Patna in the Grip of Diwali Fever

Diwali crowd on Boring Road in Patna on Wednesday.

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Patna: A day before the festival of light, Patna, with all of its glitter and grandeur, is all set to celebrate Diwali on Thursday as last-minute shoppers flooded the shopping centers in the state capital to purchase idols of Lord Ganesh and Goddess Lakshmi, hand-made 'gharondas', and of course, firecrackers to celebrate Diwali with a big bang.

Hotels, malls, and shopping centers are decked with colorful blinking lights that offer an unique perspective to the city that is known to celebrate Diwali, along with Durga Puja and Chhath, in a grand scale.

Diwali enthusiasts, who could not wait for Thursday to show off their large stockpile of fireworks celebrated 'Chhoti Diwali' on Wednesday exploding firecrackers on streets and rooftops to set the tone for the main event.

With more and more organizations coming out against the use of firecrackers, particularly those imported from China, many shops selling firecrackers, however, reported dull business across the state capital.

Sale of other items like the idols of Ganesh and Lakshmi and clay lamps though remained brisk as brick and mortar shops and even roadside vendors between Danapur on the west and Patna Saheb on the east witnessed heavy shopping rush till late night on Wednesday.

Hand-made wooden and glass 'gharondas' were doing brisk sale on Wednesday with prices ranging between Rs. 500 and Rs. 3,000 depending on the intricacy of the workmanship.

Security, meanwhile, has been beefed up in over two dozen areas to keep the anti-social elements at bay. The district administration issued a stern warning to the revelers on Tuesday directing them to use firecrackers with utmost safety to avoid any fire in the city.

The administration has imposed a ban on the use of firecrackers after 10:00 pm though, like previous years, is most likely to be violated by the Diwali enthusiasts.

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