By Hindu legend it is believed that an eclipse of the sun occurs when the planet Rahu-Ketu attacks the Sun, and the destruction of the world which would inevitably follow can only be averted by prayer.
G.V. Crowds by the holy bathing tank.
L.V. Some people in the water.
S.T.V. Crowds on the banks.
S.V. A gathering of holy man offering prayers.
C.U. Holy man reading prayers from book.
C.U. Another holy man.
S.V. A line of holy man collecting alms from passers-by.
S.T.V. Crowd on the banks.
T.G.V. Bathers in the water, others on the bank.
Angle V. The eclipse of the sun.
S.T.V. A group of male bathers.
S.T.V. Bathing in progress.
S.V. Children looking up.
Angle V. The eclipse.
S.V. Two men looking up.
Angle V. The eclipse.
Back V. Bathers walking away.
T.G.V. Walking towards on of the temples of Kurukshetra.
Initials AW M.R./P.B.
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Background: By Hindu legend it is believed that an eclipse of the sun occurs when the planet Rahu-Ketu attacks the Sun, and the destruction of the world which would inevitably follow can only be averted by prayer.
The Hindus believe that Kurukshetra, about 130 miles from New Delhi, is where the world began by rising from the sea. God distributed nectar to the Gods, to make them immortal. Sun being one of the Gods was eligible, but the planet Rahu-Ketu was not. He did manage, however, to get a small portion, but Sun complained, and thus began the immortal rivalry. Hence the eclipse.
Kurukshetra has yet another legendary history dating from the Mahabharata period of 5,000 years ago - Lord Krishna is reputed to have related there the Great Hindu philosophy to Arjuna, the warrior of Pandavas. This philosophy is now known "as the Bhagwad Gita."
With temple bells and 'shankhadhwanis' heralding the onset of today's eclipse a few minutes after sunrise, nearly four lacks of devout pilgrims had their ritual bath in the sacred lotus scented waters of the Kurukshetra and Sanyahat Tanks. Although a few days ago the tank bore signs of drying up, the Punjab Government ordered millions of gallons to be pumped in from the Sirhind Canal. Pumps worked around the clock for almost a fortnight.
After the ritual bath, the pilgrims again engaged in prayers, and then dispersed at the end of the eclipse to destinations all over Punjab and towards Delhi.