Solar eclipse in Varanasi on 22.07.2009

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For three minutes and four seconds on Wednesday morning, an ethereal blue-grey darkness descended on this city of light. The sky giving pilgrims and eclipse-watchers in the jam-packed ghats sights they are unlikely to forget ever.The century’s most spectacular solar eclipse was seen in full glory in holy Banaras. The city was suddenly clothed in a surreal glow of faint light.

Up in the sky, a soft white halo formed around the black ball of the lunar disc. Other watcher, many of them gathered here from across the globe.

Just after the total phase ended at 6.27 am, another bright diamond ring dazzled in the sky, this one more mesmerising then the previous. Then began the slow march of the moon away from the Sun’s path.

The devoutes had been streaming into Varanasi’s ghats much before sunrise for the dip in the river during the eclipse.The bathers swelled as the eclipse progressed. The  celestial normality was restored around 7.27 am.

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