Kurukshetra (Haryana) : Nearly one million people Wednesday took a dip in the sacred Brahma Sarovar pond during the first total solar eclipse of the century.
Even though the solar eclipse was partially visible here and other parts of Haryana, tens of thousands people converged to this Hindu holy city for a dip in the pond.
Kurukshetra is known as the land of the battle described in the epic Mahabharata, and a dip in the pond during an eclipse is considered to be auspicious by the Hindus.
Officials said the number of pilgrims visiting the city Wednesday was higher than usual as a religious festival is also going on in the nearby town of Pehowa.
Amidst chanting of Vedic mantras, the pilgrims took the dip in the Sarovar when the eclipse started at around 4.30 p.m. The eclipse ended here just after 6 p.m.
"Many people come here for salvation on such occasions," said priest Arjun Prasad.
Ram Purush, a devotee from Roorkee in Uttaranchal, said: "I am blessed to be here on this occasion. It is such a festival-like atmosphere."
Six special trains from New Delhi, over 250 Haryana Roadways buses and several hundred private vehicles transported the pilgrims.
Elaborate security arrangements were made for the occasion, with over 5,600 police personnel deployed across the city. District officials said every pilgrim had been insured for Rs.100,000 for the occasion.
Trained swimmers and divers were kept in attendance to prevent accidents at the Sarovar. IANS