Chhat

Why To Go

In Patna in the state of Bihar, thousands gather along the embankment of the Ganga, at the break of dawn, to pray to the Sun and Sasthi Devi (often referred to as Chhath maiya) for endowing us with bounties of life on the earth. The four day festival of Chhath Puja involves plenty of fasting, feasting, and dips in the holy waters of the River Ganga. Fasting is an essential aspect of this festival, as it is considered a purification ritual. Chhath Puja or Surya Sashthi occurs six days after Diwali in the Kartik month (October – November) of the Hindu calender. Chhath Festival is mostly celebrated in Bihar.

It is considered to be one of the oldest forms of nature worship, Chhath Puja is mentioned in the Rig Veda as well as the Mahabharata. In the later, Draupadi, the wife of the Pandava brothers, is advised by Sage Dhaumya to perform the puja to help the Pandavas regain their Kingdom.

It is believed that the festival also honors Surya’s wives – Usha and Protyusha, with the former being referred to as Chhath Maiya (mother goddess). While Usha means the first morning rays, Pratyusha means the last rays of the sun. Prayers are therefore offered both at sunrise and sunset during the festival.

Travel Tips

Wear saree or Indian attires during the festival. It is a festival of Hindus. But all region’s people can join this festivity. If possible, learn and know more about this occasion from a resident or people. Take a dip at river Ganga during this auspicious time. Wear something colourful and shiny. The dominating colors are shades of red and orange. Eat the savors like Thekua made in the households for puja. Bananas are offered during the puja.

Things To Do

The first day of the festival, known as Nahai Kahi, sees devotees asking dips in the Ganga and offering prayers o the sun god. They then return from the ghat and clean their houses and surroundings to rid them of evil. The second day is called Kharna, when devotees observe an anhydrous fast from sunrise till sunset. The fast is broken after the evening prayers, by consuming the prasad, which consists of Kheer served with chapatis, and pua. Vratins observe a day-long fast after taking a holy dip in the Ganga river and chanting hymns for the sun god. Females vratins break their fast with thekua and return home to perform Kosi. A mandap is set up, in the middle of which a miniature elephant toy is kept and colourful rangolis are made around it.

Getting Around

BSRTC provides to the people of Bihar a fully integrated pro-active transport system and infrastructure which would optimally meet the articulated as well as latent needs.

How To Reach

FLIGHT

Patna airport is better connected to all metros and many cities. Nearest Airport is Gaya, connected but not only daily to Kolkata.

TRAIN

The nearest railhead is Gaya Junction, well connected to Patna, Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai.

ROAD

Road from Patna, NH83 to Bodhgaya via Jahanabad, Belaganj and Gaya.

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Surrounding Attractions

Road from Patna, NH83 to Bodhgaya via Jahanabad, Belaganj and Gaya.
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