Hooda takes holy dip in Kurukshetra tank during solar eclipse

August 1st, 2008 - 10:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Aug 1 (IANS) Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda Friday joined tens of thousands of pilgrims to take a holy dip in the Brahma Sarovar, a water tank in Kurikshetra town, held sacred by Hindus, during the solar eclipse. “I have prayed for the prosperity of the state and the country and for world peace. Lord Krishna had also taken a bath at this holy place and this is an easy passage for salvation of mankind,” Hooda told reporters after a dip in the water body.

At 4 p.m., when the eclipse began, a large number of sadhus in saffron robes and hundreds of pilgrims entered the holy tank amid the chanting of hymns.

The eclipse was visible in Kurukshetra up to 5:55 p.m. The district administration had made elaborate arrangements to facilitate the holy dip, including insuring the pilgrims and divers of the navy.

“All pilgrims coming to the holy city were insured and in case of any unexpected death within a radius of seven kilometres, an insurance claim of Rs.100,000 would be given to the next of kin of the deceased,” said Pankaj Aggarwal, deputy commissioner of Kurukshetra.

“It is for the first time that the administration had sought the services of 20 divers from the Indian Navy to strengthen the rescue measures. Also, close circuit cameras were installed at all the sensitive points to keep an eye on activities of anti-social elements,” Aggarwal said.

The administration made special arrangements for transporting physically challenged pilgrims, he added.

All government offices, schools and colleges in Kurukshetra district remained closed Friday.

The total solar eclipse of 150 seconds was seen in various nations, including Canada, parts of Russia and China, but India witnessed only a partial eclipse as the country lay in the partial belt of the moon’s shadow.

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