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KANPUR: The city Ghats were resonated and illuminated with the sounds of sacred Vedic mantras and

millions of 'Diyas' during the 'Dev Deepawali' celebrations here on Wednesday. The fire cracker events
added to the beauty of the celebrations which were arranged by the locals at various Ghats.

Almost all the Ganga ghats stretching from Ganga Barrage at Nawabganj to Siddhnath Ghat at Jajmau
were decorated and had there individual celebrations of Dev Deepawali. Be it big or small, the celebrations
were held at all the prominent Ghats of the city. The event was well attended by people from all walks of
life, irrespective of their caste, community and class.

Its important to mention here that, 'Dev Deepawali' is also the culmination of month long 'Ganga
Mahotsava', which starts from the day of 'Sharad Poornima'. Many have described 'Dev Deepawali'
celebrations literally fit for the Gods, as its a 'Diwali' celebrations of gods described in Hindu mythology.

Specially decorated and cleaned Sarsaiyya Ghat was dazzling with thousands of 'Diyas' at its stairs. Similar
number of 'Diyas' were also witnessed floating in water during evening. The celebrations were also held at
the Bithoor ghat and that too in a grand manner. Here A mela had also been organised and this attracted
the attention of the devotees. People thronged this ghat in large numbers on Wednesday evening.

The Maha Ganga Aarti at this Ghat performed by the prominent political leaders of the city along with
administrative, police and civic body officials remained the main highlight of the occasion. NCC Cadets,
medical, nursing and even IIT students gathered at various Ghats to take part in the celebrations.

Similar celebrations were also held at Parmat Ghat where the strong aroma of incense and camphor during
the Ganga Aarti added a religious fervor to the occasion. The soothing arrangements at this Ghat made the
denizens recall the feel of Varanasi ghats, which are well known for the celebrations of 'Dev Deepawali' not
only in India but also in the foreign countries.

"The lamps floating on water were resembling to the stars twinkling in the sky. The scene is worth capturing
in the camera," said Rishu Mishra, a student

KANPUR: Makar Sankranti will be observed on Saturday and Sunday. The Ganga ghats and temples are
also being prepared for the festival. A large number of devotees are expected to take a holy dip in Ganga
on the occasion of Makar Sankranti, braving cold and tough weather conditions. Some devotees may come
in tractor-trolleys, jeeps and buses from far-flung areas to take a holy dip. Proper parking arrangements
were being made at ghats.

The ghats were also being cleaned at places where maximum number of devotees would converge like
Sarsaiyya Ghat, Parmath Ghat and Massacre Ghat. Several other ghats are lying unclean. Shops selling
edibles items like til ke laddoo, revari and peanuts have also come up at various places.

However, the devotees will face the problem of improper toilets and changing facilities. Even after several
complaints, the Kanpur Nagar Nigam has not made preparations of temporary changing rooms for women
at ghats. The temple committees, NGOs and welfare organizations are also making preparations to
distribute 'khichadi' to poor and needy. As per Hindu mythology, donating food items or any kind of
donation on the pious day of Makar Sankranti gives fruitful results.

Varieties of 'tilkut' are also being sold. These are prepared from jaggery, sugar and khowa. Jaggery tilkuts
are available at Rs 160 per kg, sugar ones at Rs 140 per kg and those of khowa cost Rs 200. A fruit
wholeseller said it is a more profitable to sell tilkuts than fruits. == Hoardings, posters removed
Kanpur: Kanpur Nagar Nigam and police officials removed several banners and posters from various areas
of the city on Friday. Even after removing of thousands of political hoardings, posters and banners, several
posters and banners could be seen in different areas. The officials removed banners and hoarding from
areas like Collectorganj, Kidwai Nagar, Govind Nagar, JK Temple, VIP Road and other localities. Banners
and posters were also removed from Naramau, IIT and Nankari village.

The district administration stepped up the exercise to remove hoardings, banners and posters from
December 25 as per the directives of the Election Commission. Meanwhile, the KNN lit bonfires at 43 spots
in various areas on Friday. The b o n f i r e s were lit in areas like railway station, bus stop, district
hospitals, G u r u d e v chauraha and several other places. A large number of people came forward to
distribute tea and clothes to the poor and needy.

Kanpur: The week-long festivities of Holi would conclude in the city on Monday with Ganga Mela. Sarsaiya
Ghat is ready for the historic event. The festival is celebrated in the memory of revolutionaries, who were
released by British government after being made captive in 1941.

'Rango ka Thela' will be taken out from Hatia locality. It will move through different localities of the city
before stopping at Hatia again. Youth would indulge in throwing colours. Women will shower colour and
water from rooftops on the 'thela'. It leaves Birhana Road and other adjoining areas drenched. The youth
would also break 'Rango ki handi' tied at a reasonable height. The boys form pyramids to break the 'handi'.
Cash prizes are also given to the teams who emerge as winners.

Earlier, the thela used to head towards Sarsiyya Ghat from Hatia and people from their windows used to
shower flower petals. 'Tesu ke phool' were used to play Holi. Now, it has given way to colours.

In 1941, people were playing Holi in Hatia which irked the British. Many revellers were arrested. The
incident led to widespread resentment. The markets in Generalganj, Hatia, Moolganj and Collectorganj
remain close. The Britishers were forced to release all those who had been arrested. "Co-incidentally that
day had fallen on Anuradha Nakshatra, which is considered pious. All the people were taken to Sarsiyya
Ghat on a 'thela', amid throwing of colours. This laid the base for the celebration of the day as Ganga Mela,
a member of the Hatia Holi Committee said.

Now, the 'Rango Ka Thela commences its journey from Rajan Babu Park.

According to some historians, Ganga Mela dates much before. In the autobiography of Pandit Sadguru
Sharan Awasthi, 'Marg Ke Gahre Pagchin', there is a specific mention of Ganga Mela. It is written that in
1910 when he had come to Kanpur from Deoria at an age of 10, the gap between Holi and Ganga Mela
celebrations was long. This indicates that this tradition of playing with colour during Mela at the Ganga
banks is around 120-125 years.

The people take part in Ganga Mela more enthusiastically than even Holi.

The preparations for Ganga Mela to be held at Sarsaiyya Ghat were nearing completion on Sunday
evening. The ghat had been cleaned and readied. Workers were seen repairing streetlights. Stalls had
aleady come up.

The custom of Ganga Mela dates back to British period. Ganga Mela is connected to the freedom struggle
rather than mythology. The Mela is held in Anuradha Nakshtra, three to seven days after the full moon.

The festival is celebrated a week after Holi every year. People first indulge into colour throwing and
thereafter head towards Ganga for taking a dip. Sarsiyya Ghat comes alive where leaders of different
political parties, party workers and locals gather to enjoy the festival.

The charm of the festival could be felt in the old localities of the city like Hatia, Nayaganj, Birhana Road and
others.

Varanasi: A day after Rangbhari Ekadashi, when the city indulged in celebration of festival of colours, a
unique tradition of playing Holi with cremation ashes and gulal amidst burning pyres was performed by the
revellers at Mahashamshana (cremation ground) of Manikarnika Ghat on Sunday.