Taregna sees rush ahead of eclipse

Taregna sees rush ahead of eclipse
Ahead of the the first and longest solar eclipse of the 21st century, scientists and enthusiasts are making a bee line for Taregna in Bihar which is reported to be one of the best locations from which to view the eclipse..
CJ: B K Upmanyu ,
24 minutes ago
SCIENTISTS, RESEARCHERS and tourists from all over the country will throng Taregna (near Patna in Bihar) on July 22, to witness the first and longest solar eclipse of the 21st century. The Bihar government has decided to provide visitors with necessary facilities. Astrophysicists and scientists have identified Taregna, located 25km from Patna, as one of the place from where the solar eclipse will be visible. The duration of the eclipse in Taregna will be 3 minutes, 48 seconds. However, the maximum duration of the eclipse would be six minutes 38 seconds (as visible from the Pacific Ocean).

In India, the eclipse will commence soon after sunrise. Surat in Gujarat and Patna are stated to be the ideal locations for the viewing. However, the eclipse would be partially visible throughout the country. The next total solar eclipse will take place again in 2034. According to reports, NASA scientist J Anderson has identified Taregna as the best location to view the eclipse.

It is believed that around 476-550 CE, India’s astrophysicist Aryabhatta, had camped at this site to study the movements of celestial bodies. That is how a place near Patna - Khagaul, meaning astronomy - gets its name.

“The district administration is making special arrangements at Taregna,” said Amitabha Ghosh, director of the Patna-based Indira Gandhi Planetarium. The Patna district magistrate and other officials have already visited the place. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar may also visit Taregna.

The Patna planetarium plans to sell special spectacles at Rs20. “We do not wish to miss this rare opportunity, especially when people from across the country are thronging here to witness the eclipse,” said Sugandha, a lecturer. Meanwhile, hotel owners in Patna have started making arrangements to welcome astro-tourists. “Yes, we’ve booked some of our hotel rooms for visiting tourists. They would come on July 21 and leave the very next day,” said Narendra Kumar, owner of Windsor Hotel.

Tour operators have made special arrangements to cash in on this occasion and have already received a overwhelming response. Cox and Kings, the reputed travel agency, has claimed that a group of both amateur astronomers and others have booked a Boeing-737 for the two-hour journey from Delhi to Gaya in Bihar, specifically to watch the solar eclipse.

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