GUWAHATI, Nov 17 - Thousands of people offered prayers to Sun God on the riverbanks, as Chhath Puja was celebrated with religious fervour this evening. After rigorous fasting, the devotees offered evening argh to the deity.
The festival will culminate with morning offerings in the wee hours tomorrow.
Over the years, the festival, mostly celebrated by people of Bihar, Jharkhand and UP, has been widely adopted by people of different communities and faiths. In Guwahati too, the Puja was celebrated with grandeur. Several stretches of the riverbank were decorated beautifully. The ghats of the Brahmaputra witnessed a heavy rush of people since morning as the devotees jostled for convenient spaces. Tight security arrangements were made around the puja venues to thwart untoward incident.
Meanwhile, extending his Chhath Puja greetings, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said from next year, the Assam government would declare holiday on Chhath Puja. He also lauded the contributions made by the Hindi-speaking people towards the development of the State, said an official press release.
Addressing the devotees at the Sukreswar Ghat here this evening, Gogoi said that using the demographic mosaic of the State to the fullest extent, Assam has developed on different fronts and people are reaping the fruits of development.
Gogoi also reiterated that in the development of Assam the Hindi-speaking people have contributed immensely. He said to redress the grievances of the Hindi-speaking people and to expedite their all-round development, the government has completed all the formalities to constitute a Development Council.
Our Jorabat correspondent adds: On the occasion of Chhath Puja in Jorabat, devotees offered argh to the setting sun in the pond of the Jorabat Bhadrakaleshwari Mandir, which was decorated beautifully for the purpose.
The Chhath Puja Seva Samiti in Jorabat arranged various utilitity services for the devotees offering prayers in the pond and the sirsotta for worshipping Goddess Chhati Mai. In the evening a cultural programme was organised, where Bhojpuri, Assamese and Hindi devotional songs were presented.