Chhat puja was performed with traditional fervour on Tuesday as lakhs of devotees thronged Mumbai's beaches to pay obeisance to the sun god amid tight security arrangements in the backdrop of MNS chief Raj Thackeray's tirade against north Indians.
Police officials said they were expecting over four lakh devotees to congregate at the Juhu beach, many of whom will stay there throughout the night to pay obeisance to the rising sun tomorrow.
There was tight security at the beach and approach roads with reserve police forces helping in controlling the large crowds. Police had also installed CCTVs to view the crowd movement.
Families offered small stacks of sugarcanes and fruits to the sun god and sang devotional songs as they sat on the beach.
Chandra Pandey, a resident of suburban Andheri, said he had been celebrating Chhat puja for the past six years and had enjoyed it every year.
"Initially I was a bit tense and had thought of doing the ceremony at a lake near my house but after watching the news and being assured that things would be safe I have come here," he said.
In keeping with the directives of the Bombay High Court, the events held at the beach were a little subdued as people only sang religious songs and recited scriptures.
"No one can be stopped from attending Chhat puja and such attempts will only cause people to come together and strengthen their resolve," said Sohan Singh, a resident of suburban Goregaon.