Patna: Patna's Sri Krishna Science Centre is now obsessed swith the sun. With astro-scientists declaring Patna and its rural suburb Taregna, among the best sites to watch the solar eclipse this year, astro-buffs and scientists are making a beeline to these places.
Director Sri Krishna Science Centre, Anurag Kumar says, "There is a wide belt kind of thing which passes through the earth where people can see the total solar eclipse. Taregna happens to be almost at the center of this Umbral belt and Patna is not very far from this place. Patna will also witness very long solar eclipse."
Taregna's locals are mildly surprised at the sudden attention, but it's only a revival of their town's lost glory, they say.
A resident of Taregna, Raja Ram Singh says, "It is said that Taregna was Aryabhat's laboratory. He used to study stars from here and so the place was given the name Tara Gan. This was later changed to Taregna."
Thanks to advance bookings, hotels and tour operators already have their hands full.
As Taregna and Patna have fallen on the eclipse path, the state government is in full gear to encash upon this astro-tourism. Special arrangements are being made at both these places for astrophysicists and scientists, who would descend down on D-day for a rare, divine viewing.
General Manager Hotel Maurya, Patna, B D Singh says, "My chef is working overtime especially as guests are coming from France, Italy and Germany. According to their taste, we are creating a different menu for that particular day."
At around 0600 hrs IST on Wednesday, July 22, there will be a solar eclipse for almost four minutes. Sky-watchers in Patna are ready - some with the best equipment and some with cheap solar eclipse spectacles and loads of passion - to witness the last great eclipse of the 21st century.