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Surya Grahan on August 1 in India

A partial solar eclipse, Surya Grahan, will be visible in India from 15:58 to 18:08 (Indian Standard Time) on August 1, 2008. According to NASA, it is a ‘Total Solar Eclipse’ on August 1 and the path of the Moon's umbral shadow begins in Canada and extends across northern Greenland, the Arctic, central Russia, Mongolia, and China. A partial eclipse is seen within the much broader path of the Moon's penumbral shadow, which includes northeastern North America, most of Europe and Asia. As per Hindu calendar, August 1 is an Amavasi day.

Update: Surya Grahan (Total solar eclipse) on July 22, 2009.

Surya Grahan on August 1 in India.... continues

A partial solar eclipse will be visible throughout India. It will be visible mainly in the northeastern region including Kolkata and other major towns. The best view will be at Sibsagar. It will also be a partial eclipse in Nepal.

In New Delhi, it would be visible from 4.03 pm to 5.56 pm and more than 50 percent of the Sun would be covered by moon. In Chennai, it would be visible from 4.40 pm to 6.08 pm and nearly 25% of sun will be covered by noon. This is the peak monsoon season and heavy rain is predicted in most parts of India on Friday and this might keep the solar event hidden behind the clouds.

Generally most Hindu temples remain closed during the period of solar eclipse and temples reopen on the next day morning after special pujas and rituals. Hindus in large number take holy dip in Rivers like Ganges and other tirths especially at Brahma Sarover in Kurukshetra.

  • The dark blue double line indicates the path of Total Solar Eclipse.
  • The light blue grid area of partial eclipse which includes India and Nepal. (image from NASA)

Usually, Hindus do not perform any work during Surya Grahan and they purify themselves by taking a bath and chants the Ashtakshara Mantra dedicated to Shri Krishna. Ashtakshara mantra is ‘Shri Krishna ha sharnam mama.’

Adult Hindus stop eating 12 hours before a solar eclipse. Children, old people and those who are ill stop eating 3 hours before the beginning of a solar eclipse. If the solar eclipse ends after sunset, then people fast during night and consume food only next day morning.

Ancient sages and texts like Brahman Siddhanta restrict viewing the eclipse – one should look at an eclipse through a cloth or a reflection of it. A pregnant woman should never look directly at an eclipse.

There are also some people who take undue advantage of innocent Hindus in the name of astrology during such events. Ancient Hindu saints only talk about the physical harm Surya Grahanam can create on human beings. Put the thinking cap and keep out unwanted elements who try to take undue advantage during such occasions. The only aim of such people is money.

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