Taregna (Bihar): Cloud cover left thousands
of people gathered in Taregna, touted the best place to watch
the century`s longest total solar eclipse, disappointed on Wednesday
but the momentary darkness that enveloped the town was enough
to cheer the onlookers who burst into a collective applause.
This nondescript sub divisional town, 30 km from Patna,
where ancient astronomer Aryabhatta (476 AD) had set up an
observatory to track the movement of stars, was considered the
best place to view the event and drew the most footfalls from
home and abroad.
Astronomers, scientists besides the people in
thousands had gathered for the early morning show, but were
disappointed as they could not witness the actual eclipse
because of a cloudy sky.
Though the eclipse was not seen, darkness descended for
four minutes from 6:28 am and the sky watchers letting out a
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who along with his deputy
Sushil Kumar Modi and some ministerial colleagues had gathered
to watch the eclipse from the roof of a two-storey hospital,
said, "Like the light after darkness of an eclipse, the
darkness over Bihar will clear soon."
He said that government had already decided to set up
a university for technical education at Patna named after
On Taregna, Kumar said, "It has a glorious past.
Aryabhatta had set up an observatory here to observe stars."
He announced that the area would be developed as a hub
of scientific studies.
Two representatives from NASA and those from
Mumbai-based NGO SPACE were present at the site.
SPACE representative Amitabh Pandey briefed those
gathered on the eclipse and answered queries from the people
who had gathered in fields, railway lines and rooftops.