The otherwise clogged Albert Ekka Chowk touched a festive high, quite literally, on Thursday night as it played host to a handi breaking competition on Janmashtami.
Decorated pots containing curd hung prettily from a height of 35 feet with men and women Govindas, dressed in traditional costumes, forming human pyramids around them in an attempt to reach the top and break the handi.
Seven teams — Jeeva Yoga Gymnastic, Gymnastic Team-Hotwar, National Yoga Prashikshan Kendra, Kolkata Bazar, Zila Kho-kho Sangh, Ranchi Malkhamdh Team and Jharkhand Yoga Team — took part in the ritual.
Each team had 12 minutes to finish the job. Members of Jeeva Yoga Gymnastic were the first to climb up and break the pot amid chants of Govinda Ala Re. Their prize: a cool Rs 71,000. The competition, which started after 7pm, continued till midnight.
Well-known singer Anil Sharma was roped in to render devotional songs like Prem Se Bolo Jai Mata Di. A giant LCD screen was put up to beam the competition live.
Chief guest was Ranchi MLA CP Singh while health minister Rajendra Prasad Singh inaugurated the event. Former Rajya Sabha member Ajay Maroo and IG (Ranchi zone) MS Bhatia were also present.
Text by Arti S. Sahuliyar; Picture by Prashant Mitra