by authorities and the area looks cleaner than before.' Nineteen-year-old Shivam Rai said just after the puja rituals at the ghat, prasad is distributed among believers and people of the religious communities as well.

Laxmi Verma, another devotee said, 'Every year, we eagerly wait for this festival and offer evening 'arghya' to 'Chhathi Maiyya''.

In other parts of Delhi such as Pitampura and Kailash Hills, which are located far away from ghats, people have made arrangements on their terraces by filling water in big containers and tubs and decorating them.

The festival will end on Monday when devotees will offer morning 'arghya' to the rising sun. PTI COR KND RPA

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