Solar eclipse: No fair, only simple religious ceremony this time in Kurukshetra

Kurukshetra, June 21 (PTI) A simple religious ceremony was held on the banks of the Brahma Sarovar here on Sunday as the administration had decided not to allow any fair this time on the occasion of solar eclipse amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The holy city had been placed under curfew till 4 pm on Sunday to prevent people from gathering on the banks of sacred sarovars in this district for taking a dip or holding any ritual on the occasion of solar eclipse.

According to Hindu beliefs, a bath in the holy tanks at Kurukshetra during solar eclipse is considered auspicious.

A simple religious ceremony was held at Subhadra and Ganga ghats on the Brahma Sarovar in which 200 religious leaders took part.

During usual times, the Brahma Sarovar and Sannihit Sarovar here attract close to 10 lakh pilgrims on solar eclipse.

A large number of devotees from various parts of the country flock Kurukshetra on the occasion of solar eclipse to take a dip in the holy ponds here and a grand fair is organised.

District Magistrate Dhirendra Khadgata said earlier that the administration had decided not to allow any fair this time in view of the pandemic.

Swami Gyananand, the head of Kurukshetra-based Global Inspiration and Enlightenment Organisation, and some seers reached the Subhadra Ghat on Brahma Sarovar at about 10 am and took a holy dip.

The local priests were allowed to perform their rituals only at Sannihit Sarovar.

A few scientists had also reached here with their equipment to study the solar eclipse.

An annular solar eclipse, wherein the sun appears like a ring of fire, was visible from here.

The annular phase began at 10.19 am and ended at 2.02 pm.

While interacting with the religious leaders here via video conference, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said the 'anushthan' (religious ceremony) being performed at the banks of Brahma Sarovar would help in bringing peace and prosperity in the world, which is currently batting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kurukshetra district had been sealed from all sides with barricading at the Brahma Sarovar, and adjoining sacred ponds, officials said on Sunday.

People had been requested to observe rituals at home, they said.

To ensure tight security, 52 'nakas' were set up in Kurukshetra district with constant patrolling by the police, the officials said.

The district magistrate on Wednesday had barred holding of the fair by imposing prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC with immediate effect. The provision bans the assembly of more than four persons.

The annular phase was visible on Sunday morning from some places within a narrow corridor of the northern part of the country (parts of Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttarakhand). A few prominent places within this narrow annularity path are Dehradun, Kurukshetra, Chamoli, Joshimath, Sirsa, Suratgarh.

It was seen as a partial solar eclipse from the rest of the country. PTI Cor SUN VSD SNE