Chhath Puja is the most prominent festival which is celebrated in the North Indian state of Bihar and certain regions of Uttar Pradesh and Nepal. Chhath is a famous festival which starts on the 6th day of the Hindu calendar month “Kartika”. This festival is dedicated to the worship of the Sun god and his wife Usha. This festival is celebrated to thank god for supporting life on earth and to seek the blessing of divine Sun god and his wife. According to Hindu religion, it is believed that sun heal several health conditions and offers longevity, progress, positivity, prosperity and well being. Moreover, the main day of Chhath is actually not the first but the third day of Chhath Puja. This festival is celebrated by people following rigorous routine which lasts for four days, the rituals and traditions of this festival includes fasting , offering prayers to the rising and setting sun, holy bathing and meditation while standing in the water. It is one of the famous Indian festivals which are celebrated in Bihar and many other destinations of India including Jharkhand, eastern UP, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Gujarat, Bangalore, Chhattisgarh and regions of Nepal. It is celebrated at the sixth of the month of Karthika in the Vikram Samvat. Chhath Puja is also celebrated in the summers after Holi but the Chhath which is celebrated in Kathika month has more importance and is ardently followed by people. However, people living away from their hometowns travel in large number during this festival and hence if you want to reach your hometown easily without hassle then book cheap EaseMyTrip flights.
History of Chhath Puja
Chhath is a festival which is all about purity, devotion and offering prayer to Sun God; the exact origin of this festival is ambiguous but there are certain believes which connects to Hindu epics. Ramayana and Mahabharata are the two epics which are associated with Chhath Puja.
Chhath Puja’s Association with Ramayana
It is believed that Lord Rama is associated with the inception of Chhath Puja. It is said that when Lord Rama returned to Ayodhyana then he and his wife Sita observed a fast in honor of the Sun god and broke it only with the setting sun. It is one such ritual which is subsequently evolved in Chhath Puja.
Chhath Puja’s Association with Mahabharata
Famous Mahabharata character Karna is said to be the child of Sun god and Kunti. It is said that Karna usually use to offer prayer while standing in the water. However, there is another story which mentions how Draupadi and the Pandavas also performed the similar puja to get their kingdom back.
Scientific Significance of Chhath Puja
Chhath Puja is the best way to get your body detoxified as taking dips in water and exposing the body to sun increases the flow of solar bio electricity which improves the functionality of human body. It is also said that Chhath Puja helps to kills the harmful bacteria and prepares the body for the upcoming winter season.
Rituals Involved in Chhath Puja
Chhath is a four day festival which starts four days after the famous Indian festival Diwali, this year Chhath Puja 2019 is in October month. Below is the list of Chhath rituals which are involved in Chhath Puja.
Nahay Khay: The first days of the Chhath Puja involved devotees taking dip preferably in the River Kosi, Ganga and Karnali and then after the holy dip devotees take home the holy water to prepare the offerings. It is one of the most important rituals of Chhath Puja on the first day.
Lohanda or Kharna: The second day of Chhath Puja involved devotees fasting the whole day and the fast ends a little later after the sunset. The second important ritual of Chhath Puja involves devotees preparing offerings like kheer, bananas and rice for the family after worshiping the Sun and the Moon. After consuming the prasad one has to fast for 36 hours without water.
Sandhya Arghya (evening offerings): The third day of Chhath Puja is also observed with fast without water and the entire day involves preparing puja offerings. The offerings (prasad) later are kept in a bamboo tray. The offering includes thekua, coconut banana and other seasonal fruits. Third day’s evening rituals takes place at the banks of a river or a pond or any clean water body. All the devotees offer ‘araghya’ to the setting sun.
Bihaniya Arghya: On the last day of Chhath Puja, devotees again assemble on the bank of the River or any water body and then offer prayers and prasad to the rising Sun. After the offerings are done then the devotees break their fast by eating ginger and sugar or anything which is available locally. After all these Chhath Puja rituals this amazing festival ends.
Dates of Chhath Puja 2019
Chhath Puja 2019 Festival Names
Date of Chhath Puja 2019
Chhath Puja Day 1 - Chaturthi
31 October, 2019
Chhath Puja Day 2 - Panchami
01 November, 2019
Chhath Puja Day 3 - Sasthi
02 November, 2019
Chhath Puja Day 4 - Saptami
03 November, 2019
Interesting & Unique Facts Associated with Chhath Puja
- Chhath Puja is the only Vedic Festival which is celebrated in India
- Chhath Puja is associated with Hindu epics involving Ramayana and Mahabharata with more than 1 character of Mahabharata associated.
- Chhath Puja is the only Hindu festival where all the rituals of the festival have some scientific reasons and all of them altogether represent a rigorous scientific process for detoxification.
- Chhath Puja are crafted in a way which involves optimum absorption of Calcium & Vitamin D into the body which is really beneficial for the women.
- Chhath Puja also helps increasing the immunity of the body.
- The four days of Chhath Puja offers great mental benefits to the devotees. Chhath Puja calms the mind of devotees and reduces the negative energy like hatred, fear and anger.
- The custom of offering prayer to the Sun god was also prevalent in the Babylonian civilization and ancient Egyptian civilization.
Famous Sun Temples You Must Visit This Chhath Puja
Chhath Puja is all about worshipping the Sun god and to celebrate this amazing festival one can also explore some of the famous Sun Temples of India. Below is the list of Sun Temples which one can visit on Chhath Puja.
Sun Temple in Konark, Odisha
Sun Temple in Konark is one of the popular Sun Temples in India. It was built in 13th century and attracts numerous tourists every year at the time of Chhath Puja.
Sun Temple in Modhera, Gujarat
Sun Temple in Modhera is a famous Sun temple which is quite famous for its ancient architecture and religious significance. Three main components of this temple include gudhamandapa (main hall), Sabhamandapa (assembly hall) & Kunda (reservoir). It is another famous temple which devotees visit at the time of Chhath festival.
Sun Temple in Ranchi
Sun Temple in Ranchi is the prime attraction of the state and people visit this temple in large numbers at the time of Chhath Puja. This popular Sun temple is designed in a manner that it looks like a huge chariot which is richly decorated with 18 wheels and seven horses. Moreover, the pond of this temple is also considered to be sacred.
Dakshinaarka Sun Temple in Gaya, Bihar
It is an ancient shrine which is dedicated to Sun God. This pilgrimage center is also known amongst Hindus for offering Pind daan to the deceased.
Sun Temple in Katarmal, Uttarakhand
Sun Temple in Katarmal is another famous temple which the devotees can explore during Chhath Puja.
Sun Temple in Gwalior
This Sun temple is a true architectural wonder which attracts numerous people every year. The red sandstone and white marble of this temple adds charm to this temple. However, it is another Sun temple which the devotees can visit during Chhath Puja
Chhath Special Trains by IRCTC
Chhath is a grand Hindu festival and hence people travel to different places to one of the major destination where Chhath Puja is celebrated with much fanfare and that is Bihar. So, below is the list of trains from metropolitan cities of India to Bihar.
Trains for Mumbai to Patna Route
Bandra Terminus Patna Express, Lokmanyatilak Terminus Patna Junction Superfast Special, Lokmanyatilak Terminus Kamakhya AC Express are some trains which starts from Mumbai. These trains run on Mumbai to Patna route. Tourists traveling to Patna from Mumbai for Chhath Puja can opt for these trains. However, Vasco Da Gama Patna Express is one such train which pass through Mumbai to reach Patna. There are around 30 weekly trains for Mumbai to Patna and the first train for Mumbai to Patna route leaves at 5:10AM which is Bandra Terminus Patna Junction Special. The last train for Mumbai to Patna route leaves at 11:25PM namely Rajendra Nagar Express. Above mentioned are the trains which the tourists can choose to reach Bihar at the time of Chhath Puja from Mumbai
Trains for Delhi to Patna Route
U A Toofan Express is the train which runs on Delhi to Patna route and this train leaves from New Delhi station at 7AM. So, tourists traveling to Patna for Chhath Puja can book tickets for U A Toofan Express Train.
Trains for Bangalore to Patna Route
Trains like Patna Premium S and Sanghamitra Express starts from Bangalore to reach Patna. Bagmati Express is another train which just passes through Bangalore to reach Patna. There are around 9 weekly trains’ for Bangalore to Patna route. However, the first train from Bangalore to reach Patna is Sanghamitra Express which leaves at 9AM from Bangalore. Travelers traveling to Patna at the time of Chhath Puja can book their tickets in this train prior to avoid any last minute hassle.
Trains for Hyderabad to Patna Route
Secunderabad Junction Patna Junction Express and Secunderabad Junction Patna Junction Special are the trains which run on Hyderabad to Patna route. The first train on Hyderabad to Patna route is Secunderabad Junction Patna Junction Express which leaves at 10AM.
Trains for Chennai to Patna Route
Patna Premium S, Patna Express and Patna Express are the trains which the travelers can choose to travel between Chennai and Patna. The first train on Chennai to Patna route is Patna Express which leaves at 6.20AM. Travelers traveling to Patna from Chennai for Chhath festival can opt for this train.