Bihar's River Phalgu partially dammed for devotees to perform rituals at Gaya

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Gaya (Bihar), Sep. 27 (ANI): The administration at Bihar's Gaya district have partially blocked the flow of the River Phalgu for Hindu devotees to perform ancestral rituals at nearby temples.

Hundreds of people have visited the holy town of Gaya from different places to perform 'Shraadh' or 'Pind Daan', rituals that would break the cycle of rebirth for their ancestors.

The River Phalgu had earlier dried up, causing problems for the devotees. Now that water flows freely, the district officials have partially dammed the river with sandbags in order to collect enough water near temples so that the devotees can perform rituals.

"We are trying to curtail the flow of the river so that water comes near the temple and pilgrims and devotees, they do not have any problem and they manage to perform all the rituals," said Paritosh Kumar, the Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO) of Gaya.

The water of this river is important for people doing the 'Pind Daan', without which the ritual is considered unfinished.

"Due to lack of rainfall, there is less water in the river. Devotees consider water of River Phalgu sacred and the ritual of 'Pind Daan' is incomplete if devotees do not dip their feet in the river water. That is why whatever the water flow the river has, we are trying to halt it," said K. P. Ramaiya, the Commissioner of Magadh Division.

The 15-day period of 'Shraadh Paksha', a period during which Hindus remember their ancestors, started on Thursday.

Faithful devotees offer cots, food, utensils and clothes to the priests.

People later take dip in the Phalgu river before offering rice and flowers in gratitude to their ancestors. By Surya Pratap Singh (ANI)

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