City of Joy misses the spectacle

However, people practically had a clear view of the eclipse over a long time in some parts of North Bengal like Raiganj where cheering crowd set off hundreds of balloons in the sky to express their joy at the celestial wonder that is expected to recur only after a gap of about 105 years.

Those in the city who gathered at the roof-tops and vantage points since early morning to have a peek  at the celestial event, were disappointed following a clouded sky. The sun looked like a crescent as the moon’s shadow passed between the sun and the earth for a few minutes from 6:20 am.

Devouts among them thronged on the banks of the Hoogly river to have a dip for ceremonial ablution.

“ This is the first occasion in my lifetime and I believe I must pray to god for ablution of all my sins. It is a tradition our ancestors had also observed,” said Malati Devi, a 72-year-old lady who took a bath in the river at 6 am.

Astrologists say that the total eclipse will be visible again after 105 years in this metropolis though at least 22 partial eclipse would be visible during this period across India.

Several NGOs, and scientific organisations organised viewing of the event. Birla Industrial and Technological Museum organised a projection of the eclipse on screen for viewers.

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