Ranchi: The four-day-long Chhath Puja festivities, which began with the ritual of Nahay-Khay on Friday, came to an end on Monday with thousands of devotees offering early morning prayers to the rising Sun God, termed as Arghya, from rivers, lakes, ponds and other waterbodies in Ranchi and across the state.
Braving the early morning chills and the shallow fog, the Chhath Vratis took holy dips in the waters.Netas cutting across political lines and senior officials of the state government also rubbed shoulders with the common people as they lined up at the banks to offer prayers.
Chief minister Hemant Soren and his wife Kalpana visited the Hathania Talab on Sunday evening and offered their prayers to the setting sun, referred to as Sandhya Arghya. Soren and Kalpana joined daily wage labour Manoj Shah and his wife Alka Devi and offered their prayers to the setting sun together.
“Chhath festival brings people from all walks of life together and obliterates the socio-economic divide. Chhat Vratis worship the Sun God after fasting for 36 hours even without drinking water. This festival is a symbol of devotion, purity, self-discipline, hygiene and nature worship,” Soren said.
Finance minister Rameshwar Oraon, Ranchi MLA C P Singh, Ranchi MP Sanjay Seth, Jharkhand Congress president Rajesh Thakur and Hatia MLA Navin Jaiswal also joined the devotees as they offered prayers at various Chhath ghats across the city.
The Ranchi district administration said the Chhath festivities in the state capital remained incident-free. As many as six teams of the National Disaster Response Force were deputed across six key locations of the city to respond to any emergencies. More than 2,000 police personnel were also deputed across the Chhath ghats along with mobile medical teams from the Ranchi district hospital.
Chhath revellers, however, had to tolerate the polluted waters of Subarnarekha in the Namkum area on the outskirts of the city as they lined up to offer their prayers. “The waters of the river were extremely dirty and had foams. But since it is closest to my home, we had no other option,” Kumkum Devi, a resident of the Sadabahar Chowk in Namkum, said.
Odisha governor Raghubar Das also offered prayers and carried out Chhath rituals at Jamshedpur’s Surya Mandir with his family members. In Dhanbad, the East Central Railways (ECR) zone roped in six non-profit organisations to provide free meals to the Chhath revellers who would be taking trains out of the Dhanbad railway station to their respective destinations.
As many as 600 food packets would be handed over to the passengers on Tuesday, the ECR zone said.

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