Nearly a million Hindu pilgrims were in the town of Kurukshetra, 150 miles (240 kilometres) north of the Indian city of Delhi, on Thursday (29 April) to watch a solar eclipse and bathe in the holy tanks of Brahmasarover and Sanneht.
LV AND SV Crowds of pilgrims arriving at Kurukshetra. (2 shots)
GV Crowds enter temple.
GV Crowds wait at edge of holy tanks. (2 shots)
SV AND CU Holymen and Sadhu's with goddess Kali idol. (3 shots)
GV Sun during eclipse.
LV & CU Pilgrims bathing and dancing in holy tank. (3 shots)
Initials VS 22.35 VS 22.50
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Background: Nearly a million Hindu pilgrims were in the town of Kurukshetra, 150 miles (240 kilometres) north of the Indian city of Delhi, on Thursday (29 April) to watch a solar eclipse and bathe in the holy tanks of Brahmasarover and Sanneht.
A similar celebration was held in Kurukshetra in 1968. This year meteorologists predicted the eclipse would take place later in the afternoon - and it did. For 24 hours before the event thousands of men, women and children - many from faraway villages - started pouring into the town.
Although the exact significance of the occasion is not known it is believed that the solar eclipse fair in Kurukshetra is held to commemorate a legendary meeting between the lord Krishna and his "gopies" on the banks of the two holy tanks.
During the eclipse all the Hindu gods and goddesses are believed to come down to have a bath in the tanks among their devotees.
The Brahmasarover tank - believed to be the biggest bathing tank in India - is said to have been excavated by King Kuru long before the Mahabharata war and has undergone various changes since then. It is flanked by temples and other places of religious and historical interest.
To ensure that no health hazards were caused by the huge crowds bathing in the tanks the Department of Health assigned 2000 employees to completely rid the area of flies, mosquitoes, rats, snakes and stray dogs before the fair started.
18 anti-cholera inoculation posts were also set up adjacent to the tanks and everyone who went into the water had to present an inoculation certificate.